Xbox LIVE: New Xbox Experience


It’s a word. A fitting word. At least for the last 36 hours… over the last day and a half, I’ve been re-org’d, launched, re-launched, partied, liquored up, and chatted up. Not too bad, considering that today’s Xbox 360 Dashboard update is our biggest. …so far.

Want a look behind the curtain? I expect that Major Nelson will have something Inside Xbox before the end of the week… true, there’s almost always following him in the cafeteria, but he usually doesn’t wear a velvet smoking jacket while filming. At least not on camera… Anyway, until his clip is released, I can tell you what the NXE experience has meant to me…

New Xbox Experience… what can I say about NXE that hasn’t already been said? The truth is that my team has been busy getting some Xbox LIVE related tech into Gears of War 2, Banjo-Kazooie, and Lips. Sure, we’ve helped out with NXE when we could, particularly in the form of Alphas, Betas, bug regression, and general prototyping for future stuffs but for the most part, we’ve been focused on our own customers and features. While our customers have been great, our features have been a lot of work: photo upload in Gears, photo, blueprint, and replay sharing in Banjo, and nearly everything online-related in Lips – it’s been a busy 12 months.

Having said that, my immediate org went through a re-org yesterday… am I hiring (again)? Not quite yet, but soon I hope: I’m in Xbox LIVE proper now, working in the Community & Games group. What does that mean? I’m not telling! At least not yet. Some people think it’s a bad thing to have the rug pulled out from under their feet – I tend to think of it as a chance to hover in midair. Sure, it doesn’t last for long – before your feet (or head) hit the ground – so I find that you have to appreciate the airy feeling while you can. My feet have since landed and ready to start running again: I’m already excited to start working with the heart of Xbox LIVE – a great adventure awaits!

I digress. Today is about NXE and the work that we’ve already done.

I went for coffee today… ordered an Iced Venti Vanilla Latte(TM) at Starbucks. Cashier says to me “Whoa… dude, I totally downloaded the new Dashboard today! It just RULES.” Me: ‘Errr?’ until I realized I was wearing my Xbox LIVE keeper jersey… this is how the day has been: Xbox LIVE is being celebrated all over campus today… after I got my coffee, I went to the Launch Party at work.

From that, I got these:

The Xbox sphere as an ice sculpture that you poured champaign through was a nice touch. At least I thought so. Made for a rather warm and fuzzy morning, to say the least. All the while, the count of people creating Avatars was updated every other second it seem, skyrocketing upwards…

Something else I picked up at the part that is very, very neat:

Sans Gamerscore points, but to me, it’s a Ship It that’s just… insanely awesome. It’s joined by the NXE watermark that’s in my Xbox profile – it’s one of the reasons why we all work at Xbox, to be honest. One of the reasons – the fact that we’re able to hand deliver new software to millions of users during one night is… well, to be blunt – and sentimental – it’s magical experience.

The chatted up part? *g* That’s another story for another time – this is about the culmination of a ship cycle. And right now, I want to bask in the afterglow of NXE and our Titles shipping. You know, before we start planning for 2009… which is right around the corner… uh, maybe it’ll be a short basking break.

There’s a lot of work that needs doing… Jump in.

4 thoughts on “Xbox LIVE: New Xbox Experience”

  1. It seems like kind of a mess to rent those movies, I would have to run back to my computer just to do it. I will just stick to pirating them and streaming them with the Xbox instead :P

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