After download numerous themes from the Xbox Live Marketplace, it has become apparent that companies are not really putting in much effort to create these packages, although they are happily charging us close to $2 USD for them. We have tested numerous themes, from games we genuinely care about, and they have been overwhelmingly bad.
Who can mess up a Dead Rising
theme? Apparently Capcom can, because the backgrounds are so busy and dark you can't read the text on the screen. Who can mess up a "grafitti" theme? Microsoft. Even the Penny Arcade Ultraskin makes it very difficult to read the menu options in the dashboard. And don't even get me started on the crappy patterned texturing that most themes use on the Xbox 360 Guide panel. It's very much like travelling back to 1997 web design.
However, as much as we like complaining, we also like doing something about it. So we have created the first of our GF! Dashback Packs. "Dashback" is the sweet new term we're coining to abbreviate "Dashboard Background," and these images are all full 1080i HDTV resolution JPGs custom formatted to fit into your Xbox 360 Dashboard without making it impossible to actually USE the Xbox 360 Dashboard. It's a delicate balance, but I think you'll agree that we've hit it better than most of the background themes available in the Xbox Live Marketplace.Click here to download the entire archive GF! Dashback Pack One.
(Please note, the images included in this article are low-res previews of the actual background images.)
Included in this package are a dozen background images: Several colors of "swirly gradients", several colors of "ripple gradients", two backgrounds based on Twoplayer Comics
, a "We Love Aliens" background, and the soon-to-be classic "Rainbow" style.
- Copy the images you'd like to use on your Xbox to any device that can be read as an external USB Drive by the Xbox. The most common device will often be a USB flash drive (aka "thumbdrive"). However, you can also copy them to you iPod or any other MP3 player that can also be used as a portable media drive.
- Plug the USB device into your Xbox and browse to the Media blade of the Xbox 360 Dashboard. On the Media blade, select Pictures.
- Browse to the USB device, and find the images wherever you placed them on your USB drive. You can preview the images on your television by clicking the A button. Press the X button to set the image as your new Xbox 360 dashboard background.
Enjoy using these backgrounds on your Xbox 360, or on your personal computer. These images will, obviously, work on any computer desktop as well, although they have been specifically formatted to the Xbox 360 Dashboard proportions. The backgrounds work very well on widescreen monitors, too.
If you dig these Dashbacks, drop us a line at mailbag[AT]gamesfirst.com
and let us know what else you'd like to see. We'll keep putting these out as long as there is interest.