on November 19, 2010
Don't make the same mistake I did -- the 4 GB version may seem like a good deal if you don't think you'll need a lot of space, but what they don't tell you is that some features REQUIRE an actual hard drive. You might think that a gig is a gig and it shouldn't make any difference whether it's on a disk or flash memory, but to the Xbox, they are not equivalent.
This means that unless you buy a hard drive (and it has to be one of the new 250 GB hard drives because the old ones are not compatible), you get no backwards compatibility with Xbox games, and some 360 games will arbitrarily block you from some features such as playing online or even installing updates or DLC, regardless of how much free space you have available. Basically, you can only use the internal storage (or a flash drive) to store full games, saves, or other media, but it's not the same as having a 4 GB hard drive. I wish someone had told me this before I bought mine; I foolishly assumed that the features would be identical and the only difference would be the amount of space, but now I have to buy a hard drive separately, adding up to more than it would have cost if I'd just bought the 250 GB model in the first place. Caveat emptor, indeed.
on August 9, 2010
The xbox 360 slim with 4 GB is what the original arcade version should have been.
10 new features of this model are:
1. New Valhalla chip - hopefully improved design to prevent RRoD issue, but tech. reviews noted that the Jasper chip in the older Elite model runs cooler
2. WiFi N - this is the newest wifi standard that is 12X faster (up to 600 Mbits/ sec) than wifi G; you'll need a Wifi N router to get the max. speed
3. digital optical audio port (IF your sound system is separate from your TV, then you'll need this to get full 5.1 surround sound)
4. 4 GB of flash memory (although 1.1 GB is used by the game system, but 0.3 GB can be reclaimed by deleting 4 game demos)
5. 5 USB ports (2 in front & 3 in back)
6. slimmer design with side vents (to prevent overheating)
7. dedicated Kinect port (just a convenience feature)
8. only 1 year of warranty (the only negative; older Elite models had 3 yrs.)
9. USB flash drive support (this was a xbox software update released in April 2010)
10. ESPN video streaming (will be included if you are a Gold member, $50/ yr)
Slim 4 GB memory vs. 250 GB hard drive:
I bought the 4 GB system over the model with 250 GB hard drive because the xbox now supports game saves/ installs/ downloads and pic/ audio/ video downloads to USB flash drives. It supports 1-2 USB flash drives with 1-16 GB memory (using a 16 GB drive, 1.6 GB is used for formatting). 2 advantages of USB drives: loading games and media is 3x faster with USB drives than disc reading and more reliable (flash memory rarely fails, while discs can get scratched). 2 disadvantages of USB drives: you can not install old xbox games on USB drives and certain games, like Halo Reach and Halo ODST, will not support online coop without a hard drive (having a USB drive will not help). If you have a big appetite for video downloads and game demos that 32 GB can not accommodate, then you can always upgrade later with a 360 GB hard drive. The original model's hard drive is not compatible with the slim model without modification - you would need to remove the original hard drive and insert it into a slim hard-drive case (non-Microsoft, sold separately). You can find a non-Microsoft 120 GB drive for 1/2 the price of the Microsoft drives, but you would need to manually install the "partition 2" xbox emulator (search google) to play old xbox games.
XBOX vs. PS3:
I am originally a PS3 and Wii gamer, but finally bought the xbox when the slim 4 GB model was released. To be competitive with the PS3, the xbox had to have the built-in wifi, optical audio port, and USB flash drive support. I was deciding whether to buy another PS3 since many games require 2 consoles for coop and multiplayer gaming, regardless of what system you choose. With this xbox priced at $200, I decided to choose the xbox since it has better coop games and more online gaming. However, Netflix on xbox requires gold membership and starting a movie is a lot slower than the PS3 even though the xbox has faster wifi. Xbox music and music videos library needs to expand to the size of their TV and movies selection to be comparable with iTunes. The PS3 has better graphics though not significantly better (expected since PS3 has a better processor), but the xbox has better coop and multiplayer games. The PS3 controller is better designed, better constructed, and has a rechargeable battery; the D-pad on the included xbox controller creaked without even playing a single game. Also the PS3 has a Blu-Ray player, which accounts for the small cost difference. The button to open the disc tray on the xbox is too sensitive and not recessed, so slightly brushing it with your clothes will activate it.
Speed Comparison Update:
The Witcher 2 game, which is highly recommended, inspired me to write this update. For the Slim 4 GB model, most game discs can not be installed to the internal memory due to insufficient space. The internal memory is 3x faster than hard drives, which is 3x faster than USB drives, which is 3x faster than disc reading. The approximate speeds are: 270 MB/s internal memory > 90 MB/s hard drive > 30 MB/s USB drives > 10 MB/s disc reading. NOTE: USB drives vary a lot in speed; check the speed and cost before buying - you get what you pay for. So loading a game installed on a USB drive is faster than loading it from the disc, but can be potentially 9x faster if installed to internal memory. The Slim model should be updated with at least 16 GB memory since a game DVD holds up to 8.5 GB of data, 1.5 GB is needed for system files, and 6 GB should be reserved for game saves and updates. With flash memory so cheap these days, Microsoft has no excuse to not increase the internal memory to at least 16 GB. I originally gave the Slim model 5 stars, but docked it 1 star for this issue since it's been more than 2 years since this model was released.
Online Gaming & Media Sharing Update:
I originally didn't mind paying for xbox gold membership since it included Last FM music and ESPN video streaming, but now there are better music streaming service (Sony's definitely better) and the videos within each sports category are disorganized and poorly label so it's hard to find specific clips. So when I discontinued my xbox gold memberships, I found out that you can not play online coop games, even privately hosted ones, without at least one person having gold membership. Microsoft should at least allow privately hosted, online coop games to account for the lack of LAN support by most games. Also, the xbox's support of DLNA media streaming from your computer is poor; you can not save your media, only stream it. DLNA media streaming and sharing is flawless with the PS3. Microsoft's greed is evident in these 2 issues so I docked the xbox another star to give it only 3 stars.
on August 6, 2010
The best Xbox so far. The matte finish, price, 4GB internal is plenty for game saves and some add-ons. If you want more memory, just add 1-2 16GB USB flash sticks. I use USB drives for game saves and full game installs. This way I never have to worry about IF the system breaks on me. I'll always have my personal saves on the flash sticks. I never trust hard drives as they are more prone to fail over a flash stick. Thats why I didn't keep the 250GB version. Plus I don't do demos so I don't need that kind of space. Matte finish does not collect dust and hair like the gloss version does which drove me crazy as I did own the 250GB version for a short time until this version came out. VERY HAPPY with the arcade.
on October 24, 2010
This XBOX 360 is perfect for me. But a lot of people are complaining because the Halo nerds can't play certain levels on Halo Reach because of there isn't enough room on the Hard Drive... take a deep breath, count to ten, and listen to me.
Alright This XBOX 360 only has 4 GB of space right???? Right, BUTTTTTTT YOU CAN USE FLASH DRIVES! I personnally have 2 16 GB Flash drives do the math that's 32GB + 4GB= 36GB of space plenty for me. Not to mention you can delete and reinstall all you want on these flash drives. Oh and by the way 16GB is the maximum amount of memory per flash drive and you are only allowed 2 flash drives plugged in at anytime. But again that's plenty for me.
For instance. I play Call of Duty. Now game saves take about couple hundred KB or so and even map packs take about 500 MB so that's not that much memory. The real chunk of memory get taken up by installing games which makes the XBOX perform smoother and better.
Now me being a Call of Duty player. I am playing with one 16GB Flash Drive. I have COD MW2 installed on it along with some games saves from it and other games, and my map packs and it has 6.9 GB of space left on it. When Black Ops comes out alls I am going to do is delete Modern Warfare 2 off the Flash Drive. Install Black Ops and go take a shower or something while I am waiting for it to install and when i get back Whaaaa Laaaa! and still plenty of room to boot. For those who like to buy games off of XBOX live you can get them just as cheap if not cheaper used from Game Stop or used from Amazon. So don't waste your money on the marketplace have the disk. But it's up to you.
Anyway just real quick you can't just plug your USB Flash drive in and go. You HAVE TO FORMAT IT! Which will render it dedicated to the XBOX 360 and it will erase what ever is on it. That's fine for me because I don't use my flash drives anymore I have an external hard drive.
So with that said you insert your flash drive, go to "System Settings" go to "Memory" you will see the flash drive go to it and format it. After that you are good to go to use it! Done end of story I am out!
Having recently bought this box, I thought I'd share some of my thoughts if you are trying to figure out which one to get:
1. Get the 4GB version. Don't even think twice about the 250GB hard drive version. You will probably need the 250GB but you don't need it the first day. For less than $50 you can get an aftermarket 250GB drive that pops right into the bay on the box, and it works perfectly. You get everything you get with the 250GB version of the Xbox for $50 less.
2. The version with the Kinetic is great. One thing I love is the minimal number of plugs and wires. One wire from the Kinetic to the Xbox. One wire from the Xbox to the TV. One power plug for all.
3. I'm not a "gamer". I'm almost 60. I bought this for the Kinetic and the "party" game aspect. However, its an awesome home entertainment hub. No kidding. We've got a lot of PCs and even a server. Setting up the ability to watch or listen to the content from somewhere else on the network is a breeze. The box also plays DVDs.
4. Kinetic is better than Wii. I've got a Wii, but I love the ability to do things without the controllers.
5. Xbox is fun for games. Yeah I'm not a gamer, but I like puzzle games and pinball simulations. Pinball FX2 is fantastic.
6. This is the best, most innovative consumer product Microsoft has come up with. No kidding.
I really thought I was buying "another" game console. Over the years I've bought a few. Usually I play with them about 2 weeks, then they sit. After a while my partner, who teaches high school, takes them to school and the kids use them to play games at lunch time. The Xbox 360 is different. It plays games, but it's a lot more. It's a home entertainment system, it's a camera and microphone for internet calls on your PC, its a device to access Netflix over the Internet. It's a different type of home PC with a lot of power, interesting features and the ability to render great graphic on your high definitions TV. Most products are over-hyped. The Xbox 360 is actually under-hyped.
on August 31, 2010
I am one of those guys who had an Xbox 360 when it first came out. I like everyone else sufffered from the Red Ring of Death and had to send my unit back in for repair. That was probaly a year and half to two years ago that it was repaired from the RROD. About 1 year ago, I started having problems where the disc player would not read the game correctly and I had to keep on opening the disc player and closing it over and over until it read the disc. Finally, the video card of the Xbox 360 seemed to just die out, i could no longer get a signal on any television, I even bought a new AV cable with no success. Alas, I called microsoft and they wanted $100 to repair it. I decided to say screw that, so I bought a new xbox 360 with HDMI support. I hooked it up to my reciever and I started having some problems with the screen. I was now fed up with microsoft. I returned the 360 and decided to go PS3 all the way.
Well it turns out that on the second 360 i had bought (the new one) the problem was with my home theater reciever and not the 360. So while all my friends had fun playing online together on 360, I was left out with no friends on PS3. ( I just dont know anyone online on the PS3). So my wife bought me this new slim model for my birthday and these are my thoughts.
WIFI - Found my network and connected with ease, wonderful feature.
HDMI Support - does not come with a HDMI cable, but you can get a cheap one on amazon.
4 GB Memory - not exactly alot, but you can buy a 16 GB flash drive to put in one of the many USB ports. BUT...the flash card I bought had a slightly thicker base and I could not plug it into the rear of the 360, so it is poking out of the front slot. So make sure you get a flash drive that is not too big.
Xbox Live - No card for free live for a month?
Headset - No headset
Xbox 360 - the new model is sleek and beautiful. The disc drive is like a touch sensor which is really neat. This is soooo much more quiet than my old 360. I havent put in a major time yet but I didnt feel much heat coming off it which is a definite plus of course.
All in all, 4/5 stars, just because I thought microsoft was a little cheap with no headset, the memory, and no free xbox live gold trial - especially since they are raising the price.
on August 6, 2010
First off, let's hope these new designs don't suffer any of the same (or new!) problems -- RRoD anyone?
You have a few options in what bundle you get. You can choose between a 4GB and 250GB hard drive. Kinect will be bundled later this year with some other packages.
These pros and cons are really for comparing the new 360 S with the older 360 models.
- New sleek design. Smooth black matte finish. Meshes nicely with my other A/V components.
- More vents. New side vent. Top and bottom vents seem to have a little more airflow.
- Quiet. Runs much more quietly than the previous models.
- Built in Wi-Fi supports 802.11 b/g/n. Mine connected flawlessly to my wireless router initially. I then changed it to work over Ethernet since I already had it wired.
- Additional USB ports. Five total - two in front, three in back. Easy to add additional drives.
- Optical audio port added for those not using HDMI but want the better audio fidelity.
- Hard drive is internal - helping make the design smaller.
- Bottom vent, if unit used vertically, completely blocked and very warm. Doesn't make me feel good using it in this position with all of the heat problems of the previous builds.
- No HDMI cable included.
- No support for Blu-Ray. OK ... I know Microsoft doesn't want to cozy up to Sony and pay licensing fees, but this would have made the 360 a complete system and could have really crushed PS3 sales.
- Still lacking in support for some codecs for playing video files, but this is more of a software issue than hardware at this point.
- Runs hot. Not sure if the cooling is adequate but time will tell. With that said, my other A/V components can run just as hot but they never suffered the fate(s) of the original XBOX360s.
- Initial storage options are limited. 4GB or 250GB -- and expensive $ per gigabyte. Better off buying your own non-Microsoft external HD.
All in all, it's an excellent unit for under $200. Some of the general features of the 360: Compatible with all the old games as well as the new Kinect sensor (sold separately or bundled). It makes a very good media player that can play files from attached drives or your media server (PC) and has a Netflix application for streaming movies for those that have XBOX Live and a Netflix account.
on August 17, 2010
Let me just start off by saying I'm in love with the matte black that's on these 4gb arcades. I didn't want to get the 250gb glossy Xbox 360 slim because I've had annoying experiences with my PS3 and how fingerprints and dust really are drawn to the glossy surface. This, though, is perfect, especially if you're anal about things like that just like me.
This is the Xbox 360 that Microsoft should be proud of. It's everything that'll satisfy a new Xbox 360 purchaser, and if you've been holding out, now's your chance to see what all the buzz is about.
For $200, you're getting an amazing deal, especially when compared to the older "phat" models of the Xbox 360:
- Smaller system, hence the nickname "slim."
- Sleeker/sexier. I think this is pretty self explanatory. Just look at them both side by side.
- MUCH quieter. When Microsoft says "whisper quiet," they mean it. Especially if you install your games so the disk doesn't even spin.
- Extremely high reliability increase compared to the 5 year old Xenon phat models, and even the reliable Jasper phat models. This is because of the 45nm combined cpu/gpu die, which is dubbed the Valhalla chipset. Jasper model phats were renown for being reliable and breaking the dreaded 3RROD curse that plagued older models, because they used a 65nm chipset. This Valhalla chipset is even better. Not to mention that, just like a Mac or a PS3, the console will shutdown if overheating, preventing damage to the console. Mines is usually on 12+ hours a day and I haven't had any problems.
-Built in WiFi-N. Microsoft finally added wifi to their console, and to make up for it not being in the phat models, they went all out and made it wifi-N, which is the fastest wifi on any console available today. About time!
-4gb internal flash memory, which can hold about 4000 game saves. It's enough for some DLC here and there and maybe an arcade game or two, but the best part is that it's a major upgrade from the original phat arcades, which only had 256MB of flash memory. This is MORE then enough memory for a casual user, or a kid who only uses memory to save games. If, however, you want to do more like download a lot of things, you can buy a standalone 250gb HDD around next month and simply slide it in. Technically, you'll have 254gb of memory if you do it that way.
- 5 USB slots. If you have a random USB lying around the house, just stick it in for more memory! 4gb flash memory and two 16gb cheap flash drives = 36gb of memory!
- Kinect ready, meaning it has a port in the back solely for Kinect. If you have a phat Xbox 360, you'll need to plug Kinect into a power outlet on the wall.
- Touch sensitive buttons, which is a neat bonus.
All in all, for $200, this deal can't be beat for what it offers. Whether you're looking to buy an Xbox for Halo: Reach or Gears of War 3, or want to try out Dance Central, or are buying it for a younger person for such games as Kinectimals, you're in for a treat either way.
on April 18, 2015
I'm giving 1-star to this particular Xbox from this particular seller because zero-stars is not an option. I should know better than to buy a used unit no matter how glowing a review I read. I should have followed my instincts and passed on a used Xbox, my bad. Anyway, the seller described this console as being in "very good" condition. I just assumed that meant that it would load and play a game. I guess that's not what they meant. After plugging it in and spending a whole evening reconfiguring my grandsons Microsoft account and getting it connected to his Wi-Fi we found that it would not open the DVD drive. We got it open with the manual over ride, inserted his favorite mine craft game and this Xbox would not read it. After taking to the local game store they discovered that the Laser lens in the drive was bad. Now I'm throwing good money after bad to get it repaired just so my grandson won't be disappointed.
WARNING: Just a word to the wise don't buy used electronics especial not this Xbox!
on March 3, 2012
I never write reviews where I utterly despise the product but there is a first for everything I guess. I will try to be as fair as I can be though in my review of the xbox 360 slim. And I will make comparisons with my 3 year old chubby ps3- which still runs beautifully. And please know that I am not a fanboy in the slightest. I really, really wanted to love my new 360, but I just couldn't once I kept hitting technical snags along the way.
So here are the advantages of the xbox 360 (slim):
1) Dorsal vent: I like that I can just lay my 360 down flat and have a generous openeing to allow the heat to come out. The PS3 has only side vents and really traps the heat. I don't like that.
2) Controller: I also like the ergonomics of xbox 360 controllers in general and prefer them to the PS3's. I don't like how the wireless ones need two AA batteries though, but I guess this could be solved by buying genuine microsoft adapter/wire controller.
3) Size: The thinness is a real advantage considering all the computing power this machine has. I really am amazed how they got the sizing down. The PS3 is still big and squarish (PS3 slim).
4) Tech Support: Microsoft definitely wins in this department. More of an apple feel and my rep was in the US which was awesome. Sony really falls behind when it comes down to their reps being informed and knowledgable in all areas of the PS3.
***But here are the MAJOR things with the 360 slim and microsoft in general that made me post my 360 for sale and stick with my other console:
1) The price for Online Features/Gameplay:
PS3= free for life, Xbox 360= $50/year or amazon's special of $35/year or be lucky and live off of freebie offers. Either way, within a couple years you will have already paid for another xbox 360 just in LIVE fees alone. Even if there are more online players on Xbox than PS3, I'd still rather spend $50/year on something else that I like. Plus when you pay for something that will run out, you feel obligated to make the most use out of it. This is especially difficult if you're a student and can only play every so often. But I always am feeling that I need to "get my money's worth." Probably not a big deal to some but it sure is for me.
2) Online Experience:
Here's the deal. I got more drops from COD W@W during the gameplay on XBL (xbox live) than I did on PSN (playstation network). And I always kept hearing that XBL was so solid and reliable. And you know, it probably still is. Perhaps it may be unfair to make judgement on an old game but I will say this: my PS3 has had no drops online when playing COD W@W and that impresses me.
Furthermore the people on both systems. Playing gears and MW3 and other multiplayer games, I'm just sick and tired of the extremely rude, young and immature players that are on XBL. I know people are people and you come across them on both systems, but I have had such a bad experience playing online on XBL than PSN that it actually is a point in itself in my review. It really annoys me. It seems like a lot of older/mature gamers are on the PS3 and its really a nice change.
And lastly, when playing well known titles' multiplayers, I am so sick and tired of playing against players on XBL that have those "modded" "rapid-fire" xbox controllers!!! I've seen them for sale on amazon, craiglist, and just about anywhere. Where's the fun/fairness in playing against that? Esp. when I'm paying $35-50/month for this multiplayer feature! That's a reason in itself to pass on the 360 IMO.
2) HDD Expansion:
Can ONLY be genuine microsoft hard drive! I bought a 250 gb "official microsoft drive" (a hard drive in a special enclosure) off ebay that was 3x the price of a regular bare bones laptop HDD. Not only was it faulty and I had to return it to MS for repairs, but it took 4 weeks to get back to me! I had a 60gb laptop harddrive sitting next to me the whole time (talk about ironic). So I lost more money to expand the measley 4gb of this console. With PS3, any 2.5" laptop HDD will work. I was able to swap in a 500Gb 2.5" HDD for under a $100. No "genuine Sony" bull-crap there. Look up the price for a 300GB 360 Slim HDD and you will not be pleased.
3) Game Discs:
Aside from the graphics difference of the games (which some say the difference is negligible) the xbox game discs get scratched very easily. There is not even a way to make playable backups of your games before they fail from so much use. With PS3, the games are on blu ray discs. Blu rays are known for their longevity and are extremely scratch resistant layers. Therefore there would not be any need to back up a game. And my games also run noisely on my 360 slim, you can hear an audible noise every time the disc spins. In the 360's defense though, I give mad props to the console for producing such high quality from a mere DVD. I have heard that many games are made for Xbox then ported to PS3 (So you won't see true PS3 potential unless you play a PS3 exclusive title).
4) Installing games on the HDD:
Here's what I don't understand. Why does microsoft give you the option to make a 6-7 GB game install on your HDD when you still need the game disc to play the game? "To make it run better by relying on the disc less and more from the hard drive." I think its for copyright reasons. But my disc drive is still spinning just like before and the game has not improved from this feature. Secondly, why can't I install xbox original (compatible games) onto my HDD? They are becoming so rare now and being on dvd are very vulnerable. ...I think its a pointless feature.
Xbox= advertisements for 3rd parties on many panels (videos, marketplace, social, etc.). I hate that. It's like getting an Iphone and having apple run ads on the bottom of the screen. Luckily this is only on the home screen and not on the loading pages of games.
PS3= no advertisements. Just Playstation network-related offers and games on 1 panel only- their Playstation network store panel. They are not trying to collect pocket change by posting advertisements from red bull or world of warcraft on their network. (Comebine THAT with FREE online access!)
I really don't understand the need for such a clunky power adapter too. It's like a brick. Sony just has a cable run down from the system and into the outlet. Simple.
7) Marketplace features:
I can't watch netflix or voodu without a paid Xbox live active account. Simply having an account is not good enough. With PS3, you just make your account and because online access is free, you can watch netflix or other programs (providing you are already a member of them).
The 360 used to have the jump on the PS3 over exclusive titles (it still does on its massive game library), but now Sony has come back into full swing and has a much vaster collection of exclusive games that are more unique than the 360 ones. In fact, it is with these exclusive games that you can see the true beauty and potential of your PS3 unit. Also, there are a few big name titles that were once Xbox-exclusive and now have their sequels produced for the PS3 now. (i.e. Mass Effect)
All in all, I am really dissapointed with Microsoft's xbox 360. I feel that I am always getting ripped off by Microsoft. If Im not paying for xbox live, I'm paying for AA batteries. If I'm not paying for batteries, I'm paying for games that are the same price as blu ray games. And when I refuse to pay for xbox live....those games I have that are known for online play....will be useless to me. Really bad purchasing decision in my opinion. Many who read this will probably think I am a "PS3 fanboy", but I've given my honest opinion. And I have written this review based on experience with the two consoles, so I am not spewing things heard/seen on forums where the raging console battles take place. I am so frustrated with this money-sucking console and greedy MS corporation that I am never going to buy another microsoft console again. ...unless they come out with a Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 3 ^_^ only then will i shoot myself in the foot and grab the next MS console. lol