Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Breathe ......... Breathe

Microsoft released a major update to the Xbox dashboard.  There is a lot of misdirected gamer rage floating around the internet.  We are going to take this opportunity to clear some things up.

The update was originally scheduled to be released in the early morning hours on Tuesday.  After some unexpected delays, the download wasn't available until Tuesday night between 9 and 10 PM depending on where you live.  We all quickly found out why they don't release major software updates in the evening.  During the peak hours of Xbox usage, the download was accessed by so many people that it clogged up LIVE.  But rest easy, an hour or so later, most people were able to connect and successfully complete the download.  Those that weren't, could certainly do so this morning.

Some people (myself included) downloaded the update successfully, but were unable to sign in to LIVE or certain aspects of LIVE like Netflix or Zune.  Most of these problems have been resolved and continue to improve throughout the day.  There are still hiccups here and there, but the Xbox team is working on it.

And lastly, the aestetics of the dashboard have changed.  Times like this are an unfriendly reminder that people freak out when something familiar changes.  Remember the dozen times that Facebook has changed?  Every time the layout was played with, people totally lost their minds and went on profanity laced rants only to soon forget what the previous layout even looked like.  I expect that this is a similar situation for the Xbox dashboard.  I personally like the new look.  There is no more scrolling up and down to see your categories, almost all of them are visible from the main screen.  Plus, you can now control everything using the Kinect.

Here's a picture of the "old" dashboard.  In a month you'll have forgotten what this even looked like.
As for comments about "fixing things that aren't broken", remember that this is all going to be much bigger.  In the very near future, Xbox will have the ability to stream television and cable programming in addition to several other advances.  Microsoft made the decision to roll out these changes in steps; instead of one monster download/update, it is split up.  They are setting the foundation for even bigger changes next in line.  In my opinion, this seems like a great idea.  I would be lying if I said my Xbox didn't struggle a little as the update was installing.  I can only guess the damage that might have been done if they performed every change at once.

The lesson here is to relax.  The kinks in the network will be fixed and people will grow to love the new dashboard just like they did the last time it changed.  If you need more up to the minute information, I highly recommend that you follow Major Nelson on Twitter, @majornelson.  And while you are over there, hit up @achievos.

And an added highlight for one Achievos out there: We have a winner for our Fruit Ninja giveaway.  ModernDruid (Alex K.) you have won a full download of Fruit Ninja for Xbox Live Arcade!  Please email us at achievos @ to receive your code.  Thank you everyone for your comments.  Stay tuned for another giveaway coming soon.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

I feel super lame that I knew nothing about this until right now because I haven't logged into XBox since before Thanksgiving. Fail me. But thanks for letting me know that I need to!