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Xbox 360 Review Part 2: Setup and installation

Xbox 360 (or its sickly cousin, the Xbox 360 Core System) arrives in a surprisingly small box that is also surprisingly heavy (Figure). Those familiar with the original Xbox will be shocked to see how small Xbox 360 is compared to its predecessor (Figure). Part of that is thanks to the passage of time, I'm sure, since technology simply gets smaller. But part of it is simple cheating: Xbox 360's external power supply is enormous, much bigger than any power supply I've ever seen (Figure). What's odd is that Xbox 360 would still have looked svelte if Microsoft had integrated the power supply into the main unit. On the other hand, it would have weighed a ton: Both the Xbox 360 console itself and the PSU are quite heavy by themselves.

Inside the Xbox 360 box, you get a carefully wrapped console, all decked out in beautiful white and gray, and with an already attached 20 GB hard drive (the Core System does not include this drive). There's also a thin pouch with some documentation (a two volume users manual that covers setup, installation, configuration, and the warranty; a quick setup sheet; an Xbox Gold advertisement, an extended warranty offer, a coupon for a free issue of "Xbox" magazine, and an Apple-like Xbox sticker (Figure). Also included is a single wireless controller with 2 AA batteries, a small Media remote control (that shouldn't be confused with the Universal Remote Control, which is available separately), a headset, a component HD AV cable, an Ethernet cable, and the PSU and associated cabling.

Anyone who's connected a video game console, DVD player, or other similar gadget to their television set should have no problem getting Xbox 360 up and running. The HD AV cable connects to a proprietary port on the back of the console and works with both HD and standard definition television sets. The power supply, too, connects to a proprietary plug on the back. The Ethernet cable, which connects Xbox 360 to your home network, connects to the standard Ethernet port on the back of the system.

Before you can use Xbox 360, you should get the wireless controller going. This controller includes two AA batteries as noted, using a removable hatch on the bottom of the controller into which the batteries can be placed (Figure). Unlike the previous Xbox, you can turn on Xbox 360 using the Xbox Guide button the new controllers or remote controls. And the bundled headset plugs right into the front bottom of the controller, in a manner similar to that of the Xbox S controller.

On to Part 3...

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