Another day, another birthday – this time the Xbox 360. The console of choice for the FPS hardcore has had five years to evolve with a changing gaming landscape. And how it has…
Xbox 360 (2005)
Microsoft’s follow-up to its debut console had a head-start on Sony and Nintendo’s next-gen offerings. It proved a killer move: the Wii’s broader appeal would convert into mass sales and the powerhouse PS3’s Blu-ray skills would be credited with winning the format war, but the Xbox 360 already had the gaming devs and community on its side, the latter via Xbox Live, and continues to enjoy the strongest catalogue in the eyes of the gaming faithful. [read our review]
Xbox 360 HD DVD Player (2006)
Not to be outdone by the PS3’s BD drive, Microsoft trundled out this accessory for Toshiba’s rival HD format discs. But outdone it was when Blu-ray triumphed. This player was £130 when it launched, but these days you can pick one up on Amazon for £35. It even works with PCs for mass storage on a shoestring. If you can find the discs… [read our review]
Xbox 360 Elite (2007)
Although Microsoft had been improving its base console since launch with the addition of larger hard drives, HDMI, an entry-level Arcade model and wireless controllers, it was the Elite that caused early adopters to weep into their D-pads. Wearing a menacing Johnny Cash colour scheme and 120GB or 250GB HDD, it came with a premium price tag that we were all too happy to part with. [read our review]
Sky Player for Xbox (2009)
Sky Player had only previously been available to Sky’s customers, but the benefits were extended to Xbox Live Gold subscribers in 2009. Sony’s free PlayStation Network access had been irking paying Xbox Live punters for some time. Not any more.
Xbox 360 Slim (2010)
Known only as the ‘S’ by its maker, everyone else has adopted the Slim moniker for MS’s first shape change in five years. The ‘S’ might also stand for silent – it was the first Xbox to produce reasonable levels of fan noise, a fan bugbear. Its new asymetrically-sliced design bore touch-sensitive controls while revamped internals added Wi-Fi.
Xbox Kinect (2010)
It might be yonks since the Wii won plaudits for revolutionising motion control, but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft going head-to-head with PS3’s Move in the battle to end up in your Christmas stocking. The Xbox’s controller-free solution gets all the points for Minority Report coolness. Can it finally avenge the death of HD DVD? [read our review]
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