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Explore the Xbox 360, the influential console that defined a generation

Call of Duty and Halo. Kill streaks and party chat. Mountain Dew and Doritos. These are just a few of the terms that define the Xbox 360 and its incredible impact on modern video games. The console itself had a briefly rocky launch in November of 2005, with many units crashing under the defect that came to be known as the “Red Ring of Death”. However Microsoft was quick to recover, and with the rise of Xbox Live, gamers became more connected and globally engaged than ever before.

Xbox 360 game library

The Xbox 360 is Microsoft’s most successful console, and that’s no surprise considering the amazing library of Xbox 360 games that came out over its lifetime. For much of its generation the Xbox 360 was considered the premier platform on which to play the biggest 3rd party titles. Despite being a multi-platform franchise, the massively popular Call of Duty series was still primarily associated in player’s minds with the Xbox brand. Not to mention Microsoft’s stable of huge exclusive franchises such as Halo, Gears of War, and Forza.

Xbox 360 controllers

After the chilly reception to the original Xbox controller Microsoft was tasked with revising its design for the Xbox 360 generation. The result was a major success. The Xbox 360 controller is widely regarded as a triumph, and many gamers consider it to be their favourite controller design of all time. Many features such as its curved trigger buttons and offset analog joysticks are a staple in controller design to this day.

Xbox 360 hard drives and memory

Coinciding with the increasing size of games and the popularity of the digital storefront and Xbox Live arcade came the need for increased console memory and storage. The Xbox 360 lead the way in this regard with easy upgrade options such as external USB hard drive capacity. Simply plugging Xbox 360 with most external hard drives via a free USB port will allow gamers to expand the storage capacity of their console.

Xbox 360 gaming headsets

The Xbox 360 revolutionized in-game chat not only through its Xbox Live platform, but also by including a Xbox 360 chat headset with the purchase of every console. Enabling everyone who purchased a new Xbox 360 console with easy access to online multiplayer gaming and voice chat is what ultimately allowed the platform to become ground zero for a new era of player interaction.

Headsets can also be indispensable to gamers with shared accommodations, or for parents who want to reduce the noise from their children’s games. Headsets can provide privacy and immersion for the user as well as peace of mind to those around them.

Xbox 360 Kinect

Kinect is the Xbox 360’s external camera peripheral. It registers body movement and incorporates it into both dashboard menu control and gameplay. There are a number of titles designed specifically for use only with Xbox 360 Kinect, while other games have additional built-in Kinect functionality.

The Kinect also has a microphone which can be utilized for game chat, as well as in-game and dashboard menu voice commands.

Xbox 360 today

Despite the release of a newer console in the form of the Xbox One, the Xbox 360 and its online infrastructure remain alive and well. To date players can still enjoy Xbox 360 to its full potential, including online chat and play, digital store purchases, Xbox Live Gold benefits, and more.

Microsoft has made a strong commitment to making many Xbox 360 games playable on the newer Xbox One platform as well. In addition to new digital purchases of Xbox 360 games, owners can also take their compatible Xbox 360 game discs and simply insert them in an Xbox One console to initiate a download. While not every title is compatible, the list is currently over 500, and growing every month.

Xbox 360 and Xbox one owners can even play together online in these titles, as the Xbox One versions use the Xbox 360’s online infrastructure to run them.