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Xbox 360 Premium

Reviewing: Xbox 360 Premium Console  |  Rating:
James Ritchie By James Ritchie on
Badge: Author | Level: 3 | Gaming Expertise:
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Imagine a console so compelling that seriously flawed design processes couldn't prevent it from going gangbusters, and you've pretty much hit the nail on the proverbial head when describing the Xbox 360. Microsoft's second consumer console is the successor to the original Xbox, a bulky, awkward behemoth of a machine that did reasonably well in an industry that has come to be dominated by Japanese companies Sony and Nintendo. The Xbox 360 has an impressive stats list - a triple core CPU and 512 mb GPU supply the unit with plenty of grunt. The format of choice for games is dual-layer DVD's which can store as much as 9 GB of game data, while a (however pricey) HD-DVD allows the console to play high definition discs with capacity in excess of 15 gb (ranging to a current cap of 30).

The first thing one notices about the system is the size of the power brick - while the main 360 unit itself is rather petite (or at least, petite in comparison with its forefather), this is offset with a power supply that is anything but inconspicuous. The aesthetic design of the system is clean, chic and appealing; the non-Elite models come in a plain white finish, whilst their 120 GB brothers come in black. Overall, visually, it is a well-designed console.

The niggling point that prevents the Xbox 360 from truly achieving its maximum potential is what has been referred to as 'the red ring of death.' Somewhere in the planning phases, the Microsoft engineers failed to properly ponder the intricacies of such a complex and powerful system, and the result is a hot-running, fast-failing and downright crappy 360. While Microsoft has recently taken steps to rectify this (at their own expense), the fact that they denied the prolific nature of the problem and their own role in creating it reflects poorly on the respectability of both the company, and the product.

However, while I have myself suffered this fate, the moments I have shared with my 360 have been immensely enjoyable. The range of titles that I have sampled include uber-hit Gears of War, to frivolous platformer Kameo. The HD visuals are mind-blowing, and the multiplayer experiences are unparalleled (Xbox Live is a pay-for-play online network that provides Arcade-style games, videos and communication at a reasonable rate). The controller is (arguably) the best of any console to date.

In summation, the XBox 360 is an enjoyable, if seriously flawed console that caters to all tastes.