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A multi media experience
|Xbox 360, shown with levitating wireless controller|
In comparison to the Darth Vader inspired design of the original Xbox, the Xbox 360 a thing of (near) wondrous beauty.
The Xbox 360 offers an online gaming experience via Xbox Live. This allows you to play multi-player Xbox 360 games on the internet via your broadband connection. The service also lets you download--and save on the console's hard drive--new missions, characters and vehicles for your favourite games. You can also shout real-time abuse at your opponents using the Xbox 360 headset
Choose the package that's right for you
The Xbox 360 comes in two different packages: the deluxe package includes a wireless controller, 20GB hard drive, and a number of other accessories. Alternatively, the Core System bundle has a standard wired controller and no hard drive.
Which option is right for you will depend largely on your gaming needs--are you a fan of downloadable content? Do controller wires upset the feng shui of your living room? There are pros and cons for each option: for instance, if you do plump for the Core System you will have to buy a separate memory unit if you want to save your games. Likewise, if you opt for the deluxe version you will need a steady supply of AA batteries or a rechargeable battery pack to power the wireless controller.
The Xbox 360 is only backwards compatible with a limited number of original Xbox titles, and a hard drive is required for this function.
Included in the pack:
Xbox 360 console:
Sexy styling that packs a punch -- three powerful core processors are poised to pump out 720p/1080i output, 16x9 cinematic aspect ratio, anti-aliasing for smooth textures, full surround sound and DVD playback right out of the box.
Xbox 360 hard drive (20 GB):
The detachable hard drive allows gamers to store their games, music, downloaded trailers, levels, demos and community-created content from Xbox Live Marketplace.
Xbox 360 wireless controller:
Hassle-free high-performance precision wireless gaming features the Xbox Guide Button for quick access to digital movies, music and games libraries. The controller has a range of 30 feet and battery life of up to 30 hours of life on two AA batteries.
Xbox 360 faceplate:
The removable Faceplate comes in stylish white and can be swapped out with custom faceplates to reflect gamers personalities or room decor.
Xbox 360 headset:
This lets gamers form strategies with team-mates or trade banter with opponents while playing games on Xbox Live.
Xbox 360 component HD-AV cable:
This connects gamers to the world of Xbox 360 games and graphics through high-definition and standard-definition connections.
Xbox Live silver membership:
With this, gamers can chat with friends online, send and receive voice and text messages, and access new content from Xbox Live Marketplace such as trailers, demos and casual games from Xbox Live Arcade.
About the Xbox
The Xbox 360 console will be the first next-gen console released and will fuse powerful hardware, software, and services to provide a dramatic leap forward in high-definition gaming and entertainment experiences.
The key technical specifications of the Xbox 360 console are unlikely to make much sense to any but the most technical. But if a custom IBM PowerPC-based CPU with three symmetrical 3.2GHz cores, a 500MHz custom ATI Graphics Processor with 10MB of embedded DRAM and unified memory architecture of 512MB GDDR3 RAM and 700MHz DDR doesnt mean anything to you just consider this: with specs like that the Xbox 360 is already more powerful than a £2,000+ state-of-the art PC.
The Xbox 360 will also have three USB slots and both HD digital and standard audio visual outputs, which can pump out games in widescreen at 720p and 1080i resolution, complete with anti-aliasing functionality. This will result in much higher resolution games than ever seen before: the beginning of the HD (high definition) era.
The console itself is very neat, not nearly as big as the XBox (as many people were worried about), very good looking, and not nearly as loud as discribed.
The cost, at £280 for a premium pack that includes so much, is a VERY competitive price, I look back remembering that I paid £300 notes for the first XBox, which did not include a headset or remote.
Using the console can be a little fraustrating at first, but this will only affect the die hard XBox fans, such as booting up a game from the machine being switched off, you can sit there through the cut-scenes shouting at your controller as to why it won't skip, and then you realise you didn't turn the controller on....
And if you're playing old games such as Halo2, you will be bashing a blank space on the game pad trying to press white or back to see the scores.
I have Perfect Dark 0 and Project Gotham 3. These games are superb, if you're looking for something new, then this is the place to find it. Gotham has had a mini overhaul, and while the in-car views are nothing short of dazzling, they can be difficult to drive the car, but not to worry, online, you can FORCE everyone in your room to play with that view and manual gears if you so wish. You might lose your friends fast though :)
And finally, if you're thinking of waiting to buy a PS3, I recommend you reconsider your next gen console.Read more ›
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