XBox on the niece's Christmas list.

  [email protected] 11:58 27 Nov 2011

Checking prices, I see they are sold with different memory capacities. Is it possible to add memory as in a computer or is "what you buy is what you get?" It appears to be either 4GB or 250GB. Why the huge difference? Is it like digi cameras where they come with the minimal to perform and rely on the end user to put more? Does the modern games require one to max out the memory? I know nothing about game consoles so any enlightenment would be appreciated. Confused silver surfer here ;-)

  gengiscant 12:44 27 Nov 2011

Not having an Xbox myself but I would imagine the same principles as a PC apply the 250GB Xbox has to be better than the smaller purely for storage purposes.

  [email protected] 12:55 27 Nov 2011

Ah. So it doesn't just play the games, you install them?

  [email protected] 12:58 27 Nov 2011

Also, a PC needs more memory for the games/prgrams to play well. Is it the same for box? Is the memory thing just storeage?

  [email protected] 13:02 27 Nov 2011

Hmm, just visited here and looks like I am going to have to bone up on what's best. Remember when life was easy...

  gengiscant 13:52 27 Nov 2011

Sorry came across that site but for some reason I did not post the link. I have no idea as to whether the Xbox installs the games or not but the bigger storage space is better I would have thought.

  Menzie 02:22 29 Nov 2011

I have one of the old 20GB 360s and I bought my nephew a 4GB model at the start of this year.

The difference is that the 4GB model just has a small flash internal memory, a hard drive can be added later. When a hard drive is present the 360 can use it in several ways.

I think the best way is to list what can be done with a Hard Drive (HDD).

360 With Hard drive (60GB, 120GB, 250GB):

*Games can use the HDD as a cache to store data which means quicker loading in games.

*Games can be installed completely to the HDD, you will still need the disc to launch the game but then the 360 will play it from the HDD. A lot of users do this particularly with the older 360s as it runs quieter and in some cases loads faster when running games installed from the HDD.

*Using the Xbox Live services such as the Netflix movie rental services, the High Definition (or standard definition as you can rent either) movies are downloaded to the Xbox for viewing.

*Downloading demos can require a HDD, many of the demos are now weighing in at 1GB+ so having a HDD means you can download and have several on the system ready to go.

*Purchasing games online, most 360 games are over 4GB in size so if you are going to buy using the Games on Demand service this will quickly fill up a 4GB machine. The arcade games are smaller but purchase a few of these and the 4GB machine will still fill up in no time.

*Large Game Saves and multiple profiles can take up loads of room on a 360, some games leave save data that is 20MB+ in size (such as Role Playing Games for instance).

The other thing to note is that the 4GB model also comes with a basic AV/Scart cable and not a HDMI or component. The 360 will not look its best on an HDTV without such a cable. You can purchase a cheap HDMI cable that will do the job or if HD isn't important you can use the bundled cable.

So there you have it, the advantages of having a 360 HDD.

Oh, before I forget... On the last update MS has included the ability for the 360 to save and install games on some memory sticks (up to 16GB in size I believe) and on some USB portable HDDs.

Since they have enabled this feature I back up all my downloaded and purchased games, my profile and saved games on a portable 2.5" USB HDD as a backup. Whenever the drive is connected I notice that the 360 will query where I want to save things.

If you have any further questions feel free to ask.

  [email protected] 15:42 29 Nov 2011

Thanks Menzie, that's all very helpful. I have decided on the the 360 with 250GB HDD but now I have another question: Does this Kinect thing make the hand held controllers obsolete? I don't quite see how a couple of kids can race each other in car sim by waving their hands and feet around LOL - but - I am very new to this and happy to be advised.

  [email protected] 16:44 29 Nov 2011

Q2: Can the new Forza Motorsport 4 be raced without controllers - only with the Kinect sensor and do you know if the new Kinect bundle includes a controller(s) ?

  Menzie 23:01 29 Nov 2011

Kinect does not make the controllers totally obsolete as it at the moment is only compatible with selected games and a few parts of the dashboard (The 360's version of a desktop).

When playing some Kinect enabled games you will be able to control the game fully from Kinect and can turn off the normal controller.

In the case of Forza 4 Kinect has several uses:

*Viewing the car in Autovista mode which allows you to interact with the vehicles and trigger narrations on them (the narrations are done by Jeremy Clarkson)

*Steering the vehicle, however when using Kinect the braking and acceleration are done by the computer automatically for you and all you have to do is literally steer. This mode makes it easier for those new to the game to have fun and just enjoy.

*Head tracking in the in-car view, this requires the use of the regular controller in addition to Kinect. The Kinect sensor senses when you look to the left or right and scrolls the screen which helps you to look into the corner while turning as you would in the real world. The acceleration, braking and steering are done through the normal controller in this mode.

I have Kinect on my 360 however don't own a copy of Forza 4 as yet but I checked my magazines and spoke with someone on my friends list who does have a copy of the game to verify the Kinect features.

To summarise everything I have said games made specifically for Kinect are fully controlled without the normal controller.

These titles include: Michael Jackson: The Experience Kinect Disneyland Adventures Kinectimals Kinect Sports

Others have some Kinect Features but can still use a regular controller as well.

These include: Child of Eden Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary Remake (Allows you to issue voice commands with Kinect) Forza 4

Then there are the games that have no Kinect integration at all so will require the regular controller to be played.

For your other question the Kinect bundle which is the Xbox 360 along with a Kinect sensor includes a control pad.

  [email protected] 15:09 02 Dec 2011

Thanks Menzie, you have answered all my queries and then some, for which I am very grateful. You have been very helpful with all your advice and now I can relax a bit. Just hope they don't expect me to set it up on Christmas Day... Cheers.

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