The Xbox 360 is the successor to the Xbox and the second video game console developed by Microsoft. It competes with the Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3. It was released on November 22, 2005, and as of April 2013 has sold 77.2 million units worldwide. Since its release, it has undergone frequent upgrades. A slimmer version with five USB 2.0 ports (compared to three on older versions) was released by Microsoft on June 14, 2010.
The Xbox 360 Dashboard was the original graphical user interface for the Xbox 360. It was loaded instantly when the disc tray was ejected or there was no disc in it, and when the console started up. The user is also given the option to choose what they want the console to do if a game was inserted when the system was already on or if a game was already in the console when it was turned on. The Dashboard allows users to choose what they want to do; play an Xbox 360 game, play online, or watch a movie. Since the console’s release, several updates have been released by Microsoft for the Dashboard software. The Xbox 360 offers a huge game library with many genres for users to choose from. It also offers an excellent gaming experience through Xbox Live (although it costs money). Users who purchase an Xbox Live Gold account can access and update Twitter and Facebook and can also download or stream current content from Netflix, ESPN, and Hulu Plus. Microsoft also released Kinect, which uses a 3D camera with a built-in microphone that allows users to interact with certain games without using a headset or controller. In concept, it is very similar to the Nintendo Wii, but it is light years ahead in terms of technology. For example, instead of having to stomp your foot on the ground during a dance game, the Kinect measures your body movements. The 250 GB Spring Value Bundle can be purchased from Amazon. The bundle includes Darksiders II and Batman: Arkham City, as well as a free 1 month Xbox Live Gold membership subscription. The same bundle plus the Kinect Sensor can be purchased for a $100 more.
The Xbox 360 has a Xenon triple-core processor clocked at 3.2 GHz. For graphics, it relies on an ATi Xenos at 500 MHz, and has 10 MB of eDRAM at 500 MHz and 512 MB of shared GDDR3 RAM at 700 MHz. There are several options with respect to storage: The Pro model has 60 GB and 20 GB models. The Arcade version has: 256 MB onboard with a 256 MB memory unit or a 512 MB onboard model. The Elite console has a 250 GB or 120 GB of storage. Regardless of internal configuration, the Xbox 360 is 12 inches x 7.2 inches x 11.5 inches and weighs 10.9 pounds. Slim models are 10.6 inches x 2.9 inches x 10.4 inches and weigh 6 pounds. They can power a 1080p display, and consume 135 watts when operating.
- The Xbox 360 has excellent graphics, on par with the PS3 and far superior to Wii
- Microsoft has released an HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360, which allows users to watch their favourite movies in stunning HD
- Acts as both a gaming console and DVD player
- Xbox Live offers online multi-player gaming and is a much better server than the PlayStation Network
- Xbox 360 has a ton of games available, and shooter games seem to perform better on the console as opposed to the PS3; also offers Gear of War, which is only available on the Xbox 360; it is one of the top games available
- Users can rent movies from the Xbox Live Market Place, which also offers a point system that can be used to purchase items
- Unlike the Wii, the Xbox 360 is geared towards hardcore gamers; casual gamers may not want to dish out $200+ for a gaming console
- It has a powerful gaming system but lags behind the PS3
- It is very loud when it is turned on, thanks in large part to the very noisy cooling fans
- Suffers from “Red ring of death”, which basically means the system has died; this requires users to send their system in to get repaired
- Uses an outdated DVD format
- Have to pay for online play; while it is excellent (and superior to the PS3 online play), paying $50 a year to play online may turn off some people