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In Defense of the Xbox 360

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

I ran across a title to an article in the St. Louis Dispatch.

“The Xbox 360 is the worst video game console in the world”

I am a little surprised the author didn’t claim it’s the worst in the galaxy or the universe. I mean, if you are going for drama, why not go big or go home, right? Worst video game console in the world? He’s got to be kidding. So, yes, I read the article.

rrod-freakoutUnfortunately, the author, the Game Guy aka David Sheets, makes a good case…if he were talking hardware only. Yes, the actual console in terms of hardware can be a piece of sh*t.

How many times has your Xbox 360 died? The Game Guy has had four 360’s, and all of them have died. I almost want to ask him if he is performing “gamicide” on purpose to make his point, but when I think about the first four Xbox 360-owning friends that come to mind, three of them have also experienced the RROD. Add me into that equation and that’s an 80% failure rate. Seems a bit higher than Microsoft’s 3%.

Although the Game Guy has a point about hardware failure, his tone throughout his article is one of pure disdain for the system as a whole. He claims that he plays it not by choice, but “out of necessity” because of his horrible job as a game and gear reviewer.

To the St. Louis Dispatch: I will be more than happy to take the Game Guy’s position. I love all games, and I don’t hold any grudges against any system. I will never complain because you are forcing me to play the Xbox 360. Nor will I write such over-dramatic op-ed pieces.

Back to the Game Guy…In defense of the Xbox 360, Microsoft gladly, no-questions-asked fixed my 360. Sure, I had to wait 2 weeks between packing it up in the supplied box and receiving it back from an commiserating UPS guy, but that’s what I have a PC for. And you know, I could always go outside for a walk or read a book while on my gaming hiatus. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

halo_3_final_boxshotAlthough I understand the Game Guy’s frustration with the hardware problems with the Xbox 360, I cannot agree with his summation that the Xbox 360 is the worst console in the world. If you consider the ease of playing Live, and the awe-inspiring graphics, as well as the convenience of the Xbox marketplace, as well as the calibre of games designed solely for the Xbox 360, well, “Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”

The Xbox plays hard and it breaks hard. I’ve had much more problems with my damn Dell, and at least when my Xbox did break, I didn’t have to spend five hours on the phone with India trying to explain to them that no, they didn’t fix my motherboard…again.

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Xbox 360’s Shelf-Life Will Be Extended

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Having had my Xbox 360 since August 2006 (when my Xbox was dropped during a move), and having gone through the whole Ring of Death Debacle, I am happy that a Microsoft exec let it slip out that the Xbox 360 will not be replaced/upgraded anytime soon. With as much as I spend on games, I don’t have enough for a new system just yet…

Xbox division president Robbie Bach told Bloomberg this week that flashy graphics won’t be enough for consumers to adopt a new platform.

“Just coming up with something that’s faster and prettier isn’t going to be sufficient,” said Bach.

Additionally, he predicts products from Sony Corp. and Nintendo Co. will hold a longer life span.

“The life cycle for this generation of consoles — and I’m not just talking about Xbox, I’d include Wii and PS3 as well — is probably going to be a little longer than previous generations.” -PunchJump

Faster and prettier is always good, but I tend to agree with Bach. Something very new needs to happen, kind of like what has happened with the Wii, insofar as a new way to game must be the next step and the reason that I will trade up my gaming console.

Not to mention, Microsoft is still paying through the nose to correct hardware issues with the Xbox 360, so I doubt that the R&D budget for the new-gen Xbox has not been affected by the ongoing problems.

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Microsoft: Xbox 360 has sold 17.7 million, Halo 3 8.1 million

Friday, January 4th, 2008


Whether you bought a Wii, Xbox 360 or even a PlayStation 3, you can’t argue that this was an amazing year for console gamers. The industry certainly can’t argue this fact either, as gaming as a whole made over $40 billion in 2007, with much of the success coming between August and November. Microsoft in particular did well for themselves over the year, or so they tell you.

According to Microsoft, thanks to a strong holiday showing which included hits like Mass Effect and Halo 3, the Xbox 360 surpassed the 17.5 million unit mark. In fact, Halo 3 alone has topped 8 million units, with Mass Effect selling another 1.6 million units in just six weeks.

“Microsoft is proud of the contributions Xbox 360 is making to the gaming industry, and looks forward to an even more successful 2008,” Microsoft said.

I would be kind of interested to see if we could find out how many of those 17.7 million consoles Microsoft brags about selling were purchased by people who just didn’t feel like sending their Ringed One in for repair.

[GameDaily BIZ]

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Xbox 360 Internal HD-DVD coming at CES?

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008


Before we get back to the business, I just want to wish you all a happy new year once again. I hope you all had a fun, and safe new year celebration, and I’m looking forward to shaming myself for your entertainment until this time next year. Now to business…

Remember when there were rampant rumors that Microsoft and Toshiba were working together in an effort to bring a new Xbox 360 SKU with a built-in HD-DVD drive. Now those rumors have been revived after several reports have indicated that Bill Gates and Microsoft may be ready to reveal a new SKU for the 360 at CES.

Unlike earlier believed, this new SKU will not be a stand-alone, but rather a replacement for the soon-to-be-discontinued Xbox 360 Elite. If true, of course.

While the idea of a Xbox 360 with built-in HD-DVD is a good one, I just feel it’s a bit late. Also, the inclusion of an internal HD-DVD drive would surely drive up the cost of the console, so maybe its best we wait and see before we get excited.

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Xbox LIVE is down! Panic! PANIC!

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

xbltech.jpgOdds are if you’re reading this, you’re not on Xbox LIVE. Not because you’re a fan of the site, but rather because Xbox LIVE won’t let you log in. In fact, Xbox LIVE won’t let a lot of people log in. While Microsoft isn’t explaining what is wrong, when you check the Xbox LIVE Service Status you will see the image to the right acknowledging that there is a problem, and that Microsoft has people working on it right now.

Stoners, Insomniacs and Australians everywhere are heartbroken at the news of Xbox LIVE being offline, I’m sure. Not to fear though, the big M is usually quick to fix these problems.


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52% of Xbox 360 owners own Halo 3

Monday, December 17th, 2007


I own it. You own it. Odds are your friends own it. There is simply no denying that Halo 3 is an absolute beast of a game. In its first day in the US, Halo 3 made nearly $200 million, and helped Microsoft by being a definite system seller, pushing 527K consoles out the door in September. But just how impressive are the numbers?

Well, according to the NPD numbers through November, 4.1 million copies of Halo 3 have been purchased in the US. Meanwhile, there have been 7.9 million Xbox 360 consoles sold in the US since its launch just over two years ago. Doing the math, a whopping 52% of all Xbox 360 owners own Halo 3.

That’s more than half, people. And with Christmas looming but a week away, you can expect both Halo 3 and the Xbox 360’s numbers to increase.


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Classic Xbox titles coming to Xbox LIVE Marketplace

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007


Microsoft is fighting fire with fire it seems, as the Official Xbox Magazine is reporting that Xbox 360 owners will be able to download original Xbox titles come December 2nd. The service will be part of the Fall Dashboard Update, and will feature six titles available from the start, each on sale for 1200 MS Points ($15 USD). What games are for grabs, you ask?

  • Halo
  • Fable
  • Burnout 3
  • Fahrenieit
  • Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
  • Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
  • To say this is awesome is a slight understatement. With a service like this, Microsoft could very well rival Nintendo’s Virtual Console service.


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Friendly Reminder: WE WANT TO LEAVE, ALREADY!

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007


Hi, boys and girls. It’s just me, your friendly neighborhood JW, here to remind you all that we’re currently looking for people to replace us here at Xbox 360 Rally. All you have to do is go HERE, fill out the form, and wait to hear back. It’s really not that hard.

So, get to it already — so Paco and I can get to the NEW site!

Halo 3 Sells 45,000 in Japan

Friday, September 28th, 2007


Enterbrain, a research company from Japan, has reported on this beautiful Friday morning that Halo 3, which was released in Japan yesterday, sold 45,000 copies.

When you consider that Blue Dragon, the highest selling Xbox 360 title in the land of the rising sun, sold 83,000 it’s first week, I’d say Halo 3 may become a moderate success over there.

In an effort to differentiate my two articles, here’s a little added something: I never could understand why the Japanese hate the Xbox so much. I know that our vastly differing cultures make it difficult to sell one product in the other’s home territory, but come on. Japan is the only market where the PS3 is beating the 360, and that just tells me something is wrong here… or there. Whichever.


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New Releases: Week of September 24th, 2007

Monday, September 24th, 2007

This is it, the biggest edition of “New Releases” for a while. You want to know why!?!

World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets is finally coming out!!! The game that will bring you:
* Your poker skills will be put to the ultimate test by over 30 of the world’s top poker champions
* Phil Hellmuth, Chris Ferguson, and Mike Matusow will teach you their tips and tricks in a poker school setting
* With successful wins, you will unlock valuable poker tools that will enable you to become an even more skillful player
* Build your bankroll at all the favorite locations of previous years such as Harrah’s New Orleans, Grand Tunica, Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and new this year, the hottest poker rooms of the Las Vegas strip!
* ESRB Rated RP for Rating Pending
(At least according to Amazon.com’s description, I never heard of this game beforehand)

The actually pretty good looking CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Hard Evidence is being released.

Oh yeah, I forgot, another title… HALO 3!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!!!ONG!!!!!!

Yes, the game that is going to be literally selling systems, the game that took over 7-11, Mountain Dew, and Burger King, is here. People will be calling in sick, schools will close, and possible riots will ensue, can’t wait to jump in on some multiplayer.

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Red Ring’d 360? Send it to Microsoft, it comes back “Brand New”

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

so 1337
Kotaku had a sit down with Aaron Greenberg regarding many interesting things I’m sure, however, they decided to just post a blip of what was said. An interesting blip none the less, on the topic of the 360 quality issues:

We have made all the improvements in our manufacturing process… All the consoles on the market have those improvements…. [We will] repair the console sent to us with these improvements. It should be similar to buying a new console off the shelf.

Now, I am on my second console, so far, it has red ringed on me once, however never again (still, I don’t care as much as I should, I called Microsoft and am getting another new one, included with a free game which they actually already shipped me, but still haven’t received a coffin for it). Sadly, I have faith that what he speaks is true. I mean, if the trend of returned 360’s being returned and returned again went on, even the mighty Microsoft could fall. Once the general public found out about the Xbox’s breaking a lot, they did get right on top of things with the warranty extended and the new chips/heat sinks.

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Should Halo 3 Come with a Three Year Warranty?

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

actual disc that is scratched!

NeoGAF user Hooterville somehow got himself a copy of Halo 3 early (hmmmm), chose to go with the “Limited Edition” version, and it came scratched brand new. He shows with three pics the packaging and the disc, and it is pretty easily seen why exactly the discs are scratching. You know that little circle thingy that actually holds the disc in place, it seems that someone forgot to put it there, I mean, there is something that resembles what would hold a disc in the middle, but it is more of a shadow of a little circle thingy than a full on nub that would hold the disc in. Enough of my scientific big words, look no further than the pictures below:
Is this how all our copies will come if we went with the Limited Edition (This was the one I wanted to get, Legendary was too much, but I can’t just get the regular). If you pre-ordered in store somewhere, make sure to open up your copy in the story at the clerks desk to ensure if it is scratched they seen you open it right in front of them and keep making them hand you over a new one. If you pre-ordered online, I pray for you, just expect the discs to be floating in the box and hope they aren’t bad enough where you can’t play. Thanks again Microsoft!

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Fire Up the ol Xbox - An Update and a Demo Awaits

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

For just the cost of under one gig of your hard drive, you can be the proud owner of a demo for Viva Pinata Party Animals. This complete Mario Party rip off game looks pretty damn good (Overlord ripped off Pikmin and that was fine and dandy by me). To see what you are getting yourself into, check a little video of some game play below:

Also note, when you did fire up your ol Xbox, there was a system update. Keep in mind, this is not the huge system update we are all waiting on, this is all about that big-button controller preparation, in fact, Major Nelson makes sure to point out “no new features beyond this big button pad support are included in this update and, once again, this is not the ‘fall dashboard upgrade.’ When I have firm details on the next major update, I will share them”

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We want YOU! …to replace us!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007


Ok, people, here’s the deal — Paco and I are on our way out. We’re taking over at 1PStart.com in an effort to restore it to it’s former glory. …that, and I just plain want to write about another game every once in a while, is that so wrong?!

Anyways, here is what we’re looking for: A competent, capable writer with a love for all things Xbox. Now, by competent writer, we mean someone who spells “you” correctly, and knows when to capitalize. If you can do that, you’re a shoe-in. So, CLICK THIS DAMN LINK, do the required stuff, then get paid to play video games and write about stuff.

…hell, Mike and I did the hard stuff already, and YES, the GTA4 Banner contest will continue, and I will still give you a copy of GTA IV… or something. So, hop to it.

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Four Special Halo 3 Midnight Launches - New York, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

im not impressed with this photoshop eitherOver 10,000 stores are going to be opening at midnight for you Halo geeks (I swear not me!). However, only four stores are going to be bringing out the big assault rifles.

New York: Best Buy on 5th Avenue (by Times Square)
Both Spike TV and G4 will broadcast from there, as well as appearances from Bungie team members and random celebrities.

Los Angeles: GameStop at Universal CityWalk location
Again, Spike TV and G4 will be there, also contests, celebrity autograph session (who, which celebrity?!), and an appearance by Master Chief himself (well, I guess that answers my celebrity autograph question).

Miami: Circuit City (8575 Northwest 13th Terrace)
Some Bungie people will be here too! Along with some Miami Dophins players .. meh, they are going to sign autographs and play against fans. I *might* attempt to get to this Miami one as it would only be a couple of hours drive for me. I do love seeing geeks in groups.

Seattle: Best Buy (457 120th Ave NE, Bellevue)
Some Bungie people will be here, woo!

All four locations will have chances for prizes (shirts, books, other swag, even a Halo 3 Zune)

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