One of the big items of this year's E3 is, of course, Microsoft's Xbox 360 - and thus it was the focus of our first few hours on the show floor.

Given that the Xbox 360 is supposed to launch and be available by the end of this year, we expected to see a pretty large showing of it at this year's E3. Don't be mistaken, the vast majority of this year's show focused on currently available consoles - the original Xbox, Playstation 2, Gamecube and a plethora of mobile gaming platforms, but there were hints of the new console spread out throughout the show.

Basically at every booth where there was a long line, you could either expect to see a Xbox 360 demo or someone was giving away free stuff.

Xbox 360 - The Controller
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  • MaverickUK - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    The reason why where are two G5s, is so that if the one running the demo breaks down, they can simply switch over to the spare one.

    Like a spare tire :)
    Reply
  • Visual - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    I realise that the G5s were not running on standard OS-X. But it's interesting if all these xbox games can easily be ported to run on OS-X, with the eventual release of G70 or R500 I guess the G5s will have enough power for them anyway.

    Or if the games themselves can't be easily ported to OS-X, maybe a leaked version of the xbox dev-kit OS can still be used to run xbox games on macs? It would be even greater if consumers got legal access to such kind of OS, I wish microsoft would release it.

    Even if it turns out that G5s are too slow for the task, I'm sure there'll be multi-core or Cell-based macs coming our way soon, so a way to run xbox games on them would still be a great thing.

    My question is, what is the chance of that happening?
    Reply
  • linkdown - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    The hard drive is DISCREET. DISCREET Reply
  • dripgoss - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    A few points to consider:

    Those G5's are not dev kits - they are Alpha kits running at about 1/3 the power of the actual 360. Beta kits will be closer to the actual product and should start hitting devs within the next month. These ADK's are even lovingly dubbed "Xbox 120's" in the dev community. MS is using IBM CPU's as the G5 is, so it only makes sense to use this Alpha architecture.

    AA is not handled on these systems like on a traditional GPU running on a PC. It's hard to understand for us PC geeks, but the CPU/RAM will handle many of the graphic processes and although a screamer, the G5 is not an Xbox 360 so it's not completely apples and apples at this point graphics-wise. Production graphics are definitely more clean.

    #7, it's tough to imagine, but development is so accelerated that MS will successfully release fully capable hardware by its anticipated launch don't worry about that. If E3 were to have happened next month, you might actually have seen all the demo booths running beta kits with the bells and whistles and possibly even that slick looking little case.

    BTW - Most of the really cool stuff either has happened or will happen behind closed doors this E3 so stay tuned - it's going to get even better...
    Reply
  • Reflex - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    Anand - Final 360 hardware should be done in July(I can't state actual milestone dates but thats close enough) and the current dev kits are roughly 1/3 the power of the final product.

    #2: Its not pressure on game devs that has stopped Mac game development, the issue is Apple's lack of a competing API. DirectX makes it very simple to access everything a dev needs on a PC, there is nothing comparable for the Mac. Even PC OpenGL devs use DirectX for much of the non-graphics functions(DirectSound and DirectInput for example). There is no real unified API to give game developers all they need on the Mac, and until there is gaming development won't really take root on the platform.

    #5: The Mac G5 kits are running a custom PowerPC version of the NT kernel, so you are correct.
    Reply
  • LanceVance - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    Anand,

    Understood; you actually did have insider information, you weren't just making a blind consumer observation, and I retract my comment.

    Thanks for the response and the excellent site.
    Reply
  • Shinei - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    Why didn't Microsoft just sell the G5 they're using instead? Wouldn't it have saved a ton of time and money?

    New from Microsoft: The Apple G5-X!
    Reply
  • Eug - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    Why are two Power Macs needed?

    P.S. It's nice to see that MS is finally starting to understand the concepts of aesthetics in design.
    Reply
  • sxr7171 - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    MS using G5s for their Xbox demos? The irony of it all. Reply
  • knitecrow - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    Microsoft has stated because they are so close to launch they wanted to show actual real, live running games instead of tech demos, even if it is on dev kits.


    Anand,

    (1) did you get a chance to check out the games? Perfect Dark?

    (2) Which are the actual specs of the X360 hardware. And I don't mean the marketing fluff put out.

    How many transistors does the X360 CPU have; is the related to the PPC core in the cell? etc

    About the R500, how big is the actual silicon and how does it compare to current gen X800XT

    Reply

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