Talk to me about Xbox

For the past several years, my family has had a “one gifter, one giftee” policy for Christmas. This year, I got my nephew. Having never really spent any significant amount of time with him since he was 13, I don’t really know him that well.

I managed to track his girlfriend down through facebook, and I asked her what he might like. She said that he’d really like a new Xbox, since his is pretty old.

What should I look for? What are the various features of different models? How much can I expect to spend? I’d like to keep it in the $200-300 range.

He already has one? Old Xbox 360s do all the same things new Xbox 360s do. If it’s not in disrepair, I’d get him games. I know the older ones are prone to premature death, but I’d hate to give him something he already has.

But if you really want to get one, get the one with the 250gb harddrive. There are several games that require (or if not require, strongly recommend) downloading some files to the harddrive, and they can get really big (it was either MW3 or Skyrim that needed like 7gb).

Thanks for answering one very specific question I had. I was wondering if they go bad, like old loaves of bread.

I’m not an Xbox person, and can’t particularly attest how good or bad a particular model is. However, in my usual annual Black Friday research, I did turn up some special discount deals, which I discussed in another thread.

Day OF Thanksgiving:

**Walmart **(deal starts at 10PM) 4GB Kinect Bundle + $50 gift card - $199.99

Day AFTER Thanksgiving:

Best Buy - 250 GB model with headset, Fable III, and Halo games included for $199.99

**Gamestop **- 4GB model - $149.99

Toys R Us - Xbox 360 - 4GB Kinect bundle + $10 gift card - $199.99

Radio Shack - Xbox 360 4GB Kinect bundle - $199.99
In my estimation, the Walmart deal is best, because the Kinect bundle comes with a game already, plus the added bonus of possibly using the $50 gift card to buy another game.

The Best Buy deal is the only one that offers the large hard drive version (no Kinect, though) and two popular games are included.

The Gamestop deal is also quite good, for sheer cheapness, though you could expect spend another bit of cash getting a game for it.

The old ones are loud and have very little storage (making them louder as you can’t install games on the local drive so have to run them from the actual game disk so you have the motor and spinning sound). His girlfriend has most likely heard him complaining about this.

As to which one. The most expensive one you can afford :wink:

The one with the large hard drive above, sounds like a best deal. do not get the 4GB ones. Some games have limits in terms of graphics/gameplay that might be affected by the missing hard drive.

I second the suggestion for getting him games instead. Old xbox same as new until it gives up the ghost.

Apparently the new xbox (nextbox if you will) might come out end of 2012 (still a rumor at this point), so it might really be a waste of cash.

Of course the problem with getting games then becomes, what kind fo games does he like, what games does he already own.

If he is any sort of gamer he’ll have a wish list somewhere.

I’ll have to ask about what games he wants. I sort of figure that if he wants it, he already has it. But he’s just starting out in life, so he might not have the money to get what he wants.

Is it at all possible he currently has an original XBox and not the 360?

Wiki says that that came out in 2005, and he’s only 25, so that sounds unlikely.

Some other (more expensive) offers for Xbox 360:

Holiday Kinect Bundle- 250 GB model AND Kinect, bundled with two games, Carnival Games and Kinect Adventures - $399.99

Modern Warfare 3 bundle - 320 GB model with 2 controllers and MW3 game included - $399.99

I kind of doubt the girlfriend would have recommended getting him a new Xbox unless he actually needs one (i.e. his died, or is threatening to die any minute).

Have they become more reliable? They had what seemed to be an unreasonably high fail rate for a while.

It may be threatening to die, or, if he’s in the same boat I’m in, he might have a nice HD TV but only component cables with no HDMI out.

She just said that he’d like one, the one he has is pretty old. I wrote back for clarification.

Which won’t actually improve anything, since component cables are perfectly capable of outputting 1080p in the two or three instances you actually find a game that renders in 1080p.

I think this is important.

As noted, for the most part an old xBox 360 is as good as a new one. There are minor variations and upgrades, some cosmetic and some technical, but if the one he has is running well there isn’t a feature or benefit compelling enough to justify replacement until it inevitably dies. It will die, and the one he has might be on it’s last legs, but it’s still not generally wise to preemptively replace one. Newer ones last longer and play nicer with new, high end TVs, but they are essentially the same machines.

First, I’d ensure that he doesn’t have a 1st gen xBox. That definitely merits an upgrade, but it’s unlikely that he does and that it’d still be functioning if he did. Note this is the xBox, not the xBox 360 which debuted in 2005, the original xBox debuted in 2001.

If he’s got a 1st gen xBox 360 that’s really struggling, then you might be able to make a case for a new xBox 360. It might have the small 20GB/60GB HD and no HDMI connections and he could be legitimately benefit from a new console. The newer ones are quieter, more durable and have more storage. I’d still consider steering away from this solution since it will do everything a new one will do, but when my old one died I bought a new one even though I was able to repair the 1st gen model. Do as I say, not as I do.

If the one he has is perfectly serviceable games will benefit him much more. As would a 12-month Xbox Live membership or a Kinect add-on. Assuming this is the case I’d probably give some thought to a Kinect Bundle. It adds more to the xBox than just games and his non-gamer g/f might appreciate it. :wink:

If you’d like to spend a little more (and if you consider buying a console you will be) I’d probably add a 12-month xBox Live membership. If he’s currently playing games online he’s already using one and this will just save him the hassle of re-upping when it expires. If he’s not currently using it it’s a little tougher call. Some people don’t like online gaming and would never use it. Some people might not know they like it until they try it. Some people might not game online, but might benefit from the membership because they can watch Netflix movies and ESPN on Xbox Live through it.

If the subscription isn’t the way to go you can just get some new games. Modern Warfare 3 is basically the biggest game in the world at the moment. He might already have it by the time xmas rolls around if he’s into this stuff, but it’s probably on every 25 year old boy’s shopping list. Arkham City was hotly anticipated. Hardcore gamers could probably rattle off a ton of other options. I’m old so I have fond memories of the original so the new GoldenEye is on my shopping list. Most boys are going to be happy to get sports games and Madden 12 and NBA 2K12 are standards.

Dunno. I stopped on my third.

Yeah, about two years ago, they switched over to a new, lower-power chipset, which basically solved the overheating issues they were having.

Thanks. Would like to get one but heard many a story of people on their third Xbox in as many years.

She said he’s had it for 3 years, and that he likes Halo and “first person shooter games”, or something like that.

I’m starting to think that she watches what he does, but doesn’t pay attention to what he wants.