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Xbox 360 Unveiling Disaster

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It’s bad enough gamers are subjected to a Spike TV video game award show every year. However, for all of the nonsense going on at those shows, they at least have a point. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 unveiling did not.

It’s stunning how a major corporation that launched the second best selling gaming system of the current generation doesn’t have a clue how to promote a new system. Why Bill Gates and crew felt the need to feature two song performances by the Killers in an already crammed 30-minute show is baffling. The actual unveiling lasted all of 15 seconds before cutting away.

This seems like the console was an afterthought to the show. Maybe it’s the oddball design, featuring both vertical and horizontal alignment that they feared would garner a harsh response. It doesn’t look anything like a game system, and if anything, it’s a blatant, albeit smoother, rip-off of the Playstation 2. They mentioned wireless controllers but failed to provide a glimpse other than a brief shot of a developer holding one.

The show spent more time explaining how you can change the faceplate (as they continue to push the customization) than they did showing game footage. Even when they did that it was mostly replay cameras or cinematics. In other words, it was useless. Perfect Dark Zero was the only game to receive ample screen time, and then, they showed off no-name gamers competing in a death match. Actual, rather unimpressive, game footage was subjected to quick, nauseating cuts.

There are only two things we actually learned from this: They’re serious about HDTV support and online play will be huge. A snippet of an interview briefly explained how users would be able to purchase items (with real money) to customize their characters in a game via the Xbox Live Marketplace. What happened to the days of developers implementing a create-a-character feature free?

The show ended with host Elijah Wood proclaiming the Xbox 360 is amazing. How would we know? There was no price set, no release date, and absolutely no technical specs referred too. This was a complete, total, and worthless hype-fest, also ruined by leaked pictures on the Internet days before. Getting the jump on the competition has completely backfired.

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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.
  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Ouch. Have it Tivod but haven’t watched the show yet. Sounds like it didn’t go so great. At least we don’t have to wait too long to get all the real information from E3. I believe the 17th is the scheduled press conference that should give us all the real information.

  • http://spaces.msn.com/members/dorksandlosers Tan Hoang

    Well, you can find specs on many video game websites. The one thing that I’m interested in the XBOX 360 is that it has 3 3.2ghz processors running it. It has the same processor, albeit faster, that runs the G5 PowerMacs and these top out at 2 2.7ghz processors. How did Bill Gates manage to outmanuever Steve Jobs for 3 ghz PowerPC processors? Man, I’ve been waiting 2 years to upgrade to a 3 ghz PowerMac when Steve Jobs said that it would come last summer. Almost 1 year over the deadline, but I think I have reason to hope that it will come by next summer.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Okay, Gamespot has an awesome write up that incorporates all the information from the press demonstration that Microsoft put on. It can be found here. So far, I’m not as impressed with the visuals as I thought I would be, though Gears of War looks amazing. Otherwise, I like what I read so far. I’m particularly happy that it sounds like a 20GB hard drive will be coming standard with every Xbox. I was worried the harddrive would be an add on this time.

  • Steve B

    Amen! You took the words from my mouth. I thought i was crazy b/c all my friends liked it. this was a very disapointing preview…..(and im an xbox guy)

  • sakuya

    Some of you guys here are maybe sony fanboys, did they pay you to say bad things about xbox or Bill Gate, or you just simply jealouse becouse you’ll never get to be rich like BG?. You guys are morons. Be that way, you can stick with ps3. By the way, ps3 contoller looks like horses ass.