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Xbox is a video gaming brand created and owned by Microsoft. The brand consists of five video game consoles, as well as applications games , streaming services, an online service by the name of Xbox network , and the development arm by the name of Xbox Game Studios. The brand was first introduced in the United States in November , with the launch of the original Xbox console.
The original device was the first video game console offered by an American company after the Atari Jaguar stopped sales in It reached over 24 million units sold by May The third console, the Xbox One , was released in November and has sold 51 million units.
When Sony Computer Entertainment first announced the PlayStation 2 in , the company had positioned the console as a centerpiece for home entertainment, as it not only would play video games, but also could play audio CDs and video DVDs. Microsoft, whose business had been primarily in supporting the personal computer PC business with its Windows operating system, software, and games, saw the PlayStation 2 as a threat to the personal computer. They designed a system that would use many hardware components in common with PCs, effectively running a version of Windows and DirectX to power the games on the console.
Microsoft has been recently working to leverage the branding of “Xbox” beyond the console hardware but as a general video game brand, reflected in the renaming of Microsoft Studios to Xbox Game Studios in The business is how many players are playing the games that they buy, how they play.
Spencer identified that Microsoft Azure is a major component of their plans going forward, which powers its xCloud game streaming service. Spencer said “I don’t think it’s ‘hardware agnostic’ as much as it’s ‘where you want to play'”, in describing how Microsoft was strategizing the Xbox branding for the future.
It was Microsoft’s first foray into the gaming console market. As part of the sixth generation of video game consoles , the Xbox competed with Sony’s PlayStation 2 , Sega’s Dreamcast which stopped American sales before the Xbox went on sale , and Nintendo’s GameCube. The Xbox was the first console offered by an American company after the Atari Jaguar stopped sales in The integrated Xbox Live service launched in November allowed players to play games online with or without a broadband connection.
Although the two competing services were free, while Xbox Live required a subscription – as well as broadband-only connection, which was not completely adopted yet – Xbox Live was a success due to it having better servers , features such as a buddy list , and milestone titles such as Halo 2 released in November , which became the best-selling Xbox video game and was by far the most popular online game for the original Xbox system.
The Xbox was released as the successor of the original Xbox in November , competing with Sony ‘s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo ‘s Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. As of June , 84 million Xbox consoles have been sold worldwide. The console sold out completely upon release in all regions except in Japan. The Xbox showed an expanded Xbox Live service which now included a limited “Free” tier called Silver , the ability to stream multimedia content from PCs, while later updates added the ability to purchase and stream music, television programs, and films through the Xbox Music and Xbox Video services, along with access to third-party content services through third-party media streaming applications.
Microsoft also released Kinect , a motion control system for the Xbox which uses an advanced sensor system. Two major revisions of the Xbox were released following the initial launch.
The Xbox S typically considered as “Slim” , launched in , featured the same core hardware but with a redesigned, slimmer form factor with a smaller-sized GB hard drive. It also added integrated The Xbox S replaced the base Xbox unit, which was discontinued, and sold at the same price. The second major revision of the Xbox was the Xbox E, released in Announced on May 21, ,  the Xbox One has an emphasis on internet-based features, including the ability to record and stream gameplay, and the ability to integrate with a set-top box to watch cable or satellite TV through the console with an enhanced guide interface and Kinect-based voice control.
Following its unveiling, the Xbox One proved controversial for its original digital rights management and privacy practices; while Microsoft touted the ability for users to access their library of games regardless of whether they were purchased physically or digitally on any Xbox One console without needing their discs, and the ability to share their entire library with 10 designated “family” members, all games would have to be tied to the user’s Xbox Live account and their Xbox One console, and the console would be required to connect to the Internet on a periodic basis at least once every 24 hours to synchronize the library, or else the console would be unable to play any games at all.
As a gesture toward showing a commitment to user privacy, Microsoft decided to allow the console to function without Kinect. Since November , Microsoft has stated it will not release sales numbers for the Xbox One line.
Both are considered members of the ninth generation of video game consoles alongside the PlayStation 5 , also released that month. The Xbox Series X is estimated to be four times as powerful as Xbox One X, with support for 8K resolution and up to frames-per-second rendering, with a nominal target of 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. The Xbox Series S is a digital-only unit with less graphic processing power, but can still render at a nominal p resolution at 60 frames per second with support for 4K upscaling.
Both consoles features support for new graphics rendering systems including real-time ray-tracing , and the new Xbox Velocity Architecture that works with the internal SSD drive to maximize the rate of texture streaming to the graphics processor, among other features. Besides games for this new console family, both consoles are fully compatible with all Xbox One games and most hardware, as well as all backward compatible games that were playable on the Xbox One from the Xbox and original Xbox console.
Best selling non-bundled game: Grand Theft Auto V , Each console has a variety of games. Most games released on the original Xbox are backwards compatible and can be played directly on its successor, Xbox Backward compatibility with Xbox titles was added to Xbox One in June , although titles requiring Kinect or USB peripherals will not be supported. Xbox games can also be played using the Xbox Cloud Gaming streaming service.
Microsoft has used the razor and blades model to sell the family of Xbox consoles, selling the console at or below the price of its manufacturing costs, while earning revenue from licensing fees it collects from publishers and developers and from its services offered to players. Xbox network formerly known as Xbox Live is an online service with over 65 million users worldwide as of July Online gaming on the Xbox first started on November 15, , worldwide.
The service is still active and continues to be played by gamers. The marketplace is where you can buy games and movies through digital download. It was announced by Microsoft during E3 and released on October 26, , coinciding with the release of Windows 8.
Currently [ when? In , Microsoft released a content filtering to stop swearing and toxicity in online gaming. The service enable players to report messages, Gamertags , photos, and any other toxic content on its platform. Described as ” Netflix for video games”,  the Xbox Game Pass grants users access to a catalog of games from a range of publishers for a single monthly subscription price. The service was launched on June 1, The main interface for all four generations of Xbox has been the Xbox Dashboard, which allows users to manage games stored on the console, play media, and access system settings.
Since , the Dashboard has been integrated with Xbox Live that provides online functionality and storefront options. Though the software for the original Xbox and the Xbox was originally built on a heavily modified Windows operating system, the software since the Xbox One has used a Windows-based system first Windows 8 , now Windows 10 that allows for easy of compatibility between the console and desktop applications.
In May , Xbox presented a preview version of an app that allows parents and guardians to set daily limits for their children’s playing time, provides weekly activity reports, filters out age-restricted games, and places limits on online communication.
This is the attempt of Microsoft, Xbox’s owner, to promote a message of responsible gaming. The full release is expected in the end of or later. Released in , the Xbox control pad was the first controller made for the original Xbox. Released in , the Xbox controller for the Xbox succeeded its predecessor. A standard Xbox controller features eleven digital buttons, two analog triggers, two analog sticks and a digital D-pad. The right face of the controller features four digital action buttons; a green “A” button, red “B” button, blue “X” button and yellow “Y” button.
The lower right houses the right analog stick, in the lower left is a digital D-pad and on the left face is the left analog stick. Both analog sticks can also be “clicked in” to activate a digital button beneath. In the center of the controller face are digital “Start”, “Back” and “Guide” buttons. It is also surrounded by the “ring of light”, which indicates the controller number, as well as flashing when connecting and to provide notifications.
The left and right “shoulders” each feature a digital shoulder button, or “bumper”, and an analog trigger. The Xbox One console has a revised controller with forty improvements over the ‘s controller.
This new controller is built to work with Kinect. The Start and Back buttons are replaced with Menu and View buttons. It has impulse triggers that replace the regular triggers.
The Xbox button still brings up the mini-guide as of recent dashboard versions, though in earlier iterations it brought up the main dashboard menu while leaving the game uninterrupted. The fourth generation Xbox Controller doesn’t change much from the Xbox One controller, but the new wireless Xbox Controller does add a capture and share button, a hybrid d-pad , and better gripping on the bumpers and triggers.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a special controller designed for accessibility features for players. Besides being physically larger than typical controllers, it includes additional ports to allow other devices to be connected and mapped to other controller functions. The controller is not limited to just Xbox and Windows platforms but also is compatible with the PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. Based around a webcam -style add-on peripheral for the Xbox console, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox without the need to touch a game controller , through a natural user interface using gestures and spoken commands.
A version for Windows was released on February 1, The Kinect claimed the Guinness World Record of being the “fastest selling consumer electronics device” after selling a total of 8 million units in its first 60 days. Microsoft released Kinect software development kit for Windows 7 on June 16, Additional information on the Xbox One Kinect was released on June 6, , including information on how to turn off the “always on” feature.
Although featuring improved performance over the original Xbox Kinect, its successor the Xbox One Kinect was subject to mixed responses. It was praised for its wide-angle, its fast response time and high-quality camera. However, the Kinect’s inability to understand some accents in English was criticized. Furthermore, controversies surround Microsoft’s intentional tying of the sensor with the Xbox One console despite the initial requirements for the sensor being plugged in at all times having been revised since its initial announcement.
There have also been a number of concerns regarding privacy. The module plugged into the controller’s top expansion slot, and the headset plugged into the module; the interface module was equipped with a dial to control volume and a button to mute the microphone. Xbox controllers featured a built-in monaural 2. Microsoft also announced the Xbox Wireless Headset , a first-party single-ear headset accessory designed for and released with the Xbox console in November Microsoft bundled the Xbox One Chat Headset with each console starting from launch in ; the headset was permanently wired to an interface module that plugged into the controller’s expansion port and provided microphone mute and volume controls.
The Adapter connected to the controller’s expansion port and headset jack, and the Headset connected to the Adapter through a 3. Prior headsets released with the Xbox and Xbox were limited to voice chat only. In , Microsoft announced that it would hold its own Xbox FanFest instead of a press conference at the Gamescom annual European video game convention. Microsoft held a 20th anniversary celebration stream for the Xbox on November 15, During it, they announced that a documentary behind the history of the Xbox, titled Power On: The Story of Xbox , will be released in six parts starting on December 13, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Microsoft’s video gaming brand. This article is about the “Xbox” brand.
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