The Xbox is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Microsoft. It was released on November 15, 2001 in North America, February 22, 2002 in Japan, and March 14, 2002 in Australia and Europe. It was Microsoft’s first foray into the gaming console market, and competed with Sony’s PlayStation 2, Sega’s Dreamcast, and Nintendo’s GameCube. The integrated Xbox Live service launched in November 2002 allowed players to play games online.
The Xbox controller features two analog sticks, a pressure sensitive directional pad, two analog triggers, a Back button, a Start button, two accessory slots and six 8-bit analog action buttons (A/Green, B/Red, X/Blue, Y/Yellow, and Black and White buttons). The Xbox runs a custom operating system which was once believed to be a modified version of the Windows 2000 kernel. It exposes APIs similar to APIs found in Microsoft Windows, such as DirectX 8.1. The system software may have been based on the Windows NT architecture that powered Windows 2000; it is not a modified version of either.
The user interface for the Xbox is called the Xbox Dashboard. It features a media player that can be used to play music CDs, rip CDs to the Xbox’s built-in hard drive and play music that has been ripped to the hard drive; it also let users manage game saves, music, and downloaded content from Xbox LIVE, and lets Xbox LIVE users sign in and manage their account.
The Xbox was discontinued in late 2005 in Japan, late 2006 in Europe and early 2007 in North America due to the suspend production of Xbox GPU from Nvidia. The last Xbox game was Madden NFL 09, released in August 2008. Support for out-of-warranty Xbox consoles was discontinued on March 2, 2009; any in-warranty repair now needed will not be undertaken and faulty consoles will be replaced with an Xbox 360 instead. Xbox Live support was discontinued on April 15, 2010.
About Xbox 360
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. As of September 30, 2011, 57.6 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold worldwide.
Several major features of the Xbox 360 are its integrated Xbox Live service that allows players to compete online, download arcade games, game demos, trailers, TV shows, music and movies and its Windows Media Center multimedia capabilities. The Xbox 360 also offers region specific access to third-party media streaming services such as Netflix and ESPN in the US or Sky Go in the UK.
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