The State of the Xbox 360

#1 Posted by FusionJones (24 posts) -

The Xbox 360. Over the past two years, this console has gone through many trials and tribulations, as well as many successes and accomplishments. Microsoft has done many things right over the course of the console's life this far but in other areas they have completely dropped the ball. If Microsoft could quit fooling around with showing flashes of brilliance in some areas, while screwing up in really ridiculous ways in other areas, they should be able to dominate the console war between themselves and Sony.

I really believe Microsoft has made great strides to advance their game library far above the place the original Xbox reached. They finally put their best efforts into breaking some of Sony's exclusive third party deals, and worked on making a few of their own. Grand Theft Auto IV, although I am opposed to the franchise, could have easily propelled the PS3 well past the currently impressive figures the 360 has shown, even with a timed-exclusive. The fact that Microsoft went above and beyond to spend $50 million on exclusive downloadable content makes evident the fact that they aren't playing around. Microsoft wants the superior version of GTA on their console, expecting the fanboys to follow the yellow brick road of Grand Theft goodness all the way to their console. I would even say breaking the Assassin's Creed exclusivity deal was a crucial move, as there was a good chance the visual powerhouse could have swayed some people in favor of the big, juicy Blu-Ray player in Sony's camp.

Another thing Microsoft has continued to do right is the Live service. Using the original Xbox as a training ground, Microsoft has really seemed to pushed its online service further to deliver what is by far the strongest online component of the three consoles. Everything from in-game guide blades, to the Video Marketplace, to the Live Arcade service, everything seems to be very polished and well thought-out. Now with the XNA initiative on the horizon, plus the upcoming spring update, it seems that Microsoft is pushing to relentlessly keep its service the far-and-away favorite of this generation.

Although this things are all well and good, the Xbox 360 isn't all well and good at the moment. They continue to struggle in the "Land of the Rising Sun" as there console continues to be a non-factor there.  I can't blame this completely on Microsoft, though, as they could have easily thrown in the towel by now, by they are persistent.  Releasing Lost Odyssey, Eternal Sonata and Blue Dragon was there attempt at really grabbing the Asian market, and although Lost Odyssey did reasonably well, it was nowhere near enough to grab a reasonable market share.

As I previously mentioned, I find the Live service to be the definitive online infrastructure for consoles, but I think it could see some definite improvements.  First off, Live needs to be free.  I don't believe that they can't make the money back that they are charging for Live in other ways.  I believe this is really holding back their potential market, as many casual gamers are intimidated by the concept of "Pay-to-Play."  I also find paying for their service ridiculous since we are still being shown advertisements of non-Microsoft products when navigating the marketplace, which is inexcusable in my opinion.  I also believe that rolling out dedicated servers for the big titles (That's right Halo, you could have had servers dedicated just for you!) as opposed to using peer hosting would be a wise choice.  At this point, Frontlines is the only game to be hosting their own servers, and for the most part, it seems to be a success.  Over in Sony land, the PS3 seems to be thriving using dedicated servers for games like Warhawk and Unreal Tournament III.

Another problem I see Microsoft suffering from is the hardware itself.  First off, there are too many models on store shelves.  They need to get rid of the Halo 3 limited edition (it's a limited edition for a reason), and get rid of the Pro/Premium console (or whatever it's called now.)  I believe going forward, they will continue to confuse the casual market, as there are so many choices to pick from.  I believe having the Elite for the "true gamers" and the Arcade for the casual market will give them the best chance of reaching the main demographics, while keeping store shelves uncluttered of the myriad of models available.

The list of Microsoft problems doesn't end there.  There is the ever-frustrating issue of the Red Ring of Death that is most certainly scaring people away.  There is the fact that Microsoft continues to screw-over the early adopters by charging unfair amounts for the standalone 120 GB Hard Drive.  There is also a problem, that won't be easy to fix, which is the fact that the Xbox 360 does not contain a Blu-Ray player.  There standalone HD-DVD player is now obviously useless, and I believe the lack of a Blu-Ray player will hurt them.  "Oh, but we have the Video Marketplace available to the consumers!"  Ya, that's great and all, but most of the people vouchhing for that will be the early adopters, and when an HD movie takes up 5GB of space, the 20GB Hard Drive that they've been stuck with gets a little crowded.

In the end, though, I'm still supporting what Microsoft is doing.  They have put pressure on Sony to actually create a proper online service, and they have really given the gamers what they want: A strong library of games.  As time goes on, I believe the console will continue to expand the market, and if the rumor of a Wii Remote-like controller on the horizon, I believe they will have finally have a way to compete with Nintendo.

#2 Posted by METALM1LITIA91 (305 posts) -

wow this definently wasn't copy and pasted. Anyway nothing new or exciting in what you said. Of course the 360 will fail in japan simply because it is competing against domestic consoles. The red ring of death is getting better... i think. I haven't seen many more of those angry user threads saying it just broke... either its getting better or i'm so use to it that i ignore it.

#3 Posted by FusionJones (24 posts) -
METALM1LITIA91 said:
"wow this definently wasn't copy and pasted. Anyway nothing new or exciting in what you said. Of course the 360 will fail in japan simply because it is competing against domestic consoles. The red ring of death is getting better... i think. I haven't seen many more of those angry user threads saying it just broke... either its getting better or i'm so use to it that i ignore it."
Please don't accuse me of plagiarism... I took it from my blog.  I can send you the link to prove it, if you'd like.
And I believe the RROD problem is nearly just as problematic now as it was at launch... 3 of my friends sent back their 360's within the last two months!
#4 Posted by epic_pets (1345 posts) -

Good read, I agree with most points.

#5 Posted by spragels (102 posts) -

The 360 is going in the wrong direction if you ask me. I love all my consoles but if the 360 keeps trying to be the Wii then it will lose its identity.

#6 Posted by FusionJones (24 posts) -
spragels said:
"The 360 is going in the wrong direction if you ask me. I love all my consoles but if the 360 keeps trying to be the Wii then it will lose its identity."
Do you really think that's true?  Don't you think they're just trying to broaden their market?  Personally, I believe the 360, up until this point, has been the most hardcore console of the three.  It's about time that they soften that image a bit.
#7 Posted by METALM1LITIA91 (305 posts) -
FusionJones said:
"METALM1LITIA91 said:
"wow this definently wasn't copy and pasted. Anyway nothing new or exciting in what you said. Of course the 360 will fail in japan simply because it is competing against domestic consoles. The red ring of death is getting better... i think. I haven't seen many more of those angry user threads saying it just broke... either its getting better or i'm so use to it that i ignore it."
Please don't accuse me of plagiarism... I took it from my blog.  I can send you the link to prove it, if you'd like.
And I believe the RROD problem is nearly just as problematic now as it was at launch... 3 of my friends sent back their 360's within the last two months!
"

When i said copy and paste i was referring to the black print not plagerism so my bad on not making that clear. When did your friends buy their console? I think the newer consoles are somewhat better but like i said i may be wrong.
#8 Posted by FusionJones (24 posts) -
METALM1LITIA91 said:
"FusionJones said:
"METALM1LITIA91 said:
"wow this definently wasn't copy and pasted. Anyway nothing new or exciting in what you said. Of course the 360 will fail in japan simply because it is competing against domestic consoles. The red ring of death is getting better... i think. I haven't seen many more of those angry user threads saying it just broke... either its getting better or i'm so use to it that i ignore it."
Please don't accuse me of plagiarism... I took it from my blog.  I can send you the link to prove it, if you'd like.
And I believe the RROD problem is nearly just as problematic now as it was at launch... 3 of my friends sent back their 360's within the last two months!
"

When i said copy and paste i was referring to the black print not plagerism so my bad on not making that clear. When did your friends buy their console? I think the newer consoles are somewhat better but like i said i may be wrong."
Fair enough.
My one friend bought his console a year and a half ago (so that RRODing is fair, I guess) but the other two were about 5 or 6 months ago...
#9 Edited by xGenuinex (17 posts) -

I believe that by the end of this console cycle, everyone that considers theirself to be a gamer will own a 360. It doesn't matter how much paid sony employees(SPG,PSU) try to control the gaming media through sites like N4G, DIGG, etc. The highest quality console gaming is done on the 360.  I do wish MS would do more to silence Sony's 360 sabateurs. But nevertheless, check the library size and scores, the 360 is a console every gamer should own.
Wii
http://www.metacritic.com/games/wii/scores/
PS3
http://www.metacritic.com/games/ps3/scores/
360
http://www.metacritic.com/games/xbox360/scores/

#10 Posted by banksrob (1140 posts) -

http://uk.gamespot.com/pages/forums/show_msgs.php?topic_id=26387068

Is that you then?

#11 Posted by FusionJones (24 posts) -
banksrob said:
"http://uk.gamespot.com/pages/forums/show_msgs.php?topic_id=26387068

Is that you then?
"
Yep.  I first posted this on my blog, but no one said anything, so I started putting it on boards.
You'll notice my reviews here, and the reviews I have their are similar in style, just so you know I'm not lying.

And to the guy above you, I totally agree, Microsoft needs to do more to silence Sony.  FFXIII is a good start, in my opinion.
#12 Posted by MarkMarini (31 posts) -

I agree with most of your points. I think the dashboard update, 8 player party chat (finally), and netflix will really refresh the xbox 360 experience as well as enticing new users. Plus XNA community games has huge potential. I think MS is going in the right direction. Netflix itself will double the amount of time that I spend on the 360. The ultimate goal is making the 360 have something for everyone. There are countless amounts of consumers that are picking up a ps3 just to watch bluray. Netflix is a potential answer to this. Adding DVR/TiVo capabilites could help them a lot as well. As far as games go, my biggest gripe with the 360 is the huge difference in PSN and XBLA games. MS needs to remove the size limit for xbla games. When are we going to get games like Flower, SuperStardust HD, and PixelJunk Eden?

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.