Xbox 360 early review/hands-on

Friday, October 28, 2005

Today I was one of the few and very lucky to get some alone time with the 360. Overall I was impressed, but despite how badly I wanted to be, I was not blown away. I spent about an hour digging through every option, demo and movie I could, trying very hard to keep an open and analytical mind about what I was looking at.

Lets start with the good stuff. The new controller is excellent they have slightly improved the feel and the design is a thing of beauty. The menu is system is also very good, it is fast and well thought out. Being able to access stuff mid game via the side bar is a really great innovation.

I must say I am confused by Microsoft's choices in demo titles. I mean Kameo, while its sort of neat is a kids game, King Kong is a movie tie-in and Call of Duty 2 is a PC port. Why not let us see Perfect Dark 2 or PGR3, these are supposed to be the flag ship titles. None of them in my opinion really show case the power and strengths of the system. I spent the most time on COD2, and it was during this time that the hopes and dreams that the MS hype machine had built into my brain began to crack and crumble. Anyone who is hoping that the Xbox 360 will let them play games that run just like they do on a top of the line PC is in for a rude awakening. I installed COD2 on my PC (3ghz 1.5 gb Ram and a 6800 GT ultra) earlier this week and played about 6 hours of it, so I am able to make a fair comparison. Compared to the way it runs on my PC COD2 looks like ass on a 360. I could not believe it when it first loaded, but I could not deny what I was seeing, jaggies (lots of them) sub par textures and poor lighting. I am hoping this was just a rushed port, but my anticipation is down a bit after today (although I will still be inline on the 22nd with the rest of you nerds).

Now before I get flamed right off the internets let me state the following.
1) I realize the demos are 1st gen titles and 1st gen titles never look as good as latter games in a systems life cycle
2) I am not a Playstation zealot. I don't even have a PS2 and have no plans to buy a PS3 when it comes out

I know its still to early to pass a final judgment and I am hoping that when I finally get to play some other 360 games I will be blown away. All I am saying here is that I was really excited to see what the 360 was like in real life and I walked away a little disappointed. This is just one guys opinion, if you have the chance check the ever growing lists of demo sites in the comments section on joystiq and check it out for yourself.

Holy Crap!! it is like a street fight up in this comments section. I am getting spammed like mad right now, so I have to approve each comment. So there might be a delay, but I would never censor anybody.

Thanks for reading!