By MadJim11 21 Comments
Like most people, I can't help but think back to times in the past that raise the question - what if?
Back in 2005 I sat around with my friends to watch MTV (of all the channels Microsoft had to choose from...) and we waited in anticipation to see what Microsoft would bring to the next generation console war.
At that time, I already owned an original Xbox console. It cost me £115, came with some very good games, was a bit bulky and heavy but I was sad to see it go. That big black box won a place in my heart. The purpose of the system was to play games, nothing more - the essence of a games console. The features the original Xbox had such as an internal hard drive, comfortable controllers (at least for me) and a games line up that constantly pushed itself to be better without complacency. It wasn't trying to be super stylish like the Apple gadgets of today, it didn't need to organise your photos or surf the web or twitter to people - it simply did its job and did it well.
So as I sat there waiting, I couldn't be happier. Here was the next generation console, the improvement over an already great machine. Undoubtedly my expectations were high. Microsoft already had Xbox Live, a great service. Great games such as Halo, Forza Motorsport, Chronicles of Riddick, Brothers in Arms - even now I can name 20+ great games for that console! And most importantly, they had the drive to be the best.
But what I witnessed on May 12th 2005 was something akin to waking up on Christmas morning and finding your presents replaced by a piece of jewellery... Yes that's right, jewellery! It's expensive, looks good, you can show it off to people but it essentially doesn't have a job. The new "sucked in" Xbox 360 with its white colour, large power brick and of course later, the three rings of death was certainly an anticlimax.
But I gave it a chance, I embraced change and bought one. But this story isn't about how the console had hardware errors, or even bad games.
In the back of my mind I always knew, that this console wasn't the best it could of been. The design wasn't up to Microsofts previous standards, it was loud, bulky (if you include the power brick) and it didn't have the build quality of the original Xbox. Perhaps its because the original Xbox was build like a tank, but still...
Flash forward to the present, I no longer have an Xbox 360 (had a PS3 for a while but that didn't work out). What I have instead is the feeling of what if? What if the Xbox 360 slim came out in 2005. What if that sleek version with built in wifi and a hard drive that is actually inside it instead of sitting on the top, what if the design was so good it wouldn't have hardware problems. What if Microsoft actually made the 360 look like the original (which the new slim model does). I'll think you'll agree that that is the version of the Xbox 360 that should of launched.
So sooner or later I'm going to bite the bullet again and buy an Xbox 360 slim, for better or worse. But this time, I'm hoping things will be different.