87
5.0
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
Let's start with the problems with Microsoft's latest entry into the video game market. Every single person I personally know that owns a 360 has had to send theirs back to Microsoft for repairs. And these aren't minor, various repairs. These repairs are for one issue only: the Red Ring of Death. It's a complete hardware failure that prevents you from turning on or using the console for more than 5 minutes before it just stops working. I'm on my third unit and I can already see that I'm going to have to send it in soon. Various visual artifacts are appearing all over the screen and after 10 minutes of trying to make out what's going on it locks up.

The next problem is noise. This is one loud gadget. From the fans that spin up to full speed when you turn it on to the jet engine sound when the DVD drive is in use, you will have to crank up your sound to drown out the 360's moving parts. The PS3 and Wii, by comparison, are just about silent. It's unfortunate because the noise really removes you from the experience the games are trying to create.

Last problem lies with the controller. Out of the box, my controller's left analog stick drifts north. So to get my on-screen characters to stop from slowly creeping forward I have to lightly pull back on the stick. This has led to far too many unintentional steps off of ledges to impending doom. The directional pad also suffers from poor build quality. It's incredibly inaccurate and unusable. I've cursed at the controller more times than I want to remember.

As a result, I've started to migrate to the PS3 for my high-definition gaming; it's just a much more reliable and quality piece of hardware than the 360. It's silent, runs cool, never locks up, and just feels more solid than the hardware the shoddy engineers at Microsoft have come up with.

As for the good things about the 360, the software lineup is great (Left 4 Dead is awesomely addictive) and the Xbox Live service is a fantastic experience. The exclusives in Live Arcade are also stellar (Rez HD!). Live Achievements make gaming addictive again much like video gaming's early years, and the friend system is far superior to anything else.

It's a shame Microsoft's hardware skills are just as bad as their software skills. I'll probably end up selling my 360 and games if the console dies again. Three strikes and you're out!