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To celebrate the launch of our new next-generation Xbox channel we've decided to put together an Xbox 360 FAQ containing all available information on the console. As we approach the unveiling of the system on MTV and at E3, more details are very likely to become available and this article will be updated accordingly. Note that this FAQ is entirely speculative. As next-to-nothing about the system has been officially announced, it's impossible to say that most any of the information herein is 100% fact. Everything is very likely to be true, but imagine that each answer begins with, "To the best of our knowledge…"

General

Is Xbox 360 the official name?

While Microsoft refuses to comment on the official name of the console, everyone from developers to magazines to news sources like CNN Money have been referring to the system as Xbox 360. Given all the information that's out there now, Xbox 360 is our best guess as to the "official" name of Microsoft's next-gen system, but as we said, it is still as-of-yet unconfirmed by the big MS itself. Maybe this is part of an elaborate ploy to make us all look silly when the "real" name is announced in May, but this is unlikely. Where do the pictures in this FAQ come from? Much of the speculation in this FAQ is based on images circulated by ourcolony.net. This site is part of a viral marketing campaign sponsored by Microsoft. It was developed by the advertising company 4orty2wo Entertainment. These viral campaigns are a form of an alternate reality game (ARG) that create in-depth "narratives" that ultimately draw the players of the game towards a reward wrapped in an advertisement. The game ends on May 12th when the Xbox 360 is officially unveiled on MTV. A similar game that started at ilovebees.com was used to promote the Halo 2 release.

When will the system be fully unveiled?

A special will air May 12th on MTV that will officially unveil its name, the look of the system, the controller and a few quick snippets of gameplay footage. The full unveiling, including things like full system specs, the launch lineup and more, will be unveiled during Microsoft's E3 press conference on May 16th. When is the system launching? All signs point towards a November 2005 launch window. This is a prime month for Microsoft to position Xbox 360 as the must-have holiday item.

How much will Xbox 360 cost?

The sweet spot for the cost of a new console at launch is $299. This is a good estimate of what a core package will cost for Xbox 360. There is a possibility of a second bundle that includes a hard drive and some pre-loaded game content. It is likely that this would bump the price up to $399 smackers for the HDD system. The bundle has become an incredibly popular sales technique, so don't be surprised to see more comprehensive bundles that include controllers and peripherals for around $500. What's all this talk about the HD Era? At this year's GDC Microsoft's Corporate Vice President and "Chief XNA architect" J Allard rammed the idea of the HD Era into the crowd's head. He stated that the last generation of systems were part of the 3D era, and the new wave of technology would provide a more cinematic high definition experience. At a base level, he is referring to the fact that Xbox 360 games will all run in at least 720p with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 5.1 Dolby Digital audio.

Read complete FAQ here on IGN XBox 360.


Zeeshan Muhammad
User Group Leader - NED.net
INETA Pakistan EXCOMM
INETA MEA Infrastructure Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2005 10:02 PM | Back to top

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