Sep 23
By Matt Gander In Blog 17 Comments

Six months ago I would have heartily agreed that Microsoft were doing the right thing by keeping the Xbox 360 going for a couple more years, especially considering the amount of unplayed games I have piled up is in double figures. The upcoming release of Battlefield 3 however has managed to change my mind – the day a new Xbox is unveiled will be a day of celebration.

Battlefield 3 has been confirmed as coming on two disks while online play has been capped from 64 players in the PC version to 24 on Xbox 360. The PC version will look better too, thanks to the latest range of graphics cards easily outdoing the Xbox 360’s performance.

The world of PC gaming is already giving us glimpses of the future of console gaming. Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 Samaritan demo is approaching photorealism, while fan-made patches for GTA IV and Crysis 2 bring genuinely jaw-dropping shadow and lighting effects.

When GTA V is officially announced it’s likely to be for the current gen. Will it look as good as the video below, which PC gamers are already able to experience? It’s doubtful.

The PlayStation 3 may cost a little more but that extra expense for a bigger HDD and Blu-ray disk storage is starting to make me think that Sony really do know what they’re doing. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has to wrestle with a decision of what to delete off the Xbox 360 HDD to make room for new XBLA and demo releases.

Currently my 360 has just 3GB left – my eyeballs nearly popped out on discovery that Sega’s Renegade Ops clocks in at 2GB. Quite how Xbox Arcade owners get by is beyond me. My joypad too is starting to look tired and shabby from 7 long years of faithful service.

The likes of Bioshock Infinite and XCOM were rolled over to 2012 not just for extra polish but to pad the publisher’s release schedule out. Gears of War 3 marks the end of a trilogy but there’s no new Xbox in sight. Halo 4 meanwhile marks the start of a new trilogy, but on old hardware. Wouldn’t it make more sense to release Halo 4 as an Xbox 720 launch game showing us what the new system can do?

Developers have recently claimed they can’t give us the experiences they have in mind either, due to the 360’s soon to be antique processor.

Graphics continue to become better with every major new release but this is at the expense of other areas. Mostly commonly it’s enemy AI kept to a basic standard to allow to the Xbox’s ageing insides to handle large environments and flashy visuals. Or if a game does have incredible AI, something else will be lacking. Take Deus Ex: Human Revolution as an example – great character models, animation and AI but the textures in the larger levels suffered from repetition due to memory and CPU constraints.

A new Xbox doesn’t need to be gimmicky like the Wii U. I will be quite happy with a more powerful and quieter console, with larger HDD and disk storage and a new dashboard. And of course, the chance to carry over my Gamerscore. I’d hate to see over half a decade of achievements go down the drain.



Published Friday 23rd September 2011 by Games Asylum


About the Author
Matt Gander

Matt Gander

Matt is Games Asylum's most prolific writer, having produced a non-stop stream of articles for the site since 2001. A retro collector and bargain hunter, his knowledge has been found in the pages of tree-based publication Retro Gamer.

  • Adam

    The annoying thing is when they release PC games that are just console ports. Deus Ex being a good example. They could improve it quite a lot but instead the PC version is just a high res version of the Xbox game.

  • Shaunk5

    “Battlefield 3 has been confirmed as coming on two disks while online play has been capped from 64 players in the PC version to 24 on Xbox 360. The PC version will look better too, thanks to the latest range of graphics cards easily outdoing the Xbox 360’s performance.”
    Why does the number of discs matter? If getting up once every 6-7 hours is a chore then I think the issue falls more onto the gamer. Also the PS3 lacks a solid GPU which is why a number of cross platform games this generation are notably worse than the 360/PC counterparts. Heck, upcoming blockbuster RAGE is almost complete on PC/360 yet is causing no end of issues getting the same performance on the PS3. Carmack is an amazing engineer and even he is struggling to grapple with the PS3s mind boggling architecture because the PS3 dumps its performance onto the CELL to compensate.
    “The PlayStation 3 may cost a little more but that extra expense for a bigger HDD and Blu-ray disk storage is starting to make me think that Sony really do know what they’re doing. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has to wrestle with a decision of what to delete off the Xbox 360 HDD to make room for new XBLA and demo releases.”
    Two words, manditory install. PS3 games require them on most games because the Blu Ray read speed is appauling so installing games to the HD is the only work around to long load times. Even then, anyone who played Gran Turismo from disc will tell you how bad the situation is on the PS3.
    Also comparing PC to the consoles is like comparing Osain Bolt to a man sat in McDonalds. It’s no secret that PC gaming is way ahead of consoles. Technology have moved far in the 7 years since the 360/PS3 were unleashed. The fact is consoles aren’t designed to offer bleeding edge graphics, if they were then most consoles would follow the Apple “annual” update policy. PCs get new GPUs every year, new CPUs every 18 months and new operating systems annually (iOS) or every 4 years (Windows) depending on platform. They have an advantage over consoles which makes any comparison unfair. Plus as you say, the modding community makes PC gaming a more enjoyable experience but you’ll never see that on the consoles. Sony and Microsoft will never hand over their platforms to modders because it opens up the console for hacking. Sony tried to allow this with the Linux OS on PS3 but it didn’t work out, hackers were using it as a backdoor to hack the console and make it unstable.

  • Matt

    My lack of HDD space and crumbling joypad were a personal gripe; obviously not everybody is going to have this issue. My point is that when GTA V arrives it won’t look as good as that video as Microsoft has chosen to prolong the 360’s life. I have no problems with disc swapping but this proves how old the 360 has become – games are now outgrowing the 360’s disc format. How many PS2 or Xbox games that came on more than one disc can you mention?

  • Dartgs

    “Gimmicky like the Wii U”, with your thinking, we’d still be using CRT displays.

  • Matt

    Google search results for “Wii U Gimmicky”: 1,510,000

  • Skunkfish

    I don’t think games coming on multiple discs is an issue at all – as long as it’s done sensibly (not like some of the Amiga floppy games of yore).

    It certainly didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the Shenmue’s or Final Fantasy’s…

  • Maximo

    I’d definitely like to see some new console hardware. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still some really attractive games (Gears of War 3 is gorgeous) being released, but I’m still looking forward to the generational leap that new consoles should deliver. I just hope that Kinect and Move don’t become the standard control schemes – I’ve enjoyed both, but the death of the controller would be a very sad day, indeed.

    You’ve probably already heard the rumours about a new Xbox unveil at next year’s E3, so hopefully these rumours are entirely true and we’ll hear more then.

    But, for now I am quite content with the current batch of consoles.

  • Matt

    Skunkfish – The PS1 Final Fantasy games were cut-scene heavy, hence why they came multiple disks. My point was that even generic FPSs and things like Dead Space 2 have to come on two discs due to outgrowing the 360’s disk format.

  • Adam

    The PS3 was released 7 years ago? 2006/07 was 7 years ago? I’m not sure if your perception of time is accurate Mr Shaunk5.

    The Wii U is utterly gimmicky. Accept it. Moreso than the normal Wii, which is still a little gimmicky, as the dust piling up on mine will attest to.

    With the PSVita coming close to current gen graphics (albeit in a lower resolution), it makes sense that the next generation of consoles will come in the next year or two. I’d expect the next Xbox in late 2012, then perhaps a PS4 in 2013, though I’m sure Sony would stretch the PS3 out for as long as possible if they could.

  • Skunkfish

    @Adam

    Matt started it though with his miraculous 7 year old Xbox 360 controller… It must have been a prototype I guess? And these weren’t regular years, these were ‘long’ years. ;)

  • Moi

    Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a full 1080p xbox running bf3 with 64 players at 60fps and graphics on ultra?

    FUCKING DREAM

  • Skunkfish

    @Moi

    Isn’t that called a PC?

  • Matt

    The 360 was released in 2005. This i’ll be its sixth year (on 2nd December).

    My bad.

  • Charlie

    @Matt
    “Google search results for “Wii U Gimmicky”: 1,510,000”

    Google search results for xbox 360 is crap: 84,500,000 results

  • Matt

    Wow, so many people it must be true!

    Better sell mine then.

  • Beryl

    Litterbox 360

  • Liam

    I really don’t think that xbox needs a new console the 360 is great and why do people want their games to look like their killing real people anyway I like playing games that are for fun not my life goal and besides 360 has only just not long ago brought out the kinect slim ones which do have better graphics in my opinion and I love it aswell as all the great games you can get on the 360 we don’t need a new xbox at all

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