Xbox 360 gets avatar system, new dashboard etc.

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Xbox 360 gets avatar system, new dashboard etc.

Post by Rahul on Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:20 am

(Joystiq - Xbox 360 gets avatar system, new dashboard)
Yes, we heard the rumors and they turned out to be true. At Microsoft's E3
keynote, they finally revealed the new dashboard, complete with 3D
slides and Avatars. John Schappert, head of Live services and software,
told the audience: "The new look and feel is more fun, more social, and
simpler to use. You'll have a Gamercard, but there's also something
new... it'll be more personal with avatars. Express your personality
and style, share it with your community and friends. ... pants, shirts,
hats... everything you need, it's all here."

"Create, share, and have fun with all of your friends... but avatars are just the
beginning. The new Xbox is tailored for the living room. Here we are at
the community channel -- instead of a list of friends, you actually see
them. You can chat with or send messages to your friends, but there's
something new: create a Live party, private groups of up to 8 people,
always connected and chatting as a party."

The Mii-like Avatars are just the beginning, he says. The new Dashboard adds a community
channel, which allows you to send messages to friends or invite them to
a "live party." With this upcoming update, Xbox 360 becomes an even
more social experience.

(Joystiq - Details on New Xbox Experience, Avatars, Netflix, Primetime, etc)
Immediately following this morning's press conference,
we got a chance to sit down with Xbox VP of Strategy and Business
Development, Shane Kim, to pick his brain about the new Dashboard
(called the "New Xbox Experience") and its various components, like the
Netflix integration, Avatars, Party support, Primetime, and more.


  • You must be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber as well as a Netflix subscriber to use the new Netflix service
  • Similarly, anyone you share your movie with would also need to be an XBL and Netflix subscriber
  • Like Netflix's current streaming service, all content will be SD only for
    now. They could offer HD streams as soon as Netflix is ready to deliver

  • They're not looking to create a "Home-like" environment for your Avatars that
    doesn't mean a third-party wouldn't be able to do that, however
  • You'll be able to keep your gamertag pics if you so choose, though they're encouraging everyone to transition to Avatars
  • Games can reward you with items for your Avatar (chainsaw, please!)
  • There will be no increase in the 100-friend cap on Xbox Live this Fall
  • There will not be any Group (think Facebook) or Clan support in this update
    they're hoping the "Party" system will satisfy those requests (spoiler:
    it won't)
Lips, Primetime

  • They're not ready to discuss the availability of lyrics, beat charts, etc. for Lips when
    using your own music sounds to us like they're going to charge for
    that content, but aren't saying how much
  • Not ready to discuss the business model for Xbox Live Primetime subscription-based? Free with Gold? Per game purchase?
  • "Without being specific" prizes for Primetime will be similar to a television show (think: cash, a new car, etc.)
  • Primetimewould be a "lightweight client" that would be "somewhat extensible"
    depending on what kind of content is being plugged in
  • It's "programmatic" so the experience will be programmed, but it won't
    necessarily occur during "primetime" viewing hours. It's just a name,
Price cut

  • Kim wanted to be clear they're not trying to mislead people with the 20GB price cut. "We tried to be very clear about the [availability of the] 20GB and that a 60GB unit was coming." (Emphasis Kim's)
  • They have a timeline for when the 360 would be under $200 the pricepoint
    where the majority of sales occur but he wasn't talking,

  • Though Kim wouldn't say definitely that there would be no further backwards
    compatibility updates, he did say they're not actively pursuing it and
    that it wouldn't be a part of the new Dashboard update. We just want Beyond Good & Evil to work, that's all ...


(Kotaku - The New Xbox Experience: Just The Facts (And Maybe Some Conjecture))
Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg and Marc Whitten lead a Community Roundtable discussion
following the company's E3 media briefing, giving us further insight
into the changes coming to the Xbox 360 dashboard. Officially dubbed
the New Xbox Experience, the update was said by Whitten to be a
response to the glut of content on Xbox Live, a system he claims was
built with hundreds of pieces of content in mind, not tens of thousands
or potentially millions, as Whitten posited.The new look and feel for
the Xbox 360 dashboard was designed to be navigable by those unfamiliar
with the current "blades" interface, with the New Xbox Experience akin
to a TV remote control UI. In person, it's pretty slick the Xbox 360
logo radiates a constant pulse in the bottom right corner, with iTunes
Cover Flow-style reflections and navigation giving gamers a quick clean
look at their games and content.

Fans of the current "blades" interface may be saddened to learn that the update isn't an optional
redesign, it's a total replacement. They'll still get a taste of the
old interface via the new Guide look and feel. Hit the jump for a photo.

The New Guide
That's the new look of the Xbox 360's Guide, accessible from the big
old Guide button on the standard controller. You'll have familiar
access to your games, media and settings, via the pop up Guide, which
loads faster and more smoothly than the current iteration. You'll also
be able to hop directly into anything from your Games library Live
Arcade games, movies, installed Xbox 360 retail games regardless of
what you're currently using your 360 for.

The new Guide and the NXE interface are both said to load faster, even if you have 100+ games
in your library. Whitten noted that the LIVE team is very focused on
optimizing the experience.

Your Old Stuff...
...will still work in the new interface. The gamerpics and themes you
downloaded will work with NXE. And while we didn't get to see it in
action, Marc Whitten swears they look "beautiful" on the new interface.

Play From Hard Drive
Details on ripping games to your Xbox 360 HDD are still to be
announced, but it appears that the only limitation on users is that the
game disc must be in the drive in order to play. That means no lending
your copy of History Channel: Battle for the Pacific to get
around, you know, owning the thing. The feature is said to work with
all Xbox 360 games past, present and future and is primarily a method
to reduce load times.

Netflix & The Instant Queue
Xbox Live's Larry Hryb showed Netflix integration in action, updating
his queue via the Web, which then updated automatically on the Xbox
360. That newly added movie was then streamed via Netflix's servers.
The quality was definitely below DVD quality, but still looked good.

Where Do The Ads Go?
Microsoft said more than once that they'd be releasing more information
on the update including things like what real estate advertising will
occupy in NXE at a later date. Ads weren't visible in the demo
version we were shown, but we won't be surprised when they pop up in
the less sexier, real world version of the interface update.

Mystery Science Theatre 360
With Avatars, LIVE Party and the ability to stream movies and TV shows
with other Netflix subscribers while chatting, wouldn't that make for
an excellent vehicle for mocking the worst of the worst movies? The
wink and a smile that Whitten gave the Community attendees certainly
made us think so, but we don't know if Microsoft plans on officially
supporting the overlay of Avatars on Netflix video streams.

There Will Be No Browser
At least, not in the NXE Fall update. A Web version of Xbox LIVE
Marketplace is coming, but IE 360 isn't happening right now, according
to Whitten.

(Dashboard Trailer)
Dashboard Trailer

(Dashboard Walkthrough)
Walkthrough SD
Walkthrough HD

all i can say is MEH !!

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