What E3 2008 Has Told XBox 360 Owners

1. Hey, we love our Sony fanboys, but, uh… we can fit you XBox guys in too. Cough.

Final Fantasy XIII will be released on the XBox 360 concurrently with the PS3. That’s a big deal, and has got to put a little dampener on PS3 owners whose list of exclusive titles anyone cares about just dropped by 50%. Heck, I’ll even feel a twinge of betrayal playing a Final Fantasy title on a non-Sony platform.

Final Fantasy XIIIThere’s something that’ll make your console overheat.

Sure, I never quite beat FFX (I’m stuck on a part where fish keep killing me), and I’ve never gotten around to playing FFVII (It’s on my to-do list), but when you put achievements into the equation, I’ll wrap this thing up. It’s sick, I know. But one of the 360’s prominent weaknesses thus far has been the lack of quality traditional RPGs, and the Primo-Facto one coming to Microsoft’s console fits in nicely.

2. Dude, your dashboard is too colorful. Here, take this one that looks more like an Apple UI.

This fall’s big update will completely change the look of the Xbox 360’s dashboard, along with adding new functionality and features. It doesn’t look bad, but if I wanted a menu that looks like the top of a freshly polished MacBook Pro I would have bought a Wii.

New XBox 360 Dashboard

The original dashboard was always a bit cluttered, and the new one promises to be easier to navigate, but couldn’t the effect be achieved while maintaining a less aesthetically pleasing display? And… what happens to all those people who purchased themes? Like say, if I happened to purchase the “Fine Woods” theme about 2 years ago. And although I may regret those wasted points and haven’t used it since, will those beautiful mahogany patterns never be available to me again?

And how will an online-multiplayer version of 1 vs 100 work when everyone’s got search engine’s at their fingertips? I dunno.

But I haven’t been let down by the XBox Live experience as of date, so I have confidence these things will smooth out. The new dashboard and it’s Mii-like Avatars will also be more pervasive in the console experience itself, perhaps having more of an effect even on the users who choose to have their console “boot to disc”.

3. We kicked Bob Ross out of the QA department, they look better now.

The two most expensive toddler chew toys ever designed were these two controllers (released last year):

Bob Ross and his XBox Controllers

This isn’t an N64, Microsoft. I’ll be chainsawing aliens with an assault rifle using these controllers, and would prefer not to see anything that is neon baby blue while I’m doing it. E3 2008 included the announcement of two new limited edition controllers, a green one and a red one. The red one looks good, assisted by matte-black highlights. The green one is just green with the usual grey. So, a slight improvement… But have they fixed the D-Pad yet? Don’t think so.

4. Okay, so the camera actually does something again!

So we all had a great time playing Uno, graphing our faces on Rainbow Six avatars, and enjoying the great game that was Totemball. (Just kidding about that last one). Yet after that, what was the XBox live vision camera good for? It made the background of my dashboard wavy, yeah. That was it. But now we’re seeing games such as You’re in the Movies (releases this Fall) that look like they’re utilizing the camera in a way that isn’t just a gimmick.

5. Your future looks busy.

The 360 has a killer line up arriving in the next year. Gears of War 2 looks polished and epic, Fable II introduces social RPG elements never before seen, and Fallout 3 should at the very least be as awesome as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was. Halo-Wars will keep both RTS and Bungie fans quenched while Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts brings platforming back to where it was in the late 90’s, which is in no way a bad thing. These traditional A-List titles along with new additions (like Final Fantasy) as well as the new dashboard’s casual games and new media/entertainment options (like a partnership with Netflix) show that the XBox 360 owner’s horizons are broadening at a rapid pace. I hope the community and the support team can keep up.

One thought on “What E3 2008 Has Told XBox 360 Owners

  1. Jay Furly

    Don’t forget using the camera for occasionally awkwardly seeing someone naked. that’s what else it’s used for.

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