harbar.net component based software & platform hygiene

XBOX 360

Print | posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 1:56 AM

It's now been about six months or so since I got me an XBOX 360, and I'm liking it. The games are awesome, I've particularly enjoyed the little time I've spent in Madden, and recently to coincide with the Cricket World Cup, Brain Lara's Cricket game came out, which has made me very happy!

The Vista based Media Center Experience is also pretty sweet, really the only issues here are a bunch of settings which should be available via the GUI and no support for DVD library and streaming of video formats Microsoft doesn't like (which can be 'solved' with MyMovies and Transcoder).

I also got me the HD DVD drive, and that is stunning. Awesome. We now need the films. It was so cheap I'm not that bothered if I've picked a Betamax here.

Also, the Wireless Controller for Windows allows me to use the XBOX controller on me Vista boxes. It's a wicked controller, so the other old nasty ones are outta here!

So it's all round damn nice, but there are some things I don't like:

  • It's far too noisy for films really. Too much fan.
    The HD DVD drive is much quieter than the regular, but still too much fan from the XBOX! During game play the drive is way too noisy. To make matters worse, if you wish to 'fix' the fans by installing some decent one, you need to be somewhat creative with a sharp knife on the fan enclosure. There are apparently gadgets you can buy to slap on the back, but these shouldn't be necessary. If Microsoft wants XBOX to be the living room PC, it's gotta be quiet.
  • HD DVD - hmm bit of a design foul up
    What's up with the gray bit at the front? That doesn't match. Mind you, having a second box is lame anyway and must go away. (I can hear the PS3 groupies sniggering right now).
  • HDD Size
    Oh dear - come on - ship that bigger one.
  • Media download service
    Get it together - there is a world outside of the US, and a bunch of folk there got wallets.
  • It's white
    Do I look like I own an iPod? Seen me in a turtle neck sweater? My stereo is black dude!

XBOX 360 has been a pleasant surprise, I didn't expect it to be as good and as seamless as it is. There's so much good, and things like XBOX Live Windows integration, it's so close. If the rough edges were fixed...

I note that GameMag has the 'scoop' on a Elite version. Surely just a stopgap.