Just got off the phone with XBOX Live. It takes 3 minutes to enter your corporate card to sign up for one month membership on the console to be able to do a demo at CES, and over 30 minutes on the phone (you cannot cancel on the console or online) to cancel this recurring charge. What a pain!
This one is not going to be easy for you XBOX fans, but here goes.
I bought the XBOX360 on eBay for $540 including shipping and handling. I have the premium console (list $399 not incl. tax). A quick check of Walmart last week revealed this is now in stock. This is the 2nd version of the XBOX360, with the “orange” screen of death problems (overheating?) worked out.
I bought an extra wireless controller, remote control, and a copy of Quake4.
Graphics and startup are underwhelming. The original XBOX had so much more of a WOW factor, but mainly because of the signature Halo title that accompanied it. The XBOX360 is possibly the loudest device in my cabinet, requiring significantly more sound-proofing than any other component, including my television.
1 month later:
- Stupid thing won’t stream video off my computer. I BOUGHT IT FOR THAT. (Windows Media Connect gives it the ability to stream music or photos only!) I ended up buying a D-Link DSM-520 to do what the XBOX360 won’t. To summarize the problem, XBOX360’s only stream VIDEO off an attached HDD, iPod, or Media Center PC. So you say, why wouldn’t I move my PC to Windows Media Center? Firstly, Windows Vista will have this feature built-in according to the pundits, just a matter of waiting for the release. Secondly, I run Windows XP Professional, Home and Media Center are huge steps down from this full featured OS.
- Games suck and are slow. Quake4 is clearly a bad port onto the console, and graphics are average, and occasionally jerky. Shame on them. On the other hand this is the first time I’ve heard anyone swear in a video game.
- Must…… release……….. Halo………… 3.
- Can’t download and play, or in fact, download and do anything (need to stay on the download screen or your download is fried).
- Can’t surf the net. This would be nice.
- No HDMI. And they call themselves high-definition.
Things I like:
- It’s kind of a cool, well-designed box
- Wireless controllers are awesome.
- Plays classic XBOX games like HALO2 quite well, in high-definition widescreen.
What I would buy now:
My XBOX360 is for sale. I really like the DSM-520, and can wait for Halo3 and the HD-DVD add-on drive for the XBOX360. The DSM-520 is really good at what it does! See my review on that in upcoming posts. The XBOX360 is just not what I wanted or needed. I suppose if I had a terabyte of storage on a noisy Media Center PC in another room, this would be an awesome solution for me, but right now it bites.