No getting around Avatars with the New Xbox Experience

Unless you’ve been living on another planet, stuck in an alternate dimension, or both, you’re well aware of Microsoft’s upcoming cosmetic change dubbed the New Xbox Experience. There’s been a lot of talk about what the changes would be beyond allowing users to create Avatars to represent them in-game and on Xbox LIVE, and whether each user would be required to have one. Well, love ’em or hate ’em, you’re getting one.

Speaking with the media at TGS, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 group product manager Aaron Greenberg said that they are indeed “forcing you to have a visual representation of yourself” but that “you can make a pretty badass avatar.” If that puts you off at the thought of having to spend a couple of extra minutes of your gaming time on designing an Avatar that you may or may not care about, you need not worry as there are pre-made Avatars that you can use to get through the process quickly. And when you’re finished, you don’t have to use the Avatar ever again if you so choose.

When the New Xbox Experience launches next month, everything will be free of charge, but Greenberg said again that the house of Gates would be keeping its options open when it comes to charging for stuff. Translation: look to fork over some cash for upgrades in the future, just like for the gamerpics.