XBOX 360 Wireless Racing Wheel - Image courtesy IGN

XBOX 360 Wireless Headset - Image courtesy IGN

Halo 3 finally makes a showing
Microsoft announces new peripherals for the Xbox 360, two huge titles and Live Anywhere

Microsoft has a lot to a lot of things going on at this year's E3. The company already announced earlier today that it will offer an external HD-DVD drive that will plug into one of the Xbox 360's USB ports. According to the Redmond, Washington based company, it will allow HD-DVD titles to run at up to 720p. While the HD-DVD drive may be the biggest news for peripherals on the Xbox 360, it's not the only thing being announced today.

Wireless technology is making a big appearance on the Xbox 360 with this next trio of peripherals. First up is a wireless racing wheel with force feedback technology so that you can better enjoy your favorite racing games like Forza Motorsport 2 in all its glory. Also up on deck is a new wireless headset to give gamers the opportunity to chat wirelessly with friends and teammates over the Xbox Live network. The unit works up to a distance of 30 feet for up to eight hours. And for those of you who want to be able to use your Xbox 360 peripherals on your Windows based PC, Microsoft will also make available an Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver which plugs into a free USB port. Other accessories worth mentioning include an Xbox Live Vision video camera and a new 256MB memory unit for the Xbox 360.

Microsoft today also announced "Live Anywhere." Live Anywhere will be incorporated into Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista operating system and will allow players to share their gaming experience across Xbox 360, PC and mobile phone platforms. From ABC News:

"The vision here is each platform plays its own role. We really think we're in a unique position," Gates said. "Microsoft is probably the only company that can pull this off."

In a demonstration, an Xbox 360 gamer using Live Anywhere was able to send an invitation to a friend on a PC. After the PC user agreed, the two connected for a cross-platform online gun battle.

And last, but certainly not least, Microsoft has announced a whole gaggle of upcoming games for the Xbox 360 platform. Microsoft hopes to have available over 160 high-definition games in time for the holiday season. Of those 160+ titles, two of them are standouts. First up, the company announced that Grand Theft Auto 4 will launch simultaneously for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. And we can't forget Halo 3. Bungie has officially announced the highly anticipated third installment to the hugely popular Halo series. Halo was THE launch title for the original Xbox and Halo 2 racked up over $125 million in sales on its first day on store shelves. The significance of the Halo 3 launch for the Xbox 360 platform can not be overlooked – nor can its possibility to shoot the Xbox 360 into the stratosphere as far as popularity goes with gamers. For those of you who want to take a look at the Halo 3 trailer, you can head on over to Bungie's site to view it.

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