Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Next Generation

Last night I hooked up an Xbox 360. It worked on my DSL router automagically. Signing up for Live (Silver) was a pain, though, must've taken over an hour with all the patching and already reserved Gamertags and whatnot.

The console downloaded three patches and Oblivion installed one before we could get down to business. We had to restart once, because it wouldn't install a downloaded patch.

I've now played a couple of hours of Oblivion. It really is so cool, truly "nextgen". I played a lot of Morrowind some years ago, and Oblivion is precisely the game I dreamed about back then.

On the whole, the 360 really feels like the entertainment of tomorrow, compared to the old Xbox. The wireless pad is just a pleasure to use, so much better than the old, fine Controller S. The Xbox dashboard, available straight from any game, any time, is a tad confusing to use, but aesthetically pleasing and it's just so convenient to be able to download demos, queue downloads and so on.

I was thrilled to download and play Geometry Wars - Retro Evolved (and am going to buy the full version for sure): tried and true arcade action with absolutely killer presentation, which wouldn't've been achievable on the hardware of yesterday.

As for bad stuff, the Live headset feels and looks cheap. The DVD drive makes a hell of a lot of noise. I had one dirty disc error (crash) half an hour into Oblivion. The hard drive ought to be larger: it's 20 GB, but I've downloaded one demo (and the GRAW MP demo is small) and I'm already down to 12 GB. The power brick is humongous, rather ugly and handily hidden behind the TV. It reminds me of the C=64's ol' radiator.

I played some Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter multiplayer demo, too. I got spawncamped around 30 times, otherwise killed 10+ times and managed 3 kills myself. Average life expectancy 11 seconds. That was a tad frustrating, yes. Teams weren't balanced, either. Maybe I'll do better once I get some singleplayer GRAW under my belt and, for instance, learn the controls.


Kai said...

Don't forget the fact that the system practically forced you to sign up for your free month of Xbox Live Gold Membership right away.

Nonetheless, I do admit that I'm itching for one myself. I guess I'll have to park myself at your place sometimes soon. ;)

Joonas said...

Although I have to say, I have absolutely nothing against Live. It's like forcing people to try something that you know is good for them. Microsoft has built an excellent system here and they're quite right to shepherd people into checking it out.

Sony has a hell of a lot of ground to cover if they want to offer something comparable.