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MS says half of NXE features were cut, Primetime in spring 2009

Speaking to CVG, Microsoft's Jerry Johnson stated that many of the features originally planned for the upcoming New Xbox Experience were not implemented in the version being released later this month. Said Johnson, "Half the things we wanted to do we cut out of the service." However, Johnson also says that updating the NXE is much simpler than previous dashboard updates, noting an "architectural change" to the system saying, "All of a sudden we opened up the platform to say 'I don't have to wait until once or twice a year to release something onto the dashboard."

It seems the NXE is more based on individual applications, as Johnson noted the photo sharing application, saying that implementing it would be a simple matter of users spotting its "slot" on the dashboard and downloading it once it's available. The upshot of all this: no more waiting for biannual updates.

Johson also added that Primetime, the online social gameshow application, will launch in spring of 2009.

[Thanks, Xpandemic]

A new way to show off your NXE pride

With the upcoming release of the New Xbox Experience, our friends over at MyGamerCard put together a new card theme for you to share your NXE enthusiasm with all of the internets. The new theme - shown above using Mr. SenseiRAM - was created to mirror the NXE's 3D panel navigation aesthetic and shows off a person's custom Avatar on the right hand side. It's a slick looking badge and one we think most fanboys would be proud to show off. That is, if you embrace the use of Avatars.

NXE leaked, installation disables Live until November 19

It took no time at all but the New Xbox Experience has been leaked onto the internet. According to tipsters, someone who was invited to the NXE has made the update available in downloadable form online which -- like all other Xbox 360 dashboard updates -- has the ability to update any console with a USB thumb drive.

If you're thinking of grabbing the update, think again. According to Major Nelson using the leaked update disables Xbox Live on a console until November 19, the actual release of NXE. With Gears of War 2 just around the corner, you wouldn't want to take your console off the grid would you? While no reported bans have been handed down since the leak showed up it isn't hard to imagine Microsoft could take you offline for good. You've been warned.

[Update: Major Nelson wrote on his twitter, "If you get your hands on NXE and you are NOT in the Preview Program. You won't be allowed on LIVE." We will not be linking any websites with information or links to download the NXE - hence the replacement of Major Nelson from the original source in this story. Users who leave links to such content in the comments will have them swiftly removed.]

Video: In-game Avatar use explained

The latest in Gamerscore Blog's running series on the New Xbox Experience is a video about how Avatars can be used in certain Xbox 360 games. First and foremost, the video reveals that certain older Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade titles will inocorporate Avatar use once they are updated after the release of the New Xbox Experience. The games shown include Bomberman Live, UNO, Hardwood Hearts, and Hardwood Spades. And no, you can't play as your Avatar in Bomberman, which is a bummer. Another game that is shown, though not named, is Ninjabee's A Kingdom for Kelflings. Scene It? Box Office Smash will also be receiving an Avatar update.

As for how far we might see Avatars integrated into future titles, Microsoft is keeping the details close to its chest. Whatever the extent of the integration, we somehow doubt you'll ever see your Avatar ripping a Locust in half with a chainsaw.

Continue reading Video: In-game Avatar use explained

Rumor control: Xbox 360 HD Netflix HDCP issues

Tips have been coming in today saying that streaming HD Netflix content requires a television set with HDCP, leaving some users with older TVs worried that the service will not work. As Engadget reports, the problem only relates to digital connections like HDMI and DVI. As such, the problem should only affect those using an HDMI-to-DVI converter on an older set without HDCP. Even for those in this situation, HD content will still work just fine over either component or VGA (see the above image). So, most of you can stop sweating. In the rare case that your only option is DVI, you may be out of luck.

No automatic XBLA downloads for the NXE

During our extensive video tour of the New Xbox Experience, we managed to miss that an old feature has actually been removed. Specifically, we're talking about the ability to download all Xbox Live Arcade games automatically. We're not sure how many people actually use the feature, but for those that like to at least try every XBLA game (or those that started a weekly video series about XBLA), it was pretty handy. When MTV's Stephen Totilo asked Microsoft's John Schappert about the removal of the feature, Schappert replied, "You actually use that?"

While the reason why the feature has gone missing remains a mystery, Totilo was told "it may come back in a future release." We'll just have to wait an see. Get your own hands on the otherwise feature-packed NXE when it debuts next month.

Reminder: Find out if you get NXE preview access [update]

Update: Major Nelson just informed us that the NXE notification emails are being sent out over the next few hours. Good luck, fanboys!

Today is the day that separates the men from the women, the hardcore from the casual and the l33t from the n00b. Today is the day we find out who was accepted and who was denied New Xbox Experience preview access.

Sometime in the next twelve hours, Microsoft will be emailing those who were accepted into the NXE preview program which will ultimately give access to the NXE prior to its November 19th launch. NXE access as early as next week. So, for those of you who were able to fill out the survey and sign up, cross your gaming fingers and obsessively check your inbox, because NXE preview notification emails are being sent out today!

Joystiq: New Xbox Experience exposed!

With the New Xbox Experience (NXE) just weeks away our sister-site (with the help of X3F's own Richard Mitchell) has developed the most in-depth preview of every major upgrade to the system. Spanning nine different video features, the Joystiq NXE preview will outlines everything from the new Guide, Avatar creation and customization, Community Games, the new Video and Games Marketplace and much more.

Video Feature Breakdown
  • NXE Overview, My Xbox, The Guide
  • Marketplace, Community Games, Avatars
  • Party System, Installation, Netflix

HD Netflix set to debut on the Xbox 360

High definition Netflix content streaming is something we didn't think was possible, especially on the Xbox 360. Well, it is possible and HD Netflix streaming is going to debut on the Xbox 360 when the New Xbox Experience releases on November 19th.

According to our friends over at Engadget, Microsoft and Netflix will soon announce that Xbox Live gold members will have access to high definition Netflix movie streaming to their 360s come November 19th. HD movie streaming that isn't available with Netflix's current "Watch Instantly" portal, Roku hardware or Samsung and LG's Netflix enabled Blu-ray players. The HD Netflix roll out will be slow at first with approximately 300 movies being available in HD on day one of the NXE's launch. To recap: Netflix subscription + Xbox Live gold + NXE = HD movies and very happy Xbox 360 owners.

[Thanks, DeadPlasmaCell]

Surprise! Avatar store coming next Spring

According to the peeps over at VideoGamer.com, Microsoft will be launching an Avatar store next Spring where gamers can purchase and download additional customization options for their 360 Avatars.

"The plan of record will be to launch a more extensive Avatar Store from spring time onwards next year," said Live EMEA product manager Robin Burrowes. "That store in theory would have branded content in there, game publisher IP stuff in there as well." No surprise there.

To be honest, we're still torn about Avatars, the role they'll be playing in our New Xbox Experience, how Microsoft is approaching the monetizing of them and whether or not we'll be willing to pay for a Gears of War 2 t-shirt for our Avatar next Spring. Because ... you know ... an Avatar rockin' a Gears 2 tee would be rather badass.

Were you accepted into the NXE preview? Find out on Oct. 29th

For those of you who were able to register for the New Xbox Experience preview before it closed, circle this Wednesday, October 29th on your daily planner, because that's when NXE preview notifications will be sent out.

On his latest podcast, Major Nelson confirmed that emails will be sent out this Wednesday to those who were chosen to participate in the NXE preview. Because - as you should know by now - those who signed up for the NXE preview are not guaranteed entry. Only a few thousand will be chosen. Also note that this Wednesday's NXE emails will only notify those who are accepted into the preview program and will not be the official start of the preview. Downloading the NXE will come at a later, yet to be determined date that will be before November 19th.

NXE: A brief look at Netflix and the XBVM

As is customary every week, the Gamerscore Blog crew just highlighted a New Xbox Experience feature to show off and this week they're talking Netflix and the new and improved Video Marketplace.

Their informative NXE blurb doesn't inform us of anything excitingly new, but does reinforce the fact that 10,000 Netflix videos will be available for streaming to unlimited rental Netflix subscribers and that 20,000 pieces of XBVM content is available as well. Check out the NXE screen grabs below and keep those NXE preview fingers crossed.

Gallery: New Xbox Experience - Netflix and XBVM

NXEOld MarketplaceNXE

Get a chance to preview the New Xbox Experience [update]

Update: Hopefully you already registered because, according to Major Nelson, the "preview program is now FULL." That was quick.

You were promised the chance and now your chance is here. You (yes YOU) can preview the upcoming New Xbox Experience prior to its release on November 19th.

Microsoft is looking for a few thousand NXE preview participants to give the NXE a trial run prior to its official release to, you know, make sure everything is functioning correctly. To sign up for your chance to be selected as a previewer, simply head to Microsoft Connect, register using your Windows Live ID, then click here to fill out the official NXE preview survey. Answer a few questions, submit that sucker and cross your fingers in hopes that you are selected. And just in case you weren't listening, only a few thousand registrants will be selected, so filling out the survey does not guarantee a NXE preview.

Note too that those who are selected will not have access to a full-featured NXE. Though, things like Netflix, Live parties and Avatars will be included. Now go, get registered and hope for the best!

[Thanks, to everyone who sent this in]

MS: Primetime will not make NXE launch

Speaking to Eurogamer, a Microsoft representative confirmed that the massively interactive game channel dubbed Primetime will not be available when the New Xbox Experience releases on November 19th. The MS rep also mentioned the possibility of a few other promised NXE features not being available day one of launch. Sad face.

Though, Microsoft is making it clear that Primetime and other features will be added to the NXE, mentioning that they'll have the "flexibility to roll out features and updates dynamically, unlike in the past where we were on a more biannual schedule." So, no prize winning Primetime on November 19th, but it'll come ... eventually.

Unique NXE Avatar URLs discovered

An anonymous tipster has informed Xbox 360 Fanboy that Avatars -- the cute, customizable user characters that will launch with the New Xbox Experience -- will each have their own unique URL (which won't open in Firefox or Safari, by the way). The URLs in question lead to PNG files of a users Avatar. The URLs lead to images of at least three sizes, as demonstrated in the image above. The Avatars belong to Microsoft's Trixie and Chris Paladino by the way (we tried plugging in one of our own gamertags and were greeted with nothing but the original Xbox logo). There is a full body image along with two smaller images of user created Avatar Gamerpics. All of them are stored at the site avatar.xboxlive.com, which currently leads to a blank page. Will these images be part of a broader social networking platform? For now, we'll just have to wait until Microsoft decides to share more about the NXE.

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