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Xbox 360 turns five years old

45 million consoles sold in half a decade

Microsoft's Xbox 360 is half a decade old this week.

While the console has seen a few iterations - most notably the 'slim' S edition this Summer - and several dramatic firmware updates, the console is largely unchanged from the device which launched on November 21, 2005.

As of September, Microsoft had sold 44.6 million Xbox 360s worldwide. It retains the edge over Sony's rival PlayStation 3, although this year saw that gap begin to narrow.

Microsoft has been vocal in its ambition to further extend the console's life cycle with its Kinect motion controller- possibly by as much as five years.

In its early days, the console was dogged by the 'red ring of death' fault, which led to Microsoft introducing a $1 billion extended warranty program.

In recent years, however, the Xbox 360 is perhaps better-known as the home of multiplayer and purchasing platform Live.

"The leap to HD gaming interconnected through LIVE was a pretty watershed moment," enthused Xbox Live boss Stephen Toulouse on his blog yesterday.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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