If you popped the No-Doze and stuck it out until 5AM ET last night, you probably managed to get your mitts on Microsoft's New Xbox Experience. If not, it's available as I type this. I've had it for a couple weeks now (see my review, parts one and two) and can't complain. It's not the second coming, but it's free, it looks great, and if it were a car, I'm sure it'd have that new car smell.
The only quibble I have is that the newly integrated Netflix service is region locked, so yours truly, sitting here in rainy Oxford, UK, can't download or stream a blooming thing. I'm not the only one annoyed, either. Not that I'm surprised about that, or that there's really anyone to blame. Might as well grump about the fact that I can't buy movies or console games this side of the pond.
According to VentureBeat, the Netflix service may have launched with a few hitches this morning. "It appears that no one has been able to activate the Netflix 'Watch Instantly' function on the Xbox for the past few hours," writes MG Siegler. I had a look at the Twitter search link offered and it seems to be working AOK at this point, so maybe we're talking typical startup temporary overload.
Lots of celebratory comments popping up right now, too.
"Streaming Netflix movies on the new Xbox 360 experience might be my most favorite thing ever," says one user.
"Holy crap! Netflix HD Streaming on XBOX is AMAZING! Goodbye DVDs (and ForGET Blue-Ray)," writes another.
A third user is slightly more cautious: "The selection of HD movies along with SD movies is limited, but it's still an excellent extra if you have Netflix and Xbox."
I still see a few "not activating" comments as I drill further back, so don't be surprised if things don't go swimmingly when you first load up. If it makes you feel any better, just remember at least you'll eventually get it up and running, something I'll have to settle for being extremely envious of here.