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Posts with tag avatars

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, 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.

Major Nelson awarding a select few the NXE prior to its official release [update]

Update: Just to be clear, Major Nelson says to visit his website NEXT WEEK for the NXE giveaway surprise. So, don't be disappointed if there is no NXE handout this week.

Thanks to the handy transcription of GamePlay Unlimited, we now know that Major Nelson will be giving a few lucky 360 fanboys the chance to download the New Xbox Experience prior to its official release on November 19th.

Word comes from his latest podcast, where Major and E have a brief discussion regarding a listener receiving the NXE before anyone else. E inquires about the possibility of a visitor winning the chance to download the NXE early, to which Major answers, "that's pretty much what I'm saying." We don't know how or when, but we guess a few lucky visitors will be getting the NXE before it releases to the masses, allowing them to get a head start on their Avatar customization.

[Via Evil Avatar]

MS to offer NXE 'storage solutions' to those in need

After learning that the New Xbox Experience and Avatar customization would require, at minimum, a 256MB memory card, it spawned more questions than answers. Would the NXE install take up all 256MB? If so, what about Xbox 360 Arcade owners and their tiny 256MB memory card? Wait, what about Core customers who don't have storage or own a 64MB memory card? What are they to do and is the NXE update a mandatory download? CONFUSION! So, we reached out to. Major Nelson and, thankfully, he cleared up said confusion ...

"The new Xbox experience will require 128MB of free space. A hard drive is recommended for the optimal experience, to take advantage of some new features, and to be able to enjoy the great movies, TV shows and games available on Xbox LIVE. While we expect the majority of consumers to download the New Xbox Experience without a problem, a small percentage of Xbox 360 owners do not have enough memory to accommodate the update. To help ensure all Xbox LIVE members are able to download the New Xbox Experience and enjoy its new features, Microsoft will be offering storage solutions to the Xbox LIVE community. We are not sharing details of this offering yet. Be sure to check for more details in the coming weeks."

There you have it. The NXE is a required dash update, will need roughly 128MBs of storage, a HDD is recommended AND (shocker here) for those who own little or no 360 storage, Microsoft will be offering some sort of "storage solution". We wait for more info ...

Avatar customization and NXE requires 256MB storage [update 3]

Update 3: Clarification! Major Nelson clears the the confusion.

Update 2: Some clarification. The release mentions that (at minimum) a 256MB memory card is required for the NXE and Avatar customization, BUT doesn't say how many MBs out of the 256MBs are needed for the update itself. Technically, the update could use up only 150MBs leaving 256MB memory card owners with some extra storage. What's guaranteed is that 64MB card owners or those who have no storage medium are out of NXE and Avatar luck.

Update: Upon further investigation, Microsoft's press materials state; "The New Xbox Experience is available this fall through a free download to anyone with an Xbox 360 system, a broadband connection and a storage device of either a hard drive or 256MB memory unit or larger." So, we guess the entire NXE update will require an additional 256MBs of storage and Avatar customization will be a part of the NXE package.

Ninja-snuck in towards the bottom of Microsoft's TGS08 press release (the one that talks up the New Xbox Experience), we spotted a curious disclaimer regarding Avatar customization and it requiring 256MB of HDD / memory unit storage.

Verbatim, the Avatar disclaimer reads "customizing avatars requires a 256 MB memory unit or greater" which really isn't that big of a deal, unless you are a Core or Arcade 360 owner. 256MB of storage would mean that Core owners are totally out of Avatar customization luck (though, we doubt they care) and Arcade owners would have to max out their bundled 256MB memory card. That means our Arcade friends would have to choose: Avatar customization or saving game progress. Decisions, decisions ...

Video: A look at the NXE's Avatars

Just as they did with the games played section of the New Xbox Experience, Gamerscore Blog (with help from Major Nelson) just posted a new video demoing Avatars. You know, those overly cute, adorable and quite controversial Mii inspired characters. The Avatar demo (embedded after the break) confirms the button options that were leaked a while back and that the long rumored Avatar burping feature will be included. Just watch the vid ... you'll see.

We also want to point out that the NXE transition effects are super duper sexy! Watch closely at the beginning to spot the sleek menu transitions. Delicious!

Continue reading Video: A look at the NXE's Avatars

The most common Fall update questions answered

If you're totally clueless in regards to all the "New Xbox Experience" talk, confused to no end and just want some of your basic questions answered, then TechRadar's "everything you need to know" article is just for you.

Have New Xbox Experience n00b questions like "what is it?", "why is this happening?", "what's an Avatar" or (our favorite) "what if I don't want the new dashboard?" Then their helpful guide can help and give you easy to digest answers. We'll even give you a freebie: Even if you don't want the new dashboard, you're out of luck, because it's one of those mandatory Live updates. Then again, why wouldn't you want it and all of its hotness?

Rare: Work on Avatars done 'before Miis were part of the gaming scene'

In an interview with Eurogamer, Rare's lead artist Lee Musgrave revealed that work on Avatars was done "before Miis were part of the gaming scene" and were only decided to be a part of the New Xbox Experience after Microsoft saw concepts of the lil' customizable characters.

"Microsoft did not turn up one day in a speeding car and say, 'They've got Miis - do something!' It wasn't like that at all," says Musgrave, making sure to drive home the point that similarities between Avatars and Nintendo's Miis is purely coincidental. So, yeah ... take that Miis! You aren't being copied on purpose, you're just being copied coincidentally. Yeah!

Avatars only to be used in family friendly games

As Microsoft figures out their game plan for how they're going to implement Avatars into the Xbox 360 community beginning this Fall, we're receiving a steady trickle of news surrounding their Avatar decisions. Most recently, Microsoft's Eric Kilgore confirmed with Develop that Avatars will only be allowed to be used in ESRB rated E10+ games which are seen as non-violent, family friendly games. So, we won't be seeing Avatars taking over our Gears or GTAIV worlds which, admittedly, is okily okay with us. Kilgore did say that their E10+ Avatar policy could change in the future depending on how things work out, but again, Microsoft's Avatar game plan has yet to be fully fleshed out.

[Thanks, DCB and SS1029]

Source: First images from 360 Avatar creator [update]

Update: Just to be clear, the two images we posted are NOT screenshots from the Fall dashboard but are instead a collection of image thumnbails and artwork that are supposedly used in the Avatar creator. We just created an image "collage" to make for easier viewing.

in the We were just contacted by our super secret source who forwarded us images that are supposedly from the Fall update's 360 Avatar creator. We're told that the images, all viewable in the gallery below, were pulled from the 360 Avatar creator's interface and showcase the icons that'll be used to customize one's Avatar. Icons and artwork are related to changing an Avatar's clothing, skin color, hair style and even height and weight. Now, we can't be sure if these 360 Avatar creator assets are legit or if they were created by a very skilled Photoshopper, so take this Avatar image extravaganza with a grain of salt. But what say you? Do these images look legit and, if so, do they coupled with the leaked Avatar options make you more or less excited with how Microsoft is presenting Avatars to the gaming masses?

Gallery: Avatar Creator Customization

[Thanks, DCB and SS1029]

MS not ruling out Avatar based micro transactions

Micro transactions. Love 'em or hate 'em, they're a reality on the Xbox Live Marketplace and later this year, come the release of the 360's feature rich Fall update, they may begin to "infect" our Avatars. Ewww!

In an interview with VentureBeat, Microsoft's corporate vice president John Schappert talked about the possibility of monetizing Avatar customization options saying that pairing Avatars with micro transactions "may be in the future," but now they're focusing on launching "with great customization and a great library of accessories this fall." Money, money, money ... it's always about Avatars, micro transactions and money.

Rumor: Avatar customization options discovered

Code snooping fanboys DCB and SS1029 sent us text strings that were supposedly extracted from the Fall dashboard update code. You know, the same Fall update that was leaked and is in the hands of hackers, modders and reverse engineers alike. Well, the text strings that we were sent supposedly detail every available option for the too cute and too friendly Avatars. After skimming through the list, we've come to the conclusion that most customization options are rather plain with Avatar decoration options including items like jeans, t-shirts and shoes. But some customization options are borderline quirky odd. We guess Avatars will have the choice of odd items like "elf ears", "Hawaiian hotpants" and even "Monday morning eyes" which are more commonly known as "hangover eyes".

Head towards the break to view a long and detailed list of (rumored) Avatar customization options that'll be a part of the Fall update. We even bolded a few of the options that we found to be odd or interesting. Oh, and prepared for a wall of text, because the list is a doozy.

Continue reading Rumor: Avatar customization options discovered

New Xbox Experience gets clarified by the Major

Last week we tried to answer your questions regarding the New Xbox Experience, but you still have concerns. Valid ones at that. What's the deal with these Avatar things? They are so not 1337. Will we be forced to install games to the harddrive? But we don't want to lose one of our PS3 laughing points! Thanks to Major Nelson's latest podcast some of those concerns are cleared up.

Addressing the two concerns above, Major assures Xbox 360 owners that they won't have to create an Avatar and that installing Xbox 360 titles will never be a requirement. Color us relieved so far. For more details and answers to your questions make sure to check out Major's latest episode.

[via Joystiq]

Gallery: New Xbox Experience

Almost everything you want to know about the New Xbox Experience

Looking for simple answers to your Xbox 360 dashboard redesign questions? Here are a few points to take away from the new Xbox experience:
  • "There's nothing to announce" right now regarding a keyword search for the Marketplace. We hope for some kind of searching option or a better layout for content
  • Playing games from the hard drive will work fine for multi-disc games; in fact, you can pick which discs you want to rip (but a disc swap for the correct disc in the drive is required)
  • As an example, Joystiq was told that Devil May Cry 4 is approximately a 4 or 5GB installation and takes about 10 minutes to copy onto a harddive: PS3 installation is roughly 18-25 mins
  • You'll need to keep the disc in the drive the entire time. This is about speeding up load times and to check if you own the title -- the disc will not spin so no more jet noises
  • Xbox 360 notifications look the same but are actually very cleaned up and look sharper -- the sounds are all the same
  • Yes, you can still use your gamertag pics and your themes (they look cleaner and more crisp now, an example of what it could look like is above) -- example of a gamerpic in action is in the top right corner of the image above

Gallery: New Xbox Experience

Continue reading Almost everything you want to know about the New Xbox Experience

E308: Avatar clothing could be unlocked using game achievements

Coming straight from Microsoft's Community Briefing yesterday (the same one where we got the chance to nibble on delicious chocolate delights), we learned that an Avatar's wardrobe could not only be comprised of those items offered through normal channels, but could potentially come from the earning of game achievements.

Team Microsoft said that the potential is there and developers are showing interest in offering unlockable Avatar content using game achievements. Think of items like a Gears of War 2 tshirt for your Avatar to wear if you earn the Seriously achievement or the unlock of a special ninja mask for completing Ninja Gaiden II on the hardest difficulty. It'd be an extra incentive to go after an achievement IF the achievement itself isn't enough, but the rub here is that you have to actually care about your Avatar's clothing. Us, we're all about forgoing the whole wardrobe unlock thing, sporting a naked Avatar and getting double the game's Gamerscore.

E308: Major Nelson updates with tons of new dashboard details: install games to HDD & more

Things are moving really, really, fast in the world of the 360 right now. After the news that the Dashboard would be receiving a makeover, many of you thought that it was the end of the known world. Luckily, Major Nelson has updated his blog with some of the many new details of the new interface. The first of which is that the blades interface isn't going away, it's now just a smaller part of the larger Xbox Guide.

Even bigger though is the option to install games entirely to the HDD for faster load times and no disc drive noise. However, to get the installed game to boot, the disc has to still be in the drive for an initial check to make sure you still own it.

The new party system that's built into the interface supports up to eight people and allows for chat, sharing of media, and simultaneous launch of games, all for the entire group. As for the so-called Xbox Live Primetime, it's basically a system that allows users to participate in what amounts to virtual game shows, many complete with prizes and a live host.

The last few bits include a few notes on Avatars, including their integration into Arcade games, future retail releases and of course the newly christened "Live Party". Also, for those techies out there, the update will add 16X10 over VGA or HDMI, and support for 1440x900 or 1680x1050. Oh, and you'll be able to buy anything from the Marketplace via too.

Plus the ol' Major promises that there is still more details to be revealed as the update draws ever closer.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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