Xbox 360 is go

The 360's been officially launched. Here's everything you need to know - from hi-def games and the "greatest game lineup in history" to Media Centre functionality, tonnes of new Xbox Live features and the 360's incredible hardware

You'll be able to buy your own Xbox 360 in the UK before Christmas. In the meantime, here's everything you need to know on the world's most most advanced console.

The games

- the 360 will have "the greatest game lineup in the history of video games" according to Microsoft

- all the games will be optimised for hi-def - including UK ones

- launch titles include Call of Duty 2, Quake 4, Project Gotham 3 and Ghost Recon 3

- though there's no mention of Halo 3, Microsoft are promising exclusive games from Rare, Biowave and Bungie. So Halo 3's coming. Just probably not at launch.

The hardware

- customised stickers for the console's front panel

- three 3.2GHz IBM processors

- wireless controllers

- an ATI graphics card

- 512MB RAM

- 2 USB 2.0 ports for connecting up mass storage MP3 players and digital cameras

- progressive scan output

- a detachable 20GB hard drive

- built-in Wi-Fi

- 2 memory card slots

- Xbox Live USB camera

Xbox Live

- two versions - Silver and Gold

- If you go for Silver, you won't have to pay a subscription, but won't be able to play multiplayer games. You will, however, be able to access the 'Xbox Live Marketplace' where you'll be able to download demos, trailers, maps and a whole multitude of game content.

- If you go Gold, you'll pay a sub and be able to play friends online - much like today. You'll also be able to use the Xbox Live Camera, a USB camera that'll allow you to send video messages and see friends while playing games.

- Everyone with a Gamertag will get a a Gamer Profile, which'll include new info such as your style of play.

Beyond games

- Media Centre Extender is built into the Xbox, meaning you'll be able to stream recorded TV, photos, music and vids from Media Centre PCs elsewhere in your house

- Game invites will interupt music and movies so you can automatically switch to a game

- It'll playback high def WMV streamed from other PCs. Microsoft also hints at the prospect of web streaming hi-def vids directly to the Xbox in the future.

Overwhelmed? Couldn't care less? Let us know what you think of the Xbox 360.