final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Game library No comments
  • Graphics No comments
  • Controller(s) No comments
  • Design and form factor No comments
  • Other features (media, online, etc.) No comments
  • Noise No comments
Detailed review
The hardware itself is probably the worst of the three consoles. The DVD drive is extremely loud and has been known to damage its own discs. The cooling system is an absolute failure, with the fan actually being louder than a Toyota Prius and still not preventing the console from getting hotter than a grill. The 360 has the highest system failure rate of all 3 consoles and Microsoft's warranty is not nearly comprehensive of all the possible errors. The system also lacks some very basic features like built in Wi-fi (MS will charge you $100 for the adapter or you can buy a bridge for about $25).

The console earns all its points in two areas. Firstly, the console has the largest software library of all 3 consoles. Microsoft has also ordered exclusive downloadable content for many popular games. The Xbox is also constantly stealing games that used to be exclusive to either Nintendo (Resident Evil 5) or Sony (Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy 13). The hardware design of the 360 also makes it very easy to port games from the PC when compared to the obscure Cell technology used by the PS3 (Valve has attested to this.)

The second department where the 360 succeeds is in its Xbox Live online service. It gives you a fast, convenient way to play (or even just hang out) with your gamer buddies. The robust, dependable, and consistent service is easily worth $50 a year. MS recently added Netflix services and plans to add Twitter and Facebook to the Xbox Live platter.

Overall, if you're willing deal with the somewhat crippled hardware and risk of having to buy a second console (once your 3 year warranty expires), the Xbox 360 will provide the best platform for gaming, both online and off.