The New Xbox 360 Experience In-depth Review

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Navigation: Video Marketplace and Other Options

Video Marketplace - The Video Marketplace, the new home to Netflix, also has a movie database of rentable or preview-able content.

We’ll go into Netflix later on, so for now let’s check out the other content in the Video Marketplace. The James Bond films option seemed intriguing, and upon entry you are greeted with both a James Bond theme and the option to rent in SD or HD any of the James Bond movies up to Casino Royale. Unfortunately, the movies can only be viewed alphabetically, no options to organize by release date exists, so you’ll have to use external resources to find the order of releases easily.

Picture quality for an SD preview was a little better than streaming Netflix, but definitely softer than even a cheap upconverting DVD player. Control was the same as it was in the old Xbox menu, with a straightforward, simple interface scheme.

An SD rental is 240 Microsoft Points for a 480p video with a file size of 1.5 GB. HD is 360 Points, with a file size of 5.4 GB. In order to play, a brief buffering occurs before the movie starts to stream if you want it to play instantly. You can, however, download the movie and it is available for the next 14 days. After you hit play it is available for 24 hours. While I didn’t try out a full movie, the HD version of the preview started instantly and played without a hitch. Messing around with navigation was very easy and straightforward.

The other vertical options are:
  • Spotlight – a mix of options.  The spotlight is what’s ‘interesting’ at the time.  The spotlight feature for us consisted of a couple game demos, a movie, information about our avatar, how to personalize our experience, and a couple other random options.
  • Friends – Each friend online is displayed first. Everyone is shown with his gamer tag, avatar, and some sort of Xbox related icon or structure behind him.
  • Inside Xbox – Takes you to Microsoft related events and information
  • Events – Shows all scheduled events related to the 360. Some include a ‘community Guitar Hero World Tour Party and a ‘GamerchiX Ladies Night’ for Gears of War 2.
  • Welcome – Welcome helps you become acquainted with getting around the Dashboard and can be removed whenever you’d like. It is the only folder that you can modify.


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