Xbox 360

Yesterday I went out and bought an Xbox 360 along with a Live Gold year subscription and a used copy of Gears of War. My Asian genes and mother’s upbringing had me thinking, “Oh god I spent all that money,” all the way home. Julie called it my ability to make anything not fun!

(This is funny because there’s a guy at work who calls me the Demotivator because I always seem to be able to bring people down… I’ve thought about this sometimes myself and I attribute it to the fact that I prefer when everyone else is sucking — that’s when I get really motivated! Anyway, he called me that after I was talking to this new guy who got to our unit who’s really tall. I was like, “Oh man, you tall guys gotta watch out…the last tall guy we had got blown up,” and the whole office froze into silence and I was like, “Uh, oh yeah, sorry.” Most of the shop hadn’t deployed before and wasn’t used to this sort of grim humor.)

Anyway, it took me about five minutes to get my 360 working. Fucking easy! I plugged it into my network and, on my Media Center desktop, it registered that a new 360 just connected. It proceeded to install the necessary software so that I could stream all my movies, music, photos, etc. over onto my 360 through the TV. Pretty fucking cool! Mainly it means I now have a DVR that I can play recorded TV on either my monitor or on my TV. Sort of overkill considering I live in a small room but in a large house this would be pretty neat.

The bottom line is that it’s all very well-integrated and streamlined.

Next I got onto Xbox Live, which is a slick online system that lets you download small games, demos of upcoming games, movie trailers, and full-length movies. You can play games online against other people. You can unlock achievements which add to your online gamer score — this particular feature has received a lot of press because it gives rise to persistent rankings, and a lot of people are addicted to trying to increase their scores by playing more games. Read more about this. I think there’s huge potential there and right now Microsoft has the big lead — Nintendo and Sony are trying similar things but Nintendo in particular doesn’t have a very open structure in an attempt to make their online component more children-friendly.

I added my online buddies to my friends list so I can see when they’re online and send them messages. I downloaded some trial games. I got the new Gears of War maps. It’s neat to play Gears of War, which is a gorgeous, seamless game, and exit out temporarily to talk to friends.

So I’m sold…this is one fun piece of hardware. Everything I bought cost $500, which hurts, but I figure the only other big purchases I want to make are the iPhone (which is fucking gorgeous and just what I’ve been waiting for in terms of a multi-function phone) and the Wii, which I still can’t find.

If you’re online, add me as a friend: Xeusy.

Nintendo’s stock hit more new highs in Osaka today — the DS and Wii are selling out everywhere in the US and Japan, and Nintendo just upped its sales estimates by 20%. Wow!

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