(November 15, 2001-2006)
Microsoft takes a crack at the game

I guess I have a few Xbox games here, eh?

Back in 2001 Microsoft finally entered the always brutal consoles wars with their first gaming only DVD unit: the X-box. The Xbox system is a powerful game player much like the rival Playtstation2 (PS2 for short) but with a much faster speed processor said to be so powerful it makes even the almighty PS2 look out dated. So is the Xbox here actually better than the rival PS2 and GameCube, or is it just another big company that's going to fail in this industry like NEC, Panasonic, and Magnavox did?

I originally got my Xbox system with the 2002 package deal that came with the bonus 2 games Jet Set Radio Future, Sega GT 2002 (both are kind of popular Sega games by the way), and the standard Xbox controller has been replaced with a newer 2002 Controller S (the smaller controller). A very nice deal especially since the price was still only $299.99 back then. The system is currently selling for a lot less since it's been discontiuned now for the Xbox 360 of course.

Anyway back to the specs. The Xbox system itself is quite huge and it really reminds me of the classic Atari 5200 from 1982 or even the PS3. The system is actually twice the size of a GameCube or a PS2 so better have the extra room to play it, but other than that it's nothing major really, I just thought I would point that out. Size doesn't matter though because the Xbox is not only built for power, it's built with features. First off the system comes with a massive 733 megahertz processor; just compare that to the GC's 450 MHz and the PS2's wimpy little 300 MHz. Another cool thing about this big machine is that it has a Hard Drive, which means that you don't have to buy a stupid memory unit to save your games now.  You can also download music to the system and you can listen to your own stuff if the game supports 'custom soundtracks'.

If you want to do some online gaming then Xbox has that too thanks to the Xbox Live network. First you need high speed internet, an Xbox Live account (yes, you need a credit card), the Xbox games that support online play, and then you should be ready to go. The Xbox also has the four controller ports as well made famous by the Atari 5200 (I just had to mention the Atari 5200 again) so you can be sure that you won't have to shell out another 40 bucks for some stupid multi tap (cough Sony, cough). Some games like Halo even supports a TV link so even more players can get in the action (up to 16 players actually).

Xbox Controller
The first Xbox controller was a very bulky device and may be hard to use for people with smaller hands (mainly any kids between 3 and 8 out there), while others will have no problems here. There are 2 analog sticks and one digital pad plus there are whopping 10 action buttons.

The X box Playback kit
Although the Xbox can play DVD's unlike the rival Nintendo's GameCube (dumb move Nintendo), you still need to spend a extra 50 bucks Canadian for a special adapter if you want to play those DVD movies on your Xbox. The DVD player feature is really a nice bonus and this is just another great reason to pick the Xbox over the Game Cube.

Xbox Controller S
This controller is quite different and may be good for people with smaller hands. The Controller S still has the same 10 action buttons but for some reason the back, start, black, and white buttons are in different places. At least you can tell that Microsoft is listening.

The Xbox Memory Card
The Xbox memory unit is similar to the 8 Meg Memory Cards for the PS2 but these cards go into the back of a controller like the N64 and Sega Dreamcast ones do. The only reason you would need to get one of these though is if you want to trade some your data with friends.

Bottom-line: As much as I want to recommend the X box over the PlayStation2 (GameCube maybe), I can't. The PlayStation2 has a bigger line up of around 800 titles with such hits like the Jax, Final Fantasy series, and many more. The GameCube and Xbox were fighting for second place and it was a pretty close race but the Xbox was able to pull ahead with it's better graphics, online support, and of course those great titles like Halo 2, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, and four Splinter Cell games. If you can one cheap and it's still working (make sure the light turns green in the front) then try it out.

X Box overall rating: 76/100

Find the Xbox on eBay here!

Rare Xbox games
Kakuto Chojin (this is a recalled X box game)

Star Soldier's personal Xbox Top Ten
1. Burnout 3: Takedown
2. Halo 2
3. Soul Calibur II
4. Halo
5. Atari Anthology
6. Oddworld Stranger's Wrath
7. Guilty Gear X2 #Reload
Grand Theft Auto Double Pack
9. Ninja Gaiden
Panzer Dragoon Orta

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