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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A&E >  Entertainment

Console extras not all needed

Levi Buchanan Chicago Tribune

With the release of any new console, peripheral manufacturers scramble to release add-ons – some unnecessary, some not – in hopes of being caught in what’s affectionately called “launch goggles.” (This is when the excitement causes a gamer, wrapped up in the moment of getting a new system, to overspend on games and extra gear.) The Xbox 360 is surrounded by no shortage of goodies, but if the goggles are in effect, consider GelTabz rubber nubs ($5.99) that snugly fit over the analog sticks of the 360 controllers. They make an already comfy controller feel better, especially when held in a death grip while smashing trolls in “Kameo” or dropping Nazis in “Call of Duty 2.” GelTabz also fit PlayStation 2 and Xbox controllers.

Cable TV

The best thing you can do for your 360 and your TV is pick up a pair of Monster Cable component cables. Before spending $60 for these audio/visual cables, check the back of your TV for five inputs aligned next to one another, one of which is labeled “Y.” If that’s the case, your TV can accept component cables.

Component cables break down a video signal into its, um, components: Brightness/contrast, and the colors red, blue and green. When used with the high-def-capable Xbox 360, you get brighter colors and sharper contrast than with composite cables, which lump the video signal’s components together. Even if you don’t have an HDTV, component cables will work magic on your screen.

If you’re getting the 360 for its picture quality, then you might as well get top picture quality. This is good advice for those eBay bidders who were paying $700 to $1,000 these past weeks for 360s because Microsoft didn’t make enough.

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