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Posts with tag NXE

Save those seconds: Handy NXE game install chart

Installing games is definitely one of the more intriguing features of the New Xbox Experience. We've tested it. So has Eurogamer. When it comes right down to it, the performance increase (if any) varies wildly on a game by game basis. If only there was some central source we could check to see how well a game runs after it's installed. If only there were some place where such information was arranged in an intuitive manner, alphabetically perhaps. Wait a minute! BingeGamer already put together a chart and it lists 360 games in alphabetical order! The chart also lists how big a footprint each game will leave on your HDD (Lost Odyssey is 23.2 gigs, yikes).

Not surprisingly, there are still plenty of games that haven't been tested, so be sure to drop a comment at BingeGamer if you have some data about a game that isn't listed yet. Big Bumpin', sadly, isn't supported, so don't bother with that one.

New screens and trailer of Avatars in Kingdom for Keflings

Last week, Microsoft announced that Ninjabee's upcoming city builder A Kingdom for Keflings will be the first Xbox 360 game to allow players to play as their own Avatar. We spoke with Ninjabee following the announcement and now we have some exclusive new screens and a new trailer showcasing Avatars in A Kingdom for Keflings. Whether you decide to help your Keflings construct their village or just punt them like footballs is up to you. Somehow, we imagine the former is more likely to get your Keflings to dance at your feet, though. Check out the new trailer embedded above and the new screens in the gallery below.

Also, Ninjabee's logo, the ninja bee, needs his own game. Period.

Eurogamer tests NXE game installs: some better, Halo 3 worse

Along with increased usability and adorable Avatars, the New Xbox Experience brings along with it a dream. That dream promises improved game performance and massively reduced loading times. We're talking, of course, about installing games to the hard drive. The question is just how well does it work, a question that Eurogamer decided to tackle in a recent article. By comparing load times and in-game performance for several games running from both DVD and hard drive, Eurogamer was able to make some conclusions about just how much improvement installs offer.

Among some of the most improved games were The Orange Box, which saw load times nearly cut in half (44.5 seconds vs 22.5 seconds for Half-Life 2) and Fable II, which saw not only improved load times but improved performance, particularly in the menu screens. Other games saw little benefit, including Gears of War 2, Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, and GTAIV. Curiously, Mass Effect did see overall better performance, but the infamous elevator sequences saw no change at all.. The most interesting title tested is definitely Halo 3 which actually fared worse when running from the hard drive. Eurogamer theorizes that the longer load time are the result of a heavy amount of caching.

Finally, it appears that installs running on a 120GB hard drive fare no better than those on an older (and heavily used) 20GB drive. The overall verdict, performance will vary on a game by game basis. Imagine that.

[Via Joystiq]

NXE Preview: Second wave of invites sent out

For those of you who were saddened when you found out you were not selected to participate in the New Xbox Experience preview program, we say; keep your chin up. Microsoft just sent out another wave of NXE preview invites to those who signed up for the program last week (sorry, no new signups are allowed) and you may haz NXE.

Major Nelson just announced that the second round of NXE preview emails went out Friday evening and, for those who were selected, the NXE will be available for download sometime tonight, Saturday evening. So, check your inbox, junk mail folder and cross those fingers, because another round of NXE preview recruits are being added to the mix.

[Thanks, to everyone who sent this in]

Kingdom for Keflings launches with NXE, Avatars playable

click to enlarge

Gamerscore Blog has announced that A Kingdom for Keflings, the upcoming XBLA game from NinjaBee, will be available on November 19, the same day as the release of the New Xbox Experience. More importantly, GSB has announced something about as surprising as something that isn't surprising at all: Avatars can be used as playable characters in the game. You may recall that the game was shown though not mentioned in a recent video about Avatars. In the game, players can use their Avatar as the giant character, ordering their Keflings around and building their city. As you can see in the screen above, up to four players can play in the same game. The announcement also adds that A Kingdom for Keflings "works perfectly" with the NXE's party system. We hope party experience is a bit more seamless than it is with older 360 games.

A Kingdom for Keflings
will launch on November 19 for 800 Microsoft Points.

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, 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.

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