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Video: New Xbox 360 Dash leaked early

"Who cares? I already saw the new dashboard at E3," you say. Understandable, but there is something magical about someone snagging the new dashboard early and uploading a shaky-cam video to YouTube for all the world to see. Even better, we get to see a few areas of the new dash that weren't on display at E3. That means you get the thrill of looking at the settings tab! One last thing: apparently it's possible for anyone to get their hands on the update right now, though it does require a modded Xbox. We're not suggesting anyone do that, of course.

[Via Engadget. Thanks, Tyler]

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: Dashboard with themes, downloads and launch area


Major Nelson just added a trio of images to his flickr account outlining examples of how the new dashboard redesign will retrofit existing Xbox 360 themes, a more detailed download page for content on the Xbox Live Marketplace and an example of a game specific launch page. Microsoft has promised the new dashboard will still allow themes -- as seen in the image above -- and we anticipate the photo will change based on the area of the dashboard you visit.

For images, and an analysis of the images for downloads and specific titles jump in.

Continue reading E308: Dashboard with themes, downloads and launch area

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 Xbox.com 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!]

360 Dashboard 2.0 mock-up, is Microsoft listening?


Over at Platform Nation there is a very interesting article about what could be done to improve the Xbox 360 dashboard, thus creating Dashboard 2.0. You can see a mock-up of the Marketplace blade above, including eye-popping images for XBLA games. Even better, the games have user ratings and the prices are listed right on the front page, no need to click through to see how much a game costs. There are a number of other improvements, including the ability to hotkey areas you use often (XBLA, Marketplace, etc). The article goes into detail about where the current dashboard has problems and what can be done to address them (right down to cleaning up completely unused space). It's really a good read and we suggest you check it out. We can only hope that someone at Microsoft is paying attention.

[Thanks Alex Fischer and Gemini Ace. Via Joystiq]

Rumor: 360 DivX support to be a Fall feature

During a recent earnings report presentation, DivX CEO Kevin Hell might have revealed a bit too much regarding DivX support on the Xbox 360.

JP Morgan analyst Paul Coster asked Hell about DivX support that was added to Microsoft's Media Extender and if that foreshadowed a release to the Xbox 360. Hell's response was an enthusiastic "Yes!" followed by a semi-awkward, backpedaling clarification that went something like ... "that, uh, we're in discussions with Microsoft on that at this point in time, so I can't go into any great detail on that. Um that is not a certified, that is not a certified or licensed product at this time."

His response may not sound like confirmation of DivX headed to the 360, but simply reading the quote doesn't paint the whole picture. According to those who attended the conference, it was how he answered the question thta was most revealing. Hell was very enthusiastic at first when he answered "Yes!" and then he quickly tried to backpedal and change the subject. Was it a slip of the tongue or a simple misunderstanding? No one is certain, but we wouldn't be surprised to see DivX support added to the 360 this December.

[Thanks, Evan Walsh]

Custom dashboard blades for your 360


We called for our readers to submit their own 360 inspired art yesterday, and we got a nifty response today. Coming from 360 Fanboy reader, Andrey (Gamertag: Louco Diamante), is an entire gallery of images. While these aren't made by Andrey himself, he has gone through the trouble of formatting them for the Xbox 360's Dashboard blades. The images come in a high 1920 X 1080 resolution and all of them run under one megabyte for quick navigation. There's a large selection of images to choose from, ranging from Assassin's Creed to Virtua Fighter 5. If you've been looking for some spiffy images for your 360, it's worth checking out. As always, if you've got any 360 related art you'd like to share -- fan art, comics, whatever -- let us know.

How much juice is left in your headset?

So you've decided to cut the cord and purchase the new Xbox 360 wireless headset this weekend, good for you! But did you know about the snazzy new battery indicator that was enabled through the fall update?

Well, our friend Major Nelson informs us that you'll be able to check not only your wireless controller's battery life, but the battery life of your new wireless headset too. And all of this battery information is easily accessible through the Xbox guide and is displayed in convenient icon form. So I ask, are you planning on picking up the new wireless headset and freeing yourself of the wires?

XNA Game Studio Express: Subscription required

Reader James has not-so-stupid question about this part of the Fall Dashboard Update:
  • Support for upcoming release of XNA Game Studio Express (separate download and subscription required.)
This means that a subscription (should be well under $1000 for the professional edition) will be required to run code on the 360 using the XNA Game Studio Express development tools. As far as I know, there will be no separate subscription for playing "homebrew" games that ultimately make it to XBLA (aside from whatever the devs decide to sell them for), although it does sound like a nefarious idea.

First look at fall dash update


MaxConsole scored some screens of the Xbox Live Fall Dashboard Update that show a spruced up UI and XNA integration. Like (or dislike) what you see? Don't tell us, tell the guy actually working on the update.

Update: Here's the same pics in high res.

[Thanks Xantium]

Update doesn't fix trouble, unless you're in China

If you're wondering why you were asked to perform a seeming pointless update the last time you connected to Live, Major Nelson has an explanation:

There are no new features in this update. There is one, small fix that improves character recognition for those users that are using the localized Chinese language version of the dashboard on their Xbox 360. (Yes, you need to take the update even if you don't use the Chinese language version of the dash keyboard.)

Silly me for thinking it might fix some of the Spring update issues people are complaining about. Wouldn't it make sense to provide a brief explanation with the update itself? You know, for the people who spend their time playing games instead of reading blogs.

Spring Dashboard update bugs out


"It looks like consoles just turned into unreliable PCs."  Chilling words for those naive souls who thought background downloading came without a Mephistophelian price. Xbox 360 owners across the web report various problems with the Spring Dashboard Update ranging from choppy, unwatchable video clips to negative effects on certain games. Here's a a list of complaints collected from the GamePlanet forums and comments on this site:
  • Alright, I was playing burnout, no problems. This is after I downloaded the update, well in the middle of the game it crashed.NEVER had this happen before. got a error that said disc read error, clean disc. Well, ok fine i eject it, PERFECTLY CLEAN. reinsert it, and what is this? it says to play this disc insert it into an XBOX360. WTF do you think i just did? Now it wont play it at all. I will try to restart and go again. WTF did microsoft do to me?!?
  • Well now I can't play Half Life 2. It loads almost all the way to the main menu, freezes and then the screen turns black. I can't even return to the dashboard! This sucks! I even tried downloading the backward compatible disc thing but now it won't reconize the file on the disk. WTF? This sucks M$!
  • I don't know if it was just because of the latest update, but i just downloaded 'A scanner darkly' trailer.... And it is skippy as!!!
  • I'm having real issues with Oblivion at the moment as well. Everything is taking 10x longer to load, even the main menu etc.
I have also heard of problems with Half-Life 2. Is anyone else experiencing the same issues or different ones? Are bugs like this going to be a fact of life as consoles become more PC-like, or should we be going after Microsoft with a can of Raid?

[Thanks Donutta]

Dashboard update a bad omen?


Justin McElroy of GamersWithJobs  ponders the biblical significance of Microsoft releasing a major update on 6/6/06 and makes a chilling revelation:

That's right true believers, this download is not simply the ability to play games while you download files but rather THE MARK OF THE BEAST. Think I'm joshing? Let's take a quick look at a snippet from Revelation 13.

"Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell who does not have the mark."

Hmm, does that sound like micropayments to anyone else?

Sure does. Active downloading as the mark of the beast? That would make Major Nelson one of the four horsemen of the apocolypse, if not the dark prince himself. Before you decide Justin left his brain behind, note that the AntiChrist already has a gamertag, although he represents poorly for a spawn of Satan. 

Suddenly that 360 forehead tattoo doesn't seem like such a good idea.

 

Xbox Team: We've only just begun

Daryl Welsh, Test Manager for Xbox Console and Digital Entertaiment Software, posted a heartfelt introduction to the Spring update (currently  a mere three hours away) on the Xbox Team blog. Doesn't this make you think of white lace and promises:

We love Xbox 360 and we've put our heart and souls into delivering something we hope everyone enjoys, but we want to make it better...

The evolution of our Xbox 360 is far from over, in a lot of ways it has only begun.  We remain laser-focused on the needs and desires of our fans, from the hardest of hard-core gamers, to that of the Digital Entertainment enthusiast and we'll continue to look for ways to improve.

Speaking of improvements, there's a complete list of everything included in the Dashboard update after the jump.

Continue reading Xbox Team: We've only just begun

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