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Xbox 360: No Rush.

And finally tonight: Drawing the Xbox threads from today's previous posts out, I've quickly looked into the sequel console, the Xbox 360. The official website says that the new console isn't due in Australia until early next year. Some of you have probably already heard that it comes in two flavours; the bells-and-whistles flavour and the stripped down, bare-bones flavour, which some are already claiming is a hobbled version of the complete console (somewhat unsurprising, as the basic unit doesn't come with a hard drive).

Of course, the questions are, will I be getting one, and if so, when and what version?

The answers are: Probably; no earlier than the release of Halo 3; most likely the full version (with any luck, no more expensive than AU$550). At the moment, it's pegged for Quarter 2 of 2006, but Halo 2's release date was bumped back once or twice to give the dev crew more time. Also, Xbox supremo Robbie Bach has been quoted saying the Gaming Dev Crew Mantra: "It'll Be Ready When It's Done."

As an aside, it's an interesting change from Bill Gates' crowing about how the PS3 launch would run smack into the release of Halo 3 not too long ago. Bach seems to be applying a little spin to that, but even so I doubt Bill would risk screwing up the third part of his hit console franchise in an attempt to piss Sony off (if that's possible). Still, I can't help but wonder how the hell Bungie will have time to develop the game in between liaising with Peter Jackson and the WETA Workshop on the Halo movie and all. (And if they'll ever get to work on those other projects they said they wanted to do after Halo 2 hit shelves.)

Getting back to me, though: As both of the 360 packages come with Live subscriptions, I don't see much point in getting Xbox Live now, only to get another subscription and headset with the 360. Sure, by all reports, multiplayer Halo 2 is fun, but I'm not in that much of a hurry to get stuck into it (besides, I don't think any of my readership has Live). Therefore, the wireless bridge can also wait until until next year.

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