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Top 10 Reasons to Buy an Xbox 360 2008

6. Xbox Live Arcade
The most over-looked feature of the system, the arcade marketplace will be the second most visited location on your Xbox 360, after the launch screen. Free games, cheap games, addictive, non-stop $10 exclusive arcade games…the list goes on. It’s only a matter of time before the Japanese biggies bring their arcade classics — Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, etc. This is a fresh slate upon which a new arcade revolution is about to be launched. Watch this space closely and you’ll see a system grow in leaps and bounds.

5. Impressive Graphic Power at Good Prices
Microsoft continues to give consumers choices. The two-tiered launch price scheme is a perfect example of this flexibility — $179 or $300 for a system. With the PS3, Sony has essentially stated it will be expensive, so keep this in mind when the PS3 hits shores in…November. With the Xbox 360’s three 3.2 GHz processors running alongside a 500 MHz ATI graphics processor, this console is loaded with power. Some of the current-gen titles like PDZ, PDR3, Call of Duty 2 and Condemned wrangle with the power, and they all look gorgeous having not even scratched the system’s surface.

4. Multimedia Hub

Along with playable games, rippable CDs and playback movies ready at launch, the Xbox 360 enables players to customize their MPEG music sticks with perfectly designed playlists in addition to connecting to Microsoft’s Media Center for a more complete media sensation. Stream music from your iPod and synch it with images from your last holiday vacation. Play music to the Jeff Mintner visual synchronizer and customize the desktop with themes and gamer tiles and have fun doing it. Expect Sony to copy much of Microsoft’s innovations.

3. Xbox Live Marketplace
While it doesn’t fit into most folks’ traditional notion of a console, the Xbox 360 offers a dynamic online commerce center. When you’re not downloading free stuff like demos, trailers and extra bonus packs from game developers, you’ll be spending cash on low-cost items such as bonus levels, expanded levels, episodic content, specialized gamer tiles and GamerCard tag images. Some of it is free, some costs cash, all are dependent on the developers and publishers. Expect this to grow and flourish as the committed users and companies quickly build it into a dedicated gaming center.

2. GamerCards
Microsoft’s GamerCard seems like a simple enough idea. So your name and an image appear as you log onto your account, right? Yes, but there’s more. It quickly becomes more for even a semi-committed Xbox Live user. It’s your passport, representing your image, your scores, your games of choice, your motto, bio and more. The GamerCard becomes you ID card into the community of Xbox Live and it’s how you’ll learn and understand the people you play with and against and those you befriend. It’s not only fun to create, it’s fun to explore other people’s GamerCards, which offer their game favorites, game achievements, and their most recent progress on their most recently played games.

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The Xbox 360, in my opinion, is a must-have system right now because it’s the most powerful, sophisticated, and dedicated game system on the planet. It’s built for gamers, tailored to their needs, and it’s rich with tools to let them go a little nuts on customizing and choose their community. There is easily a rich top-five list (like mine), and getting online and screwing around with arcade games and online games is just the beginning.

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