Xbox 360 Hardware FAQ by Travis Combs (firstname.lastname@example.org) Version 1.6 Last updated: 06/06/10 Copyright 2009-2010 Travis Combs. All Rights Reserved. This FAQ is protected by copyright. You can not sell this, put this on your website without my explicit permission, or violate any other rights granted to me by copyright law. You are entitled to saving a copy on your personal hard drive for your own use. ----------------- Table of Contents ----------------- 1. Introduction Hardware 2. The Xbox 360 3. Xbox 360 Packages 4. Zephyrs, Falcons, and Jaspers: Oh My! 5. Error Codes and What to Do 6. Warranty and Microsoft Repair Operating System/Xbox Live 7. The Blades and the NXE 8. What is Xbox Live? 9. Xbox Live Marketplace 10. Xbox Live Arcade 11. Achievements 12. Child and Adult Accounts 13. Backward Compatibility 14. Understanding Microsoft's Digital Rights Management 15. Storage Devices 16. Port Forwarding and Your NAT Miscellaneous 17. Music Controller Compatibility Chart 18. Official Xbox 360 Accessories 19. Measuring the 360's Hard Drive Capacities 20. Asked Questions 21. Version History 22. Credits This guide is a large guide. If you want to find something specific, you can press Ctrl + F to bring up a "Find" menu. From here, you can type in a word you are specifically looking for. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the entire section title (for example, "0. Section Name") from the Table of Contents and be brought directly to the section. --------------- 1. Introduction --------------- Hello there, and welcome to my FAQ for the Xbox 360 console! I decided to write this guide because the only other .txt guide on GameFAQs as of this writing was a guide by fellow member Foppe, and, while not a bad guide, hasn't been updated since just after the launch of the Xbox 360, causing the vast majority of the guide to be outdated and no longer relevant. I have been a long time member of the Xbox 360 message board on GameFAQs and I am always answering various questions about both the hardware of the Xbox 360 and its specialized operating system. Because of this, I decided it may be beneficial to compile a guide like this to answer many of the questions people may have, so that they don't have to rely on the message board if they don't want to. If you want to know something that isn't in this guide, or if you notice any errors in my guide (be it factual or with spelling and grammar), you can email me at the address <email@example.com>. You can also post a question on the Xbox 360 message board. A response by user "TravisCombs" is me. It may also be worth mentioning that I am in the United States, and as such, the information in this guide is accurate as far as the North American region goes. While much of this guide will be accurate for other regions too, be aware that not everything may apply to you if you are outside of the United States. --------------- 2. The Xbox 360 --------------- What is the Xbox 360? Well, to keep it simple, it's the second console by manufacturer and software giant Microsoft, and the successor to their first console, the "Xbox". A part of the seventh generation of video game consoles, it directly competes with the PlayStation 3 by Sony and the Wii by Nintendo. The name Xbox 360 came from the idea that it was a complete revolution, or "360 degrees". This is where the spherical logo comes in to play. The Xbox 360 is a favorite of PC game developers, as the architecture of the 360 allows PC developers to port their games to the 360 with great ease as opposed to difficulties that can be encountered by the porting process to the PlayStation 3 and Wii. The Xbox 360 was unveiled on May 12, 2005, and further information regarding it was announced a few months later during the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). It was launched in the US on November 22, 2005 in two configurations (see section 3). System Specifications of the Xbox 360: - Custom triple-core IBM PowerPC-based CPU ("Xenon") - Each core runs at 3.2GHz - Connects to graphics chip with 21.6GB/s front side bus - 1MB Level 2 cache shared between each core - Uses a 90nm or 65nm die (see section 4 for more details) - ATI graphics chip "Xenos" - Two separate silicon dies (GPU and eDRAM), 90nm or 65nm (see sect. 4) - Clock speed is 500MHz - 10MB eDRAM by NEC - 4x FSAA, Z-buffering, and alpha blending with no interference to CPU - 512MB GDDR3 RAM - Clocked at 700MHz - Shared by CPU and GPU - 12X Dual-layer DVD-ROM drive - Maximum read rate of 15.85 MB/s - Made by (old to new) Samsung/Toshiba, Hitachi/LG, BenQ/Philips, or Lite-On - Games: region-free (publishers can choose to lock specific games, though) - Movies: region-locks enforced - Security design allows for ~7GB of usable space per disc for game content - 5.1 Channel Dolby Digital Surround Sound - All games required to support at least the 5.1 Dolby standard - Console uses over 256 audio channels - 320 independent decompression channels using 32-bit processing for audio - Sound files for games are in Microsoft's XMA audio format - 10/100Base-T Ethernet port - No model comes with internal Wi-Fi, but a separate accessory is available - 3 USB 2.0 ports (1 in back, 2 in front) - Xbox 360 supports up to 3 USB controllers out of the box, 4 with a USB hub - A max of 4 controllers (wired and wireless) are supported - HDMI 1.2 output - Only on Zephyr, Falcon, and Jasper motherboards. Any newly manufactured 360 (not refurbished) from the past 2+ years will include an HDMI port. - 2.4GHz Frequency for connecting controllers - Xbox 360 supports up to 4 wireless controllers - A max of 4 controllers (wired and wireless) are supported - Physical Size (set horizontally) - 11 5/8 in. wide - 12 in. (309mm) wide (with hard drive) - 3 1/4 in. (83mm) tall - 10 1/4 in. (258mm) deep - 7.7 lbs. -------------------- 3. Xbox 360 Packages -------------------- In the past few years, the Xbox 360 has been available in a number of different bundles, each with their own characteristics and included accessories. In this section, we'll take a look at all of the major (non-limited edition) packages. Note: see section 4 for more details on chipsets and power bricks. It's also important to mention that all 360s have the ability to do the same things other 360s can do. For example, a launch Xbox 360 Premium can do every thing a brand new Xbox 360 Elite can do, including play Xbox 360 games, watch DVD movies, connect to Xbox Live, play Xbox Live Arcade games, play original Xbox games via backward compatibility, etc. The only exceptions across all models are that, non-HDMI units can't connect via HDMI (that's a given) and that a hard drive is required for some features (but understand that ALL 360 models support ALL 360 hard drives, so you can add one and this won't be a hinderance). Xbox 360 Premium: - Launch date: November 22, 2005 - Original MSRP: $399.99 - Console color: White with chrome disc tray - Included accessories: - 20GB hard drive - Wireless controller - Component HD AV cable - Xbox Live Microphone Headset - Ethernet cable - Power brick - Did not feature an HDMI port - Chipsets: Xenon - In production: No Xbox 360 Core: - Launch date: November 22, 2005 - Original MSRP: $299.99 - Console color: White with white disc tray - Included accessories: - Wired controller - Composite AV cable - Power brick - Did not feature an HDMI port - Chipsets: Xenon - In production: No Xbox 360 Elite (original configuration): - Launch date: April 29, 2007 - Original MSRP: $479.99 - Console color: Black with chrome disc tray - Included accessories: - 120GB hard drive - Black wireless controller - Component HD AV cable - HDMI cable with separate cable for optical audio output - Black Xbox Live Microphone Headset - Ethernet cable - Power brick - Halo 3/Fable II combo package (in last of original Elites) - First model to feature an HDMI port - Chipsets: Zephyr, Falcon - In production: No (not the original configuration) Xbox 360 Pro: - Launch date: July 2007 - Original MSRP: $399.99 - Console color: White with chrome disc tray - Included accessories: - 20GB hard drive (units prior to August 2008) - 60GB hard drive (units August 1, 2008 and on) - Wireless controller - Component HD AV cable - Xbox Live Microphone Headset - Ethernet cable - Power brick - Features HDMI port - Initial 20GB version is exact same as Xbox 360 Premium, but with HDMI - Chipsets: Zephyr, Falcon, Jasper - In production: No Xbox 360 Arcade: - Launch date: October 23, 2007 - Original MSRP: $279.99 - Console color: White with white disc tray - Included accessories: - Wireless controller - Composite AV cable - 256MB Memory Unit (Zephyr and Falcon versions) - 256MB internal storage (initial Jasper versions) - 512MB internal storage (newest Jasper versions) - Game disc with 5 full XBLA games (Zephyr and Falcon versions) - Power brick - Features HDMI port - Chipsets: Zephyr, Falcon, Jasper - In production: Yes (current MSRP: $199) Xbox 360 Elite (current configuration): - Launch date: August 28, 2009 - Original MSRP: $299.99 - Console color: Black with chrome disc tray - Included accessories: - 120GB hard drive - Black wireless controller - Composite AV cable - Black Xbox Live Microphone Headset - Ethernet cable - Power brick - Pure/Lego Batman combo (Holiday 2009 Bundle) - Forza 3/Halo 3: ODST combo (Spring 2010 Bundle) - Features HDMI port - Chipsets: Falcon, Jasper - In production: Yes (current MSRP: $299) --- Special Edition Consoles/Bundles --- Xbox 360 Halo 3 Special Edition: - Launch date: September 14, 2007 - Original MSRP: $399.99 - Console color: "Spartan green-and-gold" - Included accessories: - 20GB hard drive - Spartan green wireless controller - Component HD AV cable - Spartan green Xbox Live Microphone Headset - Play and Charge Kit - Ethernet cable - Power brick - Free Halo 3 theme and gamerpics download - Features HDMI port - Chipsets: Zephyr - In production: No Xbox 360 Resident Evil 5 Edition: - Launch date: March 13, 2009 - Original MSRP: $399.99 - Console color: Red with chrome disc tray - Included accessories: - 120GB hard drive - Red wireless controller - Component HD AV cable - HDMI cable with separate cable for optical audio output - Black Xbox Live Microphone Headset - Ethernet cable - Power brick - Resident Evil 5 and exclusive RE5 Premium Theme - Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix - Features HDMI port - Chipsets: Jasper - In production: No Xbox 360 Modern Warfare 2 Edition: - Launch date: November 10, 2009 - Original MSRP: $399.99 - Console color: Black with MW2 theme and black disc tray - Included accessories: - 250GB hard drive - 2 black wireless controllers - Composite AV cable - Black Xbox Live Microphone Headset - Ethernet cable - Power brick - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Standard Edition - Features HDMI port - Chipsets: Jasper - In production: No Xbox 360 Final Fantasy XIII Bundle: - Launch date: March 9, 2010 - Original MSRP: $399.99 - Console color: White with chrome disc tray - Included accessories: - 250GB hard drive - 2 wireless controllers - Composite AV cable - Xbox Live Microphone Headset - Ethernet cable - Power brick - Final Fantasy XIII - Features HDMI port - Chipsets: Jasper - In production: No, but leftover supply MSRP: $399.99 Xbox 360 Splinter Cell Conviction Bundle: - Launch date: April 13, 2010 - Original MSRP: $399.99 - Console color: Black with chrome disc tray - Included accessories: - 250GB hard drive - 2 black wireless controllers - Composite AV cable - Black Xbox Live Microphone Headset - Ethernet cable - Power brick - Splinter Cell Conviction Standard Edition - Features HDMI port - Chipsets: Jasper - In production: No, but leftover supply MSRP: $399.99 ---------------------------------------- 4. Zephyrs, Falcons, and Jaspers: Oh My! ---------------------------------------- Now, maybe you've heard about these different chipset types before now, maybe this is the first you're hearing of them. Either way, these chipset revisions are quite important. Each new revision of the chipset is designed to make the system more reliable and last longer than the previous. When a new chipset type is released, they generally stop producing older ones. For example, they no longer manufacture Falcon chipsets after they started to make Jasper chipsets. So what is the difference? Well, let's break it down and see what changes have been made since the original chipset. Afterward, we can see how to determine what chipset is in your Xbox 360. Power usage stats are taken from Anandtech. Xenon: - Original chipset - Not officially named, but commonly known as Xenon after the CPU - Did not feature an HDMI port - Featured 90nm CPU, 90nm GPU - Very prone to errors, especially the "three red lights" - Came with a power brick with a max output of 203W - Power usage: - System off: 2.3W - System on and idle: 155.7W - Halo 3: 177.8W - Rock Band 2: 167.7W - Gears of War 2: 177.1W Zephyr: - First motherboard to feature the HDMI port - Extremely similar to the Xenon, but with the HDMI port and a bigger heatsink - Continued to feature a 90nm CPU, 90nm GPU - Still very prone to errors, but slightly better due to new heatsink - Power brick was still 203W - Power usage stats unavailable, but very likely to be similar to Xenon Falcon: - First of the "second generation" boards - Continued to have HDMI port - Brought CPU size down to 65nm - New CPU used less heat, so it was less "three red light" prone - However, same 90nm GPU lead to problems known as "E74" - New power brick had a max output of 175W - Power usage: - System off: 2.8W (yes, an increase) - System on and idle: 101.4W - Halo 3: 121.2W - Rock Band 2: 112.8W - Gears of War 2: 121.5W Opus: - A second generation board, only found in refurb units - Is largely similar to the Falcon, but lacks an HDMI port - Used in Microsoft refurbished units that originally had Xenons - As it's only found in refurb units, it often didn't come with a power brick - Power usage stats unavailable, but very likely to be similar to Falcon Jasper: - First of the "third generation" boards, and the newest one to date - In addition to the 65nm CPU, now features a 65nm GPU - Smaller GPU helps tremendously on E74 error - Power brick is physically smaller, and has an output of 150W - Power usage: - System off: 2.0W - System on and idle: 93.7W - Halo 3: 105.9W - Rock Band 2: 101.0W - Gears of War 2: 105.9W So now that we know a little bit about the different chipsets out there, how can we identify what is current in our system? Well, there are a few different methods people use to know this. Before we discuss the methods, let me explain something that will apply for the first two methods: On the top of the box that the Xbox 360 comes in, there will be a hole (a flap on older boxes) that will allow you to see a sticker on the back of the console with some information on it, such as serial number, power rating, and manufacture date. This hole can be useful if you're in a store and you're about to purchase a 360, as you can be more knowledgeable about what version you're buying. Now, from least reliable to most reliable, here are three ways to determine what type of chipset is in a 360: Method 1: Manufacture Date: People have previously used this date to estimate what type of chipset they had, because as mentioned above, when a new one comes out, the old one is no longer made. Example: if the date on it is March 20, 2009, they would guess that the system is a Jasper. The problem with this, is that it could be a Falcon, and there is no real way of confirming this by date alone. It is only recommended that you rely on this if you're about to buy a 360 in a store, and method 2 will not help you. Reliability: 75% for a brand new console, 0% for a refurb (refurb consoles have the date they were fixed, but parts are much older; you should get back whatever you sent in, except for Xenons which are upgraded to Opus chipsets) Method 2: Power Rating: Also on the sticker I mentioned above, is a power rating on the left side. Each chipset has a different rating, so you should be able to simply see the rating and then compare to the list below: 16,5A: Xenon or Zephyr (remember, Zephyr has HDMI) 14,2A: Falcon or Opus (remember, Opus doesn't have HDMI and is only in refurbs) 12,1A: Jasper Now, this is a pretty reliable thing to go by. However, depending on exactly how tightly the Xbox 360 was packaged in the box, the hole may not be quite big enough for you to clearly make out the rating (it may be just a tad bit too far to the left for you to see through the hole). If you can try to dig a little bit into the cardboard to peel it back some, you may be able to tell what it says. If you can't make it out, you can choose to depend on method 1, or take the unit home, follow method 3, and choose to take it back if it's not what you are quite after. If you can make it out clearly, here's the reliability: Reliability: 99% for a brand new console (rarely is it wrong but it has been in a few cases in the past), 75% for a refurb (sometimes they just slap a sticker on it) Method 3: Power Connector on Console: This method requires the Xbox 360 to be out of the box, but it's an absolute guarantee that you'll have a specific chipset. Each chipset has a different power connector, so you'll be able to tell based on the following image: http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/gadgets/microsoft/jasper/identifying.jpg Look at what your connector looks like on the back of the 360, and compare it to the three connectors above. The differences are the block in the very middle (for the Xenon and Zephyr) and the broken line on top for the Jasper. Reliability: 100% for a brand new console, 100% for a refurb. Absolutely no way they could screw this up. Based on those methods, you should know exactly what type of Xbox 360 you have. ----------------------------- 5. Error Codes and What to Do ----------------------------- It's no secret that the Xbox 360 is a very problematic system. Partially due to the fact that it was rushed to market to beat the PlayStation 3 and Wii's release, and partially due to corner-cutting parts to cut production costs, the Xbox 360 is very prone to errors. As explained in section 4, as time went on, the reliability has increased. But errors still do exist, and it's important to know what's going on when they're happening. So here's a quick rundown at some of the errors to be found on the Xbox 360. First off, we'll discuss red lights. Red lights are vague errors, and from that point we can narrow it down to a more specific problem. By "red lights", I'm referring to lights that emit red on the front of the 360, on the "Ring of Light". The Ring of Light is normally green and shows what controllers are connected to the console, but doubles as a diagnostic tool for errors. If your console needs servicing, we will discuss how to send your Xbox 360 to Microsoft in the next section, "6. Warranty and Microsoft Repair". We will also discuss the Xbox 360's warranty. Be absolutely sure that you know the difference between a "light" and a "ring". A ring is a complete circle. There is no such thing as "three red rings" as the Xbox 360 only has one complete ring. --- 4 Red Lights --- With the 4 red lights error, all four of the lights on the Ring of Light are flashing red. This is usually caused by the Xbox 360 not detecting the A/V cable. Possible solutions: - Make sure your A/V cable is connected - Disconnect the A/V cable, and reconnect it - Make sure the A/V port is not covered with dust - Try a different A/V cable if you can - If the problem still persists, it may be an internal problem. This will require servicing by Microsoft GameFAQs user bucketbot360 suggests taking off the faceplate to see if you actually have 4 red lights, or if you have 3 red lights that appear to be all lights if the faceplate is left on. The warranty for the Xbox 360 varies if you have 4 red lights as opposed to 3 red lights (see the next section for more details). --- 3 Red Lights --- With the 3 red lights error, the top left, bottom left, and bottom right lights will be flashing. Explained by Microsoft as a "general hardware failure", I explain this as a CPU error, thus the vagueness of the error as opposed to a specific error like "E74" (see below). This can also be caused by a power brick problem. If you experience 3 red lights as the result of a power surge, it is most likely harmless and restarting your console will most likely resolve your issue. However, if it's a legitimate 3 red lights error... Possible solutions: - Restart the console. It could be a fluke - Unplug all of the cables, and plug them back in - Try turning the console on without the hard drive - Try letting the console sit for a period of time and cool - Make sure the power brick is green, indicating no problem with the brick - If the problem still persists, it may be an internal problem. This will require servicing by Microsoft --- 2 Red Lights --- With the 2 red lights error, the top left and bottom left lights will flash red. This will indicate that the Xbox 360 is overheating. It may be a fluke, or it may be a problem with the cooling system. Possible solutions: - Restart the console - Make sure the console has adequate room to breathe. Do not put it in small, closed off spaces - Try using compressed air on the back fans, ensuring that dust is not being blown around when the fans are spinning - Let the console cool for a few hours - a full day - If the problem still persists, it may be an internal problem. This will require servicing by Microsoft --- 1 Red Light --- An error with only 1 red light is a bit vague. With this type of error, there will be a specific error code displayed on your display. The error code will give you a better idea of what may be wrong with your system. Here's a list of some of the errors that can be displayed. These may not be 100% accurate, but from research done, seem to be consistant. E01: Power brick problem E02: Network interface problem E03: Power brick problem, or something preventing quality power flow E05: CPU overheating E06: GPU overheating E07: RAM overheating E12: Temperature control issue E18: Error with either CPU, GPU, or RAM; perhaps caused by cold solder joints E20: RAM error, perhaps caused by cold solder joints E35: GPU overheating, perhaps problem with thermal compound on GPU E64: DVD drive error; could be wrong firmware, kernel launch failure, broken NAND Flash chip, bad dashboard update E65: DVD drive error; could be DMA configuration error E66: DVD drive does not match the one the motherboard is looking for E67: Hard drive error; timed out during reset E68: Hard drive error; possibly DMA configuration error E69: Hard drive error; failure reading hard drive security sector E70: Hard drive error; error finding data on drive E71: xam.xex error, possibly dashboard update failure E72: xam.xex error, possibly a problem with the NAND flash chip E73: Possibly a problem with the ethernet or rear USB port E74: Problem with the solder/connection to the ANA or HANA chip E75: Ethernet port error E76: Ethernet port could not be reset properly E77: Ethernet error; PHY request failed, reading registry failed E78: AsicID check failed E79: xam.xex error, possibly a corrupt file system, possibly HDD error E80: Wrong LDV version in NAND flash Possible solutions: - Restart the console - Let the console sit, and try again at a later time - Try using compressed air on the back of the Xbox into the fan area - If it's a hard drive problem, try again without the hard drive connected - If it's an ethernet port error, try disconnecting the cord from the port - If it's an overheating problem, try again later when the console is cool - If it's a dashboard error (including xam.xex errors), try the method below - If the problem still persists, it may be an internal problem. This will require servicing by Microsoft If you have a dashboard error, it may be caused by a failed update. There is a method you can try to reverse the failed update, known as the "console reset code". To attempt the console reset code: 1. Turn the console off if it's on. 2. Hold down the controller sync button (to the right of Memory Unit Slot B) 3. Turn the console on, while continuing to hold down the button. 4. While the 360 is booting, it should clear any failed updates. 5. If it didn't work, you may need to send your console in to Microsoft. My explanation of the 3 red light and E74 errors: These errors are very common. I, as well as most people, believe the primary reason behind these errors are due to the low-quality solder used in the Xbox 360. As the console is used over time, heat built up in the system slowly adds wear-and-tear to the solder. Eventually, the solder will develop a hairline crack in it, and render essentially the entire Xbox 360 unusable. When this happens to the CPU, 3 red lights occur because the Xbox does not know how to "process" the error. When it happens to the GPU (the CPU still working), the CPU can process the error and display E74 on the television screen. These errors are very closely related. This is why the "towel trick" used to work. What the towel trick did, was have you wrap your Xbox, with nothing but the power cord in, in several thick towels, and turn the Xbox on. It would over- heat and shut off, but the towels would trap the heat inside. The heat would "re-melt" the solder in a usable state. However, due to the low quality of the job, this method typically didn't fix the system for long, lasting from as little a few minutes to maybe a week. Note: I in no way endorse the towel trick method and I highly recommend not doing it, as it can cause major damage to the other components in your 360. As well, if you send it to Microsoft and they discover that you did this, your warranty will be void. --- Play DVD and Open Tray Error --- Another problem one may have is the "Play DVD" error. In this situation, you don't get an error code exactly, as the Xbox doesn't exactly understand that something is wrong. What will happen is, you will put a 360 game into your disc tray, and instead of saying "Play [game]", it will say "Play DVD". Launching it will show you a screen that will say "To play this disc, put it in an Xbox 360 console" and translations in many other languages. Each Xbox 360 game has a 4-second DVD-format video track on it, the error you see above. It was intended to be played in a DVD player other than the Xbox. So for example, if you were to put the Xbox 360 game into your PC, PS3, or DVD player, that four second video is what you would see. The problem is, the Xbox 360 doesn't see the "game" track, and instead sees the DVD track and plays it instead. This problem occurs because the disc drive is dying. The lens may be dirty or misaligned. This error can appear at different frequencies. It may occur for every game, every time. It may occur for some games at most times. Some people experience this issue with only one game. The most common workaround is to eject the disc and reinsert it. Typically, the Xbox will eventually see the "game" track and launch the disc as normal. One may also try to use a DVD drive cleaning kit, to attempt to clean the lens if that is the problem. This problem is covered under Microsoft's one-year general warranty. The "Open Tray" error is similar, except in this instance, the 360 doesn't see the game OR the DVD track. Because of this, it doesn't think there is a game in the tray. This is also caused by a dirty, dying, or misaligned lens. The same workarounds above may help, but this one may need to be sent to Microsoft. -------------------------------- 6. Warranty and Microsoft Repair -------------------------------- The Xbox 360 comes with a one-year general warranty, which covers anything relating to the manufacturing of the console. It won't cover physical damage, soda spills, or anything of that nature, but it will cover the errors above. The Xbox 360 also has a special three-year warranty that applies to the specific errors of "3 red lights" and "E74". The date of the warranty starts on the purchase date of the console, not the manufacture date as some people believe. So if your console was purchased on August 12th, 2009 and the manufacturing date was June 27th, the warranty will expire a year (or three years for 3 red lights/E74) from the August 12th date. If you send your Xbox to Microsoft while it's under warranty, the warranty when you receive it back will be the remainder of the original year, or 90 days, whichever is longer. So, if you have a console for 6 months, and it breaks and you send it in, the unit you receive back will be under warranty for 5 more months (deducting a month for the time it takes to be replaced) or for 29 more months (2 years and 5 months) for the E74 or 3 red lights. If you send your console in after 2 years and 11 months for an E74 error, you will only have the 90-day warranty on the returned unit (but this warranty will apply for ALL errors). If you send your Xbox to Microsoft while it's not under warranty and pay for service, the general warranty is reset to one year and you have the remainder of the original 3 year warranty for the E74 and 3 red light errors or one full year, whichever is longer. When you send an Xbox 360 unit to Microsoft, you will most likely not receive your own console back. What happens is, they will take your unit and throw it on a "to-be-fixed" line. They will then grab a console off of the "fixed" line to send to you. This is done to reduce turnaround time, as sending you your specific console would take at least a week longer. If they were to fix your own console, they would have to diagnose it and physically replace parts in it, a time consuming process considering the volume of units they deal with. The unit you get shipped back will be equivalent to what you sent. You should get the same color and chipset type as what you send in. So if you send in an Xbox 360 Arcade unit with a Falcon chipset, you'll get a white 360 with a white disc tray back, with a Falcon chipset. This is also true for limited edition consoles like the Halo 3 console. The only exception is, as mentioned in an earlier section, Xenon chipsets will be upgraded to an Opus motherboard. The information sticker on the back of your Xbox 360 will feature the date the unit was repaired as the "manufacture" date, but that doesn't mean all of the parts are new. It will retain the same serial number as the unit you sent in to keep consistency. To actually set up the repair with Microsoft, you have two options. You can call their customer service number at 1-800-4MY-XBOX and set up the repair with a customer service representative, or you can set up the repair on the Support section of xbox.com. The latter will require you to register your console, but that can be done at any time and is a very short process. If you're in warranty, the price of repair is free (including shipping costs). If you're out of warranty, the cost is a flat-rate of $119.99 (plus tax) if you arrange the repair via the phone. If you arrange the repair online, the flat- rate is $99.99 (plus tax). I'm not 100% sure about their phone line policy, but if you set up the repair online, you have three shipping options: You can have them ship you a box (takes approximately 4 business days to receive) that you will ship the Xbox in; you can have them ship you a prepaid label (and not a box) that you can put on your own packaging, which will receive about 4 days to receive; or you can opt to print your own shipping label from Xbox.com. The latter method is instant and still free (pre-paid label) but will require a printer. Regardless of what method you choose, the shipping cost is free all ways. The entire turnaround will take roughly 3-4 weeks, maybe a max of 5 weeks if it's around a holiday where shipping companies are not operating. The repair center is located in Mesquite, Texas. The closer you are to that area, the less time it will take to ship your console. ------------------------- 7. The Blades and the NXE ------------------------- Every console out there has its own specialized operating system, for which games are programmed to run on. As time goes on, consoles get much more complex operating systems. Among the changes made are a graphical user interface in which the user can do things such as browse the files on their save files, tell the console to start a game or a movie, that kind of thing. With the Xbox 360 and the seventh generation of game consoles, these interfaces are grown quite massively and have become very complex, with an endless number of menus and options. When the Xbox 360 launched and for the first few years it had been released, the Xbox 360 had its own user interface (officially known as "the dashboard") that was (and still is) commonly known as "the blades". Designed by a company known as "AKQA", the dashboard was (originally) four blades wide. From left-to- right, the blades were "Xbox Live" (yellow background), "Games" (green), "Media" (blue), and "System" (purple). One blade would appear in its entirety as the other blades would appear on the left and right in condensed form with the name of the blade listed. For example, if you were on the Games blade, you could see all of the options that were listed on that blade. To the left, you would see a bar that said "Xbox Live" and to the right you would see two bars, one saying "Media" and one saying "System". Scrolling to the left from the Games blade would bring up the Xbox Live blade, and now a bar saying "Games" would be added to the right. Here's an example of what the blades dashboard looked like: http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/6599/bladesr.jpg Here's the content that each blade had: - Xbox Live - View your gamer profile - See friends list - See messages - Go to the Xbox Live Marketplace - Launch disc in tray - Sign in (if not signed in) - Games - View your gamer profile - See your games played and achievements - Play games in your Xbox Live Arcade - Launch demos from Xbox Live Marketplace - Launch disc in tray - Sign in (if not signed in) - Media - View your gamer profile - Listen to music - View pictures - Watch video - Launch disc in tray - Sign in (if not signed in) - System - Change console settings - Adjust parental controls - Manage the items on your storage devices - Adjust network connection settings - Connect your Xbox to a Windows PC with Windows Media Center - Restart inital system setup In addition to the main dashboard, the Xbox 360 user interface also had a menu known as "the Xbox Guide". Pressing the middle X logo on the 360 controller would bring out the guide, a "half-blade" that appeared on the left half of the screen. Options on the guide included shortcuts to your gamer profile, music settings, and friends list. On May 9th, 2007, approximately a year and a half after the system launched, a fifth blade was added to the left of Xbox Live, entitled "Marketplace". On November 11th, 2008, Microsoft released an update to the dashboard, referred to as the "NXE" which stands for "New Xbox Experience". A completely new ground-up design, the NXE replaced the blade system with a new menu system designed to reflect the look of Windows Media Center, and be similar to the PlayStation 3's "XMB" (XrossMediaBar) design. Instead of the blades system as before, the NXE has its main categories listed in rows that one scrolls up or down to view, and then the contents of those categories are listed horizontally when the category is highlighted. Categories (the ones listed up and down) include My Xbox, Spotlight, Friends, Game Marketplace, Video Marketplace, Inside Xbox and a few others that vary based on exact update version. Here's a screenshot of what the NXE dashboard looked like: http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/1715/nxe.jpg Here's some of the things that the new categories have under them (can vary): - Spotlight - Advertisements for new games/movies and demos/DLC - My Xbox - Play disc in tray - Profile (view and edit your profile) - Game Library - Video Library - Photo Library - Game Marketplace - Link to Game Marketplace, to buy new content - Advertisements for new game content - Video Marketplace - Link to Video Marketplace (older NXE versions) - Link to Zune Marketplace (newer versions) - Advertisements for new video content - Friends - Shows parties and friends - Inside Xbox - See videos such as "Major's Minute" and "IGN Strategize" The NXE also brought about a new, redesigned guide. As opposed to the older half-blade guide, the new guide is a smaller, slightly modified version of the old original blade-style dashboard. It was recolored blue to match the new NXE color schemes. --------------------- 8. What is Xbox Live? --------------------- Xbox Live is the online service for the Xbox. With over 17 million members, it is a key feature for the 360. As such, the 360 is built around the Xbox Live service, with many features of the 360 itself integrating online use. Xbox Live allows members to do multiple things, such as play online multiplayer games, voice chat, download new content for their games as well as new "Xbox Live Arcade" games, browse the Zune store, and more. There are two membership levels for Xbox Live; Silver (free) and Gold (paid subscription). The price for Gold is $19.99 for 3 months or $49.99 for 12 months, and can be purchased via a redemption card in a retail store, online via the 360 itself and a credit card, or online via the Xbox website. A Gold membership allows a member to do everything a standard Silver account can do, with many Gold exclusive features. Every user on the Xbox Live service has a user name known as a "Gamertag". The gamertag is used on the friends list and for sending messages to people. When you sign up for Xbox Live, you pick the gamertag you want. If you choose to change it at a later date, it will cost 800 Microsoft Points ($10) to change it. Here's a brief list of Xbox Live features: Available to both Silver and Gold members: - Private Chat (chat with another Live member) - Avatars - DLC (Downloadable Content) - Xbox Live Arcade downloads - Friends List - Gamer Profile with name, motto, bio, and "Games Played" list - Windows Live Messenger Available exclusively to Gold members: - Online multiplayer gaming - Xbox Live parties (chat with up to 7 other members) - Video chat - Netflix movie streaming (requires separate Netflix account) - Facebook app - Twitter app - Last.fm app - Zune marketplace - 1 vs. 100 (free Primetime game) - Select demos available one week early - Gold Member Veterans ------------------------ 9. Xbox Live Marketplace ------------------------ The Xbox Live Marketplace is where Xbox Live members can buy and download new items. Products in the Marketplace include Xbox Live Arcade games (see the next section for more details), downloadable content, Games on Demand (full retail Xbox 360 titles) and Xbox Originals (full retail original Xbox titles), themes and gamerpics, and other various items. The Xbox Live Marketplace uses a proprietary currency that is referred to as "Microsoft Points", or commonly shortened to "MSP". These points can also be used on the Zune Marketplace or the Games for Windows Live Marketplace. The conversion rate for MSP stands at 80MSP being equal to ~$1USD. Therefore, a prepaid 1600 MSP card retails for $19.99 and the 4000 MSP card retails for $49.99. Because these points are compatible with Zune, you can use the Zune service to buy points in $5 increments (400 MSP) if you do not want to buy a minimum of 1600 at a time. Games on Demand offer Xbox Live members the choice of buying select Xbox 360 titles over the Xbox Live service. Games on Demand can be purchased either with Microsoft Points or directly with a credit card. Pricing on these games range from around $20 to $30 (or 1600 to 2400 MSP). -------------------- 10. Xbox Live Arcade -------------------- The Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) is a key feature to the Live online service. Essentially, the service provides smaller-scale downloadable games for a lower price than retail games. Games available include classics such as Pac-Man or Centipede, ports of older games such as Doom or Sonic the Hedgehog 2, or fully developed new games, some of which are Xbox 360 exclusive, such as Shadow Complex or South Park Let's Go Tower Defense Play!. Game sizes range from just a few MB to nearly a GB. Prices typically range from 400 Microsoft Points ($5) to 1600 Microsoft Points ($20) with the average being 800 Points ($10). While typically downloaded from the Xbox Live service, select Xbox Live Arcade titles are available on compilation discs you can purchase at a store. Xbox Live Arcade games can be as fully featured as retail games, with features including online play and leaderboards. All Xbox Live Arcade games also have achievements (see section 11 for more details). ---------------- 11. Achievements ---------------- A feature introduced with the Xbox 360, achievements are the idea behind doing specific tasks in a video game, and in turn being rewarded with a certain amount of "gamerscore". For example, a game may have an achievement for killing 50 of a particular enemy, and the achievement may be worth a score of perhaps "25G" (the G is used to denote that it refers to gamerscore). Achievements can be as simple as pressing a button to being as complex as beating a game on the hardest difficulty with other strings attached. Every game on the Xbox 360 has achievements. A user's gamerscore is the total from all of the games they have played. Developers have to follow certain achievement policies. For the most part, a retail game must have a total of 1000 gamerscore ("1000G"). Typically, a game will not have more than 50 achievements for the base 1000G, although there are a few exceptions. Originally, games could bring the total gamerscore up to 1250G with downloadable content (DLC), although they could leave it anywhere inbetween (such as 1100G). Also, developers had the option to leave less than 1000G on the game, but were required to add the rest via free DLC. For example, Crackdown initially only had 900G, but with DLC was brought up to the max of 1250G. Because these rules weren't exactly explicit at the launch of the 360, a few games do not quite follow them. For example, Condemned: Criminal Origins is based out of 970G, and Tiger Wood's PGA Tour 06 is based out of 960G. Also, some games have more than 50 achievements for the base 1000G. For example, The Orange Box has 99 achievements, and because it contained essentially 5 complete titles, an exception was made. Recently, Microsoft has changed their rules a little bit regarding their policy with achievements. The policy now allows for a game to have 250G added to it per quarter (of a year), for a max of 1750G. However, there seems to be some criticism over this as Halo 3 jumped straight from 1000G to 1750G overnight. Xbox Live Arcade games also have achievements too. Typically, an XBLA game will feature 12 achievements for a total of 200G. DLC for these titles can bring the total to 15 achievements for 250G. There are a few exceptions here, too, such as Tinker featuring 15 achievements for only 200G. ---------------------------- 12. Child and Adult Accounts ---------------------------- When you register for a gamertag, you are asked for a date of birth. If you say that you are under 18 when you make your account, you are automatically put on a child account. The differences between a child account and an adult account are: A child account can NOT: - Download demos to an M rated game - Download DLC for an M rated game - Download M rated XBLA or full 360 games - Download content that is not rated or "Rating Pending" A child account CAN, however, PLAY M rated games that were actually purchased at a retail store, provided the parental controls allow it. The reasoning is because, Microsoft can't legally block you from playing something you own, but they CAN refuse to SELL you something, hence the blocks listed above. Child accounts can also be monitored by parental controls. Some parental control features include blocking games by rating, or limiting the amount of time a child user can spend on Xbox Live. Parental controls can not be applied to an adult account. In order to be promoted to an adult account, one must turn 18 as determined by the original date of birth when registered, and they must enter a credit card number, which apparently "confirms" they are an adult. -------------------------- 13. Backward Compatibility -------------------------- In addition to Xbox 360 content, a 360 console equipped with a hard drive can play many original Xbox titles via backward compatibility. The official list of compatible titles is listed on this page: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/backwardcompatibilitygameslist.htm A more detailed list with exact compatibility notes can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Xbox_games_compatible_with_Xbox_360 In order to play Xbox games on the 360, you must have an official hard drive attached. The reason is because each compatible Xbox game has what's referred to as an "emulation profile", which contains software and code to assist the game's stability. The Xbox 360 has a totally different processor architecture than the original Xbox did, so hardware emulation can not be done. These profiles are stored in the non-user accessible part of the hard drive. The final update to the list of backward compatible games was released in November 2007. No further updates or fixes for original Xbox games will be released. In the event you need to update your backward compatibility, there are quite a few ways this can be done. First off, if your hard drive was made since November 2007, it should already have the latest update on it. Secondly, if you already updated your console to the NXE dashboard, that update included the last backward compatibility update. If your hard drive is older than 11/07 and you are still using the blades dashboard, then you can using the following methods to update your backward compatibility: - Update via Xbox Live. If you have an internet connection to your 360, and you attempt to play an Xbox game that isn't compatible with your current profiles you should be prompted to update your backward compatibility. You can use either a Gold or Silver account to do this update. - Burn a disc with the latest update. This will require a blank CD and a CD burner on your computer. You can download the backward compatibility update file here: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/backwardscompatibilityredirect.htm That will redirect you to a .zip file with the file you need inside. Using a burning program, make a "data disc" and burn the file "default.xex" to the disc. After the disc is burned, run the disc in your Xbox 360 console and follow the on-screen instructions. This method does not require internet to be connected to your console. - Use an Official Xbox Magazine ("OXM") demo disc to update your backward compatibility. Every OXM disc contains the latest backward compatibility update. Just pick a disc from a month in 2008 or newer to and use it to do the update. - Order a disc from Microsoft. The disc is free, but they will charge a little bit for shipping. You can order the disc from a link on this page: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/backwardscompatibility.htm#order There are a few other setbacks with backward compatbility. For one, you can not transfer original saves from an Xbox, so you will have to start all of your games over. In addition, any DLC you had will have to be redownloaded, some may have to be purchased again. Also, you can not use an original Xbox controller; you can only use a controller compatible with the 360. ------------------------------------------------------- 14. Understanding Microsoft's Digital Rights Management ------------------------------------------------------- Digital Rights Management (DRM) is an electronic security measure that most files have to prevent illegitimate use or piracy. Microsoft has DRM on every file that is downloaded from Xbox Live. These restrictions placed on the files can sometimes prove to be annoying, however, if one is using a different user account or 360 console. Files that you download are tied to you in two ways; firstly, they are tied to your gamertag, and secondly, they are tied to your console. They are NOT tied to a storage device (like your hard drive) so you can switch that at will and will not suffer from any DRM restrictions. When you download a file, your basic usage rules allow for: - All users on that original Xbox 360 console to use that content - Your gamertag to always be able to use it, on any console, but for consoles OTHER than the original, you must be connected to Live This means that, if your account is "XboxLiveUser" and you download a file from Xbox Live, that account "XboxLiveUser" will ALWAYS be able to use that file, but will have to be on Xbox Live to use it if on another console from the original. If the original console has users "XboxLiveUser2" and "XboxLiveUser3" then they will be able to use the file on the original console. They will NOT be able to use that content on another console, regardless of if they are connected to Live or not. If you change consoles and wish to use your downloaded content offline, then you will have to do the License Transfer process. This will change the licenses to all of your files from your old console to your new console. This process can only be done once a year. To do this, you will need to be able to have both your PC and your new Xbox 360 on the network at the same time. To start, follow this link: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemuse/xbox360/licensemigration/ ------------------- 15. Storage Devices ------------------- You're going to want a way to save your progress, as well as your downloaded content, etc. This section will discuss the ways in which you can save your data. The Xbox 360 supports three types of storage devices: the official hard drive, the Xbox 360 Memory Unit, or a USB storage device. As of this writing, Xbox 360 hard drives have been released in sizes of 20GB, 60GB, 120GB, and 250GB (see section 19 for more details). Memory units were released in 64MB and 512MB sizes, with 256MB in existance due to their previous inclusion in Arcade bundles. Memory units, however, were discontinued when the Xbox 360 had the update to use the third type of storage, USB drives. Unlike hard drives and memory units, the Xbox 360 will accept non-official USB drives. However, there are some criteria that the drives need to meet. They must be at least 1GB, and you can not get more than 16GB of storage from a single drive. You can use larger drives, such as a 32GB flash drive or even a large hard drive, but the 360 will partition off a maximum size. The Xbox will reserve 512MB of space for its own use. Therefore, with a 1GB drive, you will only get ~512MB of storage, and with a 16GB drive, you'll get about 15.5GB. If you're using a larger drive, the 360 will allow you to use 16.5GB of space, in order to have the 16GB of storage in addition to the 512MB of space the 360 takes. Originally, Microsoft encouraged use of USB flash drives as opposed to USB hard drives, citing speed as the primary reason, saying that hard drives would be too slow for optimal performance. However, tests have been done by multiple people, including some on YouTube, that show that hard drives tend to be faster than flash drives. If you attach an Xbox 360 hard drive or your Xbox 360 memory unit to the Xbox 360, it will be able to be written and read from immediately (no configuration needed). If you plug in a USB device that is not formatted for Xbox 360 use, it will not be automatically formatted; you'll need to go to the Memory screen to configure it. You will have the option of either formatting the entire drive, or an option that allows you to pick how much of the drive is partitioned for Xbox 360 use. You will not be able to use the Xbox 360 partition for files on your PC, such as your Word documents. I would recommend backing up any data you have on your USB drive prior to any formatting to ensure that you don't lose any of your data. While you won't be able to save to a USB device that's larger than 16GB, you can certainly read from them. Feel free to plug in an external hard drive or media player to play music, view photos, or watch movies from these devices. Note that, you can only rip music from an audio-format CD, not from an MP3 CD, portable media player, or USB drive/hard drive. -------------------------------- 16. Port Forwarding and Your NAT -------------------------------- If you're going to connect your Xbox 360 to Xbox Live, I highly recommend that you port forward so that you will get better performance. For security reasons, your router will often block many incoming connections if they don't know what they are on certain ports. This can create problems when you're connected to Xbox Live, as your router may be blocking things you're legitimately trying to access. Port Forwarding is a process that tells your router "Hey, if something comes for me (your Xbox's IP) on these ports, it's something I want". I can't provide exact step-by-step instructions for this, as routers are very different and their administrative user interfaces can vary greatly. I will provide basic instructions that most moderate-to-advanced users will probably be able to follow. If you're not able to follow what I'm saying, the links I will have listed at the end of this section will be of more assistance with a variety of router types. First, we'll want to make your Xbox's IP address static. You don't HAVE to do this, but if you don't, your Xbox's IP can change at any time and thus the changes we do here will no longer be configured properly, leaving you with the port problems that we were at risk with before. To do this, switch on your 360 and find the network connection settings in the settings area. Go to the "IP settings" option and change your IP address to "manual". You'll need to enter a manual IP address, Subnet Mask, and Default Gateway. According to http://www.freewebs.com/haximo/portsstaticip.htm, these are the recommended values you should put depending on what router you have: D-Link IP Address: 192.168.0.200 Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0 Gateway: 192.168.0.1 Netgear IP Address: 192.168.1.200 Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0 Gateway: 192.168.1.1 Linksys IP Address: 192.168.1.140 Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0 Gateway: 192.168.1.1 Belkin IP Address: 192.168.2.200 Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0 Gateway: 192.168.2.1 Click done after you've entered the values and do an Xbox Live connection test. If you fail it, that's ok, we're not done yet. Go back to the IP settings again, and this time, we want to change the DNS settings, which are right under the IP settings. Again, we want manual. We're going to put in the recommend numbers in provided to us by http://www.freewebs.com/haximo/portsstaticip.htm. We are going to leave the secondary option blank, only filling in the Primary DNS server setting. D-Link: 192.168.0.1 Netgear: 192.168.1.1 Linksys: 192.168.1.1 Belkin: 192.168.2.1 Now, after finishing that, we want to run another Xbox Live connection test. You shouldn't fail this time, but you are still likely to get a message to tell you that your NAT isn't open. That's ok, now it's time to configure the router. This is the part that will start to vary by router, so if you can no longer follow me at this point, resort to the two links at the bottom of this section for more in-depth help. We're going to need to log in to your router's configuration page. Open up your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.; whatever you use to go to a web site) and type in the address below for whichever router model you have. The user names and passwords provided are defaults; someone may have changed them if they don't work for you. D-Link: 192.168.0.1 (username: admin, password: [blank]) Netgear: 192.168.1.1 (username: admin, password: password) Linksys: 192.168.1.1 (username: [blank], password: admin) If your router isn't listed here, try the 2nd link at the bottom of this sect. for the rest of the instructions. Now, we need to navigate to the section of your router that deals with port forwarding. Navigate to the page listed below: D-Link: Advanced tab, then "Virtual Server" Netgear: Port Forwarding/Port Triggering under Advanced on left panel Linksys: Applications and Gaming at the top Now we're going to need to tell your router to allow ports 88 and 3074 for the static IP address we gave your Xbox earlier (the one you manually entered in to the Xbox 360). For all routers, name the first one port forward "Xbox1" and tell it to forward the ports "88-88". If it wants you to specify UDP or TCP, I would tell it to do both. For the IP address, enter the one you put on your Xbox. Make sure it is enabled, and save it. Now, we're gonna do the process again. Type in "Xbox2" and tell it to forward the ports "3074-3074" on both UDP and TCP if it asks. Making sure it's enabled, save it. You should now see Xbox1 and Xbox2 in your list of forwarded ports. Other websites will tell you to forward ports 53, 80, and 2074, but there is no added benefit and it can cause problems with your PC trying to go online, so DON'T do it. If your router wants you to specify a time to have the port forwarding active, have it checked as "Always" or a similar option. For safe measures, at this point, unplug your router and wait 30 seconds to a minute to plug it back in. This will reset the router. After your router is fully reset, run a network connection test on your 360. It should complete properly, and should not have a message at the end alerting you that your NAT is moderate or strict. On the NXE, if it says nothing, that means your ports are opened. If it didn't work out for you, your router wasn't listed above, or if you're having trouble, here are two links you can try. http://www.freewebs.com/haximo/ports.htm http://www.portforward.com/english/routers/port_forwarding/routerindex.htm A note: If the second link instructs you to port forward ports 53, 80, or 2074, I would recommend disregarding that. Only follow the instructions to forward ports 88 and 3074, as this is all the 360 needs. ---------------------------------------- 17. Music Controller Compatibility Chart ---------------------------------------- In this section, I will list the music simulation games available for the Xbox 360 and will denote which instruments they are compatible with. The acronyms across the top will denote that game's instruments; for example, "GH2" will represent a shorthand way of saying "Guitar Hero II's X-Plorer Guitar". The legend is listed below the charts. Note: This chart is only accurate for the Xbox 360 versions of these games. The PlayStation 3 and Wii have different compatibilities. Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero III, and Guitar Hero Aerosmith can be played via a standard Xbox 360 controller. No full-band games (any game with drums or mics) can be played with a standard controller, as the controller is automatically associated with mics, and therefore require the specialized instruments to be played. --- Guitar Chart --- Game Instrument GH2 GH3 GHWT GH5 RB RB2 TB:RB MCFB Band Hero Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Green Day: Rock Band Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Guitar Hero II Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No Guitar Hero III Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No Guitar Hero Aerosmith Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Guitar Hero World Tour Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Guitar Hero Metallica Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Guitar Hero Smash Hits Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Guitar Hero 5 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Guitar Hero Van Halen Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Lego Rock Band Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Rock Band Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Rock Band 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Rock Band Track Packs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Rock Revolution Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes The Beatles: Rock Band Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Legend: GH2 - Guitar Hero II wired X-Plorer guitar GH3 - Guitar Hero III wireless Les Paul guitar GHWT - Guitar Hero World Tour wireless guitar GH5 - Guitar Hero 5 wireless guitar RB - Rock Band wired Stratocaster guitar RB2 - Rock Band 2 wireless Stratocaster guitar TB:RB - All 3 of The Beatles: Rock Band limited edition wireless guitars MCFB - Mad Catz Fender Bass (listed because this is RB officially licensed) --- Drum Chart --- Game Instrument GHWT RB RB2 TB:RB RR ION Band Hero Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Green Day: Rock Band Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Guitar Hero World Tour Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Guitar Hero Metallica Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Guitar Hero Smash Hits Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Guitar Hero 5 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Guitar Hero Van Halen Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Lego Rock Band Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Rock Band Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Rock Band 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Rock Band Track Packs Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Rock Revolution Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes The Beatles: Rock Band Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Legend: GHWT - Guitar Hero World Tour drum kit RB - Rock Band wired drum kit RB2 - Rock Band 2 wireless drum kit TB:RB - Special Edition The Beatles: Rock Band wireless drum kit RR - Rock Revolution drum kit ION - Ion drum kit --- Microphone Chart --- Game Instrument GHWT RB LIPS MS XBL Band Hero Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Green Day: Rock Band Yes Yes Yes Yes ??? Guitar Hero World Tour Yes Yes No No Yes Guitar Hero Metallica Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Guitar Hero Smash Hits Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Guitar Hero 5 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Guitar Hero Van Halen Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Lego Rock Band Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Lips No No Yes Yes No Lips Number One Hits No No Yes Yes No Rock Band Yes Yes No No Yes Rock Band 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Rock Band Track Packs Yes Yes No No Yes The Beatles: Rock Band Yes Yes Yes Yes No Legend: GHWT - Guitar Hero World Tour microphone RB - Rock Band/Rock Band 2 USB microphone LIPS - Lips wireless microphone MS - Official Microsoft-brand Xbox 360 Wireless Microphone XBL - Xbox Live Headset --------------------------------- 18. Official Xbox 360 Accessories --------------------------------- In this section, I will list the first-party (made by Microsoft) peripherals and accessories that you can buy for the Xbox 360. To save time and space, I won't put "Xbox 360" in the title for all of them, as that's a given. Some of the items on this list may have been limited edition items; also, some limited edition items may not be listed here. I will also not be able to list every store-specific accessory out there, because there is no way to possibly know all of them. - Wired Controller - Colors: White - Interface: USB - Can also be used on PC with drivers and compatible games - MSRP: $39.99 - Wireless Controller - Colors: White, Black, Pink, Blue - Can also be used on PC with wireless controller adapter - MSRP: $49.99 - Wireless Controller with Play and Charge Kit Bundle - Colors: Black, Special Edition Red - Includes wireless controller, charging cable and rechargable battery - Can also be used on PC with wireless controller adapter (not charge cable) - Charge cable can be plugged into any USB 2.0 port to charge (PC, etc.) - MSRP: $64.99 - Play and Charge Kit - Colors: White, Black - Includes charging cable and rechargeable battery - Charge cable can be plugged into any USB 2.0 port to charge (PC, etc.) - MSRP: $19.99 - Rechargeable Battery - Colors: White, Black - Replacement or spare battery for charging cable or Quick Charge kit - MSRP: $11.99 *Possibly discontinued separately - Quick Charge Kit - Colors: White - Includes charging dock and rechargeable battery - Allows you to attach battery for charging from the wall quickly - MSRP: $29.99 - Headset - Colors: White - Plugs in to bottom of controller - Allows you to chat and hear others on Xbox Live - MSRP: $19.99 - Wireless Headset - Colors: White - Includes wireless headset and charging cable - Wirelessly syncs to your Xbox 360 - Allows you to chat and hear others on Xbox Live - Built in battery - MSRP: $59.99 - Wireless Microphone - Colors: Black - Can be used in compatible music games for vocals - Features built-in lights and motion sensor - MSRP: $49.99 - Wireless Racing Wheel - Colors: White/Black unit - Includes steering wheel top, brake/accelerate pedals, and table mount - Force Feedback enabled - MSRP: $99.99 - Universal Media Remote - Colors: White - Allows you to control your TV, Xbox 360, and Windows Media Center via 360 - Buttons light up green so you can see them in the dark - MSRP: $19.99 - Wireless G Networking Adapter - Colors: White, Green (for Halo 3 console) - Allows your Xbox 360 to connect to a router over Wi-Fi - Supports Wi-Fi A/B/G - MSRP: Discontinued, was $99.99 - Wireless N Networking Adapter - Colors: Black - Allows your Xbox 360 to connect to a router over Wi-Fi - Supports Wi-Fi A/B/G/N - MSRP: $99.99 - Vision Camera - Colors: White - Includes camera, headset, UNO Xbox Live Arcade Game, one month of Live Gold - Allows you to take pics in-game and enables voice chat capability - MSRP: $19.99 *Possibly discontinued - Messenger Kit - Colors: White - Includes chatpad and headset - Chatpad plugs in to the bottom of the controller - Allows you to type using a physical QWERTY keyboard - MSRP: $29.99 - HD-DVD Player - Colors: White - Includes HD-DVD player, remote, and King Kong on HD-DVD - Adds an external HD-DVD player to the Xbox 360 - MSRP: Quickly discontinued, originally $199 - Component HD AV Cable - Colors: Gray - Allows you to hook up your Xbox 360 via R/G/B/R/W component - Also supports R/W/Y composite connection - Supports up to 1080i with most TVs, 1080p with some TVs - Upscales DVDs up to 480p - Optical audio output port - MSRP: $39.99 - VGA HD AV Cable - Colors: Gray - Allows you to hook up your Xbox 360 to a TV or monitor via VGA - Supports 480i/p, 720p, 1080i/p - Supports special resolutions 848x480, 1024x768, 1280x768, 1280x1024, 1360x768 (if your screen is 1366x768, this option will put 3 columns of black pixels on both sides to avoid stretching), 1440x900, 1680x1050 (if you select 1680x1050, it adds black borders to make the screen 16:9 rather than 16:10) - Upscales DVDs up to 1080p - Includes R/W composite connectors for sound - Optical audio output port - MSRP: $39.99 - HDMI Cable - Colors: Gray - Includes HDMI cable and optical output port cable that plugs into A/V port - Allows you to hook up your Xbox 360 via HDMI - Supports up to 1080p - Upscales DVDs up to 1080p - MSRP: $49.99 - 64MB Memory Unit - Colors: White - Includes memory unit and clear carrying case - Allows you to store data on an external memory unit - MSRP: Discontinued, was $29.99 - 512MB Memory Unit - Colors: White - Includes memory unit and clear carrying case - Allows you to store data on an external memory unit - MSRP: Discontinued, was originally $49.99, lowered to $29.99 - 20GB Hard Drive - Colors: Gray/Chrome - Allows you to add a hard drive to your Xbox 360 - MSRP: Discontinued, was $99.99 - 60GB Xbox Live Starter Pack - Colors: Gray/Chrome - Includes 60GB hard drive, headset, ethernet cable, and 3 months of Live - Allows you to save data and Xbox Live downloads - MSRP: $99.99 - 120GB Hard Drive - Colors: Gray/Chrome - Includes 120GB hard drive and transfer cable - Allows you to upgrade your current hard drive or add a new one - Transfer cable allows you to move all your data from your old hard drive - MSRP: Discontinued, was $149.99 - 250GB Hard Drive - Colors: Gray/Chrome - Includes 250GB hard drive and transfer cable - Allows you to upgrade your current hard drive or add a new one - Transfer cable allows you to move all your data from your old hard drive - MSRP: $129.99 - 8GB USB Flash Drive - Colors: Black - Includes 8GB USB Flash Drive and 1 month Xbox Live Gold service - Preformatted for Xbox 360 use - Manufactured by SanDisk, but licensed as official Microsoft accessory - MSRP: $34.99 - 16GB USB Flash Drive - Colors: Black - Includes 16GB USB Flash Drive and 1 month Xbox Live Gold service - Preformatted for Xbox 360 use - Manufactured by SanDisk, but licensed as official Microsoft accessory - MSRP: $69.99 - 1600 Microsoft Points Card - Colors: N/A - One-time use code that adds 1600 Microsoft Points to your account balance - MSRP: $19.99 - 4000 Microsoft Points Card - Colors: N/A - One-time use code that adds 4000 Microsoft Points to your account balance - MSRP: $49.99 - 1 Month Live Card - Colors: N/A - One-time use code that adds 1 month of Xbox Live Gold to your account - MSRP: $7.99 - 3 Month Live Card - Colors: N/A - One-time use code that adds 3 months of Xbox Live Gold to your account - MSRP: $19.99 - 12 Month Live Card - Colors: N/A - One-time use code that adds 12 months of Xbox Live Gold to your account - MSRP: $49.99 - 12+1 Month Live Card - Colors: N/A - One-time use code that adds 13 months of Xbox Live Gold to your account - MSRP: Discontinued, was $49.99 --------------------------------------------- 19. Measuring the 360's Hard Drive Capacities --------------------------------------------- Back when the 360 first launched, the only hard drive available for it was a 20GB model. However, people quickly discovered that they could only use 13.9GB of the space, and that, because the drive came loaded with videos and demos, it appeared to be only about 10GB. People wondered how Microsoft could really call this drive a "20GB" hard drive. In this section, I will explain to you why the 360 hard drives are the way they are and how they got to be that way. First, we need to understand that basically every hard drive in existance (and not just for the Xbox 360, but even the PlayStation 3, an iPod, a Zune, a HDD- camcorder, or even your computer's hard drive) is measured by the manufacturer differently than how the computer calculates space. The manufacturer will say that every 1000MB is 1GB, but the computer calculates 1GB as 1024MB. Because 1000MB is smaller than 1024MB, the computer's output of the final usable space is actually smaller than the manufacturer's measure. This is also true for ALL units; a manufacturer will say 1000KB is 1MB, but the computer will say 1024KB is 1MB, and a manufacturer will say 1000GB is 1TB, but the computer will say 1024GB is 1TB, etc. We can use the following formula to figure out how much usable space there will be (as reported by the computer) based on what the manufacturer tells us; this formula works for ANY hard drive, not just the 360: AS x .93 = US AS = Manufacturer's advertised space US = Actual usable space, as defined by the computer Using this formula, we see that the 20GB drive is actually "18.6GB" (and that number can vary a very slight amount due to formatting and exact byte count). From there, the Xbox 360 (and this IS exclusive to the Xbox 360, not a PS3/PC/ etc.) uses an additional approx. 4.7GB of space for system resources, such as a cache for system updates and Xbox backward compatibility emulation profiles. So, we'll take that 4.7GB from the 18.6GB available to us, and that leaves us with 13.9GB, which is the amount that a "blank" Xbox 360 hard drive will report as being free. These numbers are consistant with all Xbox 360 hard drives, too. For the 60GB version, we'll do the .93 formula and come up with 55.8GB of actual space, and then we'll subtract the 4.7GB the Xbox uses to come up with a final measure of 51.1GB of usable space, which happens to be the exact amount a blank 60GB drive for the 360 reports as having. For the 120GB drive, again we'll do the .93 trick to see that we have 111.6GB of actual space, and with the 4.7GB that the Xbox uses, we have 106.9GB that is actually accessible to us. So remember, the formula to find the final user-accessible space on an Xbox 360 hard drive is: AS x .93 = US - 4.7GB = UAS with UAS = User-Accessible Space. And before anyone asks, yes, the whole 1000=/=1024 thing is legal. Every hard drive manufacturer puts a small print disclaimer on their packaging that says they are defining 1GB as 1,000,000,000 bytes, or a similar phrase. Usable Hard Drive Space on Xbox 360 Hard Drives: 20GB = 13.9GB usable 60GB = 51.1GB usable 120GB = 106.9GB usable 250GB = 227.8GB usable ------------------- 20. Asked Questions ------------------- This section is reserved to answer email inquiries that I get. So far, I have not received any. Questions will be added here when they come in. ------------------- 21. Version History ------------------- 12/13/09 - Version 1.0 First version of the guide. Started 12/12/09. Features 15 total sections. 12/23/09 - Version 1.1 Reorganized the guide into three main categories. Added 4 new sections, and renamed 2 sections. Added more to the Error Codes section and music controller section. Also added special edition consoles in the Xbox 360 Packages section. 12/24/09 - Version 1.1a Fixed a mistake in the Table of Contents (sections 16 and 17 were flipped). Also centered "Instrument" in the microphone compatibility chart as it became uncentered when I added the "XBL" column. 12/29/09 - Version 1.2 Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas/Happy [insert holiday here]. This update includes an explanation on 360 hard drive capacities and a section about the Xbox 360's backward compatibility. 01/02/10 - Version 1.3 Changed some information in the warranty section of the guide to reflect rather recent policy changes. Added some notes in the backward compatibility section. It's a new year, so I updated the copyrights. 03/06/10 - Version 1.4 Updated accessory pricing and limited edition consoles. Added lower cost of controllers to reflect what stores are currently selling them at. Updated section 9 to discuss Games on Demand in more detail. Added a summary of usable hard drive space in section 18. 03/27/10 - Version 1.5 Updated the accessories section to add the new standalone 250GB hard drive. Added the Splinter Cell bundle to the list of consoles. Added a new section to provide details on storage devices, namely the new USB functionality. Added Green Day: Rock Band to the music controller compatiblity chart. 06/06/10 - Version 1.6 Made some updates to the accessories section due to some peripherals that were discontinued, as well as some new ones introduced. Updated the storage devices section. Added what resolutions the VGA cable can support. ----------- 22. Credits ----------- Thanks to: - Various Wikipedia contributors for their collective knowledge on many of the subjects discussed in this guide. They provided for a great confirmation on a few details, and for dates. - Xbox-Scene.com and members of its forum. Their collective knowledge on errors of the Xbox 360 greatly contributed to the "Error Codes" section. - GameFAQs Xbox 360 message board members. Shoutouts to Renamon, Killah Priest, fustmonkey/CaPwnD, Dragon Nexus, and Winternova for much of the knowledge they have shared on the forum. - More credit to CaPwnD, whose site (http://www.freewebs.com/haximo/ports.htm) made for a great resource regarding port forwarding information. - GameFAQs member peach freak (Tim Brastow) and my friend "thegreenblob" for insight and direction on FAQ content. - GameFAQs member bucketbot360 (Paolo Camilo) for updated information regarding the Xbox 360 warranty - Anandtech for their research and information regarding power usage of the Xbox 360 hardware - Major Nelson (http://majornelson.com) for providing news and updates relating to the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live. The following sites are allowed to host this FAQ: GameFAQs (gamefaqs.com) Neoseeker (neoseeker.com) Copyright 2009-2010 Travis Combs. All Rights Reserved.