Microsoft details 360 accessories

Company announces pricing, release dates for camera, wireless steering wheel, wireless headset for Xbox 360s, gaming receiver for PCs.

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It's not just divas and fashionistas who like to accessorize. Peripherals and accessories are becoming big business for gaming companies, and new technology is letting even more high-tech gadgets to hang on the arms of next-generation systems.

Microsoft today dropped the final details of its fall lineup of Xbox 360 peripherals (and one PC accessory), including the pricing and release dates for the console's Web cam, wireless steering wheel, and wireless headset.

As previously stated (but not officially announced), the Xbox Live Vision camera will be released in the United States on September 19, though some stores have apparently already begun selling them. Rumors circulating that the camera would be available in a bundle for $39.99 were right but didn't tell the whole story--an additional $79.99 bundle will also be offered.

The $39.99 package will include the camera, a one-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold, an Xbox 360 headset, and two Xbox Live Arcade games that support the camera--Uno and TotemBall. For two more $20s, gamers get everything in the previous bundle plus an upgrade to a full-year subscription to Xbox Live Gold, a third Xbox Live Arcade game (Robotron: 2084), and 200 Marketplace points.

Microsoft also announced the previously released Xbox Live Arcade games that would support the camera. Bankshot Billiards 2, Texas Hold 'Em, Hardwood Hearts, and Hardwood Spades will all incorporate video chat.

The Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel will rev up cyber drivers in November for $149.99. As a bonus, Microsoft will also include a copy of a force-feedback version of Bizarre Creations' Project Gotham Racing 3 (while supplies last).

Those irked by the confinement of a wired Xbox Live headset will be able to free themselves up later this year. The Xbox 360 Wireless Headset will retail for $59.99 in November.

PC gamers won't be left out in the cold on these new wireless accessories. Microsoft is also releasing the Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows which let wireless peripherals designed for the next-gen console be used with PCs. The receiver will be available in late December for $19.99.

While the above items focus on the gameplay, they don't do a whole lot for the Xbox 360's aesthetics. Microsoft will also give Xbox 360s a makeover with some new faceplates. In early November, gamers can add Viva Piñata and Forza Motorsport 2 faceplates to their consoles for $19.99 each.

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