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Microsoft Xbox Video Game Consoles

The Microsoft Xbox is a brand of video game consoles first introduced by Microsoft in 2001. Each new generation of the Xbox features hundreds of different games, including sports, action, strategy, and many other different genres. The purchase of an Xbox console also gives you access to the online and streaming services known as Xbox Live.

How many consoles has Microsoft released under the Xbox brand?

There are three generations of Xbox consoles. The original Xbox was released toward the end of 2001 in North America and at the beginning of 2002 in Australia, Europe, and Japan. It features a built-in hard drive, DVD playback capabilities, and broadband Ethernet connectivity. The Xbox Live online service was introduced in 2002 to facilitate online multiplayer matches. The next Microsoft console, the Xbox 360, was released in November 2005 in the United States and Canada. It features more powerful hardware and an expanded online Xbox Live service. Between 2005 and 2013, Microsoft introduced various updates of the Xbox 360 hardware, each of which varied in their physical size, their internal storage space, and the number of ports. The third Microsoft console, the Xbox One, was released in Europe and North America in November 2013. The Xbox One received two additional hardware updates: the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X. These two systems will play all Xbox One games.

What's different between each version of the Xbox One?

The original Xbox One supports a resolution of 1080p, but the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X consoles are capable of 4K resolution and high dynamic range video (HDR video presents a larger range of brightness and color than standard video). You can also play ultra high-definition Blu-ray discs at 4K resolution on both systems. Beyond merely improving the resolution, however, the Xbox One X features additional hardware modifications that improve the performance of existing and future games. Some games are designed specifically to take advantage of the hardware improvements, although they will still run on the other Xbox One models as well. Both consoles have a smaller form factor than the original Xbox One.

Do the Xbox 360 and Xbox One feature backwards compatibility?

Yes, but only with select games. The Xbox 360 is compatible with approximately 461 original Xbox games provided you also have a hard drive, as the console will need to install updates for each game before they will run. The Xbox One is also compatible with select Xbox and Xbox 360 games. This feature was only introduced after launch, and the list of compatible games is still being updated at regular intervals. If you already have digital versions of them installed on your Xbox 360, then they will also be available on your Xbox One through Xbox Live. If you own physical copies instead, you just need to insert them into your hard drive when you want to play them. In addition to games, many accessories for the Xbox 360 are compatible with the Xbox One hardware, including instruments from the "Rock Band" and "Guitar Hero" series.

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