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XBox (Games) Games

Inside the New Xbox Experience 50

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-and-better dept.
Eurogamer has an in-depth look at the new Xbox Experience, which is coming on November 19th. They discuss the new interface and features, and their reaction is generally positive, citing graphical improvements, smooth file management, and better chat functionality. "The Guide is also your access point to the new Party system, where you can gather eight of your friends together in a voice-chat channel and move the group between games. You don't even have to be doing the same thing: you can just chat along regardless. And because it's a service layer, it automatically works with all your existing games. Gears of War treats it like it's always been there. Instead of inviting a player, you invite the group; instead of ending a session and having to reassemble for another, you stay together. You can open it up to friends or set it to be invite-only, and while it's one of NXE's quieter additions, it's also its most authoritative statement: this is Microsoft saying, 'We figured we might need to do something like this, so we made sure we could.'"
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Inside the New Xbox Experience

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:39AM (#25592693)

    The *one* feature I was interested in, install to hard disk, they only mentioned in passing, saying that "We haven't had long enough with NXE to gauge how much of an improvement installation is over playing off the disc, but we'll take a look in the coming weeks."

    Thanks, that was the whole reason I read the stupid article.

    • by Have Blue (616) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:22AM (#25592863) Homepage
      According to other reports load times are slightly improved, operating noise is significantly decreased, and a rip takes 6-10 minutes. You also need to put the original disk in the drive to play an installed game (so don't think you can just fill it with games from friends or Gamefly for free).
    • by lucas teh geek (714343) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:26AM (#25592879)
      thank you for saving me and many others from wasting our time too. I think that's the only think most people are interested in. I guess the netflix streaming might interest some where it's available, but to the rest of the world this update is basically avatars and installing to disk; and no one really gives a shit about avatars
      • by arkhan_jg (618674)

        How much extra in-your-face advertising there's going to be is useful (albeit depressing) info, and that the guide is basically the old dashboard is also handy to know.

        Installing to disc though; I just did the 120GB own-HDD hack in preparation. I'm not worried so much about loading speed, as making the goddamn DVD drive quieter when playing.

        • I'm not worried so much about loading speed, as making the goddamn DVD drive quieter when playing.

          I know exactly what you mean. my 360 is on the end of a 5M vga + 5M optical cable in order to get it out of the tv room, and even then you can hear the dvd drive whine if the door isnt shut.

        • i couldnt resist the temptation and installed the update that's floating around the net already. the silence is beautiful, I'm considering allowing the 360 back into the tv room now :)

          oh, and I didn't even last 24hours before I rushed out and did the 120 WD BEVS upgrade. with the installs being in the range ~4-7gb and a 20gb hdd only having 13gb free, i could see it was going to get frustrating shuffling data around very, very quickly.
      • by cgenman (325138)

        Other things I'm hoping is in this update:

        XNA peer-created games.

        Party options. Having a game-independent 8 player group-up is pretty nice for those of us scattered to the winds.

        Hopes:

        I'm hoping they cache the Xbox live arcade game list. The "Display 'em as you find 'em" current thing is pretty terrible.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I guess the netflix streaming might interest some where it's available

        You have to have broadband (ok) a Xbox 360 with HDMI (not so many) and a TV with HDMI (even less) to even get HD content. How many people does that cover? Can anyone explain why they even bothered?

        • by EGSonikku (519478)

          I have all of the above. 360's have been shipping with HDMI for what, over a year now? And what HDTV these days doesn't have HDMI?

          And HDMI *isn't* necessary, people with the NXE Preview report you can stream Netflix HD over component on the 360 just fine.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            And HDMI *isn't* necessary, people with the NXE Preview report you can stream Netflix HD over component on the 360 just fine.

            Whoops, looks like it was debunked after I read the announcement... On the other hand, they could easily change this later, so if it was a rumor and not an attack, it could still be true.

            Regardless, you are way in the minority if you have all three of those things... I think it's a big waste of time. Only time itself will tell.

        • dont ask me. last time I looked they didnt even offer SD content on the australian xbl marketplace. the artificial online "region" bullshit has to stop
  • more ad's more ad's! yes thats what consumers want! we like being horrored out!! oo yea baby! (i feel bad for the windows/MS minions some times.... man my country has gotten greedy... humm i should prolly clean up and load my guns beore this election uh? whelp i'm off...)
    • by jrockway (229604)

      Wow, your spelling is bad.

      But ads aren't new. The 360 has bombarded you with ads for as long as I can remember.

      • no speakie-de english :-) haha, yea i slipped through the cracks! woot for USA education! yea well i remember when it first came out and it wasn't as bad. then recently it was like your getting butt raped for no charge. the background for entire sections in the menu was nothing but an add.
  • I bet former SWG players cringe at that name.

  • Please... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dutch Gun (899105) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @05:31AM (#25593461)

    ...just tell me I don't *have* to create, use, or look at one of those retarded-looking avatars.

    Other than this, it really feels like the driving force behind this is that they want more space for advertising.

    Jerry Johnson insisted that a central tenet of the New Xbox Experience is "serendipitous discovery of content" - in other words, giving you stuff to do rather than expecting you to fire up the box with a plan already in mind - but after a few hours' use it's hard to shake the feeling that, among the more useful rows of panels showcasing the latest and most popular downloads, the new channels are simply a new wave of adverts that push beyond the old dashboard's capacity.

    I'm going to throw you a warning, Microsoft, and you can take this from someone who has enjoyed using your consoles so far. You start barraging your best customers with adverts, even more than you're already doing (which is bordering on obnoxious already), and you're going to risk killing the lead you currently enjoy with your online services.
       

    • Re:Please... (Score:4, Informative)

      by arkhan_jg (618674) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @07:44AM (#25593907)

      FTA, I think you're going to be disappointed on both counts I'm afraid. The first thing you have to do is create an avatar which is then used prominently on the 'my xbox' and 'friends' pages - the friends list is now replaced by a collection of avatars.

      From the sounds of it, the advertising is going to get even worse and more pushy and in-your-face. I wish there was a 'xbox live' proxy we could install that would filter out the ad images from the rest of the content. Hmm. I might try forcing it through a proxy anyway to see what it's doing, but I bet it's done over https.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I might try forcing it through a proxy anyway to see what it's doing, but I bet it's done over https.

        If it's typical Microsoft, they're just accepting a certificate blindly... and you could use squid and packet mangling to find out anyway.

  • by wazzzup (172351) <astromac&fastmail,fm> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @11:01AM (#25594845)

    The new party chat seems great but at 8 people it seems limited. How does it interact when you play games with more than 8 people. Does it work concurrently with whatever chat implementation the game provides or is it an either/or prospect - game chat or group chat but not both?

    HDD install will be welcome and Netflix streaming will be welcome if/when they improve the awful selection available for instant viewing.

    The avatar friends list thing does not seem practical. Hopefully there will be sorting by online status as an option to the alphabetic order thing.

    BTW, if you are 30+ or so and prefer not playing with timmies and griefers but with folks your age with lives, jobs and families check out GeezerGamers. For me, it totally changed XBL from painful to fun.

    • by 63N1U5 (840190)
      Netflix just recently added over 1000 movies from StarzPlay, many of the same films that are broadcast on the Starz cable networks. There are many more popular/newer films available for streaming now.
  • I'm not sold on the new avatar type stuff since I really just use the dashboard as a way to get into games or download content, not as a social networking site like MySpace or Facebook.

    I do have to give Microsoft credit though for getting to market so quickly with what looks like a fairly large overhaul. Sony's Home make-over was announced in early 2007 and it is still in beta, while the new 360 experience will be out the middle of this month. Sony's setup may ultimately prove better - when it actually ma

  • after having it more than 2 years (just long enough for the warranty to expire) it gave me the Red Ring of Death. Also, the game Civilization Revolution was designed in such a way that it constantly accesses the CD, which in turn burns out the drive.. makes me wonder how they can release such crap.
    • by mingot (665080)
      Heh. You threw a broken 360 into the garbage when it broke two years into a three year warranty.
  • I've heard (http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showtopic=665221) that this has been leaked. No live till the 19th though. At least I hope it's only until the 19th
  • Ok, without modding, or doing anything that would bring down the rath of microsoft (sorry! it's for a good cause though!) would it be possible for me to set up for my family, an easy way to access everything we would normally get off satellite (Fox News, Disney Channel... more news...) off of the new xbox live interface? The set up would like something like this: Xbox on Live hooked up to Windows Media Center Extender thingy, from which we could pull netflix, etc. But what about hulu? or other tv shows? Li

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