Ooo! The helmets are all shiny!
August 15, 2006 10:29 AM   Subscribe

I've got some birthday cash burning a hole in my pocket, and I have to ask. Is the XBOX 360 worth it?

With Madden 2007 coming in a week, I was going to grab a copy for my PS2, but with a little extra cash in my pocket, that 360 is getting tempting. Better graphics, live roster updates, hard drive for saving franchises, XBL and so on.

I don't have an HDTV yet, but I will likely be looking for one next year, so it's not much of an issue. The other temptation has been the release of Street Fighter 2 on XBLA, which has added just that little extra twist on my arm...

So, any MeFis out there with 360s care to comment on their purchase? Have you regretted it, or should I take the plunge?
posted by WinnipegDragon to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (38 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have no regrets (well, one minor one*) about my Xbox 360 purchase. I don't play on Xbox Live, either. I just really enjoy the titles they have available. Right now I'm playing the heck out of Amped 3 and love the chaotic, Pee-wee Herman-style animated cut scenes.

Whatever you do, buy the premium system vs. the core.

*I wish backwards compatibility were better. There are too many good Xbox titles that do not play at all on the 360.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:36 AM on August 15, 2006

I recently broke down and bought an xbox 360 simply so I could play the $5 downloadable game Geometry Wars Evolved, and totally felt the investment was worth it for that game alone, and I just have a regular, albiet large, TV. The improved media capabilities of the 360 are a bonus, though it's not without issues (media center doesn't work well with network drives that require security).
posted by nomisxid at 10:39 AM on August 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

Without an HDTV you really won't notice that much of an improvement in game play experience over a regular XBox. But I have a feeling you'll get one anyways--so enjoy!!! And don't worry, you will definitely not have regrets.
posted by reformedjerk at 10:40 AM on August 15, 2006

Is it worth it to wait for the PS/3? I'm kinda in the same boat as the original poster.

Will the PS/3 release cause Xbox360 prices to go down? I never liked the Xbox (mainly the controls), so I stuck with my PS/2.
posted by stovenator at 10:43 AM on August 15, 2006

Keep in mind the PS3 is only 3 months away (Nov. 17), and judging by the expected price points, you'd better start saving up for it.

On the whole, I'd say my XB360 was not worth the money. Yes, the graphics (particularly in HD) are nice, as are the extra little features, but there is a serious lack of good games that I'm interested in playing. (Geometry Wars twisted my arm. Yes, it was fun. Probably not $400 fun.) It didn't help that both the hard drive and the main unit had to be replaced under warranty on separate occasions. Also, don't forget to factor in the cost of the XBL subscription.
posted by trevyn at 10:48 AM on August 15, 2006

I'm a big game fan (own or have owned all of the current systems), but there is no way I'm spending $599 on a PS3.

I'm sure the 360 will go down in price, but their $399 Premium system looks like a bargain compared to $599, so it would surprise me if they cut the price before Christmas unless driven by the Wii.

If you haunt the forums at Cheap Ass Gamer, you should be able to find a deal on a 360 Premium eventually. I bought mine for $360.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:48 AM on August 15, 2006

My boyfriend got one and our PS2 has been sitting unloved ever since.

We play a lot of the online arcade games.
posted by k8t at 10:49 AM on August 15, 2006

Once you get the 360, you are definitely going to end up wanting an HDTV too. I would start saving up for that too.
posted by elvissa at 10:55 AM on August 15, 2006

The games have disappointed me. I had Oblivion and Call of Duty 2 for the computer so the bigger launch titles did not really touch me. Fight Night was incredibly fun for a few months. Geometry Wars is awesome, especially on a huge HD TV. I'm more of a simple gamer and I don't like having to actually work to play a game (the exception being the football games, I usually cheat on Oblivion and use it as just a playground of pretty graphics). I don't have live as something about paying more money to pay money to download games doesn't interest me yet. The most use my XBOX360 gets is from the broken DVD player it replaces. I hope the upcoming games will be better but of all the friends I have that own it agree that it has been a pretty crappy launch.

On a side note, it seems that the only thing that's really interested me is the Geometry Wars 2 inside PGR. Is there a way to make the XBOX360 a MAME emulator like they did for the original XBOX? If so it would make the purchase of the 360 worth it.
posted by geoff. at 10:57 AM on August 15, 2006

I'm very happy with my 360 purchase. The best games so far have been Oblivion, Marble Blast Ultra (arcade), and Dead Rising.
posted by Diddly at 11:11 AM on August 15, 2006

Don't get it for SF2. It doesn't compare to the old school arcade/console versions.

Instead, pick up a cheap Dreamcast if you enjoy 2d fighters. I'd still get the 360, also...
posted by Loto at 11:14 AM on August 15, 2006

the xbox360 has been the greatest decision of my life. i love it . i love it. i love it.

That said, I would not buy it for Madden 07 just yet. I have Madden 06 for the system, and it sucks, not nearly the same gameplay as the xbox or ps2 versions. I thought NCAA 07 would have all the glitches figured out, but it's still missing some features. I'm wondering if Madden 07 is going to be the same way.

I wouldn't wait for the PS3 because it's going to be crazy expensive, and I don't know the availability of it. It may be like the Xbox and you may have to scour for a few months before you finally get it. I think graphically, it's going to be a wash between the two systems, and I think the Xbox will, in the long run have more titles (simply because it's easier to port from PC to Xbox than it is PC to PS3).

As far as graphics go, there's a noticeable improvement, and I don't have an HD. Many of the early gen games (like NBA 2k6 for instance) were merely ports, so they look the same, but the newer ones are unbelievable. I've had friends walk into my apartment while I'm playing fight night or topspin and get totally confused b/c they thought it was real.
posted by unexpected at 11:32 AM on August 15, 2006

If there's enough interest I'd be vaguely open to working on a PC clone. The game looks like the kind of thing I'd enjoy.

The one game I played on 360 was PGR3, and the graphics kicked major, major ass, esp on the huge HD projector we were using. I almost bought one after playing this, but I couldn't really justify spending that much for basically a single game. I would never be able to get used to playing an FPS on a console though, so if I were to get one, my guess is it'll be a gamecube or PS2 (cheap!). Unless the 360 comes down a lot in price, its still not worth it compared to PC gaming, imo.
posted by devilsbrigade at 11:39 AM on August 15, 2006

PC clone of Geometry Wars Evolved, that is. I thought it was in better context in the thread.
posted by devilsbrigade at 11:39 AM on August 15, 2006

In your case, it's a tough call. The XBLA version of Street Fighter was panned in some circles because the lag associated with online playing led to timeouts, and general unplayableness. YMMV on this though, as it is largely connection dependent.

XBLA is quite good though. There are a large variety of different genres, both retro and new. It's easy, almost too easy to buy games off live and download them to your hard drive.

XBL itself is good, but you really need a large amount of likeminded people to play with. Public games largely consist of foul mouthed 12 year olds who quit at the first sign that they will lose. It gets really tiresome to hear a high pitched voice saying over and over that he will "*^&% your mom".

Many of the launch games were barely better than the previous generation's counterparts. Especially with EA. It's gotten better, as the 360 has gotten a solid stable of original titles like Dead Rising, and Oblivion.

I would suggest you wait until Madden is released, and then check the reviews from various sites, and then make your call.
posted by zabuni at 11:42 AM on August 15, 2006

I have a 360 and do not regret buying it, even though I go through cycles of using it for little more than a DVD player and OMG-Must-PLay-Now-Die-Daedra-Die!

Dead Rising and Chromehounds are on my list to play (I own Chromehounds, but a whim purchase of Prey completely distracted me from it ).

I have little interest in the cost or imagined hassle of a PS3. besides, the GTA games (the main reason I bought a PS2) will be out for the 360.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:53 AM on August 15, 2006

My roommate's boyfriend bought a 360 and has had it living at my house for the last four or five months, and I've never regretted it.

Dead rising is great, as is Rockstar's Table Tennis, but you really have to pick it up for Oblivion, which is simply one of the greatest games ever made. It will take your life away from you. (And I've never even been an RPG fan. This is different. This is different. This is like GTA: Middle Earth, but much better than that sounds.)

Seriously, though. Pick it up. You'll love it.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:25 PM on August 15, 2006

You can have my XBox 360 and my copy of Ghost Recon when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers.
posted by theinsectsarewaiting at 12:28 PM on August 15, 2006

If you're picking it up for Oblivion, you can get it for PC and find much better, much cheaper mods for it.

Chromehounds, however, I'm assured is worth the price of the system itself. Geometry Wars is for a fact.

Myself, I'm saving all my monies for a Wii...
posted by Imperfect at 12:33 PM on August 15, 2006

Response by poster: Wow, I honestly expected a lot more negative comments, but I'm not sure why that is...

I'm also a heavy-duty PC Gamer, so Oblivion and CoD2 are already on my shelf. I'm also used to the 12 year olds from countless hours of CS and CS: Source, so no problem there.

I had heard about the issues with Madden 06 on the XB360, but I would imagine that they won't make the same mistake twice... I will be holding off until the first reviews are in either way.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:39 PM on August 15, 2006

I have a 360, and I'm prety meh about it. The really great games are all on PC too, so I generally buy them there. The whole system is designed to nickel-and-dime you to death. Buying the game package is just the beginning, they're gonna be trying to sell you all kinds of extra crap to go with it. It irritates me a very great deal... it's a way of raising prices and delivering even less content than they already do. (see also: Episode 1 on Steam.)

The complete games on XBL can be cool, though. Geometry Wars is WELL worth $5.

Dead Rising is just out, and it's pretty good... you're adventuring through a giant mall jam-packed full of zombies, and you can pick up a tremendous number of different things to use as weapons. There's an amazing number of different animations and ways to kill them, and the system is able to handle what looks like north of a hundred zombies at a time. There's ultimately a story, but I think the idea is mostly just to kill lots and lots of zombies. :)

I think by Christmas the 360 might be starting to deliver on its promise, but right now, especially if you don't have an HDTV, it's mostly just more of the same stuff from XBox1, with new chrome plating. Oblivion, though, is REALLY GREAT, if you don't have it on the PC already.

As far as waiting for the PS3 goes.... Bill Harris over at Dubious Quality is calling the PS3 the Yamato. It really has the stench of death about it... Sony is literally lying themselves blue whenever they talk about it. For instance, they just claimed that there are over 100 Blu-ray movies out, when in actual fact, there are about 25... and there will be about 55 by October. Sony appears to think that if you're gonna lie, you might as well do it up right. They also claim, in the same breath, that 'over 10,000 dev units have shipped'. This seems.... unlikely.

It's late, the specs have been remarkably fluid, and they're trying to be all things to all people. They're making extravagant promises that I'm nearly certain they won't be able to fulfill.

Sony's trying to use it to push Blu-Ray, so it costs too much as a game system. But even their $600 price point means they're going to be losing big bucks.... some estimates put the build cost at north of $1k/unit. You can BET the peripherals are gonna be pricey. And they won't be able to move enough volume at $600 to hit critical mass. The first run will sell out, guaranteed, but sales will never again be very good. It just costs too much.

Sony's desire to push Blu-Ray means, I think, that both the console AND Blu-Ray will fail. The combo looks likely to be yet another gigantic Sony faceplant. They do a lot of that.

Nintendo's new system, the unfortunately-named Wii, looks extremely good. It's not HD, so you don't need a big expensive TV to really enjoy one. And it has a very cool new controller, a remote that you can wave around in the air, and the system knows exactly where it is and what direction it's pointed. I think fishing games are pretty much a given, but there's also talk of lightsaber games from Lucasarts. The new Metroid uses the controller to grab and move things in the environment. And they have demos of table tennis, where you actually swing your arm to hit the ball, and 'lightgun' games, where you use it as an aiming device to shoot the bad guys.

The Wii, in other words, looks FUN, which both Microsoft and Sony seem to have forgotten somewhere.

From a couple of subtle hints, it loks like it may ship in early October. If you can hang on that long, you may be glad you did.
posted by Malor at 12:40 PM on August 15, 2006

It's weird. I'm kind of meh about the whole thing too right now, but I don't regret the purchase. I bought CoD 2 and PGR3 when I got it and both of those games were a ton of fun. I also finally set up surround sound, so CoD was even more of an annoyance for my wife and dog. A few months later, I play the crap out of some XBL games but nothing on store shelves speaks to me. And I think that may be because I can go online through the machine and download demos of the games. It's probably saved me $50-$150 so far, so they may want to cool it with letting me know things like Saint's Row are crap. OTOH, I probably will pick up R*'s Table Tennis because of the demo. And I have spent $30 or $40 on small Arcade games like Mutant Storm (which I like better than Geometry Wars) and Zuma.
posted by yerfatma at 12:49 PM on August 15, 2006

I'm not in total love with mine, but PGR3 kicks major, major ass - especially on Live. The entire game and system purchase was worth it for the Nurburgring alone. I definitely want an HDTV now. I rented COD2 but I have it for my PC and the controller feels really clumsy compared to the keyboard-and-mouse combo on the PC, which allows me to spread large amounts of death upon my fellow 12-year olds.

Definitely buy the premium. I bought the core, and ended up buying the hard drive for it after the fact.
posted by jimmythefish at 1:03 PM on August 15, 2006

I think it's worth it. I just got mine a week ago, and have been loving all the Live Arcade games and Dead Rising. I too have a good a PC, so I didn't pick up Oblivion. If you're willing to wait, you may want to pick up a Wii this season instead. The 360 is enough like a PC to make it questionable for a heavy PC gamer. Oh, and the PS3 is right out, unless you really like japanese games. It's way more expensive and not particularly more powerful than the 360.
posted by JZig at 1:30 PM on August 15, 2006

I love mine. One thing I really like is being able to download and play demos from XBL Marketplace for just about every 360 game out there for free. The demos are extensive enough to give you a reasonable picture of the game play. It really cuts down on buying games that are lemons.
posted by Arch_Stanton at 1:36 PM on August 15, 2006

I like mine but wouldn't call it "love" yet. "Love" comes after it gets cracked and then can be modded with a bigger HDD, non DRM encumbered media player, emulators, etc. etc.

Call of Duty 2, Oblivion and PGR3 are not to be missed. Halo 2 in 720P is great if you're a Halo fan. I agree with earlier posters that the system is at its best when viewed over HDTV; it's hard to see anything special when played on a standard TV.

Xbox live doesn't have to be a wasteland of immaturity. To build up a friends list of non-screaming players, check out these two sites:
posted by de void at 1:52 PM on August 15, 2006

I have a high end gaming pc and have decided to skip a console purchase until there is a game that I *need*.

I think it really depends on the kind of games you enjoy. You can play Madden and basically any version of SF ever on your pc, not to mention almost any big sports game that comes out. I have given up on console shooters since I would rather play a pc shooter any day.

For me, the two things that might get me to purchase a next gen console will be fighting games and party games. Fighting games traditionally are console only, and all the good ones are on playstation (please don't mention DOA as a good fightter...). Party games are unique because you can play them with a decently diverse group of friends and everyone has a good time. These games will almost exclusively be a Wii thing, so I may have to cave and get one.

Ultimately, you should get the platform that has the games you want to play!
posted by utsutsu at 2:08 PM on August 15, 2006

Okay. I've never, ever, wanted to buy a console. But if the Wii comes out with a lightsaber game (Knights of the old republic 4), I am SO there.

Particularly if there's a glove attachement for your off hand, so you can execute force powers without pressing a button.....

Excuse me, can someone hand me a towel?
posted by coriolisdave at 3:10 PM on August 15, 2006

I bought the XBox and a 37" LCD TV within a month of playing Geometry Wars at a friend's house.

MS' XBox division is doing some cool stuff; they seem to be in a better headspace than the rest of MS. I wish there were more games, but the arcade and Burnout are enough for me at the moment.
posted by o2b at 3:13 PM on August 15, 2006

I chose to get an original xbox over a 360 a couple of months ago, but modded with a 250gig hd. I use it for Xbox Media Centre more than games though.
posted by chrissyboy at 3:49 PM on August 15, 2006

XBOX 360 in HD rules!!!!!!!!
Let me clarify some comments.
1.There is an adaptor to use a PS2 controller on an xbox if you can't conform to the xbox controller s.
2.Xbox Live is $50-$60 a year.
3.You can mute the 12 year olds if you wish or simply avoid them.
4. is another site
5.Madden 06 was a port AND it was rushed by EA Sports, not Microsoft. That's why it doesn't include the same content as the Xbox or Sony versions.
6.EA also will not let their games be backward compatible. I have both versions of Battlefield because of this even thought they are the same game. In HD, it's incredible. I had to buy it after playing the demo, the xbox version didn't do it justice.
posted by phox at 5:32 PM on August 15, 2006

I personally am waiting for the Wii. Nintendo always do an awesome job with their multiplayer games, and the price tag is ony about half of the XBOX360/PS3. The controller looks like a helluva lot of fun as well. :]
posted by cholly at 7:25 PM on August 15, 2006

Remember kids, buying both the 360 and Wii is comparable in price for buying just a PS3...
posted by slimepuppy at 2:44 AM on August 16, 2006

After having playing Obilvion on PC, I'm finding that Oblivion on the 360 is a vastly more enjoyable experience. Getting OB to run on my PC was a pain in the ass, and once I switched to an HD TV/monitor, running OB on my PC was out of the question. 1368x720 is just not kind to my video card or my computer, but the 360 does splendidly.

XBLive is awesome. I've always been one of those microsoft haters, but after hooking up my 360, I've changed my mind. It's one of the slickest products I've ever seen. You can download game trailers and demos. Again: you can download DEMOS to your console. Want to know if Dead Rising is to your liking before you buy? Download the demo. There are demos for MOST 360 games. The arcade is awesome, also done demo style. Download Galaga, Pac Man, or Geometry wars. If you like them - you pay somewhere between $4 and $8 to play them forever. Think about how many quarters you wasted on Galaga and Pac Man in arcade and you see how good a deal that is.

Anyway: look at the games available, then decide. Do want to play Obilvion, NeedforSpeed, PGR, GRAW, Table Tennis, Dead Rising, Chromehounds or one of those sports game? Then you probably want a 360.
posted by jaded at 6:10 AM on August 16, 2006

Yay 360! (I'm biased though.)

I've pretty much been playing Dead Rising for the last 3 days straight. It's the second best game for the 360.
posted by blenderfish at 2:04 AM on August 17, 2006

I wish to change my comment. I just signed up for XBOX Live! and bought Dead Rising. Yeah the console is worth it. You can connect your iPod so it will go through the dolby digital instead of teh 1/8"->component AND control the playlists through the remote -- which I did not know I could do before since I always went straight into the game. I can also stream things through MCE. If you have the right setup it is awesome.
posted by geoff. at 1:17 PM on August 17, 2006

Follow-up: Dead Rising seems like a lot of fun (though I've lost about 6 hours due to not saving like I should). And the iPod integration is cool. I forgot about that. Then again, mentioning how nicely the iPod integrates with the Xbox 360 is unbearably white. And not just 'cause of the respective cases.
posted by yerfatma at 7:36 PM on August 18, 2006

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