Xbox 360 – Renewed and rejuvinated

Posted: November 24, 2008 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

After our little flood in the basement, we had taken all the electronics out and put them in the loft to dry, in the hopes nothing was damaged, but we were expecting at least the Xbox360 to be pooched, the power brick was sitting in the water and plugged into a surge suppressor that was on the floor also in the water. Normally electronics and water don’t play well together so i was not hopeful.  Well, today I figured everything was dryed out as much as it was going to, so I plugged things back in one at a time while crossing fingers, toes, eyes and anything else I could cross.  The xbox power brick worked, it reported normal status, in standby mode actually, so i plugged it in to the console and powered it up.  woohoo.  i’ve never been so happy to hear that familiar startup sound.  As soon as i got it up and running and logged in, i was informed there was an update available so i downloaded it.  i had read a bit about the NEW Xbox Experience, and was keen to see what the hype was all about.  A fairly short download later and i was looking at the new Xbox Experience as shown above.  Aside from a different look to the whole thing, there are some tweaks to the navigation, and you are greeted with a screen to create your avatar as soon as you log into your account.

Once you select your staring point, It is really very easy and a lot of fun, although you can get hung up on all the possibilities and subtleties very easily, believe me.  i spent a good 30 minutes trying out multiple combinations of various facial features before finally settling on one i liked.  It can be almost as much fun to create your avatar and get he/she looking “just right” as it is playing a game, which sort of explains some of the popularity of games like SecondLife and to a lesser extent Spore, where you create who you want to be and what you want to look like.

I’m curious to see where Microsoft is going with all this, these avatars will be used in certain games in the future, and for right now they are your gaming presence, the “you” people see when they check your profile or stats or check to see which friends are online.  Its definitely a neat idea and one that has tons of possibilities for the future.  IMHO, M$ has taken a good step in this, too bad they didn’t put as much time and effort into the design of the original Xbox360, because i am sure there are many people out there suffering with the “ring of death” that would rather have a working console than a cute little customizable 3d character.



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