Saturday, April 20

Review: Xbox 360

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The Xbox 360 is Microsoft’s counter to Sony’s PS3 and opinions are still divided on which one reigns supreme, but it can be said that this is by no means a sub-par console – you’re going to be participating in top-notch entertainment.

Right from the start, unlike its rival, the PS3, the Xbox doesn’t use a Blu-ray Disc format and for those who want vibrant, colour-rich and crisp detail, Sony’s console (PS3) is a better option.

An article published by CBS news comments that “one of the major criticisms of Xbox 360 is that it is geared mainly towards hardcore gamers.” Essentially, casual players are not likely to pay the premium price tag.

Xbox 360 controller

The Xbox 360 is an absolute must-have for fans of first and/or third-person shooter titles. Microsoft has an awesome catalogue, featuring action-packed games that will keep you on the edge of your seat – and it’s going to keep growing.

If this genre isn’t your thing, don’t worry, you can unleash your inner musician because the console is compatible with the Guitar Hero range – are you a lead guitarist or a drummer? Why not try both!

You’ll be thrilled to know that Microsoft has given you the Xbox Live Marketplace, which is your one-stop shop for downloading a huge variety of TV shows and movies, just remember that that you will need to have a strong broadband connection. Now, all you have to do is add some popcorn and your weekend is sorted!

An area where Microsoft may have dropped the ball is with their online services. It’s no secret that the current generation of consoles is more than gaming systems, they are entertainment centres and so it stands to reason that any online service should be accessible to all console owners. However, unlike Sony’s free PlayStation Network, Microsoft have opted for their full service platform – Xbox Live – to be subscription based – there is a free version, but it’s very limited and isn’t satisfactory.

The revolutionary motion sensor, Kinect, is a fiercely debated issue. Some people love it; others wish it was never invented. While the Kinect is conceptually phenomenal, in practice, many people believe that it doesn’t live up to the hype. Yes, you are not obligated to buy one, but it’s a feature of the majority of console bundles; many of the games released by Microsoft have been developed specifically to be used with the Kinect.

 In the end, the choice is yours, but if you’re not a PlayStation fan, the Xbox 360 is worth it.

The pros: Xbox Live (Online service); overall entertainment hub; Xbox Live Marketplace; HD-DVD drive available for purchase; great graphics

The cons: Doesn’t use a Blu-ray Disc format; HD-DVD drive is sold separately; console is quite loud; expensive

The verdict: 7/10

Xbox 360 available from R2,056

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