Newest Review: ... Left 4 Dead series. Games like these are defininately worth it if your into shooters/action games. Compared to the Wii, the 360 is defina... more
Engines on.. 360 we are about to take off
Microsoft Xbox 360 Pro System
Member Name: delasandro
Microsoft Xbox 360 Pro System
Advantages: Gaming, Gaming and Gaming.. Good Exclusives, Nice Controller, Achievements/Gamerscore
Disadvantages: Not reliable enough, cost adds up in the end for all features, Really Loud
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,
-TV cable (not HDMI, needs to be bought seperately)
-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.
Summary: a great console all round with a few problems that let it down