The Xbox 360 is the second Video game console from Microsoft and the first seventh-generation console. Releasing mere weeks apart, the 360 was given a near simultaneous launch for North America (November 22, 2005), Europe (December 2, 2005), and Japan (December 10, 2005).
Xbox 360 Price
The Pro package is currently $249.99 and comes with a detachable 60-GB hard-drive, a wireless controller, faceplate, headset, a component HD AV cable, an Ethernet cable, power cord, and for a limited time, a remote controller. The Pro package is soon to discontinue, leaving the other two models on the market.
The 360 Arcade is $199.99 and includes a wireless controller and 256 MB memory card.
The 360 Elite is $299.99 and includes a black Xbox 360, black controller, black headset, 120GB hardrive and more.
Being a video game console, the Xbox 360 has its ups and downs. The main downside to the hardware is the Red Ring of Death. This is caused by problems such as overheating. The failure rate for the Xbox 360 was moderately high. Other hardware problems include disk grinding--this was a result of Microsoft not putting a protective buffer in the disk drive, claiming that as long as the owner doesn't move the console, he/she is fine.
Press conference summary
"Let's talk about VelocityGirl. We all know someone like her. She might pick up a controller every once in a while over at a friend's house but really gaming is not a central part of her existence.
It's an important question that we've struggled with in this industry for the last 20 years; how do we get the VelocityGirls of the world reconnected to our industry and back into the games.
But maybe most exciting, the Marketplace is going to be a way to get VelocityGirl reengaged with our market and reengaged with games. Because on the Marketplace, she's going to be an active member of the community, the community of people that play games like Tony Hawk.
Now, she might never pick up a controller, never take a run in the halfpipe but she'll be able to design and sell stickers, shirts, boards, sound tracks and even design her own skate park for those hardcore gamers like Striker."[The hardcore gamer mentioned earlier in the press conference]
According to IGN this is the launch list
- Amped 3 - (2K Sports)
- Call of Duty 2 - (Activision)
- Condemned: Criminal Origins - (SEGA)
- 2006 FIFA World Cup - (Electronic Arts)
- Gun (Activision)
- Kameo: Elements of Power - (Microsoft Game Studios)
- Madden NFL 2006 - (Electronic Arts)
- NBA 2K6 - (2K Sports)
- NBA Live 06 - (Electronic Arts)
- Need for Speed: Most Wanted - (Electronic Arts)
- NHL 2K6 - (2K Sports)
- Perfect Dark Zero - (Microsoft Game Studios)
- Peter Jackson's King Kong - (Ubisoft)
- Project Gotham Racing 3 - (Microsoft Game Studios)
- Ridge Racer 6 - (Namco)
- Tony Hawk's American Wasteland - (Activision)
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 - (Electronic Arts)
- Quake 4 - (Activision)
A side-by-side comparison between Xbox 360 and PS3 can be seen here: 
According to the official Xbox website, the final specifications of the system are:
Custom IBM PowerPC-based CPU "Xenon"
- Three symmetrical cores running at 3.2 GHz
- Two hardware threads per core; six total
- VMX-128 vector unit per core; three total
- 128 VMX-128 registers per hardware thread
- 1MB L2 cache (Lockable by Graphics Processor)
Custom ATI C1 Based GPU "Xenos"
- 337 Million transistors total
- 500 MHz parent GPU (90 nm process, 232 Million Transistors)
- 10 MB daughter eDRAM Framebuffer (90 nm process, 105 Million Transistors)
- 256 GB/s internal memory bandwidth to internal logic for AA, 32GB/s to parent GPU (2 GHz x 64bit Bus)
- 48-way parallel floating-point dynamically-scheduled shader pipelines (ALU's for Vertex or Pixel Shader processing)
- Unified shader architecture (This means that the pipelines are shared between pixel pipelines and vertex shaders; for example, 42 pixel pipelines : 6 vertex shaders.)
- 16 Filtered & 16 Unfiltered Texture samples per clock
- Polygon Performance: 500 million triangles per second
- Pixel Fill Rate: 16 gigasamples per second fillrate using 4X MSAA
- Shader Performance: 48 billion shader operations per second (96 billion shader operations per second theoretical maximum)
- Dot product operations: 9 billion per second (Microsoft figure)
- 512 MB 700 MHz GDDR-3 RAM (unified memory architecture)
- Memory Bandwidth
- 22.4 GB/s memory interface bus bandwidth
- 256 GB/s eDRAM internal memory bandwidth
- 32 GB/s GPU to eDRAM bandwidth
- 21.6 GB/s frontside bus
Overall System Floating-Point Performance
- 1 TFLOPS
- Multichannel surround sound output
- Supports 48khz 16-bit audio
- 320 independent decompression channels
- 32 bit processing
- 256+ audio channels
ControllerThe Xbox 360 has the ability to support four wireless controllers. Additionally it can support three wired controllers through the use of its USB ports (two in front, one in back). The wired controller cords are nine feet in length and are breakaway similar to those used with the Xbox.
The controller for the Xbox 360 is a similar yet improved version of the Type-S gamepad for the original Xbox. The Xbox 360 controller adds the new feature of the Xbox guide button, which has the appearance of the Xbox 360 emblem and is surrounded by a ring of light. Pressing the Xbox guide button will bring the Xbox 360 out of sleep mode or instantly bring up the "Xbox Guide". The ring of light lights up to designate what controller "port" the gamepad is currently using and which console (if more than one) the controller is connected to. The black and white buttons have been redesigned as shoulder buttons, now referred to as bumper buttons, located above the left and right triggers. The rear of the controller has been redesigned to include a new port where the player can connect a headset. The new port replaces the two non-standard USB connectors on the front of the Xbox controller.
The Xbox Guide is a tabbed interface that contains several features such as:
- Xbox Live
- Favorites List
- Custom Playlists
- Friends Lists
- and more
Physical Dimensions and Weight
- The Xbox 360 weights 7.7 pounds or 3.62 kg
- 309mm wide x 83mm high x 258mm deep
- 12.15" wide x 3.27" high x 10.15" deep
- Support for WMV HD DVD Video, Standard DVD-video, DVD-Rom, DVD-R/RW, CD-DA, CD-Rom, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, JPEG photo CD
- Media Center Extender capability
- All games support a 16:9 aspect ratio and 720p, 1080i, and 1080p video modes
- Standard-definition and high-definition video output supported
- At least 4x Anti-Aliasing will be enabled at all times
- Customizable face plates to change appearance
- 3 USB 2.0 ports
- Support for 4 wireless controllers
- Detachable 20, 60, or 120 GB hard drives
- Wi-Fi ready (802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g), using an Xbox 360-specific or third-party wireless bridge accessory. Xbox 360 consoles will automatically detect and link with other Xbox 360 consoles within range.