XBox 360, Better Late Than Never

XBox 360

Well I finally got my hands on an XBox 360. While I’m sure I could have gotten one earlier if I wanted to pay up or go through more effort, I’ve been just checking in periodically with the Emeryville Best Buy and yesterday they had a premium unit and I bought it.

My intention in buying an XBox 360 was largely to use it for the extender technology. My home is currently being rewired with my Cat 6 network and I’ll end up with five TVs in the house. I’ll have TVs in my living room, home theater (in the attic), bedroom, kitchen and guest bedroom (no in room TV for the kids) and XBox 360 will be the thin client technology to pipe my media into each of these 5 TVs from my Media Center PC which resides in my home office up in the attic (once I can get a CableCARD approved Vista PC). My intention in buying an XBox 360 was not to use it for gaming as I’ve never been much of a gamer but instead to try it out for planned deployment in my media scheme as indicated above.

So my thoughts so far after about 12 hours of screwing around with the XBox 360?

1. It’s louder than I thought it would be and this is a bit of a negative. I think I’ll still be able to live with it and will get used to it, but it is louder than my HP873N Media Center PC.

2. I didn’t care for the cabling to connect it to your sound system and monitor. The audio and video cables can’t be separated and for those of us with home theater sound systems away from our plasmas on the wall, the cabling is not optimal. I’m assuming I can buy component extensions to put on the existing cabling to get the reach I need (if anyone can confirm this that would be great).

3. It could not be easier to set up.

4. I thought I was going to have no use for the games and I can see now that I was very very wrong about that. I bought two games with the unit, Project Gotham Racing 3 and Kameo Element of Power and they are simply amazing — breathtaking really. The HDTV graphics, the realism, the design and action. I’m sure I will be buying lots of new games for my XBox given how fantastic of a gaming experience it seems to be. Looks like I may have a little bit of gamer in me after all. The wireless controllers are great as well.

Overall I’m pretty happy with the unit but have not begin to put it through any testing at all as an extender unit. I also haven’t experimented around with the live stuff yet. I haven’t had time as I can’t quite seem to put PGR3 down. Anyone have any other suggestions on what games I should buy next?

Microsoft indeed has a hit on their hands. I hope to write up more substantive observations on the unit in the future.

Update: Also just bought Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland Game. Looks like Call of Duty might be next.