XBox 360 launched with a whimper.

So it's finally here. The news last night had reporters on-site at the lengthy midnight queues around the city. And then we heard the news. Our local BestBuy store - one of two serving about 2 million people, had - wait for it - 45 units to sell. The local SprawlMart had only 14. The next closest SprawlMart had 8, and between them, the 4 closest GameStops had 11. So for basically the whole of the north of Utah, there are 78 Xbox 360s to go around. Not quite the massive fanfare we'd been led to believe.
On top of that I watched G4's XBox360 special last night and I have to agree with the fat black bloke with a bad rastafarian hair job - given the videos Microsoft showed, I'm considerably underwhelmed by their idea of "next generation". Frankly it looks no different to the Xbox. A bit of a letdown for a box with as much power as it supposedly has. I guess the embedded Windoze OS is taking up all the memory and processor power. Or something. Either way, Call of Duty 2 looked just like CoD1, but with horrendous popup and texture paging problems (see my blog entry a few weeks ago about Project Gotham Racing). In the game footage being shown last night, they were in some sort of desert village and every time the player ran towards a pile of sandbags with an enemy behind them, when they got to about 10m from the sandbags, they popped really badly to a higher poly model and higher resolution textures. Once I'd seen that, I started looking, and all the scenery and even the enemy figures had the same problem - as you got to within about 10m of them, they popped. It looked awful.
And Project Gotham Racing? It looks no different to the Xbox version, apart again from the dire popup and paging problems.
They had some Microsoft stuffed shirt on G4 last night and the host asked him "So given that HDTV is still a niche market, is it really worth going out and spending $400 for an XBox360? What does it offer the gamer that they want?" The guy was totally stumped, and stumbled and waffled around something about Xbox Live and HDTV but basically came to the conclusion that perhaps it really wasn't worth the money after all because it really didn't have anything to offer. This was a Microsoft sales rep! I guess he's now an ex-Microsoft sales rep then.
Like I said before - I'm sure it'll be a success for Microsoft, though I don't know why anyone would buy one.

And on a side note - this is the first time I've watched G4 since they sold off all the talent after the hostile takeover of TechTV. G4 still sucks ass and blows goats at the same time. I didn't realise that level of suck was possible in a TV channel.


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