While the New Xbox Experience adds all sorts of great new functionality – high-definition Netflix movies; Avatars; a group-chat party system – there is one feature that it's missing: automatic downloads. "What the crap is automatic downloads?" you blurt out. Well, we're glad you asked, Mr. Inappropriate Screaming guy. Automatic downloads were part of an earlier Xbox 360 Dashboard update, which allowed you to opt-in to receive an "automatic download" of every new Xbox Live Arcade title that launched, in trial mode. But the Xbox gurus in Redmond stripped it from the NXE, even teasing MTV by asking, "You actually use that?"
Well, yes, MTV's Stephen Totilo did, and he wants to know if you're going to miss automatic downloads as much as he is. Our best guess into the culprit behind this whodunit: Xbox Live Arcade's currently worthless "conversion rate" metric. You see, if everyone downloads demos automatically, regardless of whether or not they have any interest whatsoever in playing (and then purchasing) the game, one of Microsoft's (and the digital distribution market's) greatest metrics is rendered worthless. Microsoft doesn't really know how many people are converting its trial games into full games ... well, not yet anyhow.
The New Xbox Experience launches globally on November 19.