Let’s get one thing straight. The Xbox 360, Microsoft’s last-generation video game console is old. Forget old, in terms of video game consoles the Xbox 360 is practically ancient. The ironic thing is that it’s still a very capable, very powerful gaming machine and set-top box. That’s why users still want it, and why folks still crave it. Here’s what you need to know about buying the Xbox 360 and a some of the differences you should be keeping an eye out for.
What You Need to Know
So what do you need to know about the Xbox 360, this older relic of gaming past? The most important thing you need to know about the Xbox 360 is that there are different types of Xbox 360 consoles and how good of a gaming experience you can expect comes down to getting the right one.
Original Xbox 360
First, there’s the white and black Xbox 360 that Microsoft sold until around 2010. Launched in 2005, this console is about as basic an Xbox 360 as you can get. There’s a DVD drive, two memory ports and two USB ports on the front. The side of the console has a port for adding additional storage and the rear includes video out ports.
This was the version of the Xbox 360 that was hit by the Red Ring of Death failures early on. Because of that there aren’t too users willing to purchase them directly from other people. Tons of user still own one and GameStop and other used game retailers still sell them, but these consoles are tested to make sure that they’re in operating order before being sold used.
The original Xbox One was a decent game console that’s able to run the same games as other Xbox 360 consoles sold even today, but there are some things you should know. For starters, the console is loud when you’re playing a game. Second, some editions of this console didn’t come with an HDMI cable so you can’t connect the console directly to a high-definition television for the best picture available. Finally, it doesn’t have wireless internet access at all.
The Xbox 360s was the first refreshed version of the console. Like the first version the Xbox 360s can still play every game thrown at it even today. That being said, it does include some choice extras, mainly Bluetooth accessory support, a new external hard drive support and – for the first time ever – wireless internet access.
All of these have HDMI output so that you can connect them directly to a high-definition television set. These consoles are smaller and quieter than the original Xbox 360, but they don’t include the memory ports that were on the front of the older console. The 4GB Xbox One console that GottaBeMobile railed against some time ago is an Xbox 360s. Many used games stores still sell the Xbox 360s too.
The Xbox 360e is the current Xbox 360 console. Microsoft announced it alongside the Xbox One last year. It doesn’t run any quieter that the Xbox 360s. That being said, the console does look very different. Wireless internet access and USB ports are all included in this version of the console. The Xbox 360e is easy to find. It’s still sold in stores, online and at used game stores.
Knowing the differences between each console is only part of the battle. The other important thing to remember is that there are all sorts of Xbox 360 deals. Some, like the ones sold at Microsoft’s own retail locations include two casual games and a Kinect sensor. Others drop the included Kinect sensor for two more hardcore games and a controller.
Before you commit to one Xbox 360 bundle, make sure that you’re purchasing the Xbox 360 that’s right for your needs. If you have a house full of casual gamers, you may to skip the high-end Xbox 360 bundles with high-profile games. Instead, look into an Xbox 360 bundle that includes a Kinect sensor and two casual games that use it. Remember, that Kinect sensor also lets users interact with the service’s entertainment apps without a media remote or wireless controller – that’s a really big deal for users who might find 10 buttons on the controller too difficult to use.
Likewise, if you’re a hardcore gamer, the Xbox 360 consoles with Kinect sensor might not be the best fit for you. It’s probably a better idea to pick up an Xbox 360 that has a few games, a wireless controller and a larger hard drive.
Whatever version or bundle of the Xbox 360 you decide to buy, buy in confidence. The Xbox 360 is indeed long in the tooth, but it’s still one of the most versatile entertainment systems available today. That it’s only around $199 and now has tons of games available for it doesn’t hurt either.
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