TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Review: Xbox 360 Diving Into Living Rooms

Review: Xbox 360 Diving Into Living Rooms

Monty Solomon (
Thu, 2 Mar 2006 22:31:28 -0500

By MATTHEW FORDAHL AP Technology Writer

With enough hardware horsepower to deliver movie-like graphics and
high-quality sound, Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 is setting a new
standard for video games. But the console isn't just about
shoot-'em-ups and virtual sports.

Like its predecessor, the 360 can serve as an "extender" to a PC
running Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 operating
system. Nearly every type of media that plays on the PC can be piped _
wired or wirelessly _ over a home network and through the Xbox to a

This time, the feature is built into the console (both the $300 and
$400 versions) and doesn't require the purchase of additional
software. It also can handle the demands of high-definition television
without a hiccup.

All this is in addition to the Xbox's primary purpose _ gaming. Taken
as a whole, it's Microsoft's strongest case yet for its future in the
living room. It shows that the PC, even if hidden elsewhere in the
house, can serve up media and more for the entertainment center.

To try it, I borrowed an Xbox 360 and a Hewlett-Packard Co. PC decked
out with the Media Center software. The PC itself could have easily
been a Gateway, Dell or any other brand _ the operating system is
offered by almost all PC makers, with prices starting at less than

Though setup isn't as easy as it could be and the Media Center
software still has some rough patches, it performed remarkably well.


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