The Xbox is one of the most familiar console video gaming devices on the market. Bill Gates is rumored to have delayed its release for several years to include every bell and whistle of available technology to make it the ultimate gaming machine and one that everyone would want. Computers and the internet have made online gaming more attractive than console games to many game fans, so something was needed to boost the console concept. It was finally marketed late in 2001.
The console contains a basic computer chip and has multiple options for AV connections. It is compatible with standard AV cable, the RF connecter, TOSLINK audio and S-Video, SCART, and High Definition devices. The Xbox connect to Ethernet cable to a modem or router or as a wireless link. It can interface with a PC which greatly expands gaming potential and also has music capability as a player, a mixer or for karaoke. Accessories make it usable as a DVD player as well.
The controllers are an amazing collection of options and functions for Xbox. Far from the simple joystick and couple of buttons of the early console games, this controller looks more like the dashboard of a small plane. It comes in alternate models with two analog control sticks, a directional touch pad, six action buttons, Back and Start buttons, and slots for accessories. There's even a memory card slot that allows games to be stored for later play.
Some games disable the memory card function to prevent cheating, but of course some Xbox addicts find hacks to get around some of the protections. One of the huge draws is the availability of an online multiplayer gaming service that lets a gamer play with anyone else who owns this console anywhere in the world. Instead of competing with games online, they just joined in.
There has been controversy over pricing for this game, with Europe complain that they were being overcharged as much as 100% over the US prices, and new version releases also have had inflated prices. Other complaints have centered on the content and violence of individual game releases. This also has been the same for other brands of similar game consoles.
Purchasing an Xbox provides an incredible range of entertainment possibilities for children and adults. Prices have become much lower, and games themselves are often traded or sold used at a great discount. It remains a much desired holiday or birthday gift and many homes have more than one.