NXE is here – and my kids are loving the Avatars

Most of you know that aside from my vocational passion around Data Protection and Storage Solutions for Windows servers … my vice is video gaming, particularly with my family.  And in that vein, the kind folks at xbox.com have been letting me co-write about family games as XBOX DAD..

If you own an Xbox 360, you’ve hopefully heard about the NXE – New Xbox Experience, that among other things offers ‘Avatars‘. 

Avatars are caricatures of you as a gamer (or what you would like to be seen as) — which not only appear on your console, but can be your gamer-picture, and even visible on all of your friends’ Xbox consoles during their playlists.


Originally, I thought that that was the coolest feature — so I could finally ‘see’ what some of my online friends look like. 

But, after my kids saw my avatar and immediately screamed “Daddy is in the Xbox !!!  How did you do that?!?” … we spent a good amount of time playing with getting each member of our family to be exactly correct in our avatar — I was a beta tester for the NXE, so my kids have been playing with it for a while. 


I am sure that the official Xbox folks, as well as every other gamer authority, will be talking about all of the new capabilities of the NXE —

YES, NetFlix streaming video is very cool – and one more reason to have your Xbox on the best TV in the house

YES, creating a ‘party’ to connect with friends, even before the game starts is very slick

YES, the new menus give you a lot more information to help you to get more out of your Xbox360

YES, the friends list showing your friends’ avatars is both funny and informative to see what they are playing and how they’d like to be seen

YES, the list goes on and on…

… but as your friendly neighborhood Xbox Dad, one of the neatest things to me was watching my 7 and 4 year olds scroll through clothing choices and facial items to create themselves.  It really is that intuitive for a gamer kid, and they are fun to build. 

There are plans for providing ways to get additional content (marketplace?  in-game rewards?) for your avatar – which should provide surprises and/or bragging rights when your friends next see you in their console.


So, if you are reading this — quick, go power up your Xbox360, log in to with your Live account (silver or gold) and get ready for a new UI that really makes the difference between a ‘game console’ in your playroom and an ‘entertainment device’ that deserves to be the hub of your living room.

As always, thank you for reading …

New sign-in on Dashboard -- where you pick yourself
Me -- and me
The love of my life -- who when playing SCENE IT, has seen the beginnings of as many movies as me, and none of the endings
my NARUTO and VIVA PINATA expert
Master of everything LEGO (Star Wars, Indian Jones, and Batman) -- plus Sonic the HedgeHog
my favorite little helper for VIVA PINATA

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