Forums - Microsoft Discussion - Xbox 360: 6 Things it Does Better

http://www.gamepro.com/gamepro/domestic/games/features/160889.shtml

Despite some reliability issues, the Xbox 360 boasts utility that any gamer can get excited about, even PS3 and Wii owners. We list the top 6 things that Xbox does better than the rest...

We play for the games, that's for certain. But when a console optimizes the play experience beyond the norm with a wealth of customization, choice, interactivity, options, and access, it's all for the better. Microsoft seemingly understood this when designing the Xbox 360 to compete with the establishment (read: Sony and Nintendo) by providing extended features to an evolving an increasingly wired gamer. Two years after its release, we examine six things the Xbox 360 does better than the PS3 and Wii.

Friend management

Despite being released a full year ahead of its contemporaries, the Xbox 360 is still home to the most integrated system when connecting with friends across town or around the world. Using a global identification system, Xbox 360 multiplayer transcends individual games and is easier to manage than other consoles thanks to an accessible system that tracks invites which can be accepted, rejected, or later deleted.

PS3 Friend management works, but doesn't feel as integrated as the Xbox 360. And while Wii Friend management isn't as broken as conventional wisdom dictates, it is game-specific and requires a level of tolerance when entering impossible to remember 12-digit codes. Advantage, Xbox 360.

Harmonious communication

Unless you're in the same room with friends, multiplayer communication becomes an issue when taunting, planning, or collaborating. Given the increased difficulty when meeting up with friends locally, Microsoft wisely included a robust communication system that includes voice chat, text messaging, and an answering machine that can be accessed at any time. What's more, you can keep conversations going independent of the games being played by either person. And if you want to be a gamer hermit during online play, you can: simply turn off all communication and notifications before hand.

While the PS3 supports both voice and text messaging, its sporadic and isolated availability, not to mention an inability to communicate continuously, leaves something to be desired. The Wii, for its part, only supports preset text messages on select games for cave-man like communication -- better keep a cell phone handy.

Custom soundtracks

Perhaps one of the most overlooked features of the Xbox 360 is the ability to play your own music with sound effects while playing games or using the Dashboard. Accessed via the Xbox 360 Guide menu, players can create a custom tracklist and adjust the playback levels for any game type, including Xbox Live Arcade titles, downloadable demos, and disc-based games. If you want to listen to Muse while playing Burnout Paradise, you can. If you crave the soulful crooning of Paolo Nutini while blasting space amoebas in Geometry Wars, the 360 won't deny you. More options for importing music on the Xbox 360 would have been nice (audio CD or fewer than 20-track MP3 CDs are the only 2 choices), but at least the option exists.

The other two consoles have all but ignored incorporating this feature. While the Wii supports custom game soundtracks, it's on a game by game basis, currently supporting only two titles. No PS3 game (to our knowledge) supports player-approved music.

Digital downloads

Unlike the PS3, the Xbox 360 doesn't treat downloads as two separate events, i.e. file transfer then file installation. The entire process on 360 feels much more automated thanks to minimal user prompts. When downloading content, you simply select and confirm. The Xbox 360 automates the task, including what we assume to be either a background installation or no installation at all for game demos.

The PS3, on the other hand (and Wii to a lesser extent), requires a lengthy download period, followed by a lengthy installation period, all while forcing the user to manually step through the process. In addition to smoother downloads, the Xbox 360 lets players add up to five files to a download queue, then "turn off" the console and walk away. In actually, the Xbox 360 enters a more energy efficient stand by mode to finish downloading before powering off on its own. Nice!

User interface

As consoles become more functional, convergent, and complex, the user interface becomes that much more important. Thankfully, the Xbox 360 Dashboard and Guide Button offer a clean, navigational, and inviting experience. At any point in time players can access a desired destination with one or two clicks at most. Menu access and game library organization are superb, as is the Xbox 360 Marketplace for demos, videos, and additional purchases. When using the 360, you'll feel in control after only a brief period of initialization.

Though the design of the PS3's Cross Media Bar is elegant, the interface feels haphazard and absent-minded. The Wii's interface is functional, but adding multi-page "channels" (as Nintendo calls them) can clutter things over time. In short, the Xbox 360 offers the most cohesive interface around, though all is not lost for PS3 and Wii.

Web integration

As if all these features weren't enough, the Xbox 360 takes things one step further by allowing online account management of user profiles (i.e. Gamertags), system settings, friend invites, play history, cross-platform communication between console and computer, and just about anything else you can think do with the Xbox 360's interface.

PS3 only affords the ability to manage basic settings online in addition to a download list, and the Wii supports no web integration whatsoever. With Xbox 360's web connectivity, it feels like you're never really away from your console. We're sure Microsoft did that purposefully to increase loyalty, and it works.

Nintendo and Sony, take note.

DISCLOSURE: No, this editorial wasn't sponsored by Microsoft. And yes, the Xbox 360 has its share of problems.



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Many if not all of these gripes will change with HOME. Save for the downloading then installing thing, which is dumb.



I disagree with the User Interface one, i find the XMB to be much more user friendly than the 360 'blades' but what you have to remember is the PSN is all new and Live has been going for years now, once it was released it was not much better than the PSN is now...



DMeisterJ said:
Many if not all of these gripes will change with HOME. Save for the downloading then installing thing, which is dumb.

That argument is getting weaker and weaker with each passing day. Check out the link below which outlines how their are critical flaws in Home's development, many of which are considered irreversable.

http://gamer.blorge.com/2008/02/09/sonys-oft-delayed-home-sure-to-disappoint-ps3-users/

It is important to note that that is a reader-submitted article, however it is reflective of the general increase in doubt within the industry over Home's capabilities, a general decline in Sony's hype for the software (if you recall, the last time Sony hyped something and then started shutting up about it was Lair) and the delays the program has seen.

Edit: Whilst the bulk of the article is user-submitted, the beginning two sentences, written by the site, can be seen below:

"We all know that Sony’s Home online service, similar to Xbox Live, isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.  The Home service is plagued with performance and security concerns."

starcraft - Playing Games = FUN, Talking about Games = SERIOUS

@Squall

This generation we have already seen that Sony is better than Microsoft at building hardware. At the same time, you shouldn't underestimate just how much better than Sony Microsoft is at creating software, especially operating software.



starcraft - Playing Games = FUN, Talking about Games = SERIOUS

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have u heard of something called the virtual console?????????????????



Home is really not going to help much of anything in regards to most gripes, but will be a welcome perk to the PS3.

One thing at least the 360 doesn't do better though is sales.



@the Digital downloads part. Saying that games need a lengthy download period is false, it goes as fast as your internet connection and the install period is very short. The list says the 360 can only do 5 downloads at one times, that sucks, i've had well over 10 waiting in the PS3 list.

The XMB i have found better on the PS3 then what the 360 offers. But the store is better on the 360.

Web integration is alot better on the PS3, so you can edit your profile or something online, we can install linux. We can also download 1000's of custom made themes, along with download DivX movies from our web browser straight to our PS3 HDD. "cross-platform communication between console and computer" i'm pretty sure the PS3 can install MSN or something on the PS3 linux.   Along with all the stuff you can do with the PSP and the PS3 by wi-fi.



starcraft said:
DMeisterJ said:
Many if not all of these gripes will change with HOME. Save for the downloading then installing thing, which is dumb.

That argument is getting weaker and weaker with each passing day. Check out the link below which outlines how their are critical flaws in Home's development, many of which are considered irreversable.

http://gamer.blorge.com/2008/02/09/sonys-oft-delayed-home-sure-to-disappoint-ps3-users/

It is important to note that that is a reader-submitted article, however it is reflective of the general increase in doubt within the industry over Home's capabilities, a general decline in Sony's hype for the software (if you recall, the last time Sony hyped something and then started shutting up about it was Lair) and the delays the program has seen.

Edit: Whilst the bulk of the article is user-submitted, the beginning two sentences, written by the site, can be seen below:

"We all know that Sony’s Home online service, similar to Xbox Live, isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.  The Home service is plagued with performance and security concerns."

Lol - that's the funniest, least informed, least useful blog I've seen in a while.  Home might well underwhelm, but whoever put this 'article' together clearly doesn't have a single fact to present - if they turn out to be right, it will be an accident only.



Try to be reasonable... its easier than you think...

And what from the OP is about games may I ask?



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