Max is a graphical development environment for music and multimedia developed and maintained by San Francisco-based software company Cycling'74. It has been used for over fifteen years by composers, performers, software designers, researchers and artists interested in creating interactive software.
The Max program itself is highly modular, with most routines existing in the form of shared libraries. An API allows third-party development of new routines (called "external objects"). As a result, Max has a large userbase of programmers not affiliated with Cycling'74 who enhance the software with commercial and non-commercial extensions to the program. Because of its extensible design and graphical interface (which in a novel way represents the program structure and the GUI as presented to the user simultaneously), Max is widely regarded as the lingua franca for developing interactive music performance software.
Max was originally written by Miller Puckette at IRCAM in the 1980s to give composers access to an authoring system for interactive computer music. In the early 1990s a commercial version of the program (developed and extended by David Zicarelli) was released by Opcode Systems. The current commercial version of Max has been distributed by Zicarelli's company, Cycling'74, since 1999.
Max has a number of extensions and incarnations; most notably, a set of audio extensions to the software appeared in 1997. Called MSP, this "add-on" package for Max allowed for the manipulation of digital audio signals in real-time, allowing users to create their own synthesizers and effects processors (Max had previously been designed to interface with hardware synthesizers, samplers, etc. as a "control" language using MIDI or some other protocol). A second major package called Jitter was released in 2003, adding real-time video, 3-D, and matrix processing capability to the software.
In addition, a number of sibling and Max-like programs exist. IRCAM developed and maintained a concurrent version of Max for the NeXT (and later SGI and Linux), called Max/FTS (FTS standing for "Faster Than Sound", and being analogous to a forerunner to MSP enhanced by a hardware DSP board on the computer). A later version of the program was developed in Java (jMax) and is open-source. Puckette himself released an entirely re-designed program in the mid-1990s called Pd ("pure data", alternately "public domain"), which has a number of fundamental differences from the IRCAM original. Native Instruments markets a similar software called Reaktor. Reaktor is generally considered easier to use and learn than Max, albeit less powerful.
Apple has a very similar program called Quartz Composer focused on graphical compositions
Max is named for Max Mathews, and can be considered a descendant of MUSIC, though its graphical nature disguises that fact. Additionally, the real-time image processing capability of Max also makes it the first MUSIC-N program capable of doing other things than music.
A large number of people use Max, even if they aren't aware of it. Max documents (called patchers) can be bundled into standalone applications and distributed free or sold commercially. In addition, Max can be used to author audio plugin software for major audio production systems.
With the increased integration of laptop computers into live music performance (in electronic music and elsewhere), Max/MSP and Max/Jitter have received quite a bit of attention as the development environment of choice for those serious about laptop music / laptop video performance.
Many other artists use Max/MSP/Jitter, but prefer not to mention it. For more on this subject, see this discussion on the Max/MSP mailing list.
This page about Max includes information from a Wikipedia article.
Additional articles about Max
News stories about Max
External links for Max
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For more on this subject, see this discussion on the Max/MSP mailing list.
Max documents (called patchers) can be bundled into standalone applications and distributed free or sold commercially. . A large number of people use Max, even if they aren't aware of it. NVIDIA ceased production of the Xbox's GPU in August of that year, which almost certainly marks the end of Xbox production and the quick release of the Xbox 360 featuring a new GPU from NVIDIA's rival ATI. Additionally, the real-time image processing capability of Max also makes it the first MUSIC-N program capable of doing other things than music. Microsoft's next generation Xbox, the Xbox 360, was released on November 22, 2005. Max is named for Max Mathews, and can be considered a descendant of MUSIC, though its graphical nature disguises that fact. To avoid frustrating early adopters, they offered a bundle containing two games and one controller for free to any purchaser who could provide a sales receipt showing the original higher price.
Apple has a very similar program called Quartz Composer focused on graphical compositions. Microsoft countered with a £100 price drop (and its equivalent in the rest of Europe) some scant months after launch. Reaktor is generally considered easier to use and learn than Max, albeit less powerful. With a price-dropped PlayStation 2 and a comparatively inexpensive GameCube as competition, many users were naturally reluctant to invest in the console. Native Instruments markets a similar software called Reaktor. Obviously, ignoring the GBP-USD exchange rate in the way gives the impression of a 100% mark-up for Europe. Puckette himself released an entirely re-designed program in the mid-1990s called Pd ("pure data", alternately "public domain"), which has a number of fundamental differences from the IRCAM original. As with many games consoles (for example, the PlayStation series), the Xbox was launched with a price in GBP equal to its US price in USD (in this case, $/£299), and this price then converted for the rest of Europe.
A later version of the program was developed in Java (jMax) and is open-source. Of note is the high European launch price. IRCAM developed and maintained a concurrent version of Max for the NeXT (and later SGI and Linux), called Max/FTS (FTS standing for "Faster Than Sound", and being analogous to a forerunner to MSP enhanced by a hardware DSP board on the computer). Oceania. In addition, a number of sibling and Max-like programs exist. Europe. A second major package called Jitter was released in 2003, adding real-time video, 3-D, and matrix processing capability to the software. North America.
as a "control" language using MIDI or some other protocol). Recently, the firmware to the newer optical drives was edited to allow signed code to play. Called MSP, this "add-on" package for Max allowed for the manipulation of digital audio signals in real-time, allowing users to create their own synthesizers and effects processors (Max had previously been designed to interface with hardware synthesizers, samplers, etc. Modding your Xbox in this manner will definitely void your warranty, since it requires you to disassemble the console. Max has a number of extensions and incarnations; most notably, a set of audio extensions to the software appeared in 1997. There are now sites that offer to modify the software on your Xbox for free. The current commercial version of Max has been distributed by Zicarelli's company, Cycling'74, since 1999. Probably the most legal way of modding the Xbox is replacing the whole motherboard so that you can install Linux or any other operating system designed for PC without having to hack anything.
In the early 1990s a commercial version of the program (developed and extended by David Zicarelli) was released by Opcode Systems. One such successful use of Live to discourage modding was when the hit game Halo 2 was released, and many owners of modded consoles found out that they were permanently banned from the Xbox Live service, but was retaliated with On-Off switchable Modchips (or add-ons) and XBOX Live friendly softmods from XBOX hackers community. Max was originally written by Miller Puckette at IRCAM in the 1980s to give composers access to an authoring system for interactive computer music. As of November 2004, Microsoft has been taking new actions for banning Xboxes with hard drive modifications from the Xbox Live service. . Also, most internal hardware modifications will render an Xbox unable to participate in Xbox Live, which has forced many modders to use a switch that turns on and off their modifications. Because of its extensible design and graphical interface (which in a novel way represents the program structure and the GUI as presented to the user simultaneously), Max is widely regarded as the lingua franca for developing interactive music performance software. Modding an Xbox may require opening the Xbox case, and would certainly void the Xbox's warranty.
As a result, Max has a large userbase of programmers not affiliated with Cycling'74 who enhance the software with commercial and non-commercial extensions to the program. A modded Xbox can even be configured into a computer running Linux, FreeBSD, or Microsoft Windows CE operating systems. An API allows third-party development of new routines (called "external objects"). Beyond gaming, a modded Xbox can be used as a media center with the Xbox Media Center software (XBMC) allowing the playing of DVDs without the DVD dongle/remote and streaming of music and video files from the hard drive or from another computer over a network. The Max program itself is highly modular, with most routines existing in the form of shared libraries. This process does require a modded Xbox using one of the alternative dashboards, and is used by scrupulous users to eliminate load times or leave their games in storage, and by unscrupulous users to play illegally copied games. It has been used for over fifteen years by composers, performers, software designers, researchers and artists interested in creating interactive software. This allows the user to spare game disks from scratching and allows for faster load times.
Max is a graphical development environment for music and multimedia developed and maintained by San Francisco-based software company Cycling'74. Then Xbox games can be copied from the DVD to the hard disk with programs such as DVD2Xbox and PxHDDLoader, and then played directly from the hard drive. Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. The original hard drive can be replaced with a larger one. Pauline Oliveros. This is especially attractive as the Xbox is designed to output to TVs, and high-quality controllers and arcade sticks are available for it. Luke DuBois / The Freight Elevator Quartet. This allows running an alternate dashboard such as UIX, Avalaunch, Evolution-X or UnleashX and in turn makes playing original (free) homebrew games or various older games through arcade and console game emulators possible.
R. Software modding is much less intrusive, and only involves running software exploits to trick the Xbox into running unsigned program code. Jamie Lidell. . Kevin Blechdom. He was sentenced to 140 hours community service, ordered to pay £750 costs at a court in Caerphilly, Wales, and his computer equipment was confiscated. Leafcutter John. It is the first conviction since the Directive was enacted in October 2003 in the UK.
Kit Clayton. (The Directive makes it illegal to circumvent copy protection systems on hardware including video game consoles). Monolake. This was the first conviction of its kind in the UK. Autechre. In July 2005, a 22 year old Cambridge University graduate was convicted under the EU Copyright Directive for modifying Xboxes and selling them with an upgraded 200 GB hard drive, which was pre-loaded with 80 games. Hardware modding can involve anything from simply replacing the console's green decorative "jewel" with a custom-designed one to opening up the case and installing a modchip.
The recent popularity of the Xbox has inspired efforts to circumvent the built-in hardware and software security mechanisms (sometimes in order to use the Xbox as a low cost web server), as well as to add customized design touches to the console's case (similar to PC case modding). The Xbox API is similar to DirectX version 8.1, but is non-updateable just like other console technologies. Microsoft's set of low-level APIs for game development and multimedia purposes, DirectX, was used as a basis for the Xbox's hardware programming. This output selectivity is made possible by the Xbox's SCART-like AVIP port.
Numerous unofficial third-party cables and breakout boxes exist that provide combinations of outputs not found in these official video packages; however, with the exception of a few component-to-VGA transcoders and custom-built VGA boxes, the four official video packages represent all of the Xbox's possible outputs. Included with the Hello Kitty Crystal console was a matching Crystal Controller S and a copy of Hello Kitty Mission Rescue. A limited production run of 550 units was sold at a retail price of S$99 (US$61), if you purchase selected Samsung LCD TVs during a promotion. The special edition console was translucent with a pink and orange Hello Kitty picture covering the X on top of the case.
The Hello Kitty Crystal Xbox was released with Sanrio in Singapore, to commemorate the release of Hello Kitty Mission Rescue on the Xbox. Included with the neon green console was one of two games: Project Gotham Racing 2 or Amped 2. Dew logo under the Xbox name. The Mountain Dew Limited Edition Xbox was neon-green colored and had a special jewel atop the Xbox that had the words "Limited Edition" and the Mt.
Production numbers are unknown. The sweepstakes spanned 5 months – from April to August – in 2004. The Mountain Dew Limited Edition Xbox was only available through a Mountain Dew sweepstakes requiring loyal Dew-drinking Xbox fans to amass 550 points in order to "buy" the Limited Edition Xbox. Included with the Ice Blue console was a matching Controller S, and a copy of Halo 2.
The console was translucent blue and retailed for approximately $249. On March 18, 2005, an Ice Blue Halo 2 Limited Edition Xbox was released in Canada and Asia. The original retail price was ¥22'800 yen ($215), and included the translucent blue console with a matching Controller S, a DVD Playback Kit, an Xbox Live Starter Kit with a free one-year membership, a copy of Dead or Alive Online, and a five-foot-long Kasumi body pillow. The translucent blue case was based on the costume of Dead or Alive's main character, Kasumi, and had "Dead or Alive Online" written in white lettering in the lower left corner of the top of the case.
The system had a limited manufacturing run of 5,000 units, and was released simultaneously with Tecmo's fighting game, Dead or Alive Online. On March 25, 2004, a Kasumi-chan Blue Xbox console was released in Japan. 200,000 of these Xboxes were produced. The version of Halo that came with this bundle was identical to other versions of Halo, with the exception of a "NOT FOR RESALE" notice placed on the front of the game case.
The console case featured the Halo logo and the words "Special Edition"; the controller had a jewel that had the Halo logo in place of the normal Xbox logo. This version was translucent green and came with a copy of Halo: Combat Evolved and a matching translucent green Controller S. On March 14, 2004, Microsoft released a special version of the Xbox in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. A Crystal Controller S was also availible separately.
The Crystal console was re-released on October 8, 2004 in a new bundle (but with only one controller) at the normal Xbox price of €149/£99. It is unknown how many Crystal Limited Editions were produced, however; later bundles were released pairing a re-released Crystal Xbox with different Xbox games and Xbox Live subscriptions. With a price tag of €199/£139, the Crystal Limited Edition came with a transparent console and two matching Crystal Controller S. On March 14, 2004, the Crystal Limited Edition Xbox was released in Europe to celebrate the Xbox's European birthday.
Included with the Pure White console was a matching Controller S, a DVD Playback Kit, and an Xbox Live Starter Kit with a free one-year membership and voice communicator. The original retail price for the Pure White Limited Xbox was ¥19'800 yen ($186) and was only available for purchase online at the Official Xbox Japan website between the dates of January 30 and February 6, 2004. The words "Limited Edition 2004" were also carved into the jewel of the console, and into the exclusive Controller S (right below the Xbox name). The system had a limited manufacturing run of 1,000 units and allowed purchasers to personalize their console with up to twenty letters (Japanese characters not allowed) engraved on the case.
On February 22, 2004, a Pure White Limited Xbox Console was released in Japan, to commemorate the console's two-year anniversary in that country. The Translucent Green Limited Edition Xbox was also released in Candada and came with one matching Controller S and two games, Crimson Skies and Project Gotham Racing 2. The green Controller S was also sold separately. The styling of the Translucent Green Xbox is identical to Debug Units used in game development; of course, the retail versions lacked the words "Debug Unit" on the front of the case.
The console came with two matching Controller S and retailed for €229/£149. On May 2, 2003 a Translucent Green Limited Edition Xbox was released in Europe to celebrate Xbox's one-year European birthday. Included with the Special Edition console was a matching white Controller S, an Xbox Component A/V cable, an Xbox Component AV pack, a copy of Panzer Dragoon Orta with its soundtrack CD, and a dragon head necklace. The Panzer Dragoon Orta Special Edition was priced at ¥35'800 ($358) and could only be pre-ordered on November 1, 2002 through Sega Direct.
The console's special features included a white case with the Panzer Dragoon Orta logo in top's the lower left hand corner, as well as some artwork from Orta surrounding the Xbox jewel. This Special Edition had a limited production of 999 units; however, it is rumored that there are actually 1,049 units in total. This quickly became the most sought-after Xbox to date. On December 19, 2002, a Panzer Dragoon Orta Special Edition Xbox was released in Japan to commemorate the release of Panzer Dragoon Orta on the Xbox.
Included with the Clear Black console was a matching Clear Black Controller S, an Xbox Component AV pack, and a key chain that had Bill Gates' signature and the console's serial number engraved in it. The system had a limited manufacturing run of 50,000 units, and originally retailed for ¥35'800 yen. In 2001, a Clear Black Limited Edition Xbox was released in Japan to commemorate the Xbox's Japanese release. Manufacturing photos can be found here..
Microsoft extended the warranty on those first generation Xboxes that came with faulty drives and fixed them for free, unlike Sony and their first generation PS2s. Several internal hardware revisions have been made in an ongoing battle to discourage modding (hackers continually updated modchip designs in attempt to defeat them), cut manufacturing costs, and to provide a more reliable DVD-ROM drive (some of the early units' drives gave Disc Reading Errors). This Japanese controller (which was briefly imported by even mainstream video game store chains, such as GameStop) was subsequently released in other markets as the "Xbox Controller S", and currently all Xbox consoles come with a "Controller S", while the original controller (known as Controller "0" or "The Duke") was quietly discontinued. In response to these criticisms, a smaller controller was introduced for the Japanese Xbox launch.
The original game controller design, which was particularly large, was similarly often criticized since it was ill-suited to those with small hands. However, the Xbox has also pioneered safety features, such as breakaway cables for the controllers to prevent the console from being yanked from the shelf. Because of this, the Xbox has found itself a target of mild derision, as gamers poke fun at it for things like a warning in the Xbox manual that a falling Xbox "could cause serious injury" to a small child or pet. This is largely due to a bulky tray-loading DVD-ROM drive and the standard-size 3.5" hard drive.
The Xbox itself is much larger and heavier than its contemporaries. The Xbox does not use Windows CE due to Microsoft internal politics at the time, as well as limited support in Windows CE for DirectX. Therefore if the Xbox crashes, the only way to recover is to reboot the console as there is no multitasking support on Real Mode. That is why Xbox is running on Real Mode and not Protected Mode as seen on Windows 2000.
Although the Xbox is based on commodity PC hardware and runs a stripped-down version of the Windows 2000 kernel using APIs based largely on DirectX 8.1, it incorporates changes optimized for gaming uses as well as restrictions designed to prevent uses not approved by Microsoft. An Xbox owner can rip music from standard Audio CDs to the hard drive so players can use their custom soundtrack in addition to the original soundtrack of Xbox games that support such feature. Some games support "Custom soundtracks," another particularly unusual feature allowed by the hard drive. Most of the games also use it as a disk cache, for faster game loading times.
The Xbox was the first console to incorporate a hard disk drive, used primarily for storing game saves (eliminating the need for separate memory cards) and content downloaded from Xbox Live. Nonetheless, most of these features were not fully exploited in its first year of launch, notably the lack of Xbox Live online multiplayer. Also, the console cost as much as the high-end GeForce 3 video card alone in 2001, while having comparable graphics processing power (the Xbox's NV2A graphics chipset is a derivative of the GeForce 3). At the time of its introduction, the Xbox was the only game console to do so.
The Xbox was designed to take advantage of a slowdown in the saturated PC gaming market and incorporates a built-in Ethernet adapter. This prediction turned out to be correct; Microsoft Game Studios, Microsoft's game division in charge of Xbox development, had its first profitable quarter reported in January 2005, thanks largely to the success of Halo 2. Microsoft predicted that it would not make a profit on the Xbox for at least three years. The losses deepened when sales of the Xbox increased and when the price was reduced successive times to compete with PlayStation 2 .
 In particular, the Xbox hardware itself is a loss leader, since the console was sold at a loss even at its debut price. Internal documents show that the Xbox division had invested $4 billion from 2000 to 2005. The large size of the hardware itself did not endear itself to the size-sensitive Japanese consumers. The Xbox has sold poorly in Japan mainly because Microsoft was unable to enlist enough local developers to cater to Japanese interests.
In Europe, the Xbox's market share is currently ahead of the GameCube, but is still behind the PlayStation 2. The Xbox has enjoyed its greatest success in North America, where an estimated 13.5 million units have been sold and where it managed for a time to outsell the PS2. Although ahead of the GameCube's 18.5 million, this was far behind the PlayStation 2's 90 million (after the Xbox was discontinued in favour of the Xbox 360, the GameCube and PlayStation 2 have reached 19.8 million and 100 million, respectively). According to company documents, Microsoft has shipped 25 million consoles to retailers worldwide at the end of 2005.
However, as of February 2005, estimates show the Xbox's share of the worldwide console market is only moderately ahead of the Nintendo GameCube and far behind the PlayStation 2. Some critics were initially concerned that the Xbox would allow Microsoft to extend its dominance of the PC software market to consoles. In July 2004, Microsoft announced that Xbox Live reached 1 million subscribers, and announced in July 2005 that Live had reached 2 million. 250,000 subscribers had signed on in 2 months since Live was launched .
This online service works exclusively with broadband. In November 2002 Microsoft released the Xbox Live online gaming service, allowing subscribers to play online Xbox games with (or against) other subscribers all around the world and download new content for their games to the hard drive. In 2005, the long-awaited Xbox-exclusive Doom 3, Half-Life 2, and Far Cry Instincts were released. That year, Microsoft and Electronic Arts reached a deal which would see the latter's popular titles enabled on Xbox Live.
In 2004, Halo 2 set records as highest grossing release in entertainment history  as well as being a successful killer app for the online service. In addition, many other publishers got into the trend of releasing the the Xbox version alongside the PS2 version, instead of delaying it for months. Take-Two Interactive's exclusivity deal with Sony was amended to allow Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and its sequels to be published on the Xbox. Several best-selling and critically-acclaimed titles for the Xbox were published, such as Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Ninja Gaiden, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
The Xbox Live online service was launched with a strong lineup including MotoGP, MechAssault and Ghost Recon. In 2002 and 2003, several releases helped the Xbox to gain momentum and distinguish itself from the PS2. Lastly, Sony countered the Xbox by making exclusivity deals for highly anticipated games such as the Grand Theft Auto series and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Although it enjoyed strong third-party support from its inception, many early Xbox games did not take full advantage of its powerful hardware, with few additional features or graphical improvements to distinguish themselves from the PS2 version, and this negated one of the Xbox's main selling points.
However, the failure of several first-party games (including Fuzion Frenzy  and Azurik: Rise of Perathia ) damaged the initial public reputation of the Xbox. Other successful launch titles included NFL Fever 2002, Project Gotham Racing and Dead or Alive 3 ). Halo still remains the console's standout title. The greatest success of the Xbox's launch games was Halo: Combat Evolved, which was critically well-received  and one of the best-selling games of the year.
The Xbox launched in North America on November 15, 2001. The Xbox even brought high-end gaming technology to the mainstream, sporting a top of the line GeForce 3 equivalent graphics processor, a built-in Ethernet adapter, and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. The Xbox also presented a standardized alternative to the near-endless variety of end-user configurations on the PC. Being based upon Windows and standard PC hardware, the Xbox was more familiar to developers and as a result was significantly easier to develop for in contrast to PlayStation 2's proprietary processor and operating system.
The authors concluded that the Xbox project as a direct response to the upcoming PlayStation 2. As well, a venture into the gaming console market would also diversify Microsoft's product line, which up to that time had been heavily concentrated into software. The growing video game market seemed to threaten the PC market which Microsoft had dominated and relied upon for most of its revenues. According to the book Smartbomb, by Heather Chaplin and Aaron Ruby, the remarkable success of the upstart Sony PlayStation worried Microsoft in late 1990s.
Some see the Xbox as a way to capitalize on the growing video game market, noting that the PC market growth was stagnating after the dot-com bust. In May 2000 the "Xbox Project" was officially confirmed by Microsoft. Gates said that a gaming/multimedia device was essential for multimedia convergence in the new times of digital entertainment. The rumors of a video game console being developed by Microsoft first emerged at the end of 1999 following interviews of Bill Gates.
The Xbox was initially developed within Microsoft by a small team which included Seamus Blackley, a game developer and high energy physicist. . Notable launch titles for the console include Amped, Dead or Alive 3, Halo: Combat Evolved, Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, and Project Gotham Racing. The Xbox was Microsoft's first independent venture into the video game console arena, after having developed the operating system and development tools for the MSX, and having collaborated with Sega in porting Windows CE to the Sega Dreamcast console.
The Microsoft Xbox is a sixth generation era video game console first released on November 15, 2001 in North America and Puerto Rico, then released on February 22, 2002 in Japan, and later on March 14, 2002 in Europe. Xbox: Part Deux (Xbox XGPU Basics)" by Dave Salvator, ExtremeTech.Com, November 30, 2001, retrieved January 30, 2006. "GameCube vs. NZ$249 (2004 Q4, 2005).
NZ$299 (2004 Q2). AU$249 (2004, 2005). NZ$349 (2004). AU$299 (2004).
NZ$399 (2003). AU$349 (2003). NZ$499 NZD (3 October, 2002, Launch Price). AU$299 AUD (2005).
AU$399 AUD (2004). AU$699 AUD (26 April, 2002, Launch Price) (Quickly dropped to $399 to compete with launch of Nintendo GameCube). €99 (Spain, January 2006 promotional price). €99 (Ireland; Christmas 2005 promotional price).
£99 (August 27, 2004). €149 (August 27, 2004). £130 (2003). €199 (2003).
€249 (August 30, 2002). €299 (Launch Price (Rest of Europe) and Ireland April 26, 2002). £299 GBP (Launch Price March 14, 2002),. €479 (Launch Price (Ireland) 14 March, 2002),.
US$179 (February 6, 2006, Bundled with Forza). CAD$199 (March 29, 2004). US$149 (March 29, 2004). US$179 (May 14, (2003).
US$199 (May 15, (2002). US$299 (November 15, 2001, Launch Price). Approved by Microsoft for wireless gameplay with Xbox. Logitech 2.4 GHz wireless controller.
This system has been defeated by the Xbox hacking community, who have developed tools to modify gamesaves to work in a different console, though some unique technical information concerning the recipient Xbox must be known. Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball) do not support this accessory as a cheat prevention measure. Note that some recent games (e.g. Memory Unit: An 8 MB removable solid-state memory card onto which game saves can either be copied from the hard drive when in the Xbox Dashboard's memory manager or saved during a game.
The precise layout of the controls differs between the two variations of controller.
Xbox Music Mixer: A utility software bundled with a microphone that connects to an adapter that plugs into the top expansion slot of a controller. Later, as the price of the Xbox dropped, the DVD remote was bundled. Although there is nothing to prevent the Xbox from acting as a progressive-scan DVD player, Microsoft chose not to enable this feature in the Xbox DVD kit in order to avoid royalty payments to the patent-holder of progressive scan DVD playback. By selling a DVD remote separately, Microsoft was able to bundle the cost of the DVD licensing fee with it.
DVD playback was not included as a standard feature of the Xbox due to licensing issues with the DVD format that would have added extra cost to the console's base price. DVD Playback Kit: Required in order to play DVD movies, the kit includes an infrared remote control and receiver. It can also be used for DVD playback. Xbox Media Center Extender: A kit that allows Xbox to act as a Media Center Extender to stream content from a Windows XP Media Center Edition PC.
This functionality is similar to Sega's DirectLink for Sega Saturn. System Link Cable: A Cat 5 crossover cable for connecting together two consoles or a Cat 5 straight through cable used in conjunction with an ethernet hub for connecting up to four consoles, for up to 16 total players. The headset can in fact be replaced with most standard earpiece-and-microphone headsets; headset specialist Plantronics produce various officially-licensed headsets, including a special-edition headset for Halo 2. Xbox Live Starter Kit: A subscription and installation pack for the Xbox Live service, as well as a headset (with monaural earpiece and microphone) that connects to a control box that plugs into the top expansion slot of a controller.
While the official Wireless Adapter guarantees compatibility with the Xbox, almost any wireless bridge can be used. Xbox Wireless Adapter: a wireless bridge which converts data running through an ethernet cable to a wireless (802.11b or 802.11g) signal to connect to a wireless LAN. Note that while there is an "official" Xbox 'System Link' cable (a crossover cat5e cable), any PC ethernet cable can be used in the normal way treating the xbox as an NIC, eg an Xbox-Xbox connection requires a crossover cable, whereas an xbox-switch connection requires a straight-through cable. Ethernet (Xbox Live) Cable: A Cat 5 cable for connecting the Xbox to a broadband modem or router.
As Europe has no HDTV standard, no High Definition cable is currently provided in those markets. Advanced SCART Cable: The European equivalent to the Advanced AV Pack, providing a full RGB video SCART connection in place of S-Video, RCA composite and stereo audio connections (composite video and stereo are still provided by the cable, through the SCART connector, in addition to the RGB signal), while retaining the TOSLINK audio connector. Also provides analog RCA and digital TOSLINK audio outputs. High Definition AV Pack: A breakout box, intended for HDTVs, that provides a YPrPb component video signal over three RCA connectors.
Advanced AV Pack: A breakout box that provides S-Video and TOSLINK audio in addition to the RCA composite video and stereo audio of the Standard AV Cable. RF Adapter: Provides a combined audio and video signal on an RF connector. European systems come with a RCA jack to SCART converter block in addition to the cable. Comes with the system.
Standard AV Cable: Provides composite video and monaural or stereo audio to TVs equipped with RCA inputs. Dimensions: 320 × 100 × 260 mm (12.5 × 4 × 10.5 inches). Weight: 3.86 kg. Controller Ports: 4 proprietary USB ports.
EDTV and HDTV Support: 480p/720p/1080i (see game boxes for supported resolutions). PAL TV's have less than 600 horizontal lines. Note: NTSC (Non-HD) TV's have less than 500 horizontal lines. Maximum Resolution (2x32bpp frame buffers +Z): 1920(vert.)x1080(horiz)
DVD Movie Playback: Yes (separate DVD Playback Kit/Remote required or by modding the Xbox and running DVD-playing homebrew software). Broadband Enabled: Yes (10/100base-T ethernet). AC3 (Dolby Digital) Encoded Game Audio: Yes (via TOSLINK). MIDI DLS2 Support: Yes.
3D Audio Support: HRTF Sensaura 3D enhancement. Audio Channels: 64 3D channels (up to 256 stereo voices). Soundstorm NVAPU)
Storage Medium: 2-5x DVD (XFAT), 8 gigabyte hard disk (new consoles contain a 10GB physical hard drive, though it is formatted to only use 8GB, uses XFAT), optional 8MB memory card for savegame transfer. Full Scene Anti-Aliasing: Yes. Compressed Textures: Yes (6:1 through DDS). Simultaneous Textures: 4.
Theoretical Texture Fill Rate: 1,864 Megatexels/second (932 MP x 2 texture units). Theoretical Pixel Fill Rate: 932 Megapixels/second (233 MHz x 4 pipelines). Pipeline Configuration: 4 pixel pipelines with 2 texture units each. Theoretical Particle Performance: 125 M/s.
Theoretical Geometry Rate: 115+ million vertices/second. Enhanced vertex processing with 2 vertex shaders, and more flexible pixel shading than DirectX 8.
Unified Memory Subsystem: Total (shared) Memory: 64 MB DDR SDRAM running at 200 MHz, supplied by Hynix or Samsung depending on manufacture date and location
Same as fastest Pentium III EB CPUs. 133 MHz FSB. Often used for audio and video. Switching between FPU and MMX is slow, so not of great use for 3D rendering tasks.
Integer functions. SIMD: MMX. Pentium III had architectural drawbacks that lessened real-world SSE throughput. Theoretical maximum 4 FLOPS/cycle (2.9 gigaFLOPS for Xbox).
Four single-precision floating-point numbers in one instruction.
CPU: Micro PGA2 733 MHz Intel Coppermine Core. ISBN 1565123468.
Article: How Xbox Happened.