Rupert Goodwins' Diary 16.11.2001

Friday 16/11/2001The Xbox is here! Our sister site Gamespot UK has installed an XBox (in the Xbox Room, of course), next to the Dreamcast and PlayStation2, and we flock in to see this much-awaited device.

Friday 16/11/2001

The Xbox is here! Our sister site Gamespot UK has installed an XBox (in the Xbox Room, of course), next to the Dreamcast and PlayStation2, and we flock in to see this much-awaited device. And guess what?

It's not very good.

Sat next to the PS2, it looks huge and ugly. That green spot on top that looks so good in pictures just looks naff in real life, and the controllers are too big, too blobby and have the elegance of a rhino turd. The whole set, taken together, has the feel of one of those overstuffed, whale-like American gas guzzling cars. Oh, and it gets very hot.

But this isn't here or there. The real question, of course, is how good the games are. I only had time to fiddle with one game, Oddworld, and was taken aback by the quality of the opening sequence. But then it was on with the game and... it looked like a PC game. Unsurprising, I suppose. It played OK, and I've seen worse on the PS2. But I've seen better on the PS2 as well, and there's stuff coming out next year for the Sony box that looks far more promising than that for the Xbox.

Everyone's saying Microsoft's playing the long game, and the Xbox is just the first of many concerted and well-funded attempts to get into the home market. I don't doubt it, but that little seed of concern I had that the Xbox might also suffer from Version One syndrome -- which Microsoft suffers from more than most -- looks like it's well rooted. 2002 will be interesting.

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