Reviews Start To Roll As Xbox 360 Nears Liftoff

All too often, media hardware that tries to do too many things ends up doing none of them incredibly well. Will Xbox 360, designed as an HD gaming console and a digital media hub, deliver enough of each to be the multi-level hit Microsoft needs? So far, so good and, in some cases, so-so.

USA Today: Tech reviewer Ed Baig likes it. “Xbox 360 is an immersive system whose dazzling cinematic graphics and Dolby Digital surround sound are especially addictive when connected to a high-definition TV.” He also gave the non-game features a workout. “I connected Xbox to a Sony HDTV in my family room. Then I streamed pictures, music and videos off a Hewlett-Packard Media Center PC in my basement. In this way, Xbox functions as a Media Center “Extender.” (I had to download a free software upgrade on the Media Center and temporarily disable my network firewall.)
Those extra features are appealing, but make no mistake: It’s the avid gamers who will be lining up around midnight.”

Cnet : “That the Xbox 360 also has a user interface that rivals TiVo’s in terms of slick presentation and ease of use, plus a host of digital media and networking features, helps elevate the already-good Xbox experience to a whole new level.” Cnet sets its claim to coverage with Xbox 360 Central.

Wired News: “Load a game like the Wild West shooter Gun, and in HD you can make out each individual leaf on a tree — rather than the clumps of color you get with a standard television set.”

BusinessWeek: It’s also proving time for Robbie Bach, head of the new Entertainment & Devices division, and the new connected Microsoft strategy.