The new dashboard – NXE

The last few days I’ve been using the new Xbox 360 UI, and I like it. The live arcade games list loads instantly and you don’t have to endure the noise from the dvd-drive anymore, for games you’ve installed to the hd that is. Unfortunately I only have the 20Gb hd so I can only have one game installed, and upgrading to the 120Gb just feels too expensive. While reading Major Nelson’s blog I found out about a small improvement that’s neat, you can now delete all games from your profile with zero gamerscore. Nice!

Will be intersting to see what they’ll do with the avatars in games. 

It’s not perfect though. When logging in you have to enter the password twice unless you sign in via the guide and just after boot it’s a bit sluggish.

It’s back

It’s back, originally uploaded by appel.

Got my Xbox 360 back from repair today, took 10 days. I tried playing a few XBLA games using different accounts and had no problem so it seems they fixed instead of replacing it.

Haven’t noticed any reduction in noise level which is a little disappointing, but I guess I should be happy since it works and the noise isn’t worse.

First Bioshock crash

Just experienced my first crash in Bioshock. Apparently it’s not a good idea to take a photo of a little sister just after you’ve rescued her. 😉 Most likely that was just a coincidence, but now I have to replay quite a lot.

Why can’t I send a crash report from my Xbox 360 as is possible in Windows when applications missbehave?

Done playing Oblivion

Finished all the quests that give you achievements in Oblivion yesterday, and a lot more side quests along the way. I’ve been playing the game off and on since it came out with probably somewhere close to 300 hours total playtime. Sounds pretty crazy, but I sure got my moneys worth. 🙂

I skipped over most of the dungeons and ruins unless I had to enter them because of quests since they were so boring and repetitive. Also, since everything leveled with you all sense of progress was lost. What I did spend my time on was the quests and books in the game. I loved the Shivering Isles and Dark Brotherhood quests. The main quests that involved the gates to Oblivion were really boring though. There was nothing in Oblivion to discover, only lava and some really repetitive towers to climb.

Is Assualt Heroes Live! co-op still broken?

I never got around to calling support about co-op over Live! not working with Assualt Heroes, so I don’t know what would’ve come of that. I tried to play online today to see if this has been solved, but unfortunately no games I could join were found and no-one joined the ones I created.

The only news about it I’ve found is a post a Sierra employee made in their forum addressing this issue. Apparently they’ve known all along that the Live! support is broken. Shouldn’t customers be informed of this somehow? Preferably before they pay..

I’m sorry to say that a fix for this problem is still in the works, but we have been aware of this problem since day one. As far an official response to this issue, I’ve just posted it, although I’m afraid it won’t help alleviate any frustration that the community has.

No Live! with Assault Heroes?

Bought Assault Heroes on Live Arcade a couple of days ago and it’s a blast. Simple shoot’em’up that both plays and looks great.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get as much fun out of it as I’d like. Renewed my Live Gold account a few days ago and wanted to try playing Assault Heroes with a friend online. We managed to connect to each other just fine but after the loading was done the game got stuck on the waiting screen for both of us indefinitely. Same thing happens if I try a quick start with some random player.
When I e-mailed Microsoft’s Xbox support all I got was that I had to call them for them to be able to solve the issue, and when I did that they couldn’t help me at the call center either because they did not have the full version of the game available. Sounds somewhat weird to me. I’m supposed to try calling them again tomorrow, hopefully I’ll get a more helpfull answer then..

Gears of war

Managed to find time to play through Gears of war yesterday. Based on what I’ve experienced so far with the game it really deserves the praise it has received in reviews. The single player game is a blast with non-stop action all the way through. Nothing really revolutionary but just plain fun with some interesting game mechanics, great graphics, good controls and pretty well fleshed out game world.

The one negative thing about it I can think of is that it felt a bit short, possibly because I played it through on the easiest difficulty or because sometimes the story jumped ahead just a little bit too quickly sometimes leaving me scratching my head. Hopefully the sequels will improve on the story aspect of the game.

The single player game is just one part of the game though. But I haven’t tried multiplayer yet because my live gold account expired and I haven’t bothered to renew it. Playing games with British teenagers who only scream obscenities was no fun. A friend and I tried playing co-op splitscreen though, but that didn’t work all that great. It felt really cramped and it was really hard to get what was going on. Maybe my 32″ TV is too small for what they had in mind. It’s probably a lot better online.

Anyways, I’m really happy that I bought it and if I manage to renew my live gold account it and my live arcade games will probably keep me occupied until Mass Effect. 🙂

Fall Xbox 360 dashboard update

With the improvements made in the fall update I can finally say that I’m really happy about my Xbox 360 purchase. The update has fixed some things that has been nagging me now and then.

  • Lightning-fast enumeration and listing of all Xbox Live® Arcade games on the console.
  • Optionally disable notifications from Xbox Live while watching DVD movies.
  • Better handling of unreadable discs.
  • Added new page for viewing content size by category.

And added the one feature that I’ve really missed.

  • Stream WMV video from a Windows PC running Windows Media Player 11, Zune software, or Windows Media Connect.

With the streaming capability it now really is the media hub in my living room in addition to being a great gaming machine.

To be able to stream video to my Xbox 360 from my PC I currently convert my video to WMV I’m using VideoLAN and the batch file found here. I’ve added it to my SendTo menu for quick access. It’s not the fastest and most easy to use solution but it works, and once the transcoding is done the video player on the Xbox 360 works really well. Much easier to use than hooking up my laptop to the tv.

When TVersity supports on the fly transcoding to WMV I’ll probably use it as server instead of Windows Media Player 11 which should make things even easier to use.

Spring Xbox 360 dashboard update

Looks like the next update contains at least one feature, in addition to some user interface tweaks, I’ve wished for many times. The ability to download stuff from the live marketplace in the background.
The media system has also been changed but I have no idea how. I can’t for my life understand what ign is trying to describe.

Changes to the Media section might send little shivers of relief up your spine. Music is now seamlessly integrated into your dashboard to such a degree that you can now play the music of your choice while playing a game without fiddling around.

But I’ll find out soon enough, next week 🙂