MYTH: Third-party controllers are just as good.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. In the vast majority of cases, non-licensed controllers, memory cards, and other peripherals are shoddy knock-offs of the real thing. This is particularly evident in third-party controllers, which, judging by internal GamePro tests, are often poorly made and more likely to fail. Part of the reason is that Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony all hold patents on their particular controller's design, right down to the directional pads, buttons, and analog sticks. This means that third-party companies like Nyko and Mad Catz must start from scratch by designing their own buttons. Ever wonder why third-party directional pads feel so awkward? Now you know: it's because of the patents.
Some third-party manufacturers are better than others, but in general, you'll never regret buying the first-party controllers and peripherals. It's money well spent.
MYTH: LCD/plasma TVs look better than old-fashioned CRTs.
A popular misconception is that new-fangled LCD and plasma TVs have better image quality than an old-school cathode-ray tube TV, all HD resolutions being equal.
This is actually false. An HD CRT will almost always look better than an HD LCD or plasma TV, as CRT boasts deeper, more vibrant color. CRT TVs can also render a wide variety of resolutions, from 480i up to 1080p (if supported), without losing quality through downsampling or upsampling. In contrast, an LCD or plasma TV has a designated "native" resolution that must be hit (say, 720p); anything above or below this number will usually look muddy or blurry as the signal must be converted. This is especially true for interlaced formats like 480i and 1080i
CRT may beat both plasma and LCD in terms of picture quality, but they are enormously heavy, with larger sets weighing up to 200 pounds. The key selling point to plasmas and LCDs is their sleek size and light weight, in addition to solid picture quality.
MYTH: 1080i looks better than 720p.
Only if you plan on looking at your game on pause. The truth is that 1080i only displays 540 lines every 60th of a second while 720p displays, wait for it..... 720 lines. While 1080i has a slight edge in sharpness, it often suffers from a slightly flickery look that can strain the eyes and cause breakup in fast-moving scenes. Most times, 720p and 1080i are just about even-- they each have strengths and weaknesses but you'll be hard-pressed to spot a big difference. And for HD video gaming, 720p is sometimes preferred for its smoother, slicker frame rate.
MYTH: The more memory, the better the gaming system.
While this generally is a decent rule of thumb, it is also important to consider the software that utilizes the memory. A former employee of EA games told us that "when developing a game for both the PS2 and Xbox, we had to reduce texture size to get it to work on the Xbox because [Microsoft's API] DirectX is less efficient with memory than [the standard API] OpenGL." As the PS2 showed us with it's inferior 32 MB memory, it's not just size that matters when it comes to rendering slick graphics.
MYTH: You need 1080p.
You don't. 1080p is a wonderful technology that's capable of rendering lush, crisp, high-resolution films and video games. But it's also way, way ahead of its time. Only a handful of PlayStation 3 games and Blu-ray films can even output at 1080p, and the number of 1080p-capable HD TV sets on the market is a tiny sliver. Like it or not, HD standards 720p and 1080i are still the key focus, and are likely to remain so for years to come. That said, 1080p is a great bonus feature, if you've got the cash to spend.
MYTH: Porn will settle the next-gen DVD war.
This popular rumor claims that HD DVD will overtake Blu-ray becasue it openly allows manufactures to create HD adult movies, while Blu-ray Disc Association frowns on porn. Puhh-lease. As important as adult films were in trailblazing the home videocassette movement in the 70s and 80s, porn is hardly a kingmaker. In fact, if you judge by recent sales data showing Blu-ray soaring ahead of HD-DVD, it looks like video game systems like the PlayStation 3 will do more to settle the next-gen DVD war than mere smut.
MYTH: The PC is the only good place to play first-person shooters.
PC elitists often argue that first-person shooters are intended to be played with a mouse and keyboard, and that no console controller can match this flexibility. This is false. Though the mouse and keyboard still have an edge for precision sniping, the Xbox 360 controller has proven itself to be a dependable workhorse for most other violence-related tasks, especially with console-specific tweaks such as "sticky crosshairs" to help even the odds. The key, as always, is practice.
It's true that controllers and mice have their own strengths and weaknesses, but this doesn't mean that the mouse is always king. In fact, FASA is enabling Xbox 360-to-Windows multiplayer in their upcoming shooter, Shadowrun. And they don't seem too worried about an uneven playing field between the mouse and the Xbox 360 controller.
MYTH: You need to buy the extended warranty.
Most times, this is a huge waste. If you're buying an Xbox 360, a PS3, or a Wii, know that each console maker has a pretty generous warranty period--one year in the case of the Xbox 360 and PS3, and even more for the Wii if you fill out the online registration.
Of course, don't expect the retail shops to stop offering extended warranties anytime soon: warranties are a retail cash cow because the failure rate of consoles and games is so slim and the fees are so high. Skip 'em.
MYTH: The Xbox 360 can't handle 1080p.
Actually, it can, thanks to a recent downloadable update. Though Sony argues that the Xbox 360 can't handle true 1080p, this is a technical argument that's mostly splitting hairs. Generally speaking, Xbox 360 game designers will be able to code in true 1080p support for future games. Check out Sega's Virtua Tennis 3 as one key example of an upcoming Xbox 360 game that's rendered in "true" 1080p.
As for running existing games in 1080p on the Xbox 360, it's not so simple. Currently, selecting the 1080p option doesn't actually render the game in 1080p: it "cheats" by using the 360's analog scaler to blow up a normal 720p image to fill a 1080p display. This isn't the same thing, though it's still a nice option to have.
MYTH: Cheat codes are put in for the sake of gamers.
They aren't. Q&A departments at game publishers use cheat codes to quickly and easily test for bugs. Typically, these codes are simply left into the final retail product, where they become what we call "cheat codes."
But more and more, cheat codes are being phased out. Why? Mostly because cheat codes tend to shorten the game experience, which leads to more returns and more used game sales, all of which hurt the bottom line of publishers. The longer a company can coax you into playing a game, the less likely you are to sell it back quickly and cost the publisher a future sale. In theory, at least.
MYTH: Wireless controllers don't work as well as wired.
In reality, both are equally responsive. If you think you get an edge by using a wired controller over a wireless, know this: it's all in your head. Of course, we're not one to discount a psychological advantage, but the truth need be told. Wireless controllers are every bit at fast and responsive as wired ones.
One exception: wireless mice are often incredibly finnicky, and that's due to the super-precise nature of mouse movements.
MYTH: You have to spend $500 for a PC video card.
Wrong! Sure, if you've got to have the latest-and-greatest PC graphics experience, you'll need to drop some serious dough. But the truth that Nvidia and ATI don't want you to know is this: for the vast majority of gamers, a mid-range video card like the Radeon X1950 GT or GeForce 7900 GS will give you an excellent visual experience. The price? Under $200, if you know where to look.
MYTH: You should buy video cables at the store.
Heavens no. You can find much better deals on online auction sites like ebay. For instance, we found a 12-foot HDMI cable for our office PS3 for just $10. A set of PS3 component calbes went for $20. Why pay $50 at Radio Shack or Gamestop?(taken from gamepro magaizine not the site)
MYTH: VGA output is better than component video.
When it comes to HD TVs, component video sits at the top of the analog video cable heap. VGA is an outstanding choice for PC monitors, but the signal loses some of its boldness when converted to a standard HD TV television signal. If you don't believe us, just plug a VGA cable into your Xbox 360 and see how dull and muted the colors look. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as TVs with cheap, lousy component video inputs.
VGA still gives a quality HD experience, but if you're gaming on an HD TV, stick with component for the brightest, boldest color.
A good read to see the lies in some gaming myths.