New Xbox Live Experience – Information
I think its time i actually made a post on here regarding the new dashboard, so here you go.
Microsoft has redesigned Xbox 360 frontend, the New Xbox Experience, which will be released worldwide on November 19.
The update, in case you're not savvy with this news stuff, adds a completley redesigned menu system, Avatars, the ability to install games to your HDD and more. It looks good.
The update allows MS to easily tweak the frontend when future changes are required, rather than relying on quarter-yearly updates.
The new Dashboard uses a 'Twist User Interface', as already used in Windows Media Center and Zune.
The scrollable categories on the new Dashboard are Videos, Games, Primetime, Community, Game, Primetime, Spotlight and My Xbox.
My Xbox is the main category. This is split into Disc In Tray, your gamercard, Games Library, Music Library, Video Library, Photos Library, Windows Media Center and System Settings.
Spotlight is Microsoft's way of flagging up new and interesting content, "the key things the services have had to offer for some time" says Xbox Live chief Steve Willett.
Primetime will host the 'special' games such as 1 vs. 100 and in the future, Xbox trivia quizzes, amongst others. This is described as 'appointment type gaming' where you have to be online at a certain time to take part.
Game shows you new and interesting games, similar to the way Spotlight works. Each featured game 'slide' will have a small animation to go with it.
Community will become an extension of your old Friends List. You'll see all your online friends on this page. More specifically, you'll see their avatars.
Video will have the Netflix partnership, so will advertise all the movies you can rent and download. There will be an 'Instant Queue' that will allow you to instantly launch any movies in your queue, and you can rearrange the order of the films.
Xbox Guide will be altered too. It's been transformed into a smaller, streamlined version of the old Dashboard as you remember it. This is where you can access Marketplace, played music from your HDD, check your profile and so on.
You can still use your old Dashboard themes.
You can still use your old Gamerpics too, though Microsoft will encourage everyone to switch over to the gaming avatars. This will be done through stuff like 1 vs. 100, where gaming avatars will (presumably) be compulsory for entry.
Word is also coming through of a slight tweak to the achievements system, with 'medals' acting as graphical representations of achievements on the Dashboard. This could be someone misinterpreting the current achievement graphics or it could be Microsoft's attempt to dash Sony's recent 'Trophies' implementation.
Avatars are going to be extremely customisable, with a huge range of items available for your avatar from launch.
To replace the old system of unlocking gamerpics for certain achievements (Seriously... in Gears Of War, for example), it seems you can now unlock clothing for your avatar instead.
Avatars will be used in almost all Primetime games, such as 1 vs 100.
Installs will reduce load times, as the 360 will read the game from the HDD rather than the disc. Not only will this cut down on time spent watching loading screens but should also help games that struggle with 'texture pop-in' (Mass Effect being an obvious example).
Reading from the HDD will also cut down on '360 noise', as it won't have to spin the disc to read it. No more whirring jet noises as your 360 winds into life.
To prevent piracy, your 360 will check your game disc is in the drive before loading from the HDD.
You won't be allowed to remove your disc from the 360 while playing from the HDD (though we're not sure why you'd want to).
For multi-disc games such as Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon, you can choose with discs you want to rip to the HDD. You'll need to have the correct disc in the drive for each disc swap though.
The install will be faster than on PlayStation3. Microsoft's mostly commonly touted example is Devil May Cry 4 - it's a 4 to 5 GB install that takes 10 minutes on Xbox 360 as opposed to 18 to 20 minutes on PlayStation3.
Installs are NOT mandatory.
Asked about a keyword search in Marketplace, Microsoft say "there's nothing to announce."
You'll be able to browse Marketplace and purchase items from Xbox.com.
The Xbox 360 logo in the corner gently ripples outwards. Hardly the deal breaker if you weren't sold on the Dashboard before but a nice touch nevertheless.
The reason there's so much 'empty space' on the Dashboard is Microsoft has to allow for those playing their 360 on 4:3 480i TV sets. This will squash everything up and make the layout much tighter.
'Quick Launch' lets you switch between Xbox Live Arcade games without having to quit back to the Dashboard first.
Microsoft has offered a glimpse at what the brand new Marketplace on Xbox.com will look like when the New Xbox Experience hits.
Xbox.com currently doesn't have Marketplace but the plan is that you'll be able to buy stuff through that website as well as on Xbox 360's online Marketplace store.
Xbox.com will be undergoing a revamp to reflect the dashboard changes regardless, and here are the images Microsoft released to show us what to expect
Within the next 2 weeks, Microsoft will be giving awat NXE codes which will give the lucky gamer the new expeirience ealier then everyone else. :) which is always nice as we know how much everyone likes to get toys before everyone else.
Will keep you all updated.