PREVIEW: Gamespot Wide

First Look: Gamespot Wide – Willy105

Welcome to the future of Gamespot, and it is coming soon!

The home page of Gamespot Wide.

When was the last time Gamespot has gotten a major overhaul? The Gamespot we know as today has been around for a couple of years, and when it was introduced, it streamlined the old Gamespot a lot, making it simpler for users to navigate the current content. But there were still some things that could have been made better. The most common one was that the site was still based on the old 800 x 600 pixel resolution of old monitors. As time went on, other sites started adapting their site to newer higher resolution monitors that were capable of 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, like IGN. However, Gamespot still stayed by the old resolution, which resulted in the grey bars at the edges of the screen of Gamespot.

Gamespot has noticed this, and in August, they will launch the next big update to Gamespot, called for now as Gamespot Wide. Just as it’s name suggest, it’s wider than today’s Gamespot, designed for a with 1024 pixel resolution. Thanks to the wider resolution,now more things can be shown on one page than ever before!

The new gamespaces, this one showing the review for Soul Calibur 4.

The pages have three columns now instead of the two of today. On the left column, all the navigation is located, where it was previously located at the top of the page. Here you can look for the Summary, Reviews, News, Previews and Features, Images, Videos, Cheats, and the Forum. By highlighting the boxart of the game, a small window will pop up showing the game’s stats on Gamespot, it’s ranking for each console, it’s ESRB rating, and it’s tags. The center column is where all the usual writing will be in, like reviews and previews. And on the right column, the game’s review score and emblems will be shown, as well as user reviews, user submissions, and the related unions.

It’s all nicely organized and easy to find what you are looking for, something that was a little harder to do under the current Gamespot, due to everything being hidden. The editorial spaces of Gamespot are not the only ones being improved by the new design. The community section will be getting a long awaited facelift, especially with the introducement of a new community hub, which will replace the current main forums page.

The community hub.

In the new Community hub, you can look at the recent community announcements and news, updates for the site, the community blog, a schedule for tournaments and game nights, featured unions, you can see links to your list of favorite unions, the user soapbox, and the new RSS feature where you can see your friend’s activities in real-time. Unfortunately, I could not take a look at the forums, however the staff has announced that the forums will also be getting the facelift. Exactly how the new forums will look is still a mystery.

Of course, the user pages themselves will also be getting facelifted with more features and some changes.

The new user pages. Don’t tell Subrosian that we took a screenshot!

It will also be getting the three column treatment in the same way the game spaces are. On the left column, the user icon is shown with their level right underneath it, along with the rank, post count, and when he was last online. Below that, the tags are shown, but now they are not shown all at once, and you have to rollover it to see all the tags. This at first may sound like an annoying, but it speaks better of someone that has enough tags that you can’t even see them all. Below that, you can see the links of your profile that were usually below your banner.

The banner is still there, but now at the top of the other two columns, so the size of the banner stays the same. On the center column, the user’s blog is shown. This time, only the first blog is shown in full, and the following two blogs are only shown as previews and you have to click on them to see them fully. Also, only three blogs are shown at a time, just to make less scrolling necessary on the pages. Below the blogs are your user reviews, below that are your user images, and below are your user videos. At the right column, a new feature has been introduced, a new RSS feed of your recent activity, so other users can see what you are doing in the site in real-time. Below that, there are your tracked blogs of your friends, your online ID’s, your Now Playing list, your recent ratings, and your unions.

The new Gamespot is looking great, and although it’s still a beta, the new Gamespot is scheduled to launch this August!