Help for new Xbox 360 owners
I’ve got a couple of friends who are new 360 owners after the holidays, and I’ve realized that there may be some confusion on the best way to set this up, compatibility, etc. For that reason, I’m gathering some info here. There are probably quite a few new owners that I know now that we are past the holiday season.
First and foremost, while the 360 is generally compatible with original Xbox games, there are some that won’t work on the 360. Xbox.com has a comprehensive list here. Moreover, to get any of them to work, you must download some updates from Xbox Live. Also, because many 360 games get updates, and because there is a lot of downloadable content (free and for fee) from Xbox Live, it is very important to hook the box up to the Internet. Note: the compatibility layer for older Xbox games is updated on an ongoing basis as new old games (get that) are made compatible. As you can see, it is best to make sure the Xbox is always connected to the Internet, even if you only have a Silver Xbox 360 Live Account.
To alleviate confusion or concerns, there are two types of Xbox Live subscriptions; silver and gold. The silver subscription is free, and entitles the subscriber to download free and for fee content, game updates, Xbox game compatibility updates, etc. If nothing else, get this one. The Gold Subscription, generally $50 per year, allows online gaming in addition to all of the other features. Either way, be prepared to have a Microsoft Live ID for your email address (www.passport.net) or to sign up for one during Xbox Live registration right from the Xbox 360. Also, you will be choosing a unique gamertag when you register for either level of subscription; this is how you will be known in the Xbox Live world.
But, before I get to far ahead of myself, let’s talk about networking the Xbox 360. I’ll start by saying this; if you can, hard wire your Xbox 360 using and Ethernet connection. If not, wireless it is. Alleviate possible headaches by using an approved wireless home router that is listed on this page. You’ll then want to get the Xbox 360 Wireless Adapter. This should work fine.
The 360 is turning into quite a media hub for gaming, movies, TV, Media Center, DVD’s, HD-DVDs, etc. IPTV on the 360 was also just announced by Bill Gates at CES this week. You might as well kick off Xbox ownership with a bang, and make sure it is well connected, updated, and groovin’ in High Definition.
That leads me to my one last tip; make sure, if you are using an HDTV to monitor your 360 that you do two very important things. First, use the correct connection to get HD (either component or VGA HD connections, both analog). Second, make sure, if using the more common component HD connection, that you have set the physical switch on the connector to the HD setting (it comes from the factory set to SD, I believe).
This should be a good start. Happy gaming/viewing/communicating.