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Gabriel

Tale of the X-Box 360

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So, the other day I got a flyer from Wal-Mart saying they had X-Box 360 Core Systems. Despite all my badmouthing, I am an obsessive geek and gamer at heart. Plus, I really do want to play DOA4, so I thought I'd check it out.

 

Now, many people are saying that the Core System is a waste. I've said it myself. But, I analyzed things and I determined the following: First, if I got a Premium System, I'd have to buy the normal AV cable separate because I don't have a HD TV and the Premium system only comes with HDTV hookups. Second, I don't want wireless controllers, and the Premium comes with a wireless and the Core comes with a wired. Third, I have a X-Box that is still working fine and have no current intention in smashing it with a sledgehammer. The current backwards compatibility of the X-Box 360 is really lacking, because I can't play the X-Box games I actually play on the 360. So, for me, at the moment, it makes more sense to get a Core right now and upgrade with a hard drive later down the road.

 

Anyway, I went to Wal-Mart and found they were selling the 360s in layaway department at midnight. It was going to be a first come, first served basis. This was at about 7:30 PM that I discovered this information. There was a line already formed at that point, but the line consisted of only one person. I decided that it would be neat to get a X-Box 360, but when it came right down to it, I didn't really mind missing out on one, so I decided to go home and be back at Wal-Mart at 11PM.

 

So, I futzed around at home, got something to eat, and then went back to the store. I got there about 5 minutes before 11PM and the line had grown. It had grown by all of one lady and her son who she was buying the system for. She had arrived a mere minute before me. I sat down with my new N-Gage (a story for another time) and started playing Rifts.

 

After about 20 minutes, a few other people showed up, which represented two more total 360 sales. After about 40 minutes a guy came in who was ranting about how if he couldn't get a Premium then he wasn't going to buy one at all. This caused everyone to start a discussion on how stupid it was to buy a Core as opposed to a Premium, and then we, the whole group, did a little poll to see who was only after the Premium. I sheepishly announced I only wanted a Core, which made Premium-boy happy because it increased his chances of getting what he wanted.

 

There was a lot of hypothesizing and discussion about games in general. For the most part I just stayed out of the gamer talk and played Rifts. Around 10-15 minutes before midnight I saved my game, stood up and patiently waited while listening to everyone. The crowd had grown to maybe about a dozen people total.

 

The main game of discussion was Dead or Alive 4. Despite several attempts by quite a few of us to get the Wal-Mart employees to see if they had gotten it, the employees just blew us off. There was a tiny bit of interest in Madden 2006, which only the first guy in line really wanted.

 

Then midnight struck and all of us wished each other Happy New Year. A few jokes were made about what geeks we all were, and the guy who was first in line (who had been there since 2PM) was extremely good natured and made quite a few jokes about his own fanaticism.

 

Five minutes later, the 360s were brought out and unpacked. They had about 12-14 systems and they were split pretty evenly between Cores and Premiums. Premium-Boy hooted and hollered in excitement. In fact there was enthusiasm all around. And there was some very minor cheering when the first guy in line got his Premium system. A few short minutes later and I had my Core System and I was on my way.

 

Interestingly, my system was the only one that the Anti-Theft System at the door went off on.

 

So, now I have the system home. It's amazingly heavy. But, I've unpacked it and plugged everything up. Currently, I'm watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture on it, as I don't yet have a game to play.

 

Anyway, tomorrow I head out to get another wired controller, and maybe a little memory pack. In addition, I'll be hunting for Dead or Alive 4, which (other than maybe Ridge Racer) will be my only game for a while.

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Now, many people are saying that the Core System is a waste.  I've said it myself.  But, I analyzed things and I determined the following:  First, if I got a Premium System, I'd have to buy the normal AV cable separate because I don't have a HD TV and the Premium system only comes with HDTV hookups.  Second, I don't want wireless controllers, and the Premium comes with a wireless and the Core comes with a wired.  Third, I have a X-Box that is still working fine and have no current intention in smashing it with a sledgehammer.  The current backwards compatibility of the X-Box 360 is really lacking, because I can't play the X-Box games I actually play on the 360.  So, for me, at the moment, it makes more sense to get a Core right now and upgrade with a hard drive later down the road.

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I've got the same issues. I'm not happy with either package because either way, I get screwed into spending more money.

 

All I would want is the Xbox360, standard A/V cables, wired controller, HDD and maybe the remote.

 

So my choice is;

-Buy the core for $300, + $100 for HDD + $30 for remote = $430.

or

-Buy the premium for $400 + $40 for wired controller + $30 for A/V cable = $470. (With any luck, I could sell/trade the HD hookups, wireless controller and headset crap and recoup atleast some of the extra cost.)

 

Either way, I'm spending more then I really should have to be. Especially on the HD. $100 for a 20gig? That's 5 bucks per gig! Didn't even cost that much in the 90's. Hey, Microsoft, ya know, 160gig drives can be had for less then $100 now adays. :roll:

 

Personally, I'm going to wait till they start turning up used in the pawnshops and game resellers.

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Well, Star Trek is over and it's time for bed.

 

In another forum, someone tells me that the component HD cables will work fine on a regular TV. I have no reason not to believe them. But it does make me wonder what all those other people who I talked to who owned HDTVs were thinking about when they told me that HDTV component cables would not work on a regular TV.

 

Plus, the little flyer lied and said the Core System came with one of the little plug in memory things. It doesn't and I've just noticed those buggers are $40. Ouch.

 

Still, I don't need the hard drive except for backwards compatibility and X-Box Live. As I said, I'm currently not interested in the backwards compatibility offerred and X-Box Live can go suck a big ol wang. So, even after I get a memory unit, DOA4, and another wired controller, I'll still come out about $70 ahead of the Premium pack and have all the features I want out of it.

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You donuts!

 

The HD cable caters for both HD and normal composite signals. It comes with 6 RCAs (phono plugs) 3 for HD, 2 for Stereo and 1 for composite video and it has a switch which switches between HDTV and normal TV.

 

Congrats on your purchace - but it becomes a completely different console once you get your HDD and conect it to your broadband. That's the moment you start to understand what the next gen has to offer.

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I sat down with my new N-Gage (a story for another time) and started playing Rifts.

 

 

There was a lot of hypothesizing and discussion about games in general.  For the most part I just stayed out of the gamer talk and played Rifts. 

 

 

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How is it? Rifts, I mean.

 

As for the Core system vs. premium, I have the same opinion as you. I want wired controllers, and am sure I'll have $460 (the price here for the core after taxes) before I have $575 (premium), so I'll probably get the core at first and upgrade overtime. I'm sure a cheap no name type memory card will be available used in EB by the time I want the system, so the harddrive won't be a problem until I want one.

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So, even after I get a memory unit, DOA4, and another wired controller, I'll still come out about $70 ahead of the Premium pack and have all the features I want out of it.

 

DOA4 is excellent, if you're a fan of the series (which I am). I finished the story modes for each character yesterday.

 

I just wanted to warn you that, like most recent Team Ninja games, your game save is "managed" and apparently cannot be transferred from a Memory Unit to the HD. If you do end up getting a hard drive at any point in the future, you'd have to start over if you wanted your DOA4 game save on it.

 

Might as well stick with that Memory Unit :)

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How is it?  Rifts, I mean. 

 

 

It's OK. I wouldn't put it in the same league as the greats of the tactical RPG genre, but it's still good.

 

As a long time player of the tabletop game, I find it uses the terms from the pen & paper game but actually bears very little resemblance to the pen & paper game's rules. They kind of used the book terms and slapped their own action point system in.

 

In play, it's a lot like just about any square grid tactical game managed by action points. The important difference is that your unit's movement is not part of their action point expenditures. So, you can move all over the place with some fast units and attack to your heart's content.

 

Right now I'm about 6 hours in and heading towards the city of Lazlo for some reason that I forget. I'm hoping that I'll get my class promotion there.

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I just wanted to warn you that, like most recent Team Ninja games, your game save is "managed" and apparently cannot be transferred from a Memory Unit to the HD. If you do end up getting a hard drive at any point in the future, you'd have to start over if you wanted your DOA4 game save on it.

 

Might as well stick with that Memory Unit :)

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Well, fuck. Thanks for the tip. I hate it when the game developers do that crap.

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I had a chance to mess with a real 360 this weekend (not a demo unit). Boy do those things run hot!

 

Anyways best I can tell it allows you to set-up different profiles for each player. Is that true?

 

One thing I did notice that was never really mentioned (at least explicitly) is that if you want to connect 4 controllers to it your gonna need at least one wireless. There are only 3 usb connectors on it (two in front, one on back).

 

I'm guessing that it may be possible to use a USB hub for four, but I wouldn't know.

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Either way, I'm spending more then I really should have to be. Especially on the HD. $100 for a 20gig? That's 5 bucks per gig! Didn't even cost that much in the 90's. Hey, Microsoft, ya know, 160gig drives can be had for less then $100 now adays.  :roll:
You can get a 160gig laptop drive for $100? Tell me where! (of course the 360 uses a SATA laptop drive, which is useless to me...)

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I had a chance to mess with a real 360 this weekend (not a demo unit).  Boy do those things run hot!

 

Anyways best I can tell it allows you to set-up different profiles for each player.  Is that true?

 

One thing I did notice that was never really mentioned (at least explicitly) is that if you want to connect 4 controllers to it your gonna need at least one wireless.  There are only 3 usb connectors on it (two in front, one on back).

 

I'm guessing that it may be possible to use a USB hub for four, but I wouldn't know.

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Yeah, you can set up as many profiles as you want. Within each profile, you can also set default preferences, like invert controls, difficulty settings and a few other things that, when given one of the options in any given game, those defaults are set for you. What's nice is you can keep your kids from wiping out your saves or accessing Live on your account.

 

Never thought about the 4 controllers though. You may be correct that you need a wireless.

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DOA4 is a great game. It almost makes the Xbox 360 worth all of the hassles. Almost. (Yes I do have one)

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^ Nice Pic.

 

I too got my XBOX Core Console at Walmart within the past 24 hours. Got an HD for it at FYE, and I got everythign I wanted.

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^ Nice Pic.

 

I too got my XBOX Core Console at Walmart within the past 24 hours. Got an HD for it at FYE, and I got everythign I wanted.

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Same here. I got the core system. I got a spare controller so a friend can play. I got DOA4. And I got a memory unit to save my progress on.

 

I'm as happy as can be. Until I get my credit card bill.

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I payed in Cash I made from a summer job. I was planning this day from then. I got PDZ, and its ok. Need Call of Duty though. I just hope it doesn't brake.

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I see what microsoft is trying to do with live but it needs alot of work and you know what they say about what happens to those who pave the way.

 

They get shot in the back. :lol:

 

Anyways live still needs to be a little easier to navigate and it be nice if they supported more media types. I know they are trying to one-up XBMC, but considering what XBMC is capable of playing they are not gonna get there with just XP media center support.

 

I like the seperate profiles and I suspected it allowed seperate saves and profiles but was not sure.

 

The demo disk floating around runs quite nice on it. :lol:

 

As for the price. Well the one thing that does impress me about the 360 is the xbox emulation. Why this? Because well the PS2, Cube, and Xbox are real beasts when it comes to emulation and if the 360 can do an xbox, well that says alot for it's raw horsepower. They really need to get a moving on the backwards compatility list though. It's pitiful.

 

Still gotta wait for the better 360 titles to come out though. The initial releases are a mish mash of good and bad. Certainly not worth the new retail price they are going for. At least not yet.

Edited by Shannon

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They really need to get a moving on the backwards compatility list though.  It's pitiful.

 

That's what I'm basically thinking. Plus, I am a pessimist, especially where it comes to things like this. I don't think much will ever be added in terms of backwards compatibility.

 

I mean, for myself, I'm only interested in Dai Senryaku VII, Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate, Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball, Outrun 2, and Taito Legends being added to the list. But I don't have any faith that will happen. I think they'll add a few more of the FPS games to the list and then the backwards compatibility will become a forgotten feature, like link cable games on the Playstation 1.

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I went with a friend this morning to Walmart because he wanted to pick one up. They had them back in layaway (was told 12 units the other day, but ended up being around 40). When it came to my friend he got his, and then the guy asked which version I wanted and I told him premium.

 

As we were walking out of the store, my friend said something about me not buying one till at least April. I told him that was they plan, till that moment.

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Still, I don't need the hard drive except for backwards compatibility and X-Box Live.  As I said, I'm currently not interested in the backwards compatibility

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I don't care about backwards compatabilty either, not why I want the HD. :P

 

You can get a 160gig laptop drive for $100?  Tell me where!  (of course the 360 uses a SATA laptop drive, which is useless to me...)

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As far as I'm aware, 2.5" SATA drives only go upto 120gig. With this said, Newegg. Seagate SATA 120g for $90. Still less then $1 per gig.

 

Also, I'm not talking 2.5" drives. There was absolutly no reason for MS to use a 2.5" drive. Less reliable and more expencive. They arn't even all that much smaller. They could have just as easily used a standard 3.5" drive had they wanted to. Which is what I would probably end up replacing it with anyways.

 

To this end, Newegg. Hitachi SATA 160g for $80, Maxtor SATA 200g for $101. Then there are other places like dirtcheapdrives which has a 250g SATA drive for $99.

 

This is all besides the point I was making. MS's is charging unrealistic prices for their HD kits. $100 for a 20gig is NOT a good or fair deal. It's more like getting bent over and raped without lube.

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I picked up a premium on release day. Was in line for 5 1/2 hours and was #18 in line. Been playing since. Excellent system and does run hot, make sure it isn't in an enclosed area! Games I got was Perfect Dark Zero, Condemned, Tiger Woods 2k6, and Project Gotham 3. Project Gotham is currently on eBay as I don't know why I bought it. Never liked the series. I also purchased via Xbox Live Geometry Wars (addictive), Smash TV, Joust (free with Live subscription).

 

As for cost of the hard drive, I don't think $100 is bad especially when you look at the cost of a memory key for $40. My problem was the cost of the wireless controller, then needing to buy a $20 rechargable battery and charger cable. I like the wireless myself and works great at long distances.

 

Compatibility, tried couple games, but have an original Xbox I load my games on it (modified) to the hard drive. Loads quicker plus I can run emus on it.

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My problem was the cost of the wireless controller, then needing to buy a $20 rechargable battery and charger cable.  I like the wireless myself and works great at long distances.

 

So, you have to buy those things separately? They aren't included? Just clarifying.

 

Personally, I think even the $40 for the wired controller is fucking ludicrous.

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The wireless controllers come with a module to hold two AA batteries. The rechargeable battery pack is not required. I still have the original 2 AA batteries in one of my controllers. (I got the system on launch day) I have the rechargable battery pack in the other. I think the manual said that AA batteries last for around 25 hours. Battery life for standard or the rechargeable pack seems pretty good.

 

The plug and play kit has a USB cable and a rechargeable battery for around $20. Unless you think you will need to charge 2 (or more) controllers at once you only need one cable.

 

The rechargeable battery by itself is around $10. (but of course you need the recharging cable first)

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I thought I'd mention since no one seems to talk about it much. Surprising considering this is an atari board. But I really like the music visualizations minter created. I wonder how they compare to the one on the Jaguar CD.

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I thought I'd mention since no one seems to talk about it much.  Surprising considering this is an atari board.  But I really like the music visualizations minter created.  I wonder how they compare to the one on the Jaguar CD.

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Haven't seen the original, but until Christmas day, I completely forgot about it. Bought my wife the new Manheim Steamrollers CD and played it on there. It was very cool, kids found it interesting.

 

Corey

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