When it hit the market last November, the Xbox 360 created a hype similar to the first man landing on the moon. This new gaming system was supposed to be the beginning of a new millennium in video games. Its slick silver and intersecting green colors together with its absence of ninety degree edges were sure signs that it had come from a different age.
The only problem was that the Xbox 360 didn’t sell like it was prophesied to; in fact it missed its projected sales for the quarter by nearly thirty percent, according to Teamxbox.com.
On November 22, the release date for the machine, prospective buyers lined up outside of electronic stores like it was Black Friday. Not much later Microsoft, the makers of Xbox 360, found themselves in a pickle: many of the systems which were originally sold had internal problems and did not function correctly. Microsoft had not planned for something of that nature to happen and consequently they were left in a situation where they could no longer produce systems at a rate that would satisfy the demand.
Only a handful at most of Eastern students have an Xbox 360 on campus. First-year Frank Rodgers was fortunate enough to have a brother who sat outside of Best Buy for seventeen hours waiting for the doors to open so he could buy Frank an Xbox 360 for Christmas.
“Basically, the graphics are just insane,” Rodgers said. “So much better [than previous systems]. You get a clearer picture. If you have an HD television it looks incredible when you play one-player games. You also can play most of the old Xbox games like HALO 2.”
Rodgers also commented that the game play and overall system are much improved from Xbox 360’s predecessors: Xbox and Playstation 2.
As the new king of all video game systems, the Xbox 360 began sales at an outrageously high cost. The system alone had a starting retail value of $299.99 for the core system and $399.99 for the premium system, fully-loaded with all the accessories. The price of games was also jacked up from $49.99 to $59.99.
“Don’t get the core, get the premium,” Rodgers advised. “It’s definitely better in the long haul.”
Newsweek’s general technology editor N’Gai Croal commented, “[W]hile the games look better than current-gen games, it ranges from a little better to somewhat better. I’m not seeing a lot better” (Game Informer Magazine, January ’06).
With Sony set to introduce its counter system to the Xbox 360 next fall, it will make for an interesting heavyweight bout between them and Microsoft. Considering the Xbox 360’s improvements from previous systems and its high price, people will have to ask themselves if buying one is really worth it. Maybe this is the system that has finally pushed America over its invisible spending limits and caused people to consider what kind of money they are willing to place on entertainment.