A reader talks up Microsoft’s first console and explains why he thinks it and its games are still worth playing.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, although surely no one could interpret the original Xbox as beautiful. With its crowning ‘X’ and macho black ribbing the console looks like a scaled down model of a super villain’s fortress.
For me this brutish aesthetic is part of the machine’s appeal. No other device looks like the original Xbox, it’s determined not to be mistaken for anything but a gaming machine.
As a gaming machine the original Xbox remains capable even today.
One of the reasons I still regularly use the console is that compared to modern machines I’m up and playing in no time.
Switch the console on, enjoy the whooshing boot up sound, put a disk in the tray, and in a few seconds the game’s front end is loaded and waiting for your input.
The Xbox’s built-in hard drive is a valuable asset when it comes to speed and convenience. Compare saving and loading progress to its main rival the PlayStation 2 and you’ll soon realise the benefits of choosing Microsoft’s first console.
If like me you have a sizeable game collection, and often chop and change between titles and genres, the original Xbox’s hard disk can store progress across a large number of games with ease.
Try playing through a variety of games on the PlayStation 2. You’ll fill up memory cards, you’ll forget which saved game is on what card. That’s if you can find the memory card you saved your game on all those weeks ago.
Another reason I prefer the original Xbox over the PlayStation 2 is the Controller S. I love the way the pad fills out my hand, it just feels meaty. The Controller S’s triggers are a must-have feature. These triggers make the DualShock’s shoulder buttons feel like a weedy substitute. There’s no comparison when firing a gun in a game.
Let’s not forget the Controller S’s great breakaway cable. How many times have you snagged a cable under your foot or reacted violently to a game? With the original Xbox the console is never tugged unceremoniously across your living room.
Finally, I’d like to mention a few of my favourite Xbox games:
There are so many games available for the original Xbox despite its relatively short time on our shop shelves.
It’s a pity no one seems to want the original Xbox. I often see second-hand consoles looking forlorn in trade-in shops. You can buy the machine for about £20-30 online. The games are relatively inexpensive, £5 to £10 each; sometimes cheaper.
In this age of downloads and installs, patches and updates, gaming has become a waiting game, a laborious hassle. There’s no waiting with the original Xbox, its graphics and games still hold up today.
This is why I recommend readers consider picking up Microsoft’s first console for themselves.
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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