on Aug 22, 2008
I’m probably still a couple of weeks from my XBox acquisition, but I wanted to solicit some advice as I contemplate the purchase.
I see there are three tiers: The $200 “Arcade” machine, which has no harddrive. Probably not what I want? The $350-ish “Pro”, which has… a couple of different sizes of harddrive? And finally, the $450 “Elite”, which is likely more of a money-sink for the hard-core XBox fans than a legitimate purchase option for a newcomer like me. I can see the specs and make the required features / price comparisons, but that isn’t really leading me any closer to making an informed purchase.
For example: Microsoft is clearly charging a king’s ransom for harddrive space. The jump from 20GB to 120GB is over $100, which is more than I just paid for a 320GB drive for my PC. Fine. I understand the economic realities that create this price structure, and I don’t begrudge them for simply trying to make money. But I am trying get some sort of handle on what these numbers mean. There are things you just can’t learn from reviews and feature lists. Like, how much hard drive space do you need, anyway? Like, how much space does the average game take up? What happens when you run out? Do you have to un-install a game? I don’t have a back catalog of XBox titles. I’m going to start with a library of one or two games, and that library is going to grow slowly.
What else differentiates the various tiers?
A few other notes on my particular needs:
- Here in the command center, a premium is placed on wireless devices.
- I’m not big on multiplayer, and I’m certainly not going to be jumping on XBox Live to swim in the sea of brats and morons unless I think it will make for a funny comic. I certainly won’t be signing up for their premium XBL while I still have command of my senses.
- I’m aware of the hardware gremlins that infect the device. Mine will reside in a cool, smoke-free environment, which should keep it safer than average from the leading cause of XBox 360 death.
Any advice? Anything else you wish someone had told you before you picked up your (first) XBox 360?
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.