A Tour of the New Xbox Dot Com Experince

The new Xbox dot com as earlier reported was going to receive a makeover today, and what a makeover it got. Microsoft left virtually no stone left unturned as almost every page has been changed on their site. An improved My Xbox section, easier ways to get information on your subscription and even a way to edit avatars are all new features being added. For a complete breakdown on the new site, hit the break for pretty pictures and some of my corny jokes too.

The new main page layout has been really simplifed, giving it a touch of Kinect, but also bleaching the home page with colors of white.

As soon as you sign onto the main page, you will now be able to see how many friends you have online, your amount of un-read messages, your Microsoft Point balance and your gamerscore.

The Marketplace section has also been updated, showing a more crisp and clean feel to the older super green interface. Deal of the Week are now easy to find on this version of the site, and as you can see, this week’s deal is BFBC2’s DLC.

This is the ‘My Account’ page where you can do everything from changing your password, to changing on-file credit cards, to removing on-file credits cards, and changing Xbox Live memberships. One the right, you’ll see information about your account in a quick little view. Your MSP collection, and a renewal/end date for your current Xbox Live membership. It will also show you which credit card you have on file, but only showing the last 4 numbers as it’s regular practice to do so, but I edited that out just for fun.

The new friend center is also a welcome upgrade to the old list. This list, although much more space consuming, gives more options per friend, which cuts down on the amount of windows I need to open to send a message, or check up on people who are close to my gamerscore. I don’t actually do that (I really do) but for people that want to, and hated the old flash box pop-up this is a welcome change to speed along the process.

The message center gets the same treatment as the friends list, with quick links top everything you may need, and even way’s to separate messages from requests, just in case your like super-popular. As you can see, no one ever leaves me notes when I’m sleeping.

The profile page, in this case my awesome one, has been improved to show off the greater and more important things in life. Like my last three played games with their box art, their achievements (like how I tore through Medal of Honor), and what I’m playing right now (Fallout: New Vegas is teasing me in the background). Here you have quick links to edit your profile, view your games, and edit your avatar which brings us to our last section.

With the ability to change your avatar on the go, this new Xbox.com really has everything you need to be away from your Xbox 360 for a little while. Here you can change your Avatar and customize it with not only default clothes, but also stuff that you’ve unlocked and purchased. How about them Reach helmets baby. My avatar is also smelling the sweet greatness that is his closet of awesome threads. Just saying.

With some simple changes that obviously went a long way, I’m a big fan of the new website. Anything that can make it easier for me to do what I have to do is great, but the design team for this went up and beyond doing things like the avatar editor (which has music playing similar to the dashboard) and web-based mini-games, even though I wasn’t able to find those. The message center and friends list are a big plus, and the super simple color scheme is extremely welcoming, especially early in the morning. Which reminds me, where’d I leave my OJ?

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Chris Guzman

An avid gamer since birth, I consider myself a new-age gamer. My first system was the N64, but the first system I really cared about was my Xbox Original. I'm a computer science major in college, and spend all my money on games, and stuff I don't need. I've never played Zelda or many Mario games in my youth. I'm also a huge sports fan, and a chick flick lover. My favorite games include Gears of War, Halo, Fallout, GTA, Mass Effect, and Metal Gear Solid.

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