Xbox Fan Book Review

Out of the three major consoles vying for dominance, the Xbox is easily the most confusing. With it's built in hard drive, Xbox Live, DVD playback, and variety of connections, this is the system you'll spend the most time with. "The Xbox Fan Book" tries to make owning the system less of a trial, but most of the information can be found in the user manual included with the system.

Seven chapters fill out the 114 pages of this small publication. After an introduction telling users why their system is the most powerful on the market, the first chapter tells you how to hook up your system. Everything is shown in full color, including how to plug a controller into the system. If you don't know how to do that, you should probably just return the system now.

Next up his how to maximize the experience the console can provide. This explains the various video capabilities of the console (including all of the high-definition features) and how to work the parental lock. You'll also learn how to properly space and configure speakers for a home theater. That you could find in your users manual for your receiver. The final section in this chapter explains the various game genres available for the Xbox.

Easily the most useful chapter is how to network your console and get it up and running online. Author Mark Holt Walker spends nearly 20 pages on the topic, something that could likely be very confusing to many of us. Again, everything is explained in detail with all kinds of pictures to make the process painless. The following companion chapter explains the ins and outs of the Xbox Live service.

Accessories are up next and features a wide range of products. Almost all of the accessories featured are winners, so if you're looking for a third party controller, this little book has some great recommendations. You can also learn about some cheat devices and various connectors.

Chapter 6 goes over some of the best software available for the system and some titles yet to come. A brief overview of the game accompanies (again) full color screen shots. This is a short chapter and only features the most elite titles, so don't think these are the only worthy titles available.

The final chapter is a complete waste, providing conjecture on the next iteration of the console. Granted it's short, but for a book obviously meant to be a companion with a new system, why tell the receiver of the console that their new toy is almost outdated? There is some brief talk about modifying the console here, but that information can be obtained in far great detail in other books and the websites URL's provided.

Only the newest people to the realm of video games will find this book of any use. Granted, it would look great sticking out of a stocking for this holiday season (they did a great job at making it look flashy), but once the person dives in, they will likely find little of use. It's more entertaining than the standard manual, but that's not saying much.


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