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What you get when you buy an Xbox 360?

Xbox is a console made buy Microsoft and it keeps developing more and more. So what do you get when you buy a modern Xbox 360? It is more powerful then the Xbox and the consoles are made of computer hardware. It is smaller then its older brother and looks much better.

What you get in the box:

  • The unit itself
  • Power supply
  • Two cordless controllers
  • 6 games
  • The romote

Games

First of all let us talk about the games that come with it. The games that come with the Xbox 360 are not bad at all. Far Cry, Project Gotham Racing 3, Perfect Dark, Alive 4, Call of duty 2 and Kameo are pretty good games and here some info on them.

Kameo is a role playing game (RPG) is a good game that gives you a lot of playability. You need to solve puzzles, that you need to solve by means of you character that is morphing. Not only puzzles but the battles and old go and kill everything that moves action is added in the game. So you get a game that includes several genres.

Perfect Dark is a game for the fans of Splinter Cell. I personally donít like this game so nothing much to say about it. Move through the levels using special gadgets, tools and your arsenal. Slower game and was created for spy people.

Well, other games are just usual Shooters or RPG's that you heard of and probably played a lot. So let's get back to the console.

The size of Xbox 360 is smaller then the Xbox's but it is much heavier. It is heavier then PlayStation 2, Nintendo Gamecube, however it is more powerful I think.

Input/Output

First of all we will talk about the power supply. There is an external power supply that powers up your beast and it even has a LED that indicates if it is operational or not.

The large power connector that you plug into your Xbox 360 will hold firmly and will not get loose thanks to the special grips. It clicks in and you can forget about the power supply because it will not be unplugged accidentally.

Xbox 360 supports TV / HDTV so there are audio/visual outputs for that. There is also a switch on the connector so you can switch to HDTV or TV. It also has a SCART adapter in case if you have the component plugs on your TV.

Ethernet port is also available and that means that you can connect your Xbox 360 to your PC or internet but we will talk about this later.

Menus & Preferences

When you turn on your Xbox the screen will show you: Xbox Live, Games, Media and System tabs and you can choose one of those.

Xbox Live tab will allow you to write messages to your friends that are online and do a lot of many things online; from interacting with live components of the games to communicating with people.

If you want to see the games you played, trailers, demos all you got to do is go to the "Games" tab that will show you all the info you need on games. Do not worry about savegames and other personal stuff because when you take the wireless joystick you need to sign in as a profile user. More then one person can use the console without harming your saves and games info. It can be annoying sometimes when you want to save your game you might have to sign in. But when you get used to that you will se the benefits of it.

"Media" tab is responsible for all the media that you can listen to, watch, view etc. Here you can watch DVDs, playback music, work with your media files on the hard disc etc. There is something more to that that we will talk about later. (Connecting to PC and transferring media files.)

Las but not the least "System" tab, here you can personalize your console, change everything you want and can. Things like parental locks, refresh rates, memory card, network settings etc. are available here.

Media

Playback of media files is ok however there is one problem with getting the files from you computer. You got to have Windows Media Center edition installed on your PC in order to have video playback. However, you can install "Windows Media Connect" which should be enough for transferring music and pictures to and from your Xbox 360.

Music player is not very sophisticated; I would say it is somewhat basic. You can list songs by genre, artist or album you can also join the lists and edit them. What they really have done well is that they have a huge amount of visualizations. You can switch them into full screen mode or watch them in a window.

Nothing special in pictures viewing; you can navigate through folders that are listed in alphabetical order. When you find a folder and enter there you might switch to slideshow or look for the picture you need in thumbnails view. When you open a picture it takes some time because it copies the big images onto its hard drive from the PC. A nice feature that it has is that it does the entire job on display rotations and it will scale the pictures for TV size so you will have no troubles with that.

Controllers

Wireless controllers, what could be better for the gamer? However there is a disadvantage to that because they are a bit weighty. There is no lag between your button press and actual response.

There is a light circle around the 'X' button on the joystick. It is divided in 4 parts. The light is turned on in the quadrant that you are active as, so that you know where to look on the screen. And the light circle around the power switch on the console will show the active controllers too.

The battery compartment holds two AA batteries that power up the joystick. It is enough for a long active playing and besides you can always have some spare batteries if you run out of juice. There are also some interface connectors for the live headset and you can connect it directly to your controller and enjoy communicating with people. However you are using your controller's energy doing that.

The overall my opinion on this console would be good and would buy it, but later, when the price would come down because I think that it does not cost that much. A noisy DVD drive is a disadvantage too but it is not like crashing your house with a hummer.

The console does not really get hot so you shouldn't worry about that either, however you need to think on how to position it.

The remote control that is included is very useful for just watching movies and doing all the multimedia controls. Well you can do everything with it except for playing I think.

Pros:

  • Good graphics
  • Wireless connectors (New thing when it appeared)
  • HDTV support (New thing when it appeared)
  • Hard disc expansion add-on

Cons:

  • Noisy Drive
  • You need Windows Media Center edition to stream movies from the computer.

The last thing we want to tell you about is the price. There are two modifications of Xbox 360: one costs $ 299 and it has no hard drive and wired joysticks. However the $ 399 version will come with wireless controller, 20 GB drive, headset and a remote control. Cool huh? But a bit expensive.

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