on November 6, 2013
I managed to pick this up when Amazon had it listed for $249, a bargain in my book (...wouldn't be surprised to see a similar discount again with Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up...). For anyone that doesn't already have an Xbox 360 and wants a Kinect to go along with it, this is the bundle to get. Microsoft's most recent "E" iteration of the unit gives it a simpler slightly slimmed down look which blends in nicely with all my other entertainment center tech (the power pack is enormous though, make sure you have room to tuck it away behind something). To anyone that already has a recent 360, there's not much reason to upgrade, everything else is pretty much the same under the hood.
The internal 250GB drive should be sufficient to store a decent amount of downloaded games and additional DLC - if you're considering the 4GB version, be aware that this may limit you sooner than you might think as many disc-based games now make it necessary to offload some content onto the hard drive (even if you have no intention of purchasing fully-digital copies of games). You could always buy a hard drive later, but if the price is right with the 250GB included already, why not spring for it?
The Forza Horizon game included in the bundle is a digital copy - a card with a download code is included in the box. The two Kinect games have the discs included. The Kinect turned out to be a lot of fun but make sure you have plenty of space. I have the Kinect mounted on the top of my 55" Panny plasma (make sure you buy the mounting clip separately if you want to mount on top of your flat screen!) and I measured 8 feet from the front of the unit to the edge of my couch, and this turned out to be not enough space, still ended up having to rearrange the furniture. Realistically I would say make sure you have about 10 feet of distance between where you'll stand and the Kinect. There are some "zoom lens" products sold for the Kinect as well to try to decrease this minimum distance, I have not gone this route as reviews seem to be mixed. But YMMV.
Finally, I made this purchase fully aware that the next generation Xbox One will be out by the end of the month. I reasoned that the upfront hardware cost for the aging Xbox 360 is a good value for the price I paid, many of the games will be much cheaper (and at least for now, are still widely available), and I anticipate Microsoft will still support the system for a least a few more years even after the Xbox One is released, if prior generations are any indication. As the "E" version is also the last version of the 360 to be made, I'm hoping all the hardware kinks have been worked out by this point. Not comfortable jumping right in with the new One hardware at release, especially after seeing what happened when the 360 hardware was first released. I'm comfortable with waiting 2-3 years before considering an Xbox One when the hardware has been proven and there's a solid library of games to choose from.
on October 28, 2013
I've been an Xbox 360 owner for year and it's been a really great console. This S model is their more recent iteration and it is incredibly quiet and reliable (this is an important point, because the models at the beginning of the Xbox 360's lifespan were notorious for terrible failure rates...Microsoft has learned their lesson). I won't waste your time listing all the great 360 games you can pick up, but I will say that the 3 included with this holiday bundle are decent. Forza Horizon is the best of the bunch and if you're a fan of arcadey (i.e. not simulation) racing games, I think you'll love it. Kinect Adventures is a collection of minigames that basically show you the type of fun things that you can do with your Kinect sensor. Kinect Sports I don't own but from what I hear it's similar to Kinect Adventures, but the minigames are sports-themed instead. Kinect Sports is probably the weakest game of the 3. That said, I have friends that have been interested in getting a 360 and Kinect and I've been advising them to pick up a model that includes the larger hard drive (versus the less expensive model that just has 4GB of storage...that 250GB of storage on this model DOES come in handy). Today would be the perfect day for anybody in their situation to pick one up, because the price for this bundle is great!
One word of warning: if you have plans to play multiplayer games online or use services like Netflix on the 360, Microsoft puts those things behind a subscription service ($60/year for Xbox Live Gold, which gives you multiplayer, access to apps like Netflix, and also a number of free games in their "Games for Gold" initiative. You can find deals on the subscriptions if you search for them so you rarely pay $60, but it's still something to be aware of).
And one more thing: If you have kids, I'd highly recommend buying the downloadable game Kinect Party. My 4 and 2 year old LOVE playing that game, and it's very inexpensive.
on October 21, 2013
- most compact model released
- most silent model released
- compatible with current "slim" removable hard drives
- only 4 USB ports instead of 5 (but so what - who uses all of them)
- swipe to turn on/off gone (i didn't hate swipe and don't miss it either)
- no major improvements such as USB3, addition of blutooth, huge SSD or anything else (possible they can't do this without major issues)
- value. $50 gc came with my deal, but this bundle includes various outdated titles that can be obtained used for $10 each (if not cheaper)
- removal of digital optical output might render some high end (Turtle Beach) headsets unusable
- biggest hard drive available is still only 320gb (won't be a con to some, but is to me)
- flash data limited to 2x32gb (won't be a con to some, but is to me)
otherwise the same old 360 you already know...
on November 19, 2013
Last time Microsoft updated the Xbox 360, it was 2010. The so-called Xbox 360 S added some much-needed upgrades to the 360, including built-in Wi-Fi, a larger hard drive, and a smaller chassis. More importantly, the 360 S was quieter, and incorporated a new hardware design that eliminated the notorious "Red Ring of Death" overheating issue that afflicted the 360 since it was first introduced in 2005. For 2013, Microsoft has introduced another version of the 360, known as the Xbox 360 E. But with its successor, the Xbox One, hitting stores in November -- along with its arch-rival, the PlayStation 4 -- is there any reason to sink $300 into a new 360? And even if you do set your sights on the 360, is the latest model the biggest bang for your buck? I spent some time with the 360 E, and here's what I found out. The new 360 vs. the previous 360 A bit smaller than 2010's Xbox 360 S (I'm talking millimeters here), there's really only a few aesthetic changes to the design of the 360 E. For starters, it's designed to fall in line with stylings of the Xbox 360's incoming successor, Xbox One. The 360 E shares a similar glossy and matte mashup with angled grilles on top and on either side for On the back panel, the all-important HDMI connection is still there, but there's no longer a multi-AV out port. Instead, what's left is a jack for a 1/8-inch breakout AV cable. A cable for a composite connection (yellow video plus red/white stereo audio) comes in the box, but you'll need to find a component one for HD. The good news is that the cables are no longer proprietary. The bad news? Still, to this day, you cannot play Xbox 360 in HD right out of the box without supplying your own cables. Microsoft has eliminated some of the versatile connection interfaces that were present on the 360 S -- which is actually kind of a bummer. Gone is the dedicated optical audio-out found on earlier 360 models. That means the only way to get surround sound is through the HDMI connection. If you're like me and have a slightly older AV receiver that can't accept audio over HDMI, you might be in trouble. If this wasn't enough, the Xbox 360 E actually removes a USB port as well. You're probably not going to feel the impact of only having a total of four ports (two in the front, two in the back) as opposed to five, but when you're paying the same price as a 360 S, one would assume that all the parts would be kept intact. Another slight difference: the touch power and eject controls from the 360 S have been replaced with more-traditional physical buttons. There are, however, a few things that survived the trip from S to E. The 360 E maintains the elusive infrared port (so, unlike the IR-less PS3, you can still use standard remote controls) and a replaceable hard drive (you'll still need to use the proprietary Microsoft model, not just a standard laptop HDD). What else is different? Not a whole lot. The 360 E can stand horizontally or vertically. The power slot is differently shaped, but the inline power brick from the S is still present. Ethernet and Wi-Fi are still onboard for online connectivity, and the dedicated Kinect port remains. Microsoft debuted the E console saying it would run quieter and cooler. During my few weeks with it I did notice those two things to be true, but nowhere near the dramatic improvement going from a "classic" white 360 (the 2005 version) to the 360 S (2010 version). If temperature and noise are your two biggest reasons for seeking an upgrade, allow me to talk you out of it. Gaming and entertainment options The Xbox 360 is the top-selling game console of this generation with good reason. The game library is top-notch, with all of the top third-party games you'll also find on PS3 (Madden, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Assassin's Creed, BioShock, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and so forth), plus a handful of key Xbox exclusives, such as the Halo, Gears of War, and the Forza series, as well as the upcoming Titanfall. There's also a great selection of smaller downloadable indie titles on Xbox Live Arcade.
I have four Xbox 360's in my house since I use them as extenders for my Windows Media Center PC that runs my TV. But one of them was the original Xbox 360 from the initial release when they first started being sold. It still worked (no red ring of death) but was noisy as all you know what and didn't have a large hard drive. I've got the Xbox One preordered already, but since games aren't backwards compatible I knew I have to keep a 360 system on my main TV in the great room anyway. So I thought I'd take advantage of decent pricing and get a new one that will sit next to the XB1 when it arrives, that will be in warranty for a little while as well. And this way I can move the slim into my Halo Vanguard portable gaming system, pull the elite out of there to put back into my room, and shuffle things about. And all this will free up an Xbox I can give away to someone.
The unit itself is nice. People are complaining about the lack of an optical audio out, so if you need that, the 360E is not for you. I use HDMI so not an issue for me at all. The controller is standard, as is the Kinect (although there's a bit more to the logo than my existing Kinect). The power brick is similar to the one for the Xbox 360 slim, but rather than two power barrels on the end, there's just one barrel with multiple sections on the cylinder. There's a network port still which I like, since I don't like saturating my wireless with things that I can run plugged into my gigabit network here at home.
The unit is nice. I like that it's more a match to the forthcoming Xbox One, and I like the less intrusive appearance from the front, since the power button and lights are a fraction of the size of previous version's power buttons. This comes at a cost, however. There is no longer any indication of what controllers are connected, like you used to be able to see with the four different quarter arc lights around the power button indicating player 1, player 2, etc. There is no more indication of any controller connected whatsoever. This is a bit of a deprecation, but since it's generally me and my 10 year old son playing, it's not something that impacts us.
The buttons are buttons again, not just sensors like the Xbox Slim had. Physical clicking buttons for power and eject.
Fit and finish is nice.
But the big thing is the silence. And it is VERY silent. I'm about 15 feet away on the couch and can't hear anything at all from it. Even up close, it's dead silent. The drive also makes considerably less noise when reading discs than the slim or previous versions did.
It took me several hours to transfer content from the slim to this via a USB stick, and then the hassle for transferring licenses and redownloading things that I couldn't just transfer over in that process.
UI is smooth, I didn't see any difference here between this and any of the previous Xbox versions I have.
The games are alright, but don't buy it for the games since they're usually discounted separately now anyway. And be aware, the racing game is a code only, you have to download all 6.8 GB before you can play it.
If you're looking for an Xbox 360 because you want to be able to play the games available, this is a great choice. If you are looking to replace an existing older Xbox 360 for whatever reason like I was, it's a great choice. If you're looking for any new features, there are none. Some people prefer the looks of the Xbox 360 slim, so you can always get that without any loss of functionality compared to this one. They're ALL going to be cheaper because of the push to get as many sold as they can before the Xbox One launches in another 22 days.
For the price, I thought it was a great deal, getting the games, the new style Xbox 360, and another kinect that my son can take with the Vanguard when he goes gaming elsewhere.
on December 3, 2013
My review is actually guideline for Xbox user. Most of the buyers are interested in exact difference between ONE and 360.
The new Xbox One is in market, you can expect ONE to be faster, smarter and better than the current console. But what are the key differences:
New Kinect for Xbox One features a 1080p camera and it also features a 1:1 movement ratio with little to no lag. It now has a 250k pixel infrared depth sensor and a webcam, with a wider angle lens. Use of the Kinect sensor is optional with Xbox One.
Xbox 360 has 640×480 @ 30Hz (IR depth-finding camera)
The Xbox One has big change over the Xbox 360. ONE includes an 8-core AMD system on a chip, which should be more than enough to bring proper next-gen looking games to your living room. To put things in perspective, the Xbox 360 used a Xenos processor which had three separate cores. No where near as much power as the Xbox One.
The Xbox One is better in multi-tasking. It now has 8GB of RAM vs 512MB. Storage is up to 500GB internal memory over the 250GB maximum found on the Xbox 360. Games are subject to mandatory installs with the Xbox One however, so expect that storage to fill quickly.
You will now be able to play HD movies without having to download them first via the internet. With 4K support too you'll be future proofed when the Blu-ray Disc Association finalises the ability to put a 4K movie on a Blu-ray disc - something that isn't possible at the moment.
Does Kinect in Box?
Kinect is no longer the optional extra it was with the Xbox 360. If you want the Xbox One you've got to sign up to Kinect too.
Look and Feel:
The two boxes look radically different with the Xbox One ditching smooth curves for a blunt, squarer design that matches the company's user interface. The controller now also gets a built-in battery and easier to hold.
The Xbox 360 allows you to display your console either standing-up or lying down. The Xbox One console is designed to remain horizontal. Vertical positioning of the console is not supported.
The Xbox One has far greater scope when it comes to the cloud, way beyond the ability to store game saves or download content. Microsoft comments on Xbox One will be able to give your games more power to create new gameplay, persistent worlds and deeper experiences; update automatically, so you shouldn't have to wait for downloads or update; and let you start a game, movie, or TV show on one console and finish exactly where you left off on another.
XBOX One has new Kinect sensor. ONE can't play 360 games and vice versa.
Xbox One will not support USB or external drives.
on October 28, 2013
This is a great bundle for those looking for a new XBOX 360 or wanting to hold off on the XBOX One craze until more games come along.
I highly recommend this one since it comes with a large HD which comes in handy now that more games are requiring installs of game data (GTA V was roughly 8 GB - more than the arcade XBOX holds).
The new sleek E version of the 360 is nice and looks more professional than the odd shapes of the last 2 editions.
The Games on this edition are a bit older than the regular bundle, but my kids love both Adventures and Sports games included with this bundle.
Well worth the investment.
on January 14, 2014
We have 2 children ages 6 and 4 and they caught on to the games right off the bat....amazing how they can figure it all out! My son, their father, plays on it as much if not more than they do. I am a slow learner but coming along for a gal 77 My 3 great grandsons come over and they have a popcorn and pop party with the Xbox the main attraction. I highly recommend it. Easy to set up and easy to play on.
on December 4, 2013
My son absolutely loves the Xbox 360. This was supposed to be a Christmas gift; but, I couldn't wait! I have fun playing with him too. Good mommy & son bonding time. Great deal considering it's usual price. No regrets.
on January 4, 2014
this is one of the best gift i have ever received. The 360 w/ kinect is so awesome. the 3 games: Forza Horizon, Kinect adventures, and kinect sports 2 are amazing. The best is Forza. It uses Kinect for the GPS, so you don't have to activate GPS with the controller. This games graphics are amazing, and the races are fun. Moving on to sports, Kinect Sports contains Darts (my personal fav), Baseball, tennis, skiing, football, and golf. Better than the first by far. Kinect Adventures is also fun, but is not as good as the others. The actual kinect sensor is really accurate and does not lag at all. And of course the xbox 360. The crown jewel of the all the gaming systems. You can create as many profiles as you want, and customize your profile characters up the a mole on the left center cheek (seriously). I would hurry up and buy this bundle before it disappears. Totally worth the money. Great birthday present.