The Xbox 360. It's quite a piece of game machinery. The Xbox 360 is the 2nd generation of Xbox systems and shows notable improvements from its predacessor, the original Xbox. Notably, it's slimmer, has a 20gb hard drive, wireless controls and a plethora of games and accessories. The system supports high definition gaming in 1080i or 720p, which is good. It also supports HD DVD with the add on accessory but in case you probably haven't known, HD DVD is now a dead platform in the format wars and Blu Ray is the victor.
There are also various versions of the 360. Theres' the Core/Arcade, Pro/Premium, and Elite. The main differences really are that Core/Arcade don't have a 20gb hard drive nor wireless controllers while the Pro/Premium do. The Elite however is the most expensive model being that it's a fancy black model and has a 120gb hard drive. There's also the Halo 3 version of the system but I'm assuming that it was limited edition and is no longer being made.
What to look out for
Right now, the Xbox 360 has the highest fail rate of all the systems, including the Sony Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. It's percentage rate as of late is 33%. Why? Supposedly, Microsoft used crappy, cheap heatsinks in the system to ship them out faster than the PS3. With that, comes overheating issues. Beyond that, there was a variety of disc read errors. If you go to any gaming site, it's often referred to as the Red Ring of Death. When you get that, you're system is pretty much dead.
However, this should be less common nowadays because with their newer models, they replaced the heatsinks, replaced the 90mm chip processor with a smaller, much more efficient running 65mm chip processor as well as shrinking the size of the power prick from 220w to 175w so it consumes less power. The change started as of June of 2007 so if you bought a system past that date, lucky you. If not, then here's a couple suggestions. One, do not ever, ever put the power brick right BEHIND the system or put it in a tight place. It will have an extremely hard time to dissipate heat and you will just earn yourself a dead xbox, unless that's what you're aiming for. Two, use rubber feet and place it horizontally. Using rubber feet will create a bit more gap underneath WHEN placed horizontally and it will dissipate the heat a lot better. If it's placed vertically, you are blocking one of the vents and therefore, you guessed it, heat. Third rule? Pray, and hope you're warranty isn't over and Murphy's Law doesn't tear you a new one. With all these precautions, I played Call of Duty 4 for 7 hours straight with no hiccups. Only casualty was suffering a major headache.
Also, for you AV freaks, the system before that major hardware update, it could only support VGA or Component input. On the new model, you have the option of HDMI. If you have a system that only has component, don't freak. As long as you're TV supports 1080p over component, you're fine.
-A plethora of AAA gaming titles
-Xbox Live Dashboard interface is easy to use
-Overall online experience is great, a lot of people to play with.
-Able to download games, movies and other media
-High failure rate
-Not as good as a media hub as PS3
-Can't double up as a DVD player with the death of HD DVD
-Fans can be noisy when in overdrive
-Online use requires a subscription(You have to pay for it.)
That's all there is to it. Now, it all comes down to you, the consumer. What will you plan to do most with the gaming system, and what is you're current TV setup? If you love gaming, and gaming only then this system is for you. Whenever that game you want is a multiplatform game, it's going to be developed on the 360 first then ported to the rest. The system will have it's 1000th game by this June. I'm pretty sure that's self explanatory. However, if you're looking for a more media capable system and double up as a Blu Ray DVD player, then go for a PS3. However, it doesn't have as many AAA titles RIGHT NOW, but coming April and June it will shine.
The choice is yours.