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Anyone Recommend The XBOX 360?

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#1 of 31 OFFLINE   Don Scott

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Posted January 27 2007 - 08:49 AM

I’m looking to purchase a next gen game console and am interested in the 360. I was initially going to get the PS3 but the price is horrendous, and it is nowhere to be found. Even worse is the fact that I just recently found out that my tv down converts 720p to 480p, and I don’t want to play PS3 games in 480p.So since I have no interest in the Wii that leaves the 360, which I’ve been reading up on. My first question is about the lifespan of the 360, I’ve been reading some horror stories on this forum about people on their 4th console in a little over a year. Is this common? It scares me to think that I’d have a ticking time bomb after dropping $500+ for this console. People are saying that certain games can be responsible for malfunctions, such as “Saints Row” which is a title that I would want from the get go. Is this true? This is my main worry, any input would be appreciated. A few less important questions: I’ve read the pdf of the owner’s manual and it says that it doesn’t recommend using rechargeable batteries in the controllers. Why? Is this just their way to get you to buy the MS battery packs? I ask this because I have a charger and good quality AA batteries already. I own a PS2 now and before that a PS so I have been using the same controller for almost 10 years. Is the 360 controller a comfortable well laid out controller? Are the fans in the 360 really loud to the point of drowning out the sound of a game on a moderate to low volume setting? That’s it, hope some of you can help. PS. My wife works at a local department store and can get a 15% discount on the 360, which are priced, at $499CAD. That’s a pretty nice savings and the store is offering a new release dvd this week with the purchase of the system as well. Don

#2 of 31 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted January 27 2007 - 09:23 AM


Let me get the ball rolling. I'm sure others will chime in. As an owner of a 360, a PS3 and a Wii I feel qualified to offer some valid personal perspectives. In no particular order:
  • I've owned the 360 since the day of release and it has never had any operational problem. Just follow the instructions (as in treat it like you would any other piece of HT hardware).
  • In addition, I've never had a piece of SW not work on the 360. I own ~ 30 games and they all work fine.
  • My 360 "bundle" included two wireless remotes w/ rechargeable battery packs. You recharge by plugging the controller into the USB port with an included cable. After a few weeks I purchased an external battery charger (Microsoft) and a third (spare) battery. This device charges two batteries at a time (two sealed battery packs) and the solution is elegant - clean and simple. Minimum hassle, maximum convenience. The battery pack swaps out in under a second and it's much more convenient than rechargeable batteries I've used with a wide range of products in the past (and even now.)
  • I was new to the PS3 controller and it took me about 30 seconds to feel comfortable with it after using the 360 for well over a year. I would suspect the the reverse is also true. Incidentally, in my opinion the 360 controller has a much more substantial feel than the PS3's. And the feedback (rumble) is nice to have on the 360 controller (I don't remember ever noticing it on the PS3).
  • Fan noise is not an issue with my 360 and I even have a second fan from the HD-DVD attachment.
  • You didn't ask, but XBox Live is an amazing environment and, at the moment works much better than Sony's version. Downloads on the XBox 360 are much faster (and I'm using the same high speed wireless connection - FIOS 20Gbps - so the limitation is the game system & site and not the wireless network.) Of course, one might say that Sony is a year behind Microsoft in this area but that's really not an excuse because not only did they have to be watching what Microsoft was doing but they have had the PS3 in development almost as long as the 360. Maybe Sony concentrated more on servers in Japan and perhaps this affects download speeds in North America (although I really don't see why).
That should get the discussion going. I will close by saying that I use the 360 and the Wii much more for gaming than the PS3. The PS3's major action for me is as an excellent Blu-ray player (one of the best).

Hope this helps.
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#3 of 31 OFFLINE   Don Scott

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Posted January 27 2007 - 11:32 AM

Thanks Robert, I appreciate the info it's a great help. I always treat my gear very well and I don't think I would play the 360 to the point of overheating, I'm guessing that has caused most problems. About XBox Live, I would imagine it's also important for system updates right. The only problem there is that my console would be in the living room and my pc is upstairs. What would I need to get a connection downstairs, sorry I'm not to knowledable about computers and the like. Will the solution be costly? Thanks again

#4 of 31 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted January 27 2007 - 03:33 PM

You'll just need a router to get the internet connection downstairs. If you are able to run an ethernet cable downstairs from the router you can do it for the cost of a router and ethernet cable (under $100). If you can't, and have to go wireless, you'll neet a wireless router ($60) and the XBox 360 wireless adapter ($99). I currently own a 360 and a Wii. I also was a die hard Playstation guy during the Playstation and Playstation 2 days. I don't regret at all switching to Xbox. I've not had a single problem with my 360. Just remember that with any product, if you search for problems on the web, you're going to find horror stories. I also loved the PS2 controllers, and was worried about the bigger 360 controller. But I absolutely love the 360 controller over the old Sony controller. And now, the PS3 doesn't even have the vibration feature. A HUGE negative for me. Yes, the fan is loud, but NOT to the point of drowning out a game. Basically, in a quiet room you'll definately hear the fan. But once the game starts you just won't hear it. it's not loud enough to drown out game sounds and music even at low settings. I don't know about rechargeable AAs, but I'd really recommend just getting the rechargeable MS battery packs. I bought the recharger that plugs into the wall and comes with a battery pack and then bought a second battery pack. I think the 2 batteries and charger cost me $30. Well worth it. I'll echo RAFs positive comments about XBox Live. Great environment. And many games are just infinately more satisfying online. For example, I love the Call of Duty series. I've always loved the single player missions. But since I've had Call of Duty 3 I haven't even touched the single player missions. Every time I pop in the disc I invariably go and play online multiplayer. It is so much more fun. XBox Live is also a great place to get game demos. You can spend hours just browsing and playing the demos.

#5 of 31 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted January 27 2007 - 04:51 PM

Don,

Bryan has already addressed the wireless (or wired) Internet situation so I won't repeat his excellent advice again. Let me just mention that being connected to the Internet is an integral part of the Xbox 360 experience. Not only does Microsoft automatically apply patches to existing games but the occasional firmware updates (which are practically transparent) have enhanced the 360 in the year or so it's been out. The interface keeps getting improved, such as adding 1080p support over component and VGA, adding media support for Windows media enabled PCs, and most recently adding "movies on demand" and other features like TV shows available for download (sort of like PPV). And some of the content is in HD so that's a nice way to get into HD content if it's otherwise lacking.

In a recent "multimedia" upgrade to the 360 all of a sudden all my AAC iPod tracks became playable on the 360 (at least all that I ripped from the CDs I own - there have been some questions about Apple, etc. not letting tunes purchased from their site being able to handled in this fashion, but I hardly ever purchase tunes since I have an extensive CD collection.)

I've had my PS3 for about a month and I find the Sony equivalent of Xbox Live to be agonizingly slow (and barren of features) when compared to the Microsoft implementation. True, if might be growing pains at this point but XBox Live was quick right out of the gate (Gates? Posted Image ) so I'm not so sure, as I discussed in a previous post. In any event, even if you only purchase a few dedicated games for the 360 there are lots of games on XBox Arcade as well as great (free) downloadable demos for all the major titles.

As nice as some of the games are on the 360, in my opinion the "killer app" has become XBox Live. Highly recommended.

RAF
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#6 of 31 OFFLINE   Don Scott

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Posted January 28 2007 - 06:26 AM

Thanks guys this has been really helpful. So is it easy to get long runs of ethernet cable? Is it common?

#7 of 31 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted January 28 2007 - 06:36 AM

Yeah, you won't have any problem getting long runs of ethernet cable. What you want is CAT5E.

#8 of 31 OFFLINE   Don Scott

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Posted January 28 2007 - 11:03 AM

So I've been checking out different sites looking for a router and discovered some require Win XP or 2000 etc. I use Win Me, is it difficult to find one that will work with Me?

I found this one, it doesn't say that it needs a specific win version. Do you think it will work?

http://www.staples.c....affixedcode=WW

Here is it’s home page it even says XBOX Live compatible, but is it ME compatible

http://www.dlink.com...s/?pid=62&sec=0

#9 of 31 OFFLINE   Dome Vongvises

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Posted January 28 2007 - 04:10 PM

I love my XBox 360. I'm not sure what others are doing, but my unit has not had any problems so far.

#10 of 31 OFFLINE   Juan.F

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Posted January 30 2007 - 02:14 PM

Don, I have owned a 360 since January of last year and I love it. I've been an avid gamer since the Atari 2600 and the 360's functionality is just fantastic compared to other consoles before it (I do not own a PS3 or Wii yet). As has been mentioned, Xbox Live is a key component to the whole "360 experience". It offers a sense of comunity not touched by any other console. Your friends list, gamercard, gamer score, achievments, Marketplace, Live Arcade, they all come together to offer a great gaming experience. You can send your friends messages, you can chat with them, if you have the Live Vision Camera you can have video chat, you can invite them to your games, you can see where you rank against them with each game's leaderboards, it is great. I often turn on my 360 and have plenty to do, all without even popping in an actual game disc. And if you connect your 360 to your PC using Media Connect or Window's Media Player 11, it opens up the doors even more, allowing you to stream music, video and pictures directly to your 360 to view on your TV. I own an pretty high quality digital SLR camera, and watching slide shows on my HDTV through the 360 (streaming the pics from my computer) produces an amazing picture on my TV! Then there is the gaming side. I've done about 90% of my gaming for the last year on the 360. There are plenty of great titles already out (Oblivion, GRAW, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Gears of War) and PLENTY of potentialy great titles on the horizon (Bioshock, Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, Forza 2, Halo 3). As far as issues, I must admit, my original 360 (purchased in early January) died in May. It began to freeze constantly and eventually just would not boot up at all. Microsoft replaced it and since then I have had no issues (I purchased the extended 2 year warranty just in case). As far as the controller, the 360 is by far my favorite gamepad ever. It is extremely comfortable, the wireless capabilities are just fantastic (and convinient) and any time I have to play my PS2 the Dual Shock controller (which I was a huge fan of) just feels date and archaic compared to the 360 pad. Anyway, let me end this post. I have been thrilled with my 360 and would not give it up for any other system at the moment. I highly recommend it.

#11 of 31 OFFLINE   Neal_C

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Posted January 30 2007 - 03:59 PM

I will add to all the positive comments about the 360. I have a launch 360 that has worked just fine. As far as overheating goes, just keep it ventilated and you shouldn't have any problems. I have had several 6 to 8 hour sessions with no problems at all. Pick up the system and enjoy.

#12 of 31 OFFLINE   Mary M S

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Posted January 31 2007 - 01:27 AM

Don,

Just to balance the page. Posted Image
I cannot comment as RAF and others did competently on the ergonomics as I have never yet gamed this system but in this household we have a DITW 360.

My son traded in his old system and games, payed the difference and purchased a X-Box 360 last summer. I had seen many reports of problems and purchasers who had issue's heavily recommending buying an extended warranty on this product, so I suggested he do so on his buy.

Regretfully he did not, since the warranty available would have allowed him to take it to POP for servicing. He still has not boxed and shipped to Manuf yet so I don't have any details yet on a repair nor have specfic's on what went wrong.

I do believe I heard him grumping that he had heard amongst friends not to spend too many hours in one session, [heat] and that his first problems started occurring right after he had left the unit on longer than normal.

I agree any model release will have some problem units, I too had read worrisome reports the 360 was rife with them, unfortunately our personal experience has reinforced that indeed some malfuntion. Obviously other purchaser's here in the forum who have so far commented, have had better luck!

If your B&M offers convenience and in-house dropoff for servicing issues, I personally would recommend an extended warranty for the X-Box.
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#13 of 31 OFFLINE   Rhoq

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Posted January 31 2007 - 02:52 AM

I just upgraded to an XBox 360 2 days ago (I bought an original XBox last year to supplement my GameCube). I currently own a "Wii60" and am very happy with the combination. The fan is loud, but as has already been mentioned not loud enough to interfere with your enjoyment of the game. I've got it running in 1080i and it looks amazing. I haven't gotten around to buying a TOSLink cable to utilize the digital audio output of the 360, but ProLogic works very well. I do have 2 questions for the other 360 owners in regards to the power button on the front of the console and the hard drive. The power button on my 360 seems to have little to no tactile feedback. It literally just feels like a plastic disc. When I apply a normal amount of pressure the button seems to work just fine, however it does require holding (which due to the lack of tactile feedback is hard to tell if the button is being pressed or not) the button for 2 or 3 seconds. I'm just wondering if this is the way the power button was designed and is not a defect. I've been powering on and off via the controller anyways, so it's really not much of an issue. I know the hard drive is only 20GB but while checking the available space, I notice that I only had about 9GB of free space available on my brand-new XBox 360. There were game demos and videos pre-installed on the HDD which took-up about 4GB of space and I deleted them. Going through the remaining files, there is approximately 1GB of space being used, but I only have about 13GB free. Is the 5 or so GB of space left reserved for System Updates?

#14 of 31 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted January 31 2007 - 03:04 AM

Mary,

I'm sorry to hear about your son's experience with his 360 and hope that it gets resolved quickly. "Stuff" can, and does, happen with any product regardless of its reputation and overall performance. That's just one of life's realities. I had purchased a small SHARP Aquos LCD display for my kitchen this past summer and it developed a problem that couldn't be fixed under warranty so they finally gave me my money back. I'm still amazed that SHARP (corporate headquarters) couldn't, or wouldn't, offer me a replacement unit for this current model so I'm now soured on SHARP as a company. Many people praise and highly recommend Sharp LCDs so I'm definitely in the minority. My replacement unit (a Toshiba) has such a better picture than the former SHARP that it's no contest - but I fully understand that my unit was probably a total lemon.

Back to your son's 360. Are you aware of the fact that Microsoft recently upgraded their former 90 day warranty to 1 year for all 360s? I'm told that this was done retroactively and, based on what you told us, your son's faulty unit would be covered by this new policy. It certainly would seem a wise thing for him to make a call or two to see what he needs to do in order to rectify the situation.

As to how long a 360 can go without developing overheating problems, let's just say that I've had it on days at a time (usually inadvertently Posted Image ) with zero incidents of overheating. Just another data point.
RAF
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#15 of 31 OFFLINE   Dome Vongvises

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Posted January 31 2007 - 04:04 AM

If I'm not mistaken, what technically constitutes 20GB and what's advertised on the box are two different things. For example, the layperson (not really) should know that 1000Mb = 1Gb. But when computer systems calculate system storage, it's more like 1024 or 1064 = 1 GB. I remember somebody pointing this out to me on an iPod box. My brand new at the time 60GB iPod showed only 52 GB available before putting any songs on it. And during format, for some reason you lose other data storage as well. There's that one explanation, but the other could be your own answer: the space is taken up for system updates.

#16 of 31 OFFLINE   Mary M S

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Posted January 31 2007 - 04:59 AM

Thanks Robert! Yes, he had checked at Game Stop his POP, and was informed of the newly extended warranty, but I notice he has not yet rushed out to post it back to MS.

I try to stay out of it, his money, responsibility etc. [plus a bias on my part] he spends more hours than I like to see at gaming...so [I’m] not exactly crushed ...it broke. Posted Image
But I will remind him periodically since the clock is ticking and I hate to see his money wasted!

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#17 of 31 OFFLINE   Neal_C

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Posted January 31 2007 - 05:00 AM

The majority of the missing storage space on the drive is reserved for the system (OS, updates, etc). And as Dome said, on the package it says 20GB based on the assumption of 1000MB = 1GB. But in the binary world, 1024MB = 1GB. So you are "losing" a little bit of space there as well. You really aren't "losing" anything. Hard drives are just allowed to be improperly advertised.

#18 of 31 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted January 31 2007 - 07:36 AM

I have the PS3 and I love it so far. My brother has the 360 and while I feel the graphics are better on the PS3, I found that the 360 has probably the best controllers on any console plus there's no lack of games for the 360 because it has been around long enough that you will have no problem finding titles to choose from.
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#19 of 31 OFFLINE   Matt^Brown

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Posted January 31 2007 - 07:52 AM

I will be quick and to the point. I love my 360 but please get the extended warranty. It is worth the $60 it cost and even if you treat it perfect there is a chance it will fail.
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#20 of 31 OFFLINE   Don Scott

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Posted January 31 2007 - 12:20 PM

Thanks for the feedback guys. I went out and bought the 360 yesterday along with the recharger that plugs into the wall and an extra battery pack. As for games I bought Call Of Duty 3 and Saints Row. So far I'm loving Saints Row, I haven't even played COD3 yet. The controller is great, I got used to it very easily and I love the wireless aspect. The noise from the fan is not an issue at all and the graphics look great on my 46"ws in 1080i and sounds just as good. I don't have it connected to the internet yet, soon though.





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