Thursday, July 15, 2010

The New Xbox 360

I guess third time's the charm...or at least that's what Microsoft thinks with their gaming console. First came the Xbox 360, and it was good. Then came the Xbox 360 Elite, and people were like, "What the hell, Microsoft". Then came the "new" Xbox 360 (no new name, just "new") and I'm personally just prepared to say "Screw you, Mi-crap-soft". (Ooh. Clever.)

Do you know why I feel this way? Because I don't believe console developers have ever released a system three times. I'm really unsure of the early consoles before the N64/Dreamcast saga, but I'm fairly sure that -unless one of the old consoles had a faulty hardware design that needed correcting that I'm unaware of- three times is ridiculous. The PS1, PS2, and now PS3 have all had "slims" released, and that's fine with me. But Xbox 360 is getting carried away.

The main thing for the Elite was the sheer lack of differences. Basically, it was a regular 360 with (1) a bigger removable hard drive, (2) HDMI, and (3) black. My brother scored an adapter that goes straight to VGA for our original Xbox 360, and it looks just fine on our big screen, but then I've never been a huge fan of HDMI in the first place.

The thing about the new 360 is that I don't entirely hate it. Sure, it's got that weird looking gloss and it's got touch sensitive buttons, but it's also got integrated 2.4Gz 802.11n wifi and the power supply is finally built into the system, instead of having a brick almost the size than the Wii dangling on your power cord. Probably best of all is the new 45nm chipset, which I'm not going to even pretend to know what that means, but it apparently will make it run cooler and thus quieter.

Anyway, the point is not the product, it's that they're "trying again." All of these features could have and should have been included with the original Xbox 360 (except maybe the new chipset

[UPDATE 7-17-10] Actually now that I think about it, the major advantage of the chipset is that the new Xbox 360 will run cooler and therefore quieter; while this specific chipset wasn't available at the time of the first Xbox 360, that really doesn't change the fact that it's not the hardware, but how you use it. Even if the Jasper chipset wasn't around back then, Microsoft could have designed the original Xbox in such a way that it would not have run so hot, but they didn't, and now they're trying to act like saints by fixing their own problem. So I would say, yes, Microsoft could have and should have included all of the new features in the original Xbox 360, including not overheating.

). I'm not sure if n wifi was around then, but it at least could have had built in b/g. Even the Wii has that. Microsoft is fixing problems that were always there, that everyone knew was always there, and everyone complained about. It doesn't take a genius to figure out "I would rather not have a 4 pound brick sitting outside my console."
The whole experience to me is Microsoft pulling another Vista: slightly tweaking an existing product and introducing it as new. I mean, the saddest part is that older hard drives won't even work on the new console. That is sheer stupidity. Because if you create a new version of the same console, the three things that should work right off the bat are the same games, the same controllers, and the same memory.

The thing that really just has my mind spinning is just....what the CRAP, Microsoft? Why not actually put all this effort into creating your NEXT console instead of trying to resell your existing one? Adding a few new features will definitely not help in the race against the PS3 unless you decide to throw in a Blu Ray player and all the stuff that PS3 fanboys love. Instead, you should try to put all of the resources you had going for this model for the Xbox 720 or maybe the Xbox 360 II.

The funniest part is that since this is all new hardware and I believe the Xbox 360 had a rate of failure within the first year of about 24%, I'm betting Microsoft is going to have to recall a ton of these new boxes just like with the initial launch....that is, assuming they actually SELL any of these things.

If I were to speak to an Xbox representative (with no chances of being charged with assault), I would just grab his shoulders and shake him violently, yelling. "STOP TRYING TO IMPROVE ON EXISTING CRAP. THERE ARE NO DO-OVERS IN CONSOLE MAKING. TURN ON YOUR BRAIN AND STOP TRYING TO BRING YOUR VISTA-LOGIC INTO THE GAMING WORLD" until he came to his senses, or passed out.

Angry Video Game Aspiring Nerd,
-Bry

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