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Microsoft Xbox Print E-mail
Friday, 01 March 2002
Article Index
Microsoft Xbox
Page 2
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The Downside
The fact that the Xbox does not have DTS outputs is the only real disappointment for me. To hear the sound of games like NHL 2002 and SSX Tricky (both from EA Sports) in DTS is so engaging that it’s a bummer that Microsoft couldn’t have found a cost-effective way of making the Xbox DTS compatible. Reports are that Microsoft loses about $100 on each Xbox sold, based on advertising and production costs, and won’t start making money on the system until the end of 2003. To cram more features into the Xbox would have likely driven up the cost up too high for the competitive video game market.

Aside from my glitching problem with Obi-Wan, I don’t have a negative thing to say about the game performance of the Xbox. The games all look beautiful. The box itself, the instructions and the Xbox website are all top-notch and make owning an Xbox an enjoyable experience. The amount of titles that are available right now is a little on the low side, but since Xbox games run on DirectX 8 API, the same set of functions that game developers use to create PC games, games for the Xbox will soon be pouring out a dizzying rate. It’s just hard to sit and wait while high-profile titles like Spider-Man are not available.

Ultimately, there are only two choices, the Xbox and the PS2, for the home theater junkie who wants to add a game console to his or her system. I like them both, but the reality is that, since I bought my Xbox, the PS2 has gathered its fair share of dust in the corner of the room. It’s just more fun to go shopping for Xbox games than for the PS2, knowing how good they are going to look in this system. If you’ve already got a stack of Playstation 1 games, keep the good ones, sell the lame ones and your system and pick up a PS2, since it is backwards-compatible. If you have any money left over, put it towards an Xbox, like I did. If you are starting from scratch or only have a Sega Dreamcast or an older system, Xbox is the way to go. It’s just a better machine overall, with a small but very solid lineup of games that is poised to get much bigger very soon. The PS2 will most likely drop in price before the Xbox does -- I wouldn’t be surprised to see it at $249.99 by this Christmas -- but the Xbox is so new that you shouldn’t wait for the price to fall before picking one up. You won’t get a DTS DVD player as you would with the PS2, but it’s not going to replace your home DVD player anyway. Perhaps you could skip the Xbox DVD player kit and get the Xbox. It’s $299 well spent.

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