Since its release in 2001, Microsoft’s first video gaming system, the Xbox, has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. Despite the Xbox’s outstanding power, a long list of well-known video game titles supporting it, and the popularity of Xbox LIVE, the Xbox’s internet component, Sony’s PlayStation 2 nevertheless outsold it.
Microsoft was keen to dethrone Sony’s PlayStation as the game industry moved into the next generation of video game technology. The Xbox 360 is now available.
Microsoft completely redesigned the Xbox. The Xbox 360 is a drastically different and more powerful system than its predecessor, from the name to the style to the technology and features. The Xbox 360 is much more than a video game console; it’s a complete media centre that lets users play, network, rip, stream, and download all kinds of material, including high-definition movies, music, digital photos, and game content.
We’ll learn about the hardware and features that propel the Xbox 360 into the next generation of gaming consoles in this post.
The Xbox 360, like all video game consoles, is nothing more than a computer with specific hardware and software for running video game applications. The original Xbox was essentially a Windows PC with a customised Pentium III processor, some rather strong graphics and audio gear, and a modified version of Microsoft’s Windows 2000 operating system, all bundled in that iconic black box. The Xbox 360 is an uniquely packaged computer as well, but once you look inside, you’ll notice that it has a lot going on:
- Three 3.2 GHz cores in a custom IBM Power PC-based CPU
ATI graphics processor with integrated DRAM of 10 MB and 512 MB 700 MHz GDDR3 RAM
Except for the Core system, all variants have a detachable and upgradeable hard drive.
12x DVD-ROM (dual layer)
Up to four wireless game controllers are supported.
USB 2.0 ports (three)
There are two memory unit slots.
As can be seen, Microsoft wants the Xbox 360 to be a real gaming machine. With the Xbox 360, the firm is also serious about reaching a wider audience. On the following page, we’ll look at Xbox 360 variants targeted at different types of gamers.
Consoles for Xbox 360
In November 2005, Microsoft introduced two versions of the Xbox 360: the Xbox 360 Premium Package and the Xbox 360 Core System. The lineup has changed a little since then. The Xbox 360 console is now known simply as the Premium Package. In April 2007, a new Elite system was released. In October 2007, Microsoft introduced another new system, the Xbox 360 Arcade.
The Core System is “plug and play,” with a wired controller and an AV cable included in addition to the console. A wireless controller, an HD AV cable, an Ethernet connecting cable, a headset, and a detachable 20-GB hard drive are included with the Xbox 360. Originally, it came with a DVD remote, however this is no longer included in the packaging.
With a black shell, matching wireless controller, and headset, the Xbox 360 Elite is similar to the standard Xbox 360. It also comes with a 120-gigabyte hard disc and an HDMI cable.
Microsoft introduced the Xbox 360 Arcade in October 2007 to compete with Nintendo’s surprise juggernaut, the Wii. The system, which is aimed at casual players, will come with between three and five Xbox LIVE Arcade titles, including “Pac-Man,” “Uno,” and “Luxor 2.”
Microsoft has also produced subtle console versions for marketing purposes. Microsoft manufactured a run of 100 limited-edition Simpsons Xbox 360s to honour the debut of “The Simpsons Movie,” which were given away in promotions. The “Halo 3” limited edition Xbox 360, which comes in “Spartan green and gold” and includes a matching controller, is available to fans of Bungie’s “Halo” game series.
The 360’s beating heart
The CPU, like any other computer, is at the heart of the Xbox 360. The 360 is equipped with a 165-million transistor multi-core processor with three 3.2-GHz PowerPC cores, according to Microsoft.
Each of the chip’s cores acts as a separate CPU. Hardware makers have recently begun to combine multiple cores, or processors, onto a single chip. This is a processor with several cores. Multi-core CPUs provide a powerful mix of computing capability and low power consumption. They parted ways.
Rather than assigning all of the work to a single super-powerful CPU, heavy workloads are distributed across numerous powerful processors.