Xbox 360 Unveiled


posted 5/12/2005 by The GN Staff
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Were you jealous of the EyeToy for the PlayStation 2? Want to put yourself into the game? Fear not as there will be a camera for the Xbox 360. The Xbox Live Camera features a VGA resolution of 640x480 with video of 30 frames per second. If you want to use it like a digital camera, it will be equivalent to a 1.3-megapixel one. The included microphone will let you use the camera for video chat and video messaging. And for those that really want to be in the game, you’ll be able to use it to put your face in those games that will have that feature. Can a Dance Dance Revolution game that lets you use the camera in conjunction with the dance pad be far off for the Xbox 360?

Network Adapter

The console will be WiFi ready taking advantage of 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g networks. It won’t be access out of the box but Microsoft will market a wireless adapter, like the old Xbox. The fact sheet does state that the network adapter will support all three whereas the original Xbox had a 802.11b version and an 802.11g version. You’ll probably want to have an 802.11a network for a better experience in streaming media to your machine. My experience with 802.11g with my various Media Center machines wasn’t too bad, but since 802.11a works on a different band there’s less of a chance for interference with other wireless products. If you have an old wireless network adapter, you can still use it with the Xbox 360. But the ability to have all three standards in one package is pretty nice. I’m sure once 802.11n becomes standard and more popular, we’ll see an adapter from someone using that as well.

Universal Media Remote

I’m a big fan of Windows XP Media Center and the console’s built to take advantage of the OS. The Xbox 360’s Universal Remote will let you control the console from afar. Unlike the previous console, you’ll be able to play DVDs out of the box and use the controller to get around. But for the best way to control your Xbox 360 in a multimedia function, you’ll want the remote.

With the remote, you’ll be able to turn the console on and off; something you can’t do with the PlayStation 2. And since the console’s integrated with Media Center functionality, there’s the famous green button on the remote that’ll bring up Media Center options. You’ll also be able to program the volume, channel, and power button to operate your TV so you can truly sit back and use the remote to do the basics with your multimedia center. The remote will also be backlit so that you’ll be able to read the buttons in the dark. For those with a more complex setup, you’ll need to pick up something with more options such as a Harmony remote. But simple setups with just the TV and console will be happy with this remote.

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