Xbox 360 - The first year


posted 12/1/2006 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: 360
OK so we’re on the third page of this article and I haven’t talked about the games yet. Well now you know how most Xbox 360 owners felt as it took a while for the really good games to come out. After a somewhat slow the really next gen games started to become available. Games like Ghost Recon Advance Warfighter, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Dead Rising, and most recently Gears of War finally showed what the unit was capable of. 
There is one area where Microsoft has absolutely outclassed the competition and that is their community support. It’s very apparent that Microsoft is listening to their customers in what information they provide online and the patches they release for the console. Currently Microsoft is committed to two major patches for the system a year. The first patch added the mostly commonly sought feature of the 360, the ability to queue downloads and download items in the background while the second re-organized the systems user interface making it easier to find and download new content.
Microsoft’s real ace though is their growing brigade of bloggers who are a wealth of information about what’s going on within the halls up in Redmond. You have jean short hating Xbox Live editor Trixie,Ozymandais, the PR folk over at the Gamerscore blog, and the alpha blogger Major Nelson. These folks tirelessly let people know what’s going on with the system and what they can expect. I think the military is taking skin samples from Major Nelson for development in next generation tanks as the guys skin has been hardened from the blasts of fanboys over the last two years. It’s great to get such inside vision into a company and know that there are such good people working tirelessly to help make sure we have the best experience possible with our expensive little systems.
What does the next year have in store? Well obviously digital content such as TV and movies are going to be a big deal (assuming Microsoft can get those servers running smoothly and release bigger hard drives). I know I can stream it from my PC but I’d love to have Major Nelsons’ podcast automatically downloaded to my 360 every week. I’d also like to see Microsoft resist the temptation to cram a browser into the system as I know they are going to get pressure to do so with the Wii and the PS3 having that built in. Instead I’d love to have a simple, easy to use RSS reader that can stream headlines along the bottom of the screen when I’m in the dashboard. 
Game wise I think Microsoft has an amazing lineup of games coming up with Alan Wake, Mass Effect, Bioshock, Grand Theft Auto IV, and that one game with the guy in the funny armor and the ringed worlds. So yeah, it should be a hell of a year now that we’ve gotten past a few of the first year bumps.

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