Before You Buy - An Xbox 360

by Mark Redd - Date: 2006-12-20 - Word Count: 598 Share This!

Before purchasing the "next generation" video game, there are a few things that should be taken into consideration. The Xbox 360 is the latest attempt from Microsoft to control the giant that Sony has dominated for the past several years. With a three-core IBM processor at it's heart, this thing appears to be a wild animal waiting for it's release. Without getting too technical, the specs on the Xbox 360 easily eclipses any piece of gaming equipment around today, with the exception of some of the $4k-$5k high-end gaming PC's.

The first decision you have to make is whether or not to spend and extra $100 on the official Xbox 360 or take the cheap way out and grab the "core". I think you can assume what my recommendation is but for those unaware don't waste your money on the core system. The core, at a suggested price of $299, includes the system, a wired controller, basic video cables, and that's pretty much it. For those that chose to be a bit more dollar wise, the $400 Xbox 360 includes the system with chrome details, a wireless remote, a wireless controller, HD component cables, and the 20 GB hard drive. The latter of the two options would be more than $650 if purchased separately.

The second decision you must make, is if you are going to really jump into the next generation or if you are content with your current television situation. Personally, I went HD over two years ago and there is not in turning back in my horizons. At minimum, you need an HD-capable set in order to fully experience what the next generation of gaming has in store. My current set-up (pictured below) includes my Xbox 360 being displayed on a 32" Olevia Flat-Panel LCD and the picture in one word is MIND-BLOWING. If you have the finances, don't chinch on what type of display is showing these beautifully rendered graphics. Just as a test, I set up my 360 on the last "standard" television I have in my home and to be honest, it didn't look to bad. But once I set it up on my High Definition set, my heart felt at piece and my eyes were finally able to relax and soak in the beauty. The level of detail on an HD set compared to traditional makes the Xbox 360 a must have for ANYONE that has and HD television.

The last thing to consider is the game lineup. I purchased my Xbox 360 the day it launched (how is another story) and with it I bought: Madden 2006, Call of Duty 2, Need for Speed, Perfect Dark Zero and NBA 2K6 (I'm not rich, it's called credit). To my surprise Perfect Dark Zero and Call of Duty 2 quickly stood out as the better games graphically and had pretty good game-play. If you've ever played a first person shooter such as Halo, there shouldn't be any problem popping these in without much of a learning curve. NBA 2K6 is definitely a must-have and is leaps and bounds better than it's Xbox predecessor. Madden and Need for Speed were pretty disappointing considering they seemed to be ports from the original Xbox and nothing more. The line-up, as of now, is still in its infancy and is not enough to make you HAVE to own this system immediately. However, I'm a gaming nut and I would have been extremely disappointed had I not had this system on launch day.

Recommendation: Purchase this system as soon as it is financially viable. The killer apps are in the pipeworks!

Related Tags: video, ps3, xbox, xbox 360, generation, 360, wii, nintendo, games review, next, console

Mark Redd

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