Home / Console Review: XaviX Port

Console Review: XaviX Port

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The XaviX Port is a unique piece of hardware. It's a video game system, but it's not one meant to step in and challenge the Microsofts, Nintendos or Sonys of the world. It's a niche item, and aside from a few glaring design problems, it's a piece of hardware that provides opportunity.

Like any game console, the XaviX Port is useless by itself. The games come in giant boxes (when compared to typical entertainment media). It's not that they've oversized or designed to take up shelf space. They come with a stack of accessories to make the experience as unique as possible.

XaviX runs on decent sized cartridges. By all accounts, the audio and visual quality is dated. There isn't enough under the hood to push fancy 3-D graphics. Most games feature standard sprites that look ripped from the 16-bit era. The same goes for the audio.

The carts are pushed into the top of the console and then slid forward to connect. It's definitely a unique feature. They feel sturdy and solid. The Port looks great, with a thin design, lightweight frame and sharp metallic skin.

Because of the unique nature of its games, the Xavix has one unforgivable problem. The majority of the buttons to make selections in menus are on the console itself. For instance, in bowling, you hold a small bowling ball. The opposite side of the ball could hold countless buttons, yet you still need to select everything from a menu using the buttons on the system itself.

Baseball has a small workaround since you can swing the bat to make some (not all) of the selections. The Port uses infrared and photo sensing as its main gameplay hook, and it needs a direct line of site at all times with whatever the accessory may be. You'll need a decent sized room to play; at least one with enough radius to swing a baseball bat, flick a tennis racket and toss a bowling ball.

The console uses a special composite cable to connect to the TV. You also have the option of using any composite cable, if you prefer, as the AV jacks on the back allow for it. There are no other video connection options available.

If there is anything truly wrong with XaviX, it's the technology. While having an actual bat in your hand is fantastic, it's been eclipsed. It's impossible not to make the comparison to Nintendo's Wii or cheaper alternatives like a wide line of plug & play TV products from a variety of companies.

The Xavix has its own unique features to help it stand out. However, there's a limited software library and after a few game purchases, you've spent quite a bit. Potential purchasers need to weigh all of their options before buying. The XaviX is hardly disappointing, but it also depends on what you're comparing it to and what you've experienced prior to pushing its power button.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.