The base price for and XBox 360 is $300, the most common accessories are the 20GB hard drive ($100), wireless controllers ($50) and headsets ($20). Many vendors are offering packages with a variety of options with prices of $500 or more. While some of these options depend on your gaming style and preferences the hard drive is the one option we recommend you get right away. The hard drive allows you to save games to play back later and install updates that make many older games compatible on the new platform.
One of the advantages the XBox 360 will have over other game systems is graphics. The graphics of other gaming systems are top notch but on newer games like Project Gotham Racing 3, NFL 06 and Call of Duty 2 which were written for this platform, there simply is no comparison. When you compare the specifications the XBox 360 to any of its competitors, it's anywhere from 2 to 10 times more powerful. If you are lucky enough to own and HDTV you will really notice the difference, although it will work on standard TV's as well.
With this console Microsoft is also making a concerted effort to make the Xbox part of your media center. It can connect to any other windows networked computer in your house. It can be used to play movies, slideshows of pictures, and MP3 files. If you own and IPod or digital camera you can also connect them directly to the USB port located on the front game console.
Lastly you'll want to think about Xbox Live. This is a paid online membership that allows you to get free trials of new games and play in head to head action against other players over your high speed internet connection. You also have access to updates and patches as they become available.
For hard core gamers there is no choice, they will do practically anything to get their hands on the newest and latest systems available. For others it may be worth waiting until Playstation 3 is released to see how platforms compare.