I need an X-box primer... please.

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by JaredB, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. JaredB

    JaredB Agent

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    Ok Xbox Xperts... Please lend me a moment of your time. I've got a PS2 (as well as a bunch of other console machines - it's a bit of a console museum, but that's another story) and I'm finally ready to get an Xbox.

    I know I'm coming to the party late but I thought you current Xbox fanatics would be able to give me some advice. I like to have a tricked out system, so what should I get for my Xbox?

    1. Are there differences in the base system (revisions, differences in firmware etc.?) A cheap place to buy besides ebay?
    2. Are there must have accessories (i.e. a higher quality component cable for my hdtv or something?)
    3. Are there third party controllers I should consider? I don't like the Xbox controller much, especially compared to my PS2 controller, but maybe I'll get used to it.
    4. I've heard there are some 720p games. If my HDTV can only take 480p and 1080i what will this mean for me?
    5. Lastly, I'm buying an Xbox in addition to my PS2 in order to have more games that take advantage of 480p 1080p etc (widescreen games are also a huge plus, though PS2 does have a good selection of these at least). Which games really show this off? Which are the must have xbox games regardless of resolution?

    I've looked around on the internet but there is so much Xbox info out there is was hard to find easy answers to these questions.

    Thanks.
    P.S. I don't know how it is for Xbox games, but PS2 games almost never list anywhere on the packaging whether or not the game has a widescreen mode. It's one of the key buying decisions for me and they don't even mention it. Does this bug anyone else?
     
  2. AaronJB

    AaronJB Second Unit

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    Just a quick additional tip if you have an a/v receiver: get an advanced A/V pack and an optical cable.

    The XBOX offers Dolby Digital 5.1 capability for most games. This, in my opinion, is one of the system's greatest advantages. The level of envelopment sound-wise that many games offer (most notably "Halo" and "Ghost Recon: Island Thunder", both of which offer stunning 5.1 soundtracks) puts the player right into the middle of the game and occasionally, is somewhat helpful to gameplay - you can get a better idea in some games of what enemies are where. The 5.1 soundtrack also moves depending on your character's perspective.
     
  3. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Im in the same boat as you Jared and was wondering most of the same things. Mostly about the 720p though. My Mitsu 55"er doesn't do it and im wondering about all the games that have this, especially Soul Caliber 2.

    I will pass on this advice though, get the Advance AV pack and replace the microsoft cables with good quality ones. Ive actually seen the difference and its pretty impressive.
     
  4. Billy Posey

    Billy Posey Second Unit

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    Unless otherwise specified in your televisions manual, your television will upconvert the 720p to 1080i. Most HDTVS that do not display 720p will do this.
     
  5. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    I'd steer away from the third party controllers actually, but then again I like the big-ass Xbox controllers. If you want though, there are the "S" controllers, as well as an adapter that should let you use your Ps2 controller for the xbox, although I have no idea how well this actually works.

    Keep in mind that there are also two supplemental A/V packs-the Advanced AV does Svideo, and the HD pack does component. I'm assuming that you want the component one?

    As for a cheap place to buy, if you're willing to import, you might consider ordering from Canada. For $279 CDN (about $200 US), you can get an Xbox with Amped and Halo from futureshop.ca. I don't think they're offering this bundle in the states.
     
  6. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Is the upconversion a good or bad thing. I would think that wouldn't be good for the signal.
     
  7. GlenHaag

    GlenHaag Supporting Actor

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    Ok. I have a pretty low level understanding of HDTV resolutions, but upconversion would be a bad thing. You'll be going from 720P (60 frames per second) to 1080I (30 frames per second). I would believe that things could look a bit off from the upconversion in resolution as well... but I'm not sure. I'm lucky enough to have a projector that does 720P, so I haven't had to worry about this... thankfully.

    Glen
     
  8. JaredB

    JaredB Agent

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    My Mits 65" will NOT accept a 720p signal. It requires my set top box to upconvert that signal to 1080i.

    As for the HD pack, yes I would definitely be getting that. And I will be hooking up via optical cable. I'm guessing then that the Xbox uses some kind of proprietary out requiring me to get the 'HD pack' instead of using a regular old component cable. The PS2 does this.
    Also, for the PS2 there were a few different component out kits you could get. A generic one (ok), one by Sony (better), and one by Monster (probably overkill considering the games are all 480i with the exception of one or two 480p titles)

    Are there component out options by different companies for the Xbox? Thanks for the tips so far. I'm sure I'm not the only home theater buff out there getting ready to take the Xbox plunge.
     
  9. Jeremy Little

    Jeremy Little Supporting Actor

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    Yup, I was unhappy with the Microsoft HD pack and went with the monsters. We are talking HD here and the unshielded HD pack seems a little on the cheap side to me. I'm sure there will be those that torpedo this post, but I've seen the difference and stick to my guns.
     
  10. Matt Wallace

    Matt Wallace Second Unit

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    Wal Mart just got a new XBOX bundle this week. It's got Splinter Cell and MechAssault - no kidding! - for $179.96 as an everyday price. Wish I could have hooked up on that when I got my Box last month, but at least I got my Halo [​IMG]


    Matt
     
  11. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Avoid buying a used xbox, unless it was manufactured around June of this year (the manufacturing date is listed on the back of the box in the little window). This should get you an XBox with the excellent Samsung DVD drive which has two coin-sized holes on each side of the tray, and should last you quite a long while.
     
  12. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    How common are these problems? I'm sure it's a case where you only hear about the worst of things, but I've had my Xbox since launch, and have had zero problems with it. In fact, the only faulty console I've ever had is a bad open box gamecube, and that never worked right, and I got it replaced the same day with a brand new one.
     
  13. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    I've never had a bad console, though my friends have had 2 bad NES's (that stupid loading mechanism) and a Saturn with a dead saving mechanism.
     
  14. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  15. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Problems are worst with the old (launch-time) XBoxes. You'll likely be fine for 2002 and later XBoxes. An XBox made in June (maybe as early as March) of this year will probably be the most reliable, since most of the design flaws would have been fixed by then. I guess this would be true of any console.

    It was enough of a problem that Microsoft had a quiet recall bulletin for XBoxes with the Dirty Disc Error issue, even a year after release.

    I doubt it affects more than 1 in a 100 XBoxes bought in in the months following November of 2001. Meaning that several thousand XBoxes are likely to be affected.

    Of course, there is a healthy aftermarket for XBox parts - go to www.lik-sang.com for replacement Thompson drive laser assemblies (always in high demand! [​IMG] ) and power supplies.
     
  16. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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  17. Joshua Moran

    Joshua Moran Supporting Actor

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    Most of the games are just plain wrong in the markings. I have a few that don't have 480P checked but are 480P games. Max Payne is a good example.
     
  18. JaredB

    JaredB Agent

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    Thanks for all the help everybody.

    FYI I found a great comprehensive list of Xbox games that are widescreen, 1080i etc. over at the AVSforum.

    There's also this website:
    http://www.hdtvarcade.com/
     

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