Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"I've got the XBox 360 until 9am Blues......" This happy strumming camper outside of the Grapevine, Texas Best Buy is at the head of the pack for one of their 30 "Premium" $399 allocated systems to be released in the morning. A line stretched across the front of Best Buy to Mattress FIRM, who lost an opportunity to rent mattresses to these young adults. Just around the corner at Wal*Mart, 16 "Core" units were available 9 hours earlier, at midnight. I was lucky #17 in line. If only I didn't return home to get my camera, I too would have one, but with merely a 10 minute check-out wait. That's more my style! At another mid-cities Wal*Mart, 2 units were there until 8 were picked up from UPS by an employee, which had embargoed them until November 22nd. Across town in Addison, two 360's were sold at Wal*Mart and a handful of campers waited at a Best Buy - one had been there for 25 hours already. With 40 degree nights in North Texas, I can't see myself waiting. Further North in Frisco, my friend who left the Addison store arrived at 12:30 to be the 21st person in line out of 16 units available. But why is there such a demand for the device? Is it that the XBox 360 is the nearly the first "true" HDTV capable gaming system. Or is it an artificial demand due to low numbers of product allocation like the PSP had this time last year in Japan, but not during the spring US launch? The console will operate at all high-definition resolutions, albiet using the component analog video connection. A digital HDMI connection is rumored to be released "when Microsoft thinks that the market is ready." My home theater has two HDMI devices and a switching receiver. We are ready MSFT! The console will also make for a nice Media Center Extender to play back stored content in another room. My burning question is will it play back my HD content recorded via my All in Wonder ATSC tuner, or will it ignore that video like my Linksys Media Center Extender. It will never receive DVD's across the link due to DMCA issues but as my library of HDTV content grows, it would be nice to share that around the house - over wired 100MBPS links of course, just like I can with the Roku HD1000. More photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gadge/65875289/ from the launch festivities. Posted by Picasa

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