Preview of the XBox Live Experience

Here’s blog entry from CNET about the new XBox Live experience.  This is supposed to be the UI big update from the XBox360 this is coming sometime for Christmas.  They are planning to add avatars and to include some community building aspects to the XBox 360 in an effort to attract more casual gamers.  I don’t know if this going to make those folks that may be casual gamers buy the XBox360 because the platform already has a solid reputation of being hard-core gaming platform.  Perhaps it may hook the non-gamers in a gamer household — the household gamer already has an XBox360.  It isn’t like the Wii, which was designed for casual gaming in the first place.  Well, I suppose the message here is that the software is the experience rather than the hardware.  I think in this case, though, the ease of use of the wii-mote complements the wii interface and facilitates casual gaming.  I can’t say that about the multi-button 360 controller.

As a hard-core gamer, I’m not sure I care about the XBox360 UI update.  For the most part when I want to play a video game, I want to get to the game as quickly as possible.  When I want to play with an avatar, then I sit down with that intention.  Now I have used the Wii for non-gaming purposes.  The Wii has some functionality that facilitates curiousity like news, weather, and the Wii vote channel.  This is in the context of the wii, though, which feels exceeding friendly and gives me warm fuzzies.  I’m not sure if I want warm-fuzzies before sitting down to a typical game I’d play on the XBox360 like “Devil May Cry 4” or “Dead or Alive.”  Sigh … well, I am looking forward to the community aspects.  I am greatly enjoying the community within “Warhammer Online” and it would be nice to play and chat with some of the people I meet within a game on XBox360 too.

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