Wanted: Reader Input on XBox 360

Lusipurr.com would like to hear opinions from our readers on all things related to the Microsoft XBox 360. Has the 360 exhausted its supremacy, or are there still greater heights left to ascend? We want to hear from you for a special XBox 360-edition of the Megaphones Ahoy! Podcast this coming weekend. Simply comment on this post with your opinions and then listen in on Monday for their inclusion in the MAP. Thank you!

0 comments on “Wanted: Reader Input on XBox 360”

  1. Well what is there to say about the 360 that hasn’t been said already. Obviously RRoD is the biggest mark against the system, along with M$’s latest policy of not providing you with a complimentary coffin to send it into repairs. RRoD is my greatest concern when playing my 360, the noises it makes are awful and it overheats terribly. I have yet to suffer a casualty however, and my box is drawing to the end of the warranty period, but then I have also been very sparing with my use of the 360, preferring to play multi-platform games on my PS3.

    Another thing I wish to draw attention to is the somewhat misguided claim made by Xbots in service to the console wars, namely that the 360 has more AAA exclusives. What they really mean is that the Xbox has more old games which were exclusive by default, since the PS3 wasn’t released at the time. Going forward however, the 360’s exclusive line-up is looking rather soft in comparison to the PS3, with most of its ammo seemingly spent. That said I am looking forward to the eventual PAL releases of ToV, SO4 and Alan Wake (should it ever materialise).

    The 360 in comparison to the PS3 are very similar beasts indeed, both of which provide plenty of grunt for core gamers. The one major difference being their philosophies regarding available capital, namely M$ prefers to use their cash in order to attract former Sony exclusive publishers and buy exclusive content for 360 versions of games, whereas Sony prefers to use their capital for bankrolling 1st party exclusives which has led them to a higher rated aggregate of system exclusives last year, as evidenced by the IGN article on the matter. The best approach however is still wide open for debate, for while fps fans are no doubt cheering Sony for Killzone 2’s technical wizardry, Fallout and GTA fans are no doubt saluting M$ for the extra content.

    Then of course there’s the online aspect and I must level with you, I’m no online gamer, yet from my understanding of the matter Xbox live is slightly better while Sony’s online service is slightly free’er.

    All in all the 360 offers remarkably similar power and gameplay experiences to the PS3 for a much more palatable price-tag, yet don’t expect the 360 to be a long term investment like the PS3, as it will probably die.

  2. Again, the coffin thing is still a rumor, one that has been around since the launch of the bloody console. I’ve had nothing but great experiences with Microsoft tech support. They’re prompt and courteous, and the system comes back fast. They’ve really stepped up to the plate to deal with these issues.

    Now, moving away from SiliconNoob and into my own thoughts, the Xbox 360 is, by far, the best console of the generation. A huge library of top-notch games, great price (Arcade is cheaper than the Wii!), a smooth and seamless online experience most of the time, and a sleek interface with the NXE. While hardware issues do persist, they’re nowhere near what they were early on, so if you have an HDMI-enabled model, you’re likely fine. MS not only offers the standard 1 year warranty, but allows you to renew it for 2 years for a modest $50 fee, something they did with the original Xbox as well. It’s a shame that people continue to spread false information about the console’s reliability. There are still problems, but the days of 33% failure rates are over.

    Xbox Live is well worth the $50 a year (13 months if you buy the card instead of ordering through Live itself), with tons of exclusive content in addition to one of the most robust matchmaking services around. Compared to the countless headaches I’ve had with the PC and PS3, Xbox Live is beautiful.

    Hell, they even finally fixed the Xbox Live Arcade authentication issue by providing a tool that allows you to validate a 360 once a year. Not a bad compromise, and certainly better than having to wrangle with Xbox support for four months after my repair.

    Still, with a great support structure and TONS of games out there for every taste, it’s hard to go wrong with the 360. It’s definitely there for the long term.

  3. Well the 360’s failure rate is still open to dispute. I know in an episode of Good Game shortly before last Christmas wherein the hosts complained that they have had six Xbox elites RRoD on them despite M$’s claim to have fixed the problem. I know that this accounts for little more than an anecdote but the fact remains that it still happens.

  4. I think you will hear more about what I think about the 360 on the podcast this weekend, however I wanted to make a list here of things which make the 360 a good console:

    XBox Live.
    Great Games Catalogue.
    Most people this generation have one.
    Low price point.
    Exclusive DLC

  5. You should add Exclusive DLC to the list. I hate exclusive DLC for multi-platform games. But its diffidently something the 360 has more of.

  6. Added to my list, I forgot that point completely! I also feel the exclusives the 360 has make it so much more of an attractive purchase.

    I have a number of issues with the 360 also this include:

    Paying for XBox Live
    Console build quality (Not so sure it is an issue anymore?)
    I don’t like Microsoft (Okay not sure this an issue for anyone but me)
    Console noise
    Region locked

  7. Well that’s odd I would be tending more towards the Ps3 on the grounds of exclusives….though I guess it also hinges upon what kind of games you enjoy. One thing I will add though, is that the 360 doesn’t have flower, not that that makes any difference to me.

  8. When it comes to “quality” exclusives, I would lean towards the PS3 as well. Most 3rd party 360 exclusives are ported to the PS3, with more content useually. Maybe that could go on the negatives XD

  9. I think for RPGs with reference to JRPGs you have to stick to the 360. Halo and Gears or Killzone and Resistance? This is a debate if ever did see one coming.

  10. I think the days of the 360’s jrpg hegemony are all but over, seeing as a number of PS3 titles are selling in greater quantity on the PS3, most notably RE5 which has sold .75 million on 360 vs .94 million on PS3. Rpg’s look more like multi-platform territory.

  11. I forgot to mention above that I was refering to Japanese games.

  12. Lee – The 360 isn’t hard region locked like the Wii. Microsoft leaves it up to developers to decide what they want to do. You’ll find a lot of region free Xbox 360 games. MS, however, doesn’t discourage region locking the way Sony does. Theirs is a very hands-off approach to the issue, which is an interesting contrast from the other companies.

  13. Most every M$ game is region locked making then useless besides Sony games.

  14. I hate when people say “Oh look the Arcade is SO much cheaper than the other systems!” because buying the Arcade is worthless.

  15. Bup – Not necessarily. The arcade can play all the games that the other two systems can. It just doesn’t benefit from the hard drive installation. While it’s certainly not OUR choice, it’s a hell of a lot better than the Wii. Two 512 memory cards and you’ve more memory that you can use than the Wii can ever dream of.

  16. I think you should look over the complete list before you come to the conclusion that most XBox 360 Games are not region locked. There are quite a few that are not, but most are–and not just in Asian territories or predominantly so, as you’d have us believe. Even a brief list like that found at http://gaming.wikia.com/wiki/Region_Free_Xbox_360_Games is pretty clear that the region-locking is not limited to Asian territories or anything like it.

    Moreover, comparing the Wii’s storage to the 360s storage makes little sense. The Wii does not have an install option for its games, and virtually all of its downloadable titles are much smaller than those for the 360. Apples to Oranges here. Finally, the Wii *does* allow SD Memory Cards to back up any games/data, so the mention of XBox Memory Cards is, again, not very pertinent in its implication that the Wii cannot do the same thing.

  17. While the Xbox 360 is flawed in many ways (most of which I am sure other posts before me have mentioned but I am far to lazy to read at this moment) I believe that it is the premier gaming console of this day for the hardcore gamer. I know others will disagree with me saying that the PS3 is amazing, and possibly even claiming that the Wii is more apt for the title, the Xbox 360 is something that I love and hold close to my heart (most likely because I spent 400+ dollars on it).

  18. It’s not rumours–it’s reports. I have trouble believing that so many people on the internet are in a mutual conspiracy to slander Microsoft’s tech support with widespread, simultaneous posts about not being given a coffin to send the console in. There are plenty of better things to complain about (like having another RRoD, as three of my friends have had with the HDMI-enabled systems; and as PA most notably has, recently) if one wants to deprecate the 360.

    The provided coffin may well be the company policy (note the ‘should’ in the official response), but that does not mean that it is implemented properly or even universally adhered to. I suspect the fact of the matter is that there ARE people who are not being given that option, esp. considering that during my six-month-long battle with MS, I was given different answers every time I spoke to someone–at expense to myself in the costs of postage, faxing, &c. Once again, this isn’t a failure at the executive level, but at the level where policies are implemented to the consumer. There should be no less attention to this facet of corporate-public interaction, and yet Microsoft has consistently shown an inattention right there where, arguably, it matters most.

    Transferring things to and from the Wii/SD (and here I speak from experience) takes hardly any time at all, whereas loading them up from the 360’s save slot takes slightly less time. Characterising this as ‘worthless in comparison’ is a bit like saying that a taking a car to the corner drugstore is worthless in comparison to walking, because one has to unlock the door and get into the car and then put a key and gas into it to start it moving, whereas your legs are ready right from the get-go. Both get you going where you are going within relatively the same space of time, and that is ultimately what is important for the purposes of this comparison. (Of course, if we want to argue details, it’s worth pointing out that the Arcade comes with *no* storage of any sort, where at least the Wii has storage sufficient for many games right out of the box.)

    The diehard attempts to defend the real shortcomings of the 360 (shoddy build quality, even to the present; lacklustre and inconsistent customer service; the bewildering ‘Arcade’ version of the system) in the face of all reason and many reports to the contrary can hardly be seen in a positive light. The 360 is not the end-all-be-all of the console wars any more than the Wii or the PS3 are, and attempts to downplay its faults to this extreme do no credit to the would-be perpetrators of the MS propaganda line.

  19. And this is where you show your anti-360 bias, Lusipurr. Nowhere did I say the 360 is perfect. Hell, until RE5, I was playing the PS3 hella more, between Street Fighter IV, Killzone 2 and Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection. However, I am not going to just snub MS based on juvenile fanboy ranting when my every experience with them, dating back to the original Xbox, has been cordial and relatively painless other than the XBLA issue that they’ve since implemented a better solution to.

    But by all means, hate the 360. Makes no diff to me.

  20. If taking just criticism at its face value instead of dismissing it out of hand is ‘anti-360 bias’, well colour me biased. I’m not at all bothered by the irritated plaints of the extremists on either side of the issue, nor am I moved by the frustrations of those who would prefer to ignore reality in order to facilitate their personal agendas.

    If you will read what I’ve said, you will see that I am addressing your offhand dismissal of the very valid criticisms which have been offered by numerous people. If your experience with MS had been ‘cordial’ and ‘painless’, then I commend you on your good fortune. The problem is that it has not been so for (disproportionately) many other people, and this is a fact worth recognising, not poo-pooing or disregarding, as you seem keen to do.

    If there is bias there, I must say that, being in the minority, the logical burden is upon you to show what it is. However, all you have done is try to wave away all criticism presented, which is what I find so shocking. This is quite far from advocating a position in the middle, as you claim to have done. Pray tell, what criticism have you, up until this point, accepted as valid? Despite looking, I cannot find any instance of this.

    The 360 has some excellent things going for it (which I have mentioned before both here and in another place), but the criticism earlier mentioned is in many cases valid. This recognition of publicly-known faults is not ‘hating the 360’, as you unfairly charactise it. Moreover, the fact that you are willing to adopt such an extreme condemnation of all criticism is itself another indication of where you stand.

    Please, shed the ‘if you’re not with us, you’re against us’ mentality. Fair criticism of a console’s weak points does not equate to ‘hatred’ or ‘bias’. Rather the opposite, in fact.

  21. Yeah, I have a 360 and love it, but I would never knock the criticism. Or even condemn Lusipurr for selling his because of the issues. It’s worth it to me for the exclusive games and XBLA, but I’m aware that I might have to get a coffin for it one day. It’s the risk I’m choosing to take. I would never admit to being ignorant of that.

  22. If there are ever released two more 360-specific games of the quality of Lost Odyssey, I’ll have a 360 again.

    I just cannot justify owning it solely for that one game. My personal threshhold is three games.

  23. That sounds entirely reasonable. But I enjoyed ToV, am enjoying BD more than most, love Mass Effect, and like the Rock Band games best on the 360 due to the wireless compatibility with Guitar Hero instruments. These reasons plus XBLA titles like Portal: Still Alive, Peggle (yes, I love it), Castle Crashers, and Braid are enough for me.
    But although I’m an achievement whore, trophies and an improving PSN are muting some of my previous reasons for owning a 360.
    Don’t forget that games like Eternal Sonata and Bioshock are no longer Xbox exclusives, and are rather improved on the PS3 now.

  24. BD is all right and might well count for one of the remaining two (though I’ve already finished it), but apart from it only Lost Odyssey has any appeal for me. There is Beautiful Katamari, of course (which makes three), but I’m not too keen to count BK and BD as the other two games in the “Three Excellent Games” requirement.

    PS3 has Disgaea 3, LittleBigPlanet, and Valkyria Chronicles, and upcoming will have FF Versus XIII.

    Wii has Smash Bros., Super Paper Mario, and Twilight Princess, not to mention Mario Galaxy. It also plays all my old GC games, which is good as I don’t have a GC anymore. :D

    I have Eternal Sonata and Bioshock for PS3 and prefer both to the 360 versions (which I previously owned).

    Rather than “three excellent games” I really should make the threshhold for console purchase “games I want with a total cost equal to or greater than system cost”, but I’m certain the PS4’s £60,000 price tag (based on their increasing initital cost) will make that a prohibitive requirement.

  25. I don’t see how there’s only one game worth having on the 360. And hell, I’ll criticize MS: their insistence on monetizing EVERYTHING, their cockblocking Epic’s attempt to release the Titan Pack, the barrage of advertising even on the paid service, their BS proprietary hard drive, the list goes on. It’s just that I’m not going to take every whiny cakehole on Twitter as the gospel truth against MS, any more than I would with Sony or even Nintendo. It amazes me how people accept forum posters at face value, when we all know what a cesspool of misinformation such sources are (remember the persistant rumors of the PS3 dropping Blu-Ray, which got so bad that Sony PR had to answer it? People will parrot anything).

  26. Steady on, SN. There’s no need to be snarky.

    MasterChief is merely expressing his caution at taking the words of anonymous people on the internet at face value. To be sure, I would be cautious too, but I have read enough reports of the coffin situation to convince me that it exists at some level. Perhaps MasterChief has not had his doubts sufficiently addressed yet.

    For my part, I know that a company with twelve local employees can’t manage to implement its policies uniformly; how much moreso gigantic Microsoft, with its Indian outsourcing of a massive support staff? Universal application of their policies wouldn’t be unlikely; it would be a miracle. Yet, these occurances seem (by report) to be occuring more often than they should be.

    If past experience is any lesson, MS will eventually hearken to the bad press and fix the posish as best they can. It’s just lamentable that it came down to this in the first place. The failure here is not the coffin policy but rather the shameful build quality which necessitates a publicly-discussed coffin policy in the first place.

    MS is good at learning lessons. I suspect their next console will be VERY robust.

  27. As someone with no current gen systems because he is poor, I’m not biased towards any of them. :P

    Wii – Looks to be about 3 good games and a lot of shovelware/Jazzercise trash.

    PS3 – I’d want something that could replace my elderly PS2 completely and have a decent library of JRPGs. Sony apparently saw fit to do neither.

    X-Box 360 – Looks appealing software-wise. Decent selection of JRPGs on it. Some action titles I would enjoy too. Unfortunately, the hardware looks like a pile of shit.

    Quite honestly, if I had $400 to spend on videogames (or anything else) I would buy a bottle of tasty bourbon, some orange pekoe tea (no idea what that stuff is but it’s awesome), a new PS2, and spend whatever was left on a bunch of PS2 JRPGs that I have yet to play. I could post a list, but I doubt anyone is interested.

  28. I just can’t believe how stark the contrast is between the construction of the 360 and the original Xbox. I also can’t believe M$ hasn’t resolved their hardware issues yet. I would have thought it would be cheaper to redesign the console to curb its mortality rate and ungrade their production facilities, then it would to provide an open ended commitment to fix millions of dead consoles.

  29. Well, they have made several efforts in that direction, though they all feel more like ‘fingers in the dike’ than a wholehearted rebuilding to comprehensively address the issues.

    …For which we cannot blame them too much; they are probably hard at work on their next console already. Why spend time/money redesigning flawed architecture that is going to be sold at a loss and outdated in a few years, when it would make more sense to focus on the next incarnation of the system.

    I’m not surprised that the hardware updates have been patchy and inconsistent. Their business model almost necessitates this. I’m just surprised that the console made it into production in the first place. These are things which should have been caught by any respectable QA team.

  30. The console has yet to be comprehensivly re-designed, the difference between the models is that the newer iterations are fitted with smaller CPU’s and graphics chips that generate less heat, enableing them to stave off their impending demise. To completely solve the problem however they would need to redesign how the innards of the console fit together, most notably changing the way the graphics chip is x-clamped into place as the lead free soldering is simply not durable enough to hold it in place.

  31. Well yes, that is the point I am making above–there hasn’t been a comprehensive re-engineering, even though that is what is really needed. But at the same time, we can’t fault them overmuch for this. It’s quite common amongst the consumer electronics industry. Apple and the faulty NVidia 8X series graphic cards are another notable example.

    Rather than solve the problem by re-engineering the card, and then supplying Apple (and others) with it, to replace on all of their logic boards, Apple instead has pledged to replace logic boards with a model that carries a different resistor (lowering the card power/temperature), whilst NVidia is producing drivers that throttle performance or keep the fan permanently on to keep the card temperature lower. This doesn’t fix the problem, but it does extend the life of the video card so that in most cases it will fail after the laptop is out of warranty.

    Re-engineering a card which has been deprecated would be expensive and unprofitable. Therefore, from a business perspective it makes more sense to find the cheapest solution and to slap it on like a bandage in the hope that by the time the little soldier kicks the bucket from his injuries, the war will be over.

    Microsoft is no different than other major companies in this regard. It’s a shoddy policy where the consumer is concerned, but companies are in business to make money. They are already losing money on each console sale, so I can’t expect them to completely redesign their hardware.

    What I *can* expect is for this not to happen in the first place, just as I expected NVidia to test their video cards to discover things like the fact that the low-grade materials they were using resulted in device failure.

    For me, that’s the real failure here.

  32. It’s no secret that Microsoft rushed the 360 to market, desperate to steal Sony’s thunder. I can’t imagine they expected Sony to drop the ball as hard as they have. If they’re working on the next system now, I think the Xbox 720 will prove a much more sturdy system, simply because the designers will have the time needed to iron out the kinks, given the 360’s position of strength in the industry.

    evilpaul – You’re probably better off sending the PS2 to be repaired. What’s the repair cost with Sony, $80 for the PS2? I figure one or two more repairs should last you until the system can be reliably emulated.

  33. Well not only did Microsoft not expect Sony to drop the ball, but the 360 coming out first is probably part of the reason Sony dropped the ball.

  34. At least Sony is attempting to pick the ball up and make a comeback. The first 2 years of the PS3 where lackluster and I even doubted my purchase of it. That not the case now, and doesn’t seem that way of thought will ever come back. I would fully regret my 360 purchases if it where not for a few games like Lost Odyssey and Dead Raising.

  35. Hehe, I’d say more than a few games. For me, the 360 is the first system to pass 20 purchased games (I’m a tad over 35 now). You are right, however, that the PS3 is finally coming into its own. Hopefully Sony will continue to push software on the PS3, especially now that it’s no longer the cheapest Blu-Ray player.