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  Xbox 360: A Half-Step Ahead  
Posted 2005-10-27 by Tony Walsh
Between 2005 and 2006, wealthy countries all over the world will be entering their latest "next generation" game console phase. Yesterday, I was present during a live preview of the upcoming Xbox 360, its doomed Xbox predecessor, and a handful of new games for both platforms.

Xbox 360 games are definitely more slick-looking than Xbox games--but not nearly slick enough. The Xbox 360's graphic capabilities are roughly equivalent (based on what I saw on various screens) to those of a contemporary personal computer. It used to be that every new console poked PC graphics squarely in the nads, and that the games offered blew PC games out of the sky. In my travels around the X05 floor, I didn't see a single game that amazed me. Instead, I saw sequels, rehash, and ripoffs of previous games. Where are the game-play and performance innovations that inspired me to move from Pong to Asteroids, from the Super NES to the Gamecube, or buy a PS2 when I had a perfectly good PC for gaming? The Xbox 360 isn't so much an "Xbox2," but an "Xbox1.5." The only motivation I can see to purchasing the 360 at this point is that soon, no more Xbox games will be available. Funny, that.
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Comment posted by [-]oo|igan
October 27, 2005 @ 5:48 pm
While I dont disagree with the version 1.5 slogan, every new machine has a nasty first set of games because their repective company programmers need to work up to speed on the hardware. In this case, the up side is that there is about 6x the CPU power available over xbox v1.0, so the second generation of games is where you will see the 360 shine. The scary part is that PS3 is harder to program for than the Xbox360, and the tools are nowhere near the quality of Microsoft's. So perhaps ps3 games will be worse than ps2 games from a 1st gen persective. On a side note Im pretty sure you will see Halo3 the day ps3 comes out.
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
October 27, 2005 @ 8:19 pm
I am pretty sure that the main reason the Xbox 360 games looked so bad is that the end-of-cycle Xbox games looked so good. I agree completely that the first round of games on a console are almost always crap. Better things are in store for the 360 down the road, but initially I have no incentive to buy one.

I don't have much confidence about any of the next-gen consoles, actually. Plenty of life left in the current consoles.
Comment posted by [-]oo|igan
October 28, 2005 @ 8:46 am
I will be holding of on a purchase until xbox360's ship with HD-DVD drives. That should give me enuf time to unload my stock of beta tapes:)
Comment posted by Gamma Fodder
October 28, 2005 @ 1:02 pm
D00d: I think that you may have missed the attractiveness of the 360 in your second paragraph: That "the Xbox 360's graphic capabilities are roughly equivalent to those of a contemporary personal computer" for $500. Now Joe/Jill Gamer can play high resolution video games for a fraction of the cost of buying a new gaming computer. That won't affect the purchasing decisions of obsessive gaming nerds like you and I, but it certainly is attractive to the Madden and DoA set. Video game consoles of the past still fell far short of matching the graphics capabilities of PCs; now with the 360 the gap has apparently been eliminated from what I saw on the demos.

We can continue this conversation at my place when the 360 arrives at my house on November 22nd. :)
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
October 28, 2005 @ 7:56 pm
Gamma Fodder-- Agreed. A $500 PC-quality gaming rig is a good deal. Granted, you can buy an $800 PC that doubles as a gaming rig, but I see your point.
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
October 29, 2005 @ 3:07 pm
Slashdot posted a blurb on a $500 gaming PC today. As PCs get cheaper, and have comparable graphics to the 360, how will the 360 compete?
Comment posted by Jos 'Hyakugei' Yule
October 30, 2005 @ 12:46 pm
I'd just like to point out that the $500 gaming PC in the aformentioned article is, with tax, just over $900 CDN. I know this because i'm in the process of building my next PC using that article as a guide. And they left a couple of things out of the cost, including a case and keyboard/mouse. Minor, low cost bits, but still pushes the cost over $500 USD. FYI.
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
October 30, 2005 @ 12:54 pm
Thanks for the info -- if you buy your parts out of province, you'll save yourself provincial sales tax. GST still applies, of course.
Comment posted by Jos 'Hyakugei' Yule
October 30, 2005 @ 1:04 pm
Huh, i didn't think about the tax thing - i'd like to support my local computer shop however, so i guess i'll have to suck up the 7%.
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