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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

X-Box 360 11/17/2009 Feature Update

As I have commented soon after its E3 announcement, the so-called major update that introduce Twitter, Facebook, Zune, and last.fm integration with the X-Box 360 dashboard is as dull as it sounds. Out of all of these four, only last.fm is worth something but even that feature has its share of disappointment.

Let's first talk about Facebook - I didn't even bother downloading it to my dashboard. Why do I want my gaming experience cluttered by the nonsensical scribblings of attention whores that I mostly get when I was using Facebook? Facebook is a complete waste of time and I only used it very briefly at the beginning of this year after the constant nudging from a good friend of mine. It's intrusive, sterile, and corporate. I rather use MySpace but then I would not inter-mingle it with my real-time gaming activities. [Update Note: It also doesn't help that the PlayStation 3 had rolled out their own Facebook implementation with the firmware 3.10 update on 11/18/2009 and the fact that the PS3 can always access Facebook via the web browser to begin with.] Then, we have Twitter.


This is supposed to be exciting?

That was the first and the last time that I would actually visit the Twitter page on the dashboard. I hardly tweet - I rather blog - and the only reason why I have a Twitter account is again because of a friend who wanted me to sign up so I can read his tweets. The funny thing is, he doesn't even tweet after I signed up. If I turn on my 360, I want to do some gaming and not type quick one liners to describe to everyone what I am doing presently. Doesn't our Live profiles already show people of our current console activities? Why do we have to write about them? Utter waste of time and space.

Having the ability watch 1080p movies via Zune is great but it's just another marketplace for you to spend money buying or renting digital movies. Dull. This one, like Facebook, requires an installation too and as soon as I noticed that there was no free 1080p movie to be found, I deleted the feature immediately.

Now last.fm is the only worthwhile thing that the recent update brought to us. After installing the software, you can browse a large number of artists and start listening to any particular genre of music you please. Here's where things go wrong: Unlike the website version that you can access for free via your Personal Computer, here you are only limited to the random play list presented after you have selected a certain "artist channel". On the PC, you can actually select specific tracks to listen to. On the 360, everything is streamed to you at random. Granted, you can skip a song if you happen to not like it to get to the songs and artists that you do want to listen to but it's a really tedious process.


The artist information page is a nice touch.


You get to see a picture slide show of the artist while the music is playing.
Poe is incredible and very underrated. This service is the polar opposite.

There you have it. An anti-climactic "overhaul" of the dashboard. It was dull when I first heard of the plan and it is certainly dull now. With the money they are generating from all of these partnerships, Microsoft should really be looking into making the Live service free. But we all know better - that's never going to happen.

1 comment:

Blake said...

Yeah, I don't get alot of these features. Facebook is the biggest joke. You see all these people describing all the things they are doing and everyone responding, "good for you", or " so sorry to hear".

Im so glad that you went to a party last night and had a great time with "SOME" people.

Unlike my Facebook messages, "Darryl is a poop farmer", or " Jesus stole my car, that bastard. He told me I could trust him".

Tweeting was stupid when I heard about it for the first time and its still that.

I've never heard the the .FM one. Sounds good, but then again, forcing people to not being able to choose what they want to listen too is a pain. Its like all these sites now that force you to watch the ads. Why can't we skip them now, was there a internet meeting about people skipping ads to get to the video?