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This review is from: Xbox 360 Elite Console (120 GB Hard Drive) (Console)
With the next generation of video game consoles just around the corner for the end of 2013, I thought I'd put my many years of experience of the current consoles to use, detailing the highs and lows of the Xbox 360. Now that several years have passed with Microsoft's second console under the all seeing eyes of gamers, its memorable moments shall be described for all to see and its failings held accountable...
Although Microsoft beat Sony to release their console by almost a whole year, its launch was a mixed bag. 2 versions of consoles being released really messed people about, especially those who had been gifted the console. It was 'Core' or 'Premium' with a difference of £70. In hindsight, £280 for a gaming console seems quite acceptable, but when there is a seemingly just as good version of it available at £210, one might wonder what's the difference? Memory. The Core version, simply did not have anywhere near enough memory to handle all your game saves and downloads, where as the Premium had a good 20GB to fill. Regardless, because of the lack of competition from Sony, sales went through roof for the only new generation console on the market. Despite beating Sony to the punch, the 360 didn't have a whole bunch of must have games, but was rather demonstration of what was to come, with various arcade titles highlighting solid, smooth gameplay and AAA games shown in HD graphical splendor. Its bests were The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Gears of War (Both 2006) but it wasn't until Halo 3's release that the console really became worthwhile.
After the fiasco of the release and its versions, a handful more were release, the Elite (Which is what I currently own) saw the white case turn black, Harddrive increase in capacity and... well thats about it. Later on, there would be another change introduced - the new sleek design, being smaller, slimmer and including a wireless adapter for the first time. Not all new editions were so popular however, the 'Kinect' camera being a take it or leave it situation (best left for younger, casual gamers with a huge area to play in. To think I almost forgot the infamous 'Red Ring of Death' that plagued so many gamers, rendering their machines totally useless. Nor can I forget, or forgive the lack of backwards compatibility for old Xbox games - 478 are playable, but quick look at the list and you'll find one of your most treasured titles missing. Speaking from experience, my console has had several minor issues that mostly just frustrate more than anything, that said, it did have its positives.
While I still don't believe games are ready to be moved onto a new generation of console (graphics and gameplay still aren't improving fast enough, nor are PC games boasting truly superior capabilities) Microsoft announce the Xbox One. How dim. If ever there was a way to alienate the majority of your audience, Microsoft did it. With plans to make the console 'always online' needing to check in every 24 hours, the 'always watching you' plugged in and recording camera no longer optional, DRM eliminating the prospect of used games and or borrowing. Needless to say, gamers did not take this sitting down and took to the internet to lay down the law. Microsoft have since abandoned several of these policies (no doubt due to Sony's reluctance to join in the DRM bandwagon, the Amazon survey detailed how ludicrously low the pre-order count was for the Xbox vs the PS4 and of course the gamers outcry in general). It is still a strong £80 more expensive than a PS4, still comes with that creepy camera no one wants and Microsoft still want you to treat it as your new entertainment system for watching sports on TV and playing Call of Duty, all whilst waving to the guys on the other end of the camera, no doubt fiddling with themselves.
+ Better exclusives than PS3
+ Earlier & Cheaper than a PS3
+ Solid online connection
+ High Definition Graphics
+ Built in DVD player
+ Wireless Controllers
+ Access to video, photos and music
+ USB ports for charger and memory cards
- The controllers 'bumpers' being far to weak to withstand prolonged use
- The disc trey being frighteningly similar to a Dairy Milk Chocolate 'tray
- The trey not reading discs or not ejecting properly (mine needs a good smack;)
- With a disc in the trey it sounds like a plane taking off regardless if it is on the HD
- You can't play the arcade games YOU paid for offline
- Playing online multiplayer is £40 a year (PSN is free)
- Dashboard looks horrible as advertisements take priority over your games
- Ads dont go away even if you pay for a Gold Subscription
From late 2005 to 2013, the console and its contents have undergone several changes both on the outside and in. The dashboard for example has gotten increasingly sickening with its many, many, MANY advertisements getting huge sections of the screen whilst your 'play game' button gets the tiniest of all. Optional media updates were made available so people can watch all sorts of video and play music of their choosing. Various apps and services were introduced such as Facebook, Youtube, Netflix and the highly unnecessary Bing search bar.
"Is the console worth your time?"
"Is it worth the money (online subscriptions included)?"
"Would I take back any of those golden xbox live memories with my friends?"
"Did I actually enjoy its games?"
"Would I recommend this console then, now or its future version?"
Not on your life.