Say what you will of the Xbox 360, you can’t deny its impact on the last generation of games consoles is perhaps the most far reaching of any device in the industry. That Microsoft were able to reinvent it (NXE, Kinect) so often during its lifespan is a testament to the hardware and planning behind it. Or just their sheer bloody mindedness in refusing to accept that a console is a constant from start to finish.
So here we are at the beginning of a new generation and I joined the masses in lining up at midnight for my Day One Edition console. The line was of a decent size in my suburban EB Games and the store people were wise is getting the payments out of the way before midnight so they could just pass the consoles over the counter and get people out quickly.
Impressions so far:
- The box is heavy: the console looks like the thing that bullied your 360 slim when it was in high school.
- Use everything in the box: the packed in controller is already bonded to the console so use it for the initial start up while you figure out where the buttons are. Also use the HDMI cable as my old cable did not agree with the Xbox.
- The controller is really, really nice: from the moment you pick it up it feels comforting in its familiarity but build quality has stepped up.
- Day One update is zippy: being first in line (Australia) means we get to smash Xbox Live before the rest of the world. Seems to be handling the 500Mb update quickly.
- In terms of noise it is not much different to a 360 slim.
- My PlayStation 3 is likely to be retired now that I have an Xbox with a Blu-Ray drive. If Microsoft had considered a 360 with one in the beginning I’d have never needed the PS3 at all. Controlling movies with voice commands is neat.
- If you have a tight download cap with your Internet, prepare for some hurt as games and updates are huge and will smash your cap away.
- Game installs will piss you off… No other way to say it.
- Be prepared for some early confusion as features like party chat work very differently to the 360 versions.
- Using QR codes to redeem content rocks.
There are still much to learn and improve but this is a great start. The console is fast, quiet and the controller is brilliant. And for the first time I’m finding that talking to the Kinect enhances the regular gaming experience.
Welcome to the new generation.