Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gaming for New Dads

Exactly one month from now, we're expecting our first baby... One of the big questions is how this will affect my gaming. This recent article seems particularly relevant:
Not sure if I'm going to get a Wii though...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New XBOX 360 Experience

I've had a chance to play around with the new XBOX experience and I have a few thoughts on it.

The Good:
  • Game list loads really fast. The old system took forever to populate your list of games. Now it's almost instantaneous. It's great!
  • Performance: Most of the rest of the interface is really quick which is impressive considering all the images and content that's on the screen.
  • Avatars: I think this new feature enhances your experience. It's quite funny when you get an Avatar that looks very similar to its real-life counterpart. Integrating Avatars in some games (like Kingdom for Keflings) works really well.
  • Parties: This option has redefined gaming with friends. It is so useful being able to communicate with friends while navigating menus. Also, friends can join the party while you're playing a game. This allows them to find out how close you are to finishing. It has also fixed the horrible audio issues that we used to experience in NHL 09.
  • The Guide: I prefer using the guide most times. The fact that I'm using the guide while on the dashboard is indicative of my feelings of the new dashboard.
  • Text Scrolling: In the old interface, if there was descriptive text on the right that was longer than a page, you would have to wait for 5 - 10 seconds for it to start scrolling down on its own. This was annoying if I quickly wanted to check out a description. In the new experience, I can scroll myself using the right stick.

The Bad:

  • Avatar Load-time: Avatars sometimes take awhile to appear/load.
  • Friends List: To see who is online, you have to scroll to the right. Each friend has his/her own tile. This is not efficient at all. They need a better way to display friends. I usually end up using the Guide's friend's list instead.
  • No Netflix in Canada: This really sucks. I'd get the service in a second if given the opportunity. I hope Netflix expands to Canada or another company offers a similar service in Canada.
  • Spotlight: I find that I no longer check out any of the videos in the Spotlight section. The old interface had Inside XBOX which had an indicator whenever there was new content. I used to review this all the time. No longer because of the interface.

The Ugly:

  • Dizziness: Sometimes I find myself getting a little dizzy when flipping through the tiles in the new XBOX experience.
  • Crashing: The new XBOX experience froze on me once. I've heard of others experiencing these issues. Luckily I haven't seen it too often.