It’s been talked about and rumored, but I think a recent article on gamesindustry.biz really did the best to talk about the recent explosion of sales Microsoft has experienced.
I often wondered how many people simply thought of the Xbox 360 as a gaming console and nothing more. Xbox Live was a multiplayer platform, and that was all. But for those of us who tinkered with the Dashboard in the past, we fell in love with movie rentals, TV show downloads, and every single part of the Xbox Live Arcade. Players would put in their game disc, and go right into what they came here to do.
I, myself, fell in love with the social platform that is Xbox Live – the entire Marketplace and the other features the Xbox 360 packs in. Since the NXE, users are being forced to stop at the dashboard and take a peek at the other offerings. And the consensus seems to be that they like what they see.
Hot on the heels of Nintendo talking about their community, Sony has sent out an email announcing their plans to bring the Playstation Network to Playstation.com. What does this mean for you? It’s hard to tell. They talk about interactivity, flexibility, and other buzzwords… but they don’t specifically say if they will provide access to the Playstation Store (like the “New Xbox Experience” allows you to add downloads to your queue for the next time you turn on your 360), or if there will be forums, or if you will have access to your friends lists and the ability to messages to other users. But it’s exciting to see companies putting forth the effort to make their platforms even mroe accessible. In the United States? Visit Playstation.com to merge your Playstation Undergound (Playstation.com) account with your PSN ID (login for your console user ID).
I’m not going to tell you that the NXE is out, you know that… you know that better than I do while I’m out of town away from my console! But you don’t come to this site to read things you already know, so here’s a fun article comparing Nintendo’s Mii to the new Xbox 360 Avatars. I just wish Wired blogger “Z” was also involved in the Playstation Home beta, and had a little mre to talk about. Still, the comparison isn’t just “which one I like more” – but “Z” actually gets in to a fair comparison as to why he likes specific features. Enjoy the read!
Update 2: With more and more people eeking their way online, I just wanted to show a few more members – their avatars and images have been added below.
Update 1: Just as I was about to post a few more avatars, I noticed that many of the links pointing to the avatars below have gone dead. I don’t know if this is just general website maintenance going on, or if Microsoft doesn’t want people spreading the word, just yet. 😉 We’ll leave all of these “Red X’s” here in hopes the images will come back – and if they do, then you can expect us to uncover even more avatars of famous Xbox’ers!
Here are just a few examples of Avatars of well known Xbox Live members (left to right, top to bottom): Major Nelson, Trixie360, e, KP, KiKi Kat, Don Gorgon, CPaladino, Bastelyon, and Stalalem. UPDATE: just added 12 more: DeaconBlade 360, editer, DarkJediHunter (Xbox Dad), Godfree, JVB, litheon, morgon, JesseAlexander (co-executive producer of Heroes TV series), Mush xx, Shadowed Ghost, Treit and True, as well as SenseiRAM. I’ve been insanely busy with work and family stuff lately (family visiting from out of town!)… so I just wanted to give everyone a cool little preview of the levels of customization available in the new Avatar system of the New Xbox Experience. Enjoy!
You’d better be living under a rock if you haven’t heard that November 19th is the official release date for the New Xbox Experience.
In order to help you better understand changes coming to the dashboard, I got my hands on a Document that was sent to developers in late August and early September. It explained how the new “Games Channel” and Games Marketplace would work, along with the “Game In Tray” feature of the Dashboard. Today, when you select “play Game” from the dashboard blades, you see the Game-Tile of the game, along with a few achievements. With the new Dashboard, the background of the channel will change to show the game you currently have in the tray. PS3 owners know the experience very well.
This was explained in great detail to developers by using this guide, so I encourage you to take a look for just one more glimpse of what we’re getting in to.
On October 28, 2008, “Scene It? Box Office Smash” will be released. The game that is supposed to involve heavy use of the “New Xbox Experience” and the Avatars has been dated. Does this mean the “NXE” will debut before then? Or will it come later, along with a title update for the game to add the enhanced feature? Only time will tell, but this has been the title people have been waiting for to confirm the arrival of the NXE!
I nearly forgot that today was the day that Xbox Live was to be down for a backend update. Luckily, I just picked up Metal Gear Solid 4 to keep me company for a few hours after work, not to mention that both Heroes & a Pittsburgh Steelers game will be on TV tonight!
If that’s just not enough for you, Xbox.com came up with a funny list of the Top 10 Things to do while Xbox Live is offline… including tips like 9. Play through the story-mode of the original “Gears of War” so you have a story refresher before “Gears of War 2” launches in November. Practice your Roadie Run. A preview of “Insider Moves” to come? 😉
Sadly, you’ll even notice the “My Xbox” section of Xbox.com is offline. I guess I’m going to have to keep myself entertained chatting with folks on other sites, like Unscripted 360.