Microsoft officially unveiled the Xbox 360 on MTV in May 2005. Since then, more than 65 million of the consoles have been sold worldwide. The Xbox was created as a seventh generation gaming console, in competition with the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Wii. The Xbox 360 is sold online and is carried at stores such as Rent-A-Center. The console offered by Rent-A-Center features a sleek design with five USB ports and a dedicated Kinect port. The system can be controlled using a wireless controller or, in many cases, with movements picked up by the responsive Kinect sensor.
Reviews of the Xbox 360 have mostly been positive. Many reviews like the fact the Xbox 360 is easy to use for even a casual gamer and is family friendly, with a range of games available for everyone, including children under 10. Reviewers noted that the Kinect, a motion-sensing device controlled with body movements and voice commands, makes playing Xbox games a truly immersive experience (The Xbox carried by Rent-A-Center comes with Kinect). Online reviews often say the Xbox 360 could be perceived as a full entertainment experience. That’s because it allows users to connect to the Xbox Live service where they can download games, watch TV shows and movies, listen to music and compete in online multiplayer games. The console may even offer access to third-party services such as Netflix, allowing users to stream media right to their TVs.
All reviews of the gaming system aren’t as glowing. Some reviews say the glossy black exterior has a tendency to collect fingerprints, reducing its visual appeal. Many reviewers also point out that the power brick also takes away from the otherwise attractive design. Finally, some dedicated gaming reviews point out that the hard drive cannot be switched out of this system, a fact which some find frustrating.
In comparing the Xbox 360 to the PlayStation 3 (also carried by Rent-A-Center), some reviews give the technological nod to Sony. Reviewers noted that while the high-definition and Blu-ray capabilities might give PlayStation a bit of an edge, not all gamers need or want those features.