Xbox 360 – HD vs. Xbox

So, after days spent mostly playing my Xbox 360, my son asked me to play Star Wars Battlefront II with him on the Xbox, and after only a few minutes of gameplay it finally hit me how visually spoiled the Xbox 360 has made me. The Xbox connected via component video doesn’t even touch the Xbox 360 connected via the VGA/PC connection on my HDTV system.

Battlefront II in single player mode is okay and pretty playable, but in split screen multi-player mode, pixel chunkiness and coarse graphics (in contrast to the Xbox 360’s detailed high resolution output) really detracts from game play (never mind making it much more difficult to clearly see your enemies and navigate).

Having read recently about some Microsoft Xbox 360 evangelist commenting that the emulation of the Xbox on the 360 actually made Xbox games look better, I decided to give Star Wars Battlefront II a spin in my Xbox 360. Woe was me – the game is not yet support by the latest emulation code from Microsoft (list of what has been certified to work is here).

I am increasingly coming to appreciate the graphics capability and visual acuity the Xbox 360 provides. I guess you don’t know how good you have it until you go back to what you were using before.

I still have regular mini-frag fests with my kids and their friends over SystemLink on my office Xbox and the one in the living room, mostly playing Halo 2, and again, in single player mode (on my system – it’s usual 2, 3, or four of them in the living room on a single screen), that’s fine. Although some might question my gloating when I kick butt against a posse of 8 and 10 year olds (but I should note that sometimes they kick my butt too).

I definitely won’t be getting rid of any of my current generation consoles, but I suspect I will be spending more and more time with the next generation, including the Xbox 360.