The Xbox 360 is a video game console developed by Microsoft and the successor to the Xbox. The project name was Xenon console. In the press she was known before the announcement of the name as a continuation of Xbox 2 or Xbox. It was introduced in late 2005 in the markets of the United States, Europe and Japan. In Oceania, which was available from late March 2006.
A prominent feature of the Xbox 360 is its integrated Xbox Live service that allows players to compete online and download content such as arcade games, game demos, trailers, TV shows, and movies. Major features of the console include its Windows Media Center multimedia capabilities, mandatory support of high definition in all games, movie rentals and game downloads from its online marketplace and the ability to watch movies on the (now discontinued) HD DVD format via an add-on drive.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was the first “next generation” games console to hit the market in November 2005, beating the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 for a full year. Like its peers, the 360 initially suffered from somewhat anemic game lineup and some limitations of hardware and software annoying. Since its launch, however, the Xbox team has implemented a variety of incremental improvements, even going so far as to release an updated version of the console. The result, beginning in fall 2007, is the best version of the Xbox 360 to date. The current model offers HDMI output with 1080p video support that was lacking in the original version, and a number of other tweaks and improvements in the underlying system software. Best of all, the 360 now has the largest – and many would say, the best game lineup. In addition to great Xbox 360 games like Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty 4, the 360 is the only console where you can play as a must-have exclusive titles as Halo 3, BioShock, Gears of War and Mass Effect. You can find Xbox 360 Game Reviews on this site. Add to that a number of impressive features of digital media, including a complement of HD DVD players and a decent online selection of pay-per-download high definition movies and television programs.
The main unit of the Xbox 360 itself has slight double concavity in matte white or black. The official color of the white model is Arctic Chill. It features a port on the top when vertical (left side when horizontal) to which a custom-housed hard drive unit can be attached in sizes of either 20, 60 or 120 GB. Inside, the Xbox 360 uses the triple-core IBM designed Xenon as its CPU, with each core capable of simultaneously processing two threads, and can therefore operate on up to six threads at once. Graphics processing is handled by the ATI Xenos, which has 10 MB of eDRAM. Its main memory pool is 512 MB in size.
Many accessories are available for the console, including both wired and wireless controllers, faceplates for customization, headsets for chatting, a webcam for video chatting, dance mats and Gamercize for exercise, three sizes of memory cards, and three sizes of hard drives (120GB, 60GB, and 20GB), among other items, all of which are styled to match the console.
The Xbox 360′s onscreen Dashboard interface is truly stellar–it’s incredibly easy to navigate and explore. Comprised of color-coded blades for the system’s various features (Marketplace, Xbox Live, games, media, and system), you can slide from one section of the Dashboard to the next with ease. Since the initial dashboard release, the interface has gone through a number of upgrades. Every spring and fall, a new Dashboard update adds in a number of most-wanted features that improve the overall performance and usability of the dashboard. Like the faceplates, the Dashboard is customizable, with a host of themes preloaded on the hard drive and many more available to download.
Xbox Live was a large success on the original Xbox, but this time around Xbox Live is completely integrated into the Dashboard. Every model (assuming access to a broadband Internet connection and a storage option–either the hard drive or a memory card) has a base-level membership called Xbox Live Silver. That offers the ability to create a list of friends, view their gamer cards, and communicate with them outside of a game via voice chat, voice messaging using the headset, video chat using the Xbox Live Vision Camera, and text messaging as well. The Xbox Live interface is completely accessible at any time during a gaming session. Simply press the silver “X” guide button and you instantly have access to any of the features of the service.
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