Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Xbox 360 first impressions

I had to rearrange my entertainment centers, so I took a trip to Wal-mart for some speaker mounts and zip ties.

Long behold, I saw an X-Box 360 Kiosk. It was set up with an HD LCD screen above, and I was watching a fellow-shopper beating the Call of Duty 2 demo. And that comfortable controller.....SOLD!

The size was immediately surprising. No matter how many pictures you've seen, it just doesn't give you an idea. Thankfully Microsoft is leaving the behemoth known as the X-Box behind, and present us with a sleek, small, and sexy unit. It is about the size as the old PS2, but not square or clunky.

As for the game on the screen, it looked like a high-end game for a $3000 computer. Naturally, I kept in mind that the LCD made it look better on its own. I was impressed, but I will say that as far as "realism" goes, don't expect "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" graphics. Everything IS highly detailed though. This is early in the game as well...I can't imagine what is in store for the gamer in the next couple of years.

I sat there thinking, "This is more powerful than ANY of the PCs in my house. I wonder when they'll put out Windows for it so I can negate upgrading my computer?" Microsoft may not even consider putting their infamous OS on the XBox 360, but some hacker is bound to get XP on there. That would make the 360 the ultimate device (for now). Sony could tout the PS3's Linux all they want, but the public wants Windows. Honestly, I would take either, but I'm with the public for my preference.

I think Sony has their work cut out for them. I also have a feeling that anyone who is currently holding out for the PS3 may not be able to wait. The XBox 360 looks and plays amazing, and knowing that Halo 3 will be looking good on it is only more incentive.

Not to mention the system looks good, too. The current PS3 prototypes are one of the ugliest gaming devices I've ever seen. "Let's step on a hotdog, cut a piece out, paint it, put our logo on it, and we'll have our new system." Enough said.

I can almost guarantee that the parts inside the XBox 360 will be higher quality than anything Sony would use. I'm painfully reminded of my 4 problematic PS2s, blown amplifiers, difficult to maintain laptops, and barely used but wearing out DVD players...all labeled Sony. Sony, if you want my money, you need to give me a quality product. I'm done giving money to you; there are cheaper products that last longer.

Needless to say, Microsoft's XBox reputation and first-step in the race may make them more more of a competitor this time around. Hopefully Nintendo will put their quirkiness to work on the's bound to be an excellent system as well.

I know this: I'll be a happy man on my birthday, which is 2 days after the XBox 360 release date.