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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.

Xbox 360
  • Left: Original model Xbox 360 (2005)
  • Center: Redesigned slim model Xbox 360 S (2010)
  • Right: Latest model Xbox 360 E (2013)
DeveloperMicrosoft
ManufacturerFlextronics, Wistron, Celestica, Foxconn
Product familyXbox
TypeHome video game console
GenerationSeventh generation
Release date
November 22, 2005
  • Original Xbox 360
    • US/CA: November 22, 2005
    • EZ/NO/SE/UK/CH: December 2, 2005
    • JP: December 10, 2005
    • CO/MX: February 2, 2006
    • KR: February 24, 2006
    • HK/SG/TW: March 16, 2006
    • AU: March 23, 2006
    • CL: July 7, 2006
    • IN: September 25, 2006
    • ZA: September 29, 2006
    • CZ/PL: November 3, 2006
    • BR: December 1, 2006
    • RU: February 11, 2007
    • PE: February 25, 2008
    • UAE: October 28, 2008
    • NG/TR: 2009
    • SC: Spring 2010
  • Xbox 360 S
    • NA: June 18, 2010
    • AU: July 1, 2010
    • NZ: July 8, 2010
    • EU: July 16, 2010
  • Xbox 360 E
    • NA: June 10, 2013
    • EU: June 20, 2013
Lifespan2005–2016
Introductory price
  • US$299, 299, £209 (Xbox 360 Core)
  • US$399, €399, £279 (Xbox 360 (20 GB))
Discontinued
  • WW: April 20, 2016
Units soldWorldwide: 84 million (as of June 9, 2014[update]) (details)
MediaDVD, CD, digital distribution
Add-on: HD DVD (discontinued)
Operating systemXbox 360 system software
System on a chipXCGPU (Xbox 360 S and E models only)
CPU3.2 GHz PowerPC Tri-Core Xenon
Memory
  • 512 MB of unified GDDR3 RAM clocked at 700 MHz
  • 10MB of eDRAM cache on Xenos GPU
Storage
Storage media
  • Detachable hard drives
    20, 60, 120 or 250 GB (older models); 250, 320, or 500 GB (Xbox 360 S models)
  • Memory cards (removable) (original design only)
    64 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB
  • On-board storage chip
    • Arcade consoles (later models)
      256 MB, 512 MB
    • Budget level "Xbox 360 S" consoles:
      4 GB
  • USB storage device (requires system software update)
    1 GB to 32 GB
  • Cloud storage (requires Xbox Live Gold Membership)
    2 GB
Display
Video output formats
Note: 1080p video playback is limited to content from the Zune marketplace
Graphics500 MHz ATI/AMD Xenos
Sound
  • Analog stereo
  • Stereo LPCM (TOSLINK and HDMI)
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 (TOSLINK and HDMI)
  • Dolby Digital with WMA pro (TOSLINK and HDMI)
Controller input
  • 4 Big Button Pads may be used in addition to other controllers.
Connectivity
  • Original models:
    2.4 GHz wireless, 3 × USB 2.0, IR receiver, 100 Mbit/s Ethernet
  • Add-on: Wifi 802.11 a/b/g, Wifi 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Revised "S" models
    2.4 GHz wireless, 5 × USB 2.0, Digital Optical audio out, IR receiver, 100 Mbit/s Ethernet, Wifi 802.11b/g/n, AUX port, HDMI port
  • Revised "E" models 2.4 GHz wireless, 4 × USB 2.0, IR receiver, 100 Mbit/s Ethernet, Wifi 802.11b/g/n, AUX port, HDMI port
Online servicesXbox Live
Best-selling gameKinect Adventures! (24 million as pack-in game for Kinect)
Backward
compatibility
Selected Xbox games (requires hard drive and the latest update)
PredecessorXbox
SuccessorXbox One
Websitexbox.com/en-US/xbox-360

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. Xbox 360 is 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.

Contents

Development

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.

Launch

Main article: Xbox 360 launch

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 in the market, the system was launched in 36 countries, more countries than any other console has launched in a single year.

Critical reception

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 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."

Sales

Main article: Xbox 360 sales
Region Units sold First available
United States 38.8 million as of June 27, 2013[update] November 22, 2005
EMEA region
(Europe, Middle East and Africa)
13.7 million as of March 31, 2011[update]
(includes UK sales)
December 2, 2005
United Kingdom 9 million (lifetime sales)
Japan 1.62 million (lifetime sales) December 10, 2005
Australia & New Zealand 1 million as of April 19, 2010[update] March 23, 2006
Worldwide 84 million as of June 9, 2014[update] (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. By the end of March 2011, Xbox 360 sales in the US had reached 25.4 million units. Between January 2011 and October 2013, the Xbox 360 was the best-selling console in the United States for these 32 consecutive months. By the end of 2014, Xbox 360 sales had surpassed sales of the Wii, making the Xbox 360 the best-selling 7th-generation console in the US once again. In Canada, the Xbox 360 has sold a total of 870,000 units as of August 1, 2008.

In Europe, the Xbox 360 has sold seven million units as of November 20, 2008. In the United Kingdom, the Xbox 360 had sold 3.2 million units by January 2009, according to GfK Chart-Track. The 8 million unit mark was crossed in the UK by February 2013. Sales of the Xbox 360 would overtake sales of the Wii later that year, making the Xbox 360 the best-selling 7th-generation console in the UK, with lifetime sales over 9 million units. Over 1 million units were sold in Spain across the console's lifecycle.

The Xbox 360 crossed the 1 million units sold in Japan in March 2009, and the 1.5 million units sold in June 2011. Lifetime sales of the Xbox 360 in Japan stand at 1,616,218 million units. While the Xbox 360 has sold poorly in Japan, it improved upon the sales of the original Xbox, which had total sales of 474,992 units. Furthermore, the Xbox 360 managed to outsell both the PlayStation 3 and Wii the week ending September 14, 2008, as well as the week ending February 22, 2009, when the Japanese Xbox 360 exclusives Infinite Undiscovery and Star Ocean: The Last Hope, were released those weeks, respectively. Ultimately, Edge magazine would report that Microsoft had been unable to make serious inroads into the dominance of domestic rivals Sony and Nintendo; adding that lackluster sales in Japan 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.

Legacy

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 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 Rising: Revengeance, 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".

Microsoft announced the successor to the Xbox 360, the Xbox One, on May 21, 2013. On April 20, 2016, Microsoft announced the end of production of new Xbox 360 hardware, though the company will continue to provide hardware and software support for the platform as selected Xbox 360 games are playable on Xbox One. The Xbox 360 continued to be supported by major publishers with new games well into the Xbox One's lifecycle. New titles were still being released in 2018. The Xbox 360 continues to have an active player base years after the system's discontinuation. Speaking to Engadget at E3 2019 after the announcement of Project Scarlett, the next-generation of Xbox consoles after the Xbox One, Phil Spencer stated that there were still "millions and millions of players" active on the Xbox 360. After the launch of the Xbox Series X and S by the end of 2020, the Xbox 360 still had a 17.7% market share of all consoles in use in Mexico; comparatively, newer systems like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 stood at 36.9% and 18.0% market share, respectively.

The Xbox 360 E model, announced at 2013's E3, shares many aesthetics with the 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.

Technical specifications

Various hard disk drives have been produced, including options at 20, 60, 120, 250, 320, or 500 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.

Accessories

Main article: Xbox 360 accessories

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.

In 2006, Microsoft released the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player. The accessory was discontinued in 2008 after the format war had ended in Blu-ray's favor.

Kinect

Main article: Kinect
A Kinect sensor device. The Xbox 360 E revision has an additional Xbox logo to the left of the Xbox 360 branding.

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 would be released during the holiday period (November–January) and work with every Xbox 360 console. It was released on November 4, 2010.

Xbox 360 Chatpad from the Messenger Kit attached to a wireless controller

AV output

Built-in

Through AV connector (excluding E models which have no AV connector)

Retail configurations

Xbox 360 Premium
Xbox 360 Arcade (replaced Xbox 360 Core)
Xbox 360 Elite

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.

Timeline

United States

November 22, 2005

  • Launch of Xbox 360 Premium (20 GB) – $399.99
  • Launch of Xbox 360 Core – $299.99

April 29, 2007

  • Launch Xbox 360 Elite (120 GB) – $479.99

August 6, 2007

  • Price cut on Xbox 360 Premium (20 GB) – $349.99
  • Price cut on Xbox 360 Core – $279.99
  • Price cut on Xbox 360 Elite – $449.99

October 27, 2007

  • Launch of Xbox 360 Arcade – $279.99
  • Discontinuation of Xbox 360 Core

July 13, 2008

  • Discontinuation of Xbox 360 (20 GB) (price cut to $299.99 for remaining stock)

August 1, 2008

  • Launch of Xbox 360 Premium (60 GB) – $349.99

September 5, 2008

  • Price cut on Xbox 360 Elite – $399.99
  • Price cut on Xbox 360 (60 GB) – $299.99
  • Price cut on Xbox 360 Arcade – $199.99

August 28, 2009

  • Discontinuation of Xbox 360 (60 GB) (price cut to $249.99 for remaining stock)
  • Price cut on Xbox 360 Elite – $299.99

June 19, 2010

  • Launch of Xbox 360 S 250 GB – $299.99
  • Discontinuation of Xbox 360 Elite (price cut to $249.99 for remaining stock)
  • Discontinuation of Xbox 360 Arcade (price cut to $149.99 for remaining stock)

August 3, 2010

  • Launch of Xbox 360 S 4 GB – $199.99

June 10, 2013

  • Launch of Xbox 360 E 4 GB – $199.99
  • Launch of Xbox 360 E 250 GB – $299.99

April 20, 2016

  • Discontinuation of all Xbox 360 models.

Technical problems

Three red lights on the Xbox 360's ring indicator representing a "General Error requiring service of the Console or Power Adapter", commonly nicknamed the "Red Ring of Death".

The original model of the Xbox 360 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.

After these problems surfaced, Microsoft attempted to modify the console to improve its reliability. Modifications included 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.

Games

Rock of Ages, one of many Unreal Engine 3 powered games available on Xbox 360.

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 2007 Game Critics Awards honored the Xbox 360 platform with 38 Nominations and 11 Wins.

By 2015, game releases started to decline as most publishers instead focused on the Xbox One. The last official game released for the system was Just Dance 2019, released on October 23, 2018, in North America, and October 25 in Europe and Australia.

As one of the late updates to the software following its discontinuation, Microsoft will add the ability for Xbox 360 users to use cloud saves even if they do not have Xbox Live Gold prior to the launch of the Xbox Series X and Series S in November 2020. The new consoles will have backward compatibility for all Xbox 360 games that are already backward compatible on the Xbox One, and can use any Xbox 360 game's cloud saves through this update, making the transition to the new consoles easier.

Interface

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.[citation needed]

New Xbox Experience

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.

While previous system updates have been stored on internal memory, the NXE update was the first to require a storage device—at least a 128 MB memory card or a hard drive.

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.

Multimedia

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,[unreliable source?] 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).

As of October 27, 2009, UK and Ireland users are also able to access live and on-demand streams of Sky television programming.

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

XNA community

Main article: Microsoft XNA

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".[citation needed]

Xbox Live

Main article: Xbox Live

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) and games that feature their own subscription service (e.g. EA Sports games) can be played with a Free account. Xbox Live also supports voice, 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.

Xbox Live Marketplace

Main article: Xbox Live Marketplace

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 70 percent of Xbox Live users have downloaded items from the Marketplace.

Xbox Live Arcade

Main article: Xbox Live Arcade

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.

DVD-ROM for Xbox 360

Movies and TV

Main article: Microsoft Movies & TV

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[when?] 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:

  • H.264 video support: Up to 15 Mbit/s, Baseline, Main, and High (up to level 4.1) Profiles with 2 channel AAC LC and Main Profiles.
  • MPEG-4 Part 2 video support: Up to 8 Mbit/s, Simple Profile with 2 channel AAC LC and Main Profiles.

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 of 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 number 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.

Groove Music

Main article: Groove Music

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

Main article: Xbox SmartGlass

Xbox SmartGlass 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. The SmartGlass functionality can also be found in the Xbox 360's successor, the Xbox One.

PartnerNet, the developers-only alternative Xbox Live network used by developers to beta test game content 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 find unreleased and untested software. The hackers passed this information along to their friends before they were eventually caught by Bungie. Consequently, Bungie 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.

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Xbox 360 Article Talk Language Watch Edit 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 17 18 19 20 21 Xbox 360Left Original model Xbox 360 2005 Center Redesigned slim model Xbox 360 S 2010 Right Latest model Xbox 360 E 2013 DeveloperMicrosoftManufacturerFlextronics Wistron Celestica Foxconn 1 2 Product familyXboxTypeHome video game consoleGenerationSeventh generationRelease dateNovember 22 2005 5 Original Xbox 360US CA November 22 2005EZ NO SE UK CH December 2 2005JP December 10 2005CO MX February 2 2006KR February 24 2006HK SG TW March 16 2006AU March 23 2006CL July 7 2006IN September 25 2006ZA September 29 2006CZ PL November 3 2006BR December 1 2006RU February 11 2007PE February 25 2008UAE October 28 2008NG TR 2009SC Spring 2010Xbox 360 SNA June 18 2010AU July 1 2010NZ July 8 2010EU July 16 2010Xbox 360 ENA June 10 2013 4 EU June 20 2013 3 Lifespan2005 2016Introductory priceUS 299 299 209 Xbox 360 Core 6 US 399 399 279 Xbox 360 20 GB 6 DiscontinuedWW April 20 2016 7 Units soldWorldwide 84 million as of June 9 2014 update 8 details MediaDVD CD digital distribution Add on HD DVD discontinued Operating systemXbox 360 system softwareSystem on a chipXCGPU Xbox 360 S and E models only CPU3 2 GHz PowerPC Tri Core XenonMemory512 MB of unified GDDR3 RAM clocked at 700 MHz 10MB of eDRAM cache on Xenos GPUStorageStorage media Detachable hard drives 20 60 120 or 250 GB older models 250 320 or 500 GB Xbox 360 S models Memory cards removable original design only 64 MB 256 MB 512 MBOn board storage chipArcade consoles later models 256 MB 512 MBBudget level Xbox 360 S consoles 4 GBUSB storage device requires system software update 1 GB to 32 GBCloud storage requires Xbox Live Gold Membership 2 GB 9 DisplayVideo output formats Composite video 480i 576i PAL S Video 480i 576i PAL RGB SCART 480i 576i PAL Component YPBPR 480i 576i 480p 720p 1080iD Terminal YPBPR 480i D1 480p D2 720p D4 1080i D3 1080p D5 10 VGA 640 480 848 480 1024 768 1280 720 720p 1280 768 1280 1024 1360 768 1440 900 1680 1050 1920 1080 1080p HDMI later models 480p 720p 1080i 1080p Note 1080p video playback is limited to content from the Zune marketplace 11 Graphics500 MHz ATI AMD XenosSoundAnalog stereo Stereo LPCM TOSLINK and HDMI Dolby Digital 5 1 TOSLINK and HDMI Dolby Digital with WMA pro TOSLINK and HDMI Controller input4 maximum any combination Xbox 360 Controller USB wired 2 4 GHz wireless Xbox 360 Wireless Racing WheelRhythm game controllersBig Button Pads Xbox 360 Arcade sticksAce Combat 6 Flight StickKinect 4 Big Button Pads may be used in addition to other controllers ConnectivityOriginal models 2 4 GHz wireless 3 USB 2 0 IR receiver 100 Mbit s EthernetAdd on Wifi 802 11 a b g Wifi 802 11a b g n 12 Revised S models 2 4 GHz wireless 5 USB 2 0 Digital Optical audio out IR receiver 100 Mbit s Ethernet Wifi 802 11b g n AUX port HDMI portRevised E models 2 4 GHz wireless 4 USB 2 0 IR receiver 100 Mbit s Ethernet Wifi 802 11b g n AUX port HDMI portOnline servicesXbox LiveBest selling gameKinect Adventures 24 million as pack in game for Kinect 13 14 Backward compatibilitySelected Xbox games 15 16 requires hard drive and the latest update PredecessorXboxSuccessorXbox OneWebsitexbox wbr com wbr en US wbr xbox 360 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 22 23 24 25 26 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 27 and the Xbox 360 E in 2013 28 Xbox 360 is 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 26 29 The Xbox 360 s successor the Xbox One was released on November 22 2013 30 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 7 Contents 1 History 1 1 Development 1 2 Launch 1 3 Critical reception 1 4 Sales 1 5 Legacy 2 Hardware 2 1 Technical specifications 2 2 Accessories 2 2 1 Kinect 2 3 AV output 2 4 Retail configurations 2 4 1 Timeline 2 4 2 United States 2 5 Technical problems 3 Software 3 1 Games 3 2 Interface 3 2 1 New Xbox Experience 3 3 Multimedia 3 4 XNA community 4 Services 4 1 Xbox Live 4 2 Xbox Live Marketplace 4 3 Xbox Live Arcade 4 4 Movies and TV 4 5 Groove Music 4 6 Xbox SmartGlass 5 Game development 6 See also 7 Further reading 8 References 9 External linksHistoryDevelopment Known during development as Xbox Next Xenon Xbox 2 Xbox FS or NextBox 31 the Xbox 360 was conceived in early 2003 32 In February 2003 planning for the Xenon software platform began and was headed by Microsoft s Vice President J Allard 32 That month Microsoft held an event for 400 developers in Bellevue Washington to recruit support for the system 32 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 33 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 34 Jeff Minter created the music visualization program Neon which is included with the Xbox 360 35 Launch Main article Xbox 360 launch The Xbox 360 was released on November 22 2005 in the United States and Canada 5 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 in the market the system was launched in 36 countries more countries than any other console has launched in a single year 36 Critical reception In 2009 IGN named the Xbox 360 the sixth greatest video game console of all time out of a field of 25 37 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 26 PC Magazine considered the Xbox 360 the prototype for online gaming as it proved that online gaming communities could thrive in the console space 22 Five years after the Xbox 360 s 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 38 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 39 Sales Main article Xbox 360 sales Region Units sold First availableUnited States 38 8 million as of June 27 2013 update 40 November 22 2005EMEA region Europe Middle East and Africa 13 7 million as of March 31 2011 update 41 includes UK sales December 2 2005United Kingdom 9 million lifetime sales 42 Japan 1 62 million lifetime sales 43 December 10 2005Australia amp New Zealand 1 million as of April 19 2010 update 44 March 23 2006Worldwide 84 million as of June 9 2014 update 8 more The Xbox 360 began production only 69 days before launch 45 46 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 47 48 49 50 Forty thousand units were offered for sale on auction site eBay during the initial week of release 10 of the total supply 51 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 52 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 53 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 54 55 56 By the end of March 2011 Xbox 360 sales in the US had reached 25 4 million units 41 Between January 2011 and October 2013 the Xbox 360 was the best selling console in the United States for these 32 consecutive months 57 By the end of 2014 Xbox 360 sales had surpassed sales of the Wii making the Xbox 360 the best selling 7th generation console in the US once again 58 In Canada the Xbox 360 has sold a total of 870 000 units as of August 1 2008 59 In Europe the Xbox 360 has sold seven million units as of November 20 2008 60 In the United Kingdom the Xbox 360 had sold 3 2 million units by January 2009 according to GfK Chart Track 61 The 8 million unit mark was crossed in the UK by February 2013 62 Sales of the Xbox 360 would overtake sales of the Wii later that year making the Xbox 360 the best selling 7th generation console in the UK with lifetime sales over 9 million units 63 42 Over 1 million units were sold in Spain across the console s lifecycle 64 The Xbox 360 crossed the 1 million units sold in Japan in March 2009 65 and the 1 5 million units sold in June 2011 66 Lifetime sales of the Xbox 360 in Japan stand at 1 616 218 million units While the Xbox 360 has sold poorly in Japan it improved upon the sales of the original Xbox which had total sales of 474 992 units 43 Furthermore the Xbox 360 managed to outsell both the PlayStation 3 and Wii the week ending September 14 2008 as well as the week ending February 22 2009 when the Japanese Xbox 360 exclusives Infinite Undiscovery 67 and Star Ocean The Last Hope 68 were released those weeks respectively Ultimately Edge magazine would report that Microsoft had been unable to make serious inroads into the dominance of domestic rivals Sony and Nintendo adding that lackluster sales in Japan had led to retailers scaling down and in some cases discontinuing sales of the Xbox 360 completely 69 The significance of Japan s poor sales might be overstated in the media in comparison to overall international sales 70 Legacy 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 29 The inexpensive 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 26 71 72 73 74 75 The PlayStation 3 struggled for a time due to being too expensive and initially lacking quality games 76 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 26 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 77 78 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 79 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 80 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 81 Ace Combat 6 82 Virtua Fighter 5 83 Grand Theft Auto IV 84 Final Fantasy XIII 85 Tekken 6 86 Metal Gear Rising Revengeance 87 and L A Noire 88 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 89 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 26 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 23 24 25 Microsoft announced the successor to the Xbox 360 the Xbox One on May 21 2013 90 On April 20 2016 Microsoft announced the end of production of new Xbox 360 hardware though the company will continue to provide hardware and software support for the platform as selected Xbox 360 games are playable on Xbox One 91 The Xbox 360 continued to be supported by major publishers with new games well into the Xbox One s lifecycle New titles were still being released in 2018 92 The Xbox 360 continues to have an active player base years after the system s discontinuation Speaking to Engadget at E3 2019 after the announcement of Project Scarlett the next generation of Xbox consoles after the Xbox One Phil Spencer stated that there were still millions and millions of players active on the Xbox 360 93 After the launch of the Xbox Series X and S by the end of 2020 the Xbox 360 still had a 17 7 market share of all consoles in use in Mexico comparatively newer systems like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 stood at 36 9 and 18 0 market share respectively 94 Hardware The Xbox 360 E model announced at 2013 s E3 shares many aesthetics with the 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 95 but have a custom enclosure and firmware so that the Xbox 360 can recognize it 96 Technical specifications Main article Xbox 360 technical specifications Various hard disk drives have been produced including options at 20 60 120 250 320 or 500 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 97 Graphics processing is handled by the ATI Xenos which has 10 MB of eDRAM Its main memory pool is 512 MB in size Accessories Main article Xbox 360 accessories 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 98 but later also available elsewhere 99 100 and 320 GB among other items all of which are styled to match the console In 2006 Microsoft released the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player The accessory was discontinued in 2008 after the format war had ended in Blu ray s favor 101 Kinect Main article Kinect A Kinect sensor device The Xbox 360 E revision has an additional Xbox logo to the left of the Xbox 360 branding 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 102 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 103 connecting to new models via a custom connector and to older ones via a USB and mains power adapter 104 During their CES 2010 keynote speech Robbie Bach and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer went on to say that Kinect would be released during the holiday period November January and work with every Xbox 360 console It was released on November 4 2010 105 Xbox 360 Chatpad from the Messenger Kit attached to a wireless controller AV output Built in HDMI only made after 2007 S PDIF only Slim Stereo Audio Composite Video Jack 3 5 mm only Slim E Through AV connector excluding E models which have no AV connector Composite Video S Video SCART RGB VGA YPBPR D Terminal S PDIF RCA stereo audioRetail configurations Main article List of Xbox 360 retail configurations Xbox 360 Premium Xbox 360 Arcade replaced Xbox 360 Core Xbox 360 Elite 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 6 The Elite package was launched later at US 479 The Xbox 360 Core was replaced by the Xbox 360 Arcade in October 2007 106 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 299 107 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 27 108 109 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 110 Timeline United States November 22 2005 111 Launch of Xbox 360 Premium 20 GB 399 99 Launch of Xbox 360 Core 299 99 April 29 2007 Launch Xbox 360 Elite 120 GB 479 99 112 August 6 2007 113 Price cut on Xbox 360 Premium 20 GB 349 99 Price cut on Xbox 360 Core 279 99 Price cut on Xbox 360 Elite 449 99 October 27 2007 Launch of Xbox 360 Arcade 279 99 114 Discontinuation of Xbox 360 Core July 13 2008 Discontinuation of Xbox 360 20 GB price cut to 299 99 for remaining stock 115 August 1 2008 115 Launch of Xbox 360 Premium 60 GB 349 99 September 5 2008 116 Price cut on Xbox 360 Elite 399 99 Price cut on Xbox 360 60 GB 299 99 Price cut on Xbox 360 Arcade 199 99 August 28 2009 Discontinuation of Xbox 360 60 GB price cut to 249 99 for remaining stock Price cut on Xbox 360 Elite 299 99 June 19 2010 27 Launch of Xbox 360 S 250 GB 299 99 Discontinuation of Xbox 360 Elite price cut to 249 99 for remaining stock Discontinuation of Xbox 360 Arcade price cut to 149 99 for remaining stock August 3 2010 Launch of Xbox 360 S 4 GB 199 99 June 10 2013 117 Launch of Xbox 360 E 4 GB 199 99 Launch of Xbox 360 E 250 GB 299 99 April 20 2016 Discontinuation of all Xbox 360 models 7 Technical problems Main article Xbox 360 technical problems Three red lights on the Xbox 360 s ring indicator representing a General Error requiring service of the Console or Power Adapter commonly nicknamed the Red Ring of Death The original model of the Xbox 360 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 118 119 120 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 121 In April 2009 the warranty was extended to also cover failures related to the E74 error code 122 The warranty extension is not granted for any other types of failures that do not generate these specific error codes After these problems surfaced Microsoft attempted to modify the console to improve its reliability Modifications included 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 123 and a second GPU heatsink to dissipate more heat 124 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 125 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 126 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 127 SoftwareGames Main article List of Xbox 360 games See also List of Xbox games compatible with Xbox 360 Rock of Ages one of many Unreal Engine 3 powered games available on Xbox 360 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 128 Five other games sold over a million copies in the console s first year on the market Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 129 The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion 130 Dead or Alive 4 131 Saints Row 132 and Gears of War 133 Gears of War would become the best selling game on the console with 3 million copies in 2006 134 before being surpassed in 2007 by Halo 3 with over 8 million copies 135 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 136 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 137 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 138 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 139 The 2007 Game Critics Awards honored the Xbox 360 platform with 38 Nominations and 11 Wins 140 By 2015 game releases started to decline as most publishers instead focused on the Xbox One The last official game released for the system was Just Dance 2019 released on October 23 2018 in North America and October 25 in Europe and Australia As one of the late updates to the software following its discontinuation Microsoft will add the ability for Xbox 360 users to use cloud saves even if they do not have Xbox Live Gold prior to the launch of the Xbox Series X and Series S in November 2020 The new consoles will have backward compatibility for all Xbox 360 games that are already backward compatible on the Xbox One and can use any Xbox 360 game s cloud saves through this update making the transition to the new consoles easier 141 Interface Main article Xbox 360 system software 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 142 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 143 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 144 Since the console s release Microsoft has released several updates for the Dashboard software 145 146 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 citation needed New Xbox Experience Further information Xbox Live New Xbox Experience 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 147 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 148 While previous system updates have been stored on internal memory the NXE update was the first to require a storage device at least a 128 MB memory card or a hard drive 149 Microsoft released a further update to the Xbox 360 Dashboard starting on December 6 2011 150 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 151 access to YouTube videos and better support for Kinect voice commands 152 Multimedia 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 153 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 154 155 As the Xbox 360 uses a modified version of the UPnP AV protocol 156 unreliable source 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 157 As of October 27 2009 158 UK and Ireland users are also able to access live and on demand streams of Sky television programming 159 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 160 In 2008 Gates and president of Entertainment amp 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 161 BT Vision s DVR based features would not be available on Xbox 360 due to limited hard drive capacity 162 In 2010 while announcing version 2 0 of Microsoft Mediaroom Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned that AT amp T s U verse IPTV service would enable Xbox 360s to be used as set top boxes later in the year 163 As of January 2010 IPTV on Xbox 360 has yet to be deployed beyond limited trials citation needed 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 citation needed XNA community Main article Microsoft XNA 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 164 165 XNA game sales however did not meet original expectations 166 though Xbox Live Indie Games XBLIG has had some hits citation needed ServicesXbox Live Main article Xbox Live 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 167 168 A Live Free account does not generally support multiplayer gaming however some games that have rather limited online functions already such as Viva Pinata and games that feature their own subscription service e g EA Sports games can be played with a Free account Xbox Live also supports voice a feature possible with the Xbox Live Vision 169 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 170 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 171 Xbox Live Marketplace Main article Xbox Live Marketplace 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 172 In order to download priced content users are required to purchase Microsoft Points for use as scrip 173 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 174 An estimated 70 percent of Xbox Live users have downloaded items from the Marketplace 175 Xbox Live Arcade Main article Xbox Live Arcade 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 176 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 177 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 178 DVD ROM for Xbox 360 Movies and TV Main article Microsoft Movies amp TV 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 when 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 179 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 180 After the Spring 2007 update the following video codecs are supported H 264 video support Up to 15 Mbit s Baseline Main and High up to level 4 1 Profiles with 2 channel AAC LC and Main Profiles MPEG 4 Part 2 video support Up to 8 Mbit s Simple Profile with 2 channel AAC LC and Main Profiles 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 of the movie and 380 points for the HD version of the movie 181 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 number of Microsoft Points 182 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 183 Further details were released at the Microsoft press conference at E3 2009 184 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 185 On August 18 2015 Microsoft rolled out an update renaming it Movies and TV similar to the Windows 10 App 186 Groove Music Main article Groove Music 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 187 In August 2015 Microsoft rolled out an update renaming it to Groove Music similar to the Windows 10 App Xbox SmartGlass Main article Xbox SmartGlass Xbox SmartGlass allows for integration between the Xbox 360 console and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones 188 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 360 189 The SmartGlass functionality can also be found in the Xbox 360 s successor the Xbox One Game developmentPartnerNet the developers only alternative Xbox Live network used by developers to beta test game content developed for Xbox Live Arcade 190 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 191 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 192 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 193 Sega used feedback from fans about the leaked version of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I to refine it before they eventually released it 194 Additionally a pair of hackers played their modded Halo 3 games on PartnerNet in addition to using PartnerNet to find unreleased and untested software The hackers passed this information along to their friends before they were eventually caught by Bungie Consequently Bungie left a message for the hackers on PartnerNet which read Winners Don t Break Into PartnerNet 195 Other games that were leaked in the PartnerNet fiasco include Shenmue and Shenmue 2 196 See also Video games portal List of Xbox 360 games List of Xbox 360 applications List of original programs distributed by Xbox Entertainment StudiosFurther readingTakahashi Dean May 17 2006 The Xbox 360 Uncloaked The Real Story Behind Microsoft s Next Generation Video Game Console Lulu Press p 404 ISBN 978 0977784219 References Radd David August 16 2005 Xbox 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