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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

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X360 package, accessory details

What is and isn't in the 'box's box.

As well as reconfirming its plan to launch Xbox 360 across the world within the year, Microsoft also used last week's Xbox Summit in Japan to tell us what we can expect to see in the box.

By default the Xbox 360 will ship with one hard disk, one wireless game pad, an Xbox Live headset and an ethernet cable. It's the list of items sold separately that's likely to cause the bigger stir though, we feel.

As well as obvious items like traditional wired game pads, Memory Units, additional rechargeable battery packs for wireless controllers and additional hard disks - that are unlikely, before you ask, to work in tandem with existing ones - there's a list of items that people are quite likely to want from the get-go.

The rather fetching remote control shown off prior to E3, for example - the one that lets you treat the X360 like a media centre as well as a console - is a "sold separately", as is the wireless network adapter that plugs into the console's USB port to allow access to 802.11a, b or c networks in the vicinity.

Those wishing to join Microsoft in the HD Era, meanwhile, will have to fork out for VGA (monitor) or component audio-visual cables separately as well, while a more traditional S-Video cable will also be available, and, usefully, a "Play and Charge Unit" that lets you charge your wireless controller while using it - perhaps a USB cable of some sort.

Finally, Microsoft reminds us that additional faceplates will be made available for those who wish to spice up the front of their console.

It has not, however, made it any clearer whether rumours of a $300 price point are true or not. We'd expect to hear more about that in the next few months - possibly at Microsoft's X05 event.