I hated the original XBox. The controller was huge and the buttons were placed on the controller by monkeys, the system was huge and ugly, and (I know everyone hates this) ... it was nothing more than a computer.
The XBox 360 changes some of this. But before I get into that, let's talk about the name. Am I the only one that thinks the XBox 360 is a stupid name for this machine? Just hear me out before you roll your eyes and leave. XBox 360.
How many times do you think of a BOX when someone says 360? I, for one, think of a complete circle. Yes, all of the angles of a box together add up to 360 degrees, but it's just not what comes to mind when someone mentions 360. And then there's the logo. Lets evaluate:
Original XBox logo. Not that bad, in my opinion. It could very well be an X being split open off of a box. It's a flat surface, right? It could be on one of the sides of a box.
Not a box. It's a sphere. If you want to use a sphere in your logo and append "360" to the end, common sense would say, "Let's call it the XSPhere 360!"
Okay, stupid point to make, I know, it just bugged me. Lets look at the system itself. The original was huge, bulky, and extremely ugly. The new one, not so much. It's pleasent compared to the previous XBox (doesn't mean I like it, more on that later). Lets take a looksie:
ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, but hey, at least it's a box!
Hmm. Prettier than the previous one, but ... it's not really a box, is it? Okay, I suppose it does look like a box that has been sent through UPS. They give me plenty of dented boxes.
Now I dont particularly like the look ofthe new one. Granted, it is much better than the first XBox, but I just don't care for the shape of this one. And the big green ring stands out like a sore thumb on a silver system. The eject button is on the LEFT ofthe tray. Every CD-Rom, DVD-Rom, DVD-Player, CD-Player and game system I have ever owned has had the eject button on the RIGHT side of the tray ... not the left. If you don't like the color of the system, you can skin it. That's right, you can put new color on it! Here are some pictures:
Well. Okay so you can put a face plate on the front of it so your system looks like a retard with a mask on. Yeah, real slick there!
Okay I'll stop critisizing the machine now. Wireless controller out of the box? Nice. USB ports on a console seems to be almost standard now (unless you're the big N).
Now lets talk about the guts of it. The insides actually impressed me. The 20GB (upgradable) Hard Drive is nice, and is a nice step up from the 8GB of the past. Now Microsoft owns the chip designs of the system so the prices aren't so hefty for them to get the chips, which is good, because it'll help drop the price by a few bucks. They're using a watercooled multicore CPU which I think will drastically improve performance and the games will be much prettier (expecially since Microsoft has a MINIMUM requirement for all games to meet [2x antialiasing!]). The graphics chips has 48 parallel pipelines which should be smpokin fast. Woot.
The XBox Live service suprised me when it first came out. I was so sure that it would fail, but it didn't. The whole "Broadband only" is a huge turnoff, and the fact that they were charging for the service was another, especially while Sony was offering theirs for free, and it even worked on dialup. Not only that, but the features it had made me jealous that the PS2 didn't have some of that stuff. The XBox 360 is keeping XBox Live, and adding improvements. They'll have two plans for us. One is free, which only lets you play MMO's (provided you pay the monthly fee forthe MMO), and the other is pay which lets you play all the other normal multiplayer games online. The only letdown here is that broadband is still required. Fishsticks.
Well, despite my hatred for the XBox, the 360 has impressed me. I won't be buying it, simply because I'm not a fan of the XBox, and I have yet to see any games released for the first XBox that make me want to own the system (Other than Conker .... damn you Microsoft for taking my game away from the N!). But it should actually be a good system this time around, and one that I won't bash so hard this generation. Though I still think that the PS3 will do better than the XBox 360. And here's hoping that the big N will pull through this time. From what has been said, sounds like they might actually do it.
I'm going to go eat some donuts now.