Xbox 360

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Posted by r2d2 03/13/2009 @ 08:07

Tags : xbox 360, video games, entertainment

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Xbox 360

Xbox 360 Core

The Xbox 360 is the second video game console produced by Microsoft, and the successor to the Xbox. The Xbox 360 competes with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.

A prominent feature of the Xbox 360 is its integrated Xbox Live service that allows players to compete online and download content such as arcade games, game demos, trailers, TV shows, and movies. Major features of the console include its Windows Media Center multimedia capabilities, mandatory support of high definition in all games, movie rentals and game downloads from its online marketplace and the ability to watch HD DVD movies with an add-on drive.

The Xbox 360 was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information divulged later that month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The console sold out completely upon release in all regions except in Japan, and, as of January 5, 2009, 28 million units have been sold worldwide, according to Microsoft. The Xbox 360 is currently available in three configurations: the "Arcade", the "Pro", and the "Elite" console, each with its own selection of accessories.

Known during development as Xenon, Xbox 2, Xbox FS, Xbox Next, or NextBox, the Xbox 360 was conceived in early 2003. In February 2003, planning for the Xenon software platform began, and was headed by Microsoft's Vice President J Allard. That month, Microsoft held an event for 400 developers in Bellevue, Washington, to recruit support for the system. Also that month, Peter Moore, former president of Sega of America, joined Microsoft. On August 12, 2003, ATI signed on to produce the graphic processing unit for the new console, a deal which was publicly announced two days later.. Before the launch of the Xbox 360, several alpha development kits were spotted using Apple's Power Mac G5 hardware. This was due to the system's PowerPC 970 processor running the same PowerPC architecture that the Xbox 360 would eventually run under IBM's Xenon processor. The cores of the Xenon processor were developed using a slightly-modified PlayStation 3's Cell Processor PPE architecture. According to David Shippy and Mickie Phipps, the IBM employees were "hiding their work from Sony and Toshiba".

The Xbox 360 was released on November 22, 2005, in the United States, Mexico and Canada; December 2, 2005, in Europe and December 10, 2005, in Japan. It was later launched in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, and Russia. In its first year on the market, the system launched in 36 countries, more countries than any console has launched in a single year.

The Xbox 360 is available in three standard variants; the "Xbox 360 Arcade", the "Xbox 360 Pro" (sometimes shortened to simply "Xbox 360"), and the "Xbox 360 Elite". A discontinued SKU, the "Xbox 360 Core", was replaced by the "Xbox 360 Arcade" in October 2007. The 60 GB version of the Xbox 360 Pro was released on August 1, 2008.

At launch, the Xbox 360 was available in two configurations: the "Xbox 360" package, priced at US$399 or GB£280 , and the "Xbox 360 Core", priced at US$299 and GB£199. The original shipment of the Xbox 360 version included a cut-down version of the Media Remote as a promotion. The Elite package was launched later at US$479.

Information in the table below is based on the latest specifications. Older packaging may not include all items listed.

On a few occasions, Microsoft has produced special editions of the console, usually to coincide with the release of a major product. These special editions are typically custom-colored Xbox 360 models, and are produced in limited numbers.

As with the original Xbox, Microsoft has continued bundling two video game titles in console retail packaging during the holiday season. In Holiday 2007, Xbox 360 and Xbox 360 Elite packages were bundled with Forza Motorsport 2 and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Forza 2 was bundled with Viva Pinata in the UK. Holiday 2008 Xbox 360 and Xbox 360 Elite packages are bundled with Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures and Kung Fu Panda, while Arcade consoles are bundled with Sega Superstars Tennis.

The main unit of the Xbox 360 itself has slight double concavity in matte white or black. The official color of the white model is Arctic Chill. It features a port on the top when vertical (left side when horizontal) to which a custom-housed hard drive unit can be attached in sizes of either 20, 60 (August 2008 onward) or 120 GB. Inside, the Xbox 360 uses the triple-core IBM designed Xenon as its CPU, with each core capable of simultaneously processing two threads, and can therefore operate on up to six threads at once. Graphics processing is handled by the ATI Xenos which has 10 MB of eDRAM. Its main memory pool is 512 MB in size.

Many accessories are available for the console, including both wired and wireless controllers, faceplates for customization, headsets for chatting, a webcam for video chatting, dance mats and Gamercize for exercise, three sizes of memory cards, and three sizes of hard drives (120GB, 60GB, and 20GB), among other items, all of which are styled to match the console.

The Xbox 360's original graphical user interface was the Xbox 360 Dashboard; a tabbed interface that featured five "Blades" (formerly four blades), and was designed by AKQA. It could be launched automatically when the console booted without a disc in it, or when the disc tray was ejected. However, the user could choose to launch a game automatically if a disc was inserted. A simplified version of it was also accessible at any time via the Xbox Guide button on the gamepad. This simplified version showed the user's gamercard, Xbox Live messages and friends list. It also allowed for personal and music settings, in addition to voice or video chats, or returning to the primary Dashboard from the game.

On November 19, 2008, the Xbox 360's dashboard was changed from the "Blade" interface, to a dashboard reminiscent of that present on the Zune and Windows Media Center, known as the "New Xbox Experience" or NXE.

Since the console's release, Microsoft has released several updates for the Dashboard software. These updates have included adding new features to the console, enhancing Xbox Live functionality and multimedia playback capabilities, adding compatibility for new accessories, and fixing bugs in the software. The latest Dashboard update, revision 2.0.7363.0, was made available on February 3, 2009.

At E3 2008, at Microsoft's Show, Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg and Marc Whitten announced the new look Xbox 360 called the "New Xbox Experience". The idea of the update was to make navigation of the console easier. The GUI uses the Twist UI (used in Windows Media Center, Zune). The original "Blade" interface is still used in the new Xbox Guide. The new guide allows you to do everything you could do from the Dashboard itself, whether it's ejecting a disk or browsing the Marketplace.

As well as a GUI update, the NXE provided many new features. Firstly, the update offers the ability to install games from disc to the hard drive, reducing load times and disc drive noise, however, the game's disc must remain in the system in order to run. A new Community system is also built in, allowing the creation of digitalized Avatars. These Avatars can then be used for multiple activities such as sharing photos or playing Arcade games like 1 vs. 100. The update was released on November 19, 2008.

While previous system updates have been stored on internal memory, this was the first update to require a storage device. The update requires at least 128 MB free space on either a memory card or a hard drive.

The Xbox 360 supports videos in .wmv-format, as well as high-definition .wmv-videos, H.264, MPEG-4, and PlaysForSure WMV videos. The December 2007 dashboard update added support for the playback of MPEG-4 ASP format videos. The console can also display pictures and perform slideshows of photo collections with various transition effects, and supports audio playback, with music player controls accessible through the Xbox 360 Guide button. Users may play back their own music while playing games or using the dashboard, and can play music with an interactive visual synthesizer.

Music, photos and videos can be played from standard USB mass storage devices, Xbox 360 proprietary storage devices (such as memory cards or Xbox 360 hard drives), and servers or computers with Windows Media Center or Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or higher within the local-area network in streaming mode. As the Xbox 360 uses a modified version of the UPnP AV protocol, some alternative UPnP servers such as uShare (part of the GeeXboX project) and MythTV can also stream media to the Xbox 360, allowing for similar functionality from non-Windows servers. This is possible with video files up to HD-resolution and with several codecs (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV) and container formats (WMV, MOV, TS).

In the UK the Xbox 360 will be enabled to download and display BT Vision video content.

XNA Community is a future feature where Xbox 360 owners can receive community created XNA Creators Club developed games made with Microsoft XNA Game Studio. The games are written, published, and distributed through a community managed portal. XNA Community will be a channel for console videogame delivery over Xbox Live that can be free of royalties, paid-software development kits, publishers or licenses.

At the 2008 Game Developer Conference, Microsoft announced there would be over 1000 games available for Xbox 360 by the end of the year. The 2007 Game Critics Awards honored the Xbox 360 platform with 38 Nominations and 11 Wins - more than any other platform. By March 2008, the Xbox 360 had reached a software attach rate of 7.5 games per console -- a record for any console in history, in EU the rate was 7.0 while its competitors were 3.8 (PS3) and 3.5 (Wii).

The Xbox 360 launched with 14 games in North America and 13 in Europe. The console's best-selling game for 2005, Call of Duty 2, sold over a million copies. Five other games sold as well in the console's first year in the market: Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Dead or Alive 4, Saints Row, and Gears of War. Gears of War would become the best-selling game of the console with 3 million units, before being surpassed in 2007 by Halo 3, with 8.1 million units.

Six games were initially offered in Japan, and eagerly anticipated titles such as Dead or Alive 4 and Enchanted Arms were released only a few weeks later. Games more suitable to the region were planned or have since been released, such as Chromehounds, Ninety-Nine Nights, and Phantasy Star Universe. Microsoft also had the support of RPG developer Mistwalker, founded by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. Mistwalker's first game, Blue Dragon, was released in 2006 and had a limited-edition bundle which sold out quickly with over 10,000 pre-orders. Blue Dragon became the best-selling Xbox 360 game in the region, with over 200,000 units. Mistwalker's second game, Lost Odyssey also sold over 100,000 copies.

The Xbox 360 has managed to gain a simultaneous release of titles which were initially planned to be PS3 exclusive, including Devil May Cry 4, Virtua Fighter 5, Tekken 6, and Final Fantasy XIII, or PS3 timed exclusives, such as Grand Theft Auto 4.

At E3 2007, Microsoft announced that Disney movies would be coming to Xbox 360 Live Marketplace. New trailers were shown for Halo 3 and Halo Wars, as well as the announcement of a Halo-themed Xbox 360. Demos were also displayed for BioShock, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Assassin's Creed. At E3 2008, Microsoft demonstrated a number of titles for their 2008 line-up, including Fallout 3, Gears of War 2, Fable II, and Resident Evil 5, among other games. A television-style gaming feature known as Primetime was shown with a game based on the game show 1 vs. 100 shown as an example, there were also hints at a Big Brother type game and also a Deal or no Deal one. Final Fantasy XIII was also announced to be released for Xbox 360 in Europe and North America.

On the day of the Xbox 360's release, Microsoft's online gaming service Xbox Live was shut down for 24 hours and went through a major upgrade, adding a basic non-subscription service, Silver, to its already established premium subscription-based service (which was renamed Gold). Xbox Live Silver is free of charge and is included with all SKUs of the console. It allows users to create a user profile, join on message boards, and access Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade and Marketplace and talk to other members. A Live Silver account does not generally support multiplayer gaming; however, some games that have rather limited online functions already, (such as Viva Pinata) or games that feature their own subscription service (eg. EA Sports games) can be played with a Silver account. Xbox Live also supports voice and video communication, the latter a feature possible with the Xbox Live Vision; an add-on USB web camera designed specifically for the Xbox 360. The Gamercard of a player with a Silver account has a silver trim, rather than gold.

Xbox Live Gold has the same features as Silver and includes integrated online game playing capabilities outside of third-party subscriptions. Microsoft has allowed previous Xbox Live subscribers to maintain their profile information, friends list, and games history when they make the transition to Xbox Live Gold. To transfer an Xbox Live account to the new system, users need to link a Windows Live ID to their gamertag on Xbox.com. When users add an Xbox Live enabled profile to their console, they are required to provide the console with their passport account information and the last four digits of their credit card number, which is used for verification purposes and billing. An Xbox Live Gold account has an annual cost of US$49.99, C$59.99, NZD 90.00, GB£39.99, or €59.99. As of May 14, 2008, Xbox Live has over 12 million subscribers.

The Xbox Live Marketplace is a virtual market designed for the console that allows Xbox Live users to download purchased or promotional content. The service offers movie and game trailers, game demos, Xbox Live Arcade games, gamertag images, and Xbox 360 Dashboard themes as well as add-on game content (items, costumes, levels etc). These features are available to both silver and gold members on Xbox Live. A hard drive or memory unit is required to store products purchased from Xbox Live Marketplace. In order to download priced content, users are required to purchase Microsoft Points for use as scrip; though some products (such as trailers and demos) are free to download. Users are able to view items available to download on the service through a PC via the Xbox Live Pipeline website. An estimated seventy percent of Xbox Live users have downloaded items from the Marketplace.

On November 6, 2006, Microsoft announced the Xbox Video Marketplace, an exclusive video store accessible through the console. Launched in the United States on November 22, 2006, the first anniversary of the Xbox 360's launch, the service allows users in the United States to download high-definition and standard-definition television shows and movies onto an Xbox 360 console for viewing. With the exception of short clips, content is not currently available for streaming, and must be downloaded. Microsoft has also announced that its Microsoft TV service will add IPTV functionality to the console, giving users the ability to stream 2 simultaneous HD and 2 simultaneous SD channels. Movies are also available for rental. They expire in 14 days after download or at the end of the first 24 hours after the movie has begun playing, whichever comes first. Television episodes can be purchased to own, and are transferable to an unlimited number of consoles. Downloaded files use 5.1 surround audio and are encoded using VC-1 for video at 720p, with a bitrate of 6.8 Mbit/s. Television content is offered from MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Turner Broadcasting, and CBS; and movie content is Warner Bros., Paramount, and Disney, along with other publishers.

As a late addition to the December Xbox 360 update, 25 movies were added to the European Xbox 360 video market place on the December 11, 2007 and cost 250 Microsoft points for the SD version on the movie and 380 Microsoft points for the HD version of the movie. Xbox Live members in Canada featured the ability to go on the Xbox Live Marketplace as of December 10, 2007 with around 30 movies to be downloaded for the same amount of Microsoft Points.

Xbox Live Arcade is an online service operated by Microsoft that is used to distribute downloadable video games to Xbox and Xbox 360 owners. In addition to classic arcade games such as Ms. Pac-Man, the service offers some new original games like Assault Heroes. The Xbox Live Arcade also features games from other consoles, such as the PlayStation game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and PC games such as Zuma. The service was first launched on November 3, 2004, using a DVD to load, and offered games for about US$5 to $15. Items are purchased using Microsoft Points, a proprietary currency used to reduce credit card transaction charges. On November 22, 2005, Xbox Live Arcade was re-launched with the release of the Xbox 360, in which it was now integrated with the Xbox 360's dashboard. The games are generally aimed toward more casual gamers; examples of the more popular titles are Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting, and UNO.

The Xbox 360 began production only 69 days before launch. As a result, Microsoft was not able to supply enough systems to meet initial consumer demand in Europe or North America. Many potential customers were not able to purchase a console at launch. Forty thousand units appeared on eBay during the initial week of release; this was 10% of the total supply. By year's end, Microsoft had shipped 1.5 million units, including 900,000 in North America, 500,000 in Europe, and 100,000 in Japan.

At E3 in May 2006, Bill Gates announced that Microsoft would have a head start of 10 million units by the time Sony and Nintendo entered the market. Microsoft later specified that goal and estimated shipments of 10 million units by the end of 2006.

Cumulative sales from the system's launch until June 30, 2007 were predicted to reach 12 million units, down from 13 to 15 million units estimated earlier. Being released one year ahead of its competitors, the Xbox 360 was the market leader throughout the first half of 2007; however, on September 12, 2007, it was reported by the Financial Times that the Xbox 360 had been surpassed by the Wii in terms of worldwide home console sales.

On October 4, 2007, after the launch of Halo 3, Microsoft stated that Xbox 360 sales had more than doubled compared to the previous average. According to the NPD Group, the Xbox 360 outsold the Wii for the month of September in the United States, helped in part by the spike in sales seen after the launch of Halo 3, which sold 3.3 million copies in the US in a 12-day period. The Xbox had sales of 528,000 units for September, while the Wii had sales of 501,000 units.

However, despite these sales figures, Microsoft's gaming division is losing money. Through 2005, the Xbox gaming division had lost over $4 billion. However, Microsoft expects the console will start making money in 2008. The losses are due to the market strategy of selling consoles below cost in order to obtain market saturation and gain profits on software and peripherals that have a much higher profit margin. Also notable is that Microsoft has taken a charge of $1 billion dollars on its June 2007 Income Statement to account for the cost of replacing bricked Xbox 360s.

In Europe, the Xbox 360 sold 2 million units in 2006 and 1.9 million in 2007 according to estimates by Electronic Arts. In 2007, the Xbox 360 sold 4.62 million units in the US according to the NPD Group, and 257,841 in Japan according to Enterbrain. In 2008, the Xbox 360 sold 317,859 units in Japan, according to Enterbrain.

On February 13, 2008, Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 suffered shortages in the US in January 2008, possibly continued into February. Prior to the release of the NPD Group's video game statistics for January 2008, the Xbox 360 has been in second place behind the Wii in US sales in most months since the Wii and PS3 were released, according to data by the NPD Group. On May 14, 2008, Microsoft announced that 10 million Xbox 360s had been sold and that it was the "first current generation gaming console" to surpass the 10 million figure in the US. In the US, the Xbox 360 was the leader in current-generation home console sales until June 2008, when it was surpassed by the Wii which was released a year later than the Xbox 360; the Xbox 360 has sold 11.6 million units as of November 1, 2008, according to the NPD Group.

In the first seven months of 2008, the Xbox 360 has sold 154,000 units in Canada, being outsold by the PlayStation 3 and Wii; the Xbox 360 has sold a total of 870,000 units in Canada as of August 1, 2008. In Europe, the Xbox 360 has sold seven million units as of November 20, 2008, according to Microsoft. In Japan, the Xbox 360 has sold 866,167 units as of December 28, 2008, according to Enterbrain. In the United Kingdom, the Xbox 360 has sold 3.2 million units as of January 3, 2009, according to GfK Chart-Track.

The Xbox 360 is subject to a number of technical problems. Since the console's release in 2005, users have reported concerns over its reliability and failure rate.

To aid customers with defective consoles, Microsoft has extended the Xbox 360's manufacturer's warranty to three years for hardware failure problems that generate a "General Hardware Failure" error report. A "General Hardware Failure" is recognized by three quadrants of the ring around the power button flashing red. This error is often known as the "Red Ring of Death". The warranty extension is not granted for any other types of failures that do not generate this specific error code.

Since these problems surfaced, Microsoft has attempted to modify the console to improve its reliability. Modifications include a reduction in the number, size, and placement of components, the addition of dabs of epoxy on the corners and edges of the CPU and GPU as glue to prevent movement relative to the board during heat expansion, and a second GPU heatsink to dissipate more heat. It is unclear whether these modifications have only been added to new consoles or if they have also been added to consoles repaired by Microsoft and authorized repair centers.

At Microsoft Advance 2008 in May James Cameron announced that Ubisoft has a stereoscopic 3D game for the Xbox 360. In December 2008 the CTO of Blitz Games announced that they would bring stereoscopic 3D gaming and movie viewing to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with their own technology.

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List of Xbox 360 games

This is the list of games that have been released or announced for the Microsoft Xbox 360 video game console, organized alphabetically by name. This list does not include Xbox Live Arcade games, which are detailed in their own article. There are currently 594 games on this list. See Lists of video games for related lists.

The column "Exclus." indicates whether the Xbox 360 is the only platform on which the game is available. This does not include handheld game consoles or mobile phones which generally run a completely different version of the game under the same name. A value of "Console" for exclusivity means that, while a title may be available on an Arcade or on a PC using Microsoft Windows, Unix/Linux, or Mac OS X, it is not available on any other video game console in its native mode. In addition, every Xbox 360 game allows the option of custom soundtrack support by playing music from the Hard Drive, Disc, Portable Device, etc. in-game while in a zone where the custom music can be played.

The Xbox 360 was first released in North America on November 22, 2005, followed by Europe on December 2, 2005. The Xbox 360 was released in Japan on December 10, 2005, followed by all other territories throughout 2006. For more information on the Xbox 360 release, see Xbox 360 launch.

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List of cooperative games for the Xbox 360

This is a list of Xbox 360 games that include cooperative gameplay.

Burnout Paradise (formerly known as Burnout 5) is the newest installment in the Burnout video game series, which was released on January 22, 2008 in North America and on January 25, 2008 in Europe. It is available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It has an open world set in the fictional 'Paradise City', with no loading times and no traditional online lobbies or game menus. The song Paradise City by Guns N' Roses is the game's title music and also featured on the in-game soundtrack.

Call of Duty: World at War is a first-person shooter video game developed by Treyarch and published by Activision for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, and PlayStation 2. It is the fifth installment in the Call of Duty video game series, excluding spin-offs. The game is set in the Pacific theater and Eastern front of World War II. The game is scheduled to ship in North America on November 11, 2008, in Europe on November 14, 2008.

2 player cooperative in all game modes.

Halo 3's story centers on the interstellar war between 26th century humanity, led by the United Nations Space Command, and a collection of alien races known as the Covenant. The player assumes the role of the Master Chief, a cybernetically enhanced supersoldier, as he wages war in defense of humanity, assisted by human Marines as well as allied alien Elites led by the Arbiter. The game features vehicles, weapons, and gameplay not present in previous titles of the series, as well as the addition of saved gameplay films, file sharing, and the Forge map editor; a utility which allows the player to perform modifications to levels. Overall, the game was well-received by critics, with the Forge and multiplayer offerings singled out as strong features, as well as he customization of the player armor; on Game Rankings, Halo 3 ranks as the sixth highest rated Xbox 360 game to date.

Take your musical career to the next level.

Similar to Dynasty Warriors only set in feudal Japan rather than Ancient China.

Description: The Simpsons Game is a video game based on the animated television series The Simpsons and the 2007 film The Simpsons Movie, made for the Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable. Each version has an exclusive cover art. It is a third-person action game featuring an original storyline written by Tim Long, Matt Selman and Matt Warburton. The plot is self referential in nature, with the family discovering that they are forced to participate in another Simpsons video game. Similar to the show, the game pokes fun at popular culture, other video games and EA, its developer.

Being a tactical shooter, similar to games like America's Army, Advanced Warfighter places emphasis on using cover effectively in order to stay alive, together with sound strategic co-ordination to successfully complete mission objectives. Advanced Warfighter will allow new strategic situations to be planned and performed using original features. One such feature is the Integrated Warfighter System. This system is based upon the Future Force Warrior program. Previously, in 2005, the XM8, a weapon designed in mind of the program and featured as the main battle rifle in game, was cancelled while still in its testing stage, making its induction into military service highly unlikely.

Originally the game was set for a March 2006 release, but Ubisoft moved the release date to September 2006 in order to have more development time. Ubisoft then released their fiscal quarter results for Q1 2006 and announced that Splinter Cell Double Agent would be put back at least one month in order to boost Q3 2006 income.

The player takes on the role of Baldur, one of the Aesir. In the ancient past, the Norse Gods truly existed, although only in the form of cybernetically enhanced humans. Baldur, son of Odin, is one of these gods and it is his duty to protect the human race from an onslaught of an advancing machine presence determined to eradicate all human life.

The latest edition. Fully online cooperative splitscreen and campaign.

Similar to Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors. In fact this is a combination of both titles with all officers from both series.

Doom 3 is set in the year 2145 in a fictional Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) research center on Mars. In the game, the player takes control of a UAC security replacement marine as he fights to survive a mysterious invasion of inter-dimensional demons. In the process, the marine learns more about the nature of the shadowy research being conducted within the massive base, as well as information on its main instigator, Dr. Malcolm Betruger.

Timesplitters: Future Perfect is not backwards compatible for the Xbox 360.

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Source : Wikipedia