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Adam Creighton, Computer and Video Gaming (Subscribe)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Recap of the Xbox 360 reveal!

OK, so I still hate the name, but I think Microsoft took all of the concepts behind my name ("Xbox Now"), and plugged them into tonight's MTV reveal.

And color me impressed. Unlike yanking the Rolling Stones to launch Windows 95, Microsoft tagged MTV, happening actor (and game nut) Elijah Wood, the Pimp My Ride guys, and suh-weet rockers The Killers.

You can now go to for a blitz of all things Xbox 360, and is now Live (yeah, it's a pun).

Immediately after the special, the good boys in green over at have posted a their own full reveal of the Xbox 360. Come on you guys -- you were holding out.

TeamXbox is still guessing a bit, but they did some sleuthing as to the product packaging mockups, and it looks like the shipping Xbox 360 in November will come with a console, 20GB removeable hard drive, one wireless controller, Media Remote (could be a promotional deal), Xbox Live, wired headset (relax; it'll be wired to the wireless controller), and an ethernet cable.

Console: Front

  • IR port. Crap! The wireless controllers are IR -- which means line-of-site. That's a screw-up, Microsoft.
  • A "connect" button for synching wireless controllers.
  • Two memory unit slots.
  • Two covered USB 2.0 ports (there's a third one on the back).
  • Customizable faceplate. I'm making one that says, "Sony". uh, just kidding, guys ... Mine'll be a medicinal hemp-like weave.

Console: Back

  • New video out (probably one cable that does component or composite)
  • Third USB 2.0 port.
  • Ethernet

Hardware: Camera

  • Interesting, a USB 2.0 camera is going to be launched shortly after the console, and will support voice and video chat.

Hardware: Controllers

  • IR wireless (yank!), but wired will also be supported for those trying to trip up the dog.
  • Lighter, smaller, and smoother than the Duke and the Controller S.
  • That synch button I mentioned earlier should be pretty useful. Take your controller over to your Xbox 360-lovin' friend, push synch, and everyone's supported.
  • The new button incorporating the new logo is the Xbox Guide button. This button'll give instant access to the Xbox Gamer Guide or Xbox System Guide when playing games, watching a movie, making Julianne Carrots, etc.
  • Built-in recharging port if you're using rechargeable AA batteries.
  • Yes, Virginia, rumble will be here for Christmas.
  • Hey, 4 wireless controllers can be supported -- can additional wired controllers be used? let's put 6 or 7 people on one Xbox!

Hardware: Headset

  • Yeah, the pack-in headset will be wired, but the system will support wireless headsets shortly after launch. Current headsets will work, but you won't have volume control (since that's currently on the Live controller jack).

Hardware: Remote

  • Cool! The Xbox 360 is gonna support universal remotes! And the pack-in is going to allow for Windows Media Center functionality, too. I can get rid of that POJ Xbox Media Center Extender.

The Ring of Light

  • So, here's a consistent theme and functionality with Xbox 360 -- the Ring of Light (get it? Elijah Wood? Frodo? One ring to rule them all? Never mind.).
  • Fully programmable, the Ring of Light is in the System Guide, on the Xbox 360 controller, and on the console face. There are four sections, and there can be one color for each player's Xbox controller (it's light red, dammit!), system alerts like friend invite or low battery (again, just to your controller), and it'll be up to game programmers to do cool and slick stuff (MySimon, anyone?).

Xbox Live

  • The 360 will ship with a "Silver" version of Xbox Live, which'll let you create a profile, Gamertag, do voice chat and messaging, get to the Xbox Live Marketplace, visit Xbox Live Arcade, etc. All games'll have to support a unified Friends list, voice chat, game invites, blah blah blah. I minimize, but this is freakin' awesome.
  • An Xbox Live "Gold" account will add online play and enhanced matchmaking options. And your current Xbox Live subscription is usable on 360 Live (though backwards compatibility on the game front is still up in the air).
  • Xbox Live 360'll show your friends playing on 360 titles, and "old" Xbox titles. And you can message back and forth!
  • Spectator mode -- finally! Get online and watch people play a new title. Find out how many griefers and whiners are online, and decide if you want the heartburn.
  • The Xbox Live Marketplace is gonna shatter micro-payments boundaries, build community, and extol the virtues of capitalism. Marx is rolling in his grave.
  • The Gamer Card -- Check out the TeamXbox summary of the new Gamer Card.


  • There'll be an Xbox Gamer Guide, and an Xbox System Guide. These are customizeable and skinnable.

Digital Media

  • Plug in a digital camera via USB and make a slideshow. Share it with your friends list.
  • Rip music and use it as a custom soundtrack for any Xbox 360 title.
  • Connect your MP3 player.
  • Use Instant Messenger


  • Video: All games will be required to support 720p and 1080i and 16:9.
  • Audio: All games will be required to support 5.1 audio.

What's out

  • DVR functionality.
  • DVD burner.

You can head over to's Xbox site, and get a ton of info: Specs, the "green carpet" recap (whatever; if I'm not there, I don't care), and all of the next-gen trailers. Of particular note on the trailer front:

  • Sega's Full Auto is new to me, and looks like Crazy Taxi 3 + Twisted Metal, and horror/suspense/CSI-next-step Condemned looks absolutely amazing.
  • Saint's Row was also new to me, and though it looks slick, I think it looks like Grand Theft Auto, 25-to-Life, and Max Payne's constipation grimace got stuck in a blender.
  • The Darkness. Are you kidding me? Freaking awesome comic from Top Cow that is looking very slick in the trailer -- no gameplay, yet, but this is being done by Starbreeze Studios -- the genius studio behind The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.
  • Tom Clancey's Ghost Recon 3 looks amazing. The clip is too short, but the hinted at gameplay? Fuggedaboudit!
  • Kameo: Elements of Power looks to put Rare back on the map after their aquisition by Microsoft (though not as much as Perfect Dark: Zero -- now in an FPS!).
  • Project Gotham 3? Let me go out on a limb and say that it'll be better than first party Project Gotham 2. And first-party Forza Motorsport.
  • Oh, and a little ditty called Quake 4 may just leap frog Doom 3 + Halo 2 + Half-Life 2 ...
  • ... And'll either be neckin' with or kissing the rump of the Unreal Engine 3 powered Gears of War.

    Oh, this holiday is going to rock me like a hurricane ...

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