Xbox 360 quickly capitalized on a strong demand that translated into continued sales growth. Without looking back, Microsoft has continually made refinements and improvements to the Xbox 360, expanding hard drive storage capacity, improving video, multimedia and internet functions and offering several console formats at economical prices, all while sacrificing nothing of game play.
With the release of Halo 3, Xbox 360 set a new standard for 7th generation video game consoles, optimizing video and graphic output with the aid of a custom-made graphic engine and new High Dynamic Range graphic technologies. Halo 3 has since become the Xbox 360’s bestselling game, having sold an estimated 8.1 million copies. As well as being its premiere video game for the Xbox 360 console, Halo 3 also served as a litmus test for the expanded Xbox Live, proving to be a success and bringing in scores of new and seasoned users alike.
As more and more game titles have been optioned for online play, Microsoft has improved its Xbox Live service by offering two different versions: Gold and Silver. Silver comes free of charge but has limited options and no multiplayer gaming. Gold can be purchased at monthly or yearly rates and includes expanded game play, access to online-only games, video conferencing and increased user profile options. Both Gold and Silver offer parental controls and full integration with Windows Live Messenger.
Though this review refers to the Xbox 360 Premium, there are several different Xbox 360s that vary according to storage capacity and A/V capabilities.