Review by ACPCybernetico

"Exceedes expectations, not just another novelty system."

Recently, many systems have been released that, though hyped, flopped. This led to a lot of people being paranoid, not wanting to spend money on any systems since they all seemed doomed to fail. It almost seemed like the current generation was so solid that a new one would only be a waste. I also felt this way, having the DS fail me, the PSP would have failed me if I bought it, and all sorts of new stuff popping up left and right just disappearing completely. Thats why I was so skeptical of the 360. It really is the same for all system releases, the launch games don't seem too great, and no REALLY good games are coming out anytime soon (or at least it would seem, since most aren't just sequels and you can't tell if some random game will be the next, say, GTA.)

But I can assure you that the 360 is not a flop, it's not a passive tech demo. This really is the next generation, coming in so slow people don't realize it. If you're paranoid that it has no future, don't be unless NONE of the games coming out soon appeal to you at all. Anyway, here's for the in-depth section:

All quite solid. 3 parallel processors, a nice custom ATI video card, 512md ddr3 of RAM (not much for a pc, but more than enough for a system.) It runs quite enough, seeing as you'll usually have some type of audio to cover the sound of the fans if you're playing. It doesn't generate too much heat, as long as you leave it in an uncramped space with the side uncovered it runs fine. No overheating, no power problems. I can't really say what the integrity of the system itself is because we'll have to wait to see how long they really last on average. But it all seems quite solid.

Software (contained):
The new Xbox dashboard is sleek, runs fairly well. It acts as more of an Operating System, which is good in that it manages user profiles and all but might hurt the memory a bit. It's capable of idle voice chat, downloads for demos and video trailers, on top of organizing Xbox live game meetings. It has achievements for each user profile, that add up to gamer scores. Not a bad package, it also has Xbox Live silver for free at all times.

The custom ATI video card is quite capable of exceeding current PC standards. Games can easily utilize hardware post-render effects such as motion blurring and light blooming. The graphics do rely on the games themselves, though, and I'd say all games step up to the challenge quite well. But just like with most systems, prepare to see the best graphics when developers get a better grasp of optimizing. Also, HD is a standard.

The sound is nice. Works with surround sound for pretty much all games (unless the game doesn't allow it.) The headset works nicely as well for voices.

Thats about as far as I can go with reviewing the Xbox itself. The games for it are great, plenty of genres with the exception of any real great RPGs so far, so it's a good bargain, definitely go with the premium.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/23/06

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