PROS / The Xbox 360 is great for gaming and entertainment.
CONS / It still uses DVD-based discs, so many newer games require multiple discs.
VERDICT / Microsoft's Xbox 360 has excellent entertainment options with dozens of media apps and over a thousand video games.
The Microsoft Xbox 360 is a reliable video game console, offering consistently great gaming and multimedia experiences. Although the next generation of gaming systems is now available, the 360 still offers the most media apps as well as over a thousand high-quality video games. The Xbox 360 sets itself apart as a great entertainment hub through Xbox Live, the premium online service that allows its members access to online multiplayer and cross-game party chat.
Also, the optional Kinect makes the console simple to use by giving players access to motion and voice controls. However, many of the console's games are available on other systems, and Microsoft seems to have placed more focus on the budding Xbox One, instead of its tried and true 360. For all its strengths, the Microsoft Xbox 360 earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
With the arrival of new game 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. Despite having several system redesigns, the 360 still uses a basic DVD disc drive, rather than upgrading to a Blu-ray player. Because of this, many newer games come on two discs, and you'll have to install one disc before you can play your game.
The Xbox 360 is among the best entertainment hubs available. With a full setup, anyone in the family can find something they like. In the past, premium media apps were locked behind the Xbox Live Gold subscription. Fortunately, Microsoft reversed this policy, and you can access apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus without paying the $60 annual fee for Xbox Live Gold. The 360 has access to several great apps, including ESPN, Machinima 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.
Multimedia & Social
The Xbox 360 does not have access to Facebook or Twitter, so you will not be able to share your activity with your friends on social networks. Still, within the network, the 360 has some great social features. You can chat with large parties of friends, even when you are all playing different games. All registered users have access to email, whether they pay for a Gold subscription or not. There are also apps like Skype that utilize the Kinect to keep you connected with friends all over the world. As long as your friends have an Xbox 360, this is the best console for staying connected with them.
Help & Support
Microsoft allows you to connect with Xbox experts through live chat and user forums. There is also a detailed FAQs section available for you to browse. However, all of the support options are difficult to find online. You have to navigate through a sea of links and menus before you'll find the information you need.
The Microsoft Xbox 360 is the most reliable video game console, thanks to its excellent range of games and superb entertainment offering. With the new gaming systems readily available, the 360 will slowly lose steam, but for now, it has dozens of media apps and over a thousand video games to keep you entertained. Since premium apps no longer require an Xbox Live Gold account, the 360 is an excellent entertainment option.