You are hereShowdown: Xbox One vs Xbox 360 Party setup

Showdown: Xbox One vs Xbox 360 Party setup

By Blackwalt - Posted on 04 February 2015

With the recent transition of Herd of Cats to Xbox Ones there has been a lot of complaining about the Xbox Live Party system. Not just about how it is broken. Not just about how we have had to stop using it. But about the interface around it and how long it takes to setup in comparison to the simplicity of the Xbox 360 party system. As Guba put it best, "Rolly can set up a party!" Yes, quickly, and he is nine years old.

Is the Xbox One party system really that much slower? More confusing absolutely, but slower?

Let's find out...

What I planned for the test:

  • While in a game I would start a Xbox Live Party.
  • I would invite three Xbox Live friends (Graybush, SeanMCR, Pwn Call), all who were offline at the time. This meant they would be in the entire friends list and not in the top Online section. For the Xbox One they are all favourites which would have put them right at the top.
  • Once the party was setup I would go back to the game.
  • I setup the party twice. Once to write down the steps and a second time to time the process. This worked out to lower times as I knew all the steps and in the case of the Xbox One everything was already buffered.

Xbox 360: setting up a party

  1. Press the Xbox Button
  2. Scroll down two menu items to Party
  3. Press "A" on Party
  4. Press "A" on Invite Player to Party (it defaults to this Menu Item) and list of friends pops up
  5. Scroll down 23 players to Graybush
  6. Press "A" on Graybush, get "Party Invite Sent" message (Friends list stays up)
  7. Scroll down 23 players to Pwn Call
  8. Press "A" on Pwn Call, get "Party Invite Sent" message (Friends list stays up)
  9. Scroll down 3 players to SeanMCR
  10. Press "A" on SeanMCR, get "Party Invite Sent" message (Friends list stays up)
  11. Press "B" to go back to Party Screen
  12. Press Xbox Button to go back to game

Approximate time: 40-45 seconds

A few notes on the Xbox 360 test:

  • Everyone was offline so I did have to scroll more than if they were online.
  • Leaving the list up and allowing multiple invites from the one list is the big time saver and made the most difference.
  • When you sent an invite from the list you stayed in the same alphabetic place on the list. You did not have to start from the beginning each time.

Xbox One: setting up a party

  1. Press the Xbox Button
  2. Scroll down 1 and right 3 to reach Party App (got lucky that it was on the main screen)
  3. Press "A" on App pane
  4. Press "A" on Start a Party menu item (default)
  5. Scroll down 1 to Invite to Party
  6. Press "A" to pop up friends list (Player Cards, nine to a screen)
  7. Scroll right 7 and down 2 to Graybush
  8. Press "A" to select Graybush
  9. Scroll down one to Party menu item (default under Invite To menu as player is not online)
  10. Press "A" on Party, get "Invite Sent" message (Goes back to Party App after invite sent)
  11. Press "A" on Invite to Party (now default) to pop up friends list (back to start of list)
  12. Scroll right 15 and down 1 to Pwn Call
  13. Press "A" to select Pwn Call
  14. Scroll down one to Party menu item
  15. Press "A" on Party, get "Invite Sent" message (Goes back to Party App after invite sent)
  16. Press "A" on Invite to Party to pop up friends list
  17. Friends list failed. "Not available at this time. Try again later." (perhaps unfair to include this but it does happen often)
  18. Try again, friends list pops up
  19. Scroll right 17 and down 1 to SeanMCR
  20. Press "A" to select SeanMCR
  21. Scroll down one to Party menu item
  22. Press "A" on Party, get "Invite Sent" message (Goes back to Party App after invite sent)
  23. Press "B" to back out of Party App
  24. Press "B" to return to game.

Approximate time: 1 minute, 34 seconds

A few notes on the Xbox One test:

  • Everyone was offline so I did have to scroll more than if they were online. All players are also favourites which would bump all of them to the top of my friends list if they were online.
  • Being offline meant I did not have to scroll over the "Party & Game" invite option. Meaning one less scroll right in steps 9, 15, 23.
  • Having to call up the friends list each time is a massive slow down. Particularly since the process has a habit of failing. Even after it was just called up a few seconds previous.
  • Each time the friends list pops up you are at the beginning of the list
  • More on the friends list failing. When I went back to check the wording of the "Invite to" menu from steps 9, 15 and 23 the friends list failed to come up five times in a row. The sixth time was the charm.

My totally Non Scientific Conclusion:

    Xbox 360 for the win!

It takes at least twice as long to create a Xbox Live Party on the Xbox One than it does on the Xbox 360. This did not surprise me at all. I had expected it to take even longer. The Xbox One also required many more steps and a lot more scrolling around selections - horizontally as well as vertically.

The Xbox 360 shows its streamlined functionality and simplicity in defeating the Xbox One. It shows how much time Microsoft spent developing the process over the lifespan of the Xbox 360. I don't expect the Xbox One to have the same ten year lifespan as the Xbox 360 but I hope that it sees similar improvements in its interface over time.

A party is far more complex to set up on the Xbox One. A surprise as the Xbox One was trumpeted as a Social Console. Unfortunately what Microsoft thinks of as social is Twitter, Facebook, video streaming and sharing your latest Achievement. What I think of as social is the ability to talk to my friends. Strange how this functionality seems to be handicapped on the Xbox One.

What does Herd of Cats think of the Xbox Live Party system on the Xbox One? It is simple. We have stopped using it. We have switched to using the in-game chat systems. They work immediately and you hear everyone all of the time (except during loading screens admittedly).

SeanmcR6's picture

Coxxorz's picture

Because we're ALL his favourites. And when everyone is special, nobody is.

SeanmcR6's picture

so by your logic, Stormblade really is the special one!

Blackwalt's picture


Stormblade's picture

He keeps deleting me from his friends list entirely but I keep showing up again. Kind of like fungus.


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