Welcome to the FAQ section where we hope to answer some common questions regarding the Xbox and Xbox 360
- Xbox 360
Aside from gaming, what sort of multimedia capabilities does the system offer?
Xbox 360 offers a wide range of multimedia features, letting you instantly stream digital media stored on your portable music player, digital camera, Windows PC running Media Center, or any Microsoft Windows XP-based PC directly to your Xbox 360. Xbox 360 is the best way to:
- Enjoy music: Play all music from any of the popular CD music formats, store up to 15,000 songs on the 20GB hard drive, and stream the music stored on your PC and portable music players.
- Browse images: Plug in your digital camera, portable storage device, or PC and instantly access your latest and greatest shots.
- Experience high-definition: Stream high-def movies and TV directly from your Media Center PC.
- Mix your media: Listen to your own music while you play games. Create a slideshow to your own songs and share it with friends via the best TV and speakers in the house. Or bring down the house by experimenting with the interactive visualisers built into every Xbox 360.
Can you tell gamers more about the wireless capabilities of the console and peripherals?
Xbox 360 connects automatically with up to four Xbox 360 Wireless Controllers, with an impressive range of up to 30 feet. Multiple consoles and upwards of 20 controllers won't interfere with each other-gamers can organize LAN parties with ease. The Xbox 360 Wireless Networking Adaptor makes connecting to Xbox Live a snap, with support for the most popular wireless frequencies.
What's the voice headset like? Can I use my current Xbox Communicator, too?
We've eliminated the "puck" on the original Xbox controller, so your Xbox Live headset now plugs directly into your Xbox 360 controller. You can use your original Xbox Communicator headset, but you won't have direct volume control or mute capability.
Do the controllers have vibration?
Yes, each controller features vibration feedback. You can set the vibration to Full, Medium, Low, or Off to match your personal preference.
How will the system's game-development benefits affect the gaming public? Will this affect game capabilities and development time?
From Call of Duty 2 to Perfect Dark Zero to Kameo: Elements of Power to Madden NFL 2006 to Gears of War to Blue Dragon to Project Gotham Racing 3, Xbox 360 will have the greatest games line-up ever in part because we've put the most powerful and programmable next-generation system into the hands of the world's greatest game designers. In designing Xbox 360, we created a complete development platform that harmonizes powerful hardware, powerful software tools, and the awesome power of the Xbox Live online games network. This complete platform lets developers focus on creating games rather than wrestling with technology.
Aside from the high-definition graphics, what new functionality does Xbox 360 hardware bring to games?
Beyond the jaw-dropping graphics, gamers can expect cutting-edge game play, astounding audio fidelity, a leap forward in online communications, an abundance of on-demand content to enhance their entertainment experience, and much more. Explore the links below for more information.
What are the Xbox 360 exclusive games on the way?
Microsoft Game Studios is bringing Perfect Dark Zero, Kameo, and Project Gotham Racing 3 to Xbox 360 this holiday. Also exclusive to Xbox 360 is Call of Duty 2 from Activision, Inc., and QUAKE 4, which they developed with id Software. You'll also see Dead or Alive 4 from Tecmo and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from Bethesda Softworks/2K Games, among many others.
What is the most innovative new game (or feature) on Xbox 360?
There are way too many new features and games to choose just one. Check out our console page and the Xbox 360 titles in our games catalogue.
With last November's Halo 2 and upcoming QUAKE 4, Gears of War, and Perfect Dark Zero, there seems to be a big emphasis on shooters lately. What can you tell us about next-gen development in other areas, like role-playing games, fighters, platformers, sports titles, etc.?
With more than 200 Xbox 360 games in development from a wide range of companies like Electronic Arts, Activision, and Microsoft Game Studios, there's a variety of games for every enthusiast. For example, role-playing and action fans will enjoy The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Kameo: Elements of Power, sports and racing fans will like Top Spin 2 and PGR 3, and fighter fans will drool over Dead or Alive 4. 2005 alone will see more than 25 games hitting Xbox 360, and, while shooter fans will find much to love, there's something for everyone. Plus, every Xbox 360 provides a portal into the world of Xbox Live Arcade, where everyone can enjoy their favourite retro titles-without the hassle of quarters or waiting in line.
We've heard very little about the gamer party favourite: system link and LAN parties. With all the wireless talk going around, what do you see in the future of LAN parties?
Your Xbox 360 console will seamlessly integrate with your friends' Xbox 360 consoles and wireless accessories for clutter-free LAN parties the likes of which have never been seen before. Consider the 30-foot range on the controllers and the trouble-free plug-and-play (or unplug-and-play as the case may be) capability of all the Xbox 360 accessories. And with the sleek design of the console, Xbox 360 travels with ease.
How will Xbox 360 change online gaming? What's coming to Xbox Live?
The next generation of Xbox Live will revolutionize the global Xbox community. There are way too many upgrades and new features to list them all. A few of the major changes include Xbox Live Silver, a new free level of service; and Xbox Live Marketplace, a one-stop shop where gamers can acquire hot new content for their favourite games and access free trials, demos, and much more using the new Microsoft Points system. Xbox Live Gold members will also be able to use a brand new matchmaking system called TrueSkill Matchmaking which lets them challenge others of a similar skill level.
Can I use my existing Xbox Live account on the new system?
Yes. Current Xbox Live subscribers will be able to seamlessly activate their account on Xbox 360. It's a ubiquitous service across both Xbox and Xbox 360.
Let's say I just purchased an Xbox 360 and brought it home. Will I have access to Xbox Live right out of the box? What's free and what do I have to pay for?
The Xbox Live Silver Membership is free to all Xbox 360 owners, and includes access to the Xbox Live Marketplace where you can download demos, trailers, and more. Plus you'll get access to voice chat and voice messaging. For a monthly fee gamers can upgrade to the Xbox Live Gold Membership which includes multiplayer gaming, video chat (coming soon), and more.
Tell me more about Xbox Live Marketplace. I don't understand how this differs from the current range of Xbox Live services, as you can currently download and buy content.
Xbox Live Marketplace will be your central portal to a huge variety of demos, trailers, game downloads, and even user-created content. Access to Xbox Live Marketplace will be very convenient through the Xbox Guide button (on both controllers and the Universal Media Remote).
What other new online gaming features are available?
Again, there are too many to list. Some of the big ones are spectator mode, which, in games with it enabled, will let you watch your friends play; video chat (coming soon); and voice commands.
Will I be able to contact my friends through the phone or MSN Messenger with Xbox Live?
At this time no plans have been announced regarding such a feature.
What can I do with a Windows Media Center PC and Xbox 360? How does that work?
Every Xbox 360 also works as a Media Center Extender-which means you'll be able to access recorded TV (including high-definition shows) and digital movies (including high-definition films), music, video, and photos stored on Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PCs through any Xbox 360. What's more, you can stay connected to Xbox Live and still receive game invites and messages from your friends while watching your favourite TV shows or movies.
What is the DVD format?
Xbox 360 supports 12X dual-layer DVD-ROMs, playing progressive-scan DVD movies right out of the box. Here's the full list of supported optical media formats: DVD-ROM, DVD Video, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-R, CD-RW, and CD-Extra.
We hear a lot about the "HD Era" and how it's going to revolutionize gaming on Xbox 360. What tangible aspects of this will gamers experience with launch this holiday season?
The HD Era of games is about more than just more powerful pixels. It's about entertainment experiences that are always connected, always personalised, and always in high definition. We will see a shift towards more immersive and integrated consumer experiences, illustrated by a powerful leap to hi-definition graphics, where character movements and expressions are intensely vibrant and highly believable; multi-channel, powerful positional audio fidelity so clear and precise that players will hear the faintest enemy footsteps sneaking up from behind; richer online communications; and an abundance of on-demand content for game consoles.
Why should I buy an Xbox 360?
Xbox 360 is a major improvement on the original Xbox including a brand new sleek design and new easy to use interface. Xbox 360 gives you access to the games you want to play, the people you want to play with, and the experiences you crave-when and where you want them.
What types of Xbox 360 package are available?
The Xbox 360 is available in two main types, the first is the Xbox 360 System this is the best value package containing the console, 20GB Hard Drive, Wireless Controller, Face Plate, Head Set, Component HD-AV Cable, Xbox Live Silver Membership, Ethernet Cable and limited edition Xbox 360 Media Remote.
The second type of package available is the Xbox 360 Core contains a console, wired controller, Face Plate, standard AV Cable and Ethernet Cable.
Why are there two different systems?
We wanted to give people the opportunity to purchase what they value most. If a hard drive is important to you, you can have one. If you don't feel like you need one, then you don't have to pay for it. And if you decide you want one later, you can always add one.
Will I be able to use Xbox Live if I don't have a hard drive?
You won't need a hard drive to enjoy all the benefits of Xbox Live Silver and Gold with the Core System, but you will at least need a Memory Unit (MU) in order to save your Gamer Profile. If you plan on downloading a lot of content (vehicles, maps, game trailers, demos, etc) you'll want to get a hard drive.
Will I be able to download content from Xbox Live without a hard drive?
Yes, with the 64MB MU you will be able to download content. However, gamers that choose to download lots of content will want to get a hard drive for capacity and flexibility.
Why doesn't the Core System come with HDTV cables standard? I thought this was the HD generation?
Not everyone has a high-definition (HD) TV yet. And those people shouldn't have to pay for it until they're ready. Once they do get an HDTV, then they can purchase the appropriate cable as an accessory.
What comes with the Xbox 360?
Xbox 360 is for gamers who want the ultimate digital entertainment thrill ride (and the best value) right out of the box. This premium edition - distinguished by signature metallic detailing on the console itself - comes fully loaded with all the features of the Core System plus: Wireless Controller Xbox 360 Headset, Detachable Hard Drive (for storing music, video and games, and more), Ethernet Cable, Component HD AV Cable, Bonus Media Remote (for a limited time only).
What comes with the Xbox 360 Core System?
The Xbox 360 Core System comes standard with what consumers need to jump right into next generation games and media and is fully expandable to the complete Xbox 360 experience. With the Core System consumers will get Xbox features including progressive scan DVD, CD and MP3 Playback out of the box, an Xbox 360 Wired Controller, the ability to connect to Xbox Live, and an S-Video cable / SCART Cable.
Why offer the Xbox 360 Core package?
The Xbox 360 game system is a no compromises system, the core system was introduced to the non-hard core gaming market, with the premium bundle aimed at the hard core gamer.
What accessories are available for Xbox 360?
There are many of these available, here is a list of some of them. Xbox 360 Hard Drive (20GB), Xbox 360 Memory Unit, Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 Play and Charge Kit, Xbox 360 Rechargeable Battery Pack, Xbox 360 Wireless Networking Adapter, Xbox 360 Headset, Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote, Xbox 360 Media Remote, Xbox 360 S-Video AV Cable (U.S. only), SCART AV Cable (Europe only), Xbox 360 VGA HD AV Cable and Xbox 360 Faceplates.
Why is the Xbox 360 Media Remote only offered with the Xbox 360 for a limited time?
Holiday units of Xbox 360 (not Xbox 360 Core System) will ship with a bonus media remote while supplies last. This remote is a non-retail smaller version of the Universal Media Remote that will be sold ongoing at retail as an accessory.
Why is a Xbox 360 Media Remote included with the Xbox 360?
The bonus media remote promotes that the Xbox 360 platform is about more than video games - it's about gaming, movies, music, photos and more right out of the box. Also, it includes the Media Center PC button, an important feature that enables Media Center PC users instant access to their digital content stored on their PC, and promotes important digital lifestyle features of the Xbox 360 platform.
Why is the hard drive an optional component for the Xbox 360 Core System?
We want to expand the Xbox experience to different audiences. By offering choice to consumers we allow consumers the flexibility to enter the immersive, high definition world of Xbox 360 gaming and build toward the complete Xbox 360 entertainment experience. Xbox 360 Hard Drive is a 20-gigabyte detachable hard drive that allows gamers to easily transport their saved games, downloadable content including music, downloaded trailers, levels demos and community created content from Xbox Live Marketplace. In addition, Xbox 360 is built for the future and can evolve to expand into new multimedia entertainment scenarios.
What exactly comes on the hard drive?
The hard drive will include an array of content including music tracks, skins, gamer pictures, videos, and more.
Is a larger capacity hard drives such as a 40 GB going to be released in the future?
We're not announcing any larger hard drives today. That said, Xbox 360 is built for the future and can evolve to expand into new multimedia entertainment scenarios. With all of the great downloadable content that will be available on Xbox Live, we want to leave room for the gamers to ultimately decide.
How will the hard drive be utilised for the Xbox 360?
Just like in the previous generation, utilisation of things like Xbox Live and the Hard Drive will be up to the game designers, game developers have also been informed that some scenarios will include a disconnected hard drive.
Will the Xbox 360 use the hard drive for game saves and caching like the original Xbox?
Yes. Game designers will have all kinds of innovative ideas that the hard drive will be used for. Use of the hard drive is not just limited to game scenarios. Like the original Xbox you will be able to do things like rip and store music, plus Xbox Live scenarios and downloadable content.
Why is the hard drive so highly priced?
The 20GB hard drive is a 2.5 Inch user removable drive and is more expensive than a PC drive. This is one of the reasons for the premium bundle. It is also designed for the hard core gaming audience to make it easier to take game saves, game maps, and soundtracks to a friend's house or LAN party. Also the ability to upgrade to larger capacity drives, and if the drive is not present the console should still be able to be used for games.
Will the loss of a hard drive in all the packages mean that all games will be made without the hard drive in mind, therefore effecting users of the premium pack?
A: No, in the previous generation 20% of game consoles had hard drives attached this did not deter game developers from utilising the hard drive both for exclusive games and cross platform games on Xbox. This generation the first party team and exclusive content developers are just as committed to using the hard drive.
Will the hard drive speed up load times?
Speeding up load times is one of the things that a hard drive can be used for, but it is really up to the developer, developers have been working on making games load efficiently without a hard drive present. The reason a dual layer 12x DVD is in the system was to make sure there was great performance with or without a hard drive. Performance of the optical format was a major consideration when choosing the format for the Xbox 360 to use.
When will the Xbox 360 be released?
The Xbox 360 should be released in Europe, Japan and North America at the same time in November 2005.
Can I play DVDs on the Xbox 360?
Yes! Xbox 360 can play DVDs and is a progressive scan DVD player so DVDs will look as good, plus up-scaling to High Definition may be possible but has not been confirmed. The remote control is not required but this allows access to regular DVD controls plus Media Center features for the built in Media Center Extender.
What is the Xbox 360 Guide?
This is the user interface for the Xbox 360 it can be accessed at any time by pressing the guide button on the controllers which is a new button - it is the large Xbox 360 logo button. The guide contains various "blades" where all the features of the console can be accessed. Blades include Xbox Live for gaming, messages and friends. Xbox Live Marketplace for downloading and purchasing new content such as maps and themes for the Guide. The Games blade includes information about played games plus small games such as Black Jack and Texas Hold'em. The Media blade is where you can find music, video or Picture slideshows and Media Center extender. The System blade allows configuration of the Xbox 360 console.
Can I make custom soundtracks for my Xbox 360 games?
Yes! All Xbox 360 games support custom soundtracks music can be stored on the 20GB hard drive which is included with the console, or streamed from a music device like iPod, PSP, Zune and others when plugged into one of the two USB ports on the front of the console.
Why do I need a memory card if the Xbox 360 has a hard drive included?
The hard drive for the Xbox 360 is removable so can be used on another person's Xbox 360 however it is not as small or as portable as a memory card which can be kept on a key chain. The Memory card slots into one of the two Memory Card slots on the front of the console.
Can I use my Xbox 360 with my computer?
Some interaction is possible for example you can play some games online with PC owners - Final Fantasy XI will allow Xbox 360 and PC players to play together. Also the console can be connected via a network to a Windows XP Professional or Media Center PC to allow streamed content, the latter has the Xbox 360 providing full Media Center access via the built in Extender functionality.
Can the Xbox 360 hook up to a computer monitor?
Yes! The Xbox 360 can be connected to Computer Monitors as well as standard televisions plus support for 720p, 1080i and 1080p High Definition televisions. The VGA Video cable will allow connection to most monitors, more information about cables below.
What AV cables are available for the Xbox 360?
- HD Video AV Cable - Will be in the box with the console includes the YPbPr (Green, Blue and Pink) High Definition component connectors, plus the standard RGB cables (Red, White and Yellow), gold plated connectors, stereo audio output and Digital Audio output for connection to surround sound equipment using an optical cable (not supplied).
- S-Video AV Cable - Composite standard definition outputs and S-Video High Definition / Standard Definition outputs, stereo audio output and Digital Audio output for connection to surround sound equipment using an optical cable (not supplied).
- VGA Video Cable - Standard VGA connector for 480p, 720p, 1080i or 1080p output for connection to flat-panels with VGA port and gold plated stereo connectors.
The above listed cables are the announced First-party or official cables. Owners of High Definition televisions with DVI or HDMI digital connections will want a cable with these connections. DVI/HDMI cables have not yet been announced, however third party DVI/HDMI cables are not unlikely.
Can I play PC games or games from other video game systems on Xbox 360?
No, PC games cannot be played on the Xbox 360 also burned discs or discs from other video game systems cannot be played either.
Can I play Xbox 360 games on a computer or other video game system?
It is not possible to play Xbox 360 games on a personal computer or any other video game system.
Can I use Xbox 360 with a TV projector (beamer)?
Some televisions, especially front- or rear-projection TVs, can be damaged if any video games, including Xbox 360 games, are played on them. Consult your television owner's manual to determine if video games can be played safely on your television set. If you are unable to find this information in the owner's manual, contact your television dealer or the manufacturer to determine if video games can be played safely on your set.
What do I need to play multiplayer games?
All you need to start playing games with multiple players are extra controllers and a game designed for multiplayer use. The game will appear via a split screen on one television. If you have extra Xbox 360 systems and televisions, you may network them together using System Link Cables or a Network hub and play certain games that support this feature. Maximum number of simultaneous players is built into the game.
What do I need to play games online?
All Xbox 360 games will be Xbox Live aware in one way or another the majority will support online play as part of this. The Xbox 360 will support Xbox Live from launch - there are two levels, Silver gives messaging and downloading capabilities for free, however for online play any time will need Gold. Your broadband provider needs to be Xbox Live compatible, contact your current provider to find out if they are compatible but most of the major ones in the UK generally are, but it is worth checking if you provider is. You just need to connect your Xbox 360 to your broad band via it's built in Network socket to a router connected to your broadband. Also available is a Wireless adaptor so you can connect via a Wireless Network is you have one. Games will support a range of maximum players for example Perfect Dark Zero will support around 50 players on Xbox Live.
Will I be able to play Xbox games on the Xbox 360?
The Xbox 360 will be backward compatible with the old games - this is done using something called an "emulation profile" which tells the new console how to play your old game - one is needed for each game. The top 100 selling games will have their profiles on the Hard Drive so titles such as Halo 2, Forza, and Project Gotham Racing 2 etc will play fine on the new console. Games outside the top 100 will also be supported as additional profiles will be available to download. However very obscure or titles that did not sell well may not get a profile, however the majority of games will be supported.
Do I need a hard drive for backward compatibility?
Yes. Xbox 360 comes standard with a 20GB hard drive which will enable gamers to play original Xbox games, and we'll also have a hard drive peripheral for gamers who initially choose to purchase an Xbox 360 Core System.
If I buy the Core System will I have backward compatibility capabilities?
No. The Core System is about choice. If all you want to do is play Xbox 360 games, sign on to Xbox Live using a memory unit and enjoy Xbox 360's media capabilities, then maybe the Xbox 360 Core System is the right choice for you. If you don't want to download lots of Xbox Live content yet and don't want to play original Xbox games yet, buy the Xbox 360 Core System and add the hard drive accessory when you're ready.
What format will the Xbox 360 use for games?
The Xbox 360 will use DVD-9, the standard dual-layer DVD used in the Xbox. This is the currently announced format for games, HD-DVD is supported via the HD-DVD Add-on drive (sold seperatly) but this is for High Definition Movies only and not games.
What will be included in the Xbox 360 retail box?
The Xbox 360 retail box will include an Xbox 360 console, a Wireless controller, Xbox Live Headset, the 20GB Hard Drive, an Ethernet cable, HD Video AV Cable, Power Adaptor and Instruction Manual / Documentation.
Can video be streamed from a PC?
This is possible if you have a Windows XP Media Center PC, Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista, it will be possible to stream standard and high definition video.
Can you use your Xbox Live gamertag for Xbox Live gold on the Xbox 360?
Yes, you can preserve the identity created on the original Xbox and even keep on gaming on it with this identity.
Can USB memory be used by the Xbox 360?
At present the Xbox 360 USB ports are read-only for playing music and viewing photos.
Why is there no WiFi work out of the box?
Game designers and hard core gamers were asked for their top priorities, the main investment when developing the console went into the processor and graphics processor. WiFi then had to be offered as an option however this did allow the 802.11a to be added to the usual 802.11b and 802.11g standards.
I already own a games console. Why should I buy an Xbox?
Xbox is the next generation in video games systems. It is equipped with the newest and most powerful in graphic and audio hardware, has a hard drive for saving game data, and is designed from its inception to be ready for broadband online gaming. This way Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality.
When was the Xbox released?
The Xbox video game system was launched in Europe on the 14th of March 2002.
Can I play DVDs on the Xbox?
The Xbox console can play DVD movies and compact discs that contain the official Compact Disc logo. You can turn your Xbox video game system into a DVD movie theatre with the purchase of the DVD Movie Playback Kit.
What is the Xbox Dashboard?
The Xbox Dashboard appears when you turn on your Xbox console without a disc in the disc tray. The dashboard will let you adjust system settings, including audio, video, language and memory management and it also lets you save games.
Can I make custom soundtracks for my Xbox games?
Yes, with Xbox you can create soundtracks from your own CD collection and play the music you want to hear during your favourite games, if they are developed to support this feature.
Why do I need a memory card if Xbox has an internal hard drive?
While the hard drive offers a lot of fast memory for storing saved games, extra levels and other bonus features, the memory card provides portable memory to use in compatible Xbox controllers, so you can store your saved games and take them with you to play on other Xboxes.
Can I use my Xbox with my computer?
No, the Xbox console is a dedicated video game console. Its sole purpose is to provide you with the best video game experience available on the market while connected to your television. You can also use Xbox as a DVD home theatre system if you purchase the DVD Playback Kit.
Can the Xbox hook up to a computer monitor?
The Xbox video game system is intended for use with television sets or television/VCR setups. This focus allows gamers to enjoy the superior visual and sound capacity of high-definition and high-resolution television sets. In some cases it might be possible to connect your computer monitor to your Xbox. Please contact your dealer or manufacturer for further information.
Can I play PC games or games from other video game systems on Xbox?
In order to make use of its superior hardware the Xbox video game system is designed only to play game discs licensed by Microsoft for the Xbox video game system. This does not include burned disks, PC game discs, or discs from other video game systems. The Xbox console can play DVD movies and compact discs with the official Compact Disc logo.
Can I play Xbox games on a computer or other video game system?
Xbox games are designed to make use of the Xbox video game system's superior hardware and online gaming capabilities. It is not possible to play these games on a personal computer or any other video game system.
Can I use Xbox with a TV projector (beamer)?
Some televisions, especially front- or rear-projection TVs, can be damaged if any video games, including Xbox games, are played on them. Consult your television owner's manual to determine if video games can be played safely on your television set. If you are unable to find this information in the owner's manual, contact your television dealer or the manufacturer to determine if video games can be played safely on your set.
What do I need to play multiplayer games?
All you need to start playing games with multiple players are extra controllers and a game designed for multiplayer use. The game will appear via a split screen on one television. If you have extra Xbox systems and televisions, you may network them together using Xbox System Link Cables, and play certain games that support this feature. Maximum number of simultaneous players is built into the game. As an example, HALO will support 4 Xbox systems and 4 players per Xbox, for a total of 16 players.