Book Review - Xbox 360 for Dummies by Brian Johnson and Duncan Mackenzie
Hi... I'm not a gamer, but I have one in my household. I can't tell you how many game consoles we've purchased over the last 20 years, but I don't think we've missed very many. I'm a bit surprised I haven't gotten the hard-sell from "da kid" on getting an Xbox 360 yet. But after reading Xbox 360 for Dummies by Brian Johnson and Duncan Mackenzie, I'm somewhat tempted to get one anyway for myself... :)
Part 1 - Xbox 360 Out of the Box: Meet the Xbox 360; Setting Up Your Xbox 360
Part 2 - The Xbox 360 Blades: Dealing with the Dashboard; The Live Blade; The Media Blade; The System Blade; The Games Blade
Part 3 - Xbox 360 in Your Entertainment System: HDTV, EDTV, Plain Old TV; Getting the Best Audio Experience; Customizing Your Console
Part 4 - Pushing the Outer Limits: Parental Control; LAN Parties; Windows Media Center Extender
Part 5 - The Part of Tens: Ten Great Web Sites; More Than Ten Great Games; Ten Tips for Parents; Ten Ways to Make Friends; Ten Great Accessories; Original Xbox Games; Index
Xbox has definitely crossed the line from being a gaming console with extra features to being a multimedia computer that happens to play games really well. Johnson and Mackenzie do a very good job of covering and demonstrating all the features of the Xbox 360, how it all meshes together, and how to get the most out of the platform. This includes everything from, of course, playing games, to making the device the central point of a multimedia setup for your home. The Xbox 360 integrates with Windows Media Center, so you can use it to watch TV, record shows, play music, etc. In fact, it's very possible to buy an Xbox 360 and never even play a game on it. :) Add in network connectivity, and now you can reach out to others as part of Xbox Live. The capabilities are truly impressive, and this book is an excellent way to delve into those areas that you may not have yet uncovered.
Granted, most 12 year olds will probably have most of this figured out an hour after opening the box, all without reading the directions. Yes, and my DVD player still flashes 12:00. At least it's not a VCR any more. But a book like this will appeal to those of us who are interested in the latest and greatest, but want a little structure and guidance added to our exploration.
Now to keep this book out of my kid's hands...