Xbox 360 Questions

I’ve had my new Xbox for over a week now and love it, but I do have a couple of questions for you 360 vets. I only have two games for it at the moment: Dead Rising and Dead or Alive 4 I just finished Dead Rising over the weekend and aside from a couple of spots in a certain part of the story, the frame rate has been rock solid no matter how much is happening on screen. I’ve since discovered that this is a bug in the game that happens to others as well. DoA 4 I’ve had no problems at all, but I haven’t put much time into yet.

I just rented Tony Hawk’s Project 8 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance from Blockbuster and both games seem to suffer from frame rate problems at random times. Nothing major, just seems like it takes a drop where in the two games I own I didn’t have this problem. I also rented Saint’s Row, which had similar problems. I read through some reviews and didn’t see anyone complaining about the framerate dropping in any of these games, aside from while playing on-line, which I haven’t even attempted yet.

I play with my system hooked into Xbox Live, but I haven’t actually got on and played multi with anyone yet. I’m wondering if the problem is the games themselves, the system, or possibly because I’m playing it while hooked into the Internet? I’m leaning more towards it being the games, but since I only have two that are brand new I really can’t be sure. If it’s the system, I need to know now so I can take it back and exchange it before it’s too late. What do you guys think? Did I get a bad console, or is it just the fact that the games are rentals and have probably been played a hundred times over? I looked at the disc for M:UA this morning before work and noticed some stuff on the disc, but no major scratches as far as I could tell.

Also, is it me or is the DVD drive really loud? That’s another thing that bothers me. The unit is loud by itself, but when it spins up a disc it gets even worse. Is this normal?


  • edited to appease the “Grammar Nazis” *

Absolutely. It’s a common complaint. It doesn’t bother me because I play on a 5.1 system that drowns out the sound.

Let me give you some advice before the waves of grammar Nazis arrive. Go back and edit your post to include paragraph breaks. You don’t want the hazing that K0NY received, oh my!

But yes, the 360 is loud. The first time my girlfriend saw my 360, she commented on the noise level. My response - “Wait until I put a disc into it”.
I would gladly pay for the “silent 360” hardware refresh from MS.

What is your overall question? Is it whether frame rate drops are normal in 360 games?

I have a question for you: what 3D game system doesn’t experience occasional frame rate drops? I’ve never owned or seen one.

Saint’s Row and THP8 are notorious frame-rate offenders. It’s not just you.

If you’re wondering why, it’s because devs always think they can tweak the framerate up before release, and sometimes they’re wrong.

Oh, and yes it’s loud and hot. Be sure to let it breathe. And consider buying the extended warranty from MS.

SR does run like ass. Marvel ran like (slightly boring) butter as far as I could tell though. p8 gets a tiy bit choppy.

Well obviously it’s not the Xbox 360, is it? Oh well, maybe the next-next gen?

That’s what I was afraid of. I’ve read several reviews that say these games don’t have any frame rate problems at all, which is why I asked. I guess my definition of a solid frame rate and theirs is different. Thanks for the reply!

I refuse to believe you found a “review” that said Saints row didn’t have framerate problems. I liked the game, but I don’t believe anyone would say that.

Read the reviews carefully before buying. Some games do have hideous frame-rate problems. The two 360-native NFS games, for example…


Believe it:

“The sharp gamer might notice some graphical glitches, but these few glitches don’t even come close to getting in the way of your gaming. Sometimes there is a tiny but noticeable flicker in the ground’s texture or your car’s reflective surface might suddenly blur a bit. Although these will not make the game worse, they definitely should have been dealt with before the release of the game.”

Doesn’t say anything about the framerate, which as bad as it is I think it warrants at least a mention.

“The frame rate, while mostly stable, sometimes gets significantly slow and choppy when there’s a lot going on.”

I had framerate problems within the first 30 seconds of the game, with nothing but a few characters and cars on screen. That’s not what I would call “a lot going on” or “mostly stable”, but again maybe our definitions differ.


The worst offenders for random framerate droppage tend to be the open, streaming “no-load” games, ala Saints Row, due to the fact that once in a while you’ll put yourself in a position where the engine has to load a lot more data in a quicker amount of time than is really possible (given the data reading bandwidth of the media), resulting in a bottleneck that chugs everything.

When next-next gen rolls around the systems may have some sort of flash-like memory used for a cache (the way the Xbox HD can be used as a cache) that is mindbogglingly large by today’s standards… The question is whether that will help or if the gains in access time will be gobbled up by the content being so much larger, giving us the same situation as today, just with far prettier graphics to stream…