After spending some time with the "New Xbox Experience" last night, I'm not entirely sure that I'm sold on the new layout.
I like some of the new features that came with it, like the ability to party up with friends, or the cool new Netflix integration, but I'm just not that happy on the pseudo prettied up version of the Windows Media Extender that they've done.
Have no doubt my friends, this is definitely a gussied up version of the Windows Media extender, it's just spaced out a bit more. I've had nothing with bad luck trying to navigate the media extender, and it's really not my style of interface compared to the old blade system they had in place on the 360.
I find it really odd that they went for the low rez approach that the Wii did on their avatars, despite the firepower that the xbox has. I mean, the face customization options were a blatant ripoff of the Mii's that Nintendo gives you, I mean, couldn't they have at least attempted to do something a little more original and XBOX looking? The avatars in the Home are distinct on their own without blatantly copying the Mii, why not Xbox's?
I do like seeing my friends avatars all standing around when they are playing their games though, it's pretty neat. I think its hard to figure out who is online though, at a glance.
What really boggled my mind was the new usage of the Xbox Button. I don't get the super small, grey window they bring up to do all of your quick commands. It's too small, and looks incredibly bland compared to the rest of the interface. It just seems out of place, and perhaps rushed. It certainly doesn't have the clean look that it used to have, and is definitely a step backwards in terms of aesthetics, and quite possibly, functionality.
I'm sure i'll get used to the change, but for now I'm not as thrilled as I hoped I would be with the new direction they are going with this. It's too bad that I don't get an option to choose between the two modes either, I'm stuck with their decision, when I bought into another interface a couple years ago and have grown to be quite fond of it.