updated 5/12/2005 9:33:41 PM ET 2005-05-13T01:33:41

(MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)

  • 20-gigabyte detachable, upgradable hard drive. The original: 8-gigabyte nonremovable hard drive.
  • Three dual-core processors running at 3.2 gigahertz each. The original: 733 megahertz processor.
  • 512 megabytes of memory. The original: 64 megabytes.
  • Three USB ports that can connect with digital cameras and portable music players. The original did not have USB ports.
  • Two ports for 64-megabyte memory cards that can be used to save games, making customized content portable so it can be played on a friend’s console. The original did not support memory cards.
  • Can stand on one end or lie flat. The original could only lie flat.
  • Subscribers to the online gaming service can buy custom game characters, cars, weapons, “skins” that let them change the color or texture of their screen or new game trailers. The so-called microtransactions will cost as little as 99 cents apiece at a virtual shop Microsoft is calling “Xbox Live Marketplace,” which will be available only with Xbox 360. With the original box, gamers could buy extras occasionally, but only with certain games.
  • Colorful faceplates that can be snapped onto the front of the console. No such add-on available for the original version.
  • Built-in extender for Windows XP Media Center, a version of Microsoft’s flagship operating system. The current version can connect with Windows, but only with a separate extender.
  • Doubles as a DVD player. The current version can play DVDs only if you buy a special attachment.
  • Small video camera (to be sold separately) can be used for video chats.
  • Up to four wireless controllers can sit on the coffee table next to a TV remote. The original: Controllers have to be plugged into the console.
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