After a decade’s use; will the 360 continue to live on?
After its launch nearly a full decade ago the Xbox 360 has turned into one of the most successful and revolutionary consoles in existence but after almost 10 years, is the 360 still worth the buy? Or has it served its time with the more expensive Xbox One now on the market?
The 360 features outdated hardware but still handles games extremely well. All games on the Xbox run at 720p but are up scaled to 1080p or 1080i if that’s your TV’s native resolution.
Some games used to run lower than 720p in the consoles earlier days but this was improved as developers began to optimize games better for multi-platforms.
The majority of games run at 30 frames per second but a handful of games such as FIFA, Call of Duty and Bioshock run at the much smoother 60 frames per second. The older components do a good job of keeping the games a solid 30/60 frames per second so everything is smooth and the user can have a comfortable and trouble-free gaming experience.
Heat can be a problem if the fans are prevented airflow, this can easily be avoided however by placing nothing on top or directly next to the Xbox. Leaving the Xbox to generate too much heat can be a major cause of the famous Xbox killer, the Red Ring of Dead.
Using the Xbox dashboard is faultless and runs perfectly, with apps such as Xbox Music, Netflix and Twitch, it shows what an insight Microsoft was giving us to just how good the Xbox One would be. The Xbox One is more of a media centre and games console than just a console alone.
As the 360 got updated with more and more new software, it presented us with the option of having a media centre built into our console, hence the birth of the idea of the Xbox One which acts as a great media centre along with a great games console.
Through the Xbox Store, movies, TV shows, games and music can be downloaded directly to the Xbox’s hard drive. There are many different capacities for the official Xbox hard drives, the drives featured on the older models go up to 120GB and the drives on the newer, slimmer models go up to 320GB.
All 360 models feature an all-plastic design that is durable enough to last for the Xbox’s entire life span in most cases. On most of the consoles, the plastic is matte which prevents fingerprints and major reflections.
The 250GB model however features an all glossy design and the final Xbox 360 E, based off of the design of the Xbox One, is half glossy plastic and half matte plastic. The disk drive is known to have numerous problems on the earlier set of consoles but as time progressed, the quality of the disk drives improved and this issue was fixed.
There is an opening to insert hard drives at the bottom of the console like previously mentioned. There are vents on either side face of the console which help with air flow and also house the fans beneath the surface.
USB ports help either equip external storage or use the Xbox Play and Charge Kit. The controller on the 360 is a notch above any other console apart from the Xbox One, it provides comfortable holding positions and buttons in all the right places to make using them a pleasure.
Different height joysticks make accessing all areas of the controller easy to reach. The bumpers at the front on top of the controller provide little travel but work very well and give off a click to register your press.
The back triggers do more in game, the further it is presses down, the more it works, such as accelerating in a racing game.
The Kinect sensor was a gimmick of sorts that begun on the later 360 consoles but yet again it was a door into something special; the 360 Kinect was buggy, didn’t always recognize movement and didn’t do so well recognizing voice but the Xbox One’s version of it a huge improvement with excellent voice recognition, always registering movement and being an overall much better device.
So is it worth it?
Personally I would say the Xbox 360, ignoring its age, is still an extremely strong contender in the console market. Running games at full HD, great apps to help with managing a media centre and expandable storage.
Aside from the 1080p native resolution and newer hardware found on the Xbox One, the 360 still packs a punch and can provide nearly just as good of a gaming experience as the Next-Gen consoles. The wider variety of games means the user has a wider variety of games to choose suited to their needs.
One of the main reasons that the 360 is still competing in the market is older games. Games such as Black Ops 2 or Red Dead Redemption are at the top of the list for Microsoft’s new backwards compatibility feature due to the demand of people still wanting to play their favourite games at a higher resolution on newer hardware.
Whilst the Xbox One is the clear choice if somebody is looking for media centre alongside a games console, the 360 can still be aimed at somebody is looking for a first console or can’t stomach spending the extra money on the newer console.