Categorized | Xbox 360

Covering Your Gaming Needs with the Xbox 360

The home video game console market is currently dominated by two powerful giants: Sony’s high end Playstation 3 and of course, Microsoft’s Xbox 360. While some may argue that Nintendo’s Wii console is a third alternative, many often see the motion gaming system as a secondary platform designed mostly for casual players. On its end, Microsoft is taking all of the lessons they learned from the original Xbox system and bringing all the great things back for their new console –plus plenty of great innovations.

One of the first massive improvements of the 360 is its size. The original Xbox is considerably one of the consoles of its time. Many complained about its robust size and the shelving space it occupied. Microsoft addressed this problem by creating a smaller system with the additional option of being able to decide whether you want it flat or standing upright (a feature that was first used in the original Playstation 2).

The Xbox 360 also brought in new hardware that pushed the gaming capabilities of the home console well and beyond that of high end PCs. This helped usher in great games such as Mass Effect, Halo 3, Gotham Racing and many more as developers now had faster processors, better graphic cards and bigger storage space to work with.

Speaking of storage space, the 360 makes use of the HD DVD media format. While this is much smaller than the Playstation 3’s Blu-Ray discs, it still provided a significant amount of freedom that standard DVDs could not afford.

Beyond its lineup of great titles, the 360 itself is a gaming marvel fit to be in the center of your home entertainment system. The device hooks up to the internet through LAN or WiFi and allows players to connect to the Xbox Live network –a paid service which allows users to access Microsoft’s online gaming platform and various media services. The console also works as a media hub of sorts –able to playback varying types of image, music and video file formats.

The 360’s wireless controllers are well made for fast paced gaming, with color-coded buttons which allows players to easily create a mental map of the layout. The only drawback is that it makes use of standard batteries. Microsoft does sell an official rechargeable battery pack kit (complete with specialized chargers) for those who love to have long gaming sessions.

Microsoft has also launched a second version of the Xbox 360, the “S”. This new slim version has a lower energy consumption rate, built in Kinect support and more importantly, is rumored to be resilient to the issues that caused RRoD failures for the first batches of 360 systems.

RRoD, or Red Ring of Death, is a nickname given to the indicator lights of the 360 that indicates a complete system failure. There are plenty of theories and hypothesis as to the varying causes of RRoD, though all conclude that once the system hits this stage, recovery is nearly impossible. This issue has caused demand for the Jasper edition of the unit to soar, as its lower voltage rates appears to make the system immune from the much dreaded Red Ring of Death.

Being Microsoft’s second platform in the home gaming console, the 360 has shown how far the PC software developer has come in terms of being able to expand. In terms of gaming, Microsoft is now one of the biggest names in the gaming industry, with their high end console, impressive games and impressive online service, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 community continues to grow each day.

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