Post Halloween, Microsoft has done its annual Fall update.

I can’t say that I’ve been as hyped for this one as the previous update. I personally could care less about an ESPN channel, and while I plan to get Kinect sometime in the future (read: Michael Jackson: The Experience), the initial software line-up doesn’t have anything at this time to make me want to invest $150 in new hardware.

The initial impression has so far not been favorable. The system is buggy. I don’t know whether they are still working out some post-launch compatibility issues with existing software and applications, but I can’t get certain Live features to update, such as Game Room, updating my avatar, or some of the applications. It’s been non-stop error code after error code, and if I’m lucky, I get through to update. Hopefully, this will fix throughout the day.

This new interface is going to take a while to get used to. It’s obvious that they’re going with that “simple” (or “sterile”) look that Nintendo adopted this generation, with similarities seen in their website and overall interface. It’s pretty obvious this look is an attempt to draw in the Wii crowd with a “familiar” attitude and feel, and while I found at Nintendo’s initial changeover, I’m doing the same here.

Netflix, however, is a little better with a new “Search” option, but the menus seem slower (this is all around, not just in Netflix), and scrolling doesn’t feel as fluid as it used to. The scrolling isn’t a speed issue. It’s presentation. Things feel more awkward, and I’m not even sure that I’ve chosen the right menu like I used to. The overall interface has even adopted that same soothing music style the Wii menus have. But the new “beeps” that go with every scrolling and confirmation selection may get old really fast.

I normally look forward to the new annual interface update, but this year, I’m not liking what I’m seeing. Nintendo is its own creature, and try all one wants with color changes, music, beeps, simplifications, and everything else, and the changes just come off as a pale impostor rather than a different flavor of competition. This has always seemed to be a problem when any company tries to copy Nintendo instead of doing its own thing. I’ve never bought multiple consoles to get the exact same experience across the board, and diversity is important in this industry. I want differences in attitude and presentation.

Maybe this new update will grow on me in time, and when the bugs get sorted out. Regardless as an Xbox owner, you’ll have to update to this eventually, and you’re kind of stuck with this, like it or not.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed under: xbox 360 gaming