One of the houses here on campus got an Xbox demo unit for two days and I just saw it up close on a 68 inch tv. Here are my thoughts:
The unit itself is bigger than any system produced. It's an impressive looking machine though. The controllers are pretty big and though all the buttons are within a decent reach, it's a bit big for my hands. I bet you'd get used to it, but it feels uncomfortable initially.
I saw Halo and Munch's Oddessy. Both look really good. I'm not going to comment on my problems of playing Halo or any FPS on a console, but Halo looked good. The graphics were sharp and the game played fast. Loading times were pretty nonexistant within levels. Sweet game though.
Munch's Oddessy was ok. The movies were sweet, but that's not why I buy games. The gameplay itself was decent, though I only saw the intro level.
In all, I'm impressed by the XBox's capabilities. However, I'm still not convinced it's going to do well. It might kick ass here in the US. But the GAMES are what matters. I'm not sure about the launch titles and there's little support from the top japanese game makers, which a console needs to survive. The XBox's launch titles are not as impressive as the Gamecube's, which is the reason why I ordered a GC rather than an XBox.
The Xbox has the power, no doubt about that. However, it doesn't have the killer game that it needs to make a big splash early on. The PS2 had Madden 2001 and SSX. The GC has Star Wars Rogue Squad 2, Wave Race, Pikmin, and Monkey Ball. The N64 had Mario 64. The DC had Soul Calibur. Microsoft is gambling that Halo will be it's killer app.