I have found Microsoft's updated version of Xbox Live to be a mixed bag navigation-wise. And I haven't used a few key features like parties or Netflix yet.
But there's one feature I'm using that is undeniably awesome: Saving games to the hard drive. As soon as I got the NXE (new Xbox experience) beta test, I immediately saved "Fable 2" to the hard drive, mainly because the game is constantly accessing data from the disc and it is loud, even by Xbox 360 standards.
I was hoping I would no longer be distracted by the noise of a disc spinning with such fury it could fly out of the machine and behead me and I was right. The 8 minutes or so it took to transfer the game to my hard drive was well worth it, because the 360 is now virtually silent while I play.
But there was one extra, unexpected benefit: "Fable 2" looks noticeably better. The graphics are sharper and brighter. So much so that it's like the game, or my graphics processor, has gotten an upgrade.
Perhaps someone more familiar with programming can tell me why, but I assume it has to do with the fact that it's easier for the console to access and process all the requisite data, so it has to make fewer compromises to deliver me graphics in real time.
Nobody at Microsoft (or anywhere else) has talked about this benefit that I've seen I can't say whether it will happen with every title. But presuming so, it really makes transferring games to the hard drive a no-brainer, so long as you've got the space. Who doesn't want their videogames to look as sharp as possible?
In terms of hard drive management, I imagine I'll be regularly transferring and deleting different games based on how much space I have and what games I'm playing the most at the moment. More PlayStation 3 News...