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The general idea of the 360's interface is as awesome as it is modern. In practice though, the way every section presents itself makes it easy for content to get lost in the shuffle. The main problem is that when you're in the Arcade section, your attention is on one game. How can Microsoft advertise features or even show you important information when each page is very obviously dedicated to one item at a time? Of course, I know Shadow Complex is out and one of the best arcade games ever, but how is Joe Gamer supposed to discover it? Especially since it's a older title. Why is the link to Netflix overshadowing the stand-alone movies on the video marketplace? The 360 does have a highest rated game section, but hey can do better to showcase their titles.
The entire dashboard is a mess and fails at displaying vital information to the user. It's easy to miss content for those that don't follow games as much as we do, and even easy to miss out on basic Xbox features. Each game's specific page on the marketplace should actually have some decent-quality screenshots and steaming trailers as well. I'm a big believer that a machine is as good as its interface. I really enjoy the dashboard, but Microsoft can communicate with the consumer a lot better. Oh, and how about a calender to show new retail and XBLA releases somewhere... just saying.
If my job at GameStop taught me anything it's that the average consumer doesn't know what the fuck their console is even capable of. You would be surprised at how many conversations I had with people buying Rock Band and telling them about how they can buy more songs via Xbox Live and they're shocked. A lot of my customers didn't know about Netflix, the ability to hook-up your iPod, Last fm, or even DVD playback! I actually recently learned about Xbox 101, but it's so buried in menus to the point that if someone actually found these tutorials they probably know all about the 360's functionality.
I have a bad habit of getting into text message conversations while playing games. Why can't I just have a chat window on the screen? Or even a lobby on the dashboard that allows voice and text chat?
Here's the big one. If PC games can instantaneously switch between keyboard and 360 controller, why not have that functionality on a console? A big argument against this is that different forms of control will throw off game balancing. Well, why not have specific game lobbies for different control schemes?
With this functionality, I would've actually bought some strategy games for my 360. There's nothing wrong with giving consumers more options. It's cool that FFXI allows you to use Keyboard and mouse, but that's about it.
Here's the big one. I'm eager to ditch the bookcase of games that's taking up space. Lets download some games day and date with retail release. The staff said they were given Crackdown 2 through a download code. So it's possible, we also have the space to do it. I'd imagine Microsoft will do this with either a random title or a major title to test the waters. I honestly thought Crackdown 2 would be the perfect game to test this concept with, it's a impulse purchase game, the game itself isn't a huge file compared to others, and it showcases many LIVE features like co-op, competitive multiplayer, and DLC down the road. Not to mention that it's a sequel. However, Crackdown 2 isn't the type of game that would break midnight release records, so retailers wouldn't get pissed. Perfect game to try this with, but it didn't happen. I'm all about saving time, gas, and house space.
Explosions, Strippers, and Smoothies: Make them appear when and where ever I want them.