Back in July, I first discussed Microsoft's New Xbox Experience, the upcoming major new user interface update for the Xbox 360. Today, the software giant revealed that this experience will rollout to Xbox 360 users on November 19, so it's time to begin paying a bit more attention to the coming changes. First up, the new Games Marketplace, which is being redesigned to better showcase downloadable games and downloadable content for retail games.
Today, the Games Marketplace offers a columnar view in which it's hard to get information about selected content. It's not obvious from this shot, but as you select items on the left, the column on the right begins to slowly scroll so you can read the complete description. It's more than a bit tedious.
All screenshots courtesy of Microsoft.
Under the New Xbox Experience, Games Marketplace picks up the Flip3D-like navigational style of the underlying UI, which provides a much richer experience and, more to the point, more information about the selected game. It will also provide more obvious access to the downloadable content that is available. This includes full game downloads, game add-ons, previews and trailers, gamerpics, themes, and other content, all available from a single place.
Here's how it looks.
The jury is still out on the New Xbox Experience and I still have major reservations about the Mii-too avatars that Microsoft is building for this UI. That said, it looks attractive and more geared towards the widescreen displays that most Xbox 360 users have. It also seems to be more future-proof in the sense that it should be more extensible and upgradeable to new experiences as they arrive going forward. Is it like getting a new Xbox 360 as Microsoft claims? I doubt it. But it looks like a nice shot in the arm.