Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Xbox 360

Kotaku (article)

Xbox 360 is unveiled:

The console will come with a wireless controller, a small removable 20 GB hard drive and built-in HD DVD playback. You will also be able to buy a digital camera, a WiFi adapter and up to three more wireless controllers for the console.
As we heard at the Game Developers Conference, the biggest thing about the Xbox 360 in Microsoft’s eyes is that it will be entirely high-definition.
The console will also have 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM operating at 700 MHz. The systems overall floating-point performance will be 1 teraflop.
It’s hard to compare the current Xbox to the 360, but Rob Smith, editor-in-chief of Official Xbox Magazine, said they certainly tried. The magazine handed the specs over to Maximum PC editors and had them crunch the numbers.
“The bottom line was, between the GPU format and cores, and 512 memory, the Xbox 360 will be significantly faster than the fastest PC,” he said.

So it looks like this will be a cheap awesome PC... if it can get hacked, and as we have seen it shouldn't take too long to get some useful hacks on it. But what is really interesting to me is:

“Even if you don’t have high-def, the games are still going to look better on an Xbox 360 then any other system because of Xbox 360’s raw graphics power, but the pinnacle experiences are going to be on high-def.”
Henshaw said he thinks the 360 will likely spur a clamor for high-def TVs.
“Our game developing partners and retail partners are actually looking for this product to be the catalyst to help drive industry wide adoption of high-def.”

I also agree with this. I am in the market for a new TV, and I had not been considering an HD TV until I thought about buying a next gen system. And really, I think it would be a waste of money not to jump on over and get an HD TV, especially since it looks like we are getting in to an era where it will be useful to have.

The console will also be always online and make use of built in Media Center Extender for Windows XP, allowing you to connect to your PC and other multimedia devices.
You can connect the 360 to your home network with a cable, or buy a small WiFi adapter for wireless connectivity.
Henshaw said you can use your own WiFi adapter or buy one that fits smoothly into the 360, without messing with its sleek design.
Once the console is hooked up, the 360 will be able to play music, videos and display pictures from your computer on your television. You will also be able to connect MP3 players and digital cameras directly to the 360 with a USB cord and then stream the music or check out your pictures on your TV.

This is setting the bar pretty high for PS3. It is amazing how much things improve with each console generation. Think about just the jump from PSOne to PS2, now we are doing it all over again, amazing.

Xbox Live will come in two flavors. All 360’s will come with Xbox Live Silver for free, while Xbox Live Gold will require a subscription. (Your current Xbox Live subscription will transfer over seamlessly.)
Silver will let you play games online on weekends, but not during the week and will let you track and chat with friends online. You can also access a marketplace to purchase games and download demos through the Silver edition.

Freakin’ awesome. I am glad that XBox Live is part of the package for free, even if it is limited. I wonder if the weekend is Sat and Sunday, or like Friday night to Sunday afternoon... for the sake of awesomeness I hope it starts on Friday night.

Well, it looks like the next gen consoles are well on there way to being something that i really want. I will be looking forward to seeing what Sony has for us, and I really want to see what Nintendo is going to do since they look like the odd man out. Next week is E3, so all (or some) questions will be answered there.

Oh, go to go Attack of the Show is about to start. ^_^

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