I'm starting this thread because it involves something much bigger than just the new XBox 360 and its software. For several years some people at the HTF questioned whether gaming really belonged in a "Home Theater" Forum. In fact, those of you who have followed us over the years may remember that a lot of heated discussions occurred in the gaming sections and several people were removed for getting too zealous and too argumentative rather than sticking to forum guidelines. In some circles this was blamed on the gaming community in general and how a lot of its members tend to act up online. I always thought that a lot of good people were being maligned by the actions of a relatively few (former) members and I've always championed the inclusion of gaming on our forum. My rationale was that video games involve "video" and, of course, video is a major component of Home Theater. Luckily, gaming has been retained here and with the introduction of the XBox 360 it has become obvious to me in the short time I've used it, that this device truly merges gaming and Home Theater in a way that will become mainstream. Yes, I understand that many of you have always played video games on large screens with surround systems and a goodly number actually were using their units to serve double duty as DVD players. But when I put the first couple of games into my new box I realized that I no longer thought I was playing a game - it was a lot more like watching an interactive movie. In fact, the opening scene of King Kong is just that - a movie followed by a game that blends with it very well. With the advent of a higher resolution picture the "cut scenes" of these "games" are no longer filler between action sequences but an integral part of the whole theatrical experience. The new Xbox 360 is that good, at least to me. And once a person experiences this device (and I'm sure that upcoming efforts from Sony and, perhaps, Nintendo will even raise the bar higher) there can be no doubt that Video games are a subset of home theater. In other words, our staying with gaming sections of the forum has been justified by this new hardware and software. Of course, not everyone is into video games, but that doesn't mean that not liking such activities means that they don't belong as a part of home theater. In fact, the Xbox 360 (and the other upcoming boxes) are much more than just video game devices - they involve experiencing and sharing music, photographs and videos as well. This is evident right out of the box when one turns on the 360 for the first time. Just as some PCs became HTPCs, gaming machines are also becoming ubiquitous devices that are at the very core of what we call "Home Theater." As I sat mesmerized this evening quickly sampling the titles I purchased with my unit I kept thinking how closely the experience was to having a handful of movies and watching them - but with a new twist. Is everything rosy? Of course not. There have been some reports of units overheating (we'll learn more about this and the cause of it over the next weeks, both in sensationalized reports and in more rational accounts). And no, the 360 doesn't output 1080p. Nor does it have true digital HD output (HDMI or DVI) but uses analog component video to achieve its HD. Some will fault it for that. However, it does generate 720p and/or 1080i and once you see that you realize that we've come a very long way from Pong!