Xbox 360 + Walmart + Demo?

Well some of you may have heard already, but Microsoft has shipped a bunch of Xbox 360s out to Walmart’s accross the nation. Starting this week they are being put up as a playable demo.<- that link, has a list of a bunch of walmarts that people have gone to or called to see if they are going to do the demo or not.

The Games available to play:
-Call of Duty 2
-King Kong
and videos of a bunch of other games

According to Microsoft WalMart is the first chain that are going to have Xbox 360s available to play on.

This is kind of off topic, but for all the hype about how the console was going to have more processing power than a current gaming PC, it sure doesn’t look like it.

I saw some COD 2 screenshots the other day, and they looked worse than PS2. DEFINITELY far worse than any current PC game.

The capabilities are there.
Don’t judge the processing power of a platform by one game.

Do you all remember how the last games made for the original PS1 looked as opposed to the games that came out in 1995 like Doom?? I do… Doom (1995) looked like it came straight off a Super Nintendo.

They will progress, the game makers just need time to adapt to the new system.

I just played an XBOX 360 at Walmart and it was pretty awesome. I was kinda upset that they only had 3 playable demos though (King Kong, Kameo, and Call of Duty).

The speed of the machine (compared to everything else) is blazing fast and the new XBOX operating system is amazing.

Cory: Call of Duty on the 360 looks amazing. The demo ran extremely fast and the graphics were twice of what my friends PC could put out. Not even comparable to a PS2.

Here are some of the pictures I got. In the picture you can see there is a slot for your own memory card. It mentioned something about downloadable content.

Interesting. They must have been screenshots from a different platform, or extremely early version.

I have trouble believing the graphics will be better than current PC’s with SLI configuration, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see once they hit other stores (No Walmarts aroung here, if you can believe it).

If it truly is better than current PC graphics cards, I can’t see that standing for more than 3 months or so. It’s using the same technology from ATI or Nvidia or whoever is making it, as is used for PC cards. Plus, Microsoft is limited to that one chip for the entire production life of the console, whereas a new generation of PC cards comes out every 3-4 months.

I don’t think its necessarily that the graphics cards are really any better, but rather the uniform specifications of the X-Box allow for the console’s resources to be tapped a bit more. Most PC gamer specifications vary all up and down in a gigahertz in processor speed, and anywhere from 256mb of ram all the way up to 4gb.

If a developer were to create a PC game requiring a 3.0 processor and 1gb of ram, they wouldn’t come any where close to a tenth of the market, yet if they scale that down to a 2.0 and 512mb of ram, they’re able to gain many more sales, at the expense of quality.

That’s true, but every current game out there is designed to be marginally playable by lower computers. They all run beautifully on high settings on the high level computers.

If I had to guess, the reason the 360 and other new consoles are so good is because of the multi core processors. PC’s have them, but game developers have never utilized them and designed a game that takes advantage of multiple core processors. If they did, I think PC’s would far and away have the greatest processing and graphics power.

There are lots of reasons why games are going to look gorgeous on the 360.

One is that the developer knows exactly the resources at his disposal. He knows exactly what the machine can and can’t do and doesn’t have to worry about writing code that will work across multiple chip sets, processor instruction sets, ram amounts, and any one of a thousand variables that PC’s have. It gives the development team more time to focus on artwork and less on the mechanics of just getting it to run on enough PCs to make it worth while. Beta testing is a lot less of a hassle to. And we all know that 3 years from now, will we still be able to play every 360 title just coming out with out any upgrades and it’ll look just the way it’s intended to.

The hardware is no slouch either. Not only is it as capable as a zippy PC is today, thats all it has to do. It just has to excel at playing games. A console gets to do one thing and that lets it do it extremal well.

And, it’ll be cheaper.

Way cheaper.

Right now, you still couldn’t get the same graphics performance out of a PC that you can from a xbox for the same price. Just not possible. I’m not saying that a PC isn’t worth it, but it’s real hard to justify SLI for anything but gaming. The cost of a decent SLI setup (motherboard and two strong video cards), would easily cost hundreds more then the 360. It probably will stay that way for a while to.

To a lot of people, including me who is a big computer geek, it’s hard to argue against that kind of longevity and cost effectiveness. I probably won’t buy one, since I have yet to exhaust the fun of my xbox, but I don’t think that PC’s completely eclipse the console. In fact, if all you care about is gaming, then the 360 makes a lot more sense then a PC. Of course, theres more to the equation that makes a PC worthwhile, but I don’t think graphics is a good argument to make for a PC in the PC vs Console debate.

-Andy A.