back to article Inside Microsoft's 'New Xbox Experience'

Microsoft released the anticipated face-lift for its Xbox 360 game console and online service today, dubbed the New Xbox Experience (or NXE). Along with a complete graphical revision, the update adds new features like customizable avatars, the ability to install games to the console's hard drive, and puts a much greater focus …


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  1. alan
    Thumb Down


    if you know where i can get one of those for $160, I would be impressed :D

    that aside, the whole thing sounds crap, to put it bluntly. has anyone seen that (fairly) new advert for shitboxes on UK tv? first it shows you people apparently enjoying watching movies on their shitbox 360, then immediately cuts to a "woo look, were selling them for £129.99" clip, only if you read the (very) smallprint will you discover that infact, 129.99 models do not come with a hard drive that is required to watch a movie. models starting at (i think) 169.99 do. that is very nearly false advertising IMO and at the least extremely questionable.

    at the end of the day, a fairly cheap (mine was 400) but current PC will let you play most of these next-gen games without shelling out 200 quid or so for a console, plus the hd telly. and you can watch movies on a pc too. :)

  2. Austin Modine (Written by Reg staff)

    Gigabytes and me

    Thank you to the many, many, many people who pointed out the typo. I'm rejecting those comments, but will dedicate the tears falling into my beer glass this evening to each of you.

  3. Alex D

    Shot in foot.

    I paid £400 for my xbox when i came out, to get a 20gb hdd. FIlled it up pretty quickly with downloads and Microsoft want HHHHOOOOWWW much for a 1120gb hdd? As mentioned, considering that they are pusihng a strategy of downloading their games and saving them all those retail/logistics fees, they should be giving the bloody things away!

  4. Graham Jordan

    Its a pile of shit this new GUI

    Why you ask?

    I have a 120gb USB drive stuck in the back with 50gb worth of MP3's. Before I could navigate to a folder and scroll through 500 mp3's as quickly as I could if the USB drive were plugged into my PC.

    Now I'm stuck with a "please wait" sign for a minute until I can get in the bloody thing. To top it off it reads the title of the ID tag. So there's no artist name any more. And to really add insult to injury mid game if you want to change the music you can't add to a play list, it just plays the bloody track!

    Bah fecking humbug! Selling us a bunch of shyte seems to have taken the focus off something simple and easy to use... I don't really give two fucks about an avatar, if you can't make the women take their clothes off whats the bloody point?

  5. Barry Tabrah
    Thumb Up

    Stability issues

    I know it's early days but there are still a few issues with the NXE, for example everyone I know has had the console freeze when viewing the Friends page, and the content is ofren reported as not being available (possibly due to high loads, time will tell)

    Hopefully these minor niggles will be resolved soon. Overall however I quite like the change.

  6. James Pickett


    I read an MS ad on Sunday that contained a reference to the Nintendo Wii with no acknowledgement - not even an R or TM. I hope Nintendo's lawyers notice...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I like it

    I like it, but then again the old dashboard was at the end massively clunky. It started out well enough but adding this and that to it just made it a slow and horrible navigating experience.

    As for cries of Wii-mulation: updated product looks like more successful product shocker!

    I have a Wii and it receives far less use than my 360 does. I don't have a PS3, I'm sure they're fine but the 360 does all I need to play games.

    I'm secretly pleased my original Premium 360 died and I bought an Elite (with 120TB hard drive...) while MS were fixing it. The original came back and I got a great price for it on ebay, leaving me with one truly capacious console, which is now full of installed games.

  8. Jimmy Floyd
    Gates Halo

    Awww, 'innit pretty?

    To give Microsoft their due (not a regular habit of mine), I actually rather like the new interface. Sure, the avatars are a bit of fun and the whole "experience" spiel is a little overblown but it does improve what was a bit of a basic interface and give it more of a fun 'n fresh feel. It's almost, dare I say it, rather funky.

    Yes, the avatars look like some kind of Nintendo reject. Yes, it does take up 100MB (didn't realise that). And yes, they'll doubtless charge for avatar clothing in future but then if people were willing to pay for a tiny gamerpic (seriously Austin, why?) then the same people will probably pay for e-clothing.

    Overall, I'd give it 8/10. Bill Gates with a halo because it's probably the only chance I'll ever get to use it.

  9. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Market figures, please!

    I'm waiting for when these "game consoles" that are morphing into "home entertainment centers" actually get counted in the home computer class for market share figures. How long before M$ release MS Office for Xbox (just needs a better keyboard than the Messenger keypad), or supports Xboen with the online version of Office? At that point, people will suddenly wake up and realise that M$ is actually now a hardware vendor in the same class as Apple (if not larger!). So, El Reg, how do Xbox sales compare to iMac numbers?

  10. Nick

    Not bad, not bad...

    I quite like the NXE so far, although XBL has been crapped out for most of the day.

    Its defiantly a rip off of both Wii and PS3 GUI's though, but thats no bad thing. Seems pretty straight forward to use, but neat, modern and very post 2006.

    Yeah, it sucks that MS charge so damn much for what is essentially a laptop HDD, but then, you're not forced to download everything. I for one keep my media on my server and stream it across, so really, its all the XBL arcade demo's that trash the space on mine!

    Oh, and to Alan, yes, PC's may be able to play the latest greatest games, but only if you keep adding bits here and there. I got fed up of the constant upgrade cycle when decent graphics cards got as expensive as a whole console! At least with 360 et la, you don't have to check the back of each box to make sure you've got enough memory, cpu/gpu horsepower e.t.c. Buy it, stick it in, play it, job done. You don't even have to 'install' it if you don't want to!

    Also, most of the decently specced Games PC's I've seen recently would struggle to fit under the telly where the VHS used to go.

  11. Adam
    Thumb Down


    Since adding this update my 360 keeps having random freezes, but seemingly just when going along the friends row.

    Not seen any other mention of that though so I hope it's not a sign mine's on the blink.

    Anyone else had issues yet?

  12. P. Lee
    Gates Horns

    Console pricing model

    Isn't the whole console pricing model to subsidise the initial cost and then sting users over time for the content (games)? Consoles are supposed to be "buy and forget" items. introducing the pain of pc-upgrade requirements rather spoils things.

    Perhaps the 20gb drive policy came from the same department that did the "vista capable" programme.

    And they wunder why the Wii is so popular...

  13. Colin Mee

    Downlaod if you want it?

    Yeah, but you have to download if you don't as well. I get two reminders every time I switch disk and you can't go on xbox live without this 'optional' upgrade. I like the interface so why would I want to change?

  14. Chris Beach


    Bit harsh in places...I can't see the similarity with the PS3's or the Wii's. The PS3 is boring beyond belief, with a pita navigation and 2 different 'id' schemes. Luckily its a damn good and cheap bluray player. The Wii's is better, but extremely limited, and suffers from to much plain white. Good for the low res output though.

    Both the old and the new xbox interfaces have been bold and colourful though, inviting you to play. The old one was too rounded and cheery and didn't suit the mass of content that the xbox provides. The newer one has toned it down a bit, and improved the handling of content.

    Not sure on the avatars (though the customisability is far better than the Wii), they do seem a bit copycaty, and without a point.

    I've always thought the xbox is a gaming machine first and foremost, I think the new interface does a good job of keeping that feeling, but making the extra's better integrated.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To misquote 2001

    "Oh my God... it's full of ads."

    They should call it the New Advertising Experience.

    Also, you still can't use an on screen QWERTY keyboard to send messages - I have no idea why Microsoft put the top row as ABCDEFG... maybe they have really weird keyboards at Redmond?

    Avatars are pointless, if I wanted a Wii I'd buy one.

    Installing games to the hard drive is great. But... my hard drive is 20gb so I've only got space spare for one game, and Microsoft can blow me if they think I'm paying £120 for a 120gb hard disk.

  16. Daniel Wilkie

    Well I liked it...

    I installed it yesterday and to be honest I found it distinctly non-offensive. The ability to install games on the hard drive has little effect at all on some games (for example Gears of War) other than the lack of disk noise, but others (Mass Effect) it loads with no percievable wait, even between levels and the texture popin appears mostly gone now as well.

    As for the avatars, I didn't find it highly amusing to alter my mates Xbox live one after he'd gone out to an approximate rendition of Captain Shakespeare...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    So still no blu-ray?

    I'd have thought a next generation experience would include the next generation disc, or are microsoft still adamant that 8.5gb is enough for anyone

    i'm hoping they don't cripple any of they're top table games (pgr / forza ....) to fit on one dvd rather than admit that a larger storage device is needed

    hopefully the xbox3 will be the home media hub microsoft keep on promising rather than the mess of versions the 360 has turned into

  18. paulm

    Install to HDD

    I installed Far Cry 2 to my Xbox's HDD, expecting it to improve loading times. Made no difference what so ever. Sure, the console was quieter thanks to the disk drive not running, but I wanted faster loading times. Now, is Far Cry 2 programmed in some rubbish way where it simply will not load faster, or is Microsoft's virtual DVD drive (which I assume is how it is done so games don't need modifying) only runs at the same speed as the physical one?

  19. Matthew Shaw
    Thumb Down

    Not overly happy with the new experience

    Two things I really dislike about the New Experience;

    i) Your starting point is always the Spotlight - Where I would prefer to be able to control my starting screen (e.g. My Xbox)

    ii) Also they have removed the feature where when playing a game and a friend comes on, if you press the guide button in time you are taken to their profile so that you can invite them into your current game. This was a great feature when hosting games, as it makes inviting people quicker and easiler

  20. aldude
    Thumb Up

    Like it

    I quite like the new interface. I'm not fussed about avatars but you can always just ignore them. However, the whole thing looks a lot better and feels a lot faster and smoother.

    The HDD install feature is absolute genius. Well done MS for introducing this. I picked up a 120GB HDD for £89 yesterday, which is a bit steep but, well, what are you going to do?!

  21. Glyn
    Thumb Down


    rubbish, I'll stick to the old blades with their satisfying whooshp noise and the pics of Master Chief in the background...which is the only reason I bought the thing in the first place (though bioshock is good too )

    Member of HAA since 2000

    Halo Addicts Anonymous

  22. Gareth
    Gates Horns

    microsoft support strikes again

    I download the NXE last night, 2 minutes in my 360 restarted.. I then got a black screen with the message E68 hard drive failure.. Spent 30 minutes on "tech" support being asked all sorts of stupid questions unrelated to the obvious hard drive failure diagnosis, only to be told my 360 was out of warranty by 9 days.. thanks Microsoft!!

    They told me I had to buy a new hard drive at silly costs even though they have an offer on the US 360 site for a a 20gb drive plus 3 months Live membership all for $29.99... again us uk gamers are screwed by MS.

  23. M
    Thumb Down


    I explored the NXE last night but I must admit I wasn't that impressed. It hasn't brought much to the table.

    I also agree with the previous posters about the absurd price of the 120Gb drives but hey, it will save me money by me not buying the drive and not buying any content.

    Having said all that, I do use my 360 a helluva lot for playing downloaded movies (from other non MS sources) on a memory stick, probably as much as playing games.

  24. David


    "that aside, the whole thing sounds crap, to put it bluntly."

    So you haven't actually used it then?

    Yes, the whole thing is a bit cutesy, but the party chat/invite thing makes the update a success in my opinion.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reply to Alex D

    So I take it you bought either a massive bundle or you bought an import, seeing as the Xbox was £279 when it first arrived on these shores!!! I know I had and still use my original first day release 360. As for NXE why are people comparing it to the Playstation dashboard or the Wii thing!!! This is something that is vastly improved on either of those very poor excuses (BTW I have owned both before anyone starts with the Fanboy quips...morons that they are.) The ability to have a party chat with more than one other person is something that has been required for ages, a couple of gripes, the inability to remove demo arcade and full games where your gamerscore is 0. Also still waiting for the alledged TV on demand we were promised about 18 months ago.

  26. Vincent
    Gates Horns

    Some complaints

    Generally speaking, I like the new interface, and I like the avatars as well.

    I have several problems with the new dashboard though:

    1- My friends list (In the actal dashboard, not the guide) keeps making my console crash. The only way to fix it is turning it off and turning it back on again, which is a pain in the arse.

    2- The Xbox Live Marketplace is a little buggy. Sometimes it takes too long to load, and often it doesn't even load at all.

  27. David
    Gates Halo

    Cheapest console

    There there guys, the Xbox consoles are dirt cheap for what they give. You can pick up an arcade console now and get a refurbed harddrive for next to nothing from Microsoft.

  28. Anthony
    Thumb Down

    The update RROD'd my Console

    Any one else have this happen?

    Down the plughole it goes ... (I mean back to Game).

  29. David Austin
    Thumb Up

    NXE, XMB, and Blades, oh my...

    Couple of things.

    I totally agree that the current situation with Disks is stupid - as an original 20GB purchaser, I find myself with only 3GB spare, not even enough for a single HDD Game install, but there are a few things coming up to lessen the blow.

    First, Microsoft are offering a choice of either a free 512MB Memory Card or a 20GB HDD for $20 for owners of diskless Core and Arcade machines:

    Second, coming out tomorrow, is the £50, 60Gb Starter kit - this includes, amongst other things, a 3 Month Live subscription and a 60GB Hard Disk. Given a 3 month live subscription is worth around £15 (And you can use the code to extend an existing subscription by 3 months), you're getting a 60Gb Hard disk plus other goodies for £35, which I suppose is a livable price...

    I've been playing with the new interface all night - you may not like the style of it, but one thing everyone will like is the responsiveness - The old blade interface was creaking at the seams, and most users I'm sure got fed up of seeing the little xbox icon, waiting for stuff to load just to get playing.

    So far, NXE Has been almost instantaneous on all fronts - each section loads very quick, no waiting for boxes to populate, and the re-jigged marketplace is much better at handeling the ever-increasing amount of content it now holds.

    Owning both PS3 and 360, I'd say NXE is a worthy rival for XMB - it may be a little less stylish, but in terms of function, the two are pretty much on par.

    ...Besides, It's not like you've got a choice to stick to the old Blade system.

    So far, the only problem I've had is that the system locked up when pressing the back button from looking at the friends section a few times - anyone else had that happen?

    Disclaimer: I'm not a Microsoft Shrill - Just a gamer who was up all night testing this, and wanted to spare some others from the research.

  30. Dave Webb
    Thumb Up

    @ Alex D

    How much did you pay for your Xbox? If you did pay 400 quid for it, then that is your own fault! The 20 gig models have never been higher than 279.....

    As for the interface, I like it. Apart from the fact the old interface was getting cluttered as the marketplace got to popular, there was never much wrong with it, but nice to see work still beign done, and the install option is a god send...

    Yes, 20 gig user can only install 1 or 2 games, but how many do you play simultaneously?

  31. Mike Dyne
    Thumb Up


    Well, I like it! :)

    Having the 120GB HDD has finally paid off!

  32. David
    Thumb Up

    Any drive?

    I don't own an xbox but is it not a matter of buying any ide drive and screwing the thing in? I replaced the drive in my PS3 with a cheap drive of ebay. Only took a couple of minutes.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: NXE

    Yeah, it's a fairly weak update for those not in the US.

    International content licencing is difficult, yes. But you can licence content from *local* broadcasters for any given territory pretty easily, so for instance Channel 4 would no doubt love to provide advert funded content from 4oD to the Xbox (mixing it into the party system so you and your mates could watch a programme at once and talk about it is a nice potential feature), but Microsoft UK have no resources to build such a feature and Microsoft US doesn't care. Hence the problem isn't the licencing - it's Microsoft's lack of effort.

    And you *still* can't do something as basic as buy MS points to pay for DLC with a Maestro card. Really.

    Oh, yeah, and it's true enough that the 120 gig drive is horribly overpriced.

  34. M


    Nice reference to Snow Crash.

    /mines the one with the samurai swords in the coat room of the Black Sun.

  35. Toastan Buttar
    Gates Halo

    Sony beware !

    Microsoft have been VERY smart in the way they've developed the Xbox Live experience. Both Microsoft and Sony use their consoles as loss-leaders, but the overall Xbox online experience wipes the floor with the PS3 equivalent. This is what will make the big bucks for Microsoft over the next few years.

  36. Mike Norton
    Thumb Up


    In fairness it's a significant improvement over the blades, which were not only ugly, but painfully slow. I just hope MS offer equivalent features on both sides of the pond. It does seem to be throwing content errors left right and centre at the moment though.

  37. Pavel Tcholakov
    Thumb Up


    The update is nice, much less radical that I expected. Probably because the avatars don't feature quite as much as all the hype would have you believe. The updated look and feel is a lot more contemporary, and agreed - it is something of a cross between the Wii and PS3 UIs, and a good one at that. I always found the Wii way too simplistic, NXE is just about right.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    60GB Starter Pack

    If the 120GB is over budget, they have also just released the brilliant value 60GB Starter Kit which consists of a 60GB HDD, Headset (which you'll probably have anyway), Ethernet Cable (which you'll definitely have anyway) and 3 Months Gold Live Subscription (which again you'll probably have anyway but is a nice top up.

    I think it's only priced and the ridiculous sum of £60... with games running at up to 9GB that's an extra £7 a game for the privilege of running it from your hard drive.

  39. Alex Walsh

    Drive onwards!

    Anybody who pays more than the £70 Blockbusters is charging for the 120gig HDD deserves to be called a plonker. So with the current bundles doing the rounds, you can get a 120gig enabled Arcade with an extra wireless controller and 3 games for £200. Which is still only 2/3rds the cost of a PS3. Are you sure you meant "hardcore" in reference to PS3 owners and not just "fools with their money"?

  40. Eddie Edwards
    Gates Halo

    Sony's high road

    Sony are of course at liberty to prevent X360 users from streaming their movies. Perhaps they don't trust Microsoft's security? :LOL: Actually it's a bit of a piss-take when WMP will happily talk to your PS3 over DLNA and when Sony basically rely on DevStudio to provide a decent IDE for PS3 software development. Maybe Microsoft should block the SN Studios plugin in a future revision and use that as leverage. But ... no ... actually Microsoft don't tend to get that petty.

    On the subject of the high-ground, note that you can upgrade your PS3 with any standard-sized SATA drive with nothing but a screwdriver and without paying Sony a penny. You don't have to pay a fee for the online stuff either. But that's boring and you know all this already.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Installing it broke my Xbox.

    Got offered this update 2 days back, seemed to install just fine, when it restarted, it played a flashy movie, then.... nothing.... Now it just boots up to a blank screen. It's got power on it, but the display is blank. Rebooting/Resetting, removing the hard drive does not fix it.

    Phoned Microsoft, and because it's outside warranty (by 7 days), and not a RROD, they want £180 to fix it. Not amused.

    Avoid NXE until they fix the bugs.

  42. Yfrwlf
    Thumb Down

    Huge blocks flying right at your FACE

    The new interface really makes me cherish the old one, the Wii interface, and the PS3's. Instead of having actual text that's easy to read, lets make them sort through big graphical blocks, and have everything come at you slightly slanted just to make things even more difficult to read!


    Hate it!

    The fact that they *force* you to create an "avatar" instead of making it an option like everywhere else when I just wanted to sit down and play a @#%^! game with someone also made me want to throw the controller through the screen.

    They get an MS rating for Massive Sucktitude.

  43. Paul Howie

    Mostly an improvement

    The only problem I have with it so far is that the excellent "Inside Xbox" from the old version hasn't translated well to the NXE. The simplicity of a little orange icon that tells you there's new stuff to read seems like a better option than a massive coverflow of confusing images and truncated text.

    Also the recent additions to the marketplaxce seem slower to navigate. As a result I'm finding it a lot slower to check up on the recent additions to live. Given that the whole aim of the NXE was to make the dashboard more of a place to explore what you can do with your console I find that surprising.

    Maybe I just need to get used to it. Only time will tell.

  44. Rob


    i've had my 360 for a couple of years now, at the time it cost me about 200 quid and it's enabled me to play games, as the developer intended, ever since, don't try to tell me that if I'd spent that 200 quid on a pc two years ago, it would still hold up like a 360 does, sometimes you just want to put a game in, and have it work, why bother spending 400 on a cheap pc when you could spend 200 quid on a basic laptop for your emails web etc and an xbox for your gaming,

  45. Starfish
    Thumb Up

    NXE is a vast improvement over the blades

    I'm pretty happy with the NXE so far - okay the UK doesn't have the Netflix part but everything else seems to be an improvement. The way you can now delete games with 0 GS from your gamer history is a godsend, and it seems faster navigating through past achievements too.

    @ Alex D - where the hell did you pay £400 for your xbox? The launch price was £280 max...

  46. Neil

    Of course there are ways..

    To get certain £30 120gig laptop drives to work...

  47. Thomas Bottrill

    I would tell you what I think of it...

    ...but when I turned my Xbox on to download the update, it decided to RROD on me.

    Now I get to wait a few weeks while Microsoft bash it around a bit and call it fixed.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    media playing is p**s poor

    I had a 360 Elite, the black one, that comes with HDMI output and a 120GB hard disk.

    I plugged it into my network thinking i could access all the music and movies on my Western Digital NAS Harddrive since i got that running a upnp media player.

    What a waste of time. It could not see half the list of movies, and then could play very few.

    Xbox movies mean DRM'd and paid for movies, forget anything else that you could happily play on your PC.

  49. Wokstation
    Thumb Down


    All my unrated video on my PC (family vids) now require a Parental Control passcode to view, despite allowing Unrated video in the options.

    I have to enter my passcode twice to sign in (each time a different UI style splash asks for it) if I do it via the dashboard, but only once via the guide.

    My 4yr old son's account has adverts! Some of these were not appropriate, so we hit "block content" in the console options. Now the marketplace is empty when I'm logged into my adult account!

    The XBox crashes when I look at the friends list details in the dashboard and then go back to the friends list.

    No replies on their Tech Support forum to the two threads I made on different issues.

    Telephone support left me on hold for half hour and then hung up on me before I even got to speak to a person ("Max", the call-steering computer, is a cretin).

    New XBox Experience? Not been good so far.

  50. P Last
    Thumb Down

    Tried it

    I was suckered into downloading the update last night. And I regret it. First, it took forever to download, I wasn't aware that the update was that big and there's nothing that tells you (only the time left on the progress bar which, as per usual Microsoft standards, is as accurate as a blind man playing darts.)

    Second, everywhere you look there is stuff to buy, the whole interface looks like an advertisment board, and you have to figure out where the stuff you want is.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what i want to know...

    is, are they updating windows live too, I'm fed up of being asked to press the a and b buttons on an xbox360 controller* to navigate the menu's, when i have a perfectly functional mouse that would do the job.

    *ie the arrow keys and enter, as i refuse to pay the insane markup on what is essentially a customised bluetooth dongle.

  52. Jerome

    Why the fuss?

    I'm not sure why everyone's so bothered about this. Sure, the new interface is pretty ugly, but not as ugly as the old one. Most of the features are blatently ripped off from other consoles, but since when has Microsoft ever come up with anything original?

    I'm pretty happy with the new features that are available, and astonished that Microsoft didn't make me pay for them.

    One addition that you didn't mention is the XBox Live Community Games store. There's not an awful lot there right now, but the if indie games can make the jump from PC to console, we might finally see something a bit more innovative than the current crop of "blockbuster" titles.

  53. Anonymous Coward

    re: Shot in foot.

    Like a dodgy endowment, Microsoft know they have you locked in to Xbox, as you have invested money buying Xbox games, and to switch to the (better IMHO, and more open) PS3 would cost you money.

    I too got sick of Microsoft's nikel and diming at every oppertunity, and fortunatly got out early (thanks to my 3rd RROD). I bought a PS3 instead, and it was the best move I ever made (in consumer electronics at least). The games are equal or better, it's media capabilites vastly outlclass anything the 360 has to offer, the build quality is fantastic, it's totally silent, and best of all uses open standards, I can fit whatever HDD I like, connect a large range of USB devices, that just work, and it supports most file formats. Sure it costs a few quid more, but you get a vastly better system with vastly better build quality, that after a couple of years of microsoft Nikel and diming on things like XBoxLive fees and required costly hardware upgrades, pretty soon makes the PS3 cheaper in the long run,

    Sorry if 360 owners don't like the above, but you would have to be working for Microsoft to disagree with those facts.

  54. Adrian Jackson

    New experience not particularly pleasant so far...

    It's probably the load of everyone trying it out at once, but from the brief play I had with it yesterday, I found a lot of content painfully slow or failing to load altogether. Found the navigation slightly unintuitive as well, though I suspect that's at least partly a question of getting used to it.

    Installing games to HD seems to work well, though. Nice not to have to put up with the constant sound of the drive while playing, and to reduce the risk of the 360 deciding to scratch the disc. Should boost the life expectancy of the hardware quite considerably.

    Oh, and creating a Mi^H^H^Hn avatar was, as expected, quite fun. And almost entirely worthless. :D

  55. Random Noise
    Thumb Down


    Downloaded NXE last night (took ages as well - XBOX servers are slow)

    Have to say I much preferred the old menu system.

    With the old system you could always flip between pages at the touch of the control pad left or right without having to come back up to the top level each time.

    Also at absolutely every stage of navigating the NXE system you are being given options to buy shit. Its a bit of a task initially to work out what you can actually do for free in the bloody thing.

    As I only had a quick dabble I didn't even know you could install a game to the HDD -This sounds like a fantastic idea. Just need to figure out how to do it. (Also does this mean I can start swapping & sharing games with people - how does the DRM account for this?)

    Have to say the avatar 'mii' option seems pointless. while its fun to see your silly character bowling or playing tennis, I don't particularly want to see a cartoony version of me crawling through the trenches in Call of Duty.

    I would like to see an option in the settings for me to choose wither 'Classic' or 'NXE'

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title Required

    personally i look forward to steaming movies, some of my favorites have a few wrinkles in them.

  57. Steve Kay


    Ah it's not bad. I didn't really like the 'blade' thingy anyway, especially with the Star-Trek-door sound effect every time I tried to find something.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Cute avatars with big heads - eeeuuughh

  59. Anonymous Coward


    Is it me or does it look more like the alt-tab display in Vista? GUI history is splattered with various nabbing of different innovations. Getting miffed about designs being adopted across platform is nothing bad - in fact if anything it helps users cross the platform divides.

    As for expensive drives - I'll just mention the possible flame-worthy comment about how simple (and cheap) it is for me to upgrade my PS3s HDD through the handily accessible SATA bay...

    /the asbestos lined one please

  60. Filippo Silver badge

    the other guys

    The other often-criticized company got this right at least. Free online, HDD standard, upgradable with standard drives. By the time you factor in everything, an Xbox isn't that cheap.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Play Games from HDD

    This is a great feature. Only issue is i only have a 20GB version and with one game installed its now full. But I am told there is an solution.

    Buy yourself an external drive. 80GB is about £30 with a suitable USB caddy. Format using a tool I forget the name of (Ironically I think its made by Apple. A search on the subject will point you in the right direction) Plug it in and away you go. I would recommend a 2.5", quieter.

    BTW. Some features like watching movies did not work for me yesterday. Maybe later.

  62. Anonymously Deflowered
    Thumb Up

    I like it

    my new Miii, errr, I mean, *Avatar* looks like me and I'm looking forward to running a game from the HDD. I wish I'd known that would be an option in future, I'd have bought the 120Gb version!

    Has anybody had lock-ups with NXE? My console has completely frozen and needed rebooting twice whilst browsing the new friends list to giggle at the Miis, errr... *Avatars* my friends have made.

  63. Darren

    NXE Impressions

    All in all I'm impressed with it, it certainly SEEMS to make the console feel more lightweight. I have already installed GTA: IV to the HDD leaving me with 5GB of space to save stuff too (I have the demo of Mirrors edge installed too) So a 20GB HDD isn't a total bust, but you have to think carefully before you download something now...

    I'm al;ready saving my pennies for a 120GB HDD... Microsoft's plan all along I think...

    What happens when the experience becomes old hat though, will it just become Xbox Experience??

    Also anyone noticed they retured Windows 3.11 recently too, coincidence??

  64. Secretgeek

    Two minds.

    If I'm being honest I do quite like the look and yes it 's very Xbox Live focussed which is something I don't mind either. The ability to load games to the HD is the real seller for me though.

    Downsides - as per Barry's comment, the ridiculous number of error messages I'm now getting when trying to look at, well pretty much anything on Live. The amount of time I've spent looking at the Xbox equivalent of the sand timer, a lot of things seems to be taken considerably longer than before. And the ridiculous way that having to view my 'Active downloads' involves pressing the shiny button to close my shiny new GUI which opens up crap grey textboxes which I then have to scroll through blade style to get to the Active downloads section. I'll be damned if I can find it through the new interface.

    All in all, could be good but it's falling on the side of fail for me. I never really had any problem with the old blade system (and I wasted several minutes trying to make a tune by quickly flicking blades backwards and forwards (managed a passable 'Good King Wencleslas')

  65. Wokstation

    @Matt Bryant

    "(just needs a better keyboard than the Messenger keypad)"

    Why, when you can just plug in any old USB keyboard?

  66. Anony mouse
    Gates Halo

    MS reinvent wheel shock


    In 1954, the introduction of color TV heralded the dawn of a new era in entertainment. On November 19, more than 50 years after that dramatic shift, a new era in home entertainment begins with the New Xbox Experience, as millions of Xbox 360 consoles transform in an instant through the power of software.


  67. Graham


    Ah, the PC versus xbox argument (or 'shitbox' as Alan so intelligently puts it.)

    That sounds great Alan - sat on a desk chair in front of a 19" monitor playing games and watching movies. I'm sure that's exactly how they're meant to be experienced.

    Sorry if it seems like I'm having a go at you, I'm not. I just get a bit sick of PC snobs. I'm not an xbox fanboy and I have spent many hours playing PC games, but it does my head in when people think they're better because they own a PC. Yes, as Alex says, the price for a 120Gb hard drive is a bit too much, but how much would a PC owner pay every other year just to ensure their system can actually run the latest games? For £400 you are not going to get a PC that can run something recent like Crysis smoothly and at the settings that make it look it's best.

    Their recent advertising is perfectly legal -they say the Xbox is from £129.99, not that it IS £129.99. When was the last time you saw a car advert with a 'From £££' and the price at the bottom is for the top of the range model which the advert is actually using? Microsoft are sometimes foolish, but i'm sure they know how to advertise their products within the law.

  68. Stu

    Ridiculous idea stealing

    Idea stealing so bad in fact they couldn't even come up with avatars that dont look a hell of a lot like your typical Wii character. Kiddie crap.

    I own a 360, I haven't powered it up in about a year now. Probably to do with the fact that I have to pay to play online. Have they abolished that gold membership b0ll0cks yet as I haven't fired it up in ages?

    So MS, what incentive do I have to switch it on now I have characters that look like they were designed for a kids console? Is it any wonder I'm very happy with my PS3 with an attitude like Microsofts.

    And to have to pay for themes and little graphics and sounds!? MS are no better than the likes of those scum at Jamster.

    I know Sony do something similar on PS3 but they really dont shove it down your throat in the same way as MS, what with the gold membership nonsense.

    ...How much do 360s go for nowadays down CEX?

  69. ryan nelson

    No need to pay for games?!

    I have one question no one has raised yet and I haven't been able to try it out...

    If I can upload my game disc onto my xbox HDD... Can't I just upload all of my friend's games or rented games onto my hard drive as well?

    Did xbox just give us an alternative to paying $70 for a video game? Can I just ripp rented copies of games onto my hard drive or do they prevent this from happening?

  70. Glyn
    Paris Hilton


    As someone in the office pointed out, what's to stop you borrowing a mates game or going down to blockbuster, copying it to your xbox and playing it?

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I smell a rat...

    All these Anonymous cowards saying that the NXE stuffed their machine up are probably Sony employees spreading negativity.

    I downloaded it last night, took no time at all. Had lots of fun making an Avatar that looks like me, and so far so good.

  72. Anonymous Coward

    @ No need to pay for games?!

    Bloody hell Ryan you're right! They've pulled the rugs from under all of their development partners as well as becoming bigger pirates than all of Somalia overnight. Yes, you can install any game you get your hands on for ten minutes. Who'd need to buy one ever again? Well done Microsoft, you truly are the consumer's friend.

    The number of times I've read that question on the web this week is untrue. Apply a little thought please people before asking the obvious.

  73. John


    If I wanted a nintendo wii, I would have bought one. I can adapt to the change without much problem, but why is there a change? microsoft failed to bring me new features worth updating the GUI for. I will admit, my steering wheel turns off from the console now, which it didn't do before, and that's the only improvement I see. I want an avatar about as much as I want a wii. And I want people redesigning my GUI all the time. I want a new GUI every day. I want to spend more time learning my console's GUI than I do playing games. Please change my GUI again. Wankers. I have to pay 800 microsoft bucks just to change my gamertag, microsoft changes my "experience" anytime they want. STUFF IT.

    Honestly, is this a waste of time or a fabulous new experience???? You tell me!

  74. b166er

    Installing to HDD

    Of course you need the original in the DVD drive.

    The thing that annoys me is that it doesn't work with Xbox original games.

    Still the install was totally painless and the new GUI is better than the old.

  75. Wokstation

    HDD installation still requires the disk

    Those saying you can just rent/borrow-a-mate's, sorry, you can't. You still have to have the disk in to play, it just loads from the HDD instead - which is faster, and above all, doesn't make your TV cabinet sound like a 747 prepping for liftoff.

  76. Anthony
    Gates Horns

    Re: I smell a rat...

    No ... my console really did RROD. Screen corruption and screeching sound ... I got 'em.

    Surely it 'ain't coincidence my console immediately started crashing once the update was installed? Bill better give me a new one ...

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    My preferred NEW XBOX EXPERIENCE...

    ..would be NOT having it RRoD every 4 months! That would certainly be something new and exciting!

    I can't get anywhere in that New Advertising Experience thing without crapulent product shills flying everywhere.

    Why can't I just start directly at the Friends or My Xbox screen? They've really bollocks it up in this regard - the old interface presented everything one needed to know right on the main page (orange button for new live stuff, new msg count, friends count, etc) and it was super easy to get right into a game with your friends. I guess the old blades just didn't have enough sellable ad space on them.

  78. alan
    Thumb Up

    @Rob, David, Nick and Graham

    Seeing as you all have similar points, i figure i can get away with one big answer :)

    (with some small extra ones...)

    David: no I havent used the new update, infact I dont own a 360 but a few of my mates do, I have played them quite extensively.

    Everyone: Yeag your right about upgrading pcs alot, however the comment I made was "fairly cheap and current". Mine has 4GB DDR2, 256MB ATI Radeon X1950, 3.2 GHZ amd dual core. It was expensive to put together when I built it 2 years ago, but now you can buy something like that for 400 or less (yes i know i wasnt very clear on that point). This runs crysis nicely, gears of war, mass effect, bioshock et al, I havent needed / wanted any significant upgrade since i built it.

    I admit Im a bit of a PC fanboi, but I have been on the other side too, but with the next gen of consoles its just gotten too expensive for me now compared to keeping a pc in shape - hd telly of a decent size being like £500 upwards or roundabouts, plus the console.

    You might make noises about GFX cards being damn expensive but mine cost £160, 2 years ago......they are more like 75-80 now, and it runs crysis quite nicely. you dont need the latest and greatest, by any means.

    One other point raised was the comfort / experience of sitting at my desk watching movies.....

    well, considering the fact that I dont have an HD telly or anything, chances are if i had a 360 I would be sitting at my desk watching movies through my monitor (which, by the way, is a 19 - have you been spying on me!?) using some assortment of adapters to make an hmdi cable work with a vga monitor XD

    also considering the telly in the living room is actually smaller, i fail to see the point :)

    anyways its nice to see I illicited some interesting debate, thanks for replying :)

  79. Glyn

    @ No need to pay for games?!


    A simple answer to the question was all that was required not calling people idiots.


    Thanks for answering the question, not blathering on like a fool

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    *breathes deaply*


    that ps3 purchase doesnt sound so bad now. considering i upgraded to a 320HDD for the price of half of an xbox360 120G drive.

    fukn lol.

  81. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    I like it

    Even if the advertising is pretty heavy, at least there's no banner-ads like on the old confusing interface.

    It's much simpler to use - purely because they've removed all the redundant options.

    I bought an XBox 360 Arcade a few weeks back (for £129 - the same as I paid for a Wii) which comes with a 256mb memory stick and no hard drive, which didn't bother me as I didn't want to download tonnes of crap. However, I underestimated the size of save games (20mb for a Portal save game!!) and now wanted the new front end, so it was upgrade time.

    Not many people seem to know, but Microsoft offer dirt-cheap (£12.99 inc postage) 20gb hard drives for those who bought the drive-less version. Search for Xbox 360 Memory Upgrade Program. They do it in the US as well.

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