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Details on New Xbox Experience, Avatars, Netflix, Primetime, et al

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Immediately following this morning's press conference, we got a chance to sit down with Xbox VP of Strategy and Business Development, Shane Kim, to pick his brain about the new Dashboard (called the "New Xbox Experience") and its various components, like the Netflix integration, Avatars, Party support, Primetime, and more.

  • You must be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber as well as a Netflix subscriber to use the new Netflix service
  • Similarly, anyone you share your movie with would also need to be an XBL and Netflix subscriber
  • Like Netflix's current streaming service, all content will be SD only for now. They could offer HD streams as soon as Netflix is ready to deliver
  • They're not looking to create a "Home-like" environment for your Avatars – that doesn't mean a third-party wouldn't be able to do that, however
  • You'll be able to keep your gamertag pics if you so choose, though they're encouraging everyone to transition to Avatars
  • Games can reward you with items for your Avatar (chainsaw, please!)
  • There will be no increase in the 100-friend cap on Xbox Live this Fall
  • There will not be any Group (think Facebook) or Clan support in this update – they're hoping the "Party" system will satisfy those requests (spoiler: it won't)

Lips, Primetime

  • They're not ready to discuss the availability of lyrics, beat charts, etc. for Lips when using your own music – sounds to us like they're going to charge for that content, but aren't saying how much
  • Not ready to discuss the business model for Xbox Live Primetime – subscription-based? Free with Gold? Per game purchase?
  • "Without being specific" prizes for Primetime will be similar to a television show (think: cash, a new car, etc.)
  • Primetime would be a "lightweight client" that would be "somewhat extensible" depending on what kind of content is being plugged in
  • It's "programmatic" so the experience will be programmed, but it won't necessarily occur during "primetime" viewing hours. It's just a name, people
Price cut
  • Kim wanted to be clear they're not trying to mislead people with the 20GB price cut. "We tried to be very clear about the [availability of the] 20GB and that a 60GB unit was coming." (Emphasis Kim's)
  • They have a timeline for when the 360 would be under $200 – the pricepoint where the majority of sales occur – but he wasn't talking, unsurprisingly
  • Though Kim wouldn't say definitely that there would be no further backwards compatibility updates, he did say they're not actively pursuing it and that it wouldn't be a part of the new Dashboard update. We just want Beyond Good & Evil to work, that's all ...

Gallery: New Xbox Experience | 18 Photos

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