After I got into the NXE preview on the 30th, I got the actual update last night (October 31st). In Germany the New Xbox Experience (NXE) is called “Neue Xbox Erlebnis”. The Update took about 5 minutes (on 16 MBit/s down) and went flawlessly. After the update is completed you’ll see a flashy trailer for the NXE.
The first step in the new dashboard is to create your own avatar. While some of the essential choices are pretty good, there’s currently a lack of clothing to put on. I guess this will change until November 19th, when the NXE is officially available and I’m sure third party developers will be able to offer their stuff. I hope there’ll be a way to import your own creations in some way. (And no, I didn’t settle for the pimp to the left.)
One of my most anticipated things is the ability to install games onto your harddrive. This results in faster loading times and a much quieter experience because that noisy DVD drive doesn’t need to spin up. Since this behaviour alone would open all doors to piracy you’ll still need to have the actual disc in the drive. The installation of PGR4 (6.1 GB) took about 5 to 10 minutes. I guess I need to get the very expensive 120 GByte drive now. 🙁
One thing I noticed while trying to play videos through Connect360 on my Mac, which still works without a problem after the update, was the fact that I needed to redownload the optional AAC/iPod/Quicktime update. I had installed this before but decided to give it a try by downloading it again. Now, HD content from CNet or Revision3 plays flawless. So if you’re having problems with this, just download this component again. Don’t know if this was the same with the old dashboard, but if I remember correctly it didn’t work for me the last time I tried this. But maybe the encoding of the videos has also changed since then.
Gear Live has a nice 20 minute walkthrough of the New Xbox Experience: