› Foros › Xbox 360 › General
Vrignaud was keen to point out that, by having the Xbox 360 Guide, a Microsoft-created application, available at all times, a great deal of work is cut out for potential Xbox 360 developers. In contrast, he noted, on the Xbox development teams had to code a notable amount of Xbox Live-specific work, for example with regard to the friends list, as well as deal with common problems to all Xbox games such as memory card access phraseology and checking for controllers being removed. In all, Vrignaud explained, these changes have reduced TCRs by about two-thirds for the Xbox 360.
Later in the lecture, it was also pointed out that the Guide screen can be graphically themed when playing a specific game and having the player switch to a Guide. As well as a 'skin' to make it appear less graphically jarring, there's also the ability for the game to set a banner (effectively similar to a website banner ad) that appears on the Guide screen, and can promote a certain piece of content such as downloadable Marketplace content or tournament promotions. When the player selects the banner, he can either click on it or select other options using left and right movement, meaning that careful banner design can include multiple different eventualities.
Finally, Vrignaud explained the broad, optional settings attached to a gamer profile which all games will monitor. These include difficulty levels, Y-axis inversion setting, preferred car transmission type (automatic or manual), and a handful of other extremely common game settings. There is then a requirement that game, on its first boot, checks those optional settings, so if the player always uses FPSes with inverted controls, he will never have to reset it in individual game cases - a welcome innovation for many.
each game can have one or two game-specific 'verbs', which are inserted into the list of actions you can do a particular friend, and help with custom actions when you're playing that game. These 'verbs' are only available when playing that game, are set by that game, appear within the Guide, and could encompass options such as 'invite to clan' for MMO titles.
It was explained that an Xbox 360 game can determine the total number of content items. You see just that game's marketplace if you enter it from that particular game - so there won't be a mass of extraneous things to buy unrelated to the title you're currently playing. But if you enter the Marketplace from the Xbox 360 Dashboard, you can see demos, trailers, downloadable Arcade titles, and the full gamut of shops with digital content to purchase.
Touching on Xbox 360 storage, it was pointed out that the storage medium is abstracted, so games will need to chose between multiple resources, but it shouldn't necessarily presume what that resource is. Nestled in here was perhaps a hint that Microsoft may eventually have a network-resident Xbox Live storage unit to store Xbox 360-related data, but all that is currently being said is that the system "automatically handles future devices".
More interestingly, a question from an audience member on the security for Xbox 360 in terms of 'mod chips' and other devices that modify for imported/illegal content prompted a reply that Microsoft took 2 and a half years on security this time round, whereas the Xbox only had around a year. Vrignaud prompted: "Never say never", but he thinks it's going to be a long time before the Xbox 360 gets modded.