After months of hype and non-stop gamer salivation, Redmond-based software giant and Puget Sound economic savior Microsoft released their New Xbox Experience (NXE) Wednesday.
Inquiring minds want to know: is NXE deserving of all the excitement? Will NXE solve all your problems and do the laundry for you? Should every single person rush out right now to buy two, three, or even fifty-eight Xbox 360s in order to fully experience this shiny new Xbox update?
As usual, The Naked Loon is here to answer your questions and give you the straight dope on the entertainment update of the century (or at least the week).
With the introduction of their new “avatars,” Microsoft has succeeded in distracting hordes of bloodthirsty gamers, tricking them into spending time customizing their virtual personas instead of honing their homicide skills in the latest murder simulators.
Another great benefit of the new update is the ability to finally delete games from one’s gamer history. Is it true that I once put MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” into my Xbox? Maybe. But even if that were true, shortly after I entered Pimp City—where bling is king, and style is everything—I’m sure I would have come to my senses and ran screaming. Now I can finally erase that awful—and hypothetical—memory forever.
While Microsoft’s avatars are nifty, personally I liked them better the first time around, when they were called Miis.
Can I put my NXE avatar’s nose on their forehead? No. Can I stick their eyes on their cheeks? Again, no. Can I increase the size of their mouth until it takes up their entire chin? Wait a minute, I’ll go check… Nope, can’t do that either. So what good are these “avatars,” anyway?
But hey, at least this massive new update has fixed the fundamental problems with Xbox Live’s friend management system, which lacked even basic functions such as grouping friends into categories, or renaming friends like FOEHAMMER2229 to something more meaningful like “Aaron,” you know, stuff that instant messaging programs have had for over a decade.
Oh wait… NXE doesn’t do any of that. In fact, the fine software engineers at Microsoft’s Xbox division have actually managed to make it more difficult to manage my friends list. Awesome. Thanks, Microsoft!
I think my favorite part of installing the NXE was how the Xbox decided that five of my six surround speakers didn’t need to get sound anymore after the update. Who needs front speakers, rear speakers, or a subwoofer, anyway? The center channel should be good enough.
Fortunately all I had to do to fix that issue was call Xbox support, where a friendly customer service representative walked me through the cryptic secret six-button combination that told my Xbox to start playing nice with the sound system again. It seemed like the kind of thing they could have made into a menu option called “stop sucking” or something, but I suppose that’s why I’m a reporter and not a highly paid entertainment software engineer.
Final Rating: Honestly there’s nothing much here to get all that excited ab—ooh, shiny!