Ideal Xbox 360 dashboard updates
Today is August 11th, a day which many Xbox 360 owners have anticipated for quite some time. This is because at this years Microsoft E3 conference they revealed a new Dashboard update with rather cool features like Facebook, Last.FM and Twitter, but now that the big day is finally upon us… none of those features are being included. At least not yet.
What we are getting today includes a Netflix update (you can have ‘movie parties’ complete with virtual popcorn among other things and the Games on Demand service which allows you to download full Xbox and Xbox 360 games to keep forever. There’s also a new avatar marketplace where you can buy clothes for your avatar, if you’re an idiot or have literally nothing better to do with you Microsoft Points. There are also a few navigational changes, minor tweaks and other uninteresting features with little benefit to the user, but unfortunately no Twitter, no Facebook and no Last.FM. The latter two features were the ones I was looking forward to, and with a release date not for some time (no exact date either) I’m a little annoyed that today’s update contains nothing I care about.
Despite the disappointment that got me to thinking. What updates would be ideal to the dashboard? What would be some brilliant features that would get the community buzzing (for better or worse)?
Free multiplayer for all users.
As an Xbox Live Silver member the first thing that comes to mind is free multiplayer for all users. Personally I have no desire to spend £30 a year on a service full of cheaters, scammers and racist pre-teen children, but a better reason is because Nintendo and Sony offer free online services to everyone. Combine that with free online gaming for the PC (barring MMORPGs of course) and that leaves the 360 as the only modern game-capable machine that forces you to pay a monthly fee to play any game online. I still think a much cheaper subscription service could be used for things like exclusive downloadable content, early demos and other perks, but overall there really is no reason for Microsoft to be charging for a service that its competitors offer for free.
Removing Gamerscore data from any game at any time
Currently You can only remove game data of a game that doesn’t have any Gamerscore points on it. At the moment it’s particularly annoying if you rent a game and only earn 5 points, because you’re stuck with that score forever regardless of whether you ever play the game again or not. An ideal update for me would be to have the ability to remove any game data at any time regardless of the score you’ve accumulated.
More interaction between Microsoft and the players
A good example of what I mean here is having things like weekly polls so game developers and Microsoft themselves know what people want and how they feel about certain subject matters. We could also vote on things like which XBLA games we’d like to see in the future and how we feel about various features.
Rewards for completing games
I’ve always thought getting 1000/1000 Gamerpoints in a game is satisfying, but I’d like to be rewarded for accomplishing this feat. Unlockable clothing for your avatar based on the theme of the game you’ve completed is probably what I’d like to see more than anything, like a pair of boxing gloves for completing Fight Night or a pair of Air Jordan trainers for an NBA game for example. I think it would give people more incentive to aim for a perfect completion with this feature.
Achievements for original Xbox games
I might be asking for a little much with this, but I think somehow implementing achievements with original Xbox games would give a whole new lease of life to games people might not have played for years. Also while I’m on the subject of original Xbox games I’d like to see more originals on the Marketplace, the existing library is somewhat on the small side.
I think that’s about it. I like to think one or two of these ideas will one day make it onto my television screen but I’m not keeping my hopes up. Free multiplayer would be the big one for me but it’s also the most unlikely to happen, because as long as people willingly continue to pay for the service Microsoft will continue charging for it. At least there is Facebook, Last.FM and Twitter to look forward do, that’s a step in the right direction at least.