After months of anticipation, the New XBOX Live Experience launched early this morning, without a hitch. Simply log into XBOX Live, and you will immediately see the familiar update notification. From there, just do the update as normal. Considering that this is a complete overhaul of the console’s interface, the update was extremely fast. Downloading and installing it only took a few minutes for me.
Once installed, you will be greeted with a whacky video with generic 3D animation, music, and sound effects. I don’t know who they’re trying to impress with this – it’s more like something you’d see at a press conference, not really meant for end users. Oh well, it can be skipped.
The first thing you’ll want to do of course, is create your first Avatar. At first, I thought these XBOX Live Avatars sat somewhere in between the Mii and PS Home in terms of complexity. As it turns out, they are much simpler than Mii avatars, and it with fewer customization options, it will be harder to get the avatar to look just like you (if that’s your intention).
I got my avatar to look somewhat like me, at least for people who are already familiar with me. There were no eyes available that look like mine, so I opted for the sunglasses. Also, the shoe selection just sucks, but anything is better than what Mii avatars offer ;)
Gamer pictures can now be based on a ‘photo’ of your Avatar. This gives a chance to share your look in games that don’t normally support actual avatars in gameplay (there are only a select few that do at this time).
Overall, the interface is a huge improvement to what I thought was one major disadvantage the XBOX 360 had in contrast to the Playstation 3. I am going to play around with it some more, and share my thoughts in my upcoming XBOX 360 vs. Playstation 3: Two Years Later article. Be sure to read the original article, as well as one written by a developer for both systems back when the PS3 first came out.