McGurgleton’s Newsstand: New Xbox Dashboard Update

Posted by | November 3, 2010

Well time again for another Xbox LIVE update!  To stop all the modders for a while from getting online and ruining our fun. As well as trying out a new layout that will hopefully stick around and be loved by the Xbox community! Something that the PS3 and Wii don’t do as often but I am sure that they could benefit somewhat if they did more often! The choice is theirs, though I can’t complain about how the PS3 and Wii layouts already are, to each their own.

First off:

Yeah the update may take a while if you have a slow connection or if you’re doing something on your computer, so you might as well find something to do, because it is a bit large but, it shouldn’t honestly take that long. Possibly a 3-5 minute kind of deal, a lot shorter then most of the other updates they have come up with. But hey! It’s another Xbox update, now we get to see what kind of new features it’s going to bring to the table, and make navigating that much easier, and a lot more tabs of your favorite types of games to put up.

It’s basically the same outfit as the first update, when they brought the avatar system, which reminds us a lot of the Wii’s ‘Mii’ style to the next generation of consoles. Same layout, background, lots of tabs and generally more enjoyable to interact with than it was when we all first booted up our Xbox 360s with the plain, bordered outlook of what was going to be one of the newest consoles of the time. Nothing too new about it other then the colors and the sound it makes.  Once again, if one has a Wii, it will remind you of the channels you can pick from when you go to the main channel and choose from a few dozen of channels that you can configure at a sudden whim.

It doesn’t look to bad in all honesty, well other than when you hit the guide button you have that blinding white and blue background to deal with. At first that was new, now its rather just a bit blinding if you’re looking directly at it and have the brightness on your TV up too high. I think they’re just trying to get everyone ready for the next installment of what the Xbox LIVE has to offer, making a new update 3 more days before “Kinect” comes to a household near you. A try to make it look as appealing as it can before they do another installment once Kinect comes and offers motion control, all without a controller.

It does look promising really, but still I see no change from the last one. Tabs are still the same, your friends list seems a bit more squished together though—if you have a certain downloaded background for it—instead of being spaced out to where each individual friend of yours had a certain thing behind them, now looks a bit squished together with the next friend on the list. Say you had a Perfect Dark N64 like background for your theme. It looks kind of dumb with everything spaced out, but you get used to it, so now with this update the little things come out to play and its a bit more noticeable hen you have a UFO behind someone interacting with a barbed wired fence behind your next friend. So it looks a little out of place in places and works well with some other backgrounds, I’m sure.

Remember a time when all our old generation games were all legible and we could actually understand what characters were saying and could see crucial elements to the story or battle, or whatnot? And then all of a sudden, if we are not updated with the new current technology (say a 37″ plasma LED HDTV) everything looks all small, tiny and you have to squint and lean 2 inches from the television monitor. Well yeah there is a bit of that in the update, the small text that was once in our game is now on our dashboard, so if you have a small TV then you might have the same problem, and those with one of those fancy new TVs probably won’t have the problem, so those of use that have to wear glasses (or choose not to for that matter) might have to squint a bit to be able to read the text of our Xbox dashboard.

All in all it looks like a nice update, the sounds and layout seem a bit stolen from the Wii (but that seems like a common goal for PS3 and Xbox 360 franchises today).  The new colors are a bit odd, I guess you just have to get used to it after a few hours of playing with the dashboard and see where the heck they put the Gamer Report news thing at, or rather the Indy games creator tab to submit your new games. The boxes for the news and other new game things are a bit squished. Then again this all could be a result of needing one of those fancy high-def TVs, it’s probably Microsoft’s way of telling us, the small  crowd of people who like their 19″ TVs to “go out and follow the new generation of Technology!” which is always a joy when these companies tell us these things, makes us feel so important (sarcasm).

So go out, turn on your 360 and fool around with it.  Maybe Kinect will be as promising as it sounds and make the dashboard more interesting and fun to use.  Or maybe it will just fall on its face.  We will find out soon enough, I’m sure.

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