"A Microsoft Gaming Console. Wow"

With Microsoft as the leading computer software company and one of the most popular companies in existence, it seems odd that they would do anything to risk their reputation. And while the Xbox is Microsoft’s first step into the console world, the result is surprisingly good.

Appearance-8/10: The Xbox, simply put, is huge compared to other consoles on the market. This is not your pick-up-and-go, do-anything, anywhere piece of hardware. It’s more of a put-it-down and leave-it-there type. Fortunately, this is made up for by its incredible tech specs, but I’ll get to that later. The Xbox is spared from getting a very low score in this category because it’s not ugly, and has a convenient shape for its size; low profile and box-like without being too “squared-off.”

Controller-6/10: This is a rating of the official controller of Xbox, not any of the third-party s. The original Xbox came with a giant controller that nicely complimented the console. However, unlike the console, it made its games hard to play for all but those with the largest hands. Luckily, Microsoft released the Controller S, which now comes with a standard Xbox purchase. The controller is just a smaller version of the original, along with different button placements and slightly different analog joysticks. What I can’t figure out is what they are putting in it that makes it so big, while Gamecube and Playstation2’s controllers perform just as well, arguably better than Xbox’s. The Controller S represents a step in the right direction, but without the comfort of the Gamecube’s or Playstation2’s controller, it has a long way to go until it can compete.

Hardware-10/10: The most powerful console to date, this is why the Xbox has the most promising future of all the next-generation consoles. Containing a 733Mhz processor and 64Mb of RAM, what we’ve seen so far in terms of graphics are only the beginning. The Xbox is just begging to be used to its full potential, and nothing seems to be stopping it. Xbox could lead a revolution in console gaming with its 8Gb hard drive that opens up a door of new possibilities for game developers. Or if you prefer, it takes a nuclear missile and Tesla’s ray and incinerates it.
The graphics are stunning with incredible lighting effects and high polygon counts. Sound as well is very pleasing to the ears and combines deep bass with clear, well-rounded sound from anyone’s speakers. Overall, it blows away the competition and I believe it will be one of the leading factors in Xbox’s success.

With an extensive library of games and and online gaming service already in place, Xbox’s few shortcomings are not enough to omit it from any gamers console ownership list.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 10/04/03

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