XBox 360

From Gamedatawiki

The Xbox 360 is the successor to Microsoft's Xbox video game console, developed in co-operation with IBM, ATI Technologies, Samsung Electronics and Silicon Integrated Systems. Information on the console first came through viral marketing campaigns and it was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information divulged later that month at the prominent Electronic Entertainment Expo. The Xbox 360 is the first console to have a simultaneous launch across the three major regions, and the first to provide wireless controller support at launch. The console sold out completely at release and has since sold 6 million consoles worldwide. It is the first console to be released in the History of video games (seventh generation era)seventh generation of game consoles and competes against Sony's Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. The system contains a 3.2 Ghz tri-core PowerPC based CPU and a 500 Mhz GPU. Its Xbox Live service allows gamers to compete online, download games and additional content. Microsoft believes that its push towards high-definition gaming, year-early head start and its Xbox Live online gaming service will help the console be successful.

Contents

Overview

Development

Known during development as Xenon, Xbox 2, Xbox Next or NextBox, the Xbox 360 was conceived in early 2003. In February of 2003 planning for the Xenon software platform began, and was headed by Microsoft VP 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 (Microsoft), 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. The following month IBM signed on to develop the Triple-Core CPU for the console. Before the launch of the Xbox 360, several alpha development kits were spotted using Apple hardware. Games running on these were reported to be using 25-30 % of the actual system's power. Microsoft chose to use these systems for their PowerPC architecture, which is similar to that of the Xenon CPU used in the system. On October 24, 2005 Microsoft shut down Xbox Live for a day to upgrade it for the Xbox 360.

Launch

The promotional campaign for Xbox 360 began on March 14, 2005 with the opening of an alternate reality game called OurColony. Throughout March and April it offered challenges to its community, rewarding solutions with cropped pictures of the console and game screenshots. The end of OurColony came on May 12, 2005; with the release of a video showing J. Allard of Microsoft showing off the Xbox 360 console. The official unveiling of the Xbox 360 occurred the same day on MTV in a program called MTV Presents: The Next Generation Xbox Revealed.

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, Colombia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. At E3 2006, Microsoft announced that the console will be officially launched in eight new countries: South Africa, Chile, India, Brazil, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. An official launch for the Philippines has been announced. In its first year on the market, the system launched in 36 countries, more countries than any console has launched in a single year. Due to its early launch, the Xbox 360 has a year lead on both of its competitors, Sony's PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii.

Specification Xbox 360 System Xbox 360 Core System
Detachable 20 GB hard drive (HDD) yes no
Ethernet cable yes no
Chrome finish yes no
Xbox Live headset Yes, excluding Oceania no
Xbox Live Silver yes yes
Month of Xbox Live Gold yes yes
Gamepad Wireless, 2.4 GHz Wired, 3 m breakaway cord
AV Cables Component HD Composite

Microsoft's retail strategy involves two different configurations of the Xbox 360: the Xbox 360 Premium Package and an Xbox 360 Core System. At launch, the Xbox 360 was priced at $399 (or around £250)and the Core System was priced at $299 (around £200). The Core System was not originaly available in Japan, but was released on November 2, 2006. In Australia and New Zealand a Media Remote was included as a substitution for the Xbox Live headset in the Xbox 360 Package. Also included were video cables, the core system comes with composite cables, the premium includes a hybrid composite and component cable with optional optical out.

Region Xbox 360 System Xbox 360 Core System
Australia AU$ 649.95 $499.95
Brazil R$ 2999.00 $1999.0
Canada CD$ 499.99 $399.99
Europe € 399.99 €299.99
Finland € 409.99 €309.99
India Rs.23,990 Rs.19,990
Japan JP¥ 39,795 JP¥ 29,000
Latvia Ls 320.00 Ls 240.00
Mexico MXN$ 4999.99 $3999.99
New Zealand NZ$ 718.95 $549.95
Norway NOK 3395,- 2595,-
Template:Flagicon United Kingdom £279.99 £199.99
United States US$399.99 $299.99

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Xbox Live

With the launch of the Xbox 360, Microsoft's online gaming service, Xbox Live went through a major upgrade, adding a basic non-subscription service, Silver, to its already established premium subscription-based service, Gold. Xbox Live Silver is free of charge and allows users to create a user profile, join on message boards, access Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade and Marketplace and talk to other members. An Xbox Live Silver account does not generally support multiplayer gaming; however, some games that feature their own subscription service can be played with a Silver account. Xbox Live supports voice communication along with video communication, a feature possible with the Xbox Live Vision Camera.

Xbox Live Gold has the same features as Silver, plus online game playing capabilities. Microsoft has allowed for 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 go to add a Xbox Live enabled profile to their console, they need 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$49.99, or £39.99. As of October 18, 2006 Xbox Live has over 4 million subscribers.

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