Synyster Graves

Xbox’s New Dashboard

by on Dec.15, 2011, under Gamer Rages

Last week Xbox deployed another compulsory update to the Xbox Live dashboard. Now after asking many users of their opinion of it, the overwhelming consensus is that it sucks, (in fact the only gamer who doesn’t detest it is my good friend El Stevo, but then again he’s a cardinal at the temple of Microsoft anyways, and has a WP7 so has more functionality than the rest of us!) The immediate feeling of seeing the new look straight away looks to be pandering to all the misled saps who actually paid money for the Kinect (yes I’m cynical about the kinect, but the initial novelty was amusing).

But anyways going back to my point about the new dashboard look….I hate it. I bought the Xbox 360 back in 2007 as a GAMES CONSOLE. Why? So I could play GAMES on it. Is that such a hard idea to contemplate? But now the new dashboard has come in and blown this all out of the water. Why? Put it this way, I have to scroll to the right 4 times now just to get to the games section, bypassing through the Social, TV and Movie sections first. Personally I don’t care for watching movies and tv on my Xbox because I have Sky and even before I had that I had Freeview, plus I’m not going to use On-Demand television anyways. I turn on my Xbox for one reason only, to play games, and in order to have a look at my games library, like all the Xbox Live Arcade titles I’ve downloaded I have to scroll sideways four times to get to it. Even then when you look in your library the default is ALL the games. They’ve axed the filter as the default choice and it took me about half a minute to find the filter eventually. The dashboard also has added Bing, which as search engines go is bloody atrocious. I don’t even use Bing if I’m on my PC or laptop. Why? Because it’s arse, that’s why. Plus what’s with all the advertising? Considering that we actually PAY for Xbox Live, throwing advertising in the initial dashboard is just criminal.

The social aspect is now totally crap. Before I could casually scroll to the option of My Friends, and there I can see everyone online. Now it only shows 3 people which, if you actually have more than 3 friends as I do, chops the rest of them off. This is totally shit and the beacons is totally misleading. So far even beacon I’ve seen flash up on my screen alerts me that someone wants to play a game, and then you look on what they’re playing and it’s totally different, making me question what actually is the point.

Connection problems are rife now with this new update and since then hosting or joining parties is bordering on Anger Management classes as personally, I have had really bad dropouts whilst gaming. Ever since I got Saints Row 3 I never had a problem playing co-op online, but since the update connection has been pretty poor, terminating parties and game sessions by randomly dropping out of Xbox Live and sporadically killing connection. Before you say it’s my router, I have never experienced this since I’ve had the Sky Router and in all honesty I’ve had a 100% connection rate since I’ve had it. It just feels that since the update, the connection is whimsical and flaky, also experiencing crackly voice chat when previously I’ve not experienced this.

If I am honest, I think the only thing I like is the new Apps section, and finally after trailing for months behing the PS3 for not having YouTube on your console, this is now possible with the YouTube app, although it takes ages navigating the GUI for it.

My final point is that for the rest of us gamers who own Xboxes have them to play games on, and possibly against each other. This update is compulsory and has thrown all of us out of kilter, making me think that why couldn’t this update have been optional? For people who do want to turn a gaming console into a multimedia box, or people with a kinect who are too lazy to use the control pad next to them. Sure, I can see how that would benefit them, but those people are in the minority, the rest of us who can’t afford an overpriced motion camera probably won’t want this stupid dashboard.

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