After taking little notice of E3 2011 back in June (RetroBear prefers E4 as it has the Inbetweeners on it), there was one small item of news that caught his eye. However rather than being something important, it only turned out to be a tarted up XBOX 360 designed to continue to fund George Lucas’ pension pot…..


The farce is strong with this one......


At the beginning of June at E3 2011, Microsoft announced the launch of a Limited Edition Star Wars XBOX 360 Kinect Edition. So for all those hardy souls out there who have dreamed of having a 360 in the same colours as R2D2 with fully functional sound effects and a gold C3P0-like headset as well will have had all their Christmases come at once. For the rest of us it simply translates as the Newly Repackaged Microsoft More Money Please 360.

Put it this way – I couldn’t think of anything more unappealing. I remember when The Phantom Menace was due for release and collected enough Pepsi wrappers to send away for a Limited Edition R2D2 digital clock. Which was all it was except it was shaped like R2D2. Nothing special in the slightest, other than a lifelong addiction to Pepsi and a few more £’s in George Lucas’ wallet.

So colour me totally uninterested in the latest attempt to get gamers to part with their cash in these hard times for something which other than looking slightly odd is no different from the XBOX 360 currently on the market. I am sure if they had put some fangs and dripping blood on it they could have marketed it as the Twilight 360, proving that it will work with anything and anyone with half an inkling of interest in the subject matter will happily fork out for it. Did I mention it will set you back around £350 notes when it comes out ? Did the 360 cost that when it was originally released ?


That's one freaky picture, but hopefully you get the gist of the argument


Which brings me to the point of this article – dress up any old console in some flashy new designs, colours, packaging etc and someone will be in the market for it. As follows :


  • The Nintendo Gameboy was repackaged into a smaller version which took only

    Quite literally fits in the palm of your hand - a true handheld

    2 AA batteries as opposed to 4. It then had a colour version brought out for it which was backwards compatible with all existing software. Nintendo then brought out a Pocket AND a Micro version of the same system. The Gameboy Advance was a more powerful console but you could still play the old games on it.





  • Sega repackaged both the Master System and the Megadrive into slimmer, more cost effective items. The consoles did the same things as before, they just were smaller. To the collector and misty eyed game fan nothing is better than

    Megadrive Mk1 and Mk2 - you're a fool if you go for Mk2

    playing on originals of both those machines, hence why they are more collectable. It should be added that Sega produced a Master System add on for both the Megadrive and the Game Gear, allowing you to play Master System games on those consoles.




  • The Amiga 500+ was slightly more advanced than the Amiga 500 (more

    memory and a slightly faster processor). The downside to this was that a lot of the existing software wouldn’t work on it. The same with the Amiga 600, which did have software compatibility issues but not as many as the 500+.

Even the French loved the Amiga.... yes the French..... I know I can't believe it either


Usually a new console means new features and is a step up from the previous machine. We should not forget that the 360 came to market nearly 6 years ago, which is a heck of a long life span for a console. Aside from Kinect and a slightly bigger hard drive, there has been no advancement in the next generation of consoles from Microsoft. Nintendo have already announced their follow up to the Wii, and in the 3DS have moved their handheld technology on further.


I’ll finish with a note on the Konix Multisystem which should have launched in the early 1990’s, and you may or may not have heard of. This was meant to be the next big thing ; a hydraulic arcade chair with steering wheel, flight sim and dual joystick adaptors to fully bring home the rush of playing something akin to Afterburner whizzing around in the chair in the comfort of your own home. Owing to a lack of support from some major software houses and severe financial problems, the Konix never actually made it to market. Too much too soon perhaps ? Maybe, but no one has attempted anything like it since. Don’t get me started on “gaming chairs” because that’s a totally different thing.


Just about the coolest system never made


Change is good – sometimes. I know this 360 thing is limited edition, but really unless you don’t have a 360 and are craving one or you are the biggest Star Wars freak this side of Mos Eisley I really don’t see how this can warrant anyone’s attention. My advice – buy a P3S instead. Or a PS3 and a Wii and you might have some change left over for the Star Wars Blu Rays coming out very very soon.


PS I should point out I don’t have anything against Microsoft or the 360. I had an original XBOX and made the choice to go with that rather than a PS2, and think it’s a fab console. I just don’t like to see something repackaged and then charge you, the consumer, a wad of cash for what is basically a 360 with R2D2 knobs on it.

Remember – you can polish a turd as much as you like, but at the end of the day it’s still a turd……


Keep on buffing.....