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"[Console] Xbox360 Review"

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Thu 03/06/10 at 18:43
Regular
Posts: 18
I've always been a fan of video games, and being a girl, this does usually get a few surprised reactions. The Xbox 360 is my console of choice, and whilst admittedly I do own a Nintendo Wii and I've been trying to save my Amazon vouchers for a PS3, it is my favourite out of the 3.

The Xbox 360 has been out a while now and when coming up to Christmas parents find themselves confused between the 3 different consoles, many opting for the Wii for the 'family friendly' aspect and it's quirky Wii Remote. The Xbox 360 and the PS 3 are often seen as the more serious games consoles for serious gamers, but since the popularity for the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft have attempted to jump on the band wagon and market their console as a family friendly machine.

When the 360 first came out its menu screen wasn't anything special. However loading up the console today brings a whole new experience with a flashy sliding menu helping to make navigation smooth and easy. Internet connection for your 360 is almost a necessity, with it you can see the latest gaming news, the newest games out in the marketplace, and which of your friends are online. When you first set up you need to create a gamer tag (username) and an avatar. The avatar's are a newer feature of the Xbox 360 and is helping to market it as more of a 'family gaming experience.' At first avid gamers were very hesitant at this idea, however these days people are loving customising their avatar's with new clothes, and you can even buy pets, game themed clothing and seasonal clothing using Microsoft points if you wish!

They've also recently launched Facebook, Last.fm and Sky Player onto the 360. You can log into your Facebook account and view your photos on your big screen TV, or update your status and whatever else it is people love to do on Facebook. With the new addition of Last.fm you can now play your personal Last.fm stations through your TV, a fancy new feature.

Having a night in and fancy watching a movie? There are tons on the Xbox marketplace to choose from and rent, of course these do come at a price using Microsoft Points, the currency of choice if you're buying anything from the Marketplace. Thankfully these are easy to buy; you can buy them straight from Xbox or in any shop which sells games. You can even buy them from eBay, quite often from sellers you will email you the code within a few hours for you to redeem.

With all of these added extra's it s almost easy to forget that this is a games console and you can often be stuck for choice in this area. Indeed there's a huge amount of retail games out there for the 360 now, and you should find something to cater everyone's tastes. From shooters, to the many Guitar Hero's, platform games to RPG's there's a good range and whilst the Wii seems to cater mainly for families and younger children quite happily, the 360 also has a good selection of family games such as Scene It or Lips. It doesn't stop there, you can also browse through the Games Marketplace on your 360 and buy and download arcade games. That's a huge choice here too, such as puzzle games and brain training type games, again there is something for everyone. I've bought a few games from the marketplace myself, and one thing I do like is the fact you can download a demo first before you go ahead and buy.

There are 2 different Xbox 360's you can buy, Arcade or Elite. The Arcade console does not come with a hard drive; you will need to buy a memory card or hard drive separately. The Elite comes with a large 120GB hard drive and is black in colour. I own the old pro Xbox 360 which was basically the white one but with a hard drive, and this is now no longer available. The Elite version costs around 194, this is cheaper than the PS3 which is priced 244 and in my opinion you are only paying extra for the Blu-Ray capability that the PS3 has. My view is that the PS3 doesn't have as good a range of games as the Xbox 360 does and so for me the Xbox 360 wins.

You can have Silver Membership on your Xbox 360 which allows access to your friends list and the marketplace, but for premium content and multiplayer options in games you will need a Gold Membership. This costs around 30 for 12 months (I often buy mine on eBay) and its great value for money. I love playing games against other people, whether that's Uno (an Arcade game) or the popular Halo 3, there's something great about playing against human people elsewhere in the world than a computer player. If you wish your Xbox 360 to connect wirelessly you will need to buy a wireless adapter and this is my only real major issue with the 360 as in my opinion it should come built in.

If you want to give an Xbox 360 to your children, you can set parental controls. This stops them accessing any material outside their age group, and will stop them from playing any 18 rating games. Again a handy feature and means this console can also be a family friendly machine.

I love my Xbox 360, and it's definitely the console I'd choose out of the 3 available. Stunning graphics, a huge amount of games, a swish menu and an excellent marketplace means I never grow tired of playing on this console, where as many people who have purchased a Nintendo Wii find there's tucked away in the cupboard after the novelty has worn off.
Mon 07/06/10 at 20:58
Regular
Posts: 143
Xbox Live was brilliant in the early days (Rainbow Six with some randoms in Germany was quite fun), but then it got popular... and by that I mean 10 year old swearboxes managed to get subscriptions and run the whole show. The most popular games - Modern Warfare 2, Halo 3 - are filled with cheaters, hackers and hate filled adolescents (and many adults) that I've resorted to strictly offline play. Sure you can play online with your friends, but part of the original appeal was that could play new people from anywhere in the world. I just didn't know new people were all rude, and anywhere in the world meant mostly America.

The marketplace is rather stagnant of late, I haven't bought a new Arcade game since Shadow Complex.
Sat 05/06/10 at 13:01
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
Nice review Gemma.

I couldn't live without any of my 3 consoles.
Sat 05/06/10 at 12:13
Regular
Posts: 18
Oh sure our xbox has had the red ring of death and even my sister's has recently broken down, but I still love it!

That said I am buying a PS3 in the next couple of months, spurred on by Heavy Rain!
Fri 04/06/10 at 23:52
Regular
"How Ironic"
Posts: 4,312
50p a week doesn't sound bad. But if you've had an Xbox from the start, 5 years ago, charged at MS prices, that's 200, pretty near the value of purchasing a PS3. Now I'd prefer the PS3, simply because the online is free, the blu-ray player plus and the fact that 60 extra price tag has been eaten up by using Xbox live for a year and a half. I highly regret purchasing an Xbox.
Fri 04/06/10 at 22:19
Regular
"I like turtles"
Posts: 5,368
My 4 year old bright white breezeblock sounds like a hovercraft (especially as I have had the cooling system modded) and has been about as reliable as a Red Bull F1 car.For that reason alone it should be one of my most hated possessions but for some reason I still love it and wouldn't swap it for either of the other 2 consoles ?.Xbox Live works out about 50p a week which I think is really good value for money.Shame I hardly seem to get any time to play on it these days.

Gemma,nice review BTW :)
Fri 04/06/10 at 10:26
Regular
Posts: 19,415
The console is almost 5 years old, although it has sold millions it hasn't made Microsoft any money back.

Looking at our failure rate survey, out of 15 xbox 360 owners, only 2 haven't experienced a problem. The other 13 are on their second or third replacement. That sucks! No wonder people are buying games for their PS3 instead now.
Thu 03/06/10 at 21:49
Regular
"How Ironic"
Posts: 4,312
I sense debate sparking on this review, console wars methinks :P Despite the fact that I'm a 360 person myself, I can't help but think that right now the PS3 is the greater choice. Despite the 60 or so difference in price, the PS3 not only comes with built-in blu-ray, but the online is also free. The cost of Xbox Live is ludicrous. Despite the amount of updates that occur and the fantastic marketplaces, it really raises the PS3 above the 360 for me.
Thu 03/06/10 at 18:43
Regular
Posts: 18
I've always been a fan of video games, and being a girl, this does usually get a few surprised reactions. The Xbox 360 is my console of choice, and whilst admittedly I do own a Nintendo Wii and I've been trying to save my Amazon vouchers for a PS3, it is my favourite out of the 3.

The Xbox 360 has been out a while now and when coming up to Christmas parents find themselves confused between the 3 different consoles, many opting for the Wii for the 'family friendly' aspect and it's quirky Wii Remote. The Xbox 360 and the PS 3 are often seen as the more serious games consoles for serious gamers, but since the popularity for the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft have attempted to jump on the band wagon and market their console as a family friendly machine.

When the 360 first came out its menu screen wasn't anything special. However loading up the console today brings a whole new experience with a flashy sliding menu helping to make navigation smooth and easy. Internet connection for your 360 is almost a necessity, with it you can see the latest gaming news, the newest games out in the marketplace, and which of your friends are online. When you first set up you need to create a gamer tag (username) and an avatar. The avatar's are a newer feature of the Xbox 360 and is helping to market it as more of a 'family gaming experience.' At first avid gamers were very hesitant at this idea, however these days people are loving customising their avatar's with new clothes, and you can even buy pets, game themed clothing and seasonal clothing using Microsoft points if you wish!

They've also recently launched Facebook, Last.fm and Sky Player onto the 360. You can log into your Facebook account and view your photos on your big screen TV, or update your status and whatever else it is people love to do on Facebook. With the new addition of Last.fm you can now play your personal Last.fm stations through your TV, a fancy new feature.

Having a night in and fancy watching a movie? There are tons on the Xbox marketplace to choose from and rent, of course these do come at a price using Microsoft Points, the currency of choice if you're buying anything from the Marketplace. Thankfully these are easy to buy; you can buy them straight from Xbox or in any shop which sells games. You can even buy them from eBay, quite often from sellers you will email you the code within a few hours for you to redeem.

With all of these added extra's it s almost easy to forget that this is a games console and you can often be stuck for choice in this area. Indeed there's a huge amount of retail games out there for the 360 now, and you should find something to cater everyone's tastes. From shooters, to the many Guitar Hero's, platform games to RPG's there's a good range and whilst the Wii seems to cater mainly for families and younger children quite happily, the 360 also has a good selection of family games such as Scene It or Lips. It doesn't stop there, you can also browse through the Games Marketplace on your 360 and buy and download arcade games. That's a huge choice here too, such as puzzle games and brain training type games, again there is something for everyone. I've bought a few games from the marketplace myself, and one thing I do like is the fact you can download a demo first before you go ahead and buy.

There are 2 different Xbox 360's you can buy, Arcade or Elite. The Arcade console does not come with a hard drive; you will need to buy a memory card or hard drive separately. The Elite comes with a large 120GB hard drive and is black in colour. I own the old pro Xbox 360 which was basically the white one but with a hard drive, and this is now no longer available. The Elite version costs around 194, this is cheaper than the PS3 which is priced 244 and in my opinion you are only paying extra for the Blu-Ray capability that the PS3 has. My view is that the PS3 doesn't have as good a range of games as the Xbox 360 does and so for me the Xbox 360 wins.

You can have Silver Membership on your Xbox 360 which allows access to your friends list and the marketplace, but for premium content and multiplayer options in games you will need a Gold Membership. This costs around 30 for 12 months (I often buy mine on eBay) and its great value for money. I love playing games against other people, whether that's Uno (an Arcade game) or the popular Halo 3, there's something great about playing against human people elsewhere in the world than a computer player. If you wish your Xbox 360 to connect wirelessly you will need to buy a wireless adapter and this is my only real major issue with the 360 as in my opinion it should come built in.

If you want to give an Xbox 360 to your children, you can set parental controls. This stops them accessing any material outside their age group, and will stop them from playing any 18 rating games. Again a handy feature and means this console can also be a family friendly machine.

I love my Xbox 360, and it's definitely the console I'd choose out of the 3 available. Stunning graphics, a huge amount of games, a swish menu and an excellent marketplace means I never grow tired of playing on this console, where as many people who have purchased a Nintendo Wii find there's tucked away in the cupboard after the novelty has worn off.

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