Top 10 Real Reasons to Not Buy an XBOX 360

This is a reponse to Ten Reasons Why You Should Not Buy an xBox, published on August 17, 2006.

As this is a top 10 list, all of the points are listed in descending order. Number 10 is the least important, Number 1 is the most important. To make things more interesting I have added a “Should you buy factor” to every point. This is based on a 1-5 rating system on how much the point affects your buying a 360. The higher the number, the more the point should make you NOT buy a 360.

If you have any problems with the list, let me know, and I’ll see about editing it.

10. The Brick and Various Mechanical Problems (TBVMP for short)

TBVMP are mostly an aesthetic issue, albeit a fairly nonsensical one. One such issue is over-heating. The 360 DOES GET HOT. It is within safety standards, but those standards apply to people that know what kind of an environment a sensitive electronic device should be within. That means that if you play in a stuffy little room with no AC and like to drape stuff over your 360, you are BEGGING for an accident. Other problems are primarily disc scratching and glitches (addressed here: Keep in mind that the percentage of actual complaints (as reported to MS) was below 3-5%. Furthermore, the number of mechanical problems can only go down over time. The brick refers to the power bar, which is a huge piece of junk that weighs 6 pounds plus gravity (with apologies to original author of that phrase).

Should You Buy Factor: 1/5 – All consoles have glitches and problems with scratching (goodness knows my PS2 does it). As long as you are well informed as to how to treat your console, keep it in a cool room, and don’t care about a butt-ugly brick, this shouldn’t be a decision maker. Since these are all problems with first gen machines, we should see some improvement.

9. Sony PLAYSTATION3(PS3) and Nintendo Wii *cough* Phantom *cough*
This is in fact a valid reason not to get an Xbox 360. Many people can not afford to buy more than one console. As such, waiting for the PS3 and the Wii are a valid reason to not buy a 360. Not a great one though, so it gets plunked down to number ten.

Should You Buy Factor: 2/5 – You are better off looking for a comparison sheet than a top 10 worst list for an opinion about buying any of the three systems. If you can only buy one console though, you’re better off waiting to see what all three will get you.

8. The Price
Yes it ‘costs less than the PS3’, but $299 (for the core system) and $399 are still a heck of a lot over the $200 sweet spot. If you are looking for a cheap console the 360 is not it. If you want to push the system to its limit you will need an HDTV as well, which will cost you at minimum another 300 dollars. You may not need it, but not having it mostly defeats the point. Dead Rising has become somewhat infamous for assuming players had HD, and having unreadable text (they said they would fix it, but something else will come up eventually). Furthermore, games will set you roughly $10 above the equivalent current gen game.

Should You Buy Factor: 3/5 – If cost is a factor for you, then this is a reason not to buy. Regardless of what fans may say, down the line an HDTV will be needed to tap the full potential of this machine. As it doesn’t need an HDTV Wii will cost the least of the big 3, but at the cost of power and graphics. However, it must be noted that this uses the Wii as a bottom level. In terms of next generation systems, the 360 can best be described as a medium cost machine.

7. XBOX Live
I’m not knocking it, Live is an awesome service. I love the whole idea, and I makes the online experience seamlessly smooth.
But. Two big problems. Number 1: ‘I PW3ND U NOOB!’ ‘I KICKED YOU A$$ LOSER!!” – If you haven’t heard that at least once, I need to hang out with you on Live. There are too many people that use the anonymity of Live to trash talk to their inner six year old’s content. Sony might get it better, but I doubt it. Nintendo looks (as far as I can tell from wi-fi) to have fixed the problem, but at the expense of friend codes.

Number 2: MicroPayments. The bane of gamers anywhere. Some readers may remember the fiasco with Oblivion’s horse armor. In short, MicroPayment requires that you pay to download content for your games. Not only does this encourage price gouging, but pre-releasing as well. Pre-Releasing is releasing a game before it is finished and patching all the problems, or releasing a game with bare-bones and then releasing ‘exclusive’ content that was originally meant to be in the game, except now it costs you extra money. As of yet, only Nintendo has taken an official ‘we frown on micropayments’ stance.

Should You Buy Factor: 3/5 – You can avoid both of these problems fairly easily, so they shouldn’t be too much of a factor. You simply don’t buy MicroPayments. The trash talking may be a little more difficult to avoid, especially on an open chat, but finding private games can’t be too hard. If you’re buying for a kid….. go buy a Wii.

6. 2 SKU’s
When the XBOX came out, one of the lauded proponents of the system was the built in hard drive. Since every Xbox came with a drive, developers could build knowing that drive was there. This meant that the xbox, more than any other current gen system, was far and above in terms of raw speed. Publishers could depend on using fast access memory by downloading content to the drive. Furthermore, downloadable content is only available if you have a drive to download to! Hence the consternation when Microsoft released the core system without a hard-drive.

Should You Buy Factor: 3/5 This is a big knock against the 360, more for developers than anything, as they will not be able to be sure of gamers being able to download content. If you don’t get a core you can get past the download problems though, and since the core can be outfitted with a hard-drive publishers may be willing to say: must have hard-drive to play.

5. Lack of Japanese Games.
There are a large number of games that can only come from our neighbors in the orient. Katamari, ico, and who knows what else would not be available if we did not have the ingenuity(craziness?) that is required to make games like that. The XBOX 360 seriously lacks those games at the moment, and dare I say it, permanently. The Japanese do NOT like the 360, and as such Japanese developers will NOT makes games for the 360 unless it will be a surefire hit in other countries.

Should You Buy Factor: 2(4)/5 – If you are wanting crazy/original/licensed games from japan, then the (4) refers to you. Wait for the PS3 since that is where most of Asian games are going to come from. If you aren’t interested in JRPGS or the next ‘Shadow of the Colossus’, then this holds quite a bit less weight.

4. Backwards Compatibility
Good old Peter. ‘Nobody is concerned anymore about backwards compatibility’ Moore really needs to work on the whole removing foot from mouth thing. This is a HUGE reason to hold off on buying that 360. A large number of XBOX games are not, and will not be, 360 capable. The list of compatible games as of June is here:

Should You Buy Factor: 4/5 – Many of you reading likely bought hundreds of dollars of games for your xbox. Also likely is that none of you are going to want to have a 360 and an xbox around the house. However, you might have some game that you want to still play that ISNT backwards compatible yet. This is a huge strike against the 360, but not big enough to make the top 3. Sony of course will be compatible, but thats part of what that monster price tag is, and Wii has the Virtual Console.

3. Coming to a computer near you…
Microsoft has become quite famous for releasing the mega-popular hits from the XBOX to the PC. What does this mean as a gamer? That all those amazing 360 exclusives that you lauded will soon be available to every person with a pc. Except that the PC port will invariably be faster, prettier, and better than the 360 version. In contrast, all the amazing games for the ps3 and wii will NEVER be coming to that pc, no matter how long you wait (cause emulators are illegal right. riiiiight????).

Should You Buy Factor: 5/5 Why bother shelling out money for a console when you can play the same games, but better, on your pc down the road. Of course, most games aren’t ported to the PC, but most of those games have IDENTICAL counterparts either on the PS3, the Wii, or the PC. Remember, this is an exclusivity thing, and the XBOX does not have a lock on that. If you have some counters, please list them and ill post them, but keep it clean.

2. The HD-DVD drive will cost you a good $200
Breaking news. Always a wonderful thing to hear. Given that the PS3 is bundling blu-ray with it, the cost of the non-core 360 with an HD-DVD and a high end PS3 are both going to be….. $599.99!!!!

Should You Buy Factor: 5/5 If you are looking for a high-end next gen gaming experience, the high-def formats will be needed. That’s a big ouch, but not as big an ouch as bumping the cost up to a PS3. That means the Wii60 (buying a 360 and a Wii for the cost of a PS3) goes right out the window. Furthermore, publishers will now have to take into account that they don’t know that gamers have the hd-dvd drive, and may have to shell out $200 to get it. The PS3 in contrast will all have blu-ray on it, so publishers can use it no problem.

1. The Games
Face it, the 360 is a gaming machine. Regardless of if you buy it to play dvds, or hd-dvds or whatever, the point remains that it is a GAMING RIG. As such the most important aspect of a buy is games. Regardless of what you may personally feel about the console wars, the point remains that the games on each machine WILL BE DIFFERENT. There will be 360 exclusives, and there will be PS3 exclusives, and there will be games on both (and there will be Wii games). If I was running a top 10 list, the first point would be the same. It comes down to your taste in games, and that is what makes a game console. If I were to put: it has too many shooters/racing/fighting games, i’d be flamed cause thats not true, and if I put it has no rpgs/adventure games/puzzle games thats not true either. However, it may be that the 360 does not have the games you are looking for, and that is what it comes down to.

Games currently on/coming to the XBOX 360:

Should You Buy Factor: 5/5 – It is the games that make the machine. As if it hasn’t been drilled in enough by Nintendo, games are what will define the next generation.

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