In the race to release the first "next-gen" console, the Xbox 360 had a huge head start, releasing a full year before the Wii and PlayStation 3. This gave the Xbox 360 a huge early advantage, and gave eager gamers an HD-gaming experience a year before there were any alternatives. Although its early release gave it a massive initial install base, the Xbox 360 is far from the "perfect" console. Here are five reasons why you should "just say no" to the Xbox 360.
5. It Bothers You When Consoles Break
When you first purchase an Xbox 360, the feeling can be exhilarating. Think of all the hours you are about to lose to playing games like Halo and Left 4 Dead online! However, once you boot up your Xbox 360 for the first time, know this: the clock is ticking. It doesn't matter who you are, where you bought your Xbox, or what kind of Xbox you bought. They will all red ring eventually. It's easy to think you're special, or that your Xbox is somehow resilient to this fact of life. I even succumbed to this kind of thinking back in 2007, when I bought the "new" Xbox 360 elite. I kept my console in a nicely ventilated area, dusted it obsessively, and never played for more than three to four hours at a time. However, in 2009, right after the release of Star Ocean: The Last Hope, my perfectly pampered Xbox 360 bit the big one. Two months later I had my console back, but not after some serious tears of frustration were shed. If the Xbox 360 is going to be your only console, and it would seriously hurt your feelings if it broke, then you may want to consider another console.
4. You Like Internet Browsing on Your Console
It seems nearly every new toy or gadget you find is equipped with an Internet browser. Everything from iPods to the Nintendo DS come pre-loaded with an internal browser capable of letting you waste time on Facebook or read content on your favorite gaming website (Hello!). But for some reason, the Xbox 360 doesn't have this feature, and several statements from the folks at Xbox's Programming and PR team have indicated that the console is unlikely to ever have this feature. And when you are lacking a feature that even the Wii comes pre-loaded with, it can be pretty sad.
3. Paying Subscription Fees to Access Content on Games You Already Paid For Seems Weird
What's the difference between playing Marvel vs. Capcom 3 on the PlayStation Network and playing it on Xbox Live? Around $60 a year. Though there is an argument somewhere about better network quality or cross-game chat ability, at the end of the day both game discs contain online modes, and you have to pay more to access the content on the Xbox 360. That doesn't seem fair, considering the content is exactly the same. And while console gamers have often sneered at PC gamers who pay subscription fees on top of MSRP, anyone who plays Xbox Live is guilty of the same folly. Heck, you even have to pay money just to pay more money if you want to play a downloadable game. Where does that even begin to make sense?
2. You Like Games on Single Discs
Although the DVD format was the bee's knees back in 2006, five years later the format doesn't hold up as well, which means if you want to play a big game, you either have to move it to multiple discs or sacrifice visual quality. Both of these methods have been employed (The Halo series famously sacrificed 1080p visuals to fit on a single disc, and games like Blue Dragon, Star Ocean IV, Forza Motorsports 3, and Mass Effect 2 have all needed additional discs). Though this may not be too much of a bother for those of us used to three and four disc RPGs during the PlayStation era, the fact is that DVDs are old tech, and the format simply cannot keep pace with the way modern games are being developed.
1. You Believe That Consoles Should Be Seen and Not Heard
When I start my Xbox 360, it sounds like a jet airplane is taking off. I have no idea what causes this, but the Xbox 360 is one of the loudest consoles ever. Both my PlayStation 3 and Wii can run games nicely and silently, but for some reason, the Xbox has to make weird grunting and wheezing noises when it plays on-disc games. And when you couple that with the console's high failure rate, playing games can be quite a scary experience. I don't know how many times I've said a silent prayer that the Xbox holds on for just another month, so I can play just this one game before it goes off into the great beyond (where all good and bad Xbox 360s go).
The Xbox 360 has a library of great exclusive games, and certainly has a huge fanbase. However, just because something is popular, doesn't make it the best, and there are plenty of things you should take into account when purchasing the Xbox 360.
However, even though there are plenty of reasons why you shouldn't buy an Xbox 360, don't think that gives a free pass to its main rival. Stay tuned for next week, when I'll give you five reasons why you shouldn't buy a PlayStation 3!
By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*