If you're in Europe, the Xbox 360 is five today. That means it's five years since many of us picked up a copy of Perfect Dark Zero and said "this sucks!"
It got off to a bumpy start, but I love my Xbox. I missed it when it needed surgery to remove the Red Ring of Death, and I missed it even more when a hand injury and subsequent hand surgery meant I wasn't allowed to touch it for months. No sooner had the doctor said it was OK to play games again and I was installing Lost Planet 2.
With hindsight, that one was a mistake.
It's not perfect. My one's on its way out, with startup freezes becoming more and more common. My wife can't stand the hooting of its fans, a noise that's still terribly annoying despite 2008's New Xbox Experience bringing the overdue ability to install games to the hard disk.
The storage space is pathetic, because – yes! – I install games to the hard disk. Its looks haven't aged well, something the latest models address (along with the noise, I'm told).
The video marketplace or Zune Tellybox or whatever it's been rebranded as this week still sucks. And the lack of iPlayer is crazy, Microsoft cutting off its nose to spite its face by refusing to let the BBC give us its sterling streaming service for free.
Despite all of these things, I still love it. It doesn't feel like a console nearing the end of its life; rather, it feels like a console developers know what they're doing with.
When I used to play PC games, I often – rightly – wished I had better hardware to play them on, but I still don't feel that with my Xbox: games such as the gloriously demented Vanquish look superb, go like the clappers and don't appear to be bringing my Xbox near breaking point.
Unplugged Dust Gatherer
It's interesting to compare the Xbox to the Wii, another console that used to live under the telly. After a brief burst of Wii Sports when I first got it, the Wii was demoted to Unplugged Dust Gatherer, resurrected briefly for a bit of Dead Space Extraction before ending up on Gumtree.
I reckon my total Wii play time barely reached the tens of hours; with my Xbox it's thousands, and I've used it to watch countless videos too. The only bit of kit I spend more time on is the laptop I use for work.
My Xbox 360 made me what I am today – fat, with ruined hands. So it's probably just as well that instead of rushing out a new kind of Xbox, Microsoft has released Kinect instead. I'm pretty excited about that.
Not only is there the possibility that I'll actually get off my lazy backside, but as the dad of a three-year-old I can't wait to bring games such as Kinectimals into the house and get my wee girl into gaming at an impressionable age. The only reason I haven't got it already is because I'm saving up to buy one of the black Xboxes.
There's a recommendation for you: it's so good I'm buying it all over again.
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