NEWS - Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Xbox 360 First Party Accessories

Xbox 360 first-party accessories line-up is revealed Plenty more toys to plug into your shiny new next-generation console The Xbox Summit 2005 event has included a first look at the additional accessories which Microsoft will be shipping alongside Xbox 360 - including wired joypads, memory units, and additional hard drives. Although mostly focused on software, the Japanese event has also given a glimpse of the packaging that will be used for Xbox 360 in the Far East - relatively plain white and green boxes which will contain the console, a wireless joypad, a headset, an Ethernet cable and a hard drive. Obvious accessories such as additional wireless controllers, additional headsets, faceplates for the unit and a selection of audio-visual cables (including a VGA cable for high definition PC monitors) will be made available. However, a number of less obvious products will also be shipped by Microsoft - including, most notably, additional hard drives, a USB wireless adapter, and wired controllers for the console. The additional hard drives are a particularly interesting addition to the range; it’s to be assumed that these will be high capacity drives designed for people who want to make heavy use of the system’s multimedia functions, which will fill up the default 20Gb drive very quickly. The wireless adapter is designed to allow the Xbox 360 to go online over a wireless home network, and will plug into a USB port on the box. The decision to make this into an optional feature has left many scratching their heads, as both PS3 and Revolution promise to have the feature as standard, but as well as being a cost saving exercise, using external wireless may also allow the system to have better reception. In terms of controllers, a number of units are being made available which will allow them to be recharged while playing (the Play and Charge Unit), recharged quickly (Quick Charge Unit), have their batteries replaced (Rechargeable Battery Pack). Wired controllers will also be made available - a move which is apparently a response to the fact that the wireless signal can be interrupted by interference from outside sources, as anyone who’s tried to use a wireless LAN near an aging microwave can confirm. Other accessories will be familiar to Xbox users - including memory units which plug into the front panel, and a remote control which is mostly designed for accessing the multimedia functions of the console. No pricing or availability details for the accessories have yet been announced.


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