I queued up at Dixons in Sutton with 2 other people, and collected my pre-ordered Xbox 360. Seems that 67 people pre-ordered in Sutton, and they only got in 46 consoles. I'm glad I put my order in on 5th September.
Now my first dilema, what music should I listen to as I undergo this launch day experience. I ended up putting on the Dave Matthews Band. I got the box out of the bag, it was heavy, and smaller than I expected. I had pre-ordered Quake 4 and Perfect Dark Zero, and thankfully they had arrived by the time I got home.
I also bought the Xbox 360 wireless access point and FIFA 2006 from Dixons, given how my son is a FIFA xbox nut.
Then the moment of opening the box. I new this moment was going to disappoint, after all nothing can compare to opening up boxes from Apple.
So I got it out the box, and there it was, smaller than I had expected, and the build quality felt a little flimsy, but those are my mac expectations playing with my senses.
I unwrap the unit, and then turn to the box, with everything else crowded in the bottom, wrapped in green and orange plastic.
Now everything is out, time to set it up! I make sure the unit has plenty of ventilation. The powerbrick is huge, and heavy. I plugged the AV cable in and tried the component inputs on my TV and switch on. ...and nothing, no picture, at all, so I switch to scart input, and still no picture. I start to imagine repacking it and how long I will have to wait for a replacement, when I notice the AV cable. It hasn't located properly. After pushing it in and out several times, it eventually locates properly. Maybe just my machine, but the connection location is a little flimsy and doesn't locate well.
But success, I have a picture.
Now at this point reading the manual would have been a help, but I try to set up the wireless controller and media remote, and eventually give in and read the manual. All done.
The dashboard interface is clean, easy to navigate and set up. I easily get the wireless access point set up, and the xbox shows me several neighbors networks and signal strengths, and my own. I enter my network password, connect, enter my xbox live tag name, and viola I am online with a new Gold xbox live account. I agonize over which tag image/icon looks cool then I'm done. Ready to put in a game.
Now my dilemma, which game do I christen the system with, and leave me with my memory of my first time on the console. I plump for Perfect Dark Zero. The game seems good, graphics are stunning, if a little too Time Splitters for my liking, and gawdy. Then I load up Quake 4...awesome, now we are talking. Textures, characters, lighting and shadows, movement, are just astounding.
All told, it has taken me and hour and half to get to hear, and now I have to go out for groceries for dinner. When I get back, my son has gotten home, and loads up FIFA 2006, and is showing me the amazing detail of the xbox 360.
It reminds me of moving to DVD. At first the picture looks good, but it's inly when you go back to a VHS tape, you see the difference. Switching on my old xbox, I can now see the real difference. And it's early days yet. Of course I am waiting, longing for the Halo 3 launch, when I will get to see my new console achieve it's potential.
And I need to save up for a HD TV to see it at it's bect.