Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Microsoft Announces Xbox 360

On May 12, Microsoft announced the new Xbox 360 which is expected to ship in time for Christmas. Altogether it replaces the current Xbox game console, the Xbox 360 is much more than a just a game console. IBM manufactures the chip for the Xbox 360.

What is does:

  • Plays games
  • Serves a Media Center Extender and to stream digital video, audio, and photos from networked PCs running Windows XP Media Center Edition.
  • the ability to stream media from portable music devices, digital cameras, and Windows XP-based PCs."
  • Video camera attachment. Details are unclear.

Specs:

  • IBM PowerPC-based three-core CPU running at 3.2GHz and half a gigabyte of RAM. This is more powerful than most desktop machines.
  • Customized ATI graphics processor capable of advanced antialiasing and shader effect
  • Supports true 720p and 1080i wide-screen HDTV images for all of its games
  • Multichannel surround sound is also standard
  • Supports up to four wireless controllers to cut down on cable clutter
  • Supports Wi-fi (detailed unknown)

Cons:

  • Won't support Blu-ray (successor to DVD)
  • Expanding the Xbox from a game console to a media center may backfire. Current all-in-one media centers are complex, difficult to use and haven't sold particularly well.
  • Sony's Playstation 3, due out in early 2006, will use an IBM-build seven-core CPU that will offer even better performance than Xbox. In addition, the Sony will support Blu-ray.

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