By: Chad Polus
When you thought that game consoles could not get any better, think again. Microsoft has just unveiled the cutting edge in technology and game play. The Microsoft Xbox 360 will hit stores Tuesday, November 22, 2005. This system is going to be on top of every kids Christmas list. According to Microsoft, the suggested retail of the Xbox 360 is going to be at US Dollars $399.99. The Microsoft Xbox 360 is not only aimed at kids but also adults. This means that technical communicators are going to have to change the way they go about writing technical documents for game systems.
According to Microsoft, “the Xbox 360 delivers the most powerful console, the best games, the next generation of Xbox Live®, and amazing digital entertainment experiences, all unprecedented in home console entertainment.” The features on the new Xbox 360 are unreal, for the first time in game play Xbox 360 is introducing High Definition (HD) to game play along with full surround sound and allows you to bring pictures and music onto your Xbox 360 console. Xbox console is equipped with a “20GB detachable hard drive for downloading content and saving games.” Technical communicators are going to need to make this game console as usable as possible because of the impact the Xbox 360 is going to make. Consumers will be able to use the Xbox 360 as a computer for tasks such as saving files, photos and for playing games. The help documents on how to use this 20GB hard drive has to be comprehensive to enable adults to use the machine for all these additional types of functions. The Xbox 360 is going to compete with the way people use their computer. To keep adults informed with the ways new technology works, the instructions for how to use the Xbox 360 are going to need to be precise and easy to use to keep adults using this new innovation in technology. The Xbox 360 also has a built in Ethernet port which allows connectivity to Xbox Live. According to Microsoft, “just plug the Ethernet cable into your existing broadband connection and join a global community of more than two million members. Set up a Gamer Profile, visit the Xbox Live Marketplace, even send voice messages—and that's just the beginning. This could possibly be a new way of communicating with friends and family over a game system, that’s unbelievable. Again technical writing is going to come into play, making this type of electronic easy to use for even those who aren’t technical savvy.
With the Xbox 360, people can plug their digital camera, PSP, iPod or other MP3 player into the Xbox 360 and have all that content available to them too. For instance, when using a digital camera, the user can plug it into the Xbox 360 and view his or her pictures in the comfort of the living room with family and friends, rather than viewing the pictures on a small computer screen. Moreover, people can also use the television as a photo album. The way the technical writers implement instructions for these new features will either make or break the Xbox 360. If the technical writer cannot communicate directions for these new usages clearly, it may cause adults to go back to the conventional photo albums and computer. With the new Xbox, users can record live television: “you'll be able to rewind live TV, pause it, record it, set it up to record all episodes in a season,” http://www.xbox360degrees.com. This will act of as a users VCR. To make something like this just as easy as a click of the remote will depend on the way it is technically communicated to the user.
The Microsoft Xbox 360 is going to change everyone’s home theater system because the Xbox 360 also works as a HD DVD player, you can connect your surround sound speakers to your Xbox, and it can also record television or movies. Now people’s home theater system will only be equipped with one piece of hardware instead of the usual three which is your stereo receiver, DVD player, CD Player, and sometimes a TiVo. With something like the Xbox 360 and all the technology built into one small device, its going to be up to the technical communicator to develop the most usable and precise way of using a product that could change our whole home entertainment.