Xbox 360

29 03 2006

Xbox 360 GRAW PackageIt’s here! I finally got my grubby hands on the coveted Xbox 360! The next gen world of Ghost Recon: Adavanced Warfighter awaits me.

After carefully unwrapping every piece of packaging and inspecting them all very closely, I waited for Ethan to go to bed. I tried to send him to bed early but Caley wouldn’t have it. Sigh. I waited patiently until eight o’clock when I finally powered on the shiny new toy with a touch of a button on my wireless controller.

The new Xbox controller is a beauty. I love everything about it so far. The clean white color, the small form factor, the wirless connectivity without a huge dongle on the front of your box, the fact that you can connect the headset into the bottom of the controller, the addition of the right/left bumper buttons, and it’s very lightweight. But wait, I’m forgetting something. The greatest feature of the new wireless controller is the big button in the middle. The button that lets you turn your Xbox on and off without getting off the couch. I guess Microsoft does answer prayers.

Now that the Xbox is on, first things first: I had to setup an Xbox Live account. I spent at least a half hour trying to come up with some cool gamertag that no one else had yet (can you believe someone else already thought of “atomicXile”?). Then I set up all my user information and console options. Then I found an options tab for games. “What’s that for?” I discover that Microsoft is really forming the Xbox around the user experience. This new options tab makes it possible for you to set your own defaults for games. I’ll explain a little better. My personal favorite is that you can set “invert y axis” as default for all action games. How cool is that?! Another example: you can select “automatic” or “manual” transmission and your default camera postion in racing games. It’s the small things that can really make a difference in usability.
Xbox 360 dashboard Games tab

After exploring the Xbox dashboard for an hour I decide to pop in Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. Let’s see what this baby can do. I jump right into a mission and start playing (no need to set up my options!). The graphics are amazing! I’m pretty sure you’ve seen screenshots by now. No?! You haven’t?! Well check this out then and see what this amazing machine can do.

I played the single player campaign missions for an hour and decided I should try out the multiplayer on Live before I go to bed. Joining a game is ever so easy. Now all I have to do is wait a couple of minutes till the game in progress is finished and I can join in. I decide to see what happens if I press the big button on the controller. Out from the side of the screen pops a menu with all my game stats, messages from friends on Live, a list of my friends, and controls for playing mp3s on my Xbox. Wow. All this while I’m still in the game. I decide to see if there’s any music already preloaded on the Xbox. Sure enough there’s a small smattering of new music from a bunch of artists I’ve never heard before. I select some music to play, set the volume to a lower level so I can still hear all the mayhem and close the menu. Now the game is about to start and I’m listening to some new track by Cold (the only artist I recognized). It gives the game a whole new feel.

I’m very impressed so far with the 360 and I’m especially impressed with the interaction between the Xbox 360, Xbox Live, and the video game you play. They all blend together to make a very smooth user experience. All in all I think it’s $500 well spent!



4 responses

31 03 2006

i love you for blogging! now, keep it up…

31 03 2006

and next time, logout after you’re done so that i don’t post comments under your name!

5 04 2006

I broke all of my own rules about owning a new system when I came across one bathed in gleaming light. It called to me in an exqusite female voice from the walmart display case and I was brought to my knees, a single tear rolling down my cheek.

Anyway, whats your gamertag?

6 04 2006

hahaha! that’s awesome.  what game(s) did you get? 

my gamertag is atomicblack.  look foward to seeing you on live!

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