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I'm really thinking I want an XBox 360. Games like "Gears of War" are just incredible looking, and have gotten lots of rave reviews. Is it worth it? Should I get one? Maybe for Christmas or something. We've got the PS2 and the Gamecube, but I just feel like the newer stuff is a big step up, and there are some things that I might actually consider it worth it for...

I guess I need to look more into what I actually want. I haven't heard anything positive about the PS3, and I'm not mobile enough to want to get something like a PSP, which I would seldom play. I suppose it might be fun to have a Wii, if for no other reason than with kids, having something that's more stand up and physical for playing would be interesting.

I know I have some gamers on my friends list: what do you think? Should I gat a 360? Should I get a Wii? Should I get neither? Should I just buy some new games for the PS2 or gamecube? I guess it probably depends what type of games I want to play: it seems like the 360 doesn't really offer much interesting stuff over the Xbox except in the form of First Person Shooters. (Can the 360 play Xbox games?)

Maybe this isn't worth it -- I don't know if I'm a serious enough gamer to make any of it worthwhile. Maybe I should just figure out how to get Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 installed and running on some hardware I own: that would certainly be an interesting one to have around, and would probably be much more of a timesink than anything else I can think of.

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The 360 can play some Xbox games (list) via emulation and the list grows fairly regularly.

I picked up GoW on Friday afternoon and finished it yesterday lunchtime. It's very good looking and a lot of fun (especially co-op or dm over Live) but it doesn't offer anything particularly new (other than active reloading which is ace :D ). It's more or less a very pretty version of Unreal Tournament 2004 with a GRAW style cover model thrown in.

It does offer more than just FPS games, but as with the PS3 the FPS does seem to be the lynchpin of what these consoles can offer. As an aside, I imagine you'd like Xbox Live Arcade (downloadable modern and retro games).

To be honest, I personally think that the general expectation of what the PS3 and 360 can offer is never really going to be met. The two are geared towards extremely impressive graphics and effects, but most of the expectations seem to be of revolutionary gameplay styles, massively impressive AI and so on. So far, the 360 has really been a very, very pretty version of previous gen' consoles.

Having said that though, if you've got the cash there are definitely worse things you could buy. I would recommend having a HDTV to attach it to though.

I'm told (by a neighbor who bought the 360 and now rather regrets it in favor of the Wii) that the 360 has next to no backwards compatibility - it won't play old Xbox games. I don't know if there is some expansion pack or something that lets you do it (good old Microsoft milking all the money they can out of their customers to fix a problem that really shouldn't exist in the first place...), but that's what I've heard.

I'm intrigued and excited about the Wii. That or RCT3 would be my choice, honestly. But that's just me.

(If you do decide on RCT3, can I come over and play it? I only got through the Loopy Landscapes expansion pack for the original before the system requirements became too demanding for my old PC...)

The 360 is capable of playing a selection of titles using software emulation (list). The list is updated periodically as and when the backwards compatability ninja's manage to get more things working on it. The games that it does play also benefit from minor graphical enhancements. The patches can be downloaded for free over Live or MS can send you a CD for a postage fee.

Saying that MS are milking this isn't really fair. The fact that the 360 is even backwards compatible at all is fairly impressive considering the architecture of the 360 is vastly different to that of the original Xbox.

I'd still say that should have been one of the fundamental aspects of the 360, not an afterthought requiring you to download patches.

I guess there's different sides to the argument really. Personally I didn't pay £300 to play previous generation games. I bought the 360 to play 360 games, so to me BC is a bonus feature. I can see why people do expect it to be 100% BC though, and it's an annoyance if you're left with having to run a 360 and a Xbox together to be able to play your library of Xbox games fully.

However, to make it truly BC they'd have had to do what the PS2 and PS3 do which is to effectively include the hardware of the previous gen' console inside the new console. A factor which would almost certainly push the 360 price up.

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