Thursday, December 08, 2005

Xbox 360: Part II User Experience

One of the biggest complaints about the current Xbox user expereince is the controller (the orginal one was massive). Microsoft has made some major improvements. I had a chance to check one out at a local target and you can notice the difference. It's much smaller, and now has both triggers and buttons on the top of the controller. It seems light and just fits in your hand comfortably. They offer wireless controllers as well wired ones that connect via USB (allowing you to use them with a PC as well). Another nice feature is that the headsets connect to the controller so you don't have to worry about pulling your system off the shelf when you get up to get a drink.

Insider Quote:
"Many in the console game press are calling the Xbox 360 controller the "best controller ever," and once you use it, it's not hard to see why. Though in many ways traditional, it is simply one of the best-designed controllers ever. It's lightweight, comfortable, and very easy to hit all the right buttons at the right time without having to look down, or stretch and contort your hands uncomfortably."

Perhaps the coolest part of the user experience is Microsofts' on-line service Xbox live and its seamless integration. Unlike Sony, Microsoft has set up a standard on-line gateway for all of their games. In the new 360 you can access the main menu while in any game by pressing the center, raised-metal x button. As the quote mentioned in the previous post you can set up private voice chats with other users even if their playing a different game. Xbox Live also gives you access to the "Live Arcade" where you can play oldschool arcade games like Joust, SmashTV, and Gauntlet with other players on-line. Seriously, how fun would it be to play an on-line league game of Madden, then jump into an old school game of Gauntlet... I'm picking the Warrior Princess by the way.


  1. What was the system that had that new, stick-like controller that was motion sensitive and could be pointed at the screen..

  2. It's Nintendo's Revolution... check out this link. They've got a 3-D Java applet that lets you check out the controller, it takes a little while to load but its kinda cool. Also here's a video promo from ninentdo demo-ing how they think games will utilize the controller (google video link)