Norm's Two Cents: NXE Preview Impressions
Hey guys, Norm is here to give you a look at the very thing you’re going to see hit your 360 this Wednesday. First off, when you turn on your Xbox 360, you will be prompted with an update, just like when we got the last fall update. You’ll select Yes and the update will begin to install. In total, this update doesn’t take long depending on your connection. For me it took about 3-5 Minutes to install, which is a pretty reasonable time frame for such a big update. After everything is done, you’ll get a intro video (Which will only run once, so you don’t have to worry about that intro running every time you load your Xbox 360) and go straight to avatar creation.
I have to say, the Avatar thing is pretty sweet. When you start off with it, it still has a lot of clothing options and things you can customize your virtual self with. What use do these things have? A lot really, you’ll see them in your friends tab during a party chat, they can be used in certain games like Uno and probably soon enough we’ll have something like a virtual playground to walk around in with them (Thank you Rhodes & Nob for that one). This has a lot of potential to do something awesome in the long run.
Speaking of Parties, the party system works like a charm. You can have up to 8 friends in one party (including yourself) and just sit around holding a chat or play a game together or play separate games while still chatting! You can as well watch movies with people in the party that have a netflix account (how awesome is that!). In the end, if you ever wanted to chat with a bunch of people without having to go through the channel suffle of the private chat area, then party is going to be the place you hang out from the moment you get the NXE. I also think that Microsoft might expand the party limit from 8 to around 10-12 people in the future if they feel its that big of a success.
The Layout, you can’t talk about the NXE without talking about the layout. This layout is very sleek and very easy to use. Though I will note, its going to take a short time to get used to. After spending a while with it, you just don’t get tired of looking at it. Its crisp and clear, and has been optimized for the utmost speed when you’re going through the guides and different options.
Installing Games, DO IT, if you have the space that is. I know some people who have a 20GB HDD for 360 from the old Pro System, and that can be a problem if you don’t have a 60GB or 120GB HDD on your Xbox 360. That’s the only fault with this function, as well as not being able to know how much space a game will take up after installation. Other than that, the function does serve its purpose and is a great addition to the 360. While playing Gears of War 2, I noticed the decrease in load time compared to if this was loading off of my disk. You guys will enjoy this feature if you have the space to install games on your 360 with.
In closing, with all of these features you get with the New Xbox Experience, even some I haven’t gone over in this post alone. You’re going to have a good time when November 19th arrives and you install this update. While the guys who got in might be over the shock by then, It’ll still be an Experience that is fulfilling. November 19, 2008 is when everyone will get their hands on it and nerdgasm all over the place.