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Bastard Son Of The Wii And Cover Flow

Now, I'm not saying the whole Keep It Clean debacle doesn't deserve a couple thousand more words (which it surely will get) but I felt I couldn't let E3 week go by without comment on one of the announcements that Microsoft did feel was important enough to show-- namely, the impending renovation of the Xbox 360's dashboard interface in the fall of this year. Besides, I took a straw poll in HBO's irc server and this is the topic that won.Then words begin to fail me and I long instead to wax poetic about publishing deals and PR tactics.What to say, what to say...I wrote a review of the Aeon Flux theatrical film a few years back on my own personal blog, and as a fan of Peter Chung's original cartoons, I was extremely disappointed. I wrote at the time that:

It is as if Paramount took a group of writers, locked them in a dark room with copies of the animated series, but gave them enough time to view only a small portion of them all, and then required them to write their notes about the series in crayon on the back of index cards. These index cards, out of order, were then handed to a completely different group of people, who then went on to make this film.

I can't help feeling that Microsoft has taken a team of interface designers, a Wii, and an Apple TV and done the same thing here. From the cartoony avatars you can see they're aware of the Wii. From the clean, white, sliding 3D interface you can tell they've seen an Apple TV, or at least Apple's Front Row program. Somehow, however, they either didn't quite grasp how or why those things worked and what was good about them, and managed to come up with something that bears only a passing resemblance to those two products, and are in the process of abandoning an interface that-- in classic Microsoft fashion-- after seven years has finally reached a "good enough" level of functionality.If I'm lucky enough to have anyone at Microsoft involved in this project reading at this moment, let me emphatically state: please do not do this. As a last resort, I'd exhort you to make this interface optional. I know this to be a fruitless request since making things options rarely solves anything. All I can say, though, is that if this is the interface the 360 will be using in the future then I can see myself using it a lot less, and at least putting my console back to booting from disc on startup and bypassing the dashboard as much as possible.If you haven't seen this thing yet, drop on over to GameTrailers, they have HD and SD versions of the walkthrough. Go ahead. I'll wait.  Click here for the complete text.