Xbox is a video gaming brand created and owned by Microsoft. It represents a series of video game consoles developed by Microsoft, with three consoles released in the sixth, seventh, and eighth generations, respectively. The brand also represents applications (games), streaming services, an online service by the name of Xbox Live, and the development arm by the name of Xbox Game Studios. The brand was first introduced in the United States in November 2001, with the launch of the original Xbox console.
The original device was the first video game console offered by an American company after the Atari Jaguar stopped sales in 1996. It reached over 24 million units sold as of May 2006. Microsoft's second console, the Xbox 360, was released in 2005 and has sold 84 million units as of June 2014. The Xbox One has been released in 21 markets in total, with a Chinese release in September 2014. The head of Xbox is Phil Spencer, who succeeded former head Marc Whitten in late-March 2014.
|Product type||Video gaming|
|Country||Microsoft Redmond Campus, Redmond, Washington, United States|
|Introduced||November 15, 2001|
|Registered as a trademark in||Worldwide|
The original Xbox was released on November 15, 2001, in North America, February 22, 2002, in Japan, and March 14, 2002, in Australia and Europe. It was Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console market. As part of the sixth-generation of gaming, the Xbox competed with Sony's PlayStation 2, Sega's Dreamcast (which stopped American sales before the Xbox went on sale), and Nintendo's GameCube. The Xbox was the first console offered by an American company after the Atari Jaguar stopped sales in 1996. The name Xbox was derived from a contraction of DirectX Box, a reference to Microsoft's graphics API, DirectX.
The integrated Xbox Live service launched in November 2002 allowed players to play games online with or without a broadband connection. It first competed with Dreamcast's online service but later primarily competed with PlayStation 2's online service. Although these two are free while Xbox Live required a subscription, as well as broadband-only connection which was not completely adopted yet, Xbox Live was a success due to better servers, features such as a buddy list, and milestone titles like Halo 2 released in November 2004, which is the best-selling Xbox video game and was by far the most popular online game for years.
The Xbox 360 was released as the successor of the original Xbox in November 2005, competing with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. As of June 30, 2013, 78.2 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold worldwide. The Xbox 360 was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information divulged later that month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The console sold out completely upon release in all regions except in Japan.
The Xbox 360 showed an expanded Xbox Live service (which now included a limited "Free" tier called Silver), the ability to stream multimedia content from PCs, while later updates added the ability to purchase and stream music, television programs, and films through the Xbox Music and Xbox Video services, along with access to third-party content services through third-party media streaming applications. Microsoft also released Kinect, a motion control system for the Xbox 360 which uses an advanced sensor system.
At their E3 presentation on June 14, 2010, Microsoft announced a redesigned Xbox 360 that would ship on the same day. The redesigned console is slimmer than the previous Xbox 360 model and features integrated 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, TOSLINK S/PDIF optical audio output, five USB 2.0 ports (compared to the three from older versions) and special port designed for the Kinect peripheral. Older models of the Xbox 360 have since been discontinued. The first new console to be released features a 250 GB hard drive, while a later less expensive SKU features 4 GB internal storage.
The Xbox One was released on November 22, 2013, in North America, as the successor of the Xbox 360. The Xbox One competes with Sony's PlayStation 4 and Nintendo's Wii U and Switch as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles.
Announced on May 21, 2013, the Xbox One has an emphasis on internet-based features, including the ability to record and stream gameplay, and the ability to integrate with a set-top box to watch cable or satellite TV through the console with an enhanced guide interface and Kinect-based voice control.
Following its unveiling, the Xbox One proved controversial for its original digital rights management and privacy practices; while Microsoft touted the ability for users to access their library of games (regardless of whether they were purchased physically or digitally) on any Xbox One console without needing their discs, and the ability to share their entire library with 10 designated "family" members, all games would have to be tied to the user's Xbox Live account and their Xbox One console, and the console would be required to connect to the Internet on a periodic basis (at least once every 24 hours) to synchronize the library, or else the console would be unable to play any games at all. After an overwhelmingly negative response from critics and consumers (who also showed concerns that the system could prevent or hinder the resale of used games), Microsoft announced that these restrictions would be dropped. Microsoft was also criticized for requiring the Xbox One to have its updated Kinect peripheral plugged in to function, which critics and privacy advocates believed could be used as a surveillance device. As a gesture toward showing a commitment to user privacy, Microsoft decided to allow the console to function without Kinect.
On June 13, 2016, Microsoft announced the Xbox One S, a slimmer version of the Xbox One, at E3 2016. Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, announced Project Scorpio at E3 2016 on June 13, 2016, an addition to the Xbox One family, saying it would release in Holiday 2017. At E3 2017, Microsoft revealed the final name of the console to be Xbox One X, and that it would start shipping worldwide on November 7, 2017 for a final retail price of $499.
In July 2018, it was reported that Microsoft was developing a next-generation Xbox console codenamed "Scarlett". In December 2018, Windows Central reported that "Scarlett" was a blanket title for two planned consoles (the high-end "Anaconda", and entry-level "Lockhart"), and that it would remain backwards compatible with existing Xbox games.
During its E3 2019 press conference, Microsoft announced that "Project Scarlett" was under development for a late-2020 release, describing a high-end console featuring AMD's "Zen 2" CPU architecture and Radeon "RDNA" graphics architecture, a custom-designed solid state drive, GDDR6 SDRAM, and support for real-time ray-tracing, up to 120 frames per second rendering, and 8K resolution. Microsoft stated that "Scarlett" would be four times as powerful as Xbox One X. Microsoft head of gaming Phil Spencer committed to continue supporting the physical distribution of games on discs on Scarlett. Halo Infinite was stated to be a launch title for "Scarlett". Microsoft stated that Scarlett would support existing Xbox One titles, as well as Xbox and Xbox 360 titles that it had made compatible with Xbox One; as to make this goal, Microsoft also affirmed that it was stopping any further addition of new titles to the backward compatibility program in order to focus on Scarlett's backwards compatibility. All existing Xbox One accessories are also expected to be compatible with Scarlett.
Each console has a variety of games. Most games released on the original Xbox are backwards compatible and can be played directly on its successor, Xbox 360. Backward compatibility with Xbox 360 titles was added to Xbox One in June 2015, although titles requiring Kinect or USB peripherals will not be supported.
Xbox Live is an online service with over 40 million users worldwide (as of January 10, 2012). It comprises an online virtual market, the Xbox Live Marketplace, which allows the purchase and download of games and various forms of multimedia. Online gaming on the Xbox first started on November 15, 2002 worldwide. The service is still active and continues to be played by gamers.
The Xbox Live Marketplace (XBLM) is a virtual market designed for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console that allows Xbox Live members to download purchased or promotional content. The service offers movie and game trailers, Video Store, game demos, Xbox Live Arcade games, Xbox Live Indie Games (Previously Community Games), Games on Demand (Xbox 360 and Xbox Originals), downloadable content such as map packs, gamer pictures, and Xbox 360 Dashboard themes.
The August 11, 2009 update added Xbox 360 games for download, the Avatar Marketplace, and renamed Community Games to Indie Games.
The Spring 2007 update to the Xbox 360 Dashboard relocated the Marketplace to its own "blade" in order to bring more attention to the service and make it more accessible to users. Although this has been obsoleted by the NXE update, the section has been implemented into three separate sections in the Dashboard: the Game Marketplace, Video & Music Marketplace, and Avatar Marketplace.
Downloaded content requires enough space on either the Xbox 360's hard drive, or an Xbox 360 Memory Unit. Selected downloads are placed in a queue and are downloaded whilst the console is powered on and is connected to Xbox Live. Users can choose to send certain downloads to the front of the queue to be downloaded first. Downloads are temporarily halted during certain times where games make use of Xbox Live's features (e.g. online multiplayer).
Xbox SmartGlass is a companion application for Xbox 360 available for Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Phone, iOS, Android (version 4.0 and above), and Windows Server 2012. It was announced by Microsoft during E3 2012 and released on October 26, 2012, coinciding with the release of Windows 8. It connects with the Xbox 360 and allows more interactive entertainment, allowing mobile devices to potentially serve as second screens and remote controller. Currently Windows 8 and Windows RT Tablets and PCs, Windows Phone (7.5 and 8) iOS devices, and Android smartphones (4.x) are compatible with SmartGlass, providing information such as Halo 4 stats and Forza Horizon GPS. Users of Windows Server 2012 can currently download the application from the Windows Store after installing the Windows Desktop Experience feature in the Server Manager.
Gaming Cloud is a division within Microsoft's Xbox team to help game developers incorporate their cloud computing elements, such as Microsoft Azure within their games. While focused on Xbox and Windows games, the division will support developers regardless of target platform or distribution channel. The division was formed in March 2018, and led by Kareem Choudhry.
The Xbox 360's original graphical user interface was the Xbox 360 Dashboard; a tabbed interface that featured five "Blades" (formerly four blades), and was designed by AKQA and Audiobrain. It could be launched automatically when the console booted without a disc in it, or when the disc tray was ejected, but the user had the option to select what the console does if a game is in the tray on start up, or if inserted when already on. A simplified version of it was also accessible at any time via the Xbox Guide button on the gamepad. This simplified version showed the user's gamercard, Xbox Live messages and friends list. It also allowed for personal and music settings, in addition to voice or video chats, or returning to the Xbox Dashboard from the game.
Released in 2001, the Xbox control pad was the first controller made for the original Xbox. The Xbox controller features two analog sticks, a pressure-sensitive directional pad, two analog triggers, a Back button, a Start button, two accessory slots and six 8-bit analog action buttons (A/Green, B/Red, X/Blue, Y/Yellow, and Black and White buttons). The standard Xbox controller (originally nicknamed the "Fatty" and later the "Duke") was originally the controller bundled with Xbox systems for all territories except Japan.
Released in 2005, the Xbox 360 controller for the Xbox 360 succeeded its predecessor. A standard Xbox 360 controller features eleven digital buttons, two analog triggers, two analog sticks and a digital D-pad. The right face of the controller features four digital action buttons; a green "A" button, red "B" button, blue "X" button and yellow "Y" button. The lower right houses the right analog stick, in lower left is a digital D-pad and on the left face is the left analog stick. Both analog sticks can also be "clicked in" to activate a digital button beneath. In the center of the controller face are digital "Start", "Back" and "Guide" buttons. The "Guide" button is labelled with the Xbox logo, and is used to turn on the console/controller and to access the guide menu. It is also surrounded by the "ring of light", which indicates the controller number, as well as flashing when connecting and to provide notifications. The left and right "shoulders" each feature a digital shoulder button, or "bumper", and an analog trigger.
Kinect (stylized as KINECT) is a motion sensing input device by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game console and Windows PCs. Based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 console, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller, through a natural user interface using gestures and spoken commands. The project is aimed at broadening the Xbox 360's audience beyond its typical gamer base. Kinect competes with the Wii Remote Plus and PlayStation Move with PlayStation Eye motion controllers for the Wii and PlayStation 3 home consoles, respectively. A version for Windows was released on February 1, 2012.
Kinect was launched in North America on November 4, 2010, in Europe on November 10, 2010, in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore on November 18, 2010, and in Japan on November 20, 2010. Purchase options for the sensor peripheral include a bundle with the game Kinect Adventures and console bundles with either a 4 GB or 250 GB Xbox 360 console and Kinect Adventures.
The Kinect claimed the Guinness World Record of being the "fastest selling consumer electronics device" after selling a total of 8 million units in its first 60 days. 24 million units of the Kinect sensor had been shipped as of January 2012.
Microsoft released Kinect software development kit for Windows 7 on June 16, 2011. This SDK was meant to allow developers to write Kinecting apps in C++/CLI, C#, or Visual Basic .NET.
Additional information on the Xbox One Kinect was released on June 6, 2013, including information on how to turn off the "always on" feature.
The Xbox One console has a revised controller with forty improvements over the 360's controller. This new controller is built to work with Kinect. The Start and Back buttons are replaced with Menu and View buttons. It has impulse triggers that replace the regular triggers. The button with the Xbox logo will no longer bring up the Xbox Guide as the Xbox Guide Button on the Xbox 360 controller did. The button will now open up the dashboard without interrupting the game currently being played by the user. Once pressed again, the Xbox will resume the game.
Although featuring improved performance over the original Kinect, its successor has been subject to mixed responses. It has been praised for its wide angle, its fast response time and high quality camera. However, the Kinect's inability to understand some accents in English was criticized. Furthermore, controversies surround Microsoft's intentional tying of the sensor with the Xbox One console despite the initial requirements for the sensor being plugged in at all times having been revised since its initial announcement. There have also been a number of concerns regarding privacy.
In 2016, Microsoft announced that it would hold its own Xbox FanFest instead of a press conference at the Gamescom annual European video game convention. Microsoft held an Xbox FanFest in Sydney in September 2016.
Moore said that Microsoft is currently working on a second new Xbox 360, which will be offered at the arcade's price point of $200. He declined to say what functionalities the cheaper model would or would not have. […] One likely scenario is the cheaper model will essentially be a slim arcade with no Wi-Fi capabilities or a hard drive. […] Moore also said that going forward, all future models of the Xbox 360 would not have names and would only be designated by their memory capacity.
the original "Fatty" Xbox controller didn't have a specific public name
Anyone who purchased the original Xbox during its launch window quickly came to know its behemoth of a controller, now nicknamed "Duke."
The effort aims to attract a broader audience to Microsoft's console. Most of the 30 million Xbox 360s sold since November 2005 have been snapped up by avid young males drawn to complex shooter or adventure games such as Halo and Modern Warfare or R.P.Gs
It will hit the shelves on 10 November, five days after the US.
Euro prices are 149.99 Euro for the camera + Kinect Adventures, 299.99 Euro for the 4 GB console bundle.
Call of Duty is a first-person shooter video game franchise published by Activision. Starting out in 2003, it first focused on games set in World War II, but over time, the series has seen games set in modern times, the midst of the Cold War, futuristic worlds, and outer space. The games were first developed by Infinity Ward, then also by Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games. Several spin-off and handheld games were made by other developers. The most recent title, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, was released on October 12, 2018. The next title, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, will be released on October 25, 2019.
The series originally focused on the World War II setting, with Infinity Ward developing the first (2003) and second (2005) titles in the series and Treyarch developing the third (2006). Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007) introduced a new, modern setting, and proved to be the breakthrough title for the series, creating the Modern Warfare sub-series. The game's legacy also influenced the creation of a remastered version, released in 2016. Two other entries, Modern Warfare 2 (2009) and 3 (2011), were made. The sub-series received a semi-reboot with Modern Warfare in 2019. Infinity Ward have also developed two games outside of the Modern Warfare sub-series, Ghosts (2013) and Infinite Warfare (2016). Treyarch made one last World War II-based game, World at War (2008), before releasing Black Ops (2010) and subsequently creating the Black Ops sub-series. Three other entries, Black Ops II (2012), III (2015), and 4 (2018), were made. Sledgehammer Games, who were co-developers for Modern Warfare 3, have also developed two titles, Advanced Warfare (2014) and WWII (2017).
As of February 2016, the series has sold over 250 million copies. Sales of all Call of Duty games topped US$15 billion. Other products in the franchise include a line of action figures designed by Plan-B Toys, a card game created by Upper Deck Company, Mega Bloks sets by Mega Brands, and a comic book mini-series published by WildStorm Productions.Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released in September 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, in November 2014 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and in April 2015 for Microsoft Windows. It is the first main entry in the Grand Theft Auto series since 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV. Set within the fictional state of San Andreas, based on Southern California, the single-player story follows three criminals and their efforts to commit heists while under pressure from a government agency. The open world design lets players freely roam San Andreas' open countryside and the fictional city of Los Santos, based on Los Angeles.
The game is played from either a third-person or first-person perspective and its world is navigated on foot or by vehicle. Players control the three lead protagonists throughout single-player and switch between them both during and outside missions. The story is centred on the heist sequences, and many missions involve shooting and driving gameplay. A "wanted" system governs the aggression of law enforcement response to players who commit crimes. Grand Theft Auto Online, the game's online multiplayer mode, lets up to 30 players engage in a variety of different cooperative and competitive game modes.
The game's development began soon after Grand Theft Auto IV's release and was shared between many of Rockstar's studios worldwide. The development team drew influence from many of their previous projects such as Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3 and designed the game around three lead protagonists to innovate on the core structure of its predecessors. Much of the development work constituted the open world's creation, and several team members conducted field research around California to capture footage for the design team. The game's soundtrack features an original score composed by a team of producers who collaborated over several years.
Extensively marketed and widely anticipated, the game broke industry sales records and became the fastest-selling entertainment product in history, earning $800 million in its first day and $1 billion in its first three days. It received widespread critical acclaim, with praise directed at its multiple protagonist design, open world, presentation and gameplay. However, it caused controversies related to its depiction of violence and women. Considered one of seventh and eighth generation console gaming's most significant titles and among the best video games ever made, it won year-end accolades including Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications. It is the third best-selling video game of all time with over 110 million copies shipped and one of the most financially successful entertainment products of all time, with about $6 billion in worldwide revenue.Halo (franchise)
Halo is a military science fiction first-person shooter video game franchise managed and developed by 343 Industries, a subsidiary of Xbox Game Studios. Halo was originally developed by Bungie Studios. The series centers on an interstellar war between humanity and an alliance of aliens known as the Covenant. The Covenant, led by their religious leaders called the Prophets, worship an ancient civilization known as the Forerunners, who perished while defeating the parasitic Flood. The central focus of the franchise builds off the experiences of Master Chief John-117, one of a group of supersoldiers codenamed Spartans, and his artificial intelligence (AI) companion, Cortana. Other characters, such as Noble Six from Halo: Reach, are also introduced in the series. The term "Halo" refers to the Halo Array: a group of immense, habitable, ring-shaped superweapons that were created by the Forerunners to destroy the Flood, but which the Covenant mistake for religious artifacts that, if activated, would transport them on a Great Journey to meet the Forerunners. They are similar to the Orbitals in Iain M. Banks' Culture novels, and to a lesser degree to author Larry Niven's Ringworld concept.The games in the series are critically acclaimed, with the original considered the Xbox's "killer app". This led to the term "Halo killer" being used to describe console games that aspire, or are considered, to be better than Halo. Fueled by the success of Halo: Combat Evolved, and by marketing campaigns from publisher Microsoft, its sequels went on to record-breaking sales. The games have sold over 65 million copies worldwide, with the games alone grossing almost $3.4 billion.Strong sales of the games led to the franchise's expansion to other media; there are multiple best-selling novels, graphic novels, and other licensed products. Halo Wars took the franchise into new video game genre territory, as a real-time strategy game, while the rest of the games in the series are first-person shooters. Beyond the original trilogy, Bungie developed the expansion Halo 3: ODST, and a prequel, Halo: Reach, their last project for the franchise. A high-definition remake of the first game, entitled Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, was released on November 15, 2011, ten years after the release of the original. A new installment in a second series of games, Halo 4, was released on November 6, 2012. Halo: The Master Chief Collection, a remastered compilation of the four primary Halo titles, was released for the Xbox One on November 11, 2014. In October 2015, Halo 5: Guardians was released. In February 2017, Halo Wars 2 was released. In June 2018, the next main installment of the Halo series was announced as Halo Infinite, due for release in Q4 of 2020. In March 2019, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was announced for Windows PCs, along with a remastered version of Halo: Reach that would also be included in the Xbox One and PC versions of The Master Chief Collection.Kinect
Kinect (codenamed Project Natal during development) is a line of motion sensing input devices produced by Microsoft. Initially, the Kinect was developed as a gaming accessory for Xbox 360 and Xbox One video game consoles and Microsoft Windows PCs. Based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral, it enabled users to control and interact with their console/computer without the need for a game controller, through a natural user interface using gestures and spoken commands. While the gaming line did not gain much traction and eventually discontinued, third-party developers and researches found several after-market uses for Kinect's advanced low-cost sensor features, leading Microsoft to drive the product line towards more application-neutral uses, including integrating the device with Microsoft's cloud computing platform Azure.
The first-generation Kinect for Xbox 360 was introduced in November 2010 in an attempt to broaden the console's audience beyond its typical gamer base. Microsoft released a beta version of the Kinect software development kit for Windows 7 applications on June 16, 2011, initially supporting the Kinect for Xbox 360 hardware connected to a PC for non-commercial applications. This SDK was meant to allow developers to write Kinect apps in C++/CLI, C#, or Visual Basic .NET.A similar hardware version Kinect for Windows was released on February 1, 2012. The 1.0 version of the Windows SDK, allowing commercial applications, was released with and required the Kinect for Windows hardware.Kinect for Xbox One, a new version with significantly expanded hardware capabilities, was released with the Xbox One platform starting in 2013. The corresponding Kinect for Windows v2 hardware was released in 2014, along with a supporting SDK. The 2.0 version of the Windows SDK supported the Kinect for Windows v2 as well as the Kinect for Xbox One hardware.
Microsoft announced the discontinuation of the first Kinect for Windows device as of 2015. The Kinect for Xbox 360 was discontinued along with the console by April 2016. The Kinect for Windows v2 was also discontinued in 2015, and customers were encouraged to use the functionally identical Kinect for Xbox One hardware with an adapter for Windows machines instead. The Kinect for Xbox One was discontinued in October 2017. While Kinect as a primary gaming device has been discontinued, Microsoft continues to develop the platform for developers, with the most recent release being the Azure Kinect announced in February 2019.List of Game of the Year awards
Game of the Year (abbreviated GotY) is an award given by various gaming publications to a video game that they feel represents the pinnacle of video gaming that year.List of Games with Gold games
First announced during E3 2013, the Games with Gold program offers free Xbox 360 games to users who purchase Gold-level memberships for the Xbox Live. The program was extended to the new Xbox One console one year later.List of Xbox games compatible with Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 gaming console has received updates from Microsoft from its launch in 2005 until November 2007 that enable it to play select games from its predecessor, Xbox. The Xbox 360 launched with backward compatibility with the number of supported Xbox games varying depending on region. Microsoft continued to update the list of Xbox games that were compatible with Xbox 360 until November 2007 when the list was finalized. Microsoft later launched the Xbox Originals program on December 7, 2007 where select backward compatible Xbox games could be purchased digitally on Xbox 360 consoles with the program ending less than two years later in June 2009. The following is a list of all backward compatible games on Xbox 360 under this functionality.List of backward compatible games for Xbox One
The Xbox One gaming console has received updates from Microsoft since its launch in 2013 that enable it to play select games from its two predecessor consoles, Xbox and Xbox 360. On June 15, 2015, backward compatibility with supported Xbox 360 games became available to eligible Xbox Preview program users with a beta update to the Xbox One system software. The dashboard update containing backward compatibility was released publicly on November 12, 2015. On October 24, 2017, another such update added games from the original Xbox library. The following is a list of all backward compatible games on Xbox One under this functionality.Minecraft
Minecraft is a sandbox video game created by Swedish game developer Markus Persson and released by Mojang in 2011. The game allows players to build with a variety of different blocks in a 3D procedurally generated world, requiring creativity from players. Other activities in the game include exploration, resource gathering, crafting, and combat. Multiple game modes that change gameplay are available, including—but not limited to—a survival mode, in which players must acquire resources to build the world and maintain health, and a creative mode, where players have unlimited resources to build with. The Java Edition of the game allows players to modify the game with mods to create new gameplay mechanics, items, textures and assets.
Minecraft received critical acclaim and has won numerous awards and accolades. Social media, parodies, adaptations, merchandise, and the MineCon convention played large roles in popularizing the game. It has also been used in educational environments (Minecraft Education Edition), especially in the realm of computing systems, as virtual computers and hardware devices have been built in it. By May 2019, over 176 million copies had been sold across all platforms, making it the best-selling video game of all time. In September 2014, Microsoft announced a deal to buy Mojang and the Minecraft intellectual property for US$2.5 billion, with the acquisition completed two months later. A spin-off game titled Minecraft: Story Mode has also been released. By mid-2018, the game had around 91 million active players monthly.Official Xbox Magazine
Official Xbox Magazine (or OXM for short) is a monthly video game magazine which started in November 2001 around the launch of the original Xbox. A preview issue was released at E3 2001, with another preview issue in November 2001. The magazine was bundled with a disc that included game demos, preview videos and trailers, and other content, such as game or Xbox updates and free gamerpics. The discs also provided the software for the Xbox 360 for backward compatibility of original Xbox games for those without broadband and Xbox Live access. As of January 2012, OXM no longer includes a demo disc. In mid-2014, the U.S. version was merged into the UK version on the website, which lasted only a few months until Future plc announced that it was closing its website along with all the other websites that Future has published, including Edge and Computer and Video Games. In February 2015, OXM and all of Future's video game websites were redirected into GamesRadar. The magazine itself continues to be published in the UK, US and Australia.Xbox (console)
The Xbox is a home video game console and the first installment in the Xbox series of consoles manufactured by Microsoft. It was released as Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console market on November 15, 2001, in North America, followed by Australia, Europe and Japan in 2002. It is classified as a sixth generation console, competing with Sony's PlayStation 2 and Nintendo's GameCube. It was also the first console produced by an American company since the Atari Jaguar ceased production in 1996.
Announced in 2000, the Xbox was graphically powerful compared to its rivals, featuring a 733 MHz Intel Pentium III processor, a processor that could be found on a standard PC. It was also noted for its PC-like size and weight, and was the first console to feature a built-in hard disk. In November 2002, Microsoft launched Xbox Live, a fee-based online gaming service that enabled subscribers to download new content and connect with other players through a broadband connection. Unlike online services from Sega and Sony, Xbox Live had support in the original console design through an integrated Ethernet port. The service gave Microsoft an early foothold in online gaming and would help the Xbox become a competitor in the sixth-generation of consoles. The popularity of blockbuster titles such as Bungie's Halo 2 contributed to the popularity of online console gaming, and in particular first-person shooters.The Xbox had a record-breaking launch in North America, selling 1.5 million units before the end of 2001, aided by the popularity of one of the system's launch titles, Halo: Combat Evolved, which sold a million units by April 2002. The system went on to sell a worldwide total of 24 million units, including 16 million in North America; however, Microsoft was unable to make a steady profit off of the console, which had a manufacturing price far more expensive than its retail price, despite its popularity, losing over $4 billion during its market life. The system outsold the GameCube and the Sega Dreamcast, but was vastly outsold by the PS2, which had sold over 100 million units by the system's discontinuation in 2005. It also underperformed outside of the Western market; particularly, it sold poorly in Japan due to its large console size and overabundance of games marketed towards American audiences as opposed to Japanese-developed titles. Production of the system was discontinued in 2005, with Microsoft fully ceasing out-of-warranty support in 2009 and ending Xbox Live support for the system in 2010. The Xbox was the first in an ongoing brand of video game consoles developed by Microsoft, with a successor, the Xbox 360, launching in 2005, followed by the Xbox One in 2013.Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 is a home video game console developed by Microsoft. As the successor to the original Xbox, it is the second console in the Xbox series. It competed with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. It was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information announced later that month at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo.
The Xbox 360 features an online service, Xbox Live, which was expanded from its previous iteration on the original Xbox and received regular updates during the console's lifetime. Available in free and subscription-based varieties, Xbox Live allows users to: play games online; download games (through Xbox Live Arcade) and game demos; purchase and stream music, television programs, and films through the Xbox Music and Xbox Video portals; and access third-party content services through media streaming applications. In addition to online multimedia features, it allows users to stream media from local PCs. Several peripherals have been released, including wireless controllers, expanded hard drive storage, and the Kinect motion sensing camera. The release of these additional services and peripherals helped the Xbox brand grow from gaming-only to encompassing all multimedia, turning it into a hub for living-room computing entertainment.Launched worldwide across 2005–2006, the Xbox 360 was initially in short supply in many regions, including North America and Europe. The earliest versions of the console suffered from a high failure rate, indicated by the so-called "Red Ring of Death", necessitating an extension of the device's warranty period. Microsoft released two redesigned models of the console: the Xbox 360 S in 2010, and the Xbox 360 E in 2013. As of June 2014, 84 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold worldwide, making it the sixth-highest-selling home video game console in history, and the highest-selling console made by an American company. Although not the best-selling console of its generation, the Xbox 360 was deemed by TechRadar to be the most influential through its emphasis on digital media distribution and multiplayer gaming on Xbox Live.The Xbox 360's successor, the Xbox One, was released on November 22, 2013. On April 20, 2016, Microsoft announced that it would end the production of new Xbox 360 hardware, although the company will continue to support the platform.Xbox 360 technical problems
The Xbox 360 video game console is subject to a number of technical problems and failures that can render it unusable. However, many of the issues can be identified by a series of glowing red lights flashing on the face of the console; the three flashing red lights (nicknamed the "Red Ring of Death" or the "RRoD") being the most infamous. There are also other issues that arise with the console, such as discs becoming scratched in the drive and "bricking" of consoles due to dashboard updates. Since its release on November 22, 2005, many articles have appeared in the media portraying the Xbox 360's failure rates, with the latest estimate by warranty provider SquareTrade to be 23.7% in 2009, and currently the highest estimate being 54.2% by a Game Informer survey.There has been legal action taken attempting to hold Microsoft responsible for the Xbox 360's failure rate and provide compensation for those affected.Xbox Game Studios
Xbox Game Studios, previously known as Microsoft Studios, Microsoft Game Studios, and Microsoft Games, is a division of Microsoft based in Redmond, Washington. It was established in March 2000, spun out from an internal Games Group, for the development and publishing of video games for Microsoft Windows. It has since expanded to include games and other interactive entertainment for the namesake Xbox platforms, Windows Mobile and other mobile platforms, and web-based portals. As the studio grew, it has acquired and relinquished ownership of several other studios, and is the parent organization of fifteen other studios.Xbox Live
Xbox Live (formerly stylized as Xbox LIVE) is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft. It was first made available to the Xbox system in November 2002. An updated version of the service became available for the Xbox 360 console at the system's launch in November 2005, and a further enhanced version was released in 2013 with the Xbox One.
The service was extended in 2007 on the Windows platform, named Games for Windows – Live, which makes most aspects of the system available on Windows computers. Microsoft has announced plans to extend Live to other platforms such as handhelds and mobile phones as part of the Live Anywhere initiative. With Microsoft's mobile operating system, Windows Phone, full Xbox Live functionality is integrated into new Windows Phones that launched since late 2010. The service shut down for the original Xbox on April 15, 2010, and original Xbox Games are now only playable online through local area network (LAN) tunneling applications such as XLink Kai.The Xbox Live service is available as both a free service, known as Xbox Live Silver and a subscription-based service known as Xbox Live Gold, respectively, with most features such as online gaming restricted to the Gold service.Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) is a digital video game download service available through the Xbox Games Store, Microsoft's digital distribution network for the Xbox 360. It focuses on smaller downloadable games from both major publishers and independent game developers. Titles range from classic console and arcade video games, to new games designed from the ground up for the service. Games available through the XBLA service range from $5–20 in price, and as of October 2016, there have been 719 Xbox Live Arcade titles released for the Xbox 360. Prior to the Xbox 360, "Xbox Live Arcade" was the name for an online distribution network on the original Xbox, which was replaced by the Xbox Live Marketplace.Xbox One
The Xbox One is an eighth-generation home video game console that was developed by Microsoft. Announced in May 2013, it is the successor to Xbox 360 and the third console in the Xbox brand. It was first released in North America, parts of Europe, Australia, and South America in November 2013, and in Japan, China, and other European countries in September 2014. It is the first Xbox game console to be released in China, specifically in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone. Microsoft marketed the device as an "all-in-one entertainment system", hence the name 'Xbox One'. The Xbox One mainly competes against Sony's PlayStation 4 and Nintendo's Wii U and Switch.
Moving away from its predecessor's PowerPC-based architecture, the Xbox One marks a shift back to the x86 architecture used in the original Xbox; it features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) built around the x86-64 instruction set. Xbox One's controller was redesigned over the Xbox 360's, with a redesigned body, D-pad, and triggers capable of delivering directional haptic feedback. The console places an increased emphasis on cloud computing, as well as social networking features, and the ability to record and share video clips or screenshots from gameplay, or live-stream directly to streaming services such as Mixer and Twitch. Games can also be played off-console via a local area network on supported Windows 10 devices. The console can play Blu-ray Disc, and overlay live television programming from an existing set-top box or a digital tuner for digital terrestrial television with an enhanced program guide. The console optionally included a redesigned Kinect sensor, marketed as the "Kinect 2.0", providing improved motion tracking and voice recognition.
The Xbox One received mostly positive reviews for its refined controller design, multimedia features, and voice navigation. Its quieter and cooler design was praised for making the console more reliable than its predecessor on-launch, but the console was generally criticized for running games at a technically lower graphical level than the PlayStation 4. Its original user interface was panned for being nonintuitive, although changes made to it and other aspects of the console's software post-launch received positive reception. Its Kinect received praise for its improved motion-tracking accuracy, its face recognition logins, and its voice commands.
The original Xbox One model was succeeded by the Xbox One S in 2016, which has a smaller form factor and support for HDR10 high-dynamic-range video, as well as support for 4K video playback and upscaling of games from 1080p to 4K. It was praised for its smaller size, its on-screen visual improvements, and its lack of an external power supply, but its regressions such as the lack of a native Kinect port were noted. A high-end model, named Xbox One X, was unveiled in June 2017 and released in November; it features upgraded hardware specifications, and support for rendering games at 4K resolution.Xbox One system software
The Xbox One system software, sometimes called the Xbox OS, is the operating system for the eighth-generation home video game console, Xbox One. It is a Microsoft Windows-based operating system using the Hyper-V virtual machine monitor and contains separate operating systems for games and applications that can run on the console. It is located on the internal HDD for day-to-day usage, while also being duplicated on the internal NAND storage of the console for recovery purposes and factory reset functionality.
The Xbox One allows users to download applications that add to the functionality of the dashboard. From June 2014 onwards, entertainment apps no longer required the user to be signed into a valid Xbox Live Gold account in order to use the features advertised for the given app.Since launch, Microsoft has been updating the OS monthly, with updates downloaded from the Xbox Live service directly to the Xbox One and subsequently installed, or by using offline recovery images downloaded via a PC. In November 2015, a major system update known as the New Xbox One Experience was released, which brought very significant changes to the design and functionality of the system. The Windows 10-based Core had replaced the Windows 8-based one in this update, and the new system is sometimes referred to as "Windows 10 on Xbox One".
Video gaming products by Microsoft
|Xbox Game Studios|