Well as you all know, August 11th marked the new 360 Dashboard update. We were promised many new shiny things such as Games on Demand, the avatar marketplace, an improved party system, user ratings.. and a whole bunch of other stuff. I was mildly excited.. I quite enjoy new updates. Unfortunately I haven’t noticed much of a change. A few things here and there have been a nice improvement, but overall it all seems a bit overrated. Maybe I just haven’t explored enough?

My first example being the avatar marketplace. Because I enjoy nothing more than dressing my virtual self up in pretty dresses or nothing but a raincoat, I was looking forward to the possibility of expanding my wardrobe. A lightsaber?! I can’t imagine anything better to complement Darth Telle’s attire! But wait.. 400 Microsoft Points? WHAT?? That’s half an arcade game! That’s £3.40 real money! For a lightsaber?! Well that’s disappointing. I’d rather spend my points on an arcade game. What makes a lightsaber (or Q-Tip (wtf btw)) for my avatar worth that much money? Will I be able to use it in a game? It won’t even show up on my profile page. So as far as I can tell, the new props are completely cool, and totally useless. The clothes and costumes as well, are incredibly cool (Splinter Cell outfit? Yes please!), but are all incredibly overpriced. I am fairly disappointed. Especially seen as no new free avatar clothing will be available.

However, I am greatly relieved by the improvements on the viewing of achievements! Not only does it now tell me how many games I’ve completed, it tells me my completion score! Yay! And in game it’s much easier to view what an achievement is, how much it’s worth and what I have to do to earn it. This is a massive improvement instead of just being a solid list in which I have to select each one and wait for it to load before I know what I’m aiming for. I found myself opening it to just to see all the pretty achievements I’ve won because it’s so much better! Well done Microsoft, it was about time you changed this. There is nothing better than browsing through all your hard-earned achievements and feeling pretty pleased with yourself.

But other than that, nothing else featured in the new update has really been much of a notice to me. I am impressed by what I’ve read on the party updates, but have yet to experience them in action. Partly because I’ve only been invited to parties since the update, and I also prefer quiet when I’m playing a game to concentrate on what I’m doing rather than chatting away (sorry guys, I’m not being rude)! From what I hear however it has been a much needed relief to those who do. What with the “one-click” invitation and automatic connection to those cut off from a party, sounds like it’s all been for the better. The Gold Veteran thing doesn’t really seem to do much either. I’ve seen a few people with 1 or 2 next to their gamertags (who claim it’s incorrect and have been members longer), but other than that I don’t get it. There are meant to be some perks to it, but they have yet to revealed. I don’t think I’ve been a paying Gold member for long enough to experience them yet.

Altogether I’m sure this update has been for the better. I won’t be using the services such as Netflix or Games on Demand, but I can definitely agree with the new achievement system. And the avatar marketplace IS cool. It’s just overpriced. If I’m going to get any new avatar clothes, it’ll be through unlocking them in a game (I’m holding out hope for an Ezio costume PLEASE). The most exciting updates I’m waiting for will be when we get Facebook and Twitter. I’m not an addict.. I’m a stalker. So they’ll be nice additions to the Dashboard I imagine. Thanks anyway Microsoft for trying to keep us satisfied. I still love you.

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  1. urologiccheese says :

    haha i gave mine pom poms 🙂 and i agree an ezio costume would be awesome 😀

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