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 seventh-highest-selling 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.
Left: Original model Xbox 360 Premium (2005)
Center: Redesigned slim model Xbox 360 S (2010)
Right: Latest model Xbox 360 E (2013)
|Manufacturer||Flextronics, Wistron, Celestica, Foxconn|
|Type||Home video game console|
November 22, 2005
|Units sold||Worldwide: 84 million (as of June 9, 2014) (details)|
|Media||DVD, CD, digital distribution|
Add-on: HD DVD (discontinued)
|Operating system||Xbox 360 system software|
|CPU||3.2 GHz PowerPC Tri-Core Xenon|
|Memory||512 MB of GDDR3 RAM clocked at 700 MHz|
Video output formats
|Graphics||500 MHz ATI Xenos|
2.4 GHz wireless, 3 × USB 2.0, IR receiver, 100 Mbit/s Ethernet
|Online services||Xbox Live|
|Best-selling game||Kinect Adventures! (24 million as pack-in game for Kinect)|
|461 original Xbox games (requires hard drive and the latest update)|
Known during development as Xbox Next, Xenon, Xbox 2, Xbox FS or NextBox, the Xbox 360 was conceived in early 2003. In February 2003, planning for the Xenon software platform began, and was headed by Microsoft's Vice President J Allard. That month, Microsoft held an event for 400 developers in Bellevue, Washington to recruit support for the system. Also that month, Peter Moore, former president of Sega of America, joined Microsoft. On August 12, 2003, ATI signed on to produce the graphic processing unit for the new console, a deal which was publicly announced two days later. Before the launch of the Xbox 360, several Alpha development kits were spotted using Apple's Power Mac G5 hardware. This was because the system's PowerPC 970 processor running the same PowerPC architecture that the Xbox 360 would eventually run under IBM's Xenon processor. The cores of the Xenon processor were developed using a slightly modified version of the PlayStation 3's Cell Processor PPE architecture. According to David Shippy and Mickie Phipps, the IBM employees were "hiding" their work from Sony and Toshiba, IBM's partners in developing the Cell Processor. Jeff Minter created the music visualization program Neon which is included with the Xbox 360.
The Xbox 360 was released on November 22, 2005, in the United States and Canada; December 2, 2005, in Europe and December 10, 2005, in Japan. It was later launched in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, and Russia. In its first year on the market, the system launched in 36 countries, more countries than any other console has launched in a single year.
In 2009, IGN named the Xbox 360 the sixth-greatest video game console of all time, out of a field of 25. Although not the best-selling console of the seventh-generation, the Xbox 360 was deemed by TechRadar to be the most influential, by emphasizing digital media distribution and online gaming through Xbox Live, and by popularizing game achievement awards. PC Magazine considered the Xbox 360 the prototype for online gaming as it "proved that online gaming communities could thrive in the console space". Five years after the Xbox 360's original debut, the well-received Kinect motion capture camera was released, which set the record of being the fastest selling consumer electronic device in history, and extended the life of the console. Edge ranked Xbox 360 the second-best console of the 1993–2013 period, stating "It had its own social network, cross-game chat, new indie games every week, and the best version of just about every multiformat game...Killzone is no Halo and nowadays Gran Turismo is no Forza, but it's not about the exclusives—there's nothing to trump Naughty Dog's PS3 output, after all. Rather, it's about the choices Microsoft made back in the original Xbox's lifetime. The PC-like architecture meant the early EA Sports games ran at 60fps compared to only 30 on PS3, Xbox Live meant every dedicated player had an existing friends list, and Halo meant Microsoft had the killer next-generation exclusive. And when developers demo games on PC now they do it with a 360 pad—another industry benchmark, and a critical one."
|Region||Units sold||First available|
|United States||25.4 million as of March 31, 2011||November 22, 2005|
|EMEA region(Europe, Middle East and Africa)||13.7 million as of March 31, 2011(Includes UK sales)||December 2, 2005|
|United Kingdom||8 million as of February 14, 2013|
|Japan||1.5 million as of June 17, 2011||December 10, 2005|
|Australia & New Zealand||1 million as of April 19, 2010||March 23, 2006|
|Worldwide||80 million as of October 17, 2013||(more...)|
The Xbox 360 began production only 69 days before launch, and Microsoft was not able to supply enough systems to meet initial consumer demand in Europe or North America, selling out completely upon release in all regions except in Japan. Forty thousand units were offered for sale on auction site eBay during the initial week of release, 10% of the total supply. By year's end, Microsoft had shipped 1.5 million units, including 900,000 in North America, 500,000 in Europe, and 100,000 in Japan.
In May 2008 Microsoft announced that 10 million Xbox 360s had been sold and that it was the "first current generation gaming console" to surpass the 10 million figure in the US. In the US, the Xbox 360 was the leader in current-generation home console sales until June 2008, when it was surpassed by the Wii. The Xbox 360 has sold a total of 870,000 units in Canada as of August 1, 2008. Between January 2011 and October 2013, the Xbox 360 was the best-selling console in the United States for these 32 consecutive months.
In Europe, the Xbox 360 has sold seven million units as of November 20, 2008, according to Microsoft. In the United Kingdom, the Xbox 360 has sold 3.9 million units as of June 27, 2009, according to GfK Chart-Track.
While the original Xbox sold poorly in Japan, selling just 450,000 by November 2011, the Xbox 360 sold almost as poorly, selling 1.5 million units from 2005 to 2011. Edge magazine reported in August 2011 that initially lackluster and subsequently falling sales in Japan, where Microsoft had been unable to make serious inroads into the dominance of domestic rivals Sony and Nintendo, had led to retailers scaling down and in some cases discontinuing sales of the Xbox 360 completely. The significance of Japan's poor sales might be overstated in the media in comparison to overall international sales.
The Xbox 360 sold much better than its predecessor, and although not the best-selling console of the seventh generation, it is regarded as a success since it strengthened Microsoft as a major force in the console market at the expense of well-established rivals. The inexpensive Nintendo Wii did sell the most console units but eventually saw a collapse of third-party software support in its later years, and it has been viewed by some as a fad since the succeeding Wii U had a poor debut in 2012. The PlayStation 3 struggled for a time due to being too expensive and initially lacking quality games, making it far less dominant than its predecessor, the PlayStation 2, and it took until late in the PlayStation 3's lifespan for its sales and games to reach parity with the Xbox 360. TechRadar proclaimed that "Xbox 360 passes the baton as the king of the hill – a position that puts all the more pressure on its successor, Xbox One".
The Xbox 360's advantage over its competitors was due to the release of high-profile games from both first party and third party developers. The 2007 Game Critics Awards honored the platform with 38 nominations and 12 wins – more than any other platform. By March 2008, the Xbox 360 had reached a software attach rate of 7.5 games per console in the US; the rate was 7.0 in Europe, while its competitors were 3.8 (PS3) and 3.5 (Wii), according to Microsoft. At the 2008 Game Developers Conference, Microsoft announced that it expected over 1,000 games available for Xbox 360 by the end of the year. As well as enjoying exclusives such as additions to the Halo franchise and Gears of War, the Xbox 360 has managed to gain a simultaneous release of games that were initially planned to be PS3 exclusives, including Devil May Cry 4, Ace Combat 6, Virtua Fighter 5, Grand Theft Auto IV, Final Fantasy XIII, Tekken 6, Metal Gear Solid : Rising, and L.A. Noire. In addition, Xbox 360 versions of cross-platform games were generally considered superior to their PS3 counterparts in 2006 and 2007, due in part to the difficulties of programming for the PS3.
TechRadar deemed the Xbox 360 as the most influential game system through its emphasis of digital media distribution, Xbox Live online gaming service, and game achievement feature. During the console's lifetime, the Xbox brand has grown from gaming-only to encompassing all multimedia, turning it into a hub for "living-room computing environment". Five years after the Xbox 360's original debut, the well-received Kinect motion capture camera was released, which became the fastest selling consumer electronic device in history, and extended the life of the console.
Microsoft announced the Xbox One, successor to the Xbox 360, at E3 on June 10, 2013. Although succeeded as Microsoft's main console by the Xbox One, support from publishers for the Xbox 360 is expected to continue until at least 2016. On April 20, 2016, Microsoft announced the end of production of new Xbox 360 hardware; the company will continue to provide hardware and software support for the platform, as selected Xbox 360 games can be played on Xbox One.
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 disk drive unit can be attached.
On the Slim and E models, the hard drive bay is on the bottom when vertical (right side when horizontal) and requires the opening of a concealed door to access it. (This does not void the warranty.) The Xbox 360 Slim/E hard drives are standard 2.5" SATA laptop drives, but have a custom enclosure and firmware so that the Xbox 360 can recognize it.
Various hard disk drives have been produced, including options at 20, 60, 120, 250, or 320 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 units and five sizes of hard drives (20, 60, 120, 250 (initially Japan only, but later also available elsewhere) and 320 GB), among other items, all of which are styled to match the console.
Kinect is a "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience" for the Xbox 360. It was first announced on June 1, 2009 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, under the codename, Project Natal. The add-on peripheral enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without a game controller by using gestures, spoken commands and presented objects and images. The Kinect accessory is compatible with all Xbox 360 models, connecting to new models via a custom connector, and to older ones via a USB and mains power adapter. During their CES 2010 keynote speech, Robbie Bach and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer went on to say that Kinect will be released during the holiday period (November–January) and work with every 360 console. It was released on November 4, 2010
Through AV connector (excluding E models which have no AV connector)
At launch, the Xbox 360 was available in two configurations: the "Xbox 360" package (unofficially known as the 20 GB Pro or Premium), priced at US$399 or GB£279.99, and the "Xbox 360 Core", priced at US$299 and GB£209.99. The original shipment of the Xbox 360 version included a cut-down version of the Media Remote as a promotion. The Elite package was launched later at US$479. The "Xbox 360 Core" was replaced by the "Xbox 360 Arcade" in October 2007 and a 60 GB version of the Xbox 360 Pro was released on August 1, 2008. The Pro package was discontinued and marked down to US$249 on August 28, 2009 to be sold until stock ran out, while the Elite was also marked down in price to US$299.
Two major hardware revisions of the Xbox 360 have succeeded the original models; the Xbox 360 S (also referred to as the "Slim") replaced the original "Elite" and "Arcade" models in 2010. The S model carries a smaller, streamlined appearance with an angular case, and utilizes a redesigned motherboard designed to alleviate the hardware and overheating issues experienced by prior models. It also includes a proprietary port for use with the Kinect sensor. The Xbox 360 E, a further streamlined variation of the 360 S with a two-tone rectangular case inspired by Xbox One, was released in 2013. In addition to its revised aesthetics, the Xbox 360 E also has one fewer USB port, no AV connector (and thus is HDMI-only), and no longer supports S/PDIF.
November 22, 2005
April 29, 2007
August 6, 2007
October 27, 2007
July 13, 2008
August 1, 2008
September 5, 2008
August 28, 2009
June 19, 2010
August 3, 2010
June 10, 2013
April 20, 2016
The Xbox 360 (not Slim and E models) has been subject to a number of technical problems. Since the console's release in 2005, users have reported concerns over its reliability and failure rate.
To aid customers with defective consoles, Microsoft extended the Xbox 360's manufacturer's warranty to three years for hardware failure problems that generate a "General Hardware Failure" error report. A "General Hardware Failure" is recognized on all models released before the Xbox 360 S by three quadrants of the ring around the power button flashing red. This error is often known as the "Red Ring of Death". In April 2009 the warranty was extended to also cover failures related to the E74 error code. The warranty extension is not granted for any other types of failures that do not generate these specific error codes.
Since these problems surfaced, Microsoft has attempted to modify the console to improve its reliability. Modifications include a reduction in the number, size, and placement of components, the addition of dabs of epoxy on the corners and edges of the CPU and GPU as glue to prevent movement relative to the board during heat expansion, and a second GPU heatsink to dissipate more heat. With the release of the redesigned Xbox 360 S, the warranty for the newer models does not include the three-year extended coverage for "General Hardware Failures". The newer Xbox 360 S and E models indicate system overheating when the console's power button begins to flash red, unlike previous models where the first and third quadrant of the ring would light up red around the power button if overheating occurred. The system will then warn the user of imminent system shutdown until the system has cooled, whereas a flashing power button that alternates between green and red is an indication of a "General Hardware Failure" unlike older models where three of the quadrants would light up red.
The Xbox 360 launched with 14 games in North America and 13 in Europe. The console's best-selling game for 2005, Call of Duty 2, sold over a million copies. Five other games sold over a million copies in the console's first year on the market: Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Dead or Alive 4, Saints Row, and Gears of War. Gears of War would become the best-selling game on the console with 3 million copies in 2006, before being surpassed in 2007 by Halo 3 with over 8 million copies.
Six games were initially available in Japan, while eagerly anticipated games such as Dead or Alive 4 and Enchanted Arms were released in the weeks following the console's launch. Games targeted specifically for the region, such as Chromehounds, Ninety-Nine Nights, and Phantasy Star Universe, were also released in the console's first year. Microsoft also had the support of Japanese developer Mistwalker, founded by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. Mistwalker's first game, Blue Dragon, was released in 2006 and had a limited-edition bundle which sold out quickly with over 10,000 pre-orders. Blue Dragon is one of three Xbox 360 games to surpass 200,000 units in Japan, along with Tales of Vesperia and Star Ocean: The Last Hope. Mistwalker's second game, Lost Odyssey also sold over 100,000 copies.
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.
On November 19, 2008, the Xbox 360's dashboard was changed from the "Blade" interface, to a dashboard reminiscent of that present on the Zune and Windows Media Center, known as the "New Xbox Experience" or NXE.
Since the console's release, Microsoft has released several updates for the Dashboard software. These updates have included adding new features to the console, enhancing Xbox Live functionality and multimedia playback capabilities, adding compatibility for new accessories, and fixing bugs in the software. Such updates are mandatory for users wishing to use Xbox Live, as access to Xbox Live is disabled until the update is performed.
At E3 2008, at Microsoft's Show, Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg and Marc Whitten announced the new Xbox 360 interface called the "New Xbox Experience" (NXE). The update was intended to ease console menu navigation. Its GUI uses the Twist UI, previously used in Windows Media Center and the Zune. Its new Xbox Guide retains all Dashboard functionality (including the Marketplace browser and disk ejection) and the original "Blade" interface (although the color scheme has been changed to match that of the NXE Dashboard).
The NXE also provides many new features. Users can now install games from disc to the hard drive to play them with reduced load time and less disc drive noise, but each game's disc must remain in the system in order to run. A new, built-in Community system allows the creation of digitized Avatars that can be used for multiple activities, such as sharing photos or playing Arcade games like 1 vs. 100. The update was released on November 19, 2008.
Microsoft released a further update to the Xbox 360 Dashboard starting on December 6, 2011. It included a completely new user interface which utilizes Microsoft's Metro design language, and added new features such as cloud storage for game saves and profiles, live television, Bing voice search, access to YouTube videos and better support for Kinect voice commands.
The Xbox 360 supports videos in Windows Media Video (WMV) format (including high-definition and PlaysForSure videos), as well as H.264 and MPEG-4 media. The December 2007 dashboard update added support for the playback of MPEG-4 ASP format videos. The console can also display pictures and perform slideshows of photo collections with various transition effects, and supports audio playback, with music player controls accessible through the Xbox 360 Guide button. Users may play back their own music while playing games or using the dashboard, and can play music with an interactive visual synthesizer.
Music, photos and videos can be played from standard USB mass storage devices, Xbox 360 proprietary storage devices (such as memory cards or Xbox 360 hard drives), and servers or computers with Windows Media Center or Windows XP with Service pack 2 or higher within the local-area network in streaming mode. As the Xbox 360 uses a modified version of the UPnP AV protocol, some alternative UPnP servers such as uShare (part of the GeeXboX project) and MythTV can also stream media to the Xbox 360, allowing for similar functionality from non-Windows servers. This is possible with video files up to HD-resolution and with several codecs (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV) and container formats (WMV, MOV, TS).
At the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Consumer Electronics Shows, Microsoft had announced that IPTV services would soon be made available to use through the Xbox 360. In 2007, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates stated that IPTV on Xbox 360 was expected to be available to consumers by the holiday season, using the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition platform. In 2008, Gates and president of Entertainment & Devices Robbie Bach announced a partnership with BT in the United Kingdom, in which the BT Vision advanced TV service, using the newer Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV platform, would be accessible via Xbox 360, planned for the middle of the year. BT Vision's DVR-based features would not be available on Xbox 360 due to limited hard drive capacity. In 2010, while announcing version 2.0 of Microsoft Mediaroom, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned that AT&T's U-verse IPTV service would enable Xbox 360s to be used as set-top boxes later in the year. As of January 2010, IPTV on Xbox 360 has yet to be deployed beyond limited trials.
In 2012, Microsoft released the Live Event Player, allowing for events such as video game shows, beauty pageants, award shows, concerts, news and sporting events to be streamed on the console via Xbox Live. The first live events streamed on Live were the 2012 Revolver Golden Gods, Microsoft's E3 2012 media briefing and the Miss Teen USA 2012 beauty pageant.
XNA Community is a feature whereby Xbox 360 owners can receive community-created games, made with Microsoft XNA Game Studio, from the XNA Creators Club. The games are written, published, and distributed through a community managed portal. XNA Community provides a channel for digital videogame delivery over Xbox Live that can be free of royalties, publishers and licenses. XNA game sales, however, did not meet original expectations. though Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) has had some "hits."
When the Xbox 360 was released, Microsoft's online gaming service Xbox Live was shut down for 24 hours and underwent a major upgrade, adding a basic non-subscription service called Xbox Live Silver (later renamed Xbox Live Free) to its already established premium subscription-based service (which was renamed Gold). Xbox Live Free is included with all SKUs of the console. It allows users to create a user profile, join on message boards, and access Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade and Marketplace and talk to other members. A Live Free account does not generally support multiplayer gaming; however, some games that have rather limited online functions already, (such as Viva Piñata) or games that feature their own subscription service (e.g. EA Sports games) can be played with a Free account. Xbox Live also supports voice the latter a feature possible with the Xbox Live Vision.
Xbox Live Gold includes the same features as Free and includes integrated online game playing capabilities outside of third-party subscriptions. Microsoft has allowed previous Xbox Live subscribers to maintain their profile information, friends list, and games history when they make the transition to Xbox Live Gold. To transfer an Xbox Live account to the new system, users need to link a Windows Live ID to their gamertag on Xbox.com. When users add an Xbox Live enabled profile to their console, they are required to provide the console with their passport account information and the last four digits of their credit card number, which is used for verification purposes and billing. An Xbox Live Gold account has an annual cost of US$59.99, C$59.99, NZ$90.00, GB£39.99, or €59.99. On January 5, 2011, Xbox Live reached over 30 million subscribers.
The Xbox Live Marketplace is a virtual market designed for the console that allows Xbox Live users to download purchased or promotional content. The service offers movie and game trailers, game demos, Xbox Live Arcade games and Xbox 360 Dashboard themes as well as add-on game content (items, costumes, levels etc.). These features are available to both Free and Gold members on Xbox Live. A hard drive or memory unit is required to store products purchased from Xbox Live Marketplace. In order to download priced content, users are required to purchase Microsoft Points for use as scrip; though some products (such as trailers and demos) are free to download. Microsoft Points can be obtained through prepaid cards in 1,600 and 4,000-point denominations. Microsoft Points can also be purchased through Xbox Live with a credit card in 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000-point denominations. Users are able to view items available to download on the service through a PC via the Xbox Live Marketplace website. An estimated seventy percent of Xbox Live users have downloaded items from the Marketplace.
Xbox Live Arcade is an online service operated by Microsoft that is used to distribute downloadable video games to Xbox and Xbox 360 owners. In addition to classic arcade games such as Ms. Pac-Man, the service offers some new original games like Assault Heroes. The Xbox Live Arcade also features games from other consoles, such as the PlayStation game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and PC games such as Zuma. The service was first launched on November 3, 2004, using a DVD to load, and offered games for about US$5 to $15. Items are purchased using Microsoft Points, a proprietary currency used to reduce credit card transaction charges. On November 22, 2005, Xbox Live Arcade was re-launched with the release of the Xbox 360, in which it was now integrated with the Xbox 360's dashboard. The games are generally aimed toward more casual gamers; examples of the more popular games are Geometry Wars, Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting, and Uno. On March 24, 2010, Microsoft introduced the Game Room to Xbox Live. Game Room is a gaming service for Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows that lets players compete in classic arcade and console games in a virtual arcade.
On November 6, 2006, Microsoft announced the Xbox Video Marketplace, an exclusive video store accessible through the console. Launched in the United States on November 22, 2006, the first anniversary of the Xbox 360's launch, the service allows users in the United States to download high-definition and standard-definition television shows and movies onto an Xbox 360 console for viewing. With the exception of short clips, content is not currently available for streaming, and must be downloaded. Movies are also available for rental. They expire in 14 days after download or at the end of the first 24 hours after the movie has begun playing, whichever comes first. Television episodes can be purchased to own, and are transferable to an unlimited number of consoles. Downloaded files use 5.1 surround audio and are encoded using VC-1 for video at 720p, with a bitrate of 6.8 Mbit/s. Television content is offered from MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Turner Broadcasting, and CBS; and movie content is Warner Bros., Paramount, and Disney, along with other publishers.
After the Spring 2007 update, the following video codecs are supported:
As a late addition to the December Xbox 360 update, 25 movies were added to the European Xbox 360 video market place on the December 11, 2007 and cost 250 Microsoft points for the SD version on the movie and 380 points for the HD version of the movie. Xbox Live members in Canada featured the ability to go on the Xbox Live Marketplace also as of December 11, 2007 with around 30 movies to be downloaded for the same amount of Microsoft Points.
On May 26, 2009, Microsoft announced it would release the Zune HD (in the fall of 2009), which was then the next addition to the Zune product range. This was of an impact on the Xbox Live Video Store as it was also announced that the Zune Video Marketplace and the Xbox Live Video Store will be merged to form the Zune Marketplace, which will be arriving on Xbox Live in 7 countries initially, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Ireland and Spain. Further details were released at the Microsoft press conference at E3 2009.
On October 16, 2012, Xbox Video and Xbox Music were released, replacing the Zune Marketplace. Xbox Video is a digital video service on that offers full HD movies and TV series for purchase or rental on Xbox 360, Windows 8, Windows RT PCs and tablets, and Windows Phones.
On August 18, 2015, Microsoft rolled out an update renaming it Movies and TV similar to the Windows 10 App.
Xbox Music provides 30 million music tracks available for purchase or access through subscription. It was announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012 and it integrates with Windows 8 and Windows Phone as well.
In August 2015 Microsoft rolled out an update renaming it to Groove Music similar to the Windows 10 App.
Xbox SmartGlass is one of the newer features that allows for integration between the Xbox 360 console and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. An app is available on Android, Windows Phone 8 and iOS. Users of the feature can view additional content to accompany the game they are playing, or the TV shows and movies they are watching. They can also use their mobile device as a remote to control the Xbox 360 console.
PartnerNet, the developers-only alternative Xbox Live network used by developers to beta test game content downloads and games developed for Xbox Live Arcade, runs on Xbox 360 debug kits, which are used both by developers and by the gaming press. In a podcast released on February 12, 2007, a developer breached the PartnerNet non-disclosure agreement (NDA) by commenting that he had found a playable version of Alien Hominid and an unplayable version of Ikaruga on PartnerNet. A few video game journalists, misconstruing the breach of the NDA as an invalidation of the NDA, immediately began reporting on other games being tested via PartnerNet, including a remake of Jetpac. (Alien Hominid for the Xbox 360 was released on February 28 of that year, and Ikaruga was released over a year later on April 9, 2008. Jetpac was released for the Xbox 360 on March 28, 2007 as Jetpac Refuelled.) There have also been numerous video and screenshot leaks of game footage on PartnerNet, as well as a complete version of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, which caused for the whole PartnerNet service to be shut down overnight on April 3, 2010. In the following days, Microsoft reminded developers and journalists that they were in breach of NDA by sharing information about PartnerNet content and asked websites to remove lists of games in development that were discovered on the service. Sega used feedback from fans about the leaked version of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I to refine it before they eventually released it. Additionally, a pair of hackers played their modded Halo 3 games on PartnerNet in addition to using PartnerNet to scoop up unreleased and untested software. The duo passed their hacked Halo pics to their friends before they were eventually caught by Bungie engineers who left a message for the hackers on PartnerNet which read "Winners Don't Break Into PartnerNet.". Other games that were leaked in the PartnerNet fiasco include Shenmue and Shenmue 2.
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.
"Warranty Period" for Xbox 360 S, means 1-year from the date You purchased the Xbox 360 S from an authorized retailer
IPTV on Xbox 360 is expected to be available to consumers by holiday season 2007 and will be offered by providers that are deploying TV services over broadband networks based on the IPTV Edition software platform.
All BT broadband customers will have the unique opportunity to receive the best in high-definition gaming, television and movies through an Xbox 360 console, in a powerful, all-in-one entertainment experience. BT Vision, which is powered by the Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) platform, plans to make this first-of-its-kind device and service offering available to customers in the middle of 2008.
J.D. Power and Associates have recently rated AT&T Uverse TV the best-rated, highest-rated residential TV satisfaction in the United States Southern and Western Regions for the second year in a row. I'm happy to announce that later this year AT&T will also enable subscribers to U-Verse to enjoy that service on their Xbox 360 consoles.
Famitsu, formerly Famicom Tsūshin, is a line of Japanese video game magazines published by Enterbrain, Inc. and Tokuma. Famitsu is published in both weekly and monthly formats as well as in the form of special topical issues devoted to only one console, video game company, or other theme. Shūkan Famitsū, the original Famitsū publication, is considered the most widely read and respected video game news magazine in Japan. From October 28, 2011 Enterbrain began releasing the digital version of the magazine exclusively on BookWalker weekly.Kinect
Kinect (codenamed Project Natal during development) is a line of motion sensing input devices that was produced by Microsoft for Xbox 360 and Xbox One video game consoles and Microsoft Windows PCs. Based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral, it enables 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.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, representing the end of the Kinect product line.List of Bandai Namco video game franchises
Bandai Namco Holdings is a Japanese holdings company that specializes in video games, anime, toys, arcades and amusement parks, and is currently based in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan. The company was formed following the merger of Bandai and Namco on September 29, 2005, with both companies' assets being merged into a single corporate entity. The video game branch of the company is Bandai Namco Entertainment, formerly called Namco Bandai Games, and continues to develop games for home consoles, arcades and mobile phones internationally. The company is best known for their video game franchises, with Pac-Man becoming their highest-grossing franchise with over US$12.8 billion as of 2016, as well as becoming the company's official mascot and flagship character, while Tekken is their best selling franchise, selling over 40 million copies across multiple platforms. As of 2017, the company is the third-largest video game company in Japan, the seventh-largest in the world, and the largest toy company by revenue.Bandai Namco owns former developer Banpresto, who operates as a toy company in Japan and was purchased in 2008, and acquired a 95% stake in D3 Publisher in 2009. Additionally, the company owns the video game rights to several anime licenses, including Dragon Ball, One Piece and Sailor Moon; in this instance, the first entry for these franchises will list the first game developed or published by Bandai Namco or a subsidiary company even if the series did not begin at that time period. Bandai Namco also owns the rights to the Baten Kaitos, Project X Zone and Xenosaga franchises, after developer Monolith Soft was sold to Nintendo in 2007. The company retains the rights to defunct developers BEC, who merged with Banpresto in 2011, and Sunrise Interactive, who closed in 2008.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 Xbox 360 accessories
The Xbox 360 game console, developed by Microsoft, features a number of first-party and third-party accessories.List of Xbox 360 games
This is a list of Xbox 360 games that were released via retail disk, digital download or as part of the Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) program.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.List of video games considered the best
This is a list of video games that have consistently been ranked among the best of all time by video game journalists and critics. The games listed here are included on at least five separate "best/greatest of all time" lists from different reliable publications. While any single publication's list reflects its own taste, when the lists are taken in aggregate, a handful of notable games have achieved something approaching critical consensus by multiple appearances in such lists.Microsoft XNA
Microsoft XNA (a recursive acronym for XNA's not acronymed) is a freeware set of tools with a managed runtime environment provided by Microsoft that facilitates video game development and management. XNA is based on the .NET Framework, with versions that run on Windows NT, Windows Phone and the Xbox 360. XNA content is built with the XNA Game Studio, and played using the XNA Framework (for Windows games), or published as native executables (for Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Zune).
In many respects, XNA can be thought of as a .NET analog to Microsoft's better known game development system, DirectX, but it is aimed at developers primarily interested in writing lightweight games that run on a variety of Microsoft platforms. XNA is the basic platform for Xbox Live Indie Games.
The XNA toolset was announced March 24, 2004, at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California. A first Community Technology Preview of XNA Build was released on March 14, 2006. XNA Game Studio 2.0 was released in December 2007, followed by XNA Game Studio 3.0 on October 30, 2008. XNA Game Studio 4.0 was released on September 16, 2010 along with the Windows Phone Development Tools. According to an email sent on 31 January 2013, XNA is no longer being developed, and it is not supported under the new "Metro interface" layers of Windows 8 nor on the Windows RT platform.An open source cross platform version of the Microsoft XNA 4 Application programming interface called MonoGame is being developed, and a crossplatform reimplementation of the XNA API called FNA exists as well.Minecraft
Minecraft is a 2011 sandbox video game created by Swedish game developer Markus Persson and later developed by Mojang. 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 gameplay modes are available, including survival mode in which the player must acquire resources to build the world and maintain health, creative mode where players have unlimited resources to build with and the ability to fly, adventure mode where players can play custom maps created by other players with certain restrictions, spectator mode where players can freely move throughout a world without being allowed to destroy or build anything and be affected by gravity and collisions, and hardcore mode which is similar to survival mode but the player is given only one chance and the game difficulty is locked on hard. If the player dies on hardcore, the player does not respawn, and the world is unplayable. The Java Edition of the game allows players to create mods with 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 late 2018, over 154 million copies had been sold across all platforms, making it the second best-selling video game of all time, behind Tetris. 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.Seventh generation of video game consoles
In the history of video games, the seventh generation of home consoles began in late 2005 with the release of Microsoft's Xbox 360, and continued with the release of Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation 3 (PS3) and Nintendo's Wii the following year. Each new console introduced a new type of breakthrough in technology: the Xbox 360 could play games rendered natively at high-definition video (HD) resolutions; the PlayStation 3 offered HD movie playback via a built-in 3D Blu-ray Disc player; while the Wii focused on integrating controllers with movement sensors as well as joysticks. Some Wii controllers could be moved about to control in-game actions, which enabled players to simulate real-world actions through movement during gameplay (e.g., in the Wii sports tennis game, the user swings the controller to hit the on-screen image of a tennis ball). The seventh generation of handheld consoles began in November 2004 with the North American introduction of the Nintendo DS (NDS) as a "third pillar", alongside Nintendo's existing Game Boy Advance and GameCube consoles. Another handheld console, the PlayStation Portable (PSP), came out in December. By this generation, video game consoles had become an important part of the global IT infrastructure; it is estimated that video game consoles represented 25% of the world's general-purpose computational power in 2007.Joining Nintendo in the motion market, Sony Computer Entertainment released the PlayStation Move in September 2010. The PlayStation Move features motion-sensing gaming, similar to that of the Wii. Microsoft joined the motion-sensing scene in November 2010 with its Kinect (previously announced under the working title "Project Natal" in June 2009). Unlike the other two motion systems (for PlayStation 3 and Wii), Kinect does not use controllers of any sort, and instead makes the players act as the "controllers". Having sold eight million units in its first 60 days on the market, Kinect claimed the Guinness World Record of being the "fastest selling consumer electronics device". While the Xbox 360 offers wired as well as wireless controllers as a standalone product, all PlayStation 3 controllers can be used in wired and wireless configurations.
As for handheld systems, the Nintendo DS (NDS), launched on November 21, 2004, features a touch screen and built-in microphone, and supports wireless IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standards. Additionally, the revised version of the NDS, the Nintendo DSi, features two built-in cameras, the ability to download games from the DSi store, and a web browser. The PlayStation Portable (PSP), released later that year on December 12, 2004, followed a different pattern. It became the first handheld video game console to use an optical disc format, Universal Media Disc (UMD), as its primary storage media. Sony also gave the PSP robust multimedia capability; connectivity with the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, other PSPs; as well as Internet connectivity. The NDS likewise had connectivity to the internet through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and Nintendo DS Browser, as well as wireless connectivity to other DS systems and Wii consoles. Despite high sales numbers for both consoles, PSP sales have consistently lagged behind those of the NDS; thus, the PSP can claim the distinction of being the best-selling non-Nintendo handheld gaming system.A crowdfunded console, the Ouya, received $8.5 million in preorders before launching in 2013. Post-launch sales were poor, and the device was a commercial failure. The business was wound down due to financial problems and sold to Razer Inc., which discontinued the Ouya in July 2015. Additionally, microconsoles like Nvidia Shield Console, Amazon Fire TV, MOJO, Razer Switchblade, GamePop, GameStick, Ouya, and even more powerful PC-based Steam Machine consoles have attempted to compete in the video game console market; however, even though some of these machines are theoretically powerful on paper, they are seldom referred to as "seventh generation", "eighth generation", or any generation consoles.The seventh generation slowly began to wind down when Nintendo began cutting back on Wii production in the early 2010s by discontinuing the original Wii model in the Western world in 2011, then discontinuing the system altogether in Japan in October 2013. Nintendo ceased production of its Family Edition around the same time, leaving the Wii Mini as its only surviving variant as of 2014. Shortly afterwards, Sony announced they were discontinuing the production of the PSP worldwide that year, following an earlier announcement from Nintendo that it had discontinued its original line of NDS family devices to move onto the Nintendo 3DS line, while continuing to support the Nintendo DSi. Microsoft then announced, in 2016, that they would discontinue, but continue to support, the Xbox 360 at the end of April, making it the first seventh-generation console to cease production altogether. The following year, Sony announced that it would soon discontinue its PS3 line in Japan, and, within a matter of months, in the rest of the world. Around that time, 2017, the Wii Mini and the Nintendo DSi were also discontinued, marking the complete and final end to the Wii consoles, DS line. In late 2018, the last game release for the Wii, Just Dance 2019, was released, effectively ending the seventh generation of consoles.World of Tanks
World of Tanks (WoT) is a massively multiplayer online game developed by Belarusian company Wargaming, featuring mid-20th century (1930s–1960s) era combat vehicles. It is built upon a freemium business model where the game is free-to-play, but participants also have the option of paying a fee for use of "premium" features. The focus is on player vs. player gameplay with each player controlling an armored vehicle, which may be a light, medium or heavy tank, tank destroyer, or self-propelled gun. World of Tanks debuted as an eSports game at the World Cyber Games 2012.World of Tanks has been ported to multiple gaming consoles. An Xbox 360 version was developed by Wargaming West studio, called World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition. Xbox 360 players use separate servers to those playing the Windows version, and players of each version have separate accounts. The PlayStation 4 version was released in 2016. World of Tanks has also recently expanded to mobile platforms under the name World of Tanks Blitz, in addition to a board game titled World of Tanks Rush and a collectable card game titled World of Tanks: Generals.
As of December 2013, the game has 75 million registered players worldwide and a 1.1 million peak concurrent players. This is an increase of 15 million over the 60 million in June 2013 and 30 million over the 45 million in December 2012.Xbox
Xbox is a video gaming brand created and owned by Microsoft of the United States. 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 over 77.2 million consoles worldwide as of April 2013. 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.Xbox 360 controller
The Xbox 360 controller is the primary controller for the Microsoft Xbox 360 video game console that was introduced at E3 2005. The Xbox 360 controller comes in both wired and wireless versions. Original Xbox controllers are not compatible with the Xbox 360. The wired and wireless versions are also compatible with Microsoft PC operating systems, such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.
The wireless controllers run on either AA batteries or a rechargeable battery pack. The wired controllers may be connected to any of the USB ports on the console, or to an attached USB hub.Xbox 360 system software
The Xbox 360 system software or the Xbox 360 Dashboard is the updateable software and operating system for the Xbox 360. It resides on a 16 MB file system and has access to a maximum of 32 MB of the system's memory. The updates can be downloaded from the Xbox Live service directly to the Xbox 360 and subsequently installed. Microsoft has also provided the ability to download system software updates from their respective official Xbox website to their PCs and then storage media, from which the update can be installed to the system.
The Xbox 360 game system allows users to download applications that add to the functionality of the dashboard. Most apps required the user to be signed into a valid Xbox Live Gold account in order to use the features advertised for the given app. But as of the 2.0.16756.0 update, most apps do not require a Xbox Live Gold Subscription to access them, although the app may have its own subscription to be able to use it. With the exception of a few early apps, Microsoft has added partners to develop apps for the Xbox 360 system since the New Xbox Experience (NXE) Dashboard update in 2008.Following the success of Xbox One preview program launched in 2014, in March 2015, Microsoft announced the Xbox 360 preview program to the public.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 Live
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.