Year after year, the Microsoft Xbox 360 remains a top video game console. Although the next generation of gaming systems is now available, the 360 still offers the most media apps as well as hundreds of high-quality video games. The Xbox 360 sets itself apart as a great entertainment hub through Xbox Live, a premium online service that gives its members access to the best online gaming. Also, the optional Kinect makes the console simple to use by giving players access to motion and voice controls. However, the console lacks truly exclusive gaming experiences, focusing instead on high-quality entertainment. For all its strengths, the Microsoft Xbox 360 wins our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award.
With the arrival of new gaming consoles, the Xbox 360 is no longer the strongest system on the market. However, it is still a great option for gaming and media. The 360 uses its dated components to the fullest, and most of its games and media apps are in full 1080p video resolution. Unfortunately, all versions of the console use a DVD player rather than the standard Blu-ray player that other consoles use. Because of this, many games come on two discs, and you'll have to install one disc before you can even play a game.
The Xbox 360 is among the best entertainment options available. With a full setup, anyone in the family can find something they like. However, in order to get the full Xbox experience, you need an Xbox Live Gold membership and a Kinect camera. You cannot access online gaming or any of the media apps without a Gold membership, which costs an extra $60 each year. Fortunately, there are many apps that are exclusive to the Xbox 360, including ESPN and GameTrailers. You can use the Kinect's motion and voice commands to control all non-gaming aspects of the console, so anyone can find something fun on the 360.
In October of 2012, Microsoft removed its two primary social networking apps: Facebook and Twitter. Although the Xbox Live network still has great features, like cross-game and party chat, you won't be able to post your achievements and downloads on social networks. Instead, you can access your social media feeds with the Internet Explorer app. Fortunately, Xbox Live is still a great social platform on its own. You can connect with your Xbox Live friends via email and chat. Microsoft started cross-game chat, allowing gamers to talk to friends even if they weren't playing the same game together. If your friends have an Xbox Live Gold membership, the 360 is a great platform for keeping in touch with them.
Microsoft offers a range of help and support options, including telephone, email and online chat assistance. A dedicated customer service line is also available, with repair information, including cost and status conveniently located for quick reference. Microsoft offers an impressive one-year warranty for its various Xbox 360 consoles, with an additional two-year warranty also available.
The Xbox 360 remains a top video game console thanks to its entertainment offering. With the birth of the new gaming systems, the 360 will slowly lose steam, but for now, it has dozens of media apps and hundreds of games to keep you entertained, all supplemented by the popular Xbox Live network. Unfortunately, much of the Xbox 360 experience requires extra purchases, including the Kinect and an annual subscription to Xbox Live Gold.
The Xbox 360 is great for gaming and entertainment.
The console doesn't play Blu-ray movies, and many new video games require multiple discs.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 offers the best entertainment options available with dozens of media apps and hundreds of video games.