Saturday, November 22nd, 2008
On the 360 –
- Navigation is simple, fluid and easy to work with.
- The quick launch mini-menuing overlay is awesome.
- Big, beautiful cover art and themes for films, television shows, and video is a very welcome improvement. The experience of browsing films for rent is vastly improved. Very cool.
- The Avatars give things a nice personal touch.
- HDD full game installs sounds great – no CD-ROM use when you’re playing and faster response times. (I haven’t tried this yet though as I need to upgrade my drive.)
- The new games and films spotlights are great. Videos, screenshots, descriptions, etc.. Very welcome addition.
- NetFlix streaming – I haven’t tried this. Standard definition video – meh. I usually don’t rent SD content, but having the entire NetFlix library at my finger tips is pretty tempting. I might have to upgrade to a Gold membership and try it out for a year.
On XBox Live –
- The whole XBox Live web site has undergone major improvements which is great to see. It’s a little pokey though in terms of performance. They should lighten it up a bit.
- Preview and order films online and have them auto-download to the 360 (like Amazon Unbox and Tivo) is a killer feature in my book.
What’s still missing -
Motion controllers and motion sensing games – there were rumors floating around of a Christmas release for the new ‘Newton’ motion controller for the 360, but so far no dice. I dig Wii games as much as I dig games like Halo3, but I’d rather not deal with two consoles clogging the space under my television. A motion controller and some slick hi-def party games would really round out the 360 experience. It’s inevitable we’ll see this but right now it’s not looking good for a Christmas release.
Better marketing – I still run into people who don’t realize you can rent films or buy games over the network. I also haven’t seen a lot of general 360 advertising lately. This is something Microsoft just never seems to get. You have to advertise the product so people know what’s possible with it.