When you’ve been anticipating something for a long time you often find yourself disappointed when you finally see/touch/use it – that won’t happen with the Xbox 360! Microsoft has succeeded in pushing the boundaries of gaming, while also bringing media playback and streaming functionality into your living room. Thinking of buying a media adapter for your living room? Forget it, the Xbox 360 will do that for you.
With a significant lead on the forthcoming PlayStation 3, Microsoft has the opportunity to create a strong user base for the X360, and make those users question whether they need a PS3 as well. Some of the launch games do look quite stunning, and even though actual game play may not be awesome in all of them, what you’re seeing is an indication of things to come. Just think what the games will be like when they’re using both threads on all three CPU cores?
If you’ve got a High Definition TV you won’t believe how good the X360 looks – it’s a shame that you can’t connect via HDMI, but the image quality over component video or VGA is still staggering.
But for me one of the most impressive aspects of this machine is just how tightly the Xbox Live service has been integrated. It just feels totally natural to be constantly connected, just like on a PC. Keeping in touch with friends, organising matches, downloading game demos, it all adds another dimension to the proceedings. OK, so you could do a lot of this with a Live account on an old Xbox, but it just feels more natural and seamless with the X360.
As I mentioned earlier, the big question is whether you should spend your money on an Xbox 360, and the simple answer is YES!