Microsoft is today set to unveil the much anticipated next version of its hugely successful Xbox console at an event in Seattle.
Speculated to be called either the Xbox 720 or Infinity, rumours suggest that the next-generation games machine will feature an eight-core processor, 8GB of memory , a Blu-ray drive an improved Kinect motion controller and Illumiroom - a projector which throw a huge additional image across the wall surrounding the TV.
To mark the unveiling, here below we take a look at the record-breaking achievements of its predecessors.
Introduced in 2001, the original Xbox was the first games console to feature built-in ethernet (for online play) as standard.
Although the Dreamcast and the PlayStation 2 supported online play, they both required additional hardware to connect to a modem or router.
The original Xbox was also the first video game console with an internal hard drive. Similar to those in a PC, the device featured a standard 3.5-inch drive, with a speed of 5,400 RPM and 8GB of storage. This meant that a separate memory card for saving games was unnecessary.
As well as saved games, the hard drive was used for content downloaded from Xbox Live, as well as being used as a disk cache for games, allowing faster loading times.
The best-selling video game on Xbox was Halo 2 (Microsoft, 2004) which sold 6.3 million units.
The Xbox was succeeded in 2005 with the Xbox 360. The first million-selling videogame for Xbox 360 was one of the console’s launch titles - Call of Duty 2 in 2005. It served as a precursor to the success of the first-person-shooter series which would prove to be one of the most successful franchises on the console. Within 16 days of release on 8 November 2011, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Infinity Ward, 2011) became the fastest videogame to gross $1 billion (£641.6 million).
Since November 2008, gamers have been able to have their own avatar to represent them on Xbox Live. The little characters can be used as players in a number of games, and users can buy apparel and props to customize their avatar and update its appearance. According to xbox.com, the best-selling avatar item in the Xbox Live marketplace is the Night Vision Goggles from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for both male and female avatars, which costs 240 MS points – that’s £2 ($3) in real money.
Over five years after the launch of the Xbox 360, Microsoft released the Kinect sensor on 4 November 2010. By 3 January 2011, the add-on had sold 8 million units – an average of 133,333 a day, making it the fastest-selling videogames peripheral.
At a whopping $1,242 (£773), the Swarovski crystal-encrusted Kinect designed by PlayBling is the most valuable Kinect sensor. Inspired by pop star Kylie Minogue's 2011 European tour, it was available exclusively as a prize to the winner of a competition organized to promote the Kinect title Dance Central.
Known as the definitive source of review scores in Japan, weekly magazine Famitsu gave the Xbox 360 version of fighting game Bayonetta a perfect 40/40 score – setting a record for the highest Xbox 360 Famitsu score. The magazine has only given 15 games a perfect score, and of those 15 Bayonetta was the first Xbox 360 game.
The 360 also holds the record for the longest video game console warranty. The infamous "Red Ring of Death" (otherwise known as total hardware failure) that plagued many Xbox owners forced Microsoft to extend the warranty of the Xbox 360 to three years longer than any other gaming device.
The most expensive Xbox 360 game sold at auction is a copy of Dead Space Ultra Limited Edition, by sold by Damian Fraimorice (Israel) for $2,999.00 (£1,865) to a buyer in New York, USA, on 2 February 2011.
Only 1,000 copies of the Ultra Limited Edition of Dead Space were manufactured. In addition to a copy of the game, the box includes a bonus DVD, an exclusive lithograph illustrated and signed by Ben Templesmith (the artist on the Dead Space comic book), a 97 page Dead Space art book written and illustrated by the development team, a 160-page graphic novel and a patch bearing the insignia of the game's spaceship, the USG Ishimura.