Xbox 360 comes of age – part two

E3 Microsoft is making the most of its head-start in the superconsole wars, with the arrival of essential software such as the brilliant Gears of War

Read part one of this article

Another tasty horror game is Dead Rising, a kind of Grand Theft Auto with zombies that we first played last year. Now it’s even more bloody – the great thing about fighting zombies is they’re pretty slow – we particularly enjoyed smashing their skulls with dumbbells.

As well as appealing to bloodthirst gamers, Microsoft has been working hard to extend the 360’s audience. Hence a raft of new downloadable titles for Xbox Live Arcade, including coin-op classics like Pac Man and Frogger, plus the cutesy Viva Pinata, a visual feast the combines Tamagotchi with The Sims – your task is to manage a farm of beautifully animated cartoon piñata animals.

Another addition to the Xbox armoury is the new HD-DVD drive, a USB plug-in that allows high-definition movie viewing. It looks like a miniaturized 360 and is about the size of a chunky hardback book. It’s hard to see the drive becoming mass market – not least because the 360 makes so much noise that it’ll drown out quit movies - but at least it makes up for the 360’s major deficiency when compared to the PS3.

Read part one of this article

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