The Xbox 360 is just simply amazing. Last night was the first time I’ve ever really had the chance to sit down and explore my way through the new dashboard and see all the available features. I was awed. It’s sleek, trim, and sharp and miles better than what the original Xbox can do.
First order of business was getting all the equipment set up. Piece of cake. Then it was time to login and connect to Xbox Live. A quick update and I was ready for account recovery. Done in a wink. Then another update, change the gamertag (appending a TTL to the front of my tag), toss Halo 2 in the tray, download _those_ updates, download the maps to the hard drive, download a final update, and we’re in business. And let me just say, I noticed a definite improvement. Not only were the graphics more crisp and clean, making it a _lot_ easier to spot a Spartan on the other side of the map with just a glance, but my gameplay was better than it’s been in weeks.
I’ve had a theory about this for a few weeks now. I think those of us who still played Halo on an original Xbox were at a bit of a disadvantage to those who played on a 360. For starters, the processor speeds are different. The 360 can render and process the game much more quickly than the original can – and that’s part of the point of having the three processing cores in the 360. Trouble is, the original Xbox then has a hard time keeping up, resulting, I think, in increasing lag times – and in any FPS game, lag is a definite detriment. Add to this the fact that the graphics are better on a 360, thus giving those players a slight advantage just on the level of visibility. Faster spotting times means faster reaction times – and it made a big difference in the way I played last night. Then there are the recent Xbox Live updates of recent weeks, which have, I suspect, favored the 360. These three factors taken together leave me suspicious that the original Xbox is now far too outdated for Live performance to allow those still ‘stuck’ with that console to continue to be competitive. Could be I’m wrong about all this, of course, but I think I’m at least close.
I only messed with my 360 for about an hour last night, outside of all the initial installations and upgrades, but already I find myself addicted. There are demos I want to download, the arcade to try out, videos to watch, and much more. My inner geek is going, “Whee!”