Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Monday, January 15, 2007

New system!

New system!
Originally uploaded by mecha_loopy.
So I finally broke down and bought a new game system.

Had you told me a couple of months ago that I was going to be buying an Xbox 360 this soon, I would have said you were completely wrong. Granted, I've always intended on getting one eventually (since I like to own all the game systems), but I thought I was probably a year or more away from owning one (plus I just recently bought a new PS2 to replace my first-run unit).

Being that as it may, I now own a shiny new Xbox 360. And I must say, it's pretty cool.

What prompted me to break down and get it? I think it was probably a few things. First off, Gears of War is a great game. I spent a bunch of time over the New Year's weekend hanging out with friends playing the: 360, Wii, and PS3. All of the systems were a lot of fun, all had great games, and any of the three systems could have a purchase rationalized in some sense, but Gears of War really stood out among the games I played. The graphics were incredible, showing once again that when videogame systems hit their second-generation titles they always show improvement, the game play was excellent, the co-op was a lot of fun, and it had some really cool features (like...a chainsaw bayonet).

With the 360, versus either the Wii or the PS3, easily the biggest advantage is the library of games. The other systems right now just don't come close. A year from now, that probably isn't going to matter a whole lot since there should be killer titles out on all 3 systems, but right now the 360 has a big lead there. Another big advantage with the 360 is Xbox Live.

I had read about how Sony had really fumbled with their online network for the PS3, and after seeing it in action, I think those writers didn't even come close; Sony might as well NOT have any online capabilities. Their stuff (right now) sucks. Nintendo is better, but not by a whole lot. Live, on the other hand, is a robust online network, which easily shows that it both has had time to be developed and time having been tested by users. Using Live versus the other services, you can see just how much of a lead Microsoft has there. I think during the course of this year all three will eventually catch up to eachother, but right now Sony is just making themselves look bad.

The Achievement Points in Xbox 360 games are a lot of fun too. When I first heard about this feature, I wasn't all that enthusiastic, but seeing it in action, and participating, it's a lot of fun. They make you want to stick with games, and really play them to a fuller extent.

I think that the emphasis being put on "Now-Generation" consoles also contributed to my purchase. I still like the PS2, and I have a bunch of good games for that system, but it's easy to see that developers and the industry are moving away from it. Granted, I will definitely be picking up God of War II, and probably Final Fantasy XII, but the work people are putting into games is no longer directed toward the PS2. That's how the industry works, and I've always been someone who kept pace with that.

What really put me over the hump on the purchase of the 360 was sitting at work, after getting back from the weekend, and around 1 PM thinking to myself, "man, I REALLY want to play some Gears RIGHT NOW. I think I have to go buy a 360." Seriously, it went down like that. There were some other considerations, I had Gift Card money that helped in the purchase of the system and with buying Gears of War, and I was able to get Burnout: Revenge for free along with the system, along with some other financial considerations which helped tip the scales. And I don't regret the purchase at all.

In the short amount of time I have owned the 360, I have as many games on that system (not all pictured) as I do for my Gamecube, which I bought at launch (11/2001). There are good games on the 360 right now, and it seems that as the year goes along the library should improve even more (and no, I'm really not that enthusiastic about Halo 3).

What don't I like about the system? Well, I've had some connection issues on Xbox Live, which haven't been fun. Burnout Revenge, up until last night, had not worked online since I got my console. Granted, that was EA's fault, not Microsoft's, but it was discouraging. Also I had been having some weird system resets when trying to get into online matches, but those problems have gone away. Of course I hate $60 games, and I refuse to buy games that are so expensive. I'll be blogging more about that as time goes by. I'm also a little unsure about the whole faceplate thing. The white plate the system comes with is lame, but I think $20 for a plastic piece to slap on the front of the console is way too much money. I got the Hot Rod faceplate on clearance, and for as much as I paid for it, I think it was worth it. I like the idea of having faceplates given away with games, but to get those deal you usually have to drop $60 on the game.

Overall, I like the 360 a whole lot. I think the console has really come a long way in the year since it was initially release, which I think is mostly due to Microsoft throwing their weight behind the console (Sony completely screwing up everything having to do with the PS3 certainly has helped Xbox out). I think playing on XBL is a lot of fun, and I think there are some solid games available for the system. I still think there's a lot of room for the console to grow, and if you are someone who usually only owns one current-generation game system, I'm not sure it's quite yet time to jump on the 360, but it certainly has a great lead on the other consoles.

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  • Wow, nice man, now I guess I'm going to have to get one and we'll do some online play =D I'll probably pick up a 360 around the Halo 3 release, yeah, I know it's a ways off, but I don't have money right now, or a TV, or a house.

    By Anonymous Joe, at 1/21/2007 11:04 AM  

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