Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Xbox 360 feature requests

Ok, ok. Lots of Xbox 360 entires, I know. I just got the console last week, so cut me some slack!

After using the console a little over a week, I've got my own list of what I think the Xbox 360 needs to make it "the total package." Here goes:

1. An easy way to toggle between private and public chat. This may exist, but I haven't stumbled upon it yet. There needs to be an easy way to bounce back and forth between the public chat in the lobby of a live game (like PGR3) and a private chat that you're having with a friend at the same time. Chatting it up with people that you're racing is a fun part of live play, but it depends on the group. Even if the group isn't all the chatty, you may still have to say a few things (explaining the parameters of a race, for instance) without having to end your private conversation.

2. Background file downloads and a download queue. It's a real pain that you can't do other things while downloading a file. I understand that it may not be desirable to allow the user to play a game while downloading, but why not let that user continue to browse the Xbox Live Marketplace? Better yet, why not let me add a number of files to a download queue? When I'm finished browsing, I could download everything at once.

3. How about RSS with enclosures? Let's enable podcasting and "video-casting" (hey, this site is called Neologies) support. Microsoft has the potential to reel in a lot of non-gamers (or just increase the "spouse acceptance factor," or SAF) with its movie trailer section, but my fiance doesn't want to sit and watch a progress bar all evening. Why not implement some sort of opt-in mechanism to check for syndicated content on a set schedule? If we only had the technology. Imagine a world where you could power up your console to find your new trailers (or other media) ready for your perusal.

4. Add the ability to play/stream anything to my Xbox. This is probably a long shot, but let me stream content encoded in something other than WMV, WMA, MP3 or MPG-1/2 (see Microsoft's FAQ) from my Media Center. DivX or AAC anyone?

5. Tweak the navigation. This is minor, but how about improving the menu system a bit? It's already a pretty efficient system, but some minor changes could go a long way. For instance, how come it takes three button presses (or more) to watch a video I just downloaded? Why can't I jump straight to my gamer card after downloading a gamer picture? It's not as bad as PGR3's menu system, but it could be better. A search feature in the Xbox Live Marketplace would be helpful, as would a customizable short-cut screen a-la a Motorola cell phone. Again, these are nit-picks, so don't jump down my throat.

Please be aware that I'm making these comments in the interest of making the console better. I am in no way implying that the Xbox 360 is not a good system. In fact, I think that it's a great system. Please try to take another perspective: If you were Microsoft, wouldn't you want to know what people thought so that you could make the best console possible?

Am I missing anything? Please post your ideas and comments below.

Oh yeah, feel free to drop me a message or game invite:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

they need to have youtube on it

Sun Oct 17, 04:50:00 PM PDT  

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