Alan Smithee

Xbox 360 is Finally Showing its Age

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Ahhhh MS paint, is there nothing you can't make better?!?

The first time that I saw Call of Duty 2 running on the Xbox 360, I knew then that the next generation of consoles were going to impress the hell out of me. I never had lusted after a new console as much as I did with the 360. It was something that I felt that I NEEDED in order to survive as a gamer. Hell, even games like Perfect Dark: Zero looked magical in comparison to the games I was playing on the first Xbox and PS2 at the time.

That was nearly 5 years ago.

Flash forward to this year. It’s currently 2010 and we’re still playing games on the 360 and not bitching about needing new hardware (though we all know that MS is always working on it). But there have been a few subtle things that have been popping up on the videogame news radar that have been fanning the flames of the fanboy war that’s been going on since the PlayStation 3 launched as competition for the already entrenched Xbox 360.

Let me get something out of the way before I progress any further. I’ve always been the guy who’s needed to own all of the consoles in a generation…sorry if that’s coming across as elitist but that’s just how I identify myself. I’m a gamer, it’s in my blood. I’m the kind of guy who is still lusting after a 3DO and the Atari Jaguar.

Back to the topic at hand. This week, we’ve not only seen the Xbox hitting graphical limitations (with the Final Fantasy XIII screenshots that were finally released), but we’ve also seen them having to cut content out of multi-platform games in order for them to make it onto the system, thanks to the limiting storage of DVD 9s.

As you can see, the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII has some excellent arguments for anti-aliasing. There's just so much jaggy there...it makes me feel like it's a really pretty PS2 game.

Many people don’t see this as any indication of how a console is performing, but being a veteran of 3 console wars now, I see them as flashing lights or even better…the robot from Lost in Space repeating “DANGER” at 300 dB. To me, it’s never a good sign that you sacrifice quality on one console to have it suffer on another. Admittedly, these problems are mainly being seen with games that are at first built on the PS3 and then ported over to the 360…and the same thing happened at the beginning of the PS3’s lifespan but vice versa.

I believe that the near 5 year old console is rapidly approaching the end of its lifespan, but without any hard details as to what MS has hidden up its sleeve, I can only speculate as to what we should expect. The PS3 has been a system that Sony has repeatedly said will have a 10-year life cycle and considering that they’re still making games for the PS2, I wouldn’t doubt that.

All I can say is that for some strange reason, I find myself playing my PS3 more often than I do the 360. The 360 still has its merits, but it has had its time to shine. I just think that this will be the year that the PS3 becomes the common man’s console.

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