RE: Don’t buy the Xbox 360

How many times have we heard the same story with regards to a new console?  “Don’t go and buy It just yet, it’s not as good as its hyped up to be”.  Every single time a new console is due for release, someone, somewhere slags it off.  In this case, it’s more than just ‘someone’.  It’s, who decided to write this article.  Ok, so they have made some half-decent comments, but are they really a reason to not buy the first ever next generation console?  Let’s take them one at a time:

Price: Fox News claims that the Xbox 360 is going to cost you an arm and a leg.  Well it might well do, if you’re a greedy git who wants everything available.  £209.99 ($299) for the core system, which might not have everything you need, or £279.99 ($399) for the premium package, which even has the kitchen sink!  Let’s put this into perspective.  £200-£300 may seem expensive, but what about the Playstation 2 when that first came out.  Remember the price?  Yes that’s right: $299 (£209.99). That package included pretty much exactly the same as the Xbox 360 core package, the console, a few wires, and a dual shock controller.  Anything else you wanted would cost you extra.  Did Sony get a heap load of “don’t buy the PS2!”?  Well no not really — so why is the 360 getting so much grief.  Maybe it’s the fact that it’s Microsoft, maybe it’s that the console has such fierce competition this year.  Whatever the case, the price for this state-of-the-art, first EVER next-generation games console really isn’t any higher than previous consoles on their launch date.

Lack of Games:  Fox are complaining about the lack of games.  Well, it’s the same amount as the original Xbox when it launched at the end of 2001.  And granted, the original Xbox never really got off the mark.  However, look at the titles we’ve got to choose from.  Project Gotham Racing 3, Madden NFL 06, Tiger Woods 06, Kameo: Elements of Power, Fifa 06.  Are they not all sequels to the most successful franchises in the gaming world?  But this time, they’re in High-Def, Next gen graphics!  What more do you want?!  A few brand new franchise titles would be nice, yes, but do you really think that those titles would play that well?  Maybe not.  All the above mentioned titles have been going for a long time, and already have tried and tested gameplay engines, that can be tweaked to create a new experience.  A brand new franchise will likely have a new gameplay engine, that hasn’t been tested to the full and tweaked at this stage.  So it’s a lot more sensible to keep those games back until next year, when the Xbox 360 has found its feet and the developers have got to grips with the new technology.  Just because the games currently available aren’t brand new titles, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy the 360.  Everyone who has played the titles have all said that the games are fantastic.

No Competition:  Ok, so this is quite a good point.  We don’t fully know what the Playstation 3 and Revolution will hold.  They may well blow the Xbox 360 out of the water.  But the Playstation 3 isn’t out until Spring 2006 at the earliest!  That is half-a-year away, if it even comes at that time.  So what are you going to do in that time?  You might as well take full advantage of what is on offer, and currently, it’s the Xbox 360.  By the time the Playstation 3 and Revolution come out, the Xbox 360 will have found its feet, and will be bringing out the great games such as Halo 3 whereas the PS3 and Revolution will still be trying to find their feet.  Even more reason to keep hold of the Xbox 360, which by then, should be releasing some great, well developed games.

Hidden Costs:  There aren’t any Hidden Costs.  We all know that a High-Definition TV is going to add a few hundred quid (bucks if you’re American) to the price, it’s not a hidden fact.  Let’s make this clear, you do NOT need a HD-TV to play the Xbox 360!  Fox made it seem as though if you don’t have a HD-TV, you won’t get good graphics.  Quite the opposite.  Although a HD-TV will sharpen the graphics somewhat, you’ll still get fantastic, never before seen graphics from your normal TV.  It’s not a requirement, it’s a luxury.  Let’s take it from another angle.  The Playstation 3 WILL utilise the HD era just as much as the Xbox 360.  So if you don’t buy one now, and you’re waiting for the PS3, you’ll still be spending the same amount on one in 6-12 months time when you get Sony’s console.

Older Consoles are not dead yet:  The GameCube has well and truly died.  The Xbox is definitely on its last legs, especially with the 360 coming out.  Developers won’t be making Xbox games when the new 360 is out, just like developers don’t make Playstation 1 games when they have the Playstation 2 to play with.  As for the Playstation 2, it’s not got long left.  With the Playstation 3 on the horizon, there really isn’t going to be many new games on the PS2.  The creator of Pro Evolution Soccer recently said in an interview that they have hit a peak in terms of graphics with the Playstation 2.  It isn’t going to get any better than what it is.  Granted, it’s an awesome machine at this stage, and it has some fantastic games.  But if you don’t have a PS2 by now, then you’ve either been living under a rock, or have only just got into gaming.  If that’s the case, then go buy one.  The majority of the gaming world already have a PS2.  We’ll still play it even after the 360’s launch, but it’s not an excuse to not jump into the next-generation.

So let’s wrap it up.  The Xbox 360 IS going to be awesome.  It is going to be the best console in the world by far, at least for 6 months whilst it waits for the PS3 and Revolution to get released.  It has a solid line-up of games, from franchises we all know and love.  There aren’t any Hidden costs, we’re all aware of them, plus every new console has extra costs that would benefit it although they aren’t necessary, there’s nothing new there, and it’s never stopped us before.  Don’t take our word for it, go down to your local retailer and see if they have an Xbox Kiosk to play on.  If not, pop down to Leeds or London and take advantage of the Xbox 360 hour tour.  Making these petty excuses why the Xbox 360 is not worth buying really shows how the bigger picture hasn’t been looked at.  Let’s see if the PS3 has the same response, we highly doubt it.

Russ Clow

Russ Clow not only nearly shares his name with one of the best Gladiators around, but he also has a bundle of experience under his belt. Since a very young age he's been playing video games, and has been working in the video game industry for most of his working career. Russ is a secret Sony Fanboy, although he tries hard to hide it so as to keep his position as Editor-in-Chief. When he's not playing games, Russ likes to play football with the "lads".

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