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Subject: Considering an XBox 360....advice sought... rss

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James Bentley
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I'm considering, only considering, buying an XBox 360....not sure of the selection of games. Plus, is XBox Live a monthly subscription? If so, how much and is it worth it? I really don't like the monthly subscription thing...

Are there games available like Day's of Wonder's Memoir '44? I really like that, but would like to find something like it on a console...

Anyway, just looking for input...

Thanks,
jrbentley
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Matthew M
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jrbentley wrote:
I'm considering, only considering, buying an XBox 360....not sure of the selection of games. Plus, is XBox Live a monthly subscription? If so, how much and is it worth it? I really don't like the monthly subscription thing...


I have a Wii and a 360. The 360 gets far more use.

XBL is a monthly subscription, however you only need it if you plan on playing online multiplayer or use it for services like Netflix. You can still access downloadable games and expansions without an XBL subscription.

There were a number of eurogames available, but I never really got into them. Not sure what that field looks like now.

-MMM
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Steve B
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The Xbox Live Gold is a monthly or yearly subscription fee (it's cheaper to do yearly). It's about $42 a year. The Xbox Live Gold let's you get play games online and many other services. However you don't need to be a Gold member to download other games. Here's the comparison: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/joinlive

There aren't many board games on the console. They do have Settlers and Carcassonne, however. Not sure about games similar to Memoir '44.
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Damian
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XBox Live Gold is a monthly (or biannually, annually, etc) subscription, yes. Gold is required for multiplayer.

I've never played Memoir '44 so I don't know if the gameplay is actually similar, but superficially Panzer General: Allied Assault seems to be.

Unrelated to the WWII theme but possibly still of interest, Carcassonne, Catan and some of the Ticket to Ride games are available.
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Scott A. Reed
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ImaginaryRoot wrote:
The Xbox Live Gold is . . . about $42 a year


Actually, retail on Xbox Live is $60, but with various deals that come but through the year you can get it down to $50. Also, since you can buy Xbox Live subscription cards at lot of retailers, you might be able to convert gift cards or other bonus gift-certificate offers into Xbox live subscription stuff.

As for game selection, what do you like? On the boardgame-to-videogame front, the 360 has Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, and Ticket to Ride, plus Uno and some other card games, and some Backgammon and other traditional games in the marketplace. In the realm of other retail stuff, it really comes down to your personal preferences. I play some solo and co-op offline first-person-shooters, but I also play a number of family-game platformers like the LEGO games. The Kinect stuff is also pretty fun if you're getting a family involved in playing. In the WWII vein, though not M'44, you can get the real-time-strategy Toy Soldiers, which is pretty neat looking and fun to play. That also reminds me of one thing I really like about the 360 -- many games have a downloadable demo that you can play before you buy, especially of the Live arcade titles -- I've spent dozens of hours playing a lot of great game demos, some I ended up buying, some I just enjoyed for the demo.

One word of advice when it comes to getting games -- see if your local library or a nearby library has video games in their collection. Mine does as does a large library system nearby, and getting a game for 1-2 weeks for free is pretty sweet, especially considering that if you're 1-2 days late in returning it, the fine is on the order of $0.30-$0.50 instead of $3-$6 if you had rented it.
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Pieter
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Don't buy an XBox for the boardgames. If you want to play boardgames online, use a PC.

I have an XBox and a Wii, and the XBox is the more "adult" console. The Wii is fun for a little while, it has some nice family diversions, but if you are into computer gaming you want an XBox.

Actually, I much prefer to play games on a PC, but the average gaming PC is about four times the price of an XBox. And on the XBox there's a lot less hassle than on a PC. On the other hand, if you are interested in strategy games, thinking man's RPGs, or deep adventure games, the XBox is not what you are looking for. If you want action, racing, or platform games, the XBox is fine.

As for XBox Live: if you do not intend to join the foulmouthed crowd out there for online gaming, you don't need it.
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Mary Weisbeck
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I've also been thinking about adding an XBox to my console collection after watching some of the Kinect stuff at E3. Arthritis and other problems are making me play less and less so some of the demos they showed seemed like a very good alternative. My question is about the size: 4GB or 250GB?

Is it worth the extra money for the bigger hard drive for convenience, or is saving everything on flash drives really the way to go?
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Marc P
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Get the 250. Less hassle means more gaming.
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Dave Riedy
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
As for XBox Live: if you do not intend to join the foulmouthed crowd out there for online gaming, you don't need it.


There are plenty of good people to play video games with. If you're interested in finding some, check out Gamers With Jobs -- plenty of adults with vocabularies that include words longer than four letters.
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James Bentley
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I've been doing a little research on the XBox 360. For the most part, the reviews are good. But this raises another question for me:

Supposedly Microsoft fixed the "red ring of death" problem, but I've come across a few reviews in which this still occurred on the 360...

Has anyone here had hardware issues with their XBox 360 (I'm looking at the 250gb model)? Also, some people are complaining about the noise level. I know the earlier models were loud, but how's this latest one?

Thanks,
jrbentley
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Matthew M
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The hard drive size isn't the same as a model - the hard drives are modular add-ons to the base console.

I've had two 360s red ring on me with fairly moderate use. Got replacements no-problem - the only annoyance was the waiting. They're all loud, though. That's not too much of an issue, IMO, as it's just white noise and is easily tuned out, but I do use headphones when playing if a game's atmosphere is particularly important to me.
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Emily H.
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I'm also thinking of getting a 360 to replace a current 5 year old 360 that is starting to die.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you can buy the 4gb for $200 and a separate 250 gb harddrive made for the xbox 360 elite that you can add to it for around $63 on Amazon. This makes the total cost less than the $300 for the 250 gb.

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Jon Grey
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EmilyMoby wrote:
I'm also thinking of getting a 360 to replace a current 5 year old 360 that is starting to die.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you can buy the 4gb for $200 and a separate 250 gb harddrive made for the xbox 360 elite that you can add to it for around $63 on Amazon. This makes the total cost less than the $300 for the 250 gb.


This is correct. In fact, the 20gb, 60gb, and 120gb from the generations prior will work with the new "slim" Xbox360s. You'll have to crack open the older harddrive's housing first, then fish it into your harddrive slot on your slim unit. It will save you a considerable chunk of change and it's probably the easiest legitimate mod one can do. Check ebay and the usual spots if you don't want a 250gb unit. Whatever you do do NOT settle for the 4GB built-in memory by itself... you can't use any of that 4GB for memory paging in games like Halo Reach, which requires a physical harddrive to play certain multiplayer modes.



Now you could use a screwdriver (torx?) like this guy did, or just man-handle the housing open. I did a combination of the two.
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Jon Grey
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tscook wrote:
Consoles are toys for children, adults play games on the PC.


It's a shame I can't have friends plug in their controllers and have a night of social gaming on my PC. Nope, the next best solution is to either have everyone buy lavish gaming laptops, or lug their PCs and equipment over to my house for a LAN party. Then what is there to play? The PC platform just isn't getting enough looks from developers anymore. I would've loved to play Red Dead Redemption and LA Noire on my PC... y'know, single player stuff.

No, there's a well defined niche for both platforms, although I prefer that they come together sooner rather than later.
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Peter Ferguson
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muzzynyc wrote:
Flyboy Connor wrote:
As for XBox Live: if you do not intend to join the foulmouthed crowd out there for online gaming, you don't need it.


There are plenty of good people to play video games with. If you're interested in finding some, check out Gamers With Jobs -- plenty of adults with vocabularies that include words longer than four letters.


On Halo.. I found the mute option very quickly. I also found how to "ignore" players, so if they were being asses, I'd ignore them and never see them again. I'd also give them bad ratings.

I honestly didn't hear a lot of foul language, some deffinately, but not overly used. More like "Sh*t, I got killed" every now and then some 12 year old would show up and swear more then a drunk sailor.

What was far more annoying were people singing while playing, one guy was playing with his cat, so I'm playing Halo and hearing "here baby.. here, come here, haha, aw, dat's a nice kitty."

When I called him on it, then the foul language started.

Also I've had people make obnoxious noises just to annoy people.


At any rate, your console choices are

Wii - family oriented games, mario brothers, that sort of thing
PS3 - various "adult games" however their network was severely hacked, as were their phone system network, and one of their other networks. I wouldn't trust sony as far as I could throw their ceo.
Xbox - mine gets more play then the wii, and we're considering getting kinect. It's pure gimmick, thats for sure. (not a "industry game changer" as it was promoted). But I still had fun with it when I played my brothers games.

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Peter Ferguson
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tscook wrote:
Consoles are toys for children, adults play games on the PC.


I found more and moer that playing PC games was a headache, especially when playing online. Often people had better video cards, graphics cards, network cards, processors etc. It was an unfair playing field, and also a hassle to install, get games working etc. Also playing PC games on a laptop is also a pain.

So consoles make more sense to me. I don't see any reason to say "consoles are for children".

This statement reaks of a mac / pc war mentality.
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Igor Kwiatkowski
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I own a PS3 and an X360. If you're going to play some serious games then the PS3 has a lot more exclusive releases scheduled for this year. Then again if you get on board now you have tons of awesome and cheap games in the Platinum series on both platforms before you catch up to current releases.
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Peter Ferguson
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waffel wrote:
I own a PS3 and an X360. If you're going to play some serious games then the PS3 has a lot more exclusive releases scheduled for this year. Then again if you get on board now you have tons of awesome and cheap games in the Platinum series on both platforms before you catch up to current releases.


you also have the added benefit of having your credit card sent out to millions of your closest friends, err strangers.
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James Bentley
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New questions:

1. How would you XBox fans out there rate the XBox 360 Live Arcade?



2. (And this one may open up yet another can of worms...) Xbox 360 vs. PS3...? Ready, set...GO!



Seriously, thanks.
jrbentley

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Matthew M
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For 360 vs PS3 it basically comes down to two things:

1- do you also want a blu-ray player? PS3 is one of the better blu-rays out there, and you get your console at the same time

2- are there any titles you are interested in that are exclusive to one of the systems?

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Octavian wrote:
For 360 vs PS3 it basically comes down to two things:

1- do you also want a blu-ray player? PS3 is one of the better blu-rays out there, and you get your console at the same time

2- are there any titles you are interested in that are exclusive to one of the systems?



For me it came down to the Blu-Ray and the fact that I absolutely hate the 360 controller. Never felt right in my hands. The PS controller, from the get go, just always felt perfect.
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James Bentley
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Octavian wrote:
For 360 vs PS3 it basically comes down to two things:

1- do you also want a blu-ray player? PS3 is one of the better blu-rays out there, and you get your console at the same time

2- are there any titles you are interested in that are exclusive to one of the systems?



Thanks. I already have a nice blu-ray player, so this is not a factor for me.

I spent a good while on youtube yesterday checking out titles on XBox Live Arcade, and I must say, I'm pretty impressed.

How does PS3's online presence stack up to XBLA?
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jrbentley wrote:
Octavian wrote:
For 360 vs PS3 it basically comes down to two things:

1- do you also want a blu-ray player? PS3 is one of the better blu-rays out there, and you get your console at the same time

2- are there any titles you are interested in that are exclusive to one of the systems?



Thanks. I already have a nice blu-ray player, so this is not a factor for me.

I spent a good while on youtube yesterday checking out titles on XBox Live Arcade, and I must say, I'm pretty impressed.

How does PS3's online presence stack up to XBLA?


As a PS3 believer, it is my understanding that the options available to you with XBLA far outweight what you get from the PSN. To be honest, I haven't really done ANYTHING with the PSN other than set up my ID and download my free games once they came back online, but my friends who own both rave about the Xbox online experience and are very "meh" when it comes to their PS3 stuff.
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jrbentley wrote:
I'm considering, only considering, buying an XBox 360....not sure of the selection of games. Plus, is XBox Live a monthly subscription? If so, how much and is it worth it? I really don't like the monthly subscription thing...

Are there games available like Day's of Wonder's Memoir '44? I really like that, but would like to find something like it on a console...

Anyway, just looking for input...

Thanks,
jrbentley


If you're careful about where you shop, you can get a pretty good deal on xbox live. Otherwise it's 60 bucks a year. They also have family yearly plans available.

Ticket to Ride is hard to find other players for. You basically sit 'waiting for other players' and seeing 'no players found' for like a half hour at a time. There's quite a few "baby huey" games, and if it's not in xbox live's top 20...

http://majornelson.com/2011/06/15/live-activity-for-week-of-...

One thing I like about xbox live vs. ps3's online stuff is the community is a little better on xbox. I can "mute all players but friends" in my permissions so I don't have to hear 14-year-olds shouting racial epithets... or the wasted-wastoid 30-year-olds that work some of these games like a freakin' job.
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tscook wrote:
I said that mostly in jest, but your counterpoints aren't a good argument:

Gatekeeper3000 wrote:
I found more and moer that playing PC games was a headache, especially when playing online.


Unless you like features like dedicated servers, mods, easily deployable patches, etc. etc.

Quote:
Often people had better video cards, graphics cards, network cards, processors etc. It was an unfair playing field,


That was previously true, to a limited extent. Now, in part due to consoles, the playing field is often very even.

Quote:
and also a hassle to install, get games working etc.


Again, maybe a comment valid before 2000 or so.

Quote:
Also playing PC games on a laptop is also a pain.


Just plug in a USB mouse and you're fine.

Quote:
So consoles make more sense to me. I don't see any reason to say "consoles are for children".

This statement reaks of a mac / pc war mentality.


Halo was one of the first salvos in the console vs PC war. NEVER FORGIVE, NEVER FORGET.


I had battlefield 2: bad company on the PC. I valued the PC I was playing it on at about 400 bucks at the time. Pretty darn cool with the particle effects and the explosions all made sense. I have it on the xbox, and it's only so good... quite a bit of stuff that is, in a sense, 'pre rendered'. You blow up a building, regardless of where, you'll always see a hole form somewhere it always does, and no particles.

One problem: my freakin' joystick, for the life of me, was always backwards. Left would go right, right would go left. I went to forums, looked up patches. I have a BS in Computer Science---while that doesn't certify I'm a genius, I will say I'm used to computer headaches and solving them. Short of writing my own drivers for battlefield 2, I tried everything a reasonable human being should try to get that to work. That joystick would work for every other game, but Battlefield 2.

I realized that was all I was using that PC for, was battlefield 2. Great game, but it also took up quite a bit of room in the house, and it was 400 bucks. Also, the guys playing PC battlefield 2, are super-serious folks. Which, you would be if you have the price of a small car invested in your gaming rig. Nothing against the super-serious folks, but they're very very good, and very very hard to play against as a n00b---which I am perpetually (Houses are great investments if your time is worth nothing.). Xbox live has the Trueskill(TM) system, where it at least tries to match you against like opponents.

The trueskill system falls down eventually too, because eventually there's 90% of the players max'd out at their level, and if you start, that's all you're going to play with.
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