Xbox 360 : Features, Review & More



In this post, we will discuss about Microsoft Xbox 360 and how it compares with PS3. To my surprise, my view is undergoing drastic changes recently with the introduction of Kinect and Xbox Live their online service which is superior to PSN Home. Added to that this week Microsoft released new Metro style (Windows 8) Dashboard to Xbox and is ready to change your TV viewing experience which makes it all the more important player in your living room.

Microsoft entered the gaming arena with the introduction of XBOX in 2001 and Xbox 360 followed later in 2005. In 2010 E3 Microsoft launched a major upgrade to Xbox 360 which will be discussed here. Xbox 360S is slimmer than the previous Xbox 360 model and features integrated 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, optical audio output, 5 USB 2.0 ports and a special AUX port. It comes with a 250 GB hard drive, and a 4GB RAM and a Kinect sensor.

Kinect technology uses Kinect sensor and camera which tracks your body movement and it directly appears in the game itself (the full body motion controller). Kinect is an easy to use and fun for everyone and it and is a promising technology and may get attached to many other appliances for controlling it.

The new Xbox 360S comes with wireless 802.11n support unlike PS3 which still supports only 802.11g network. Separate power brick is needed for Xbox 360S and its power consumption is more than the new slim PS3. It comes with a DVD drive and does not supports Blu-ray unlike PS3. You can connect this to an HD TV using HDMI or an old CRT TV using the AV cable connected to the component input sacrificing the video quality. Optical Audio can be connected using a Toslink cable to your AVR.

It's HDD is not replaceable by user unlike in PS3.

Media capabilities

Xbox 360 is a great DVD player, so you can hook up this to your Home Theater system to watch movies. You play MP3 music and go online using XBOX 360 where as you cannot surf the net using a browser unlike in PS3.

Xbox 360 gives different blades (media, Games, Xbox Live, and System etc) as shown below for navigation.

 
 
Microsoft introduced the new Metro style interface to Xbox yesterday which will take the Xbox to new heights and will be discussed in detail in one of the upcoming article

Xbox Live

Before 2001 nearly everything that you played on your game console required a disc or cartridge. Times have changed now you can play most of the games online. Following picture shows Xbox Live blade and games Blade used in Xbox 360

 
Xbox LIVE is the online service for your Xbox 360 and much more. With Xbox LIVE, your TV is transformed into an amazingly connected entertainment experience. Play Kinect™ and controller games with friends wherever they are. Instantly watch YouTube videos, and with Kinect, chat face-to-face with friends and family around the world.

All Xbox 360 games have online features, such as
  1. The ability for the game publisher to provide more content (such as additional game levels, equipment, and characters)
  2. Public scoreboards on both your own Xbox 360 console and on the Web so that you can compare your game scores with the scores of your friends and others
  3. Online play with other Xbox Live gamers (Xbox Live Gold membership required)
  4. You can download games, demos, trailers, and gamer pictures from the online Xbox 360 Marketplace.
  5. You can update your console by plugging into the Internet.
With Xbox LIVE, you can make playing more fun. Tell your Xbox LIVE and Facebook friends that you want to play a game online. No matter what you’re doing, when a friend responds, you can join them and start playing. Then show off your skills by earning in-game achievements. If you happen to go to your friend’s house, you can still bring your complete Xbox LIVE profile to their Xbox 360.

Kinect

Kinect is a camera based motion controller which will make you as the controller. The setup is very easy with properly placing the Kinect near your TV and a little calibration for the voice control depending on the ambience noise. Kinect supports not alone your body movements you control the console using voice commands.



Avatar Kinect

This is an application where you can socialize using your virtual substitutes called avatars. Xbox Live with Kinect technology makes Avatar Kinect possible and it is real entreating to use. You are the controller here; the avatar will follow your gestures, eye movements, etc. and mimic it exactly. With these features you can have a chat session or conferencing with your friends and even record the entire session. So you can hide your pretty face but still make others listen to you.

Comparison of PS3 vs Xbox 360

FeaturePS3 SlimXBOX 360SWinner
Blu-ray supportYesNoPS3
Power consumption100W approximately135W approximatelyPS3
Video qualityExcellent with 1080P video with deep color and SuperWhite supportNot comparable to PS3PS3
HDDUser replaceableProprietaryPS3
Wi-Fi n built-in supportNo, supports only gyesXbox 360
Online GamingPSN Play Station Home Network is not very impressiveXbox Live gives much better experience especially the Avatar Kinect is excellentXbox 360
Game TitlesPS3 has caught up with Xbox especially exclusive titlesXbox lost the early edge, now it is evenEven
Graphics performancePS3 is equipped with much better graphics capability but has only few titles to show the edgeSome of the XBOX exclusive titles have better graphics in Xbox compared to PS3PS3
Motion ControllerPS3 MoveKinect (better technology)Xbox 360
Move/Kinect BundleMore titlesLess number of titles and need more space to playPS3
LooksPS3 looks little dull compared XBOXLooks more attractiveXbox 360
PriceRs 19900 (PS3+ Move bundle)Rs 22900/- Xbox 360 with KinectEven

From the above comparison it is clear that there is no clear winner, both consoles have their own strengths. So l thought the following table will make the decision easy for you which is purely based on my understanding of Xbox 360 and experience with PS3 Move.

Criteria of selectionRecommendation
Hardcore gamer (Large living room/ Gaming Room)Xbox 360 with Kinect
Hardcore gamer (living room with limited space)PS3 with move
Online GamingXbox 360
Looking for a Digital Hub + gaming (interested more of local content)PS3
Looking for a Digital Hub + gaming (interested more on online content)Xbox 360
Looking for a Blu-ray player with GamingPS3





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