MICROSOFT XBOX 360

Quantity of Kits:4

  • Can only be checked out by Interactive Game and Development (ITGM) Students enrolled in Montgomery Hall classes with permission from the ITGM Department Chair.
  • 5 hour check-out limit

(1) Console
---(1) or (2) Wireless Controllers
(1) Case
(1) Power Cord
(1) AV Cable
(1) AC Brick
(1) Manual

May or may not also contain:

(1) Hard Drive
(1) Component HD AV Cable
(1) Audio Adapter
(1) Xbox Live Headset
(1) Ethernet Cable
(1) HDMI Cable

The Xbox 360 is the second video game console produced by Microsoft, and the successor to the Xbox. The Xbox 360 competes with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.

A prominent feature of the Xbox 360 is its integrated Xbox Live service that allows players to compete online and download content such as arcade games, game demos, trailers, TV shows, and movies. Major features of the console include its Windows Media Center multimedia capabilities, mandatory support of high definition in all games, movie rentals and game downloads from its online marketplace and the ability to watch HD DVD movies with an add-on drive.

The Xbox 360 was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information divulged later that month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The console sold out completely upon release in all regions except in Japan, and, as of January 5, 2009, 28 million units have been sold worldwide, according to Microsoft.The Xbox 360 is currently available in three configurations: the "Arcade," the "Pro," and the "Elite" console, each with its own selection of accessories.

Hardware

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 drive unit can be attached in sizes of either 20, 60 (August 2008 onward) or 120 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.

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 cards, and three sizes of hard drives (120GB, 60GB, and 20GB), among other items, all of which are styled to match the console.

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. 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.

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. The latest Dashboard update, revision 2.0.7371.0, was made available on April 2, 2009.

At E3 2008, at Microsoft's Show, Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg and Marc Whitten announced the new look Xbox 360 called the "New Xbox Experience." The idea of the update was to make navigation of the console easier. The GUI uses the Twist UI (used in Windows Media Center, Zune). The original "Blade" interface is still used in the new Xbox Guide. The new guide allows you to do everything you could do from the Dashboard itself, whether it's ejecting a disk or browsing the Marketplace.

As well as a GUI update, the NXE provided many new features. Firstly, the update offers the ability to install games from disc to the hard drive, reducing load times and disc drive noise, however, the game's disc must remain in the system in order to run. A new Community system is also built in, allowing the creation of digitalized Avatars. These Avatars can then 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, this was the first update to require a storage device. The update requires at least a 128 MB memory card or a hard drive.

The Xbox 360 supports videos in .wmv-format, as well as high-definition .wmv-videos, H.264, MPEG-4, and PlaysForSure WMV videos. 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, 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).

In the UK the Xbox 360 will be enabled to download and display BT Vision video content.