Design Your Own Xbox 360 Theme

Xbox 360 Content Creation Challenge presented by Nokia

Starting today, you can design your own theme for the Xbox 360. Yes, you read that right, and not only that but you can also win some amazing prizes. Platform Nation is teaming up with Disruptive Publishers, which is partnering up with Nokia, to bring you a very special contest where you can design your own theme and walk away with some cool prizes for doing so. First off, let me tell you about the prizes as I know this will get you pretty pumped up:

The Grand Prize winning theme designer wins a Blu-Ray DVD player, a 42′ LCD 1080p TV, a 5.1 Digital Surround Sound Home Theater, a Nokia N81 Phone, five XBOX 360 Video Games (valued at $2499.99), and the winning theme will get published by DP and the designer will receive a royalty payment contract from DP for future content.

Now really, how cool is that? But wait, that’s not all. Platform Nation is also in the running for a community prize, where all of the themes that we submit will up tallied up together against the other participating communities and the community with the most votes will win some more awesome prizes. We really want to win those because, if we do, guess what? They are all going right back to you guys, our community!

This is where you guys come in: What we are hoping is that you submit your themes, but to help us, when you sign up, under community affiliation select Platform Nation. In doing so you can win one of 20 Microsoft Point cards (each theme you submit is one entry to win from us) as well as some other prizes that we will give out if we win. You will still be in the running to win that awesome grand prize, and you would just be helping us out by submitting it under our community for the top community vote. So the more themes the merrier. We also want you guys to vote and vote often for what themes you think are the best submissions.

If your interested in doing some theme designs, I have more info for you so you know what you need to work with.

The Xbox 360 has a user interface which can be personalized via downloadable themes. Similar to desktop wallpaper on personal computers, Xbox 360 themes serve as background images to the system’s graphical user interface. Each theme consists of four unique wallpaper images (1120×770, PNG file format); one for each Xbox 360 blade. Only submissions containing four unique wallpaper images will be accepted.

Theme Design – Best Practices:
• Create themes with sets of four unique, but complimentary images
• Use the color of the surrounding user interface “trim” (orange, blue, yellow or green) to compliment the theme design when possible
• Try to avoid overly complicated or “loud” theme designs which compete with the Xbox 360 user interface. A good theme should be complimentary to the overall console experience – not a distraction.
• Note that there is a significant “cropped” area from the 1120×770 source file and what’s actually displayed in most real-world situations on an actual HDTV setup. Namely, the blade trim and top/bottom “safe zones” will be cropped out, so please design accordingly.

Visual Examples
The next page of this document includes detailed visual examples of “raw” files with the final theme as it appears with the Xbox 360 user interface overlay side-by-side. Please take note of how the user interface overlay interacts with the original images; again, files should be created as 1120×770 PNG or JPG files.


  • infectedpb503

    Such an exciting Challenge. Makes me wish I knew graphics snd photoshop, but alas I leave it to the professionals of P*N, and can’t wait to see what you all come up with.
    I’ll for sure be voting as often as possible! Good luck!

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  • wooh!

    Meh. You could do this on the PS3 a looong time ago. Plus the PS3’s XMB is much more customizable than a background change and tab color changes.

  • sabbath420

    Dude how lame. That is a stupid comment for this article. What are you even doing here foolish little kid. Long time ago you say… It has only been a couple of moths. Do you have in game music yet? chat with friends in game? Chat with friends on msn that have a cell phone or pc? Can you download hd movies yet? What about all the crud you are waiting and have been waiting 4? It all came standard on the 360. 100s of arcade games (classic and new). We have had a great choice of backgrounds from day 1 for free and some for a fee. Now we can customize them and that is a small thing to wait for. You are still waiting for the big ones.

  • Thrillhouse17

    How about we focus on the issue at hand (the contest) and not worry about what console can/can’t do what. If you want to argue this go to the xbox or sony forums.

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  • I agree thrill, this is not a place t be fighting about which console is better, this is for people who are interested in participating in a contest to represent the community.

  • TeeTocks

    I agree B4, this is not the section to comment on the console war, but rather the comment section about a contest involving graphics to support a gaming community.

  • Thrillhouse17

    I hate you Teetocks.

  • TeeTocks

    This is not the place to flirt.

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  • Kosamus

    Can the theme be of anything? Or just Platform Nation?

  • Kosamus, it can be a theme for anything, it doesn’t even have to involve games. We just ask that any themes you submit you submit them with the affiliation to help us win more prizes to give to you guys.

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  • Ali

    Will we be able to use these themes on our xbox 360?

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  • This is cool and I will probably design my own theme for Xbox 360 the way I want it. I’m pretty excited to design it and share it with you guys.

  • Do you accept guest articles? I like the style how you wrote Design Your Own Xbox 360 Theme | Platform Nation, I am in this topic for ages and I would adore to write 2 or 3 well written articles right here if you agree with me.