Xbox 360 Unveiled, Due For Christmas ! (Full Version)

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SiliconFreak -> Xbox 360 Unveiled, Due For Christmas ! (5/14/2005 6:02:32 AM)

Newfound media capabilities, wireless controllers, built-in Xbox Live and a star-studded line-up of major titles, all in time for Christmas: meet the Xbox 360.
Beating Sony and Nintendo to the unveiling of the next-generation consoles from gaming's arch nemeses, Microsoft has lifted the veil on the successor to the wildly popular Xbox, to be dubbed the Xbox 360. Due out in time for Christmas, the 360 improves vastly on the graphics capabilities of its predecessor, whilst adding new media functionality, wireless controllers and integrated Xbox Live.

To offer a degree of personalization with interchangeable face plates, the all-white and concave 360 was designed for use with high-definition, wide-screen televisions yet remains compatible with older, 4:3 sets. Fitted with a 20 GB exchangeable, upgradeable hard drive, the Xbox 360 boasts a 12x dual layer DVD-ROM drive and wireless controllers, of which one will come bundled in the sales package. Users will then be able to purchase up to three additional controllers, as well as accessories including a digital camera and Wi-Fi adapter.

Based around three symmetrical cores running at 3.2 GHz with 1 MB of Level 2 cache, Microsoft lists the Xbox 360 as being able to perform 48 Billion shader operations per second. Coupled with a 500 MHz ATI graphics processor with 10 MB of embedded DRAM, the 360 also boasts a rate of 500 million triangles per second, joining 512 MB of DDR3 RAM operating at 700 Mhz for a total claimed performance of approximately a Teraflop.

Audio output capabilities have also been improved over the original Xbox, with the 360 offering multichannel, 16-bit surround sound output at 48 KHz. Other in/out options include three USB 2.0 ports allow streaming of media from digital cameras, portable audio players and other USB storage enabled devices by the 360. Additionally, the unit also offers two memory unit slots with cards now starting at 64 MB capacities.

Networking is comprehensive in the Xbox 360, which offers an integrated Ethernet port and is also Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g ready should users want to add wireless connectivity through accessories purchased either from Microsoft or other manufacturers. Either wired or wireless connections can be used to stream media from Windows XP PCs, and the console is also equipped with Microsoft's Media Extender platform, which links up with Media Center PCs to further improve media capabilities.

In addition, the Xbox 360 can also rip audio directly from CDs or DVDs to its hard disk, allowing users to create custom playlists for every game or alternatively settle for full-screen 3D visualizers.

With High Definition a key aspect of the Xbox 360, a number of high-profile titles supporting 720p and 1080i resolutions are being prepared for the launch of the unit including 2K Sports' "NBA 2K6"; Activision Publishing's "Call of Duty 2" and "Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland", along with id Software's "QUAKE 4"; Electronic Arts' "Madden NFL 06," "Need for Speed Most Wanted" and "Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 06"; Majesco Entertainment's "The Darkness"; Microsoft Game Studios' "Perfect Dark: Zero," "Kameo: Elements of Power," "Project Gotham Racing 3" and "Gears of War"; THQ's "Saint's Row"; and Ubisoft Entertainment's "Ghost Recon 3."

Tearing down the separation between the Xbox and its Live online multiplayer service, the Xbox 360 comes with integrated Xbox Live Silver access, enabling online multiplayer sessions with improved functionality. Players can set up and manage their Gamer Profile; audio chat; send and receive text and voice messages; and access the Xbox Live Marketplace to download demos and trailers along with new game levels, maps, weapons, vehicles, skins, classic arcade and card and board games, community-created content, and more to the detachable Xbox 360 hard drive.

Composed of user-generated information such as Achievements (rewards players have earned in games), Gamerzone (style of play), and a custom-created Gamertile (a visual icon to represent the gamer online), the Gamer Profile provides a foundation for intelligent matchmaking, a feature only found in the Xbox Live Gold service.

Available for an added monthly subscription fee, the Xbox Live Gold intelligent matchmaking feature lets players of similar skill levels and interests connect. Also with Live Gold, gamers in possession of the Xbox Live Camera peripheral will be able to video chat and leave video messages, whilst other upgrades include online tournaments and ladders; original programming such as playing with celebrities online and joining sponsored tournaments to win prizes.

Source : InfoSyncWorld


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