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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Xbox Update

A new Xbox update rolled out sometime earlier today on October 23rd, 2012. The update has dramatically changed the look of the Xbox UI (user interface). While it still looks the same in some ways, other pices have changed such as the tile sizes. The biggest and most anticipated change has to be the new implementation of Internet Explorer into the Xbox experience that we've all come to know and love.

The Xbox Guide has changed a bit by removing the far left two pages and combing them into one page entitled "Games & Apps". The two pages merged into one with the same options as before.

A few name changes have also occurred where the music and video players' names have changed to "System Music Player" and "System Video Player" to distinguish a difference between them and Microsoft's Zune player. "Xbox Music" and "Xbox Video" have also been added that seem to take over what Zune had peviously been doing. In these areas, new UIs have been made with the same, recent feel of the Microsoft's original "Metro" design. Unfortunately, these two will take a minute to load unlike "System Music & Video Player".

I have yet to connect my Kinect to check out if the Kinect experience has changed.

Under the home tile, a new button has been added known as "My Pins". In here, you can "pin" your favorite apps for quick access without having to jump from tile to tile.

Internet Explorer will have to be downloaded (I think?) as it does not seem to be accessible at the moment. Upon trying to launch the app, (or what seems to be the app), the only options are to "pin", "rate", and a second slide for details about the app. When trying to search for the app in the app marketplace, the app is found but the same thing happens when trying to launch it. When trying to search the internet for something, an error message appears for me saying,

"Xbox LIVE
Sorry, there's a problem with the Xbox service. Try again later. For help with this problem, go to

Status code: 800700E8"

After downloading the Xbox system update, a notification appeared saying that Netflix had finished updating. I have opened up Netflix to see what changes may have taken place and none seem to pop out at the moment. The UI still looks the same as well as the way in which you move about the menus.

No other changes seem to be found at least on the surface. I'm sure that there's new code implemented in this update to prevent any sort of hacking as there usually is with these updates.

Personally, I preferred the original "Blades" version of the Xbox UI back when the Xbox 360 was first released as did many others. Xbox seems to have listened to us and given this which seems to be a mix of the two UIs into one. I like it but prefer the Blades more probably because of early memories more than anything.

What do you think of the changes? Have you been able to see any other differences? Did Internet Explorer run for you? What's it like? Which Xbox UI did you like the most?

Update 10/29/2012:
I've used Internet Explorer a bit and here's the link to that specific post where I talk about it briefly.

One change that I've also noticed is that Microsoft has changed the keyboard from being their original ABC keyboard to being QWERTY. Personally, I don't like the change, but I'll adjust to it eventually.

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