Hands on with the Xbox 360

Smyths of Jervis Street have set up an Xbox 360 pod in their games section. The pod consists of an Xbox 360 in a perspex dome, a beautiful Samsung LCD screen and a couple of controllers. Altogether, these must cost a couple of grand a piece. Very nice pieces of kit.

But most interesting is the fact that they actually give you a chance to play some of the games. Right now, they’re only running the demo version of Ubisoft’s King Kong game, but I’ve been told that they’re hoping to get a copy of Perfect Dark Zero during the next week.

I stood in line for a while and finally got a chance to play a bit of King Kong, and I’m not all that impressed. Although the game looks very pretty with a lot of little graphical effects, and a really satisfying meat to the models, this game has actually got me worrying about the overall quality of the Xbox 360. There was a definite price to pay for this high-definition lushness: the frame rate was terrible, and the game frequently slowed down during particularly busy scenes (and let’s not even mention the questionable physics).

Running right next to the Xbox 360 running King Kong was an Xbox running… King Kong. This side-by-side comparison was most likely intended to show us all the things next-gen games have to offer over the current-gen, but had the opposite effect of highlighting all of the flaws: the Xbox version didn’t have the high-resolution textures, but ran well with a high frame rate and, most importantly, didn’t drop a single frame, meaning it looked nicer on the eyes and well, looked like a nicer game

There are still a couple of months left before King Kong releases on the 360, which means there is still time to tidy it up and fix these problems – let’s hope they do. In the meantime, roll on Perfect Dark Zero.