Xbox 360 limitation #1: The hard drive
Despite only owning the Xbox360 for a few hours, I just discovered that I only have 12GB free. It turns out that Microsoft ships the Xbox 360 with some music and some high-def video clips. I donít actually see any way to defrag the hard drive. This could be a problem because you can easily download 500MB game demo off the net and between ripping music files, and downloading large game demos, I can see fragmentation being a big problem. The original Xbox didnít have this problem because the HDD was just used as a cache and for saved games.
More time with Xbox Live
Spending more time on Xbox Live, I see that Microsoft has their Xbox Arcade feature. While Nintendo Revolution will let you download old SNES games, Microsoft Xbox 360 lets you download arcade games such as Smash TV. Free demos are available, but full versions are sold with points. Market pricing is $20 for 1600 points. This makes SmashTV $5 to own. Whatís nice and shows off Microsoftís polish is that you can play Co-Op on Xbox Live. The price is reasonable if those are games youíre actually interested in owning and if Microsoft can expand this to cover all of the MAME supported games, this would be a great feature since itíd give the general public access to ROMs in a legal manner and be integrated with the Xbox Live service. Not all games are $5 though, Bejeweled 2 costs $10. I imagine that Microsoft will be using these points as a way to reward users. If theyíre really cool, theyíll give some away to users on their birthday, although theyíd probably have to make sure they prevent people from having more than one birthday a year :). $5-10 is a bit pricey given that some games like Joust and available for free on Shockwave.com (without network play though).
Other things you can buy on Xbox Live include themes for your Xbox 360 Dashboard. Unfortunately, there doesnít seem to be a way to sort by price Ė something Microsoft should add with the next version of the Xbox 360 Live Client.
There are actually banner ads on Xbox 360. So far, theyíre only for games. For example, there is a NBA Live 06 banner ad that takes me to a page where I can download a demo or trailer. Iím in favor of ads if Microsoft can use this to subsidize the cost of Xbox Live, or if the ads are always links for downloading demos. Letís all hope that this doesnít lead to full fledged banner ads with a $50 annual fee.
Itíll be interesting to see if Microsoft gets aggressive and offers movies for download. In a high-def world though, people are going to want HD content and this can be a problem for the bandwidth needed. Likewise, the 20GB drive isnít large to let people keep movies permanently on their HD. Microsoft will have to keep the pricing low for it to be worthwhile.
In case youíre wondering how Iím doing all this writing in the first day, I truly have my laptop out and Iím really summarizing everything Iíve been doing with the Xbox 360. Since downloading is a task that cannot run in the background, it gives me time to write. The other nitpick is that while the Xbox 360 tells you how many percent done the download is, it doesnít give you an ETA or an estimate on how long the download will actually take. Iím only about 58% done with downloading the 720p trailer for Aeon Flux, so this is a good time to talk about the controllers.