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289 of 327 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good system, but not perfect.
Let me start by saying that I purchased my Xbox 360 two weeks ago from Amazon on this very page. Unlike some previous posters, I am writing about my experience on the product that this review is linked to.

I would also like to add that I am in no way biased towards any particular console. In fact, this is my first console, I strongly dislike Microsoft, and am...
Published on August 28, 2007 by S. Meliza

versus
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Xbox 360 was a waste of my money on so many different levels!
I've never owned a game system before and decided to purchase the Xbox 360 (with hard drive) as my first and ONLY gaming system. I purchased the console in December 2006 as a Christmas gift to myself and within six (6) months (by May 2007) my console started giving me trouble. These red lights started flashing - in three of the four quadrants, and after consultation with...
Published on February 18, 2008 by Roger A. Sparrock


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289 of 327 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good system, but not perfect., August 28, 2007
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Xbox 360 20GB [Old Version] (Video Game)
Let me start by saying that I purchased my Xbox 360 two weeks ago from Amazon on this very page. Unlike some previous posters, I am writing about my experience on the product that this review is linked to.

I would also like to add that I am in no way biased towards any particular console. In fact, this is my first console, I strongly dislike Microsoft, and am writing this review on a computer that is running Debian Etch (aka GNU/Linux).

Before I launch into my review it would probably be helpful to potential buyers if I describe my experience buying from Amazon and the shipping service. But since this is not a review of Amazon or UPS this is FYI and is not taken into consideration in my 4-star rating of the Xbox 360.

Buying from Amazon:
+ They were one of the first retailers to differentiate the new HDMI version and had it available long before my local stores even knew it existed.
+ I ordered around 3pm PDT on Monday and UPS had it at my door 9am Tuesday.
- Trying to add a VGA cable or game to the order resulted in an extra day before the console would ship. So I ended up ordering them from some good eggs on another website.

UPS Shipping:
+ They delivered on time, about 17 hours from pick up to delivery at my house.
+ No damage what so ever, even though some people report getting multiple damaged consoles.

Now onto my impressions of the Xbox 360. Keep in mind that prior to this I held the view that PC gaming was superior and consoles lacked the power or storage to produce a gaming experience on par with the PC. I never did understand why 4 guys loved playing 007 multiplayer in one quadrant of a fuzzy TV screen (N64 I think it was) when a PC had higher resolution and each person got their own screen.

Xbox 360 Marketplace:
The marketplace allows users to download demos and game trailers/videos of upcoming games as well as previous releases. Contrary to what I expected, the demos download quite quickly in spite of often being 1GB in size. My guess is that the download speed is at least 400 KB/sec. There are also TV shows and movies that you can purchase, but that's not something I want to buy. All of this (except the content you have to buy) is free and doesn't require the Gold membership. I particularly enjoy being able to browse the list of demos, select several to download, and soon after can sample the game play of a wide variety of games. The simplicity and ease of the demo system is far superior to tracking down and trying PC demos.

Xbox Live:
OK, I'll be honest, it sucks that I have to pay for the ability to play online. But if you shop around you can get the 12+1 month cards for $40, reducing the cost to around $3 a month.
But the rest of the Live system I love. I especially like how it all integrates into the "my xbox" part of the Live website. From either in game or on PC I can see if my friends are online, what they are playing, send and receive text messages, and compare game stats. Maybe I didn't make that clear; I can be at work and message friends in-game from my PC. I think that is pretty cool.
If both me and a friend are using an Xbox 360 we can also send voice messages or even join a voice chat room. The sound quality is not on par with Ventrillo and the VOX-only mics can be annoying, though there is a mute switch.

Xbox 360 Games:
I know, the Xbox 360 has more games out than the Wii or PS3. But it is foolish to think that these systems will not catch up. So my criteria of choosing a system included looking at the kind of games that came out for the Xbox, Gamecube, and PS2. I also looked over the Call of Duty 3 reviews as this game was released on all of the previously mentioned consoles except the Gamecube.
My monitor is a 4:3 aspect ratio so I am at a resolution of 1024x768. This allows me to see some HD picture quality but certainly not the 1080i that almost all of my games support. But even at this lower resolution many games blow me away with the picture quality combined with good frame rates. This gamer is tired of $1000+ computer upgrades every year or two just to be able to enjoy a similar gaming experience on a PC.
The Xbox 360 games have achievement points for accomplishing certain tasks in the game. They are addictive little things and you find yourself comparing scores (via Xbox Live) with your friends and trying to outdo each other. It's so fun that I have a hard time playing old Xbox hits as I get no points from these games.

Xbox 360 System:
I find the load times to be lengthy compared to a PC (this is to be expected as a PC game is on a hard drive) and the whir of the continually spinning DVD drive to be negatives. I am told by a coworker that the DVD drive is quieter now than on the older Xbox 360s, but still louder than we would like. But in all honesty I can't even really hear it over movies and games.
The wireless controllers are impressive. I am tickled that I can power on or off my Xbox 360 from the controller. And should I leave it on, the controller will power its self off after 10 minutes. The controllers also have the connector for the voice chat headset, allowing you to still be mostly wireless while you play and chat.
I think not including wireless and an HD DVD player by default is a good thing. Why should I pay for hardware I don't want to use? I don't have an HDMI display yet so I didn't buy the Elite system. I have CAT-5 handy so no need to pay for wireless. And here in a few weeks I might decide to buy the HD DVD player, or maybe I won't. I HAVE A CHOICE!
Some people complain that rechargeable batteries were not included by default. I'm glad they were not and that the controllers were designed to fit AA batteries. I already have rechargeable alkaline batteries that work just fine (1.5 volts, not 1.2 like NiMH or NiCad). No need to pay for a proprietary battery and charging system that only adds more clutter. And a huge bonus that I can toss in normal alkaline AA cells should I ever fail to have a recharged battery ready.

Conclusion:
The Xbox 360 is a decent gaming system. It has been plagued by more than average hardware problems but those seem to be being addressed and handled well. It is too soon to say if my console will ever die on me. But if it does I will RMA it and still consider this a 4-star system.

It is up YOU, the purchaser, to determine which console you should buy. As an electrical engineer I love the hardware in the PS3. But as a gamer I have to look at the whole gaming experience. And I think the Xbox 360 is a great system that most people will enjoy.
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277 of 350 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT the new 65nm!!, August 13, 2007
By 
Kevin J (California, USA) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Xbox 360 20GB [Old Version] (Video Game)
At this time, the new revision with HDMI is NOT, I repeat, NOT the new Falcon chipset with 65nm, which would lead to less heat and supposedly less Red Ring of Doom. It has the same innards as Xbox 360 Elite, except the smaller hard drive; it's a Zephyr. This revision however does have quieter BenQ drive.

If you are thinking about buying an Xbox, wait for the Falcon chipset which should be out in 2-3 months.
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82 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blown away by this system, August 27, 2007
By 
Amazon Customer (New Jersey United States) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Xbox 360 20GB [Old Version] (Video Game)
Let me start by saying that I own 2 Wiis and love that system. I bought the 360 after the price drop and because it has HDMI and an extra heat sink. Plus with the 3 year warranty there really is very little risk. I ordered it from Amazon Prime for overnight on Friday (1.99) and it came by noon on Friday.

I have now played it over 20 hours and am blown away by the system. I did not even buy a game, yet spent hours playing some of the literally 99 demos they offer of full 360 games (such as Bioshock and Madden 08). Plus I played many other demos for the games in Live Arcade (every arcade game has a demo). I loved Geometry Wars and bought it for 5 bucks. I also downloaded a HD version of 300 (4.50) and an episode of Star Trek (2.00). I have never had so much fun with a system before without even buying a game.

As for the system, it works perfectly and the fan makes virtually no sound. I was agonized over whether to buy now or wait for the 65nm chip and am so glad I took the plunge. The warranty makes it easy. I cannot imagine not having this system.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Xbox 360 was a waste of my money on so many different levels!, February 18, 2008
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Xbox 360 20GB [Old Version] (Video Game)
I've never owned a game system before and decided to purchase the Xbox 360 (with hard drive) as my first and ONLY gaming system. I purchased the console in December 2006 as a Christmas gift to myself and within six (6) months (by May 2007) my console started giving me trouble. These red lights started flashing - in three of the four quadrants, and after consultation with customer support and following the steps outlined by them, I was told I had to return the system to them for repair. Luckily for me it was still under warranty.

It is all fine and dandy that the product was under warranty and I did not have to pay to repair it, but I'm from the Caribbean, Barbados to be exact, and shipping from Barbados to the US to have my console fixed was US$60. In the end they could not repair the console and sent me a replacement unit - "free" of cost.

I received the replacement unit in July of 2007, had to pay US$100 to have the item shipped back to Barbados. The unit worked well for another few months and I was very contented with my gaming experience. NFL Madden '07 and Top Spin2 are favorites of mine.

In February of 2008 I experienced a different problem - the screen started to freeze. I e-mailed customer support and they sent me a string of e-mails as to how to maintain the harddrive, deleting user profiles and creating new ones and then an all too familiar problem arose - this replacement unit showed me three red lights! And like before I was told I would have to send my system to them for repair.

"Luckily for me", as I received the replacement unit in July, the warranty for the console is July 2008 and as such I won't have to pay for the unit to be repaired, but I will again have to pay shipping to have my item sent to the States and pay again to have it returned to me.

When I contacted customer support and expressed the expense relating to me having to have my unit repaired (not due to any fault of mine) it was brushed aside and communicated to me that if the prescribed steps to fix my console did not work I would have to send it for them to repair.

To me this is totally unacceptable! I purchased a game console in good faith and after colletively spending thousands of dollars in both gaming system and games (which can only be played on the Xbox 360)I feel as if I have been cheated and robbed. What would the point be in having the unit sent for repair for them to send me a replacement unit or if possible, fix and return the currently destroyed unit. It would make more sense to cut my losses now and never purchase a Microsoft gaming product EVER again! If I continue at this rate there will come a time the product is no longer under warranty and I'll have to pay for repairs to the system.

I'm an extremely disappointed customer. Money does not grow on trees and I work hard for my money. If Microsoft is unable to produce an experience for customers to enjoy without hassle of repairs and maintenance, which is due to no fault of mine, they should pull out of the market. I will now detail the moneys I have LOST, as a result of Microsoft and their Xbox 360 (prices quoted in US$)

Xbox 360 Console $600.00
One (1) wireless control 37.99
NFL Madden '07 game 48.99
Top Spin 2 33.88
2006 FIFA World Cup 23.04
Splinter Cell 59.99
Ghost Recon - Advanced Warrior 59.99
Smackdown vs Raw 2007 59.99
Shipping to send unit to States for repair 120.11
Shipping to have unit returned 211.00
Local shipping, handling, duties on games & wireless
control purchased 57.00
----------
Total monies spent relating to Xbox 360 US$ 1,311.98
----------

Now you can see why the Xbox 360 has been a waste of my money. Based on the experiences stated above I am unable to give this product more that one (1) star out of five (5).

Dissapointed, frustrated customer who can't believe he was duped into investing over US$1,300 in a gaming system which doesn't work!

R. Sparrock
Bridgetown, Barbados

Xbox 360 Console Includes 20GB Hard Drive (with HDMI)
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inherently Unstable, May 18, 2008
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Xbox 360 20GB [Old Version] (Video Game)
I've had my 360 for about a year. I have not played it heavily since I have a full time job and I have to pay bills. About a week and a half ago, it croaked on me. When I went to turn it on, I got the "red ring of death." I've been talking to other gamers and have found that this is a very common problem. Some are even saying that the failure rate is as high as 33 percent. I made sure that my 360 was well ventilated, but that didn't help. I had it on a milk crate with a revolving room fan blowing on it whenever I played. I did everything right from the start, and it still went belly up.

It's true that they upped their warranty to three years, but what are we supposed to do after that? All of my other systems have lasted longer than three years. The bottom line is that the XBox 360 is inherently unstable. It's unreliability makes it a poor choice for a game console. It is a poorly constructed product that is characterized by its inferiority. If 33% of current Xboxes are already dead or dying, what are the chances of this system actually making it to the five year mark? I wish I would have bought a PS3. The PS3 is a more reliable and powerful system. It also has free online capabilities. It doesn't have as wide of a selection of games, but this is just the beginning of the next generation of gaming. Gears of War isn't that big of a deal when the three red rings are flashing. It becomes a very expensive paperweight. Microsoft has made a huge error with the 360 and I made a huge error when I bought it. In their rush to be the first console on the market, they forgot to make a machine that actually works. Do not waste you money on this. PS3 is a superior choice.

UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is my second review for this product. After my Xbox red ringed, I called Microsoft and they sent me a 360 "coffin" with a shipping label. I packed my 360 up and took it to the UPS. I was pleasantly suprised when my newly repaired console arrived just a few weeks after I sent it off. Last night, I picked it up at the UPS office. When I got home, I got ready to play a little Call of Duty 4. I'll never forget the instant that I pushed the button. I couldn't believe it when my system showed me the three red rings......right out of the box. I kept turning it on and off and finally saw some green. I actually played for about ten minutes, and then it stopped. The screen went totally blank.... and when I looked up at my console.... there they were..... the dreaded "red rings of death." I sent it in for repairs and Microsoft didn't even bother to fix it.

This is extremely disappointing to me. The Xbox 360 console is a total disaster. I can not think of a worse system.... ever. The Atari Jaguar was a failure, but at least it worked. At least you could reliably play the one cool game on the system (Aliens vs. Predator). The original Nintendos wore out after a while. Remember blowing on your cartridges to get them to work? At least you could fiddle with it and get some kind of response every now and then.

The failure rates of the 360 are astronomical. This is bad. Really bad. I don't appreciate the way that Microsoft has conducted their business. I don't appreciate having my money and my time wasted. I can't even sell it at a decent price anymore. Since so many people are getting rid of them, the price on used 360 consoles has gone down considerably.

This is turning out to be a PR disaster for Microsoft. The 360 is giving Microsoft a really bad name. It looks like they've got a real problem on their hands and its not going away anytime soon. The only hope for current 360 owners is a class action lawsuit that would enable us to reclaim some of the money that we've wasted on this shamefully shoddy hardware.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Xbox 360 complaint, June 23, 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Xbox 360 20GB [Old Version] (Video Game)
I am writing to complain about the quality of the Xbox 360 hardware. As of two months ago the only issues I had with my Xbox 360 was the frequent and unpredictable disk read errors that would happen during game play. About 2 months ago upon turning on my 360 I received the Red Ring of Death. I was very pleased with the customer service from the initial phone call to the arrival of my replacement 360. With this new 360, new issues arrived. Instead of the frequent and unpredictable disk read errors, I have infrequent system locking problems. Yesterday while playing GTA4 my 360 made this loud sound and the screen went black. I turn the console off then back on again to find out now it has an "Unplayable Disc" inside it. It turns out that every variation of a disc that I have from a basic music CD to a movie DVD is unplayable. I read through Xbox 360 FAQ's to address my issue, and tried its fix actions to no avail. The last action that the FAQ told me to take was to turn my console in for repairs. I attempted to do so online but it told me to call the Xbox 1800 number. I called the 1800 number and spoke to a gentleman by the name of Joseph. He politely informed me to call back in 48 hours due to system problems. Here are my issues. This will be my second Xbox 360 in a two months time span that needs repairing. If the support lines computers are having issues I would think they would be calling me back instead of the other way around. Lastly I paid $400 for my Xbox 360. The one thing that I would expect from a device costing this much, would be that it would be able to complete its main function of playing video games flawlessly. I can honestly say I can not in good conscience recommend this console to anyone looking for a gaming device.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My experience with the XBOX 360...Buyer beware, March 25, 2008
By 
C. Olson (CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Xbox 360 20GB [Old Version] (Video Game)
I bought the XBOX 360 premium system back in December of '06. I was able to buy it, brand new, for $200 so I simply could not pass up the opportunity. At the time, I had never even heard of the "Red ring of death" or any of the other reliability problems the system was having. I had several friends who owned the XBOX 360 and they all loved it.

I started noticing problems the very first week. Occassionally, the CD drive would make an odd grinding noise. At first I thought nothing of it... until the game I was playing started to skip. Brand new games don't usually have skipping problems, so I took out the disc and looked at it. I was shocked to see significant circular scratches all over the game disc. The drive had to be the reason, as I take extreme care of my DVD's, CD's, and games. I knew then what that odd grinding noise was.

Another problem I noticed was that the system gets HOT! Like "fry an egg on it" hot. I laid it flat on a hard surface and I did not have the vent covers blocked at all. I guess the system needs a small fan to be pointed at it at all times, which is odd considering it has a huge and LOUD fan built in.

After a couple of weeks, I started noticing that the games would freeze up randomly, and I had to push "reset" to correct the problem. This was very frustrating and it usually happened in the middle of a multiplayer session.

I sold the XBOX after only a month of playing with it. I didn't know about it at the time, but I think these were the beginning signs of RRoD. Hopefully the person I sold it to can forgive me. I would avoid this system and get something else. Or, wait until Microsoft fixes this problem. I heard the new Falcon chip is better, but the Jasper chip coming out this August is supposed to be better. We'll just wait and see.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars To the hardware designers: my home theater has some standards, March 12, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Xbox 360 20GB [Old Version] (Video Game)
The two powerhouses of this console generation are vying for a spot as end-all entertainment hardware for the personal home theater. I gave both platforms a try and found blatant lapses in design integrity with the Xbox that bothered me enough to sell it at a loss and get a PS3. Here are some parting words for the Xbox and Xbox design team that I've just posted on craigslist:

* If you are going to be a part of my A/V setup, you have no right to be so incredibly loud. Not only did Microsoft fail to secure a consistently quiet optical drive manufacturer, they didn't bother engineering any auto-thermostat controls for the fans. Their solution, even after transitioning to a cooler chipset, is to blast the fans as high as possible - all the time, for the entire duration of the Xbox's life. So it matters not whether you have it on a cold tile floor, inside an actively ventilated cabinet rack or mounted in a freezer, it won't wise up to the circumstances and just dumbly works itself to death trying to disperse its exhaust. Fans only get louder with age and dust accumulation, and MS thought it prudent to start each of their consoles off at an already unacceptable volume.

* If you want a spot in my home theater rack, please don't bring along the biggest AC adapter I've ever seen included with a piece of consumer electronics. MS even took the time to design the gargantuan and grotesque adapter in such a manner that it doesn't resemble the Xbox hardware at all, a seemingly devious deception to distract you from the fact that it's the Xbox's baggage.

* Next time you revise the hardware, actually test out the possible home theater configurations. Want to send video to your TV by HDMI and sound directly to your receiver by optical? No. The provided and ONLY breakout cable that provides optical completely obscures the HDMI port.

* Yes, Xbox, you have some really decent games but I can't help but think that the console is simply disposable. Your reliability is awful, there's no indication that you're here to stay for more than a few years before Xbox 720, or that you will live long enough for me to show off the ancient visuals and control schemes to the son I may have in the next fifteen years. I like my electronics with confidence, and you exude little of it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars great............. when it works, May 17, 2008
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Xbox 360 20GB [Old Version] (Video Game)
i love my xbox...or at least i did until it got the 'red ring of death'. no problem...go online, find out that for this hardware problem (and only this problem specifically) get it fixed for free (and I would add way beyond the normal one year warranty period as it is a common problem)...and when you review other websites/blogs you realise why. it seems this is more than just a common problem...staggeringly, apparently more than 30% are plagued with it...and it's all because the soldered joints in the hardware are flawed. the heat generated by the system tends to break them causing a 'general hardware failure'. apparently 'they' knew about this early on and set money aside to 'fix' any affected units later.
well after it got 'fixed' and i was without my system for several weeks, it's now decided to break again after 4 weeks of very low useage. no 'red ring' this time...i suppose this is all part of the corporate game you have to 'play' as they never admit these problems are theirs and you have to spend so much of your own time resolving them that i am surprised people want this kind of headache from a consumer good
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WARNING!!!! Do Not Throw Your Money Away!!!!!!, March 26, 2008
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Xbox 360 20GB [Old Version] (Video Game)
First off, I have never owned any Playstation product or a Wii. I waited until the Falcon chips came out, then my first 360 was an Elite (verified Falcon chip) that lasted 6 weeks before it froze up completely at logo screen. It was replaced with a Pro(verified Falcon and I had to return the 2 free games) and $100 store credit (no Elites avaiable after Christmas) and it lasted about 8 weeks before it Red Ringed this past weekend. And before you fanboys start, I considered myself an XBOX Halo Fanboy (I owned 2 original Xbox with 50+ games) and I love Halo 3 and the other 360 only games but if I could sell all my 360 stuff (14 games and 4 controllers) I would in a heartbeat and buy a PS3 or even maybe a Wii(if they had any games). I have been gaming since Atari, Nintendo, Sega, computer, etc. but have never owned such a unreliable, unacceptable, sorry excuse for a gaming console. I Will NEVER, I repeat NEVER buy another MS console again!!!! Consider yourself WARNED!!! Oh and by the way, I never game more than 2 hours at a time, my 360s were elevated (even elevated the power supply brick) and had a circulating fan blowing on them at all times! Just like everyone else, I thought, oh the RROD will never happen to me, boy was I wrong!
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Xbox 360 20GB [Old Version]
Xbox 360 20GB [Old Version] by Microsoft (Xbox 360)
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