* Prices may differ from that shown
It was about 3 Christmas's ago when Sue and I first became interested in the Xbox 360 when her son visited us and decided to buy one for himself that he linked to our TV for a few play sessions on a game that had been released only a few days earlier.
Sue and I never got to use his Xbox, but it was enough to make us think about it and how useful it might be for ourselves and our two girls so a couple of week later we went out to buy one from Argos. It was on sale for around £140 (from what I recall) and what was the deciding factor between Argos and the other shops we had considered - including Game was what games were included and how much extras one would be.
The Xbox came with a wireless controller and Forza Motorsports 4 which would be one of few that I played for month on end until I finally relented to the fact that it was becoming a little boring. It did not include an external hard drive but we found that some of the games would benefit from being saved externally so we bought a second hand one from Game that literally plugs into the side (or top depending on how you lay the Xbox) very simply by unclipping one of the sides.
The Xbox can be played either with or without internet connectivity although having an Xbox live gold account gives you a great deal of additional functionality on many Xbox 360 games that allows you play with / against other gamers around the world. You can also go online to download trailers and demos and install games using Xbox points - which are not the same as the ones you gain by unlocking parts of your Xbox game or winning a trophy.
The Xbox can be wired to your router / modem or for an additional £60 can buy a wireless adaptor that plugs in to the Xbox.
Last Christmas we decided to "improve" our system by buying the Kinect which is a series of cameras that in our case sit on top of the TV that watch your movements and try to digitally monitor them into the actions of your Mii. However, our experience so far has been limited and we have in fact not used the Kinect for at least 6 months - partly because we own very few games that work with this new feature.
In the last year our Xbox received a massive update from Microsoft which has changed many of the menus that are available. The main reason for the update was to allow gamers to have an improved gaming experience but from a personal point of view just annoyed us especially as we had just got used to the original menus!
Like most systems before use you will need to set up your Miis and additionally an Xbox live account - which requires a credit card that we did not appreciate.
Graphics on the system are good and there are a wide variety of games available although new games all seem to be between £36 and £50 so we tend to buy only specific ones at full price such as Modern Warfare or Batman and buy many others second hand or when they have been out a while and the price has dropped.
Game control is very good although replacing batteries can sometimes be awkward as they stick inside the lip of the battery pack and need a little encouragement to get them out - we tend to use rechargeable batteries as standard batteries became too expensive.
Although our 8 year old plays on the Xbox 360, games for her age are not so easy to find but she is as capable as us at accessing all the controllers buttons - in fact more so.
There are many versions of the Xbox available and the main difference is the amount of storage that is included. For most gamers large hard drives are not essential although the more space the better as unused space does speed up the game loading process.
My favourite games are the Tiger Woods series and Battlestations (Midway and Pacific), my wife's are Batman games and our elder daughter loves the Modern Warfare series. We may not have played the Xbox much in recent months but it will be well used at Christmas and is a system that I can seriously recommend. There are 2 main colours - creamy white and black and ours is white.
There are far too many systems on the market but are available from £140 upwards of £200 from Amazon so it is more about the size of hard drive and number / type of games you want to be bundled with it.
@ About @
I bought this console in 2007 and after much thought about the problems such as red ring, I still bought it and hoped for the best. Big mistake. I am a red ring of death victim 3 times, and I have had over heating and hardware problems in between each return to Microsoft.
However, there are some positive things to talk about too. The console comes in a neat and tidy box with multiple manuals in lots of languages. There is not too much plastic, the console itself comes in a plastic bag as do the cables and controllers but the rest is all recyclable.
The core package does not come with any hard drive but does come with an internal memory capacity of 256MB which is good enough to save some games, but you will need to buy a hard drive memory unit or pen drive if you want to download content, create lots of profiles, or save larger game files.
The console itself is made of solid plastic, and at the back you have an AV input and power cable input, and room for an Ethernet cable or wireless adapter. Note that the wireless adapter input is USB which is very handy if you have Ethernet because it's an extra USB port in addition to the two on the front.
@ Gameplay, graphics and experience @
The games available for the Xbox 360 are all "good graphics" but it's when you play arcade games from years ago, rereleased on Xbox live that this really shows you what Microsoft can do with a good graphics card in a games console. PAC-MAN is much more colourful, frogger is much sharper, and with more frames per second, smoother too.
Playing games like grand theft auto 4, hardcore blood filled violent and crime filled gameplay, do show you just what you can get out of this console. For instance, the console can load a ton of multi-thousand-polygon cars whilst you look out across the entire map from a helicopter miles in the sky. And when you are shooting, bullets fall on the ground. Little tiny things like this all add up and make the whole Xbox experience extra special. Kudos to Microsoft here, they have easily matched Playstation 3.
CPU power demanding games like call of duty can be played for multiple hours on end and it seems to manage this fine, but here's the crucial bit: It can do this online too. Unfortunately lag is the major problem in online experience, but the point is, the CPU has a lot of power and runs FPS games without crashing for quite some time, it's never your console that's the problem, its the servers your Xbox is running off, and most Xbox 360 games have lag filled servers.
@ Reliability @
Let's get to the elephant sitting in the room. You may have heard of "the red ring of death" well, it's basically where Microsoft have used cheap components in a poorly built console. The components wear out after too much hard work and die off. Therefore giving your console a hardware error known as red ring of death.
When you get red ring of death your console permanently displays three red rings until MS open it up and fix it. If you have the console less than three years Microsoft fix it free, even postage is free, and you are sent a new faceplate and some Xbox live gold for your troubles. All well and good but it should not go wrong in the first place.
In between red ring of death I have had overheating problems, cause by the console heating itself up and displaying two red rings, and also a hardware failure with my hard drive, which I fixed at home. I have had a ton of errors with this thing and when the warranty expires, you can only sell it for parts on eBay, or pay to repair it your self (expensive) or get someone else to do it (also expensive)
@ Noise and Heat @
This console is the loudest thing in my living room when the Hoover isn't in it. It makes such a noise.when it starts up it makes a low clunking noise, then the fans whir up. On the dashboard it runs the fans at slow speed and it's fine but when playing a game it roars up and starts to sound more like a lawnmower.
The other problem is vibration. It shakes about and makes a lot of noise at the same time. To compare its vibration, I would say its equal to the vibrations you get on the controllers. It's quite bad, and when you put something on top of the console, it does not vibrate as much but when you take it off, it starts again. I think most of the noise problem IS caused by vibration.
For heat, this is similar to a small radiator. All electronics get hot, but it's at the back you should be careful when touching the console, as the plastic on the other side of the fans gets very hot within 20 minutes or less.
@ Hardware, My Xbox, Miscellaneous @
The hardware on this console such as the faceplate, is interchangeable. This means you can buy lots of different colours and styles and full personalise the front of your Xbox. You can also buy custom faceplate builders. The faceplate is easy to unclip and is made entirely of plastic, with a compartment for USB at the bottom on a hinge. In my experience, this is too flimsy, and has now broken off my original faceplate.
My Xbox is where you can change settings within your Xbox, and it's totally flexible, so. You can adjust HD and SD tv settings, with parental controls for children. This lets you lock the consoles when they try to play a game over a certain age limit, and put a timer on the console to limit their gaming hours.
The console has a media player which lets you play (and change songs) whilst playing a game directly from an MP3 player, or you can rip music onto your hard drive. It also acts as a companion for windows media centre so you can collect data and media from there too.
@ Overall @
I love the gaming experience, I think the games and gameplay are great but the reliability brings it down. Poor build quality and crashing/freezing problems has left many people with broken consoles, and so I don't think it is a good purchase.
I can't recommend this, but I an recommend a PS3 as a close alternative.
I am in two minds about the Xbox 360. On one hand it is excellent for playing games. Playing regular solo games are good , the graphics are good , and all major games that come out are playable for the Xbox so thats not a problem.
Online play is also very good, it easy to connect to another player and communicate with them in order to play online. Its also benificial that it is multi-player acceptable. Everything you could want from a games console the Xbox 360 has.
The only problem i have found with the Xbox is that after it has been owned for around a year it starts to encounter problems, this isnt a problem for someone who frequently updates their consoles however for someone who finds them expensive and wants them to last the xbox may not be the right choice.
Ive encountered problems such as the console not registering when games are in the disc tray and as time goes on it taking longer and more attempts untill it eventually registers the game is there. This is a problem and for soeone who wants to play frequently having to wait a long time untill the console will work is a huge disadvantage.
The Xbox 360 core system is currently my 3rd xbox 360, the rest of them have had the RRoD(Red Ring of Death) or the disk read error. In my opinion it is almost like they are made to break so you have to buy another one or fork out £90 for a simple repair.
Apart from the fact its highly likely to break down it does have good graphics and online play(which you have to pay for). The core pack comes with the console, a controller and all the necessary wires. It has a limited amount of memory which means you won't be able to download anything from the market place, but you can buy a USB memory stick and it will work in the same way as an official Xbox hard drive for just a fraction of the price.
The console comes with a 1 year warranty so if it breaks down in that time frame you send it back to Microsoft and they fix it or send you a refurbished one free of charge. Although if it breaks down after a year you have to pay 90 to get it fixed which in my opinion is not worth it.
The console itself looks quite stylish and they seem to vary in the amount of noise they make as they are made with different components, luckily the core unit I have now is quite quiet compared to the other ones I've had.
One thing I don't like about it is you can't browse the internet on it where as you can on the PS3, you can burn CD's and watch DVD's on it though. It has a massive range of games since it has been out for a good few years now and new games get released for it every week.
The Xbox360 Core System is an extraordinary gaming product that can generally make life more fun. The Xbox 360 comes with many benefits such as the variety of games, the amount of things you can do with it, its advantages against other gaming systems and its just great overall. The Xbox 360 allows you to play all sorts of games from action games to strategy games and also includes exclusive games such as Halo, Gears of War, Left 4 Dead and more. The graphics are high standards with it's good quality.
The Xbox 360 also comes with accessories to upgrade your entertainment with the Xbox 360.It originally comes with the console, controller and charger. But to intensify your game play, you can buy a headset, membership to play online against other players and even a gaming chair for your comfort. The Xbox isn't only a gaming system, you can also watch movies and go on the internet whenever you wish but you will need to buy a separate device to watch movies.
Some of the disadvantages of the console is that there are other games exclusive to different gaming systems that you viewers might like. Its battery is also very bulky and that online playing charges you monthly fee.
Overall the Xbox 360 is a combination of top-notch game entertainment with other media features making it one of the best and is worth the time and money.
The not-so-little green box contains what you need to get started, which in all honesty, is only about half of what you need.
In the box is the console, one controller, a scart cable and power cables. Hard drives can be got cheaply especially from 2nd hand stores, as can extra controllers. I'd say to anyone wanting one of these to get the plug and charge packs, otherwise you start thinking you're eating batteries.
The wireless adaptor is possibly the MOST expensive piece of extra kit you'll need for the Xbox, ranging from between £49.99 to £59.99 (dependant on where and what else is bought with it) Due to this, I haven't bothered connecting it up yet. Howver, if you're using it in the same room as your internet conection, all that is needed is an ethernet (RJ45) cable to coneect directrly into the router and into the back of the Xbox.
Another thing is needing to purchase Live membership. The standard (Silver) is free, but to be able to play multi-player on certain games a Gold upgrade is required, which come in either 3 or 12 month packs.
So far, I haven't experienced any problems. The Dashboard is quite self-explanatory and easy to navigate, and can be accessed mid-game by hitting the "X" button. If you like to play a variety of games, both on and off-line, with stunning graphics and gameplay, I'd say get this first, and maybe get a PS3 if you REALLY want blu-ray
The xbox 360 is a Video gaming system manufactured by Microsoft and a complete and utter failure. Losing microsoft $10 billion. A costly mistake
This Cheap Version of the xbox 360 came out at £250 and destroying the video Gaming industry the moment it landed into stores, many of the world's Xbox's suffered the fatal xbox Red Ring of Death, which would result in the failure of many xbox's around the world.
Having Bought this for myself in 2006 the day it came out, my Xbox came with one wired controller, 2 leads and the console plus 2 Games, which was King kong and Dead or alive 4. At the time I was watching a Watchdog Programme which was talking about the red ring of death, re-assuring myself that everything would be good and fine.
One year later my xbox360 died a fatal heart attack. Which Considering I paid £250 for it was shocking.
I even had to pay for a 20GB memmory card which isn't cheap you know! However I got a half price one at comet:)
Then after chasing up my complaint with microsoft, they agreed to give me £304 compensation for my hard troubles, and let me keep the console.
However the man on the phone was extremely unhelpful, at times I could not understand If he was speaking English, and I experienced a lot of 'One second sir I'll pass you onto the Hold machine'
Never again will I buy an Xbox, it is PS3 all the way.
Even though the features were good, for example you could access the internet, if you paid for it, with regards to the premium service. The one thing I learnt is...
DONT BUY FROM MICROSOFT - is the moral of this story
Thanks for reading
The Microsoft Xbox 360 core console is the basic unit of the Xbox360 games console.
This unit is finished in all white, like a device made by the software company Apple, unlike the premium unit the disk tray on this console is finished in white and not the stylish silver/chrome.
If you want to save your games you will have to purchase either the hard drive, or a memory card which will add significantly to the cost of this unit.
You also get the wired controller, this is good but it doesn't offer the freedom of the wireless controller that comes with the other bundles.
The only advantage of this bundle is its cost, as it has now been replaced her by the Xbox 360 arcade unit if you can find one of these it will probably only cost you at most 100 pounds which is a reasonable deal, just remember to pick up a memory card.
I used the Core version of the Xbox 360, which was my friends, while I saved up for the Premium. The first thing I'd say is that this is the most basic version of the 360 you can buy and therefore cheapest. Although this may seem appealing as the 360 is expensive, I would definitely recommend to buy at least the Premium. This is because the Core does not come with a hard drive. Instead you get a memory unit of very small memory. All you will be able to hold on there is game saves. These are actually quite expensive as well so it is much cheaper in the long run to just buy the Premium.
You also only get a wired controller, not the wireless one and you don't get a headset which is a must have for Xbox Live.
The graphics are still amazing and the same as the other versions but these accessories are important and I would recommend avoiding the Core system.
I've already posted a review about the 360 console I purchased online back in July 2006. See my review under XBOX 360 Premium.
Unfortunately, after starting up a game recently the system froze. When I pressed the on off button, the console lights turned to three read lights - known as the ring of death. Three red lights usually means that the console has suffered an internal hardware failure.
The following day I rang the Microsoft X-Box helpline. The number is a freephone number - 0800 587 1102.
I think I was transferred to a call centre in India. I waited for 15 minutes before an operator came on the phone.
If your console ever fails, make sure you try the cables, switch on and off before ringing them. Make sure you take the serial number of the console before you make the call.
I was lucky as the console is under one years old. It will be covered free of charge.
The Microsoft rep arranged a courier to call. You have to package the console up securely in an unmarked box, with plenty of packaging. The console was collected six days later. The courier said the console should be typically returned in two weeks time. I'm waiting for it to come back. You just send the main unit back, no cables or hard drive.
The console is brilliant, but many are unreliable, which is a shame.
If my console broke after the warranty period I would rather buy a new one rather than pay to have it repaired.
After owning a 360 for about 4 months as well as now owning 7 games I can pretty much some up some details about it that I like and dislike. There listed here:
I would first like to point out that when i first bought my 360, i had an error message displayed upon starting it up for the first time saying it had technical dificulties and it never displayed anything on screen from there on. That annoyed me... but I rung up there technical helpline in what sounded like China and they took me through some steps to sort it out which failed. So i was told to take it back and get a refund which i did and the new 360 has worked fine ever since. Whey-hey!, back to the details...
1) The graphics really are excellent, but a HDTV is essential if you want those top notch pixels.
2) Some games only support PAL-60 TV's which you then have to change the settings for, so be careful of this if your TV doesnt support it.
3) The wireless controllers eat batterys. On average i can say about a week at most, so its a good idea to buy the plug & charge kit for around £15.
4) On the up side they feel great and are very easy to control, the wireless capabilities are great. Definitely no lag from them in any of my gameplay.
5) The disc tray in my opinion looks and opens rather tacky, it wobbles about a lot and is made of cheap plastic.
6) The power adapter looks and feels like a brick, so you need the room for it.
7) You can turn the console on and off remotely via the controller, great for watching DVD's in bed and then you cant be bothered to get up.
8) On that note it plays DVD's great ever since ive had it and has most of the features a regular DVD player would. It also supports dolby digital etc, so connect the 360 up using an optical lead to your home cinema and ur set.
9) Streaming music from a PC of which you set up some simple software is great, especially when you get your 360 connected to a hi-fi system through the optical connection.
10) XBOX live is the best part in my eyes, with many features such as friends lists and even now the webcam capabilities. If you dont have a live subscription then i'd say its neccessary to take control of all of the features.
11) Dont bother with the core console, without a hard drive you really are limited to the stuff you can do. The extra £70 works out very good value for money as well.
Well thats all of my valid points i can think of. Hope this helps :)
The Xbox 360 Core System is everything you need to hit the ground running. Plug in the console and the controller and you're playing. Then decide what extras you add and when - it's expandable to the full Xbox 360 experience.
Fusing powerful hardware, software, and services, Xbox 360 fully engages you in a gaming experience that is more expansive, dramatic, and lifelike, where the possibilities are limitless and your imagination knows no boundaries.
A merger of form and function, Xbox 360 wraps powerful technology in a sophisticated exterior.
The Xbox Gamer Guide is an entertainment gateway that instantly connects you to your games, friends, music, movies, and downloadable content.
Xbox 360 lets you create your own unique system and experience.