I’ve had my XBox for a little over a week now. In that time, I’ve played maybe 10 hours on the box, and spent another 5 hours putzing with setup and hardware. I now feel qualified to offer a bit of an opinion.
I’d say that Microsoft’s XBox is a pretty cool piece of technology. I thought this when they first released it back in, I guess, 2000. A console based on PC technology- it has an Intel processor, uses an NVidia video processor, and has a hard drive- basically, a purpose built PC compatible. But why would I have one of these when I already have a much more powerful PC on my desk?
Good question…here are my thoughts…
- Game selection: some games are only going to come out on the XBox, just like some games only come out on the PC
- Better for socializing: I’m not a people person, so this one is a bit odd. But consoles offer some features that are superior to the PC in terms of using them when someone pops over for a visit. For example:
- split screen games– multiple players without multiple copies of the game
- easily understood controllers– non-computer people are a bit intimidated by a keyboard; not so by a gamepad
- most console games are quick to get into and out of– not just because of the fact that you stick a game DVD in and the game boots up more or less instantly. It also has to do with the design of the games themselves
- Cheaper than building a “guest” PC– I have a great machine at my desk for games, but I cringe every tiime someone other than myself uses it. Not so with the XBox…and the XBox is cheap like dirt, costing less than a single memory chip in my current computer
- “different” graphics: I think this is mostly a result of playing the game on a television, but even though the graphics resolution on my XBox is half what I have on my PC, the graphics *look* surprisingly good. Its more like watching a movie than playing a game
- Cheap like dirt: Okay, this is both an exaggeration and I’ve mentioned it already, but come one…$200 for what is essentially a dedicated gaming PC. My last video card for my main gaming PC cost $700…my memory cost $300 a stick…my 10,000 RPM drives cost $250 each. Buying an XBox to play a couple of games and keep visitors off my computers is not a bad deal for me. That said, I spent another $350 this weekend hooking my XBox to the Internet/XBox Live, buying a wireless controller, and picking up a couple of games- the “cheap” part is all very much a matter of perspective
Netting it out, I’d say my XBox has been worth it. Yes, I know its already technically obsolete with the XBox 360 coming in a couple of months. But here’s my take on that: I get an XBox today for $200, with hundreds of already available games. Or I can wait 2 months, and buy an XBox 360 for nearly $500 that has quasi compatibility with the old games (through some sort of emulation mode…remember, the 360 is totally different hardware) and which, in a year or so, might have a good selection of new games.
Now that I have my XBox, I might one day buy a 360…but not for a while. And, by the way- Hulk Ultimate Destruction…definitely a fun game- almost worth it by itself as an excuse to buy an XBox, and the “cartoony” graphics are perfect for the XBox. Halo 2…man, I just can not get used to the controller; it started making me nauseous. But maybe with some practice I’ll get it worked out…graphically, Halo 2 shows the limits of the XBox platform- Halo on the PC (Halo 2 for the PC isn’t out yet) looks tons better.