Flicking a V at the NXE

There are a lot of things in life, in general, that annoy people. As a child, things that annoyed me were things like lack of sweets and not being allowed to stay up late. My childish mind told me that the only reasonable reaction to having these hate crimes perpetrated upon my person was to scream, shout, cry and throw myself upon the floor as if I’d just been sniped.

Now, of course, I am a fully grown adult, who is just on the wrong side of thirty. I’m a far more mature and sensible person than the 6 year old me. Or am I?

What’s annoying me now, you see, is the New Xbox Experience.

Avatars are a bone of contention for me – why do I want some cutesy unisex he-she who is supposed to look like me – or at least like me in the pre-op stage? And particularly why do I have to look at avatars of my friends? One of the reasons I like to play on Xbox Live is so that I don’t have to look at the hideously ugly visages of fellow Ready Uppers and other Xbox trolls. Suddenly, though, everyone has to make an avatar that looks as close to them as possible. So, this is where my tiny and pathetic bit of rebellion came in, a little show of the middle finger to the NXE, and I made this vomit-inducing horror to sicken the world with:

Looks just like me, huh?

Now, I have to admit that there are some features of the New Xbox Experience that I do like, the party system is occasionally useful, and if Microsoft didn’t try to shaft me for mucho dollars for a bigger hard drive, I’d be making better use of the ‘install a game to hard drive’ system. Of course, the only reason I want to install games to the hard drive anyway is because it might slightly delay my next DVD drive failure, and reduce the noise which seems to be caused by the fact that Microsoft are powering said drive with a Rolls Royce jet engine.

What really gets me about this whole NXE thing – and this also goes for Playstation’s Home – is: if they hadn’t have bothered fannying about with silly little dress-up dollies (sorry, avatars) then maybe they could have improved the core operating system instead. Have you ever tried to invite three or four friends to a game? The plinkies get so far behind you end up sitting there twiddling your thumbs waiting for them to catch up. And why don’t Microsoft, a company who have sold operating systems for billions of desktop PCs, think that we can handle an on-screen QWERTY keyboard?

Also, the menus are no quicker than they were, you can’t see any more friends at once from the guide, and the main dashboard is fiddlier and harder to navigate. What it does do nicely though, is provide tonnes of screen real estate for adverts. Loads of adverts. Even more than before.

To quote Major Nelson from his blog: “Xbox LIVE Arcade sales almost tripled in the first week after the New Xbox Experience launched” 

I strongly suspect that was down to the massive increase in adverts, plus the fact that people accidentally bought things as they crashed around the fiddly UI pressing buttons desperately in an attempt to find the options they know and love.

Anyway, if one of you could please pop all of my toys back into the pram, I’d be most grateful.

Thanks.


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15 responses to “Flicking a V at the NXE”

  1. Dave avatar
    Dave

    I’m a fan of NXE, it looks clean, the avatars are cosmetic but fun and if you want to revert back to the blade system all you need is a quick press of the home button. I think it’s great that they’ve given you the option of both rather than forcing NXE on us THEN leaving it as the only option.

    My only gripe is the NXE friend list is a bit of a pain when you have 40 friends online and you want to find one far down the list….scroooll…I find myself using the blades for finding friends now.

    I see where you’re coming from Tony and tons of folk will share the same view for sure, but I’m not a fan of it as such, just indifferent really. It works, that’s all I need 🙂

  2. Kirsten avatar

    I think the fact that I end up pressing the guide button to find anything says that NXE is definitely a lot harder to use, not easier. The space does seem to be more useful for advertising than anything else but I’ve nt quite come to the conclusion that I’m against NXE. It took me a long while to warm to the old dashboard so I’ll reserve judgment. Anyway much go, there are new shoes available for my avatar!

  3. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I don’t mind the NXE, but what I would like to see, is that when I end my gaming session, it puts me back to the My Xbox channel.

    I would also like there to be an option to quit without saving in the avatar creation. If I try out different options but then decide I liked my avatar the way it was, I would like to be able to quit without effecting changes, instead of having to change everything back first.

  4. Laura avatar
    Laura

    I tried to fight it, I made a new hideous avatar every day for the first few weeks but girlyness has now taken over and I want a pwetty one!

  5. Anthony avatar
    Anthony

    If there was a man bag available for avatars, I’d be warming to it much more than I am at the moment. Oh and more options on glasses.

  6. Celidus avatar
    Celidus

    Tony,
    I agree 100% with you. I knew even before I was FORCED to update to NXE that I was going to hate it but I didn’t realize I would end up hating it as much as I do. In fact, after ‘upgrading’ to NXE I am finding myself playing my 360 less and less. I will most likely, sometime after the holidays, abandon it and trade it, and all its games in for a PlayStation 3.

  7. Simes avatar

    Or you could set your 360 to launch from disc rather than load the dashboard, and you’d hardly ever have to see the thing you apparently hate so much…

  8. Perigrine Trousers avatar
    Perigrine Trousers

    If this is what worries and upsets you most in the world, you have nothing to worry about whatsoever.

  9. Dave avatar
    Dave

    Exactly, it’s all aesthetic and the main point is that it functions without any problems, which is how any good OS should be.

  10. Tony avatar
    Tony

    It’s not that I don’t like the look of it, it’s that I don’t like the way it works. Forcing me to look at adverts (Spotlight) instead of functionality I want (My Xbox) isn’t how a good OS should work. Options that used to be easy to find now aren’t, and there’s no way you can say that that is good for an OS.

    Making it flash looking and harder to use is not what I call progress. I just think if they had sacked off the graphical overhaul and avatars and stuck to the traditional six monthly updates we’d be in a better position now with faster menus and more actually useful features.

  11. Dave avatar
    Dave

    I dunno dude, I think it’s a personal choice at the end of the day. I can navigate it pretty easily, but I agree, a lot of my mates can’t stand it now.

    It’s definitely a ‘marmite’ OS isn’t it?

  12. Lorna avatar
    Lorna

    I’m inclined to agree largely with Tony. I despise the ads, hate how it freezes more than the old dash did and the fact that I have to use the old blades on the guide to find anything or get a proper look at my friends list. Don’t get me started on the crappy bandwagon avatars. It may seem petty to some to dislike how it looks but it should be remembered that we pay a sub for this every year, so we’re entitled ot grumble.

  13. Tony avatar
    Tony

    It’s true, Lorna, about the subs.

    Logically you’d assume that the PS3 would be the one covered in adverts to recoup some money as they don’t charge for online play, not the 360 where you pay money for it…

  14. John avatar

    I realise that I’m a bit late to this party, but my on-line persona looks just the way she’s supposed to. What’s the point of having an alternative ID if it’s just a clone of real-me? Gamer tags, handles whatever you call them, they’re about being different, otherwise I’d just be JBrown-Solihull… boring!

  15. Tony avatar
    Tony

    I’ve just found something out tonight which I felt meant I should come back to this old post and correct.

    I said:
    “And why don’t Microsoft, a company who have sold operating systems for billions of desktop PCs, think that we can handle an on-screen QWERTY keyboard?”

    As it turns out, the NXE does allow you the option of having a QWERTY keyboard, but following the confused ethos of the NXE, they hid the option under “Language”. Which is *obviously* the first place you’d look for an option relating to the keyboard…

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