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Xbox 360 Features List

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Note: This article was published in 2005 about the original "fat" model Xbox 360.

Ring of Light and Xbox Guide Button – The ring of light is the power button and it is divided into four quadrants that can display a number of different colors depending on what is going on. We’re not entirely sure what all the ring of light can do at this point, however. The Xbox Guide button is prominently featured on the controller as well as the Xbox 360 remote and allows you to instantly access information on person who just challenged you on Xbox Live or you can jump right to where you can find downloadable content for a game you are currently playing. The Xbox Guide button will also allow you to turn the Xbox 360 system on and off from the comfort of your couch – Now that is a great idea that is long overdue.

Xbox Live – There will be two types of Xbox Live for the Xbox 360. The Silver version is free and it allows you to access the Xbox Live Marketplace as well as communicate with your friends using voice chat. You cannot, however, play games online. With the Gold version of Xbox Live, you get all of the possible features and, most importantly, you can play games online. Your achievements and statistics will be archived so you can check them whenever you want and you will also be able to use video chat and video messaging. Microsoft has announced that all new Xbox 360 owners will get Gold Service for the first month and then after that the pricing will be similar to Xbox Live on the current Xbox.

Xbox Live Marketplace – The marketplace is an area where you will be able to download game demos and trailers as well as new content for games such as new levels, characters, vehicles, weapons, and much more. Some things will be free but you will have to pay for some premium content.

Digital Entertainment – The Xbox 360 will once again allow you to rip your music to the hard drive to use during games, but it will also stream music off of any MP3 player that you plug into the USB 2.0 ports (which includes the Sony PSP …). You can also upload your photos to the hard drive and share them with your friends on Xbox Live. The Xbox 360 will also play DVD movies, but unlike the original Xbox, the Xbox 360 can display them in progressive scan. At this point, it also seems like DVD playback will be available out of the box and will not require the purchase of an extra remote or anything like that which is definitely an improvement.

Personalize your console – With the interchangeable faces of the system itself, you can change the color of your system however and whenever you want by simply snapping on a new face. Realistically, you won’t even actually have to buy new faces because you could simply paint the stock face yourself but it is guaranteed that Microsoft will roll out a line of limited edition and collectible faces to lure people in. You will also be able to customize the look and feel of the Xbox Guide browser on the system which we suspect will be similar to changing themes in Windows on your PC. Customization is always a good thing and while these features don’t really mean anything in the long run, they are certainly nice to have.

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