Yes, you have read it all before. I understand that there are some people out there that are getting sick of the subject of the 360 'scandal' that is going on. No more so than I, where I work in a gaming store that has recieved not only angry people calling about their pre-orders, or asking whne more will come in.
First question, did Microsoft intentionally pull a Sony with it's new console? Talking to a couple of old school guys that I used to work with suggests that no, they didn't pull a marketing fiasco a'la Sony and the Playstation 2. The microsoft rep I talked to the longest really had to say that the only way Microsoft dropped the ball was the expectancy of the factories that put the machine together. Of course, that was the same tag line that Sony dropped when the announcements of less than full shipments were expected to hit stores. With Sony, tho, I tend to believe that it was market hype. With Microsoft, I tend to believe that this really was the issue of productivity. Why create a huge shortage when you have a full 6 months to a year head start on the competition? Again, it could be something like that, but who really knows?
Second, was getting it the first day really worth it?
Reports from everywhere claim that the system is not functioning well. Issues of freezing and hardware trouble have popped up in stores and in the message boards. Microsoft has released a statement saying that there will be a patch. Of course there will, the 360 works on Media Center. I got mine on launch, and have had no problems with it. I have watched it carefully, especially since the power supply that comes with it heats up quick, just like my laptop one does. For all the people that got it on the launch, did they get their money worth?
There are, of course, two schools of thought. Much like buying a new operating system when it comes out, are the people that get it going to be the front force of problems, frustrated and upset that their expensive machine is not working, and with the cut in supply, not immediately replaceable. The things that we have heard, from glitching to games just not working out of the box (Condemed I have heard about a few times), will they be corrected in a timely matter, or when the software engineers get to it? Like I said, I watch my 360 closely. The amount of money that went into it is a little high for a system, not the amount I would usually spend.
The second school is 'Who Cares?" They got the system and they got it before the shortage-angry people. Like me, I am happy to have it now, and don't think that the wait would have endeared me to the system. We are getting reports that pre-order systems might not be full-filled until Jan. How is that for a kick in the pants?
Of course, we can hardly discuss the 360 without bringing up the circus going on with Ebay. As it stands, prices are ranging from anywhere between 800-3000 US for a system. I got offered 900 on the bus on the and a mini bidding war happened with two people. I was a little shocked myself. I do remember the stuff that happened with the PS 2, but I got mine on launch walking into a Zellars and picking one off the shelf. Here where I live, people lined up and got tickets to prove their place in line and got to get them first. No walking into Zellars and getting one this time.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Microsoft-Xbox-360-Game-console-PREMIUM-PACKAGE-NIB_W0QQitemZ8236849464QQcategoryZ62054QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem - $3500 buyout.
That is not all. While the bidding has tamed itself in the last day, it is still high in places. I can imagine that the kids are crying fo rthe system and parents are at a loss of what to do. Ebay is just going to add to the hype of the must have system.
I do want to talk about a issue that has not really been addressed. The backwards compatibility issue.
Microsoft released a list of 200 games, almost all the first party games made it, that they had emulators for. The term backwards compatible is used loosely, sicne anything you have to patch before use is not truely compatible. I have found no where in Xbox Live to download the emulators, and I figured that it would be right there. A loyal customer came in and said that he patched Fable, his favorite game for the original Xbox, and that the framerate the emulator ran it was unplayable. Will we see a few more issues like this?I guess it is better than offering no support on the old system. Half Life 2, which came out for Xbox, but was touted as being '360 ready' also has some problems.
All in all, I would have to say, regardless of the outcome, that it is still a system worth comtemplating. While most people probably won't be able ot walk in and buy one until the new year, that might be a blessing in disguise. Until Microsoft has the bugs fixed, it might be worth getting it after and not deal with the aggrivation.
I'll keep you all updated.