MS announces Xbox Wireless Adapter
For 802.11b and g networks. Hence the price.
Microsoft has announced a wireless network adapter for Xbox as expected, allowing gamers to hook their Xboxen up to existing 11Mbps (802.11b) wireless networks or higher bandwidth 55Mbps (802.11g) networks, thus negating a lot of the cable clutter Live gamers must be getting sick of by now.
The Xbox Wireless Adapter (that's its official name) will plug into the existing network port and include simple setup software accessed via the dashboard, allowing users to configure the network adapter as usual but also, importantly, set Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) security settings - in order to keep the Xbox off the radar of budding War Drivers. Just watch out for chalk marks on your letterbox.
So: great! It's worth noting though that you will of course need either a Wireless Access Point somehow hooked up to a broadband connection, or an ad-hoc wireless network. Although it sounds great, the Wireless Adapter is not a magic Internet spawning device. (It probably sounds silly to someone as technically minded as you, but you should see some of the technical questions we get in the post!)
Although there is no European release date for the Adapter yet, it's just possible Microsoft will announce it at X03 this evening. The timing certainly fits. If not, budding importers should be able to get hold of the Wireless Adapter from October 5th, but can expect to pay a big old $139 (£87 / €125) for the privilege; such is the premium for 55Mbps equipment. Whether US adapters will work with European kit is another matter, although if it really is just a Wi-Fi card then we don't see why not?