New XBox Experience

Everyone that owns an XBox and is an XBox Live customer has been talking about the New XBox Experience (NXE) this week.  The XBox dashboard got a full overhaul and new features were added to the platform (what a great selling point that these console can have their firmware upgraded – I think “offline” consoles are pretty much dead these days).

The Avatars are definitely a strike back at the Wii’s Mii.  These avatars are a good way to show uniqueness and a bit of your personality so I like the idea even if it wasn’t original.  I didn’t spend a great deal of time on my Avatar but I think it at least somewhat looks like me (what do you guys that know me think?).  Compared to the South Park me image I have I’m not sure which one I like better.  To bad I can’t use the south park one as my Avatar.

Mike as a south park character

The interface seems to be snappier and I like the new menu accessed from the Xbox button on the controller.  It will take a little while to find all the features and locate those seldom used settings though.

I’ve set up a Party to test that out and it seemed to be a great way to get your friends together for a game or just keep everyone on the same chat channel as they play different games.

I’d like to hear from others what their opinions are on the integration between NetFlix and XBox.  My XBox isn’t attached to the main TV in the house (it’s in my office/basement/cave) so it’s not currently in the best place for watching movies.  I’ve heard a little bit that the selection of the instant download movies and such aren’t that expansive.  If it takes off really well I wonder if they will make it a priority to increase the selection.  I also currently do not have a NetFlix account so I’ll have to see what other people think.

One feature I didn’t hear about until the NXE shipped was the ability to copy a game to the hard drive.  This feature supposedly increases performance and definitely reduces the ambient noise since the optical drive isn’t spinning while you play.  I loaded Force Unleashed onto the HDD but didn’t really notice any increase in speed of load times.  What I did notice was that it took up a LOT of room on the drive.

Overall I like the new experience.