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So, I won some money recently and I'm thinking of getting a 360. I'm just confused about some of the accessories and options available through an Xbox. And, some of the stories I've read about the 360 are a little concerning. I'm new to online gaming and have several questions about the nature of the 360 and Xbox live.


I also just bought a Panasonic Plasma TH-42PZ77u that plays 1080p and an Yamaha audio receiver that passes video and audio through HDMI. The receiver does not accept audio through HDMI. I have to connect audio through 5.1 channel analog jacks, digitial optical input, or digital coaxial input.


Based on that equipment, I have a few questions:


1) Does the 360 have a way to connect video to the TV through HDMI but audio to the receiver via digital optical cable?


2) If not, then do the Xbox 360 component cables have a jack to plug a digital optical cable to the receiver like the original Xbox had?


3) Is there much difference in video quality between component cables and HDMI?


4) Besides the 120gb hard drive, what is the difference between the Pro and Elite versions?


5) Is the Elite version a good deal for what it comes with? How


6) Can the Pro version have an HDMI interface? If not, which 360 have HDMI interface?


7) Which ones come with an HDMI cable? Does the 360 use 1.3 HDMI cables? If not, then when?



8) Can the Xbox use any HDMI cable or is it a special propietary cable that plugs onlyinto the Xbox?


9) Why would I need 120gb of storage space on an Xbox? What purpose would it serve?


10) Do the new Xbox systems still have the "ring of death" or any other issues I should be made aware of? Please list them?


11) What is the difference between the 360 pro and the Halo limited edition version?


12) Can you plug in an Ipod to get music off of the 360?


13) Can I transfer movies or music purchased through the marketplace from the 360 to any external harddrive?


13) Do I need a cooling fan for one of the new 360s?


14) How much do xbox marketplace points cost? What do things cost in the marketplace?


15) How much free time on Xbox live do you get when purchasing a new 360 system?


16) How much does membership on xbox live cost?


17) What's the difference between Silver and Gold membership?


18) What's the best and cheapest way to buying a Gold membership? I've seen those Gold membership packs at the stores offering 12 months of service. Is that cheaper than buying a Gold membership over Xbox live?


19) Is it cheaper to buy one of the 12 month membership packs than one of the 3 month live cards I've seen at Target?


20) What is the benefit to buying one of those 12 month Gold memberships in the store than buying it online?


21) Do you need a Gold membership to play friends online on some of those multiplayer games?


22) What other equipment or accessories would you recommend when getting a 360?


23) Does the 360 have a loud drive when playing games?


24) Does the 360 play 1080p? If not, is Microsoft planning on realeasing a 360 that plays 1080p?


25) Can the 360 rest flat like the original Xbox? Is that a problem? I have a nice equipment cabinet and a standing 360 would not work.


26) I read a few days ago about Xbox live issues that closed it down. There was something about it not being able to handle all of the new traffic over the holidays. Is that still an issue?


27) Are there any new Xbox system being released or upgrades planned for the near future? If so, what are they and when? Why should I get one now rather than later?


28) Can the 360 play HDDVDs out of the box or do you need another piece of equipment to do that?


28) Lastly, why should I get a 360 instead of a PS3? If you think I should get a PS3, let me know why. Does the PS3 play Blu-ray out of the box or do you need to purchase something else?


Thanks for answering a newbie's questions.


Gaelinic
 

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28b) Currently there are better exclusives on the 360, and the multiplatform games tend to have the best version on the 360. PS3 lets you play HD disc movies out of the box, 360 lets you download HD movies.


28a) HDDVD requires a seperate box. Doesn't really matter, as the HD format war is over. HD digital downloads won.



27) There is always something new and better coming out. If you are always waiting for it, then you will never own anything.


26) Nope.


25) Horizontal position for the 360 is the prefered orientation.


24) Yes, over VGA, Component or HDMI.


23) Yup! That is about the only time it is loud.
 

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Too many questions, holy crap dude seriously most, if not all, of your questions could be answered with a quick Google search or a search of these forums.
 

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22) Second controller, Xbox Live Gold, RockBand and/or Guitar Hero III


21) All online mulitplayer requires a Gold subscription. Everything else online is free and can be done with Silver.


20) None.


19) Kinda. Depends on if you are going to play all the time. If you are only going to play Halo 3 in February, then no other online multiplayer throughout the year, then $8 for a month sounds cheaper than $50 for a year.



18) Whatever. Price should be standard anywhere. If you look hard you can find it cheaper, but if $10 is that big of a deal, then maybe this is the wrong hobby.



17) See "21)" above.


16) See "19)" above.
 

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15) One month.


14) 80pts = $1USD. Prices range from 30pts to 2400pts from what I've seen.


13) Oh god please no. Don't subject your 360 to that punishment.


12) Older iPods can feed the 360 music. That is the extent of iPod interaction.


11) Green.


10) Things break. I know, shocking, huh?



9) You don't, but it is nice to have if you want to download HD videos off of marketplace, or buy Xbox Originals.


8) Any HDMI cable. There is a special optical dongle needed to go with that cable though. The $50 kit makes that easy, or the 360 Elite comes with the cable/dongle combo.


7) Elite does. And what good would 1.3 do for you?
 

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Don't get used to this, but if it helps you get up to speed on 360. (You do seem to be up-to-date on all the anti-360 FUD out there.) ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


1) Does the 360 have a way to connect video to the TV through HDMI but audio to the receiver via digital optical cable?

Yes, the Elite 360 comes with an adapter Dongle.

Alternately, you can buy the Dongle+an HDMI cable for around $50. The price of the pack might sway your choice from Pro to Elite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


2) If not, then do the Xbox 360 component cables have a jack to plug a digital optical cable to the receiver like the original Xbox had?

Yes, they do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


3) Is there much difference in video quality between component cables and HDMI?

Some. How much and how much it matters is strictly up to your eyeballs. Some folks think it makes no difference, others think its a world of difference. The TV makes a difference too, so YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


4) Besides the 120gb hard drive, what is the difference between the Pro and Elite versions?

The HDMI cable and Dongle are bundled-in.

Oh, and the Elite is black instead of frost white.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


5) Is the Elite version a good deal for what it comes with?

One person's bargain is the next guy's ripoff.

Use your judgment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


6) Can the Pro version have an HDMI interface? If not, which 360 have HDMI interface?

All recent manufacture 360's (Arcade, Pro, Elite) come with HDMI and are, in fact, identical. (Except the Elite is black and has black accessories.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531



7) Which ones come with an HDMI cable? Does the 360 use 1.3 HDMI cables? If not, then when?

The Elite comes with the HDMI cable. Saves you all of $3.

Support for HDMI 1.3? Never. Irrelevant anyway.

The 360 doesn't do anything that won't work with HDMI 1.2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


8) Can the Xbox use any HDMI cable or is it a special propietary cable that plugs onlyinto the Xbox?

Generic $3 HDMI cable.

Ditto for the optical cable.

You ever hear of Monoprice.com?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531



9) Why would I need 120gb of storage space on an Xbox? What purpose would it serve?

- Downloadable movies and TV shows.

- XBOX originals downloadable games.

- Live Arcade Games.

- Extending games with DLC

- Demos, videos, themes, gamer pics,

- Ripping your CD collection to the HDD.

- Whatever else MS thinks to offer in the future


If all you want is gaming, the 20GB HDD should suffice.

For that matter, the Arcade with its 256Mb memory card is all that is needed for gaming.

The HDD, whether 20 or 120GB is "merely" convenience. Strictly optional but highly desirable.

Again, its all strictly up to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


10) Do the new Xbox systems still have the "ring of death" or any other issues I should be made aware of? Please list them?

MS says they fixed the overheating issue. And they offer a 3 year warranty in case they're wrong.

Either you trust them or you don't.

If you don't, why would you buy anything from them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


11) What is the difference between the 360 pro and the Halo limited edition version?

The Halo limited Editing is Military Green and gold; the Pro is Ice white and Silver. The elite is black with Silver and the Arcade is all white.

Oh, and the ultimate was an internet rumor based on a delusion. ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


12) Can you plug in an Ipod to get music off of the 360?

For now.

Apple is busily working on firmware updates to stop it. ;-)

Last I heard they'd succeded with the iPhone and iPod touch.

The 360 will play music off any USB mass-storage or MTP-enabled music player. It will play Music, video, and photos off any USB-connected thumbdrive or HDD, or off Optical data disks, or via streaming from PCs and some NAS appliances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


13) Can I transfer movies or music purchased through the marketplace from the 360 to any external harddrive?

Nope.

What comes to XBOX stays in XBOX.

Its part of the deal MS made with the content providers; the content is DRM'ed and tied to the Gamertag *and* the console it was downloaded to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


13) Do I need a cooling fan for one of the new 360s?

You didn't need it for the old ones; they certainly didn't stop some boxes from failing, while plenty of fan-less 360's have never failed.

But if it makes you feel better, go ahead and buy one. It can't hurt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


14) How much do xbox marketplace points cost? What do things cost in the marketplace?

Depends on your country of residence or whether you buy them on sale.

The baseline rate in the US is 400MSPs=$5.00, or 80 MSP/$. Other countries sell them at other prices.

Marketplace prices vary. Prices range up from 80 points.

Common pricing has Arcade games starting at 400 points, TV content at 120, movies at 240, and HD movies at 480. Some stuff will be higher, some lower, and a *lot* of stuff is free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


15) How much free time on Xbox live do you get when purchasing a new 360 system?

30 free Days gold.

Silver is forever free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


16) How much does membership on xbox live cost?

Depends on how, when, and where you buy.

Plenty of deals to be found.

The baseline is US $50 for 13 months, but I've seen it as low as US $30 and occasionaly lower. Check the abundant threads here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


17) What's the difference between Silver and Gold membership?

Gold lets you play against people all over the world and offers occasional extra freebies. Some free demos are available a week earlier for gold members.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


18) What's the best and cheapest way to buying a Gold membership? I've seen those Gold membership packs at the stores offering 12 months of service. Is that cheaper than buying a Gold membership over Xbox live?

Not sure about "best" way; everybody has their own idea. A lot of folks swear by eBay.

Amazon, WalMart, Toys-R-US, Circuit City, and other retailers run occasional great deal bargains.

Buying online gets you convenience at full list price; MS does not often undercut their retailers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531



19) Is it cheaper to buy one of the 12 month membership packs than one of the 3 month live cards I've seen at Target?

Yup.

Buying in bulk is always cheaper.

The best deals are the 12+1 cards when they go on sale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


20) What is the benefit to buying one of those 12 month Gold memberships in the store than buying it online?

Like baby birds, they go cheap, cheap, cheap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


21) Do you need a Gold membership to play friends online on some of those multiplayer games?

After the first 30 days, yes.

Depending on your friends, 30 days might be all you can stomach or it might get you hooked for life.

And its not just for "some of thse multiplayer games"; MS *requires* every game to have an online component, with rare exceptions. (Sometimes it really doesn't make sense, but otherwise...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


22) What other equipment or accessories would you recommend when getting a 360?

- A cheap USB hub.

- An external USB HDD.

- A universal infrared remote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531



23) Does the 360 have a loud drive when playing games?

Define loud.

Loud is in the ear of the beholder. ;-)

Some folks complain, others have no problem.

MS has used no less than 4 suppliers (I think) for the 12X DVD drives. Some are loud, some are quiet. Even the loud ones aren't *always* "loud".

It also depends on where you place the XBOX.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531



24) Does the 360 play 1080p? If not, is Microsoft planning on realeasing a 360 that plays 1080p?

Yes, the 360 can *render* games at 1080p *if* the developer wants to do it. A few bother to do it but most prefer to use the system resources for antialiasing, 60FPS rendering, dynamic lighting effects, and other techniques that actually improve graphic quality.

MS requires a baseline render resolution of 720p unless going lower results in better quality; One publicized example is Halo 3 which renders at a lower resolution because it renders each frame *twice* with two different lighting models and then composites the dual renders into the final frame, which is *harder* to do right than just rendering at high-res and flipping it out.

If what you are concerned is whether the 360 can send data to the TV as a 1080p60 video stream, the answer is, again, yes. The 360 has a built-in hardware scaler chip that allows it to be compatible with pretty much every native resolution in use on SD, ED, and HD TVs and a lot of computer displays (but not 1400 by 900 or 1650 by 1040, at least not yet.)

Friendly hint: worry less about specmanship and a bit more about the gaming experience. XBOX has the latter covered which is why they don't need to talk about their specification checklist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


25) Can the 360 rest flat like the original Xbox? Is that a problem? I have a nice equipment cabinet and a standing 360 would not work.

The 360 is designed to operate fine both ways, but most folks I know set it horizontally. Your experience is apparently different.


The best way to set up the XBOX is directly on a hard shelf. (A friend of mine set it up on top of his cable DVR box that doubled as a convection oven and then wondered why the 360 got so hot. Oddly enough, it didn't RROD on him despite the abuse.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531



26) I read a few days ago about Xbox live issues that closed it down. There was something about it not being able to handle all of the new traffic over the holidays. Is that still an issue?

Apparently not.

Some folks seem to be experiencing sporadic problems but they seem to be customer specific.

The reason for the clogging over the holidays is unclear and we probably wn't know until the stupid lawsuits are dismissed. If this worries you, read the fine print on the contract when you sign up for LIVE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531



27) Are there any new Xbox system being released or upgrades planned for the near future? If so, what are they and when? Why should I get one now rather than later?

MS is working on the third-generation XBOX even as we speak. It is due for release in 2011. If you really want a true next-gen experience you can wait til then. But for current-gen gaming, 360 is as good as it gets. From here on out, any hardware changes MS makes are to drive the manufacturing cost down to fight the price war of 2008.

If the current XBOX price is too high for you, wait a while; it'll reach $200 soon enough.

Or you could spend your time playing MASS EFFECT instead of waiting for future products. ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


28) Can the 360 play HDDVDs out of the box or do you need another piece of equipment to do that?

HD DVD playback is not and never has been a core function for the 360. That is why MS sells an optional, external USB drive for that function. Right now, unless you intend to use the HD DVD add-on with a PC (yes, it also works with PCs) or you have a shortage of HD ports on your display, the add-on is not very cost effective; it is cheaper to simply buy one of the $129 standalone Toshiba HD DVD players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelinic /forum/post/12872531


28) Lastly, why should I get a 360 instead of a PS3? If you think I should get a PS3, let me know why. Does the PS3 play Blu-ray out of the box or do you need to purchase something else?

To be honest, if you need to ask that question you *shouldn't* get a 360; you probably won't be happy with it.


(And yes, the PS3 plays BD-ROMs right out of the box. Sony often bundles movies with the PS3. Games? Not so often. Not sure how good a BD player the PS is--PS features seem to change weekly, often improving, occasionally vanishing--but it is pretty much the *only* BD player you can buy that is guaranteed to keep up with the ever-changing BD profiles/specifications.)


The 360 is about games first, games second, and games third.

If you are about HD movies first you really should look elsewhere. (Toshiba makes a great line of HD DVD players starting at $129, going to $299 for the fully loaded one, and Onkyo has a superb high end model. Or you could check out the Panasonic BD player that should be a great match for your display.


In case you didn't notice, over the holidays, MS wasn't bundling a movie with the 360; they were bundling two-to-five very good games. And, despite all the FUD and bad press about the mythical RROD 360 failures, 360 has actually increased its installed base lead over the competition for that very reason; its all about the games.


People might scream about all the reported failings of the 360 but the screaming stops as soon as the gaming begin.


If you are looking to 360 it should be because you want to play Mass Effect or Halo 3 or Bioshock or EA Sports games at 60fps or GTA IV when it comes out or any of the other 400+ plus games that play on 360.


XBOX 360 is for gamers. Not just hardcore gamers, but rather all kinds of gamers. Hardcare, casual, mature of young. Rhythm game fans and shooter fans all find a home on 360; western RPG fans and jrpg followers all can find plenty to like on 360; sports game players and fighting game fans all can find abundant quality games. Many of which can only be played or are best when played on 360. Yes, the 360 is a superb HD media playback device with more and better media capabilities than any competitor, but that is simply frosting on the cake.


The only good and valid reason to buy a 360 is to play the games.


If that isn't enough, if you're more interested in buzzwords and specmanship, or you need somebody else to convince you it is a good decision, then for your own good, go elsewhere. You really won't be happy with a 360.


On the other hand, if you are more interested in state of the art gaming than what other people say, and are prepared to spend a significant chunk of your lifespan playing games like Mass Effect, Halo, Oblivion, Madden, or Lost Odyssey among many, many others, then go for it.


Just be prepared to spend a lot of time and money; that white box will take over your life if you're not careful.



Life is short, go and have some fun, will you?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres /forum/post/12876915


Don't get used to this, but if it helps you get up to speed on 360. (You do seem to be up-to-date on all the anti-360 FUD out there.) ;-)




Yes, the Elite 360 comes with an adapter Dongle.

Alternately, you can buy the Dongle+an HDMI cable for around $50. The price of the pack might sway your choice from Pro to Elite.




Yes, they do.




Some. How much and how much it matters is strictly up to your eyeballs. Some folks think it makes no difference, others think its a world of difference. The TV makes a difference too, so YMMV.




The HDMI cable and Dongle are bundled-in.

Oh, and the Elite is black instead of frost white.




One person's bargain is the next guy's ripoff.

Use your judgment.




All recent manufacture 360's (Arcade, Pro, Elite) come with HDMI and are, in fact, identical. (Except the Elite is black and has black accessories.)




The Elite comes with the HDMI cable. Saves you all of $3.

Support for HDMI 1.3? Never. Irrelevant anyway.

The 360 doesn't do anything that won't work with HDMI 1.2.




Generic $3 HDMI cable.

Ditto for the optical cable.

You ever hear of Monoprice.com?




- Downloadable movies and TV shows.

- XBOX originals downloadable games.

- Live Arcade Games.

- Extending games with DLC

- Demos, videos, themes, gamer pics,

- Ripping your CD collection to the HDD.

- Whatever else MS thinks to offer in the future


If all you want is gaming, the 20GB HDD should suffice.

For that matter, the Arcade with its 256Mb memory card is all that is needed for gaming.

The HDD, whether 20 or 120GB is "merely" convenience. Strictly optional but highly desirable.

Again, its all strictly up to you.




MS says they fixed the overheating issue. And they offer a 3 year warranty in case they're wrong.

Either you trust them or you don't.

If you don't, why would you buy anything from them?




The Halo limited Editing is Military Green and gold; the Pro is Ice white and Silver. The elite is black with Silver and the Arcade is all white.

Oh, and the ultimate was an internet rumor based on a delusion. ;-)




For now.

Apple is busily working on firmware updates to stop it. ;-)

Last I heard they'd succeded with the iPhone and iPod touch.

The 360 will play music off any USB mass-storage or MTP-enabled music player. It will play Music, video, and photos off any USB-connected thumbdrive or HDD, or off Optical data disks, or via streaming from PCs and some NAS appliances.




Nope.

What comes to XBOX stays in XBOX.

Its part of the deal MS made with the content providers; the content is DRM'ed and tied to the Gamertag *and* the console it was downloaded to.




You didn't need it for the old ones; they certainly didn't stop some boxes from failing, while plenty of fan-less 360's have never failed.

But if it makes you feel better, go ahead and buy one. It can't hurt.




Depends on your country of residence or whether you buy them on sale.

The baseline rate in the US is 400MSPs=$5.00, or 80 MSP/$. Other countries sell them at other prices.

Marketplace prices vary. Prices range up from 80 points.

Common pricing has Arcade games starting at 400 points, TV content at 120, movies at 240, and HD movies at 480. Some stuff will be higher, some lower, and a *lot* of stuff is free.




30 free Days gold.

Silver is forever free.




Depends on how, when, and where you buy.

Plenty of deals to be found.

The baseline is US $50 for 13 months, but I've seen it as low as US $30 and occasionaly lower. Check the abundant threads here.




Gold lets you play against people all over the world and offers occasional extra freebies. Some free demos are available a week earlier for gold members.




Not sure about "best" way; everybody has their own idea. A lot of folks swear by eBay.

Amazon, WalMart, Toys-R-US, Circuit City, and other retailers run occasional great deal bargains.

Buying online gets you convenience at full list price; MS does not often undercut their retailers.




Yup.

Buying in bulk is always cheaper.

The best deals are the 12+1 cards when they go on sale.




Like baby birds, they go cheap, cheap, cheap.




After the first 30 days, yes.

Depending on your friends, 30 days might be all you can stomach or it might get you hooked for life.

And its not just for "some of thse multiplayer games"; MS *requires* every game to have an online component, with rare exceptions. (Sometimes it really doesn't make sense, but otherwise...)




- A cheap USB hub.

- An external USB HDD.

- A universal infrared remote.




Define loud.

Loud is in the ear of the beholder. ;-)

Some folks complain, others have no problem.

MS has used no less than 4 suppliers (I think) for the 12X DVD drives. Some are loud, some are quiet. Even the loud ones aren't *always* "loud".

It also depends on where you place the XBOX.




Yes, the 360 can *render* games at 1080p *if* the developer wants to do it. A few bother to do it but most prefer to use the system resources for antialiasing, 60FPS rendering, dynamic lighting effects, and other techniques that actually improve graphic quality.

MS requires a baseline render resolution of 720p unless going lower results in better quality; One publicized example is Halo 3 which renders at a lower resolution because it renders each frame *twice* with two different lighting models and then composites the dual renders into the final frame, which is *harder* to do right than just rendering at high-res and flipping it out.

If what you are concerned is whether the 360 can send data to the TV as a 1080p60 video stream, the answer is, again, yes. The 360 has a built-in hardware scaler chip that allows it to be compatible with pretty much every native resolution in use on SD, ED, and HD TVs and a lot of computer displays (but not 1400 by 900 or 1650 by 1040, at least not yet.)

Friendly hint: worry less about specmanship and a bit more about the gaming experience. XBOX has the latter covered which is why they don't need to talk about their specification checklist.




The 360 is designed to operate fine both ways, but most folks I know set it horizontally. Your experience is apparently different.


The best way to set up the XBOX is directly on a hard shelf. (A friend of mine set it up on top of his cable DVR box that doubled as a convection oven and then wondered why the 360 got so hot. Oddly enough, it didn't RROD on him despite the abuse.)




Apparently not.

Some folks seem to be experiencing sporadic problems but they seem to be customer specific.

The reason for the clogging over the holidays is unclear and we probably wn't know until the stupid lawsuits are dismissed. If this worries you, read the fine print on the contract when you sign up for LIVE.




MS is working on the third-generation XBOX even as we speak. It is due for release in 2011. If you really want a true next-gen experience you can wait til then. But for current-gen gaming, 360 is as good as it gets. From here on out, any hardware changes MS makes are to drive the manufacturing cost down to fight the price war of 2008.

If the current XBOX price is too high for you, wait a while; it'll reach $200 soon enough.

Or you could spend your time playing MASS EFFECT instead of waiting for future products. ;-)




HD DVD playback is not and never has been a core function for the 360. That is why MS sells an optional, external USB drive for that function. Right now, unless you intend to use the HD DVD add-on with a PC (yes, it also works with PCs) or you have a shortage of HD ports on your display, the add-on is not very cost effective; it is cheaper to simply buy one of the $129 standalone Toshiba HD DVD players.




To be honest, if you need to ask that question you *shouldn't* get a 360; you probably won't be happy with it.


(And yes, the PS3 plays BD-ROMs right out of the box. Sony often bundles movies with the PS3. Games? Not so often. Not sure how good a BD player the PS is--PS features seem to change weekly, often improving, occasionally vanishing--but it is pretty much the *only* BD player you can buy that is guaranteed to keep up with the ever-changing BD profiles/specifications.)


The 360 is about games first, games second, and games third.

If you are about HD movies first you really should look elsewhere. (Toshiba makes a great line of HD DVD players starting at $129, going to $299 for the fully loaded one, and Onkyo has a superb high end model. Or you could check out the Panasonic BD player that should be a great match for your display.


In case you didn't notice, over the holidays, MS wasn't bundling a movie with the 360; they were bundling two-to-five very good games. And, despite all the FUD and bad press about the mythical RROD 360 failures, 360 has actually increased its installed base lead over the competition for that very reason; its all about the games.


People might scream about all the reported failings of the 360 but the screaming stops as soon as the gaming begin.


If you are looking to 360 it should be because you want to play Mass Effect or Halo 3 or Bioshock or EA Sports games at 60fps or GTA IV when it comes out or any of the other 400+ plus games that play on 360.


XBOX 360 is for gamers. Not just hardcore gamers, but rather all kinds of gamers. Hardcare, casual, mature of young. Rhythm game fans and shooter fans all find a home on 360; western RPG fans and jrpg followers all can find plenty to like on 360; sports game players and fighting game fans all can find abundant quality games. Many of which can only be played or are best when played on 360. Yes, the 360 is a superb HD media playback device with more and better media capabilities than any competitor, but that is simply frosting on the cake.


The only good and valid reason to buy a 360 is to play the games.


If that isn't enough, if you're more interested in buzzwords and specmanship, or you need somebody else to convince you it is a good decision, then for your own good, go elsewhere. You really won't be happy with a 360.


On the other hand, if you are more interested in state of the art gaming than what other people say, and are prepared to spend a significant chunk of your lifespan playing games like Mass Effect, Halo, Oblivion, Madden, or Lost Odyssey among many, many others, then go for it.


Just be prepared to spend a lot of time and money; that white box will take over your life if you're not careful.



Life is short, go and have some fun, will you?

fjtorres - that had to be a monsterous PITA to respond point by point but I appreciate your patience and info.
 

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6) All 360s have HDMI now.


5) I bought a regular 20GB model myself. Even though it has HDMI out, I don't really care about HDMI, so I didn't need the Toslink dongle. Plus, 20GB really is enough for most uses. No matter how much space you have, you will use it all.



4) Black, dongle.


3) Depends on the TV. Your Panasonic should give you just about an equal picture out of either connection.


2) Yup.


1) Afformentioned dongle.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres /forum/post/12876915


Don't get used to this, but if it helps you get up to speed on 360. (You do seem to be up-to-date on all the anti-360 FUD out there.) ;-)


---snip---

and the award for 'Going Beyond the Call Of Duty' goes to .... fjtorres..


That was impressive, no wonder you are a 'special avs member'. Great job.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuss /forum/post/12881935


and the award for 'Going Beyond the Call Of Duty' goes to .... fjtorres..


That was impressive, no wonder you are a 'special avs member'. Great job.

LOL!

You do know that the "status" tags are just an indicator of longevity, right? All it means I've hung around these parts a couple years too long.
 
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