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Microsoft Xbox 360 Accessories Rundown

Microsoft has released more information on Xbox 360 accessories. We have the complete rundown on all the peripherals.

Building on the initial excitement from the Xbox 360 announcement, Microsoft has released a whole slew of new details about the peripherals that will complement its next-generation gaming unit. We have more information about the controllers and memory cards, and the first confirmation of a wired controller.

The Xbox 360 controller comes in wireless and wired flavors.

The wireless Xbox 360 controller operates on the 2.4 GHz frequency, and has a 30-foot range. The controller will feature "full," "medium," and "low" vibration settings. The Xbox logo located in the center of the controller isn't just decorative--it's a fully functional Xbox Guide button that gives you quick access to your Xbox Live dashboard. The controller will feature 256-levels of sensitivity on the 6 analog buttons, and has a headset port on the bottom of the unit. Two AA batteries, or an optional rechargeable battery pack, power the controller. For more information about the controller, check out our hands-on preview.

The current Xbox 360 package only includes a single wireless controller. That means users can buy three additional controllers to have a full stable of game pads. If wireless is a financial or gameplay concern, Microsoft will offer a wired Xbox 360 controller that can plug into one of the system's many USB ports. The wired controller offers the same rumble settings, Xbox Guide button, and headset port available with its wireless cousin. The official Xbox 360 announcement didn't include much information on the Xbox Live camera, which was assumed to be the key component in the video communication and personal profile generation that Microsoft's J. Allard described in his Game Developers Conference 2005 keynote. The camera will support standard VGA (640 x 480) resolution at 30 frames per second, and it will also include a microphone that connects to the Xbox 360 controller for full video chat support. Allard told GameSpot that the camera might not be available at launch later this year--Microsoft might wait to release the camera until five or six titles support it. However, since the camera is USB-based, we wouldn't be surprised if the Xbox 360 was able to support third-party USB web-cams. The system works with the PSP after all.

The Xbox 360 headset will plug into the standard headset port found on every Xbox 360 controller. You'll have the standard volume and mute settings along with a noise-canceling boom-mic. The headset will be an essential part of the new voice recording message system that will allow you to send and receive short voice messages on the Xbox Live service. And if you don't like the Microsoft headset, you'll be free to use your own since the Xbox 360 controllers are also compatible with any standard cell phone headset.

The Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote will give you full control over the movies, music and photos on your 360 system. The remote control features the full suite of media playback and universal TV control buttons as well as the standard X,Y, A, and B controller buttons for basic console navigation. The Windows XP Media Center button will give you access to your networked media, and the backlit keys make the remote easy to use in dark, home-theater environments.

The Ourcolony.net Xbox 360 Web site released a shot demonstrating various faceplate possibilities.

The Xbox 360 features interchangeable faceplate that make it easy to match the look of your console to your mood. Of course, to take advantage of the feature, you'll actually have to purchase additional faceplates or "Faces" as Microsoft calls them. Microsoft has yet to show off any final faceplate designs, but we've heard the words "carbon-fiber" and "silver" bandied about. There will also be limited-edition Xbox 360 Faces to add some urgency to impulse purchase decisions.

The Xbox 360 Memory Card will be 64MB in size and will have a portable carrying case that you can attach to a key chain. The memory card gives you the option to transfer saved games and Xbox Live profiles over to a friend's house without putting your 20GB hard drive at risk.

The Xbox 360 console already has a built-in Ethernet port for wired network connections, but all the cool kids are going wireless. While the Xbox 360 system is "Wi-Fi Ready," the basic package doesn't actually include a Wi-Fi adapter in the box. You'll need to buy the Xbox 360 Wireless Network Adapter to get the system onto your wireless network. The network adapter for the Xbox 360 supports 802.11 A, B, and G, and will allow you to stream media from any Windows Media Center PC on your home network.

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