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33 Consoles of Christmas
Microsoft Xbox 360 (2005)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 23, 2006   |   Episode 31 (Show Archive)  

   
It's time once again for Defunct Games' 33 Consoles of Christmas, your 33 part guide to the best and worst system designs of all time. Join Cyril Lachel and Chad Reinhardt as they judge 33 different game consoles based on what they think of the look. Forget about actual hardware and software, the only thing these guys care about is talking about their exterior design. Join us every day between November 23 and December 25 for a new console review!


Synopsis: This time around Microsoft decided to buck the trend, they opted to release their system a full year before Nintendo and Sony in hopes of riding a wave of early adopters. This seems to have worked to Microsoft's favor as they are now able to promote graphically superior titles like Gears of War to the masses unable to find a Wii or PlayStation 3. It's probably still too early to sum up the Xbox 360 experience in a brief paragraph, but if there's anything worth talking about then it's probably the enhancements to the Xbox Live service. Microsoft's online support is the one thing that continues to set them apart from all of the other competitors out there. Whether this will be enough to keep the Xbox 360 on top has yet to be seen.

Best Games: Gears of War, Dead Rising, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Call of Duty 2, Rainbow Six: Vegas and Rockstar Presents Table Tennis.




When Microsoft first announced the Xbox 360 they made a big deal about letting you customize it. They wanted you to put your own personality into the system. What they really meant was that they wanted you to buy one of the Xbox 360 faceplates they had just released. There's not much else you can do to the outside of this console. Oh well, the faceplate thing is certainly more than any other console is doing. As for the actual design of the system, it's clear that Microsoft has spent some time trying to make a console that was at least more appealing to your eyes. I won't say the original Xbox was the worst looking system on the planet or anything, but there's no denying that the Xbox 360 has a decidedly sleeker look to it. The front panel has a cool hourglass figure that gives off the impression that this isn't just some box. I also like the clean look the front of the system has, all of the USB and memory stuff is neatly hidden behind flaps, and the system's tray has a cool shiny look. I'm going to add extra points to Microsoft's next generation console just because it has a power source that will help you take down a bear. The Xbox 360's power source is larger than the Wii! But as your girlfriend says, size matters!

I wasn't particularly pleased with the massive size of Microsoft's previous system. As a man that is simply out of room and using the floor next to the entertainment center as temporary digs for a few consoles, I take size seriously. The 360 is still a bit large and equally heavy, but the concave style is very nice in my eyes, and the hard drive compliments the design without looking like a bulky accessory piece (cough, 32X, cough cough, cough). The color suits me just fine; besides, if I really wanted a change I would buy one of those C-Raaaazy faceplates everyone is so keen on selling to me. It isn't as whisper quiet as some systems, but it isn't jet-engine loud so that really isn't an issue. Overall I have to say Microsoft did much better this time around in regard to their design, and I hope for an even sexier, even more concave system the next time around.
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