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Microsoft Corp., a leading maker of game consoles, has released some details concerning the improvements of Xbox 360 functionality, something, which is crucially needed for successful competition with Sony’s forthcoming PlayStation 3 game consoles.

Besides the already discussed HD DVD add-on, the Xbox 360 will get a camera which will allow communication as well as gesture recognition in games, a wireless headset that allows to chat during online game playing, a wireless steering wheel with force-feedback as well as a broad array of new games, some of which are exclusive for the game console.

The release of additional peripherals for the Xbox 360 should emphasize that the gaming and media center platform is already very mature and is broadly supported, providing benefits for end-users. Microsoft hopes that add-on hardware for the console will help the software giant to steal attention from the Sony PlayStation 3 game console that launches in November, 2006.

Microsoft also announced that by the Holiday 2006 season many new and highly-anticipated game titles will be available, including Gears of War, Lost Planet, Forza Motorsport 2, Viva Pi?ata, Grand Theft Auto IV, Mass Effect as well as certain exclusive, according to Microsoft, next-generation games for the Xbox 360, namely Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell” Double Agent, The Godfather: The Game, Superman Returns and Need for Speed: Carbon.

Microsoft Xbox 360 console is based around microprocessor developed by IBM, high-definition visual processing unit designed by ATI Technologies, I/O controller engineered by SiS and some other key components. The gaming machine will provide a broad set of multimedia capabilities in addition to games. Depending on the bundle, Microsoft Xbox 360 currently costs $299 or $399.

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