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Microsoft Xbox 360 Pro System

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    38 Reviews
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      05.07.2011 07:41
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      a great console all round with a few problems that let it down

      I absolutely love gaming and have many different consoles ranging from the DS to the PS3. I'm not a fanboy of any sort, I like my Xbox 360 just as much as my PS3, but my Wii i like the least (not fanboy reasons, just get bored easily as not many action/sports games that i like on there).

      I bought my Xbox 360 about 2 and a half years ago, maybe more actually. It was a long time ago. However, i didn't actually 'need' it as i already had a PS3, but most of my friends had Xbox's and so i wanted to play / speak to them on it so i decided to buy one. Great console and haven't regretted the purchase in the slightest despite having a Ps3 with many similar 3rd party games.

      The 360 i got is the old 60GB one. Before this came out there were 20GB versions and also non-hard drive versions but they eventually discontinued the 20GB in place of the 60GB. To be honest i don't actually use much of the hard drive. You need it to play online however so in that regard it's a necesity, but for me i would have been happy with a 20gb one if they were available.

      In the box you get:
      -Xbox 360 console,
      -Wireless controller
      -60GB hardive
      -Headset
      -AC adapter
      -TV cable (not HDMI, needs to be bought seperately)
      -Ethernet cable
      -1 month free Xbox Live Gold membership

      The design of the console is quite alright but not the greatest. It is quite heavy and although it may look fat in some picture online, it's not so bad in real life. You can only get this in white as the black versions which look similar are actually called Xbox 360 Elite's and they have huge 120GB hard drives. On the front of the XBOX you have the big power button which flashes one light if theres one controller connected, 2 lights if there's 2 and so on upto 4 controllers. There are also slots to put memory cards in. Also disguised really nicely is the USB ports which are hidden behind a sneaky flap on the bottom just below the power button. They are useful if you use a battery charger pack to charge your controllers. The CD/DVD drive of this is a silver one and it stands out nicely whereas if you had bought the Core Arcade Console you would have had a white console with a white CD/DVD drive. To open this drive you simple click the button on it. You can also open the drive by using your controller and pressing the eject button on the 360 home screen. Switching on the console also can be done directly by the controller wirelessly by pressing the home button in the middle.

      This version has HDMI whereas the very first original 360's didn't have. This is important for me as i use a 32 inch HD TV and would like the best possible resolution and graphics. You could use a Component cable which is very close to HDMI, but for the very best you can get then HDMI it is. This allows you to display up to 1080p so if you have a 1080p TV you will get the full use out of it.

      The Xbox 360's main use is for playing games. There are many games that you can play that are also available on other consoles such as EA Sports games (Fifa etc) or the very popular Call of Duty games (COD).
      However there are many exclusives which was one of the incentives to make me buy the consoles. Some notable exlusives include the Gears of War series, the Halo series which continues from the original Xbox days and also the Left 4 Dead series. Games like these are defininately worth it if your into shooters/action games. Compared to the Wii, the 360 is definately not aimed at the family market. There are games which can be seen as family games but the mainstream games designed for this console are not for the family market. The graphics on these games are awsome. They're the best there has ever been (Same as PS3) and really won;t get any better on any console until the next generation of console which could be atleast 2-3 years away as these are still going strong.

      All games have single player modes, but the vast majority now also have online game modes. This allows you to play with your friends or randomers around the world which is great as it extends the life of the game. For example the Fifa Football games will get boring eventually after playing the Computer over and over again, but playing online is something different every time and gives you a challenge to try and be the best!

      To play online you need XBOX Live Gold which the RRP is around £40 a year. However there are always offers on for new customers to get a few months free etc. This xbox live is not only for playing games, but for many other features too. these include watching gaming review video's, checking the latest gaming information and also to download demo's to try games out before you buy. Buing Xbox live also allows you to chat to your friends over the Mic that comes with your xbox which can be done on the home menu or while your playing a game, even if your not playing the same game! You don't have to buy Gold membership to use online features, you could get the Free silver accounts instead. However silver membership is very limited and one of the main things which is playing online cannot be done without Gold membership.

      The 360 has something which other consoles don't have - well didn't have at the time - which is Achivements (PS3 now have trophies but at the time of release only XBOX had something of the kind). This is a system where in each game you play there are certian things that are considered 'Achievements' which need to be unlocked. For example in a shooting game you may have to kill 100 enemies with a headshot to get a certain achievement. This then pops up letting you know you have achieved this and it gives you Gamerscore points which show in your profile and gamertag. Although many people like this for bragging rights, i like it for the fact that it makes me use every pennies worth as sometimes I would just play the game through once and never touch it again but now i go back and play it again trying to get achievements.

      I've talked about online features but i haven't talked about how to get them! Right.. This version of the 360 has not got wireless WiFi built- in so you need to either plug an Ethernet cable (provided) in your 360 and your modem, or you need to buy a seperate xbox 360 wireless USB adapter which cost around £40 nowadays I think. You can't use any USB adapter as it won't work, it has to be the Microsoft one especially designed for the 360. There is also another way of getting wireless which is via a laptop that is connected to a router wireless, then plug the laptop into your 360. However this route causes alot more hassle and it's definately worth paying for a wireless adapter.

      Other things that you can do on Xbox 360 apart from playing games are watching DVD's, listening to music and chatting to friends. You can chat to frinds via the headset, using private messages which are typed on the controller (or a keyboard if you plug a USB one in) or chatting on MSN to people even who are not using Xbox's and are on there laptops. There is also now Sky tv on 360's so if you have a Sky subscriptipn you can watch some good amount of channels on there such as Sky Sports.

      There are some issues which have caused alot of people to think twice before buying an Xbox 360.The main one like many of you may have heard of is the 'Red Rings on Death' (RROD). This is when the console flashed red lights on the front instead of green lights. It will either flash 1, 2, 3 or 4 lights depending on the issue and will give a certain error. The most popular one, and one of the main reasons why people are turnoed off by the problem, is 3 red lights. This is related to over-heating and apparently statistics showed that in the first few years of its release the Xbox £60 had over-heating issued with 1 in every 3 console! Now that i alot and caused problems for many worldwide. They now seem to have got a control on the problem and it is very unlikely nowadays to get this problem but thats with the new console and with the old ones like the one i'm reviewing here have this problem still. However, i have never had the over-heating problem and hopefully never will. Micrsoft did extend warranty's from one year to three for this problem so thats covred, but it doesn't take away from the time without your Xbox that you may have to endure. It's especially frustrating as you pay alot of money for a product from a reputable company such as Microsoft yet still have to encounter these problems on a mass scale. The only tip that I can give in trying not to get red rings is to make sure you don;t put your console in a box or closed space so an open tv tray is fine. Although this won't guarantee anything, i follow this and all seems well for me.

      Another downside is the sound from the console. It is EXTREMELY loud when swithced on, and even louder when there's a game in the drive and your playing! It's literally like an engine on a plane that is about to take off! There's nothing you can do about this apart from trying to ignore it or just turning your tv up louder. To be honest after a while you will get used to it and won;t fell theres anything bad about it but then if you go and play a PS3 afterwards you feel as though there's something wrong with your PS3 as it's 'too quiet' compared to the 360!

      I'll give a mini comparison between the XBOX 360 and the PS3 as i feel many people reading a console review want to know which console to choose and why so i'll compare them a bit. By the way i'm comparing the PS3 and not the Nintendo Wii or anything as the PS3 is the most similar console to the 360 in terms of features, game type and also price.

      The looks of the console themselves differ from the old PS3 40 and 80GB's to the newer slim models. This is the same with the Xbox 360. However, overall i feel the PS3 is much better looking. The old PS3 models are shiny and expensive looking with touch pad to eject the disk and turn on the console etc and the newer PS3's are not shiny buy are really slim and sexy looking. The XBOX consoles seem to me as very plain and boring so PS3 wins here.

      The Controllers personally I like the Xbox 360 better. The PS3 ones are smaller and slimmer and are extremely light but i feel the 360 ones fit my hands perfectly and have a much stronger feeling to them. The 360 ones also have a sort of rubbery feel whereas the PS3 is just tottaly plastic. However, the xbox 360 needs batteries unless you buy a charger pack whereas the PS3 has built in lithium battery's so don't cost any extra. For me the 360 wins here as the controller feels much nicer and more filling for better grip in gameplay.

      The Games that the console has is one of the main debatable points. I personally can't decide fully one way or the other. There are so many games which are on both consoles such as th Fifa games and Cod games and many many more. The 360 exclusives inluce Gears of War, Halo, Left 4 Dead and the PS3 also has their fair share including Killzone, Littlebigplanet, God of War and Resistance. If i had to choose one over the other then it would be the PS3 just very slightly. Actually, I take that back and i'm sitting on the fence for this one lol!

      The features depends on what you want to use your console for. The Ps3 has a blu ray drive to watch blu ray moves which are now becoming more popular. The Ps3 also has an internet web broswer so if you like to use that then that's also useful. Things like BBC Iplayer, 4-On-Demand and ITV player are all present on the PS3 whereas on the other hand Xbox had live Sky tv if you have a Sky subscription. The 360 has achievments and Gamerscore which is better than the PS3 trophies in my opinion. The 360 also allows you to chat to friends via the headset when your in a game or not and you can chat upto 8 people in a prty at the same time whereas the PS3 only allows you to chat on headset if you are in the same game playing the same match or if your on the home menu. For me personally, i'm once again balanced as i like unique features from both consoles and in an ideal world if we could mix both of them onto one console it would be perfect!

      The internet connections and their features i would choose the PS3 over the 360. This is beacuse the PS3 has built in Wi-fi so you don;t have to fork out another £40-£50 like you have to if you want to get wireless on the 360. Also PS3 online is free whereas the 360 cost's £40 a year for all the features.

      The price at first may seem alot cheaper to buy a Xbox 360 rather than a PS3, but if you add all the extras needed to make it compariable then the PS3 work out cheaper. This is because you have to buy an adapter for wifi on the 360 for around £40-£50, plus £40 a year for subscription. The Ps3 on the other hand has this built in and has free subscriptions, plus it has a Blu-Ray player which are quite expensive so overall the Ps3 gives better value for money.

      I would definately reccomend anyone who is wanting to buy a console to buy a Xbox 360. Although i feel the PS3 all-round is slightly better, the 360 will definately not dissapoint! There are some really good exclusives for the 360 that are not available on the ps3, and also this 360 60gb version is very cheap nowadays so value for money is incredible.

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        10.03.2011 16:32

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        Excellent console!

        I have now owned an Xbox 360 ever since its release in 2005, I simply would not know what to do without one! For those who are sceptical about the price, for me it is a very small price to pay for the amount of hours it can fill up with its entertainment. The console itself is a very good piece of work, however as with any games console it is down to the games on offer that makes using the console enjoyable. My favourite games are Call of Duty: Black Ops and FIFA 11. The Xbox 360 has been out for quite some time now but it still provides endless hours of entertainment. The only down point I can find with this console is that is does not have the ability to play blu-ray, however this is not such a big problem with me as I rarely watch films. I would recommend this console to anybody who want something to end their boredom in their spare hours.

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        13.08.2010 21:47
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        I believe that if you want an all-in-one gaming console, this is the best option.

        I first purchased Microsoft's Xbox 360 in 2009. I wasn't to sure wherever to buy a Xbox 360 or a Playstation 3; the main factor of me purchasing an Xbox 360 was the fact that many of my friends favoured it over Sony's Playstation 3.

        Not only does it offer a great platform for the latest games, but you can also play them on-line. Xbox LIVE is a great way to play games, especially if you have friends with the same gaming platform. Microsoft do charge their users to be a member of the 'LIVE community', but it's only around £5 a month or a simple £30-40 yearly payment.

        Some argue that it's unfair that Microsoft charge people to play on-line, but I believe that it's an advantage for us members. You get a more reliable experience and also have a lot of 'extras' when compared to the Playstation 3. Such extras include:

        Party Chats - Where a group of friends can communicate (by voice) while playing the same or different games.

        Moderating - You can easily report disruptive and offensive members of the LIVE community.

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        07.01.2010 13:11

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        Great console, probably the best in its generation, but does suffer the RROD at least once.

        I bought my Xbox 360 in April 2008, and i havent looked back since, the console is amazing, the Forza racing series is the best and most realistic racing game you'll find. And there's plenty other games of other genres to keep you interested.

        The console comes with a 60GB, (120GB with an elite and 250GB with a super elite console) it also contains a HDMI port, a HD component cable, a short ethernet cable, a xbox 360 headset and a wireless controller.

        You may be concerned about the issues of the RROD (Red ring of death) caused by the motherboard overheating and ultimately making the console inoperative.

        Dont worry as microsoft recently changed their warranty policy and your warranty for RROD and E74 errors is 3 years long, if your console experiences one of these failures within 3 years of purchasing your new console, they will repair it and send it back to you for free, i know as my console experienced the RROD in February 2009. I had it back within 10 days of dispatching it.

        Other than that the xbox 360 has very few issues to be worried about, the RROD is the most common problem, and it is fixed freely and quickly.

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        05.01.2010 14:56
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        Very pleased 12 yr old. Ideal price range. Cant go wrong.

        I am sorry but i am not very techie minded so my review will not be about all the techincal information about the XBox 360 but more from a everyday mum's point of view!

        We have always been Playstation fans and recently Wii too but my 12 year old son asked for the XBox 360 for Christmas as his friends all have the XBox so he would be able to swap games with them and play against them online.

        After looking around we actually found the XBox 360 to be quite a reasonable price compared to its rival the PS3 console. The only real difference to us was the XBox 360 does not play the Blue Ray films that the PS3 does but not a big thing considering it is intended for my son's bedroom. The games and accessories are very similar priced for the 360 and PS3.

        After a bit of looking round we opted for a package from Argos for approx £220 including 60gb Hard drive XBox 360 console ( comes with 1 wireless controller and headset ) a new release game and Compatiable Accessory pack (remote controller, play and charge controller, Vertical console and games stand).

        It was all set up for my son Christmas morning. It was easy to plug into his flat screen tv and it is rather heavy and bulky buy does look good too. He has already had many happy (and fopr me quiet) hours playing on it. The graphics look as good as the PS3 's too.

        The only downsides i feel are
        1) that i assumed it could go straight online like the PS3 could but no we had to buy the Wireless Network adaptor which i manged to find on a auction site for £35 otherwise it would of been a extra £58
        2) you need to be join XBOX "Live" too to play online with friends / strangers and to buy cheats, games etc online. Again extra cost
        3) The noise! It sounds like a mini jet engine starting up! lol

        All in all a fantastic buy, a great value console and unless Playstation 3 lower there prices and come up with something i think the XBox 360 will claim the top console on the market title!

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          31.12.2009 12:40
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          5/5

          I always used to be a Sony fanboy, until I got the Xbox 360 Pro System. The console's design is very sleak, and although it is a bit bulky it's nice to look at.

          The power of the console impresses me as it brings most of the next generation games to life. It's graphical power, especially in HD is remarkable.

          You have a 20GB hard-drive which comes with the console, which by some is deemed not sufficient enough, but trust me it's more than big enough. It has enough space to save all of your Gamer Tags, games, and downloadable content. The only way it will not be big enough is if you start installing games to the hard-drive, and downloading movies from the ever impressive marketplace.

          The Xbox just keeps getting better and better with the new Microsoft experience, which gives gamers a more personalised feel to Xbox Live. You also have the opportunity to now stream live television from Sky through your Xbox 360 console (must have an xbox live account).

          It's wireless controllers are very well designed, and are very comfortable to hold.

          Most people are put off through the technical fault the 'RRoD' which doesn't actually happen that often, and when it does Microsoft are more than happy to repair or replace it for you.

          You will also see a big difference in your gaming after you switch to HDMI cable as it brings your games to a whole new life, the graphics seem to be switched up to high, which makes gaming a pleasure.

          I would recommend this console to everyone, as it really is one of the best pieces of equipment to be released this decade. By the way, I am also the owner of a Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3, so in no way am I biased.

          5/5

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          24.11.2009 15:08
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          By far the best console on the market and it's basically the cheapest

          I started gaming back in 1984 when I got a Commodore 64. From then on I've gone through all the generations, Sega Master System, Mega Drive, Mega CD, Dreamcast! Nintendo NES, SNES, 64, Gamecube, Playstation 1, 2 blah blah blah.
          There are, at the moment, 3 consoles on the market.
          The Xbox 360 is the oldest now but still maintains the biggest following and still out ranks the other two in my opinion.
          The Wii, for me, is aimed towards a younger audience and to those who don't usually play games. It's very family orientated. Not a bad thing at all but for gamers it just doesn't compare.

          The PS3 on the other hand is a different kettle of fish all together. With it's Blu Ray player and far superior hardware it's the next generation console that ticks all the buttons. So why does the Xbox still come out on top?
          Simply it comes down to price. For most people it's hard to justify paying an extra £100-ish for a Blu Ray player that will cost around £20 to buy movies for.
          the online community on the xbox and the interaction with friends is far easier and more reliable than the Playstation network. OK so the PS network is free while it's about £35 a year for the Microsoft one, but it's worth paying for. You get far more options and far better reliability with Microsoft's Xbox network simply because you are paying for it!
          There are more games on the Xbox and with almost all of them offering additional downloadable content that you can't get on teh PS3 it just adds to the increasing list of reasons to get the Xbox over the PS3.
          The graphics are pretty much the same. yes the PS3 does have slightly better graphics but not so noticable to you and me.

          In a nutshell apart from the Blu Ray player and the cost of the online subscription it beats the PS3 on so many levels.
          More games, better online community, HD graphics, downloadable content meaning your games last longer, multimedia connectivity (connect to your PC and stream films - really easy!).
          Get an Xbox now, wait 4 years then get the new Xbox. Save your money and stay away from Sony, unless you can afford an extra £100 and dont mind having less choice of games etc.

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            20.11.2009 13:47
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            This really is the best console by far available today

            The Microsoft Xbox 360 is easily the best console on the market today.
            I started out with the Wii and was largely disappointed so I decided to get myself an Xbox and was amazed with what they had produced.
            The only thing you can compare this to is the PS3 and I think the 360 is better.
            This console has bought gaming to a whole new level thanks to the HD gaming capability. The Xbox is also the first console to have a full menu which is the dashboard which has recently been updated with new features.

            Games
            The Xbox 360 has a huge collection of games available that will fulfil the needs of any gamer. The games are not just for one target market, they have games for everyone, young, old, boy or girl.
            Any gamer will be happy with an Xbox 360 because of the different genres of games that are available and the level of detail that have been included in them. There seems to be no limit to the amount of games there are to purchase and with new games being introduced all the time, it doesn't look like there ever will ever be a limit.

            Dashboard
            The new Xbox 360 dashboard is a huge step in the right direction for gaming consoles. The amount of features are truly staggering.
            For starters you can view your gaming profile from here, which includes gaming achievements, profile information and player information.
            There is also a music and video section, where you can listen to your music you have either installed on the system or the music you have on the disk or external device.
            In the video section you can play DVD's, play videos from external devices and download movies and TV shows from the Xbox live marketplace for a price.
            You can also get all the latest gaming news from the Inside Xbox section of the dashboard if you have access to Xbox live. Here you will hear about new releases, demos and game add-ons, such as maps and new cars.

            Xbox Live
            You can't right a review without mentioning Xbox live.
            So its not free like it is on the PS3, nor does it have build in wireless capabilities like the PS3 but the results are still astonishing. For a small fee of £5 a month you will get access to all areas of the Xbox live feature.
            You can download games, videos, demos and game content straight to your hard drive either for free or for a fee using Microsoft points.
            The possibilities are endless as to the amount of fun you can have playing your games against other people over Xbox live.
            One of the big success stories of Xbox live is Halo 3, which has had millions of unique players and still draws thousands of players to it each day even though it was released years ago.
            A lot of games hold tournaments and competitions that players can win prizes on.
            3 of the newest features to be added are the Sky player, Facebook and Twitter access.

            With project Natal being released next year, the Xbox 360 is going to draw an even bigger crowd taking players away from the Wii and away from the PS3 because they don't have any thing close to matching the fun that project natal will bring to its players.

            If you don't believe any of what I have just said about the Xbox 360, take a look at the recorded sales and see for yourself just how popular this thing is.

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              05.11.2009 23:30
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              If you are buyng a console now, get a play station 3, or even better, get a PC

              The 3 consoles of the new generation are microsofts xbox 360, sonys play station 3, and the nintendo wii. While the wii has separated and aimed its sales at families, young children and adults, while the xbox 360 and play station 3 are clearly for the first person shooter fan.

              Xbox 360 started with a bad release. It was rushed and reliability figures were terrible. Now, the reliability has improved, and the warranty covers the console for any amount of time. My xbox has had to be repaired twice now, and currently does not sound like a healthy machine. No amount of warranty time can really make up for this lack of reliability. I keep my xbox in perfect conditions, there is no reason for it to fail.

              The xbox has had the best releases of any console, such as the Halo series, bioshock and gears of war. Its online capabilities are second to none, although they are a paid service, as opposed to the play station 3's and wii's online servies which are free. In my experience, the xbox online system is better, but not £30 a year better.

              The xbox 360 is a good console, and is the better console for value for money, but i would recommend the play station more because of its blue ray capabilities, and future-proof build. Most games for the 360 are also released onto windows PCs, and these have all the benefits of other consoles such as free internet, without the drawbacks of reliability, and high priced games.

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              21.10.2009 10:31

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              Brilliant console to own in your own home!

              Having owned this console for the past 2 years, I have had so much fun! The Xbox 360 has a great range of games a long with a few great exclusives such as Halo, Gears of War and Mass Effect. This Next-Gen console with its HD capabilities makes every game look like a masterpiece, every detail is mind-blowing! When you buy this console you will never put down the controller and I would highly recommend to upgrade your Xbox Live account to Gold to recieve the ultimate gaming experience! This will provide all the basics like game/video demos of games and developers, arcade games, standard/HD movie rentals, Game Add-ons and is yet to develop even more abilities in the near future! the controller of the Xbox 360 is amazing, with its high powered rumble box to feel every hard knock, and it fits so comfortably in your hands. Unfortunately the controls have battery packs, but it can be upgraded to a rechargeable kit.

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              19.10.2009 20:33
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              Graphics, game play and game selection is better than any console i have ever owned

              For the money, there is no question that the xbox is the number one console available at the moment. I was always a playstation guy until i needed to make my most recent console update. Having seen the price of the PS3 i was outraged that they could charge such a fee for a games console. I purchased the console along with pro evo for £160. The same game and the PS3 was twice the price. Yes many people may be chomping at the bit to tell me that the PS3 is more than just a console and that it has a blue ray player, but i dont want a blue ray player, i just want a games console. If i wanted a blue ray player that means i have to re-buy my whole movie library again in blue ray, something im not willing or financially able to do. I just wanted it as a games console. Since purchasing it I have had days and days of fun with it, whether it be alone playing GTA or with mates on pro evo. I have it hooked up to my HDTV and find the quality and graphics fantastic. The xbox live feature is something i have spent a little time with, however i prefer playing the games alone before completing them and then moving onto the next.
              I have had the dreaded lights of death, twice!! The first time i was heartbroken and decided i would attempy to fix it myself using one of the millions of online fixs available online. This was succesful and extended the life of my beloved xbox for another 6months. However when it went again i decided to bite the bullet and bought another one. I was lucky though as i had all the peripherals from my last one i only needed the console. I bought the arcarde version and sold my broken one for spares so the whole ordeal only cost me around £60 which wasnt too bad. The console itself is a wonderful peice of equipment and offers more than just playing the games, I have it wirelessy hooked up to my laptop so i can play movies and music direct through my tv which is good. It also acts to play pictures aswel so i can use it for slide shows when the family come round. I am extremly happy i am a xboxer and no longer a sony user as the price of games as well as the availabilty is, in my opinion better on the xbox also.

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              16.09.2009 21:52
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              An incredible console with a wealth of available content

              --Intro--
              Being such a massive fan of the first XBox, i preordered the 360 Pro
              (or Premium as it was known at release) as soon as i could. It was
              delivered on the morning of launch day and i was ready to go!

              -- Cost --
              Currently, the XBox 360 Pro has a RRP of £170, however, this model is
              being phased out to be replaced by the Elite console. The Elite is
              black (as opposed to the white Pro or Arcade), has a larger hard drive
              and has an RRP of £199.99.
              In comparison to other consoles on the market, £170 offers fantastic
              value and i'll go into detail below.

              --Initial setup and box contents--
              Opening the box youll find your shiny new XBox 360 console, a power
              lead with a large brick like power adapter halfway down it, a wireless
              controller, an XBox live headset, an AV cable, a 1 month trial for
              XBox Live Gold and then all the usual other bits of paper that people
              call 'instructions' that us men folk read later when we're bored.
              The new XBox models only come with standard definition cables, which
              is a shame as many people will miss out on high defintion out of the
              box unless they spend extra money.
              The Pro comes with a Composite and Component cable in one. If plugging
              in via component, make sure you fluck the switch on the cable to 'HD'!
              You can also go get yourself a HDMI cable on the newer models to use
              instead. These are cheap!
              The console has 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, an AV port and a HDMI
              port. No wireless without an adapter unfortunately!

              --Interface--
              New XBox 360s and those connected to the internet will run what is
              knows as the 'New XBox Experience' or NXE. This is Microsofts fancy
              way of saying 'shiny menu system'. You create a little avatar, dress
              it up, and this acts as you in the menu system. If you want you can
              waste your hard earned real life money on some clothes. Me? I used the
              bog standard stuff available!
              You then flick up and down through the various sections of the menu
              such as 'My XBox', 'Friends', 'Marketplace' etc, and in these sections
              are subsections to can select to get to what you need.

              --Media--
              The XBox 360 has a DVD tray and will play DVD's - upscaling them to
              sub-HD resolutions, XBox 360 games (obviously!), a selection of the
              original XBox library and Audio CD's.
              Over your home network you can stream Video files in many different
              formats, audio files and images. These can also be accessed from a
              thumb drive plugged into one of the USB ports.
              I have my XBox 360 connected over the network wirelessly to my
              Macbook, and streaming couldnt be easier. No loss of quality either!
              Great stuff for parties.

              --XBox Live--
              XBox Live is Microsofts online gaming platform which is, in my
              opinion, utterly fantastic and worth the asking price for the console.
              Every console that connects online has access to XBox Live Silver,
              which will get you friends lists, access to the marketplace, voice
              chat, downloads, and pretty much everything that isnt online gaming.
              XBox Live Gold will cost on average £40 a year, although it can be
              found much cheaper than this if you buy a prepaid card somewhere. This
              is a big arguing point with the other consoles as they provide their
              online service for free. However, XBox Live is very organised, feature
              packed, stable, regularly updated and incredibly simple to use and is
              more than worth the 11 pence a day it works out at.
              Every game is XBox Live enabled, meaning it has features to have
              online access even if it doesnt offer multiplayer. Extra items can be
              downloaded etc. Party chat is also a great addition in that you can be
              playing one game, while all your friends can be playing others, but
              you can all be chatting away together regardless.
              Online multiplayer games such as Halo have re-engineered the way
              online works and have added features such as the party system and
              movie theatre.

              --Achievements--
              Every XBox 360 game has achievement points within the game. These act
              as little goals to aim for while playing, or sometimes something different to do outside of the normal game aims. For example it could be as simple as completing a course in a certain time, or it could be something a bit different like finding things that are not meant to be found! Each achievement gives you points beside your XBox Live username, letting everyone else know how youve been doing!

              --Peripherals--
              The XBox 360 has, in my opinion, the best controller on the market at the moment. Its small, ergonomic and comfortable to hold. The buttons are all satisfying to push and playing with it is easy! The only downside is the weak d-pad, but most games dont use it, so its not too much of an issue.
              The usual stack of other accessories are available, steering wheels, headsets, other controllers etc, all at varying degrees of quality from different manufacturers.

              --Games--
              The games are a major strongpoint of the console against others on the market. Theres a good selection of everything available, from the simulation and arcade racers like Forza Motorsport and Project Gotham, to the platformers like Banjo Kazooie. Halo and Gears of War are the 2 big franchises that most people know of. Both have had big influences on the shooter genre and are constantly pushing the envelope with in game content, online multiplayer and downloadable features. The game selection is constantly growing with AAA titles in all genres and it has something to suit just about everyone. Much more is available to download from the online marketplace also, an awesome feature in my opinion.

              --The Marketplace--
              The online marketplace is a handy little (or massive!) thing. Demos are available for most games thathave been released just to download to your console. Along with added in game content such as extra maps, cars, guns etc and songs for Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Other things available include game trailers, video interviews and other goodies! The marketplace offers a massive amount of things for most games available on the console. Full XBox 360 games are available to download to your console now too!

              --XBox Live Arcade--
              XBox Live Arcade is an extended part of the Marketplace offering smaller full games to download to your console. Old arcade classice such as Pacman are here, along with brand new games, such as the incredible Geometry Wars. These games act like all the other games on the system, so they have demos, videos and added content available.

              --Issues/that famous RROD--
              I'll be the first to admit i have suffered the Red Ring of Death where the console dies and a red ring appears on the front, but this is ocvered by 3 years warranty, and mine was replaced within the week. Great service! Other issues include the much hated controller dpad and now the lack of high definition cables out of the box. All of these are downers, but the restof the services available more than make up for it in my opinion!
              Another issue is the cost of the larger hard drives, as Microsoft charge an extortionate amount. There isnt much of an excuse here as hard drives are cheap, Microsoft is just charging for thier proprietary hard drive casing.

              --The Future--
              New features are always being added. Coming soon items include Facebook and Twitter support, the ability to watch Sky Sports with others online, and the much heralded Natal. The motion capturing video camera which can see your every move and allow you to play many types of game controllerless. It looks amazing!

              --Conclusion--
              Approaching my favourite console of all time. The ever expanding features list, ease of use, massive games selection and everything available for it makes it a definite worthwhile purchase.
              Reliability hasnt dented my enthusiasm, and XBox Live puts the console above and beyond what else you can buy.
              6 stars out of 5!

              Comments

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              • More +
                09.09.2009 11:37
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                Does it really cost £170

                The Xbox360 is one of the most well known in consoles but is it really as good as people make it seem well in my opinion i don't think so, although a matter of opinion the Xbox360 may be one of the most well known but in the end it can cost more than it Seems.

                Problems -
                1. One problem with the Xbox360 is the Wireless adapter surely if the Wii and the PlayStation 3 can both have in-built wireless then surely the X box can also have this but they made it so you had to but an extra piece of hardware costing £50 this is, in my opinion a way to get more money out of you.

                2. Microsoft also charges you to play online by getting membership cards although only costing £35 a year it adds up so if you are planning on playing online you also need to add this onto the £170 (premium console) that this console costs.

                3. Generally the problems that the Xbox360 has its greatly over rated overheating is its primary problem you must keep it several feet from anything for the proper air support, there also the, as its called Red eyes of doom which can spout up at anytime giving it a couple of weeks trip to the repair shop or to Microsoft.

                4. Wireless pads don't come with a chargeable battery pack you must buy that separate so you need to add another £10 to the price.

                Dis Advantages -
                Although i don't personally own a Playstation3 a friend does and of what i have seen it is by far superior I am not a Playstation3 fan i am simply writing what i have seen on that note Unlike the Xbox360 the Playstation3 has in-built wireless although the cost of the console is greater than the Xbox360 if you add the wireless adapter you will see the price is roughly the same if you buy a years online membership for the Xbox360 the price actually Exceeds the Playstation3 you can also take into account that the Wireless adapter is on the outside of the Xbox360 and can be damaged due to External force Some people also steer towards the Xbox360 due to its light weight but is it really necessary, are you going to hold it while you play? and finally Game cost although the Xbox360 is cheaper you must take limits into consideration Xbox360 does not use blue-ray and hence has a rough limit of 5GB so when games become more advanced the console will be force to accept Blue-ray hence updating there consoles to play them so if you own a Xbox360 that does have a blue-ray player you will have to SPEND more money to update it if your lucky they might re-call all consoles and update them for free but in my opinion not likely, so dont just take the pretty graphics into consideration, they may be on par with the Playstation3 but eventually the games will breach the disks maximum usage and then problems will arise.


                Overall the Xbox360 is not really worth as much as people make it out to be if you just want standard games with no online game-play then the console is great until your first break down, if you want online Game-play then it will cost roughly a total of £265 almost £100 more than the price it sells for, and if you do not buy a bundle you may need to add a couple of more pounds to the price so you have a Decent game to play.

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              • More +
                08.09.2009 22:29
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                Fantastic piece of equipment

                Following my ageing Arcade console (see previous review) I decided to pick up the premium 'pro' console during christmas at 2008. As I already discussed the Xbox in general in the previous review I am only going to talk about this version in t his review. I got the console at 170£ from gamestation and it came with a 60GB which I felt was brilliant compared to the arcade. I could now finally store the games in the hard disks and enjoy better gaming from lesser noise, faster loading times and longer life of the drive.

                This version came with all the features as the older one with wired headset and extra controller. The sales guy mentioned that it had a different motherboard so the RROD problem has been reduced if not removed. On using the console I noticed it was definetely quieter than the previous console I had and was definetely happy with it.

                Possibly the best feature I like about this console was the HDMI port output which was missing in the older one. I immediately picked up the HDMI cable and noticed the difference in the screen as I was used to playing with the component AV. It did feel remarkably better and was happy with this purchase. Considering I got a better console for a cheapr price than the arcade 2 years later I was impressed and would recommend this product. Unfortunately I do not possess a Elite version (theres no point) so I cant compare it with that.

                I also heard that the current models should be hardware capable with the project Natal which is the controller free gaming said to release 2010. You will need to buy an additional sensor box though

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              • More +
                24.07.2009 06:43

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                A very good console

                I am a person who is very much into his gaming consoles, with the Xbox 360 i have found that the console has many advantages and a couple of disadvantages. The xbox's user interface has changed dramatically over the past year or two and is very good, due to the fact that it was created by microsoft means that it has been made very compatible with alot of other products e.g. i have a external hard-drive that i can connect to the Xbox 360 but i can't connect to my PS3. The Games for the Xbox have also got better and better since it's release.

                The Xbox 360 that i have got has had two instances with the red ring of death, the first instance Microsoft didn't fault and so wasn't very impressed with that and had to pay for it to be fixed. The second time they admitted fault and gave me a brand new console free. Another problem is having to buy the extras such as wireless device.

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