One of my jobs is to review video games. I know, I know…I have the worst job in the world don't I? I have to play video games, I'm forced to fool around with new technology, and it's part of my job requirements to surf the internet all day looking for cool sites. Makes you jealous doesn't it? Anyway, this weekend I got to take an Xbox 360 home to play Fight Night Round 3, which I reviewed on TSN.ca (review coming soon).
So this meant I got to spend a weekend with an Xbox, and boy do my thumbs regret it. It's an amazingly cool, amazingly powerful machine though, here were my opinions.
The Xbox 360 is cool. The style of it is slick, the GUI is slick, the controllers are slick, it's a slick outfit. Xbox Live is awesome, and it's a light year beyond where it was with the last iteration. The fact that you can download movie trailers, game trailers, and all sorts of other stuff puts it on a whole different level.
Then there's the Media Center integration. Being able to look up your computer and play MP3's etc right through your stereo is awesome, and the current generation Xbox's Media Center extender kit has meant that our Xbox is almost always on (but rarely having games played on it).
I love the fact that the controllers are wireless, and I love that you can turn the console off by turning off the controllers. That's a feature you can't do on the old Xbox.
The games are light years ahead as well, Fight Night is so graphically beautiful that you can actually see the wearyness of your fighter, and the damage to him comes across on the screen.
Of course all is not roses in Xboxland. The unit is terribly noisy, especially when you're playing a game (the optical drive is crazy loud), and the heat it spits out is pretty intense. Also, you need a good TV to actually appreciate it. We have a 32″ LCD at work which we run the Xbox on HD at 720p, and the thing is incredible. At home on our ghetto 26″ CRT though, it's not that impressive.
Still, I want one, if for no other reason than because it's pretty, and it would mean I could review games without lugging the entire unit home.