Who is this?

Technology Editor of Times of London until July 2010. Now swimming in the freelance shark pool, with abiding interest in games, gadgets and what it all means. If you're looking for product reviews, head elsewhere. Unless it's a really nice product. This is more of an attempt to sift out what matters from what doesn't. With a bit of gossip thrown in for good measure. I'm also learning to use Blogger as I go along, so please bear with me.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Hands on with the shiny new Xbox 360

Took delivery of the all-new Microsoft Xbox 360 console the other day, and it's a sleek-looking bit of kit for sure.

First, the good stuff

As you can see from this scintillating glimpse of my home setup, the new console is significantly smaller than the previous model.

The hard drive (now upgraded to 250GB) is now internal, and first impressions on switching it on are of slightly improved speed when manoeuvring through the interface. The whole thing feels snappier, more sure-footed, like someone's doubled the RAM.

Wifi is now built in! Yippee! About time too.

There are five USB ports, two front, three rear, and the on-off and eject controls are touch-sensitive, much like the old PS3's used to be.

The power module is small, but not so small that you couldn't build a house out of them. It's still a brick.

Now the not-so-good stuff

If you are upgrading from a previous model, you will need a data transfer cable, which is sold separately. They can be had for around a fiver on eBay. Would it have hurt to put one in the box?

If you dream of having one Xbox in the bedroom and one in the lounge, with easily transferable data and extras, forget it. Any extra goodies you have can only be used on one console at a time, and transferring your Gamer Tag data from one to the other for a quick play is so time-consuming as to be impractical.

Also, if you're anything like me, you will have long forgotten those once seemingly unforgettable passwords that you used to set up Last FM or your Xbox Live account. If that's the case you will need a computer to access the site, recover or change passwords etc etc.

The above process saw me shuttling between computer room and living room like a deranged bluebottle. At one point I left the old hard drive plugged in via the data transfer cable, which the site saw as two Xboxes accessing simultaneously. Top tip: don't do what I did.

Additionally, if you're in the UK and use the Xbox to stream Sky content, you will need to replace your old machine serial number and details with the new one, since Sky will only stream to one Xbox so as not to damage its multi-room subscription model.

From start to finish, with password recovery, data transfer and general stress about the 30-minute time limit included, the whole process took me nearly 90 minutes.

But now it's all set up and ready to go, I feel slightly better about life.

More to come later about Xbox and Kinect, but this post has already rattled on for long enough.


  1. I read on another - inferior - tech blog that the new 360 had a 'dedicated kinect port' on the back.

    do they just mean an extra USB? OR is the kinect 360-II only?

  2. Is this the new way of technology, making every new device extremely prone to fingerprints? Xbox 360 II, iPhone, iPad etc. etc.