The New Xbox Experience Era Has Begun!

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So I’ve just finished updating my Xbox 360 with the freshly launched New Xbox Experience dashboard update and thought I’d pop in to post some quick early impressions. I’ve only tinkered around with it for maybe 10-15 minutes so far and overall I’m more impressed by the update than I thought I’d be. A lot of the most hyped features I’ll personally never use, like Avatars and the Netflix integration, but the revamped interface alone has me very pleased.

I sort of see the new interface as a combo of the PS3 XMB and Wii Channels — you scroll through different menu “channels” vertically, and then through the different options of each “channel” horizontally. The simplicity of the old bladed dashboard was generally effective, but it was also incredibly slow. Just to get into my XBLA or demo archives was painful. With each click through the menus I’d have to wait for it to load for at least 10 seconds. That may not seem like a lot, but when simply browsing through a system interface it makes the process unnecessarily tedious.

But as soon as I patched in the New Xbox Experience, an installation that took no more than five minutes, I was instantly taken aback by how effortlessly I was able to glide through the menus. I clicked into my massive XBLA library and it displayed before me in an instant like it should, I didn’t have to sit there twiddling my thumbs while the system loaded… and loaded… and loaded some more. A feature I also noticed with great appreciation is the pop-up menu. Rather than scrolling through the main NXE UI, you can hit the home button on the controller to bring up a quick menu that is basically a miniature version of the old blade interface. Since I’m not fully acquainted with the new format, this made it easy to locate certain options I wasn’t sure where to find otherwise.

Kudos to Microsoft on the update. Very pleased with it so far myself. As expected with any new system update, though, there are numerous reports of minor bugs and slow performance, but I haven’t come across anything like that yet.

Have you embarked on the New Xbox Experience yet? If so, what do you think of it so far?

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!