James Ireland On November - 7 - 2009

It feels…weird. Like, really weird. I use it and almost feel dirty, like I’m cheating on her. I press its buttons and she looks on at me in an accusing way. I’m sorry Selma, but it has great stuff and it new to me, it’s the thrill. I still love you and won’t forget the happy years we spent together. It’s not over Selma, its just…well…it’s different now.

Ok, so I bought an Xbox 360. Let me give you a little back story about how progressive this is for me. I have been a Playstation person for ages, since the release of the original, in fact. I will admit now that in the post Dreamcast era I was a Fanboy, but back then I didn’t know it. I would chirp on about how much better the games and extras are for the PS2 then the Dreamcast (which 2 of my friends bought) and I even predicted its decline and eventual death after the PS2 dominated the market.

That’s how it started. My friends did get a PS2 and renounced the Dreamcast, I was confident in my allegiance to my electronics. I will admit I stayed that way for a long time. When someone brought the original Xbox around my house we mocked it for its size and controller but we could not fault it for its graphics which were better then the PS2’s. Although, I would never have admitted that back then.

In my defence I didn’t have a lot of money so I couldn’t have afforded a new console if I wanted too. But as I got older this became less of an excuse and it was a poor one anyway. So I held out again for the PS3 when the Xbox 360 was released, confident that history would repeat itself and I would, once again, be vindicated and the PS3 would crush the Xbox 360 under its glossy jackboot.

I played the Xbox 360 at a mates house and it looked good….really good. But I refused and held off. PS3 was released and I got a 60GB on launch day and was very happy. Me and my friends became “divided” and argued at length the HD Disk format war and which console had the better graphics and extras. When HD DVD died away in Feb 08, I was truly assured that the PS3 was better.

So the year went on and I got into hardcore PC gaming more and more and made my own gaming PC which cost me an arm and a leg. I started to get the Xbox 360 games that came out on the PC and enjoyed playing them but some didn’t get released for the PC and I secretly wanted them. The feelings past after a while as the fickle gamer does, moving on to newer, better games.

I had nothing against the 360 at this point, but I stuck to my guns because my PS3 is the media centre of my home. It does my TVersity media server, my Play TV (freeview) and BBCI player and is nice and simple so even my girlfriend can use it. I loved the games for the PS3 and preferred the controller (the Dualshock one not the crappy Sixaxis without rumble). Truly, Selma (my PS3’s name…don’t judge me) was like the reliable friend who loves you but for some reason you won’t date.

Was I still a Fanboy? I have a friend who still refuses to get a PS3 as much as I do a 360, is he a Fanboy, too? Even when our arguments have become levelled and less aggressive and even more poignant (I can’t afford one, they both do the media server thing, they share about 70% of the games) am I still a Fanboy? I guess I am if I still past judgement on something I have only had experience with for small periods of time (playing around my friends houses for example). I don’t feel like a Fanboy.

More time past and I became wiser and started to think about getting an Xbox 360. The old stuff didn’t matter anymore and new reasons appeared to me to get one. The main reason was for work. As our website (www.wedotech.net) gets more review copies of games it becomes a strain for one of two people to do all the Live Arcade and box game titles, so getting one would relieve some pressure.

Also, the people I work with have a tight knit online community on Xbox Live and the more funny stories I hear, the more I want in. Another reason is that Its coming up to Christmas soon so the prices are dropping and shops are offering some great bundles. Also, from what I hear, the hardware issues with the 360’s have largely been dealt with. Ok without thinking about it anymore, its time to buy an Xbox 360.

I managed to get a f***ing steal of a bundle at my local Asda (British supermarket) of an Xbox Elite (I will be damned if I will get an ugly white 360 to ruin my awesome glossy black glass TV unit and various other black tech stuff) and 4 games (including Forza 3 which should have been Forza 2, Brewhahaha! Silly store clerk for giving me the wrong one) for a grand total of £197. Which, I will say again, is a f***ing steal.

So I get it home and right away I have a problem. I want to hook it up with an HDMI which I later learnt doesn’t come with it. Rats. No problem, I had to buy one for the PS3 so no issue. Annoyingly there is no digital optical out on the console so I have to buy an official Xbox HDMI which has an optical out on it. Fair enough, I can live with that.

I also prefer to link my consoles and PC with a wired connection because my flat is Victorian and for some unfathomable reason, has a lead and iron mesh in the brick work so wireless signals amount to jack all even with my crazy expensive router. So I have to buy a new 20 metre LAN cable, not the 360’s fault but I could have done without the expense for a month if the Xbox had a wireless card built in (even with my crappy Faraday cage of a flat reducing the signal strength to about 20%, I can deal with that until I can afford to buy the cable).

I also sprung for a rechargeable plug and play kit, I will be damned twice if I’m going to pay for batteries all the time and have my controller die on me in the middle of the night while playing Halo 3 with no shops open to buy more. Added expense though and I am use to the PS3 just having it as standard. I can get past these issues, if I just spent £197 on a new console, I can get use to it.

Ok I have to pay for Xbox Live subscription too. As a PS3 owner it free and I get bombarded with reasons why you have to pay for online play with the 360. “It’s just better” I hear all the time from friends who have it, “its only £40 a year”…”Yeah, but that’s the price of a new game. Can’t you at least see my point here?” I would tell my friends.

Ok, that’s about it for the moment rant-wise with buying more stuff for it and my excitement overrides these expensive annoyances for the moment. I set the console up on the same shelf as Selma, side by side and booted it up. I went through the Live sign up process which was nice and easy and without realising, I already had an Xbox Live ID (I signed up for Windows Live for Dawn of War 2) so that was good.

I spent the best part of half an hour colluding with my girlfriend about what my Avatar should look like and after that, it went straight to the menus. Ok, I was confused. The PS3 has a nice easy XMB (Cross Media Bar) to navigate with that I am familiar with and I found that the Xbox had menus within menus within menus and for someone starting new and fresh, it was daunting. I honestly didn’t know where my downloads went. I later worked out that’s you got to press the Home button to get up the dash board and access them that way (unless there is a way within the normal menu structure, I haven’t found it!).

I sent some time fiddling and adjusted myself to the 360’s menus. I worked out that it has tabs in place of a Playstation store icon which loads all downloads (films, trailers, themes, games etc). The 360 had 2 different tabs for games and video. I loved the spotlight tab for news and was better then the PS3’s “what’s new?” icon which just loads up icons of what you’re missing in the store most of the time.

OK the big thing, friends. I had a few friends in my friends list already apparently ported over from my Live ID (which is actually the same as an Xbox Live ID) and I found I could raid one of my closest friends list of friends and add those friends we share instead of calling all my friends separately and asking for their ID’s, I know I used the word friend far to much in this paragraph.

As far as I’m concerned, with only an hour of using my new 360 under my belt the friends list is much better on the 360 compared to the PS3. It’s more fun and cheery and easier to use. It’s faster and messaging your friends and is simple as hell. You can compare your games and gamer scores and I think I finally understand why some of my friends are achievement whores.

Sending a short verbal message is great and really impressed me. I really think the headset bundled with the console makes a world of difference. I have a Bluetooth headset for my PS3 but not all my friends do and I constantly need to charge it and lose it down the back of the sofa as it’s so small so I tend to not bother.

As games go, there isn’t much to say. After spending several hours playing they are great and I am loving them. They aren’t better then PS3’s they are just different. I couldn’t care less about a game being better on one console than another, that the 360 suffers pop up more on GTA4 or that the PS3 got the Fallout 3 DLC’s almost a year late. It doesn’t matter to me now. Its all about what I enjoy, and that is gaming and playing games I couldn’t before. Its like finding a new wing in a library.

Both consoles have their ups and downs and my short time with my new Xbox 360 Elite has been positive (aside from my whining about buying extras) and a welcome addition to the gaming collection. I guess I will always have a console I prefer. I don’t think anybody can be truly neutral. I still love my PS3 and it is still the media centre of my home and not much is gonna change that. For that preference alone, I will still be branded a Fanboy by those who, themselves, suffer from chronic and terminal Fanboism.

I guess I have seen the light, as it were. I am a convert. No longer will I swear allegiance to one console and say it’s the best and argue about its Pros versus another consoles Cons. I will still prefer a system but maybe, in time, that could change also, and I hope I’m brave enough to admit that if it happens

I have finally realised the only person I have hurt is myself. I am the one who didn’t enjoy Halo 3 on the day of release; I’m the one who missed out on all those online matches with friends. I’m the one who limited my own choices and I’m the one who now regrets it. I was the fool. I was the Fanboy, but no longer, not anymore.

Finally I just want to say that I’m not cheating on you Selma; I have just made it a dirty, techno threesome.

P.S. I’m looking for a name for the Xbox 360 Elite. Girl’s names only pleases. Leave in comments box. Thanks!

Categories: Feature

6 Responses

  1. Dan says:

    well very intresting that your ps3 has a name. for me i love my ps3 and never played on an xbox apart form Xbox 1. but i know i wont buy an xbox not becuase i hate it but becuase i brought a ps3 and wont waste money on a xbox when i already have a console.

  2. jesse says:

    well i’m going to be the first to say welcome to the 360 family and here is my tag” hood gangstaz” trust me will enjoy your new elite more than you will ever know hoping u are getting MW2 see u on the field ps dont forget u can also use tversity and play on ….on the 360 as well and u can also stream everything u have on pc to the 360 even 1080p movies but once again welcome to the family

  3. Andy Pandy says:

    Call it Patty.

    Like in the Simpsons - Selma & Patty

  4. Alan Baxter says:

    I’m liking Andy Pandy’s idea there. Great article mate.

  5. Dean says:

    I started out with my PS3, bought an xbox, then the bastard red ringed, put me off a bit, but ill probably buy another one towards christmas..

  6. sam bage says:

    patty! great name! think andy pandy has given my xbox a name.

    …just the pc now….

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