I'm so far behind on games it's not even funny. I delved into Saint's Row 2 quite a bit when I had some free time in October, but most of the stuff that came out afterwords is still here unopened. I've got Fable 2, Fallout 3, Gears of War 2, and Little Big Planet that all need some attention, plus I'm really wanting to pick up Call of Duty World at War, and Left for Dead. Luckily the glut of games is drying up fairly quickly and December only offers Prince of Persia as a triple A title, so maybe as it gets colder outside I'll be able to dig into the ones I have.
I was really jazzed about the new dashboard update (NXE) coming on the 360, and luckily got to play around with it a day or so early. I've put in some more time and still haven't tried all the options. Avatars are really cool (a rip off? maybe but who cares) although I'm wishing for more clothing (stories floating around now say Microsoft is new clothing every 2 weeks for 6 months, no word on cost.) choices. One of the podcast I listen too (1UpYours I think) thought it would be a good idea that when you played a game it would add a shirt for that game, ie. playing Gears 2 would add a Gears 2 themed shirt. This should be possible, if you remember back to some of the early titles (Perfect Dark, Amped 3) would add gamer pics when you played them.
I restarted my Netflix account because of the 360 streaming capabilities (when I heard that HD would also be available). There aren't a lot of movie choices yet (and even less now because SONY is being a little brat), but I was surprised to see a lot of TV episodes, some of which are the current season, and evidently new episodes get put up 1 day after the network airing. I watched a missed episode of N.C.I.S. last night with no pause/hiccups and it looked great.
You get a couple 'free' premium themes with the NXE update, and I had downloaded the Gears 2 one that was part of the GameStop promotion. I found a thread over at NeoGaf that people have posted screen shots of some of the new premium theme packs (premium indeed, meaning Microshaft now charges 250 ms points ($3.12) for a theme, as apposed to the old 160 ms points ($2.00) price point) so you can at least sample it before you spend your space bucks.
I haven't tried the hard drive installation yet, but you can check out this handy chart for info on how much storage games take, and any time savings gained (or lost...) by installation. Except for DVD drive wear and tear, I'm not seeing this a plus, you still have to insert the disc for verification and the time gains are minimal at best.
Now quick hits on some other odds'n'ends. Quantum of Solace, I was not impressed, it's okay but certainly doesn't live up to Casino Royale. I was setting there throughout thinking is this it? I don't know if it's the loss of gadgets (the visits to Q were awesome), or the dark persona, but here's hoping the next one is better.
Most of the Black Friday ads are available (if you know where to look/search) and this years crop of items is pretty lame. I don't know if it's because I'm not really looking for something specific or what, but with the exceptions of a couple blu-ray disc there isn't anything I'm in a rush to get.
Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash is available again in stores, I so searched for this last year after getting hooked and there was none to be found. This year I think I've already had too much because now it doesn't even taste good.
The new World of Warcraft expansion came out, Death Knights are pretty cool I finished the starting area and got him to level 58. My main still isn't 70.
I've picked up on some new series this fall, others I have 4-7 episodes sitting on my DVR and haven't even started (My Worst Enemy, and Eleventh Hour). The Mentalist picked up and got more likable, Fringe has went progressively down hill, and I got back into Supernatural. My best picks of new stuff in no particular order, best new drama Life on Mars, and best new comedy Gary Unmarried.