The Xbox 360 is Microsoft's successor to the Xbox
console, and is the first "next generation" games console to hit the market. It has three powerful core processors which pump out 720p/1080i output (translation: graphics look great), 16x9 cinematic aspect ratio (translation: it's sort of like the cinema), anti-aliasing for smooth textures (translation: characters look less like chimps and more like people), full surround sound and DVD playback right out of the box.
A multi media experience
| Xbox 360, shown with levitating wireless controller |
In comparison to the Darth Vader inspired design of the original Xbox, the Xbox 360 a thing of (near) wondrous beauty.
In addition to playing games and movies, the Xbox 360 can stream music and video from a wide variety of electronic devices, including iPods and the Sony PSP.
The Xbox 360 offers an online gaming experience via Xbox Live. This allows you to play multi-player Xbox 360 games on the internet via your broadband connection. The service also lets you download--and save on the console's hard drive--new missions, characters and vehicles for your favourite games. You can also shout real-time abuse at your opponents using the Xbox 360 headset
Choose the package that's right for you
The Xbox 360 comes in two different packages: the deluxe package includes a wireless controller, 20GB hard drive, and a number of other accessories. Alternatively, the Core System bundle has a standard wired controller and no hard drive.
Which option is right for you will depend largely on your gaming needs--are you a fan of downloadable content? Do controller wires upset the feng shui of your living room? There are pros and cons for each option: for instance, if you do plump for the Core System you will have to buy a separate memory unit if you want to save your games. Likewise, if you opt for the deluxe version you will need a steady supply of AA batteries or a rechargeable battery pack to power the wireless controller.
The Xbox 360 is only backwards compatible with a limited number of original Xbox titles, and a hard drive is required for this function.
The Xbox 360 Core System has everything you need to jump right into next-generation games and media, and is fully expandable to the complete Xbox 360 experience.
Xbox 360 faceplate
Like no other console before, the Xbox 360 allows customisation and a removable faceplate that comes in stylish white, which can be swapped out with other custom faceplates to reflect gamers' personalities or room decor.
About the Xbox
The Xbox 360 console will be the first next-gen console released and will fuse powerful hardware, software, and services to provide a dramatic leap forward in high-definition gaming and entertainment experiences.
The key technical specifications of the Xbox 360 console are unlikely to make much sense to any but the most technical. But if a custom IBM PowerPC-based CPU with three symmetrical 3.2GHz cores, a 500MHz custom ATI Graphics Processor with 10MB of embedded DRAM and unified memory architecture of 512MB GDDR3 RAM and 700MHz DDR doesn't mean anything to you just consider this: with specs like that the Xbox 360 is already more powerful than a £2,000+ state-of-the art PC.
The Xbox 360 will also have three USB slots and both HD digital and standard audio visual outputs, which can pump out games in widescreen at 720p and 1080i resolution, complete with anti-aliasing functionality. This will result in much higher resolution games than ever seen before: the beginning of the HD (high definition) era.