The AbyssThe Abyss

Posted on Nov 22nd 2008 at 11:36:43 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming , Microsoft, Xbox 360, Birthday

Three years for the 360! On November 22, 2005 the Xbox 360 was released in North America to a gaming mass waiting for the next iteration of Microsoftís gaming console. Unlike its predecessor, the 360 was a stylish system that when it wasnít greeting players with a red ring was rather sexy when compared to the black paperweight known as the Xbox. Surely, Microsoft was off to a better start from a design point with its system, and there were plenty of other things for 360 fans to be excited about.

Iíd be lying if I told you I owned a 360 or desired one. The truth is that I have no desire for a 360. That said, the 360 does have several things that go great for the masses. If you were to ask me which system appeals most to true gamers right now, it sure as hell would not be the Wii. It depends on the avenue, but if youíre looking for games for adults that will make you say wow then the 360 is the system to have. From Halo to Dead Rising to Bioshock to GTA IV, there have been some heavy hitters for the 360 that would make the most hardcore gamers squeal with delight.

Of course, thatís not the only thing that appeals to true gamers. Of the three console manufacturers, Microsoft really does know how to best do an online product. Sonyís working on creating a good online product and Nintendo is being Nintendo, and while the bar has been set rather low by the competitors Microsoft has delivered a product that quite frankly trounces the competition. Itís really quite amazing and I give Microsoft kudos for their online platform. Their competitors could learn a thing or two from Live... they really couldÖ especially Nintendo.

Of course, Microsoft is not the market leader anymore this generation. While they were in the beginning, the behemoth known as the Wii has taken the title and ran with it. Is Microsoft going to sit there and just watch that happen? No! They decided they were going to revamp their dashboard and create a new experience that is enjoyable for all. It just launched, and as someone on the outside looking in I have to say that the avatars do look really cool. They offer customization that I only wish Nintendo had for their Miis. Did Rare rip off the Mii concept? Who the hell cares! Rare has created something with much more depth than the Miis of Nintendo, and I give them full credit for creating something much more interesting than the Mii Channel. Good job Microsoft and keep pushing along with the new experience.

Every console has its fair share of issues, and the same can definitely be said for the 360. Probably the most notable of these issues was the Curse of the Red Ring. Chances are you know someone who has suffered from the Red Ring of Death. In fact, you might know someone who has suffered from it multiple times. Truth be told, the initial batches of the 360 had some design issues. No one really knows what is it, but rather than screwing over consumers, Microsoft did a noble thing and extended everyoneís warranties. Thatís pretty nice, and it suggests that perhaps Microsoft is not the cold hearted bastard that its Windows operation suggests that it is (and it is).

So sales have been down in recent history for the 360, and one has to wonder what the future holds for the console. I honestly donít know if the console will see a rebound in sales, but I donít know if that is necessarily a bad thing. 360 owners like to buy third party titles, so itís an enticing console for those developers and publishers. So for developers, I donít see as much as a risk for releasing games on the 360 that I do for releasing non casual games on the Wii. While casual gaming dominates the Wii, real games dominate the 360, and thatís a great selling point for the console. Why not capitalize on that, Microsoft? Push your strengths, and it might help you in the long run.

Three years for the 360. What do you think has been the good, the bad, and the ugly? What do you think the future holds for the 360? Does the four year lifespan still hold true for Microsoft? Well, in a year we might just know. What do you think?

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I love my 360, I bought it less than a year after it was released which is the soonest I've ever bought a console after launch. It does have it's fair share of problems there is no denying that but for me it had/has the strongest lineup of games.

Since getting the 360 I have bought the Wii and PS3 and after putting time in with both the PS3 holds up very well against the PS3 but achievements and downloadable content help to edge the 360 over the PS3 for me.
Three years and I still don't have an Xbox 360...I should probably try to get one in 2009. (or the PS3)

You know what's funny? I was at the store today and the "Legendary" (or whatever it's called) version of Halo 3 was for sale both in French and English version. (read: French or English manual with the disk being the same). The French version was Ä69.99 and the English Ä54.99!!! Shocked

They were right next to each other, too. Like the store doesn't even care that people will notice.
I'm finally getting a 360 to make up for my poor decision at the start of this console generation (picking the Wii).  I've played others' 360s many times before and had a lot of fun, so I can't wait to have my own.
It's really a good system, and I've liked what I've seen of Xbox Live.  An online system done right is something I've yet to experience on a console.  The technical problems are kind of a bummer, but I imagine they've improved over time.  I'm taking a guess that I'll probably have less red ring trouble due to having waited this long, but really that's yet to be seen.
I don't know when I'll take the plunge and buy a 360, but I know it will be before I get a PS3. I want one, but it's expensive keeping up with new releases. If the online system was free, I'd be much more inclined to buy soon, I may have gotten one by now even. The biggest reason I haven't bought a PS3 or 360 yet is because of all the different models available, it seems like which ever I would choose I would regret the decision later on.

Quick question on the 360, what exclusives are there besides Halo?
Eh, my PC plays games better than 360s. I'll pass.
Only fun until they break, and break 3 more times after that. thank you for a quality product america.
@NES_Rules: Some exclusives on the 360 are Blue Dragon, Tales of Vesperia, games from Project Gotham Racing series, Forza Motorsport series, Dead or Alive series, Ninety-Nine Nights, Fable II, the new Banjo-Kazooie game, and a few DDR exclusives. Around a hundred total.

Yeah, my computer is faster than a 360 too, but it's still a fun console (except for the two weeks that I am waiting for it to get fixed). I believe that every person I know who had a 360 had to send it for repairs, but from what I understand consoles made in 2007 and later are immune to the Red Ring (who knows). Remember that the warranty on the 360 is three years, so starting today there will be consoles ineligible for repairs. I remember walking into the UPS location carrying that white box with no markings, and the lady there goes "put your xbox on the scale. how did I know? oh, we get 6-7 of those a day". That was this summer.

If you have a nice TV to hook it up to, it's a great experience. Some pretty nice titles on it, too, and since most of the good games on PS3 are also on 360, there is no need to buy the Sony product.
Forgot to say: my biggest complaint regarding 360 would actually be incompatibility with the original XBOX (it took them long to make good titles compatible; most titles don't take advantage and play like on original xbox or worse; some have glitches and slowdowns; CANNOT TRANSFER SAVEGAMES). wtf, Microsoft? I've been playing an xbox game for 30 hours and now I would need to start over?
I've had mine since launch, and it's had to be sent in 1 time. I really enjoy the gaming experience, but the live community experience is what really drives the system. (I believe)

I think the whole online feature is the worst I have seen. Having to pay a yearly subscription just to play online? What the hell is up with that?

Guess what owners of other systems and computers do. They go online, and play for free, just like that. Thanks to this bright idea for billing users for the privilege for online play, 360 owners now even have the opportunity of being billed up to 3 times for certain games.

Bill 1.) Well 1st off you have to have your internet line. If you need a phone line for your net access you may even have another bill at this point but I'll be nice. I'll skip this one as not everyone needs a phone line.
Bill 2.) The Microsoft Live gateway. Remember, the ability to play online with your system is a privilege, not a right. So cough up your yearly fee here.
Bill 3.) Now bend over and get ready to take it, if you decided to be a console MMORPGer, here comes your next bill with the monthly fee to play this game of your choice.
@Cobra:True, but Microsoft's reply will be that their service is far better than anyone elses, and is worth paying for. Once Sony's competition will get more intense they'll probably make it free.
@Sirgin: Considering the whole signup process is about as painless and enjoyable as having a pineapple shoved up ones ass with screen after screen to fill in with a control. Asked to type your password, but as if it isn't bad enough that people can clearly see the giant keys your selecting the password characters aren't even encrypted on the entry field so they might as well just wait for you to finish typing it for them notepad handy and being forced to sign up for a Hotmail account that will also require you to retype a lot of information you just did. Now with the added bonus of being force to create a Xbox brand Wii Mii. And all of this, simply to look at the stupid market! Mainly to find very little of interest.

If you decide to get point cards you can also have the joy of typing out a code the size of a bloody Windows activation code with your control. No, no thank you.

Someone sure is bitter!
There is more I could complain about, but I think I'll leave it at that. The game library and achievements are ok but after getting to know the 360 better I would have to say I would prefer the Wii or PS3.
If the reason Xbox Live costs money to subscribe is because of all the added stuff like achievements and other fancy stuff, then why can't they make a free form that is strictly for playing against other people. I'm perfectly content with the way the Wii's system is, I'm playing a game, these people are playing the same game, we play with each other. I don't need nor want to know who they are, what games they've played and I really don't want to talk to them.
The Good: BEST library of games this gen! Excellent console exclusives (in addition to those mentioned above) in the form of Halo 3, Gears of War 1 and 2, Mass Effect, Left 4 Dead, Dead Rising, Ninja Gaiden 2, etc.  Xbox Live gaming and marketplace is the best for online gaming. Excellent XBLArcade. Pricing keeps getting better. LOVE the Achievement system...what an excellent way to add longevity and value to games! Gained enough reputation to steal previous exclusives away from Sony to have them launch day-date with them (i.e. GTA4, Devil May Cry 4, the yet to be released FF13, etc.). DLC.

The Bad: The loss of HD-DVD as a competitor to Blu-Ray...but it was only an optional add-on to begin with...which helps. They're positioned to recover to a certain degree with the addition of Netflix to the new Dashboard. Arcade console doesn't have a hard!

The Ugly: RROD. But at least they agreed to extend the warranty to 3 years on it.

Predictions - Wii will win the home console war this gen, but 360 wins the software war and attach rate. PS3 survives due to it's loyal PS2 fan base, but has to be considered 3rd place this gen due to the volume of market share lost to Nintendo and Microsoft from that of the prior gen.

With the market being what it is, it looks like the 360 will last longer than 4 years. With the games coming out in 2009 (RE5, Borderlands, Halo Wars, Alpha Protocol, Halo 3:Recon, Bioshock 2:Sea of Dreams, possibly Mass Effect 2, etc.), and room for at least $150 more in price cuts over the life of the system (basing this on the Premium being at $299.99 currently), it looks like it'll be at least November of 2010 (maybe even 2011) before we see the next Microsoft gaming console.

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