"Love at first sight: the Microsoft Xbox."4.5 starson by musicman01
Pros: Hard drive, sound, graphics, great games, design-> looks, menu software
Cons: HDTV capabilities only good if you have a HDTV, more $$$ for DVD playback, more $$$ for Xbox Live
Summary: The Xbox is a monster. A performance, behemoth!
On the face of this gorgeous system, you have the power CD loading tray (not like the tray on the PS2 and GC, where you press a button and it loads on springs) to the top-left, a big button to open the tray in the center, and a small power button (on/off) for the console. Below it you have the 4 controller inputs for the controllers. On the front you have a great looking "XBOX" logo and a big 'X' that looks like a logo from the X-Men movie. Very, very good looking. Big, yes, but powerful. If your not a big baby as to it being not portable like the Ps2 Slimline or the Nintendo Gamecube, then you'll love how this looks. One note: Previously owning a Gamecube, I noticed that the connecter cables for the power outlet and the TV/VCR for the Xbox are very well done. What I mean is you can deffinetely tell that the GC cables are very, very cheaper feeling as oppose to the 'box's. That's what I call quality. and the Microsoft Xbox is deffinetely quality, you won't be disappointed!
Microsoft owns a huge chunk of the PC market, and decided to take their computer ranks in front of the TV. And they did it, again. The Microsoft Xbox as the same amount of power as the average (fast) computer. With a 733Megahertz, Intel Pentium 3, 8GB hard drive, it;s like a computer in your living room! Graphics are by far the best, and loading times are superior to the PS2 and the Gamecube, with 294.9 and 485 megahertz respectively. Also, the 8GB hard drive is well enough for most people, so you can easily save tons and tons of games to the hard drive without buying memory cards. The only problem is, like the Gamecube, with a memory card you can take it to your friends house and save games on it there. Not to worry, you can still buy memory cards for the Xbox anyways and put it in your Xbox controller, and take your controller to your friends house. No big deal, trust me.
What you can also do with the Xbox is play audio CD on it, and have the option of saving , or copying a selected track or album to the hard drive, so you don't have to put in your audio CD's into it every time. Pretty cool tech. An only downside, is that the 'box doesn't read CD-R/+R type format, or your typical burned CD that you did from your computer. Oh, one more thing, you can also make an 'album customization' feat where, when you have successfully copied your track(s) onto the hard drive, bring these track(s) onto your game, so that you can listen to your favourite CD while playing a game! One note is that not all games are compatible with this feature, so be sure to check it out.
Xbox Live is another feature, exclusively for the Xbox. What it basically is, with some games being 'Xbox Live enabled', let's you play your fav games that you have online with people around the world. Sounds pretty cool, though I have no expertise or experience with this, yet (though very interested). I don't believe in paying for an Xbox, to be able to pay even more money to play online. No way.
As I've said before, performance is amazing. It has the best graphics, sound, loading time, and all-round performance on any system to date (save the new Xbox 360). The 'box is capable of playing in 420p, 720p and 1080i. These are basically high definition resolutions; on-screen results. The only thing I don't like about this better res. support option is that it only works if you have a High Definition TV to play it on, which most of us don't have. No need to fret, though, Microsoft put in a custom graphic card in your Xbox by Nvidia. The Xbox also great blasted through 5.1 Surround Sound, which it is capable of. Those of you who have a HD set, you'll love this machine.
There are plenty of accessories for the Xbox, most of which are expensive (unless you buy a third-party product, such as MadCatz and HipGear, which work just as good). One accessory that you might need is the DVD remote control and input, which allows you to play DVD's on your Xbox!! Expensive, but ideal though, this thing can play your DVD's in 5.1 Surround Sound. I don't have one personally, because I have two perfectly good DVD players. I still fell that Microsoft should have included this, as the PS2 plays DVD's out-of-the-box, and felt that it was just another way for Microsoft to make money.
All in all, besides the fact that Microsoft nags you to cough up more cash for stuff, such as warranty options DVD playback and a HDTV to play your games and DVD's on, the Xbox is a media pleasure, and is sure to make your video gaming experience, as it did me over the past 5 days, a great one, and in my opinion the best system to date.
Review by: Musicman01