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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 was also widely used as a home entertainment source. Music, video and photo collections on a PC could be streamed to the Xbox using Microsoft's Zune software until Zune was shuttered in 2015.

Xbox models come with an optical disc; however, in 2019, the One S was offered without one. For a brief period in 2006, an HD DVD drive was an option. For DVD games or playing online, various models have been available without a hard drive. See Xbox Game Pass, HD DVD and Zune.

Xbox Series X (Late 2020)
The upcoming version of the Xbox features 8K resolution and double the performance of the Xbox One X. Free upgrades of Xbox One games are expected.

Xbox One X (2017)
The One X added 4K resolution and is compatible with all Xbox One software. To take full advantage of the X, developers must optimize their game software.

Xbox One S (2016)
Dramatically smaller, the One S dropped the Kinect port but added Bluetooth connectivity, faster Wi-Fi (802.11ac) and an IR blaster.

Xbox One (2013)
All-in-one control of home entertainment was added. Using voice commands such as "go to TV" and "go to music," the One accepted hand gestures for scrolling. It employed an advanced Kinect sensor and used AMD chips instead of PowerPC CPUs.

Xbox 360 Models (2005 - 2013)
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 ran at 3.2 GHz, and its ATI graphics card quadrupled rendering speed. Wi-Fi was also added. The Xbox 360 S in 2010 and 360 E in 2013 featured more powerful CPUs and enhanced graphics. 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.)

Xbox Kinect - No More Controller!
In 2010, the Kinect option provided controller-free interaction with only hands and body, creating amazing gaming experiences. However, it was later dropped (see Kinect). (Image courtesy of Microsoft Corporation.)
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