Microsoft have just released the the mandatory update for the Xbox 360, this is not an optional update, you have no choice in this. Here are some of my thoughts on the changes that have been made.
- The Metro UI is very easy to use. It feels fresh, with a nice throw back to the old Blades UI which I loved. Everything is nicely spaced out, so it’s easy to see a good overview on the apps/games and services on your console.
- Kinect Voice is much better than in the previous dashboard, navigating through the Games Marketplace using Kinect Voice is rather fun.
- Beacons and social network sharing is a great idea.
- Cloud Game Sync allows you to copy the save to Cloud and let it sync, putting all your data in a safe and accessible place.
- Love the new apps section, when more apps become available, I can see this taking off big time.
- Cloud saves for some games like Gears of War 3, Forza 3 are really bad (both Microsoft games), you can either do Hard Disk or Cloud, but not both with Sync, so if you want to play Gears of War 3 on a friends console with you save, you have to use a USB or move your save to cloud, then move back when you are done.
- Kinect Voice can only go through the Dashboard one stage at a time, eg. you have to say “XBOX GAMES [pause] GAMES MARKETPLACE]” it would be so much more powerful if we could say “XBOX GAMES MARKETPLACE” or “XBOX PLAY DEFENSE GRID”
- Kinect still doesn’t work with DVD’s, do you have something against DVD’s Microsoft?
It’s terrible that on Xbox Live Gold subscription, paying Microsoft £40 a year, we are subjected to adverts that are larger than some of the apps and bigger than the “PLAY NOW” button. It’s a game console, Microsoft. You sold it as a game console, we bought it as a game console, now you use it for adverts and still you charge us.
Overall very happy with the update. Nice work, Microsoft, but please do more with Kinect and don’t forget you sold us a “game” console. It’s a step in the right direction, just lose the ads for paid members.
On another note, after installing the update you have to agree to a new set of terms and conditions, this is the same as Sony & EA in the blocking of class action lawsuit. See here for more info.
I bet some of you out there are wondering why I haven’t discussed the apps in more detail, like the iPlayer app, the YouTube app etc, this is because the ONLY app that is was ready for the launch was the LOVEFiLM, and I have not had enough time to try that out yet. When more apps are released I will discuss them in more detail.