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Next-gen user experience

by Brandon on November 27th, 2005

If one thing about the Xbox 360 has impressed me more than anything, it’s the way the team completely nailed the User Experience.

Chris posted one example of what I mean.

Here are some other details. Some big, some small, but all important to the experience.

  • Insanely simple set-up of the console. I hate to say it, but it actually reminded me of when I saw someone set up a new iMac.
  • Insanely simple set-up of Xbox Live. Apparently this depends on whether your account is already tied with a Passport account. Mine was. All I had to do was enter my Passport address and password, and I was good to go. Awesome.
  • Wireless Controllers. This includes the excellent “Ring Of Light” system for telling which controller is connected to which “port.”
  • You can turn on the console on and off from the controller. Or from my Media Center remote. Or from my Logitech “Harmony” universal remote.
  • You can download trials for games, including a trial for every Live Arcade game .
  • The simple SDTV/HDTV switch which solves umpteen hundred compatibility issues in a stupid simple way.
  • Super slick connectivity with Windows XP computers or Media Center systems.
  • A “common file dialog” when you need to save a game – so ALL games save to the HDD or memory unit through the same familiar mechanism, which shows up as a “blade” that slides out the side of the screen.
  • A common text-entry interface that all games use.
  • Xbox Live Arcade. It’s just amazing.

And those are just what I can think of off the top of my head. As I first used the system I just kept thinking to myself, “They get it. They really, truly get it.”

I’ll write more about the games themselves later on. For now I’ll just tell you that, as my gamercard reports, most of my time is being spent in Kameo and Geometry Wars. Do not underestimate its addictiveness!

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