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Farewell Xbox 360, it’s been emotional

Tuesday, 21st May 2013 16:09 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox 720 is getting unveiled tonight and the internet is in full hype-gasm mode as you read this. VG247′s Dave Cook recalls his fond memories of Microsoft’s rig, and why it turned him into a filthy traitor.

Well shit. It’s finally here isn’t it?

Tonight, Microsoft’s Don Mattrick will take to a pop-up stage on the company’s Redmond campus and unveil the new Xbox to the world. He’ll most likely clap a lot too, I hear he likes to do that.

I really hope those hands are insured Microsoft. Best get that looked at.

Anyway yes, the new Xbox is upon us and call it generation fatigue or whatever, but I’m not as sad to see the current assortment of consoles go as I was when PS2 gave way to its successor. I was reluctant to part ways with that console as I freaking loved it, and as a matter of fact it’s still sitting next to me now as I type this.


Well hello there. Also, that rug needs to die in a fire.

Truth be told I was a Sony fanboy back in the day, and when Microsoft first released the original Xbox I was working at UK retail chain GAME. We got our shipment of the console in, along with Halo, this rude, young upstart of a shooter that thought it could usurp PlayStation’s reign on the throne of gaming history.

I was a stupid bastard back then, honestly. I really found Microsoft’s console to be an affront to everything I stood for as a gamer. To this day I still can’t really place why I felt threatened by Xbox, and it’s funny to me because usually I’m as open-minded as they come.

Looking back at how I was then, there’s no denying that I was an immature prick. I never owned an original Xbox, and I only just played one for the first time about two years ago. Before you call for my head on a spike, calm down – I’ve played many original Xbox games on my 360, so I’m all caught up I swear.

But there I was looking at Xbox with my Sony-tinted glasses scoffing, and then the company announced PS3. Good lord it was magnificent. All this hype-speak about CELL processing Blu-Ray technology and that demo with all the rubber ducks blew me away. It looked like the future.

I assured myself that PS3 games would make real life look like shit by comparison, and confirmation that the latest instalment in my favourite series – Final Fantasy 13 – was an exclusive just sealed the deal for me. Damn anything that Microsoft had planned, and screw Nintendo. Sony was back in business as the returning champ.


Ah whatever, I still enjoyed it. Except Hope, naturally.

But there was a problem. As a poor uni student I couldn’t afford a next-gen console. There was no way I’d be able to get either a PS3 or the newly-announced Xbox 360 at the time. I bought a PSP instead, and man did that get old really fast. Except for Lumines, which is still brilliant.

I stuck by my PS2 for ages contently, and as I wasn’t a game writer then I didn’t feel pressured to buy the latest tech as soon as it was available. But then Microsoft announced that it has scooped a major exclusive on Xbox 360 – a shooter called BioShock. It released in 2007 and as I was working at now-defunct game store Gamestation at the time, my staff discount allowed me to buy the game and a console on day one.

There’s no escaping the fact that I fell in love with Xbox 360 from the second Jack’s plane erupted into a blazing fireball above the Atlantic Ocean. The mystery and intrigue that came with sneaking into that lighthouse, the atmospheric nature of Rapture and achievements – yep, I was a cheevo-whore – just had me hooked.

Suddenly I realised how stupid I was being in fearing other formats, and since then I’ve never looked back. Sure my PS3 currently gets hardly any play-time, but that’s because the bulk of my friends all play on Xbox 360. They’re both brilliant machines, and I mean that sincerely.

Together they both offer a spread of great exclusives and features, but I think Xbox 360 warmed me to many facets of modern gaming that have stayed with me to this day. I had never played online games until I got my hands on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – simply because I was intimidated by the skill of other players – but I became addicted to it at launch.


Basically this, after work, every week night for about five months. Seriously.

XBLA may not be the most visible platform for indies, but the release of Braid blew me away. Here was Jonathan Blow, one man who had created a monster hit with a minimal budget and a ton of neat ideas all wrapped around a simple time-shifting mechanic. It changed the way I viewed indie production, and helped me view the world beyond the triple-a pack with fresh eyes.

I can take or leave Halo and Forza to be honest, so exclusives weren’t the reason I stuck with my Xbox 360, but it’s been a constant feature of my living room since I first bought one. When I moved to England penniless and shit-scared, to start my career as a games writer, it was an alternative way of keeping in touch with my friends back in Scotland – while shooting each other in the face over Call of Duty or Bad Company 2.

It’s always been there, right next to my television, just like my PS3 is now, and together they represent the years we all embraced online gaming, DLC, multimedia functions and more, like a little slice of gaming history that many of us are about to put behind us for good later this year.

So why am I saying farewell to Xbox 360 in the title of this piece when it still has several months ahead of it? Well, we’re all looking forward to tonight’s Xbox 720 reveal and the launch of PS4, but glancing back at how far we’ve come, it’s incredible to see how the industry has progressed in that time.

But after tonight is through, the cycle will begin properly once more, as both Sony and Microsoft weight up their formats and do their best to convince us their side is best. Many of us will start to drift from the Xbox 360 and PS3, as anticipation for next-gen formats reaches critical mass.

I’m long past the days of being a fanboy and I’ll definitely be giving both Sony and Microsoft my full attention after tonight’s reveal and moving onward as there’s no right or wrong choice, just another decade of innovation and fun to look forward to. We’re all winners in the end.

You can watch Microsoft’s Xbox 720 reveal live, right here on VG247. Just hit the link and bookmark the page ahead of the main event 6pm GMT / 7pm CET / 10am Pacific.


Cheers for the memories pal, it’s been a blast. Also, sorry for not dusting you.

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37 Comments

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  1. JavelinX

    Goodbye X360, we miss you!

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Stephany Nunneley

    “To this day I still can’t really place why I felt threatened by Xbox, and it’s funny to me because usually I’m as open-minded as they come.”

    No worries Dave. I felt the same way when I saw the original Xbox at Best Buy for the first time. Took me 3 years to be convinced.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Dave Cook

    @2 I’m glad it wasn’t just me then :D

    #3 1 year ago
  4. G1GAHURTZ

    Goodbye? Has it left?

    Is it November already?

    You never know, the 720 could turn out to be a colossal flop, leaving you playing 360 games for the next 5 years…

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Dave Cook

    @4 did you read it all man? :) I explained the title at the end.

    Also, yeah that’s absolutely true man. It could be.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. deathm00n

    Awesome read Dave!

    #6 1 year ago
  7. G1GAHURTZ

    Seriously though.

    I too thought that the 360 was a great big pile of poo when it was revealed in 2005.

    The games looked super pants, and it just looked like a useless xbox 1.5 compared to the WiFi hub, 2 HDMI port, 7800GT powerful beast that was the PS3.

    How times change, eh?

    #7 1 year ago
  8. G1GAHURTZ

    @5:

    lol!

    I thought you’d say that…

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Dave Cook

    @7 It’s mad isn’t it, looking back? I’m really excited to see how the next ten years play out. It’s going to be one of the most volatile and risky cycles to date that’s for sure

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Gheritt White

    Speaking personally, I’m not buying any new hardware until Xmas 2014 – by then it’ll be easier to tell whether Sony or MS have the better platform.

    It does mean, though, that I won’t be in a position to give anybody grief in the comments for about a year… :’(

    #10 1 year ago
  11. deathm00n

    I remember being really surprised when my friend got a Xbox 360 instead of PS3 “Dude, are you crazy? You are a traitor to playstation!”

    #11 1 year ago
  12. viralshag

    I was the first (and pretty much only) one of my mates to jump ship to the 360 (and original Xbox) but I’ve never regretted it. Made some great friends through Live and had some awesome times.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. dizzygear

    I was on the fence for a PS3 because they were so damn expensive. Than Sony ripped the PS2 B/c without lowering the price and was like fuck this i’ll get a 360 instead. It was indeed nice that i could play some Xbox titles on i missed. Though im still mighty pissed off MS never bothered to fix the BC for the PAL Panzer Dragoon Orta.

    These days however its collecting dust except the occasional XBLA game.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. fearmonkey

    I remember when I bought the original xbox, no one was waiting for one accept me. I got to the register asked for one, and the store employee told me I should buy a PS2 instead. I declined (bought a PS2 later) and picked up Halo, Munch’s Odyssey, and Dead or Alive 3. What a trio of games that was… I loved my original Xbox, still have it, works fine.

    I wasn’t that pressed to get a 360 until just a few months before it released. It was Kameo that made me want it, I also picked up Perfect Dark, and Call of Duty 2, Condemned, and Project Gothic Racing 3 later.
    Kameo was the game that super impressed me, a shame a sequel never happened, that was a great game. Funny thing is, as the 360 aged MS made it less cool than it was, it became all about the media and not the games, and the hipster marketing with motion controls, dance games, and children on stage at E3 just made the console looked lame. PS3 went from uncool to very cool by the end of its life.

    I am wondering if MS will have something today or at E3 that just makes me have to own a new Xbox, or will I be more interested in a PS4 this time around? I love Fable, enjoy Halo, but can live without Forza or project Gotham. I wonder if there will be a game like Kameo that grabs me and makes me want the system. So far, i am afraid its all going to be sequelitis, I guess in a few hours I will know.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Cobra951

    @4: I still occasionally play GC and PS2 games. I’ll let you know if my 360 vanishes before my eyes in a puff of smoke today, or in November. I’m betting it won’t.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. ps3fanboy

    i say good riddance and i will not shed a tear.. long live the ps3!

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Dave Cook

    @16

    #17 1 year ago
  18. monkeygourmet

    @17

    I cannnn seeeeee you ;)

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Dave Cook

    @18 Turn around, turn around.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. G1GAHURTZ

    GET TO THE CHOPPERRRRRRRRR!!!

    #20 1 year ago
  21. monkeygourmet

    I failed…

    It’s: I see you…

    I lose twelfty man points for shame…. :(

    #21 1 year ago
  22. mistermogul

    @15 – No but it might vanish is a puff of RROD!

    @16 – Oh dear…

    #22 1 year ago
  23. Cobra951

    @14: Ah, someone else who liked Kameo. There seem to be few of us. That was a great showcase for the system’s early days. Perfect Dark Zero I never liked, though it still sits on my shelf.

    @22: I already had that happen–twice! I’m no MS fanboy. Trust me.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. mistermogul

    @ 17 – “Bunch of slack-jawed faggots around here. This stuff will make you a god damned sexual Tyrannosaurus, just like me!”

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Lengendaryboss

    Oh Dave, how could you work for GAME that place is ripoff for its consumers and the employees don’t feel as engaged with their consumers plus great job on the article even if it is a painfully long read :D

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Belmont

    I only have a PS3. Yet I should say that I always enjoyed the fight between the two HD consoles of this gen. I also should say that I always loved Halo, too bad Sony never managed to beat it ! (F word…)
    Farewell 360.

    #26 1 year ago
  27. Dave Cook

    @25 I was just out of high school, a keen gamer and thankful for the money :)

    #27 1 year ago
  28. Gheritt White

    As I’ve said countless times… for me, it’s all about the pad. Ever since they introduced the S-type controller for the original Xbox, Microsoft have just put out better pads IMHO, which is why I bought an Xbox on top of my PS2 and went X360-only this gen.

    I’m obvs very excited to see the new Xbox’s pad… in fact, it’s the thing I care about the most, given that I’m certain to get one console or another.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. monkeygourmet

    @28

    This ^^^

    #29 1 year ago
  30. SplatteredHouse

    Is my stomach ready? (Mattrick, I don’t like him. His stage persona just to be clear.)
    On the Xbox 360 console, my feelings are promising start (and oh, the “promises”!) Good early-going. POOR services outside of the US. Overly focused on NA, 1st party games lineup left to rot as first-party shifted to mainstream – chasing Nintendo at great cost of core.

    I have good memories of it early, it’s XBLA service was also a pull until it got diluted by an indie focus (that sideshow became a congealed mess), which again, that would prove to be undersupported – I’d guess because Microsoft can’t really find a way to monetize on the back of that stuff.
    The first…Two years were pretty much super. I was a big fan of the dash blades (couldn’t stand their successive revisions to the platform UI!!) although it was “laggy” it was functional – ALL I wanted from the control panel of my machine.

    Then, “the business” got its claws in the games, the marketing team started running roughshod, everything was sponsored left,right and center, and the games that were previously Xbox only, well, they start turning up elsewhere too! I guess that’s what happens once you decide to swerve, and structure your business away from quality first-party releases. No. The 360 has not been my best console. It illustrated and offered on a regular basis, escalating evidence of the “dark side” of connected platforms, re: publishers, and the patch later ethos.

    #30 1 year ago
  31. rbevanx

    ” I’m not as sad to see the current assortment of consoles go as I was when PS2 gave way to its successor. I was reluctant to part ways with that console as I freaking loved it, and as a matter of fact it’s still sitting next to me now as I type this.”

    Yeah and the Dreamcast I can see from the photo Dave.

    Good man :)

    #31 1 year ago
  32. fearmonkey

    @23 – I loved Kameo!! I was amazed at all the characters on the screen at the time, I don’t remember a game before it in it’s genre that has so much going on while your playing. The colors and the graphics were so next gen to me then :)

    Perfect Dark: What a disappointment, it just wasn’t that fun unfortunately, I never finished it. I got Call of Duty 2 and that took me away and I never came back. I remember being blown away by Call of Duty 2 on 360, just amazed at it.

    Anyone else going to feel slightly surreal if Phil Harrison goes out and talks about the next Xbox?

    #32 1 year ago
  33. hitnrun

    #13 comes closest to my thoughts.

    The 360 was the best console this gen. That’s why I bought one. Then it wasn’t.

    More specifically, Microsoft’s aggressive pursuit of exclusives, innovation in indie/cheap games with XBLA, and friend-capturing head start made it the best console, hands down. The ethics or sustainability of the exclusive buying was irrelevant: Xbox had the games when they mattered.

    When they stopped chasing those exclusives, they lost that element to PS3. Then NXE came and started the slow descent of the 360 GUI into an ad-filled mess to chase the Wii avatar unicorn (and, later, to cross-promote Microsoft’s cell phone initiative). Then their flagship franchises – Halo and Gears – ran their main course with nothing to replace them. When Steam passed XBLA as the go-to place for cheap/indie, MS never adjusted their approval regime or pricing policies. And now the head start won’t matter at all.

    The 360 was the system for this gen when this gen mattered. But PC has been the place to go for a couple years now and when and IF the next console gen matters, I’m inclined to get a PS4. I’ve had quite enough of MS’s clutching at my wallet every time I turn on my system, I’m not interested in using a clunky cell phone interface to navigate my games, I don’t want to chase their 2006 Wii unicorn, plus it’s almost certain they’re going to have another change of heart with DRM at some point.

    #33 1 year ago
  34. polygem

    that was a fun article.
    it has been a fun gen too. lot´s of things happened this gen and online gaming became the real deal.
    i switched from sony to ms back to sony and then ended up having both and a wii…some great games on all the systems.
    i love the 360 pad. it is the best. i also loved xbl. i had a great time with the 360, some great gaming years and for a long time it was my favourite system. now the ds4 looks rock solid and i love ps+ and believe demons souls was so awesome and games like journey are important too while i hate all the ads on my 360…i actually really liked that ugly first 360 ui, the blades… :)
    well, whatever. a new round. i will be ready for it. i wont buy both at launch, only one, but i am sure, in the end i will own them all again anyway.

    #34 1 year ago
  35. TheBlackHole

    @28 +1

    SO right.

    #35 1 year ago
  36. Bill_E_Talent

    Having just watched the XBOX One reveal, maybe you should hang onto it a while longer Dave. ;)

    #36 1 year ago
  37. ManuOtaku

    On the kameo topic it was a great game and to tell the truth i did like all the 360 rare games, for me is like they keep working with nintendo, they didnt lost their touch.

    As for this article, great one dave if not that often that we can say how things can change as we evolve as gamers, in the end the only thing that matters are games, not manufacturers, thats why i trid to own all consoles in order to not miss great games, regardless of consoles, now i can tell you that my heart is with nintendo, but that doesnt mean i cannot enjoy what sony and microsoft offer, great games, thanks for the article and the importance to keep this in mind and relevant, gamers could learn to be as open as possible, therefore the console wars would be like a thing of the past, the evolution of a gamer.

    #37 1 year ago