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Xbox 360 Very Unstable 1113

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can't-say-anyone-is-surprised dept.
fmwap writes "There have been several postings over at Xbox-scene complaining of crashing Xbox's on new games, with default settings on single player. Crashes on Xbox Live and on startup have been reported too, and Project Gotham Racing 3 crashes before finishing the first lap. Screenshots and Video are available showing the crash."
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Xbox 360 Very Unstable

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  • by enoraM (749327) * on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:28AM (#14099495)
    Seems like they got 1699 Parts of the x-box to the market:

    http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/18/ 156253 [slashdot.org]

    and it seems to be the same in other forums too:
    http://forum.teamxbox.com/showthread.php?t=391764 [teamxbox.com]
    • by suso (153703) * on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:53AM (#14099691) Homepage Journal
      You have to admit though. Those are some decent crash screens. Not unlike the screens you'd see when pulling out a Atari 2600 game cartridge with the power on. Hey wait, the crashes themselves look better than atari 2600 games. Oh no!
      • by Gentlewhisper (759800) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @09:03AM (#14099774)
        >You have to admit though. Those are some decent crash screens. Not unlike the screens you'd see when pulling
        >out a Atari 2600 game cartridge with the power on. Hey wait, the crashes themselves look better than atari
        >2600 games. Oh no!

        Why didn't they color the crash screen using Microsoft's trademark blue?
      • by Alien Being (18488) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @09:59AM (#14100285)
        "the crashes themselves look better than atari 2600 games"

        --- A Ballmerable Snowman ---

        Steve Ballmer is led onto a stage in chains and shackles. The audience looks aghast at the hideous creature. Although he is clearly dangerous, he seems to be pacified by a rather large contingent of middle managers.

        On the other side of the stage, Bill Gates is demonstrating the XBOX 360. The press is eating it up. The audience is on its feet. Suddenly the XBOX bursts into flames. Ballmer sees the flames and reacts with a violent primal rage. He explodes from his restraints with the strength of a hundred men. Rampaging through the audience, he effortlessly tears up rows of chairs, heaving them in every direction. Then, he turns on the people. He grabs each person by their ankles, turns them upside-down, and shakes the money out of their pockets. Bill Gates is speaking over the public adress "Please remain calm. The situation is under control." It's of no use. Panic has ensued.

        By this time, Ballmer is stomping around the arena, masturbating wildly, and crushing everyone and everything. Few survive. Finally, sweat-drenched and exhausted, he returns to the stage where he cuddles with his harem of developers.

    • Re:1699 parts ok (Score:5, Interesting)

      by InvalidError (771317) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @10:50AM (#14100737)
      At least this will solve M$'s supply problem after the news makes the news and front pages. Remaining early adopters will want to wait until M$ announces its take on things before thinking of buying again.

      On the XBox-360 poll, my answer was Never / X-Mas 2006. Launch prices are too high, I do not care about the coolness factor of having 0-dayz new stuff and I had doubts about how well the initial hardware would work. Quitting the bleeding-edge to stick with mature mainstream stuff has saved me quite a bit of cash and trouble, I'll stick to that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:30AM (#14099507)
    ..placing a book under one corner?
  • by Hieronymus Howard (215725) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:31AM (#14099513)
    Microsoft product crashes
    Pope is discovered to be a Catholic
    Family of bears accused of defecating in forested areas
    • by ShrikeDOA (118272) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @09:02AM (#14099766)
      "So the bear wipes his ass with the rabbit."
    • by 3-State Bit (225583) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @09:03AM (#14099777)
      okay,
      Family of bears crashes
      (...for the night? crashes the party?) Anyway every camper knows to shut the flaps against the bears.

      Pope is accused of defecating in forested areas
      Hey, when you gotta' go, you gotta' go. Nature calls.

      But this?
      Microsoft discovered to be Catholic
      I call bullshit - don't let the tithing (MS tax) / real charity done by the Foundation throw you off. No way Gates would let his workers wear his crucified corpse around their neck. (Though I'm sure Balmer has thought of it...)

      Also 0 hits on this search. [google.com]
    • by should_be_linear (779431) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @09:10AM (#14099828)
      Microsoft product crashes
      I predicted in /. forum that XBox will be very unstable, not because it is designed by MS but because it is nightmare for debugging. You have to make 3 threads application (not 4, not 2) and sync all objects they share. Combine it with complicated interactions of objects in any game, which makes creation of auto-test scripts impossible and default gaming language, C++, which is very uneasy to debug for Multiple threads (compared to say, Java) and they hardly could do any better than this. Cell is designed in much better way, multiple threads (SPUs) are used by low level liberaries (well debugged) but main gaming/engine app. is still single-threadded and therefore easy to debug and stable.
    • by IAmTheDave (746256) <basenamedave-sd.yahoo@com> on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @09:46AM (#14100169) Homepage Journal
      Now now... I wouldn't say that it "crashes" so much as "fits in with the family of Microsoft products." <ducks />
    • by crashcodesdotcom (813209) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @10:09AM (#14100369)
      I thought the Pope was a Baptist.

      Stop me if you heard this one...
      Catholic: Who do you confess your sins to?
      Baptist: God. So, who do you confess your sins to?
      Catholic: A priest.
      Baptist: I heard about that, who does the priest confess his sins to?
      Catholic: A bishop.
      Baptist: Who does the bishop confess his sins to?
      Catholic: A cardinal.
      Baptist: Who does the cardinal confess his sins to?
      Catholic: The Pope.
      Baptist: Okay, who does the Pope confess his sins to?
      Catholic: God.
      Baptist: Oh, so the Pope is a Baptist!

  • by samsonov (581161) <pennacook @ h o t m a il.com> on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:31AM (#14099517) Journal
    what?!? No blue screen of death?
  • hmmmm .... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:31AM (#14099519)
    Project Gotham Racing 3 crashes before finishing the first lap

    Sounds like someone needs to improve their driving skills and stop blaming the system.
    • Sounds like someone needs to improve their driving skills and stop blaming the system.

      Nah it's just their new 4th dimension virutal reality feature.

      Oh, and I HIGHLY recommend you don't play Mortal Kombat.
  • upgrades (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tezbobobo (879983) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:31AM (#14099523) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone know if these things are upgradable? or what the process is? Microsoft has a history of being first to markwt with buggy software. In the past it has been a strategy which has worked for them. Still, I long for the days of cartridges. Just reminissing - please don't flame me. But do answer if you know about upgradability/
    • Re:upgrades (Score:3, Insightful)

      by peragrin (659227)
      Um MSFT has gotten away with selling buggy software because they were easily upgradable. Considering how one has to upgrade windows and he fact you need third party software to install all the updates smoothly before you go online. With this MSFT is going to have to either force users to hook it up to the Net(at extra cost probably), or download and burn ISO files.

      yea MSFT is going to learn the hard way selling cheap hardware is a lot different than selling cheap software.
    • Fortunately (Score:3, Informative)

      by paranode (671698)
      They did (at least with the first Xbox) make it easy to upgrade. I'm not sure how that will work with the Xbox 360s that don't have hard drives. When Halo 2 first came out it had a bug that caused it to stretch images on certain HDTV widescreens and you had to have Xbox Live to download the patch which fixed it. Lots of people were pretty mad there for a few weeks (including myself because true 16:9 was touted as a big new cool feature).
    • Re:upgrades (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SenFo (761716) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @09:32AM (#14100032) Homepage
      I'm honestly not sure if it's upgradeable or not; but even if it is, you have to realize that it's definitely NOT the same kind of market.

      I guess after years of working with Microsoft operating systems and just assuming that Windows was part of the computer, many users have grown to accept crashing and the need to run periodic upgrades. However, in the "black box" market, people are much less forgiving of programming bugs that lead to crashes and are much less likely to upgrade to newer firmware versions.

      I work with embedded systems at my job and it's known by all programmers that our firmware needs to be as close to bug free as we can possibly get it. Think of a little "black box" that controls your printer (a print server), for example. How would you feel if you had to reset some idiot box a couple times a day for no reason? For everybody I've ever worked with, it's entirely unacceptable and it's an almost certainty that the IT managers would be replacing the box with another brand as soon as possible.

      I don't know about you, but it's bad enough for me --and most people-- when my computer crashes. I would be pretty upset, however, if my game console crashed after hours of game play to complete a mission.
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:32AM (#14099524)

    So the new XBoxes are crashing...let's just hope they've addressed the problem of the XBox bursting into flames and killing you [theregister.com]. ^_^
  • by pjh3000 (583652) * on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:32AM (#14099529)
    So half a dozen out of the hundreds of thousands of new Xbox 360 owners are having problems. Why does Slashdot have to state "Xbox 360 Very Unstable"? I've had bad installs of Linux too. Would we see the headline on Slashdot "Linux Very Unstable" too?

    This is normal. With the massive number of parts in the Xbox 360, it's to be expected that some are defective on a few units. Microsoft will give them a replacement. Move along, nothing to see here.
    • by Phybersyk0 (513618) <phybersyko@sto[ ... g ['rmd' in gap]> on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:49AM (#14099667)
      somebody mod the parent post up.
      At work we get large quantities of hard drives from various manufacturers and out of every batch we usually get 1 or 2 that just will not spin up, or have other errors prohibiting their use.

      Considering the condition of some of the boxes I've seen people carrying out of the stores, it's no wonder there isn't a few machines that have had parts wriggle free.

      They probably make sure the system boots to the dashboard and then send it on for packaging.

      I seriously doubt that ANY video game console company does burn-in testing for 24-hours before shipping the unit to market. The costs would be (more) astronomical.
    • Well, I don't know about you, but if I buy systems with a *pre-installed* OS, no matter whether it's Linux or Windows or OS X or Plan 9 or whatever, I expect the system to be in a usable state. There is such a thing as quality control.

      This is even more true when you consider that a console is not like a PC - from a customer's point of view at least, it's much closer to any regular home appliance. To give an example, if you bought a new toaster and it didn't work, would you then say "that's OK, it might not
      • Actually (Score:3, Insightful)

        by paranode (671698)
        Things like toasters and other appliances do come defective once in a while. This is not news. If your toaster is defective then you take it back and they replace it. There is nothing (yet) to indicate this Xbox problem is widespread. Slashdot just wanted to post this 'story' because they wanted to be able to laugh at MS and pretend the evil giant was on its knees because all Xbox 360s are defective. MS has it coming once in a while and deserves to be bashed but in this instance it's the MS-haters who
        • Unfair (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @09:36AM (#14100095) Homepage Journal
          Slashdot just wanted to post this 'story' because they wanted to be able to laugh at MS and pretend the evil giant was on its knees because all Xbox 360s are defective. MS has it coming once in a while and deserves to be bashed but in this instance it's the MS-haters who sound like drooling fanboys.
          I think that's a tad unfair. It's a 'story' because the 360 is hyped right now and anything that happens surrounding it is news. We've had months of rumour, speculation and hype. It hardly makes sense to start pointing the finger at 'MS-haters' when a story starts emerging showing the 360 in an unflattering light. Any details will be news on launch day and people will pick up whatever little bits they have and run with a story. That's just a natural follow-on from a much hyped launch.
          • Re:Unfair (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Have Blue (616) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @10:44AM (#14100686) Homepage
            No, if they reported just the facts in an objective manner it would be a story. It's a "story" because the headline was made grossly inaccurate just to make MS look bad. It could just as easily have been titled "Xbox 360 Problems Reported", but then the slashbots would be jumping all over the editors for "buying into the hype machine".

            I can only hope that next time someone finds a bug in the Linux kernel the story is entitled "Linux Development Process Fundamentally Flawed", but somehow I doubt this will happen.
  • see....... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xao gypsie (641755) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:32AM (#14099530)
    This is why I never buy technology when it is first released on the market...
  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Claws Of Doom (721684) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:32AM (#14099531)
    ...where *did* you think all those Windows Millenium Edition licenses went?
  • and this folks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lubricated (49106) <michalp@g m a i l . com> on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:33AM (#14099537)
    Well, this is why I always wait a few months before jumping on a console, if not a year. Nothing pisses me off more while I'm gaming than a crash.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:33AM (#14099539)
    A customer.

    Furthermore, "geek up" the product so the alpha-testers will wait in line for 18 hours and pay twice as much as for competitor's hardware for this "priviledge".
  • Hoax (Score:5, Funny)

    by trollable (928694) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:35AM (#14099550) Homepage
    Com'on, this is a bad hoax against Micro$oft. The screenshots are not even blue!
  • by Bones3D_mac (324952) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:35AM (#14099552)
    These guys [teamxbox.com] have a fairly big list going too.
  • by Groo Wanderer (180806) <charlieNO@SPAMsemiaccurate.com> on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:37AM (#14099565) Homepage
    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=27893 [theinquirer.net]

    80 or 110W CPU (I have heard both ways), a GPU equivalent to the ~100W R520, a HD, RAM and a constantly spinning DVD in a box how big?

    And people wonder why they crash. Anyone who has one want to comment on how hot they get?

              -Charlie
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:43AM (#14099617)
      The air being exhausted from my xbox 360 doesn't feel any hotter then what's comming out of my PC. I think there probably a larger precentage of defects out there, especialy given the rush to market and short supply. Last night I played for about 6 hours strait didn't experience any lockups or other issues like what has been reported.
  • funny (Score:3, Funny)

    by cca93014 (466820) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:39AM (#14099584) Homepage
    You have to love the sheer audacity of posting a link to an MPEG on the Slashdot homepage.
  • by xbrownx (459399) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:40AM (#14099595)
    Is that all it takes?

    I would hope people would take more of a wait and see approach to see how widespread the problem is.
  • by WebGangsta (717475) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:40AM (#14099596)
    I fully anticipated that there would be problems with the initial release of 360s reported from various tech-knowledgable early buyers, but how widespread are these problems in reality?

    For example, I have a day-of-release PS2 that's still going strong, and I never experienced any of the problems that were reported here and elsewhere with these units. In this case, I assume that my machine is the norm and not the exception, but if I based my opinion on the naysayers at the time it would appear that my PS2 would be in the minority of working units instead.

  • Rumors (Score:5, Funny)

    by SlashAmpersand (918025) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:45AM (#14099624)
    I've heard an unconfirmed rumor that Microsoft suspects that the XBox's are crashing because of the proximity of nearby Linux boxes. One employee, using an "open source detector", claimed to have established a 3-mile "Cloud of Evil" around a Red Hat server. The employee went on to say "This conclusively proves that Linux is a danger to our children". Steve Ballmer's statement (which was taped to a chair and thrown through a newsroom window) blamed Google.
  • duh... (Score:3, Funny)

    by v_1_r_u_5 (462399) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:46AM (#14099634)
    >> Project Gotham Racing 3 crashes before finishing the first lap

    You're playing a racing game. You're gonna crash.

  • by mcgroarty (633843) <brian,mcgroarty&gmail,com> on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:51AM (#14099681) Homepage
    How many game saves fit on the premium 360's hard drive after all the software updates?
  • Unstable? (Score:5, Informative)

    by SpikeSpegiel (622734) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:55AM (#14099709)
    I waited up all night in front of a Best Buy to get mine. I also purchased Project Gotham Racing 3 and Kameo. With both games, I've spent most of my time playing PGR3. I have not had one crash, and the only trace I've seen of it is on Kotaku.

    As a note, the system is very thermally unstalbe. I have mine vertical, and every vent is needed. If you were to block any of the airholes for any reason, or to trap the air exiting via the rear of the sytsem, the system potentially could overheat. The exhaust was very high temperature when I checked it after an hour or two of PGR3.

    My rig (for reference) was running at 720P for part of it, 1080i for the other part (to compare whose transcoder was better, my TV or the XBOX). I'm on XBOX live, and upon boot, the system updated itself and restarted. This could have been a critical update that fixed the problem that people are talking about.

    All and all, I'm quite impressed with the hardware. The emulation works better with some XBOX games than others. For instance, Forza motorsport runs sluggishly on the 360, yet Dead or Alive 3 runs flawlessly.

    The live marketplace is impressive. They have HD downloads available, such as music videos and trailers. In addition, you can download new games such as bejewled from Microsoft. There are also themes that can be purchased via live, and as Penny Arcade themes are available, many people should be able to get their themes for sale on Live.

    If I see crashes, I'll repost. However, so far, after 10+ hours of operation, most of which with PGR3, I have no crashes or errors to report.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:55AM (#14099713)
    How can you call the XBOX 360 'very unstable', based purely on a couple of sporadic forum posts, by anonymous people with no real media credibility. While I'm certainly not saying they are fake, I am saying some people have an agenda. And frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if some "hyper-ultra anti MS zealots" that frequent this site would do such a thing purely for kicks and a lack of maturity, such is the nature of those with a religeous devotion to something. Also, who says these people havn't opened up the XBOX, had a fiddle, tried some modding etc...

    Furthermore, with the exponentially increasing complexity of electronic products these days, it's to be expected that there will be some software bugs that need ironing out. A console as complex as the XBOX 360, with advanced networking features and a system such as Live will of course have some bugs to iron out. Microsoft will replace faulty units, because they wish the XBOX 360 to succeed and public outcry wouldn't be to there advantage.

    Finally, When Slashdot posts an article about the XBOX 360 launch, with links to sites effectively praising the console as an excellent product, with respected sites such as [H]ardocp giving it the thumbs up, it's poor journalism to immediately follow up with an instability article with poor sources. Common sense tells me if the XBOX 360 was 'very unstable', sites such as [H]ardOCP and GameSpy who would be testing and evaluating it extensively would also have run into issues, yet I see no mention of this on their sites.

    Very unstable? Rubbish. Editors need to be more responsible and ensure articles have an appropriate headline.
  • Heat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by captaineo (87164) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @08:56AM (#14099721)
    The graphics glitches in those screenshots look like what happens when a modern graphics card overheats. For some reason the contents of the video RAM tend to get corrupted (covered with checkerboard blocks or rainbow colors) right before the system halts altogether.

    I don't have an Xbox, but maybe you could try running it with the cover off or a fan blowing on it?
  • Rushed to market? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Winterblink (575267) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @09:04AM (#14099783) Homepage
    Who knows, this could be a result of Microsoft rushing the hardware to make it in time for the holiday season.

    In the case of PDZ, I'd question the stability of the game from the fact they were stamping the damn thing before running it through Microsoft's test regime. The problem is with both parties frankly, because if you're stamping it before final testing, the you probably didn't do your OWN testing to make sure things were working properly. Or, I bet Rare was biting its fingernails hoping Microsoft didn't find known issues.

    Admittedly, this is version 1 of the 360. You can never find all the problems until a product is put out to market and widespread use finds all sorts of issues you never thought of. For all we know, some people having issues maybe have their 360 plugged into a dizzying array of power bars hooked up behind their home theaters. Power issue, maybe? Inadequate cooling? Time will tell.

    In any case, I'm pretty glad I'm not an early adopter this go-around. I'm still considering picking one up, but I think I'll wait until the game library's a little less sports-heavy, and maybe for the 65nm chipped versions to hit the shelves.
  • Waiting to buy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sandman1971 (516283) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @09:15AM (#14099878) Homepage Journal
    This is reason #1 why I'm waiting about a year to buy a 360. For MS to work out most of the big bugs.I can't say I feel sorry for anyone who's experiencing these problems. It's a risk you take when you rush out to buy untested technology. It shouldn't be this way, but its a fact of technology life. If people wouldn't be so quick to go out and buy, maybe companies might start smartening up.

    Other reasons include:

    -My current X-Box currently still have lots of life left in it.
    -Prices will go down.
    -Won't have to stand in line to get one, or go from store to store.
    -More selection of games.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @09:16AM (#14099889)
    ...who are discovering all the bugs and flaws in this new console. I don't know about others but I really appreciate your services - your willingness to queue up for the box; to pay a premium rate for a revision 1.0A piece of hardware; to choose from a paltry selection of mostly mediocre full-price games; and to gripe that the reality of your purchase might not meet up with your expectations or indeed what the hype lead you to believe.

    We salute you!

  • by Aegis9975bb2 (931810) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @09:18AM (#14099907)
    My XB360 crashed multiple times playing Quake 4. Personally, I think its an over heating issue.

    Since the machine is pretty loud I put it in my home-entairtainment cabinet, which it shares with a receiver, DVD player, and an old VHS. While the cabinet is relatively large, when I close the glass door and play the XB360 it gets very hot in there after playing (and I've been playing alot).

    Quake 4 seems to really stress the XB360 out since there is an aggrevating amount of slow down in the game. Several times when Quake 4 got too hectic my XB360 froze up on me. After I felt how hot it is I took it out of the cabinet and so far (being since last night) I haven't had any problems with crahes so far.
  • What to Watch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Winterblink (575267) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @09:41AM (#14100132) Homepage
    What we should be reporting on, what is MORE newsworthy than just the instability, is Microsoft's reaction to it. If and when they find the problem, will they replace defective units? It's usually at times like these that a company shows its true committment to its customers and product. As an example, when the iMac flat panel line first came out there were lots of customers complaining of fan noise, and Apple was quick to figure out what was causing it and send out replacement parts to affected users. My first Mac was an iMac with such a problem, and their reaction to the problem was entirely reassuring to someone who bought in on a 1.0 version of a product. I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye on the news of these issues to see what kind of support is there for people.
  • by rollthelosindice (635783) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @10:33AM (#14100582) Homepage
    for Workgroups
  • My conspiracy theory (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anita Coney (648748) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @10:51AM (#14100743) Homepage
    This story was created, or at least hyped, by retailers to convince us to by extended warranties. I can hear the blue shirted dweebs now, "Oh man you've GOT to buy the warranty. Haven't you heard?! These things are crashing right and left!"
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @11:12AM (#14100926)
    Step 1: Locate and delete file $sys$Crash.exe

    Step 2: Stop playing Sony music CD's in your new XBox. Everyone knows by now only MS O/S's are vulnerable to being rooted by Sony malware.

  • by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @11:29AM (#14101061)
    IBM's PPC970 is known to produce vast quantities of heat, particularly with three cores. And ATI's modern GPUs are hot potatoes as well - particularly when you consider that the ATI GPU in the XBOX is also serving as the northbridge.

    By all accounts, the system produces ~180W of heat while playing games. That's a lot to handle with only two 60mm fans.

    Microsoft is not alone with this problem - the PS3 has an NVIDIA GeForce 7800GTX derivitive that is clocked very high; it will produce at least 80W, and Cell will likely produce ~80W. More problematic for Sony is the fact that the current PS3 case has very few vent holes.

    Make no mistake - heat is an issue that will be problematic for all next generation consoles. The days of 25W desktop CPUs are over, as are the days of 30W performance GPUs.

    I'm just surprised that no one was smart enough to put a bloody Sempron in one of these consoles...
  • by sho222 (834270) on Wednesday November 23, 2005 @02:44PM (#14102766)
    My XBOX 360 was waiting for me when I got home from work last night. I had pre-ordered from EBGames.com and selected next day air shipping. My first 5 hours with the machine were not as smooth as I had hoped.

    After getting the old Xbox out of the way and hooking up the component cables, surround sound optical cable, wireless adapter, and ginormous power brick, the first thing I saw on the screen turning it on was an error screen. Black, with E74 in the center bottom - there was some other text as well, but I don't remember what it said and most of it was in another language. Not a great first impression, to say the least. I think the problem was the wireless adapter - I was using the one I bought for my original Xbox. I guess they don't play nice together. I'm not sure why really, I thought it was pretty much equivalent to a wireless bridge. Starting up the console without it plugged in resulted in the startup screen. A big error screen is a pretty harsh welcome - they could have at least set it up to start up the system as normal and then display a friendly error message about having to pony up more money for new accessories: "Sorry. Although your shiny new Xbox 360 might be able to play over 200 legacy Xbox games, the wireless adapter you bought is now just a paperweight with lights." That would be better than E74.

    After getting the Xbox on finally, I discovered that turning on the controller is less than intuitive. Batteries are included, and simple enough to insert. There is a nice sticker with the finger-pointing-hand icon pointing right at the Xbox 360 semisphere button. The message was clear enough: "Press this button to make this thing work." Nope. I pressed it. I pressed it again. Nothing. I unwrapped the second controller that EBGames so kindly packaged for me, and had the same result. Those damned things wouldn't turn on - no lights, no nothing. It was several minutes before I discovered that you need to hold the button down for several seconds before controller will turn on. I even resorted to RTFM, and still didn't find this crucial tidbit of info. That sucked for a while.

    Played PD0 first - no real issues. When I first inserted Project Gotham Racing, however, I saw a nice error screen that told that in order to play this game I must insert it into a Xbox 360 console. I thought that was what I did, but I ejected it and inserted it again just in case. It played the second time around, but when I was done and ready to try out Call of Duty 2, the Xbox 360 just went to a black screen, not the dashboard. Inserting a new disc did nothing - I tried all 4 of them. I had to turn the console off and back on again before it would recognize a game. What the hell? I felt like blowing on the disc and in the tray for old time's sake.

    I could gripe a bit about how counterintuitive it is to get a second player to join in games, but I'll chalk that up to my lack of experience with the new interface...

    After wading through most of the nonesense, I had a pretty good time my first night with the new system, but damn was it a rough start. The games are pretty fun (PDZ, PGR3, CoD2, Kameo), but at no time did I feel completely blown away by the graphics or the gameplay. Kameo is probably the best of the bunch. I fully expect to encounter more glitches, but there is little chance that I'll send the system away for repairs at this point when most people can't even get their hands on one until next year. That would just be insensitive.

Algol-60 surely must be regarded as the most important programming language yet developed. -- T. Cheatham

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