Microsoft Xbox 360
- Sexy Design, Incredible power, Music streaming and integration, Great controller
- Some unsupported file formats, No HD-DVD drive, no non-MSC support, average launch line up.
The Xbox 360 is an incredible piece of hardware with very little great software to choose from. In the end, the potential for future brilliance far outweighs its immediate appeal.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
Editors Note: The Xbox 360 is a much awaited product that people are keen to read about. To that end, we've split up the review for you, first providing an overview followed by a detailed analysis of the console for the gaming fanatics amongst us.
In every generation one video game console stands out as a leap forward in gaming. In the last generation it was the Playstation 2 which came to market, obliterating the Sega Dreamcast and revolutionizing the home entertainment market by making DVD the fastest growing medium in history. While Microsoft's Xbox console tried its best to put a dent into the mighty Sony empire, it came off second best. With the release of their next console, the Xbox 360 , Microsoft hope to change their fortunes.
Xbox 360 is a leap forward in gaming technology with incredible grunt under the hood. It has the potential to be the harbinger of a new High Definition gaming generation, if harnessed correctly. The system is extremely user friendly and connects with many of the leading multimedia devices including those of Microsoft competitors. Media streaming, DVD playback and 20GB of hard drive space also round out the console making it more than just a games machine. Microsoft hopes it will become the single focus of your living room - one box to rule them all.
The online capabilities are another huge selling point for the console with exciting new services improving the Xbox Live experience. In addition to multiplayer gaming, the chat capabilities have been improved and stats tracking have become extensive. The Xbox Live Marketplace and Live Arcade have also become immensely popular in America and look to follow that trend when released in Australia on March 23.
The only huge let down for this system is the current crop of games. While this isn't necessarily Microsoft's direct responsibility, they are partially to blame. In the rush to get games out for launch, the developers haven't truly tapped the excessive power of the console and the launch titles are fairly mediocre. While, they all look good, and even better than the original Xbox, they are not the giant leap in graphics, physics, AI and game play that they could be.
In this Australian first review, we go in-depth looking at all the major components of the new console and the impact it will have on the gaming industry. For those not interested in some of the more hardcore aspects you can follow the links above to the sections you are interested in or sit back, relax and enjoy the mammoth review in its entirety.
Hold on to your controllers and strap yourself in - the Xbox 360 is about to hit Australian shores. Released "simultaneously" worldwide in November and December 2005, Microsoft's new gaming console is due to be released in Australia on March 23. To the dismay of gamers around the country, this is the second release date announced, following the prior March 2 date being changed due to manufacture shortages.
The questions that everyone is asking usually go along the lines of: "Is it any good?" and "How much more advanced is it than PC gaming?" The problem with these questions is that they don't account for subjective usage. If you are purely in gaming for advanced graphics capabilities then the current crop of 360 games only look slightly better, if not on par with a PC game played on a high end machine. This isn't to say the machine is only capable of these graphics - in fact, according to the product specs, it is capable of processing and graphics power unparalleled by any PC on the market. Unfortunately, in the race to get a 360 into homes and beat Sony's PlayStation 3 to the market, Microsoft has given games developers very little time to get their launch titles ready. As a result, the power of the console hasn't been tapped, with a few exceptions such as Call of Duty 2, which looks phenomenal, yet only slightly better than the PC version.
Graphics aside, the Xbox 360 is innovative in many ways, most of which are prevalent in the Xbox Live features and connectivity options. We did extensive testing on a retail version of the console as well as a debug unit and found it quite enjoyable with an extremely intuitive and attractive operating system. The features all worked as advertised and despite internet reports, we had no freezing or overheating problems with our test unit. Naturally, we also didnt test the reports of severe disc scratching as this only occurs if you turn the console upside down while a disc is spinning. Why anyone would do this in a real world situation is beyond us and we werent about to destroy a game to make sure it was a real concern.
The Xbox 360 has moved away from the giant black box of the original Xbox. Now more sleek and sexy, the console is white with clean lines and a double concave chassis. The front of the console has the DVD drive and RF ports as well as connections for the memory cards and USB connectors, hidden behind a spring hinged compartment. The rear sports the power connection, the AV connector, an ethernet port and an additions USB port. The aesthetic is quite pleasing and far more appealing than the design of the Sony PlayStation 3 which seems to have gone in the opposite direction, making the console larger and bulkier.
To allow for a slender design, the Xbox power supply has now been externalised and is absolutely huge. The 360 requires 110 Watts of power to run and the power brick does tend to heat up quite a bit. It is significantly larger than most console power supplies but once its tucked away, it shouldn't pose any significant problem.
We are big fans of the new controller as we said in our review as it is the pinnacle of gaming design, incorporating the best elements of the original S-Type controller while also moving forward by making it more streamlined and completely wireless. Being wireless, the controller requires batteries but these are rated at about 40 hours of game play and don't tend to make the controller too heavy. The batteries come as standard and there is an accessory available which will charge the batteries via USB trickle charge while the controller is in use. There is also a wired version of the controller which also connects via USB and sports the same breakaway safety cable as the original Xbox. The memory card slots are a thing of the past as these are now handled on the console itself and the Xbox Live headset now connects via a simple jack to the front side of the controller.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPEnvironment Specialist(DevOps)QLD
- CCSenior System AdministratorVIC
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- TPEngineer Desktop DevelopmentVIC
- FTGraduate Software EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Project Coordinator - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- CCSolution Architect - VMwareVIC
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- FTSupport and Operations Team LeadNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager - Regulatory/Compliance - BankingNSW
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- TPLinux Desktop Support SpecialistWA
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorACT
- CCWeb Ops EngineerACT
- FTApplication Support SpecialistNSW
- TPDeployment Specialist (DevOps)QLD
- CCCloud Security Solutions Architect - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- TPInformation Management SpecialistVIC
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)QLD
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- CCApplication Solution Designer (Automation) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- TPJava DeveloperVIC
- FTJunior Software Developer - SASACT