Head over heels for gadgets!
Within the last week or so Microsoft opened it's Xbox LIVE Preview program to tons of people. I was lucky enough to be one of the selected people to try it all out. Back at E3 I was really excited about getting both Twitter and Facebook on my Xbox 360. Unfortunately at the moment neither are available to users.
The only things noteworthy are items you can purchase for your avatar and the ability to see how many years you've been a Gold member. I should also note that there's a section in the avatar editing screen for viewing items you've unlocked for your avatar (by completing missions and such in Xbox games) but it since it's brand new, there are no games (that I know of) that support this feature.
Much like Sony's Playstation Home, users can now plunk down their hard earned (real) money to purchase virtual items for their Xbox avatar. Items can cost anywhere from 80 Microsoft points to 320 (at least that I've seen). The high-end price seem a bit too high for me (remember 100 points isn't equal to a dollar - it's a Microsoft thing...derrrrr!!!). They do have a couple neat and unique items, but some of the items should definitely just be free. as of this moment, there's probably 50-75 new items in the store.
The next feature seems like just another bragging token, nothing too special. A little emblem with a number is tacked onto your gamercard to signify how long you've been a gold member. Unfortunately this only seems to display on the Xbox and for anyone using the web version of the game card (either through Microsoft's website or a third party) the emblem doesn't seem to show up. I will go ahead an assume once the new version of the Dashboard and all is launched that issue will be fixed.
Overall, the Preview is decent, it includes some fun little "toys" for your avatar to play with and some new apparel. It's definitely nothing to write home about at this point, but I have a feeling once they get that Twitter and Facebook integration, it'll be much more awesome. I also can't wait to see some more fun things to dress up my avatar with.