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
Recognize these names?

When we used to have "console wars" we were really having a discussion about the games...not the actual platform. The 360 is probably the first "mainstream" console that actually FAILS at what it is supposed to do- play games.

If you are going to do a review of the Microsoft Xbox 360- you have to mention its tremendous failure rate-


People credit Microsoft for extending the warranty- sorry but if you have a 68% failure rate shouldn't that constitute a recall?

RRoD was NOT the only issue going on with early/mid/non-Jasper 360's. You had disc-read errors, ethernet port problems, and of course E74. Only E74 was later treated like RRoD.

Backwards Compatibility trickled out at first, but now it is quite extensive and Microsoft definitely should get credit for this feature...when I saw that Panzer Dragoon Orta was finally playable I was ecstatic.

Early Adopters were punished by not getting HDMI output- something that Microsoft at first said was not necessary and is now a feature they promote- which is ironic because it is the total opposite of HD-DVD something at first they actively promoted and is now something they see as not necessary.

The 360 was really the first console to embrace wireless controlling, but it was probably inevitable in this generation especially with Nintendo pushing the Wavebird for the GameCube. But the implementation with the remote was great...being able to turn on your console with your controller wirelessly was/is awesome. The PS3 and Wii had to follow suit.

And that's part of the problem with the 360- they had to be first out the gate. Bill Gates himself points out that they were unable to close the gap because of the stranglehold the PS2 had over the original xbox and made it a priority to be the first of the next-generation of consoles.

20gb is not enough for demos alone, much less movies and TV shows- and why didn't Microsoft make the hard drive easily upgradeable like the PS3 or allow for external drive storage via USB? Upgrading your hard drive is a very expensive and annoying expense on the 360.

Later iterations of the 360 include HDMI ports, but yet they still don't offer integrated wifi! Little things like this must be infuriating for the people in charge of xboxLive- why didn't the hardware team make it more accessible for people to easily use their service?

The design of the hardware is also necessary in a hardware review- the color sucks. Cream/Beige doesn't match anything in a typical home entertainment setup.

Every model is LOUD, especially the older models. People actually ask where was your disk drive made- if it was Japan or a Samsung drive it was louder/more quiet.

The 360 is tiny in size compared to the PS3?- not if you include that massive POWER BRICK.

NXE/xboxLive is truly a great interface- ONE username. The content is rich and the customization is plentiful. The problem is that it's 50.00 a year, couple that with the price of the wifi dongle if you are not fortunate enough to be in close proximity to your router and the cost of entry to the hardware's best feature (NXE/Live) is a significant barrier.

The Controller- really good for FPS, really bad for fighting games/sports. The triggers feel fantastic and have the right placement and tension. The D-pad SUCKS. The shoulder/bumper buttons are too small and have bad placement and bad feedback/tension. The color is not conducive for grime/dirt- but at least gives you a hygienic reminder to clean your gamepad.

The fact is when it comes to a console review it should never be about the system- it should be all about the games...but Microsoft has managed to change that and now we need to review the hardware- it was everybody's worst fear that when Microsoft got into the console arena the machine would crash and you would need to upgrade; it never happened with great occurrence with the original xbox- but it DID on the 360.

People actually KNOW the names of the chipset/motherboard- this is a video game console- its basically supposed to be plug&play!

But whether you have a Jasper HDMI with low noise or a Towel-Wrapped Xenon running louder than an overclocked CPU its great playing a game like Fable 2 or Gears of War 2. I just wish you could play them without worrying when your console is going to conk out.