At around 4am this morning (yes, I was up then), the new NXE update went live. The new update allows XBox Live members to directly download select XBox360 titles to their systems, stream movies from Netflix to your party, and a few small little features and tweaks to try to improve XBox Live. Though probably the most notable new feature is the addition of the Avatar Marketplace, which allows users to purchase clothing and accessories for their existing Avatars.
The Netflix addition - while I haven’t tried it yet - is going to be cool; at least, I can assume it will be cool since I have previous experience with streaming movies to watch with a group. I’m looking very forward to just getting bored one day and renting a bunch of crappy movies for my friends and I to sit there and just make fun of.
Downloading games straight to my system is kind of cool I guess. It will be helpful for anyone with the harddrive space who is having trouble locating a title. Though I can only hope that the support of the downloadable games is solid unlike their “Original XBox” Library that they seemed to have forgotten about not long after it came out…
As for the Avatar Marketplace, it’s definitely brings split feelings. The clothing and accessory collection is pretty damn cool. I was highly pleased to see the support of it on its first day, including the armor sets that even the women could use. (I won’t lie, for awhile I was afraid that the female clothing options were going to get half assed.) Naturally where the concern comes in is the fact that there’s a price to pay.
It’s already happening; the controversy for paying for avatar clothing has already begun. To simply put it…Yes, it does suck that you still have to pay for the clothing, even when you’re already paying for a Gold subscription…Yes, most of it is over priced. (Seriously, $5 for the Lightsaber…?) But needless to say that even though my logical side of me was calling me a dumbass, I still purchased a few things. (Two Steampunk shirts, the Sam Fisher outfit in my picture above, a hat…)
The way I look at it is, the avatar clothing is a great way to spend extra points. You see, for about five months now…I’ve had like 400 Microsoft points just sitting around. I bought a points card, I still had points left over and even when I purchased points directly from my system in small increments, those extra points gradually started to add up. I never had enough for a full game and I don’t really want to pay for a GamerPicture pack of a theme. At least with the avatar clothing, I can get something - even if its just a virtual shirt for my virtual character - over just having those points sit there.
Needless to say, buying stuff for your avatar is like buying accessories for an action figure or a set of stickers to put on your binder for school or a poster for your room. It’s just a small little thing that you can express yourself and make yourself more of an individual. I know what I consider “reasonable” price wise and I know that I will get my few bucks worth from it just because of the people I hang around with. So, I don’t have a huge problem with paying for some of it.
The bottom line though is that no one says you have buy any of the clothing. If you feel its not worth it, then don’t get it. It’s as simple as that. It’s a cool feature…Sucks you have to pay for it…But hey, it has potential.