Xbox 360 Console Buyers Guide
How to chose between the different types of Xbox 360 console on the market
So, you have decided that you would like to buy an Xbox 360 console – or your kids have been pestering you for one and you have decided to give in to them! The cost of the last generation of consoles has been steadily coming down over the past couple of years, but they are still expensive purchases worthy of some investment in research beforehand. Having selected the Xbox 360 from the range of other gaming options on the market, how do you know which package to buy? Microsoft offers a range of three different consoles at three different prices, so you can select the one that best suits your needs – and your wallet.
- The Arcade Console
The most basic of the options available, the Arcade package now costs under £100 and comes with one wireless controller and a memory unit to save your games. The big reason that this package is cheaper than the others is because the console does not have a hard drive built into it. The memory unit has much less capacity for storing games than a hard drive does, and if you decide to upgrade to a hard drive on your Arcade console later on, it will cost you more than if you had bought one of the more expensive packages to start with. The lack of hard drive also prevents you from downloading updates or expansions for your games. This is the package to chose if you are not a serious gamer and are only likely to play (and want to save progress on) a small number of games at any one time.
- The Standard Xbox 360
More expensive than the Arcade console at around £150, the standard console has a hard drive built into it with 4GB of memory as well as your controller. Having a hard drive greatly increases the flexibility of what you can do with your Xbox in terms of saving and downloading. This is suitable for more frequent gamers and households of multiple players who will want to save more than one game at a time and who may want to download content to their Xbox 360.
- The Elite Xbox 360
The most expensive of the packages, the Xbox 360 Elite console is really for the more serious gamer who plays a lot of games frequently and the cost at around £200 reflects this. For this extra price, you get a massive 250GB hard drive and it is the only Xbox console to come with HDMI cables as part of the package (which offer improved image quality through high-definition resolution, making a big difference to your gaming if you have a HD TV). But still only one controller, though (you may have guessed by now, I really think something this price should come with two of them).
Make your choice of Xbox 360 package based on how much you think the console will be used in your household, as this will really determine the size and type of memory that best fits your needs. I would personally recommend going with one of the latter two packages, as the extra money spent on an integrated hard drive will really pay dividends later on – it is very frustrating to make great progress in your current game only to then find you haven’t got the capacity to save what you have spent all evening doing!
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