Saturday, November 22, 2008

Xbox 360 Third Year Anniversary

Today, the Xbox 360 has officially turned 3 years old! At last check, it's the second best selling console of this generation and is first place in software sales with seven retail games sold for every console. The current best selling game for the platform is Halo 3, and we just witnessed an innovative software redesign with this week's launch of the New Xbox Experience.

Xbox LIVE continues to be the top console online gaming service with over 12 million members, and the Xbox LIVE Marketplace remains an excellent source not just for Xbox 360 game related content such as game add-ons, demos, and Xbox LIVE Arcade games, but also for watching and renting movies and other videos.

Over the last three years, Microsoft has also improved the console's overall functionality by adding Windows Live Messenger integration, adding an HDMI port on newly manufactured consoles as of Fall 2007, and recently allowing for Parties with the New Xbox Experience to stick together and hop from game to game.

While having already won over the hardcore gamer with such blockbuster hits as Halo 3, Gears of War 2, and Mass Effect, Microsoft has begun to widen the console's appeal to the casual gamer with the addition of sissy Avatars, more family oriented games and content, easy access to Parental Controls, and innovative price points. As of this typing, the Xbox 360 Arcade console is the least expense current generation console on the market at $199.99.

While we've watched the Xbox 360 grow and mature as a platform, we've also had to weather some storms, mainly in the form of poor hardware reliability like the three flashing red lights, however Microsoft has not only extended and expanded upon their warranty to make it one of the best covered console's in the business, but they've also introduced several hardware revisions in current model Xbox 360's, such as new motherboards, to minimize hardware failures as much as possible.

Though it hasn't been the smoothest ride at times, there's no question of the success that the Xbox 360 enjoys, and even though it's three year old hardware, it's current crop of games still look top notch and visually impress all but the most jaded hardcore PC gamer, and with the recent software redesign, Microsoft is poised to support the Xbox 360 for years to come.

So thank you Microsoft for such an excellent console, and for all the great gaming experiences we've had over these past three years, and here's a toast to many, many more. Cheers!

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