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Xbox 360 – First Two Weeks
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by Rob Williams on December 8, 2005 in Gaming

It’s been a little over two weeks since I’ve gotten my Xbox 360, and I’m here to give my experiences with the system so far. This console certainly has it’s issues, but do the pros make up for the cons?

Introduction

It’s been just over two weeks since the Xbox 360 has been released, and what a two weeks it’s been! I was lucky enough to be one of the first pre-orders in my City, so I had no issues getting ahold of my system, thankfully. Over the course of the past two weeks, I have definitely had my share of game time and experiences, so this article will be focusing on the good and bad. There are a few reasons that I did not push out an article directly after the launch, and that is because most issues that you can experience with the system will not be that evident right away.

My friend Pete and I went to pick up the system at 8:00am at our local Electronics Boutique. The store reps there were preparing for quite a day, and likely a lot of bitching due to the supposed shortage. Microsoft was supposed to originally send 2 Million consoles throughout North America, but the reps at EB stated that they only released 1.4 Million. Whether these numbers are true or not, I am unsure, but even 2 Million seems a little low. There is no doubt that if you own a 360, you are one of the lucky ones, and the envy of many people in your neighborhood.

This seems out of place for such an article, but I’d like to give my condolences to the families who have experienced a death due to the release of this console. There are many psychos out there who are twisted enough to think that a $400 toy is worth more than human life. There have been numerous stories of such incidents, and don’t think your local area was excluded. I live in Atlantic Canada which is known for being one of the friendliest places in Canada. Even here, there were reported stories of muggings and thefts for the consoles. It boggles my mind…

Setting the console up

Being the tech-head that I am, I was excited just to toy with the power of this system, because without a doubt, it’s a beast. Xbox developers state that the system is currently faster than any current Desktop computer, which is true due to it’s 3 Core PowerPC processor. The graphics are another story though, so I wasn’t expecting Anti-Aliasing to a great degree… it’s rare to see that on a console.

I picked up the Premium package, and I have to admit that it is more than worth the price. For $100 more than the Core kit, you receive the 20GB HDD, Xbox Live Headset, Wireless controller in place of the wired and HD compatible cables. My console came with a basic remote control as well, but it is not standard with the console, so the next shipment of the system may not include it; It would be great if it did though as it’s a pretty nice addition.

Upon first lifting up the system, I realized quickly that this thing is heavy! It is certainly packed though, so I will forgive it for being overweight. The system can be placed standing up, or lying down just like the first generation PlayStation 2’s could be. According to reports though, if you have room to stand it up, then don’t even consider lying it down because the ventilation and airflow is much better standing up. I will get into some heat issues shortly, because I definitely experienced some. Needless to say, my room is hardly large so I am forced to lie it down on top of my digital terminal cable box, which in itself get’s hot.

I never dealt with Xbox Live with my original Xbox, but I had full intentions of signing up with this new console. The Premium package includes a month free of Gold, so I immediately signed up for that. Hooking up the console to the internet was far easier than I could have imagined. The system also included a networking cable, so I simply plugged it into the back of my computer and the Xbox.

To finish setting up the system, I plugged in the AC adapter to the wall and then into the system. Holy cow, what a mammoth PSU! Just check out the pictures to see what I mean, because I couldn’t put into words how ridiculously large this thing is. Lastly, I hooked up the HD cables to my television, which supports 720p. The cable has a switch that you must push to the HD label, or else you will receive regular 480p resolution. Of course, if you don’t have an HDTV, then you will want to leave it where it’s at.