Xbox 360 Buying Guide

Closing in on four years on the market, the Xbox 360 got a leg up on its competitors, the Fable II. The most budgetConsoles'>Video Game Console Buying Guide.

The Prominent Pluses

* It looks however you want it to. Xbox 360 Faceplates, which start at $15, allow you to dress the system cute, cool or dark, depending on your tastes. * The DualShock line of controllers, which have become the industry standard for controller design. The Xbox 360's wireless device is smooth, sturdy, and lasts for more than a day on a single charge. * Online is where the most intense video game experience lives, and the The Major Minuses * It's still expensive, even if you opt for a cheaper package. Spending less on your Xbox 360 initially means that you'll need to buy many other accessories in order to use it fully. * Nintendo and Sony make full online gaming free to consumers who purchase their systems, but Microsoft does not. In addition to the price of downloadable movies, games, and expansion content, Microsoft charges a relatively large amount of money for Xbox Live Gold subscriptions in order to play online. * Xbox 360 games don't look as good as their PS3 counterparts, as the PS3 has more powerful hardware. As the years go by, 360 games won't look much better than they do now, while the PS3 still has more power for developers to work with in the future to create even better-looking games. * The Xbox 360 doesn't have the motionbased motion functions of the PlayStation 3. * Because Microsoft does not produce a handheld gaming system, the Xbox 360 cannot connect with any portable gaming devices the way that the Wii connects to the PSP. * The PlayStation 3 and Wii have much shorter load times than the Xbox 360, which uses a relatively slow disc drive. * The Xbox 360 suffers from a lack of exclusive games. The vast majority of games available for the system are also made for other systems, while the 360 cannot play many of the games that are only available for the PS3 or Wii. It can also be argued that the PS3 and Wii provide better versions of these games, with better graphics and motion controls, respectively. * The Xbox 360 has become the butt of more than a few jokes in the gaming world (as well as several class-action lawsuits) because of some major hardware issues that have plagued the system. Here are a few: ** An Xbox is busted and needs repair when the ring around the Xbox logo lights up red, colloquially nicknamed the "Red Ring of Death." This is no laughing matter for Xbox 360 owners, who have had their 360 systems break down on them at an alarmingly high rate. ** Xbox 360s have been known to scratch discs after reading them, making the discs unusable in the future. ** Though the system is customizable to look how you want it to, it has an enormous, ugly power brick that isn't just an eyesore: it also generates enough heat that it has caused some housefires. Hide it from view, but make sure it won't put you in danger. ** Some updates released by Microsoft have accidentally "bricked" consoles, making them unable to turn on and therefore completely useless. (The term "bricked" comes from the fact that the consoles cannot perform any functions and effectively become nothing more than large, heavy "bricks.") ** Video output errors have become an issue with the 360, and many consumers have reported blank screens, distorted or fuzzy images, and system errors related to faulty video outputs. ** Updates to the New Xbox Experience interface have caused errors in reading media discs and in outputting audio.

Slick Picks for the Three-Six(ty)

The Fine Print

* Custom IBM PowerPC-based CPU. * Three symmetrical cores running at 3.2 GHz each, with each sporting a RISC architecture. * Two hardware threads per core; six hardware threads total. * VMX-128 vector unit per core; three total. * 128 VMX-128 registers per hardware thread. * 1 MB L2 cache. 16k L1. * Optimized for network play. * Built-in 10 Mbps Ethernet port. * Wi-Fi ready: 802.11a/b/g/n. * Video camera ready. * Ability to stream media from portable music devices, digital cameras and Windows XP-based PC. * Ability to rip music to the Xbox 360 hard drive. * Custom playlists in every game. * Built-in Media Center Extender for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005. * Interactive, full-screen 3D visualizers. * All games supported at 16:9 widescreen, 720p or 1080i, with anti-aliasing. * Standarddefinition video output supported. * Multi-channel surround sound output. * Supports 48KHz 16-bit audio. * 320 independent decompression channels. * 32-bit audio processing. * More than 256 audio channels. * Dimensions: 3.3" x 12.2" x 10.2" (HxWxD). * Weight: 7.7 lbs. * Stands vertically or horizontally.

Related Guides

International Resources

For this resource in your home country, please see: ! FR: Guide de la XBox 360