Economy of Effort

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The Real Xbox 360 Lowdown

The MTV show may have been worthless, but a number of Web sources have the real dirt on the Xbox 360.

This video from the OurColony site shows off the system a lot more than MTV did, and features a lot more insight. has the best source of info in a big article: Xbox 360 Inside and Out.

An interview with Robbie Bach on provides another perspective.

Some things of note:

  • Wireless controllers, standard. The system has no wired controller ports. All wireless.

  • The system features a centralized menu system that can be accessed at any time by pressing the big center “X” button (even during a game). It looks like the Xbox Dashboard with ten times as much functionality.

  • The current design comes with a 20GB hard drive. The system can be used without a hard drive, so there may still be versions of the system sold without hard drives. 64MB memory cards can be used too. Of particular note, the hard drive is external and easily removeable.

  • Custom soundtracks in all games. But not only can you rip music to the hard drive, you can also plug in your portable MP3 player (including Apple’s iPod, shockingly enough), and use playlists from there as your custom playlists in the game.

  • The DVD drive is to be able to read all forms of CD writeable and DVD writeable media, as well as CDs/DVDs that play MP3s and even photo CDs.

  • No announcement on backwards compatability - may be announced at E3. The quiet word seems to be that they have worked hard on having such a feature, but have not yet gotten it to the point where it is 99% functional. It needs to be almost perfect to actually include it as a feature in the system.

  • Xbox Live features a TON of new functionality, from more detailed stat/achievement tracking to more detailed friends/clan setups, as well as a much-needed “Reputation” system (to help you sort out the “good” players from the loser kiddies). The new thing is the idea of a “GamerCard”, which is a listing of your info and all of your online achievements

  • Xbox Live “Marketplace” for buying downloadable content, including microtransactions for new skins/decals/etc.

  • Movies and demos downloadable over Live

Lots of features that have me excited. All of the Xbox Live stuff has me dying to get the new system.