Blurring the lines between computing and console gaming more than ever, the Xbox 360 is far more than a games machine. Some may cynically observe that it's a device that's allowed Microsoft to bring all manner of non-gaming, Microsoft-branded services and media functions into the living room (replete with tie-ins to Windows Media Center Edition and XP, naturally), but there's still no denying it's a capable beast.

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Initial observations are that it's slightly smaller than the original Xbox, and heavier. The huge power pack takes us back to the days of the Spectrum +3 - and then some! - and the controller is far better than it looked on paper.

We should point out that it's the Full edition we're looking at here, replete with in-built 20GB hard drive and wireless controller. A 'Core' edition is available without these and a couple of other items for 70 less. There doesn't seem much point in opting for that, though, as a hard drive is pretty much a necessity here. That said, you can add a drive later, and with the various USB ports there's significant upgrade potential.