Thursday, May 19, 2005


Xbox 360 Redux

Now that Microsoft has announced the Xbox 360 on MTV to the world, and also a lot of other press on the device from their E3 presentation and other media coverage, I can now provide more details on the system. First of all, there is going to be a single configuration shipping this fall. Price is going to be $300, or there will be a $360 version that includes extra controller and some other goodies (like some content pre-loaded on the HDD possibly). Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, did an interview for Engadget/Joystiq and revealed quite a bit about Microsoft's strategy, I recommend reading it if you're curious. And here is a pic.

Some specs:
Processor: An IBM Power-PC 3-core processor @ 3.2ghz capable of handling 6 simultaneous threads.
Graphics: Custom ATI R520 500mhz graphics processor.
Memory: 512mb of 700MHz GDDR-3 RAM
Performance: Capable of doing over 1 teraFLOPS.
Hard Disk Drive (HDD): removable 20gb will ship with the unit. Expect bigger drives to be an optional upgrade later in the life-cycle of this system.
DVD-drive. No Blue-Ray or HD-DVD at launch, I think this could be a major liability for Microsoft. Ballmer talks about having one as an add-on, but that's stupid, IMHO, because everyone knows that console game developers target the least-common-denominator and that means whatever ships with the system at launch.
Wireless controllers are the default. This is a big, big plus. You can also use up to 3 wired.
Multimedia capability - not just for games, the 360 will also be able to watch streamed video (over the internet?) and of course do mp3's like the original Xbox.
Wi-Fi? I have heard this both ways, that it is not part of the basic box and that it is. It for sure has built in ethernet port. I'm pretty sure Wi-Fi will be an optional add-on that is available at launch.
More details on specs can be found at Wikipedia and on Microsoft's Xbox 360 site.

Of course, Xbox Live is going to be a big part of Microsoft's Xbox 360 strategy, their goal is to hook as many people at launch as they can with this.

Launch Titles:
Kameo: Elements of Power (99% sure)
Perfect Dark Zero (99% sure)
Project Gotham Racing 3 (99% sure)
Test Drive Unlimited (90% sure)
Call of Duty 2 (90% sure)
Final Fantasy XI (90% sure)
Ghost Recon 3 (85% sure)
Need for Speed Most Wanted (80% sure)

These below have been mentioned but I have no idea if they are going to be available at launch:

Quake IV
Madden NFL 06
Dead or Alive 4

Not going to be launch titles but slated for 2006:
Gears of War

It's a pretty safe bet that Electronic Arts will have some titles available at launch, but whether those are sports titles or what is still unknown.

nice, comfy place you got here :)..
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