YouTube just released a new “game-console optimized” version, YouTube XL.
Somehow I was out-of-the-loop on that one, so the release caught me by surprise. I like to watch videos on the Wii sometimes. I don’t use the Wii for web surfing regularly, but now and again the comfort of flopping down on the couch instead of sitting in a desk chair at the computer more than makes up for the small screen resolution of the television. Today when I went to YouTube, however, I was greeted by an all new interface. Designed specifically for consoles such as the Wii and PS3, YouTube XL is a smaller, sleeker interface targeted specifically at television viewing.
I must say, I found YouTube XL a big improvement for game console-based video browsing. It seems many of the early reviews are mixed; many reviewers seem to be complaining about some of the missing features such as comments. Honestly as someone who actually uses YouTube on a game console on a semi-regular basis I think the new UI is far more practical. Certainly there are some missing features, such as comments, but I can’t really imagine tapping out a comment with a joystick anyway. Frankly I even avoid the search box when I can. (Thank goodness for auto-complete the rest of the time.) The far improved use of screen real estate plus larger, easier to target buttons made for a much more pleasant viewing experience. The new YouTube XL isn’t a replacement for PC-based video surfing, but it’s a nice alternative when a comfortable seat on the couch beckons. I vote thumbs up.