Despite my April Fool’s post about getting an Xbox 360, I really did buy an original Xbox this weekend, and I’m still kind of trying to figure out why. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time, but the more I think about it, having four consoles (PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox) hooked up to my TV just seems a bit much. The great thing, by the way, about this TV is I still have something like 3 inputs left to use.
I think this is what happened. I went to FYE the other day to look around for some older PS2 games. I always just buy them instead of renting them because, most of the time, it’s cheaper to buy them. It costs $8 to rent a game at Hollywood Video, and the one by my house has an extremely limited selection. FYE, on the other hand, has the biggest collection of games I’ve probably ever seen in one place, and they are all cheap. Anyway, I saw a Star Wars game that was an Xbox exclusive — Obi-Wan — and it looked cool. One game alone wouldn’t really push me over the edge of impulse …. well, actually, it would …. but I found some other ones too that just looked interesting enough. So, I bought a used Xbox for pretty cheap, got a few games, and headed home.
Now, this is the crazy part, is that I’ve owned, I think, an Xbox at least twice before, and given it away both times. And for the life of me, I can never remember why. I think one time I gave one up and then got my Game Cube, which was the first console I was actually really happy about. I don’t know what it was I didn’t like about it, so this time around, I’m going to document some of the reasons I’m thinking about ditching it already.
For one, the games that are Xbox exclusives also seem to all be available for the PC as well. Tron 2.0 was one of the games I bought. I couldn’t resist — I saw TRON and a $5 sticker and just acted on instinct. It happens. I’ve already got that for the PC, and it’s a wildly fun game. I also picked up Thief: Deadly Shadows. I played that one today a bit on my lunch break, and while it’s also a lot of fun, I think I’d have much less problems managing using a mouse and keyboard. And I think that’s one of the problems I have with the Xbox — it seems like for most of the games I’ve encountered so far they all use both thumbsticks to navigate, something I am absolutely horrible at. I can’t begin to understand how someone can do any kind of an FPS on a console, when it seems like using a mouse gives you *so* much more control and ease and you can just snap around quicker and react faster. I dunno. I imagine, though, it’s just a matter of learned response. I don’t think I’m really willing to put in the time required, though.
I noticed, too, that a lot of the other exclusive Xbox Star Wars titles are also available for Windows, and I own them all already: Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2 (awesome games) and Republic Commando. I imagine they are all going to use the little thumbsticks to navigate as well, which just drives me mad. Ah, well.
It’s not all bad, though. I’m fairly impressed with the Xbox’s capabilities, and considering that this was the console going head-to-head with the PS2, it’s very nice, considering. This thing can output video in 480p, 720p and 1080i using component output. Plus, while it seems natural now, it actually came with a hard drive to store stuff on. I really hate the after market accessory purchases of buying memory sticks that are 8 or 16 megabytes just to actually save games. That seems so dumb to me.
While I was out and about, I also picked up a universal component cable for the Xbox and the PS2. All of the games so far for the Xbox support 480p, and I must admit, they look very nice. I don’t have any games for the PS2 that support it, but with component out on that one, it does look much, much better. I’ve never given component much thought until now.
Who knows what I’m gonna do with this thing. If I could find some games that worked just on that console, I’d probably be pretty happy. So far, Obi-Wan is fun, but it’s not the killer one I was hoping it’d be. I’m thinking about giving the whole thing away, but, considering my past, maybe it’s better to just put it in storage until some day I want to own one for a fourth time, but can’t remember why I gave it up. 🙂