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A very popular video game console from Microsoft. Introduced in 2001, the Xbox was designed to compete with Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's GameCube. With Netflix, YouTube and a variety of other video streaming services built in, the Xbox is also widely used as a home entertainment source. In addition, music, video and photo collections on a PC can be streamed to the Xbox using Microsoft's Zune software. See digital media hub and Zune.

Xbox Live
Xbox Live is a multiplayer gaming service available to Xbox players for a subscription fee. Introduced in 2002, numerous Xbox games are Xbox Live enabled.

Xbox Kinect - No More Controller!
Introduced in 2010, the Kinect option provides controller-free interaction with the Xbox, creating amazing gaming experiences (see Kinect).

Xbox 360 Models
While the original Xbox sported a Pentium III CPU, the Xbox 360 in 2005 dramatically increased gaming power with a three-core 64-bit PowerPC CPU from IBM, each core running at 3.2 GHz. Its ATI graphics card quadrupled rendering speed, and Wi-Fi was added. Subsequent models added more powerful CPUs, some with combined graphics processors (GPUs).

All Xbox models come with a DVD drive; however, for a brief period in 2006, an HD DVD drive was an option before the technology was abandoned. For DVD games or playing online, various Xbox models have come without a hard drive.

Xbox One, One S and One X
The successor to the Xbox 360, the Xbox One added all-in-one control of home entertainment in late 2013. Using voice commands such as "go to TV" and "go to music," the One accepts hand gestures for scrolling. It employs an advanced Kinect sensor and uses AMD chips instead of PowerPC CPUs.

In 2016, a dramatically smaller Xbox One S dropped the Kinect port but added Bluetooth connectivity, faster Wi-Fi (802.11ac) and an IR blaster. In 2017, the Xbox One X was announced, which is an enhanced version of the S. To take full advantage of the X, developers must optimize their game software. See video game console and MMOG.

The First Xbox 360
In 2005, the 360 dramatically increased power and became very popular. Within five years, more than 40 million units had shipped. (Image courtesy of Microsoft Corporation.)

No More Controller!
With Kinect, players use their hands and body to interact with the game. There are no wired or wireless, handheld controllers. See Kinect. (Image courtesy of Microsoft Corporation.)
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Content can also be downloaded for a nominal fee, and can be viewed on computers, the Microsoft X-Box, and on portable players.