It’s been quite a while since xbox.com had a major update and today sees the launch of the new version with a clean new look and a whole host of new features that our teams here at LIVE engagement have been working on.
There are a whole great new set of features, my favorites are below… note that some of these are not available in non-LIVE locales.
Avatars are no longer just for the console but are escaping out onto the web and Windows Phone 7. With the new Avatar Editor you can create your own avatar or modify your existing one with a new easy-to-use interface from your browser.
The new Avatar Marketplace lets you search and find cool items for your avatar to wear and try them on right-there in the search pages. Head on in either by game or by lifestyle (brands) (click the little grid icon to see sub-brands such as your own university’s sports team!).
Because these guys are 3D animated they require Silverlight to be installed on your machine (the streaming videos on xbox.com also require it)
2. Marketplace search & results
A brand new search function means we get much better results than before, fuzzy matching and some dynamic filtering options that appear on the left-hand side letting you dig down into family friendly games (e.g. by game ratings).
Another cool use is to search for your favorite band and see what tracks and packs they have available. Then head to the game filter on the left to see only the ones that work with your game (e.g. Rock Band, Guitar Hero, Dance Central etc!)
When you visit the product detail page it now shows the images and streaming video inline (goodbye popups) as well as game add-ons showing which games they work with – useful for those music track packs!
3. Hand-picked promotions
Our content teams can now put together collections of themed hand-picked games, add-ons etc. that you can you filter, sort and explore from such as the new
Kinect games (gone) or family-friendly fun (gone).
Gold and family gold members should keep an eye out for Gold exclusive offers or pricing!
4. Streamlined account creation
It’s now easier-than-ever to sign up for a free Xbox live account. Less questions, less steps and we’ll give you a randomly-generated gamertag you can change for free later when you’ve had chance to decide on the perfect name for your game-playing alter-ego. (We’ve seen some fun auto-generated ones during the development cycle including FirmJunk,
5. Compare games with your friends
Okay, you could compare games before but the new UI is better and there’s a cool hidden feature that lets you compare against multiple people at the same time.
To do this head into My Xbox’s Game Center and choose a friend to compare with. Now, notice the url at the top of the page? Put a comma after it and another gamertag to see three… or another comma and a gamertag to see all four (the maximum) side-by-side.
6. Family center
New with this update is the
Gold Family Pack (discontinued) which lets you get four gold subscriptions for $99 a year and lots of cool family features including play time reports, gifting points, allowances etc.
There are a whole host of extra features to be seen at xbox.com including mobile-to-web gaming, improved messaging, simplified UI etc. so go check them out!