Playing with an Xbox 360 - dummies

Playing with an Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 is more than just a game console. It offers a ton of extra functionality. You can use it to play games, watch DVDs, listen to high-fidelity music, and more, as the following sections describe.


Xbox 360 signals the arrival of the next generation of video games. It’s the first console system to support high definition, meaning that video games have simply never looked as good as they do on Xbox 360. Better yet, with the combination of incredible graphics, surround-sound support for every game, and online options, you get the trifecta of gaming features that every gamer wants to try.

Visual clarity, incredible sounds, and online functionality are only part of the story; this next generation of gaming means game developers can craft experiences that video gamers have never witnessed before. Realistic worlds, where locations look virtually like their real-life counterparts; beautiful fantasy settings that you can lose yourself in; and inventive situations that you’ve never played before usher in a true step forward in interactive entertainment, and it’s all delivered on Xbox 360.


You have to take a break from gaming every once in a while, right? The Xbox 360 is high-end video hardware that fits into a home entertainment system. The Xbox 360 makes a great DVD player.


The Xbox 360 provides high-fidelity audio output that makes your home entertainment system sing. Use Xbox 360 to do the following things:

  • Play music directly from:

• CDs

• Your portable MP3 player

• Standard PCs

  • Play music from your Windows Media Center PC
  • Rip music to your Xbox 360 hard drive and play it

Xbox Live

In olden times (that’s before 2001), nearly everything that you played on your game console required a disc or cartridge.

Times have changed. Here’s why:

  • All Xbox 360 games have online features, such as:

• The ability for the game publisher to provide more content (such as additional game levels, equipment, and characters)

• Public scoreboards on both your own Xbox 360 console and on the Web so that you can compare your game scores with the scores of your friends and others

• Online play with other Xbox Live gamers (Xbox Live Gold membership required)

  • You can download games, demos, trailers, and gamer pictures from the online Xbox 360 Marketplace.
  • You can update your console by plugging it into the Internet.
  • You can download emulator software that lets you play original Xbox games on your Xbox 360 (and you get to enjoy them with graphics upgrades that boost the resolution of your old games to 720p — which means high definition; if you thought Halo 2 looked good on the original Xbox, just imagine how great it looks now in glorious high definition . . . you’ll drool!).


The Xbox 360 provides a number of communications tools:

  • Communicate by both text and voice.
  • Talk to your friends who come online while you’re playing.
  • Leave messages for friends who aren’t online.

And how much more fun is it to talk to your brother while you’re racing each other or playing a football game?

Extending your Windows Media Center PC

The Windows Media Center PC can be extended to the Xbox 360 through your home network.