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Author Topic: Xbox 360 - My Thoughts So Far  (Read 3595 times)
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Hetz
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« on: November 18, 2005, 01:19:26 PM »

Ok, I finally have some time to do some impressions of this bad boy. As many of you know, I was able to get the system on Wednesday.  Needless to say, I know I am a very lucky person and I am not going to gloat....well ok, maybe just a little...  :wink:

Anyway, on to the impressions:

The Xbox 360

So, I opened the package....unit: check, wireless controller: check,  video cable: check, space heater...err...power brick: check. First things, first that power brick is monsterous and very heavy. It's almost as heavy as the console itself and can get hot. I had seen pictures, but nothing prepared me for seeing it in person....that is one huge power supply.

So, I unpack everything and bring it downstairs to my "DVD dungeon" as people like to call it, or more commonly known as the finished basement room where my 56" Samsung DLP is located. It was easy to setup. Just plug in the cables, flip a switch on the video cable from TV to HDTV and I was good to go. Yes, there is a switch on the included cables that toggles it from TV to HDTV, maybe switching from the component to the composite cables, since they are both included on one set of cables.

So, I turn on the system....and I smell smoke  :shock: .....just kidding. I turn it on and it boots up for the first time. It takes you to a menu where you can set up your gamertag on the system, you just enter your gamertag, then your MS passport info and everything is good to go! You need to have your gamertag linked to your passport, it's very important you do that. In fact, do it now so you beat the rush on launch day when the servers are going bellyup.

So, I am now going to talk about the single coolest thing about the Xbox 360, IMO. Xbox Live intigration. I am blown away by how good it is. Nearly every single game has not only multiplayer gameplay over Xbox Live, but leaderboards as well for single player! This is SO COOL! Like Kameo for instance. After you are done with a level you can go to the leaderboards and check how your score for that level ranked with others all over the world, or how well it compares to your friends on your friends list. It's like having global high-score list like in the arcades and it is all seemlessly intigrated with the game. It is really amazing and I can't stress how cool it is to complete a single player race in PGR3 and see how your time for the track compared to all the other people that have played the game in the world! One major thing that Microsoft has over Sony is Xbox Live and online gaming...and Sony just got lapped about 4 times over with this new version of Xbox Live.

The dashboard is also very, very well done. I hated the look and the feel of the XBox dashboard. It was way too simple and just didn't do anything for me. The new one is a MILLION times better. On the Xbox Live blade you can talk to your friends, enter the Xbox Live Marketplace (another cool thing in concept, we will have to see how it goes in practice), see what your friends are playing right now, heck you can even see what level they are on in a game and give them tips via voice message for that level if you are already done with it or whatever. Again, the Live intigration into the system is amazing.

The Games blade has your achievements, Xbox Live Arcade games and list of your played games. The achievements thing and gamerscore is another genius idea that I love. It will really make you work hard to complete games now, since there are real goals that you can compete with your friends and others to see who can get the most or get a certain achievement the quickest. It's really cool to have it available on the web as well, for bragging rights and just cause it's cool to have. When they stressed community for this new Xbox they were not kidding. Everything about the XBox screams community and having fun with others, even in single player mode with the leaderboards and whatnot. I haven't had a chance to try out the XBox Arcade, since no games are available yet for it. Hopefully by today or tomorrow they will be up for Zero Hour.

The Media Blade has your music, movies and pictures. You can stream music from your PC or iPOD into any game that you want, which is REALLY cool. All you need for the PC is Windows Media Connect, which is free from MS. There are like 12 songs already on the hard drive, to get you started, but nothing great. There are also 4 HD movies on the drive: Making of Xbox 360 video, 1 Adidas commercial, 1 movie trailer and the Making of Titanic. Not bad, and all are in amazing HD.

Which brings me to this point, and probabily the biggest and only negative that I can see: this system was made for a Widescreen HDTV. It's not to say that you shouldn't get it if you don't have a widescreen HD set, but this system was clearly ment to be played on a widescreen HDTV. All the games are widesreen and run at 720p or 1080i, It will still look ok, on a regular TV, but man o man, it is stunning on a Widescreen 720p set. You will also get stuff chopped off the sides when you run it on a regular TV, since these games were designed for widescreen sets. Gun forces you to run letterboxed on a 4:3 set, I don't know if other games make your or not, but if they don't, realise that you will be missing picture info on either side if you don't have a widescreen set and want to run it full screen with no letterboxing. Yes, the HD era has arrived, at least in gaming.

All in all, this is the most impressed I have ever been with a new system and I've owned all the other major consoles since the Atari 2600 (yes, even the 3DO and Jaguar). The HD visuals have just blown me away. Now, YMMV on a regular set, but oh my god if you have a widescreen HD set and you don't get an XBox 360, I'm going to come over to your house and slap you upside the head!

Look for my impressions of all the other games I have throughout the day!
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Soulchilde
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2005, 01:30:32 PM »

TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I can't wait!
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Hetz
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2005, 01:39:21 PM »

Oh and the first demo download is up on the XBox Live Marketplace....NBA Live 06 - 495 MB! smile
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2005, 01:51:20 PM »

I love the demo distribution idea... I hate having to buy a game mag (OXM) just for the disk, and then having to boil it to get it to work.... sheesh.
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Hetz
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2005, 02:02:57 PM »

Oh and one other thing....you don't have to manually type in the name for each song that you rip from CD. It automatically conencts to the internet and finds all the song info for you! Thank god!
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2005, 02:18:02 PM »

Nice writeup!  Now I'm eagerly awaiting waiting in a line somewhere on Tuesday since I'm 'Shipment Two"
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2005, 02:19:04 PM »

I'm interested to see if I  can stream MP3 from my PSP.  I saw some pic of people having one connected but no info if it can be done.
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Hetz
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2005, 02:24:47 PM »

Ill try it right now, I forgot about that....
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Hetz
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2005, 02:37:29 PM »

Gamespot just put up this cool article that shows the difference visually between cable hookups for the Xbox 360.

http://www.gamespot.com/features/6139690/index.html

Nifty!
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2005, 05:32:48 PM »

I just heard that the first batch of Xbox Live Arcade games will be available later today!

*crosses fingers for Smash TV*

smile

I am all over 720p Smash TV with ONLINE CO-OP PLAY!!!
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2005, 05:39:18 PM »

Quote from: "tru1cy"
I'm interested to see if I  can stream MP3 from my PSP.  I saw some pic of people having one connected but no info if it can be done.

I wonder how/if I can stream music from my laptop. I have a couple of gigs there I'd love to listen to via my surround system on my TV. biggrin

Or should I just burn it all to a CD and rip it back onto the 360?
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2005, 05:42:04 PM »

Quote from: "Destructor"
Quote from: "tru1cy"
I'm interested to see if I  can stream MP3 from my PSP.  I saw some pic of people having one connected but no info if it can be done.

I wonder how/if I can stream music from my laptop. I have a couple of gigs there I'd love to listen to via my surround system on my TV. biggrin

Or should I just burn it all to a CD and rip it back onto the 360?


If you hook it up to your network and download Windows Media Connect, you can stream it no problem.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/devices/wmconnect/default.aspx
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2005, 05:58:49 PM »

I only have a normal T.V. Is it possible to hook the 360 up to my PC monitor?
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2005, 06:03:18 PM »

Quote from: "Arclight"
I only have a normal T.V. Is it possible to hook the 360 up to my PC monitor?


Yup.  You just need to pick up the VGA cable that MS offers.  It's not standard with the system.
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2005, 06:12:15 PM »

Thanks. The ability to use my PC monitor has just markedly improved Microsofts chances of having me give them my business.

Now, where is my book on "Hypnosis, and the Power of Suggestion".......Honey, could you come here for a sec, I want you to stare into my eyes and tell me what you see.... :roll:

P.S.
See, now being able to sit at my desk in front of my PC AND be playing the latest and greatest console system is just what I need to make the leap to console world.
I wont have to upgrade my sorry old computer to play the latest games, yet with a flick of a switch I can be surfing unique and wonderful sites such as this.. :wink:
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2005, 06:51:23 PM »

Quote from: "Hetz"
If you hook it up to your network and download Windows Media Connect, you can stream it no problem.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/devices/wmconnect/default.aspx

Now to get my Xbox 360 onto my network. I had one of those wireless cable box thingies before for my Xbox, but it never worked properly with my security settings. And laying cable across a hallway and two rooms looks bad at best.

Any ideas there?
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2005, 06:58:38 PM »

Hetz have you tried connecting the PSP to the 360 yet?  Still curoius here
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2005, 06:59:29 PM »

Hetz-

You mentioned the iPod connecting.  How about other MP3 players?  I have the Creative Zen Micro.  Does the manual indicate that any MP3 player with a USB connection will work?  I hope so.  

Thanks!

P.S.  Just picked up my copies of NHL2K6 & Call of Duty 2 and my extra wireless controller.  Just need the system now.  Can't wait for Tuesday morning! biggrin
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2005, 07:10:03 PM »

Picked up my extra wireless controller, PGR3, COD2, and Condemned today.  Can't wait until tuesday.
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Hetz
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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2005, 07:34:10 PM »

Quote from: "tru1cy"
Hetz have you tried connecting the PSP to the 360 yet?  Still curoius here


Oh yeah, sorry I forgot to post about it.

Yes, it works just like the iPOD. You can view pictures and stream music from your PSP.
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Hetz
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« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2005, 07:35:42 PM »

Quote from: "Starshifter"
Hetz-

You mentioned the iPod connecting.  How about other MP3 players?  I have the Creative Zen Micro.  Does the manual indicate that any MP3 player with a USB connection will work?  I hope so.  

Thanks!

P.S.  Just picked up my copies of NHL2K6 & Call of Duty 2 and my extra wireless controller.  Just need the system now.  Can't wait for Tuesday morning! biggrin


Yes, I believe that you can hook up any device that has a USB connection and MP3's/Photos and stream them from your device to your Xbox 360. You can't copy music though from an MP3 player though to your iPOD, just stream it.
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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2005, 07:50:07 PM »

Quote from: "tru1cy"
I'm interested to see if I  can stream MP3 from my PSP.  I saw some pic of people having one connected but no info if it can be done.


I'd also like to know if you can stream movies off of the PSP.
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« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2005, 07:52:11 PM »

Quote from: "The_Man"
Quote from: "tru1cy"
I'm interested to see if I  can stream MP3 from my PSP.  I saw some pic of people having one connected but no info if it can be done.


I'd also like to know if you can stream movies off of the PSP.


No, you can't. You can only stream movies from a Media Center PC, which sucks.
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« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2005, 07:54:00 PM »

Quote from: "Starshifter"
Hetz-

You mentioned the iPod connecting.  How about other MP3 players?  I have the Creative Zen Micro.  Does the manual indicate that any MP3 player with a USB connection will work?  I hope so.  

Thanks!

P.S.  Just picked up my copies of NHL2K6 & Call of Duty 2 and my extra wireless controller.  Just need the system now.  Can't wait for Tuesday morning! biggrin


I think I remember them saying that you could in fact use any mp3 player.
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« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2005, 09:01:53 PM »

Hetz YGPM.
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Hetz
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« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2005, 02:36:17 AM »

Quote from: "Hetz"
I just heard that the first batch of Xbox Live Arcade games will be available later today!

*crosses fingers for Smash TV*

smile

I am all over 720p Smash TV with ONLINE CO-OP PLAY!!!


As an update on this:

The first Xbox Live Arcade games are up now. Gauntlet, Joust, Geometry Wars and Bankshot Billiards 2.

I'm ranked #1 in the world right now for a high score in Gauntlet!   Tongue   Cool
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« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2005, 03:29:50 AM »

and now I am #1 in Bejeweled 2 classic mode as well smile

Oh damn....I just checked my Gauntlet ranking again....I'm ranked #3 now. How the mighty have fallen...   :cry:
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« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2005, 05:08:14 AM »

Green Hetz needs food, badly!
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« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2005, 05:22:46 AM »

Hetz, do you have Attention Deficit Disorder?  I keep looking at your gamer card and you haven't finished a level in anything.  Focus man, focus!

Tell us a little about Madden, if you will.
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« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2005, 05:25:05 AM »

Quote from: "The_Man"
Hetz, do you have Attention Deficit Disorder?  I keep looking at your gamer card and you haven't finished a level in anything.  Focus man, focus!

Tell us a little about Madden, if you will.


Check the sports forum for the Madden 360 talk.
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« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2005, 01:13:46 PM »

Quote from: "The_Man"
Hetz, do you have Attention Deficit Disorder?  I keep looking at your gamer card and you haven't finished a level in anything.  Focus man, focus!

Tell us a little about Madden, if you will.


Huh? I've finsihed a level in Perfect Dark Zero, a couple levels in Kameo, played a couple games of Madden, unlocked some stuff in Amped 3 and finished the first level in Call of Duty 2.

I'm not exactly sure where you are seeing that I haven't finished a level yet.... :?:
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« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2005, 03:06:49 PM »

So...have you tried to kill anybody with the power brick?

http://www.gamingnexus.com/WebForms/Screenshot.aspx?I=935&ImageName=8.jpg

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« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2005, 03:15:40 PM »

Thanks for posting that link destructor. I hadn't seen a good picture o fhte included cable yet, but I had my suspicions that it was one nasty bundle of wires. I wish they had done it like the xbox HD adapter. I already have component cables running through my entertainment center that were connected to the xbox... now I gotta to pull those which involves finger cramping reaches to get to the back of the receiver and then run the ones for the 360, which I hope are more than 4 feet long. Tongue


I don't suppose there's a 3rd party HD adapter for 360 coming any time soon that is more like the xbox hd adapter?
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« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2005, 04:43:53 PM »

I also just about doubled my Gamerscore to 340, by beating a couple more levels of Kameo! smile
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« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2005, 06:09:39 PM »

Taking a look at the remote included in one of the pictures that Destructor posted, doesn't it look smaller than the Universal Media Remote?  I thought that was the remote was supposed to come with the initial shipments.  If that's not the one that comes with it, I will feel a bit ripped off.  Was I mistaken about the remote?

Hetz, is this the remote you got?

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« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2005, 06:11:14 PM »

Quote from: "Graham"
Taking a look at the remote included in one of the pictures that Destructor posted, doesn't it look smaller than the Universal Media Remote?  I thought that was the remote was supposed to come with the initial shipments.  If that's not the one that comes with it, I will feel a bit ripped off.  Was I mistaken about the remote?

Hetz, is this the remote you got?



Yes, that is the remote that comes with the system.

The big remote is $29.99. I saw it at Best Buy yesterday.
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« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2005, 06:11:54 PM »

Looks like the universal media remote is sold seperately:

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« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2005, 06:14:19 PM »

I got mine and color me impressed.  Won't be on live til this evening when I get the wireless adapter


Edit- Running it in 1080i and it looks DAMN GOOD!   Really enjoying COD2.  Don't know if I will keep Kameo as I'm not really having that much fun.
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« Reply #38 on: November 19, 2005, 06:22:24 PM »

Quote from: "tru1cy"
I got mine and color me impressed.  Won't be on live til this evening when I get the wireless adapter


Edit- Running it in 1080i and it looks DAMN GOOD!   Really enjoying COD2.  Don't know if I will keep Kameo as I'm not really having that much fun.


Really? I'm loving Kameo so far. What is your gamertag?
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« Reply #39 on: November 19, 2005, 06:36:56 PM »

Oh and get past that intro tutorial level (same level that is in the kiosks) before you judge the game. It gets a ton better after that.
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