Sound Off Vol. 5: Waiting on a 360?

November 17, 2005

I hate ripping on another writer for something they published, but I when I see advice as retarded as this it just sets me off. The NY Post has an [url=]article online[/url] that is trying to convince you not to buy a 360 just yet. Nevermind the obvious fact that unless you had one preordered very early you couldn’t if you wanted to. The article mentions a few things that I have to disagree with.

The author starts off by picking on the price of the console. Sure $400 is a ton of money to throw at a gaming console. Even $300 for the core system is quite a bit of money to most people. I don’t recall seeing articles of this caliber when the iPod came out. The iPod is priced from $99 for a Shuffle all the way up to $399 for the big version yet nobody acts like it is a waste of money. I personally find a lot more value in a system like the Xbox 360 than I do in a portable music device.

System launches are also not typically meant for casual gamers. With gaming hitting the mainstream hardware launches that would have otherwise gone right under the radar of casual consumers are now in the limelight and facing the scrutiny of critics worldwide instead of just industry wide.

Next is the “lack of games” which I think is a given. Games available at launch are typically rushed, unpolished, or downright bad. The 200 Xbox titles that will work on the 360 should ease the pain of no next gen games unless of course you are in Japan where the launch titles outnumber the original Xbox games that your system will play.

Next the author says that a lack of competition is a good reason to avoid the 360 this year. Again, if cost is an issue for you then you probably don’t need to be buying this at launch.

Probably my favorite part of the article is the so called “hidden costs” of owning a 360. The author insinuates having a HDTV is mandatory and while I will agree it makes the experience complete I have yet to make the move to HD, but I would be that most launch customers probably have a way to view the HD content. He also mentions that the ability to play games online somehow makes the 360 cost nearly $600. How exactly does it cost $200 to get online? Aside from your Live account what cost is associated with getting online?

He closes with a point that I have been hammering in since the day the 360 was announced and that is that the current generation consoles are still alive and kicking. Picking up a PS2, GC, or Xbox right now is one heck of a deal and with huge libraries it makes a ton of sense, but I think the author needs to work on his math. Buying all 3 current systems and a “whole bunch of great games” is going to set you back more than the cost of that pretty little 360 that everyone is after.