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The Xbox 360 Uncloaked:: The Real Story Behind Microsoft's Next-Generation Video Game Console Paperback – 17 May 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: (17 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977784215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977784219
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 806,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Loved the book as it gave me so much inside information on the world of Microsoft and its game console section ranging from the history to the goof ups, leading up to the launch of one of the major gaming hardwares of the century. Takahashi has given anecdotal stories on the workings of Microsoft and there is not a dull moment in this book. It was a fun read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x97c3f5c4) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8df978f4) out of 5 stars Intriguing (but flawed) look behind the scenes 7 April 2008
By gatbagel - Published on
Format: Paperback
Dean Takahashi is a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News. While I applaud his efforts to do the research and leg work to uncover the history, back story and technical details of the Xbox 360, this book just simply is not well written. Dean does a nice job in news reporting related to the tech industry and gaming in general but he is no novelist. This book is obviously not a novel either but you might expect it to be at least a story...In my opinion, it is not- it is a collection of observations loosely tied together, and even then, it is flawed.

As other reviewers have noted, you will find yourself reading the same information, names, and sometimes even quotes in multiple places throughout the book, making it harder to follow his line of thinking clearly. Oftentimes, there is also a bit much of the delineation of who worked for who and who quit the Xbox team when, etc. that does not really lead the reader anywhere or add much to the story. To me, this book feels similar to the previous Xbox book written by Dean in that way- some great tidbits but overall, barely worth reading because of how painful it is to get through it. I've never had this situation happen to me before where I seriously wanted to learn the history and background of building this console, the process that was followed, etc. but was simply not motivated to continue reading the book because of its flaws.

If you are used to reading more professional novels or magazine writing by mainstream writers, you may be frustrated by the common grammatical errors, editorial errors, proofreading mistakes, etc. that pop up in every chapter. They aren't a big deal and you know what he is trying to say but when you pay for a book (that isn't all that cheap, by the way) you expect more. At least I do.

In summary, since I am an IT professional and an avid Xbox and Xbox 360 gamer, I kind of forced my way through the book to learn. You have to take a different approach to reading it, kind of ignoring errors, focusing on the highlights and not trying to tie everything together seamlessly, very differently than you would likely read any other book. If you feel this story is worthwhile enough to put up with these flaws, go for it. Otherwise, you may be disappointed.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e810960) out of 5 stars Not as good as his first XBox book, but still worth a look 3 Feb. 2008
By KaneRobot - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First things first: at times, this book reads like it didn't have an editor. You'll find numerous instances of information being repeated - sometimes only one or two chapters apart - and each time it reads as if it's being presented for the first time. On a related note, there are also several moments where you feel like they could have cut out some of the more dull, long-winded info/"backstage" stuff and the book would have felt a bit tighter.

Overall, the original book by the same author ("Opening the XBox") was more fascinating and easier to read if you're a non-gamer. That said, this is a fun read for enthusiasts and will open your eyes up to some stuff you may not have been aware of. For example, guess which yowling, screaming, sweaty MS higher-up put pressure on the development team to ditch the hard drive to reduce the cost of the machine? That would be Steve Ballmer, and as 360 owners know, his opinion was misguided as the lack of mandatory hard drive is one of the few chinks in the 360's armor. There are many bits of info like that strewn about this book.

Somewhat unfortunate is the fact that the book ends shortly after the 360 is launched (and only briefly mentions "early reports of hardware failures"...which would of course lead into the overwhelming "Red Ring of Death" problems that the majority of 360 consoles would encounter). Of course, hopefully he will write another book when the next MS console arrives and go over what has happened since the 360's launch.

Recommended for 360 fans and game industry enthusiasts. Everyone else, start with the "Opening the XBox" book and then decide if you want more.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8df1ab40) out of 5 stars Great Enthusiast Read 27 Jan. 2008
By TomS - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great read for video game, or more specifically - XBox, enthusiasts. It's filled with great details of what when on behind the scenes to get the XBox360 out the door.

If I were to complain about anything, it's that I found it repeating some of the details from time to time. I would think that I read the exact same details before, then look to see, and sure enough I could find it verbatum in the previous chapter.

This doesn't happen often enough to detract too much overall, as the book is chaulk full of quotes and unknown morsels that a hardcore gamer is sure to enjoy.
13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e4befd8) out of 5 stars Greate inside look 3 Jun. 2006
By Roger Jack - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book reminds me of Tracy Kidder's Soul of the New Machine. It is in inside look at what it takes to design state-of-the art hardware and software in the gaming business. I find the whole process fascinating.
HASH(0x8e02cd80) out of 5 stars A great insight into the making of X360 30 Aug. 2010
By Ivan I. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book for anyone who wants to delve deeper into the Xbox 360. Author provides great coverage from the industry insiders as well as the people who made the product itself. Considering this was highly "top secret" within Microsoft/IBM/ATI, the author still manged to show the thought process behind making "Xenon" (code name for Xbox 360 project, later the name of the X360's CPU). The book is well organized into many small chapters which makes it an easy read.
The most interesting thing you'll learn from this book is the amount of dedication from the whole team, Microsoft's plunge into the unknown territory and all the compromises, tough business and design decisions. An excellent read for anyone interested in "behind the scenes" of video game industry. Recommended.
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