halo6vegas Reviews the 360 Slim

Xbox 360

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(First off, I know we're all 360 fans here, but inevitably some fanboy will find his way in here through Google and start flaming me. So let me cover my ass here and say that I am not a PS3 Fanboy. I am -- and have been -- a [somewhat?] proud owner of an Xbox 360 since I received my first 360 in December, 2005. I don't like the PS3 any more than I like the 360, and both consoles have their problems.)

I have tried to make the following review as objective as possible. I've formed my own opinions about the console, but for this review I've checked facts, I've read other reviews, and I've tried to keep this as neutral and unbiased as possible. I am pointing out flaws with the Slim: fans need to do this occasionally in order to make sure there are continual advances in the gaming industry. So, here we go. (And please, try not to bash me or flame me just because I don't give the console a gleaming 100% positive review.) You'll notice that I use a fair amount of sarcasm -- it's more difficult to convey in writing than it is in speaking.


Microsoft has done it again. Despite 'extensive testing,' there have already been reports of problems -- instead of the dreaded RRoD ('affectionately' known to gamers as the Red Ring of Death), players will now receive the RDoD (Red Dot of Death). It's purely a cosmetic change: for all intents and purposes, the Xbox 360 still suffers from the age old problem.

The new "360 Slim" is supposed to run 'whisper quiet' -- although only Microsoft's brainwashed PR and Marketing employees would believe that. It runs anything *but* quiet, in my experience. The game disc spinning around is certainly quieter, but, as others have reported, the fans still seem to be quite loud compared to, say, my laptop.

Some of the new 360 Slim's other "features" include:
- No compatibility with your old hard drive*
- Going through laborious steps to recover gamertag
- More steps to re-acquire licenses to DLC (downloadable content) you already have on your old hard drive
- Same overheating issues that should have been fixed with the first Xbox 360's
- Scratching your game disc if you so much as move your 360 Slim
- High-Definition cable NOT included**
- Difficult-to-remove hard drive (someone will inevitably damage their console trying to remove it)
- Kinect-Compatible***

*Yep, this means if you want to transfer your saved game files to your new drive, you must go to your old Xbox, start it up, put all of your game files on a "Microsoft-approved" thumb disk (which are inherently overpriced), and then -- on your new 360 -- transfer the files off of the flash drive back onto the hard drive. Of course, there's always a possibility of files accidentally being corrupted and, knowing Microsoft, it's bound to happen to someone eventually.

** Another great money-grabbing tactic from Microsoft: you must shell out more money to buy an HD Cable. Alternatively, you can use one from an older Xbox. However, if you own(ed) an Xbox 360 Elite (which didn't come with an HD Cable), then you're still going to have to buy the HD Cable. Of course, you don't *have* to buy the HD Cable, but it sort of defeats the point of 'Hi-Definition' gaming consoles and televisions if you still have to use the 720p Side A/V input.

***Microsoft's Kinect jumps on the Wii bandwagon of, "Hey, let's completely ruin video game immersion by trying motion control!"

Kinect's launch titles include "Kinect Sports," "Kinect Adventures," "Kinect Joy Ride," and "Your Shape: Fitness Evolved" -- which all sound suspiciously similar to Wii's launch titles. Namely, "Wii Sports," "Wii Sports Resort" (I'll give them credit, Microsoft at least *tried* to disguise this game title), "Mario Kart Wii," and finally "Wii Fit." Oh, and the Kinect can be yours for 'only' $150 / £130.

Finally, Microsoft will no longer be producing Xbox 360 Arcade's or Xbox 360 Elites. This means that if your current console goes kaput, you might be forced to "upgrade" (I use that term... somewhat sarcastically). If your current console still works, don't buy the 360 Slim -- at least wait until Microsoft has fixed the new problems that have arisen. Unfortunately, given the fact that they haven't fixed the RRoD in the past 5 years (three versions of the console), I doubt that any of the Slim's problems will be fixed any time soon.
to be fair, some of those issues are typical of any console change. also, you should be able to use data transfer kits to make the move less painless. i had heard these kits were even came with the Slim, in some cases.
the lack of HD cables is unfortunate though, and it's something Sony has done with just about every PS3. fortunately, they're only a few bucks online.
The one thing that threw me off getting a new 360 was the hard drive issue. I could get a new elite for £80 if i traded in my old elite and used an in-store offer at launch but theres nothing wrong with my 360 now and to be honest i haven't touched my consoles in over a month. I won't deny that it looks awesome though. Just a shame that all issues remain. But unless there was a major hardware overhaul the RROD wouldn't have gone away.
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