That must mean you haven’t even got the system updates. Plug it into the internet just once. It will update the console automatically (and for free). It only takes a minute and the updates add new functions and of course “fix shit wrong”. The Xbox Live memberships are ‘gold’ and ‘silver’. Silver is absolutely free. You basically register your gamertag from a local console oney to the Live service. You might already know this shit from the original Xbox, but it was new to me when I got my 360, because I didn’t do the Live thing with the first Xbox. On the 360 though, you’re missing out on a large chunk of the experience by not having it hooked up to the internet. The main differences between the Silver and Gold is:
With Silver, you have complete access to the marketplace both premium purchase content (Arcade games, movies, TV shows, blah blah) and free shit (trailers, game videos, arcade game trials, game demos, blahbeebloo).
You can voice chat with anyone at anytime. You can send and receive text and 15 second voice messages.
With the Gold, you can do all of the above, plus video chat with the Xbox Vision Camera (which works very well), you can send a snapshot along with messages, you need Gold to play any multiplayer. Oh, and sometimes they hold shit like demos and such from Silver members for a week or so to make the Gold members feel a little more special.
The Gold membership is about 50/60 dollars a year. Monthly it’s something like 7 bucks. They have cards at places like Best Buy or you can use a credit or debit card to purchase over the console.
The wireless network adapter is about 99 bucks. I being someone who coughed up the bread for one, can say that I’ve never had an incident with mine. It’s worked fantastic. If you’ve got a Media Center 2005 or Vista machine and you want to use the 360 as a Media Extender, they advise you to get a newer Wireless A+G router. If you’re like me, and don’t have anything other than your computer and the Xbox hooked up to a G+B, it’s a bunch of hooey, and you’ll have plenty of bandwidth to watch video without a skip.