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Microsoft leaks details on XBOX 2

Discussion in 'ATI' started by R420, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. R420

    R420 Guest

    Posted on Sun, Feb. 01, 2004

    Microsoft leaks details on Xbox Next
    By Dean Takahashi
    Mercury News

    Microsoft has quietly circulated the specifications for its
    next-generation Xbox video-game console, indicating how the company
    plans to carry on its war against dominant player Sony.

    The details suggest Microsoft is far more concerned about keeping the
    cost of its Xbox Next console low than it is with including dazzling
    technological features or driving its rivals out of the business,
    according to a variety of industry sources.

    People familiar with Microsoft's strategy say the company apparently
    believes it can capture a much larger share of the market if it
    launches its machine before Sony fields its PlayStation 3 console in

    A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to comment on strategy details.

    The new Xbox reflects some tough lessons learned in the current
    console battle, in which Sony has outsold Microsoft 5 to 1. The Xbox
    has put Microsoft on the map with a generation of gamers. But it has
    also been a money loser, albeit a relatively small one for a company
    with $53 billion in cash.

    Microsoft launched its Xbox console 20 months after the PlayStation 2
    debut. By the time Microsoft sold 1.5 million consoles, Sony had sold
    more than 20 million PlayStations. To date, Microsoft has sold 13.7
    million Xboxes, while Sony has sold more than 70 million. In the
    United States alone, console sales amounted to $3 billion in sales
    last year.

    For gamers, the new Xbox will be impressive, giving them the ability
    to play fast-action, realistic 3-D games on a high-definition TV set.
    Microsoft's emissaries have told industry developers and publishers
    that the next Xbox will be ready to launch in fall 2005 with the
    following specifications:

    • Three IBM-designed 64-bit microprocessors. The combined power of
    these chips means the Xbox Next will have more computing power than
    most personal computers. The chips are used in Apple Computer's
    high-end G5 PowerMac machines now.

    • A graphics chip designed by ATI Technologies with speeds much faster
    than its upcoming R400 chip (correction: R420, not R400) for the
    personal computer. This chip will help the next Xbox to display games
    with the resolution of high-definition TV.

    • Compatibility with the original Xbox, which is based on Intel and
    Nvidia chips, isn't guaranteed. Microsoft is concerned it would cost
    too much money in hardware or in licensing fees to enable the Xbox
    Next to play old Xbox games. This is risky in part because Sony's
    strategy has been to maintain compatibility with its old consoles.

    ``I can't imagine that Microsoft would be so insanely stupid as to
    make it incompatible,'' said Jon Peddie, an analyst at Jon Peddie
    Research in Tiburon.

    Microsoft is leaving itself wiggle room to react to competitive moves
    by Sony and Nintendo. A few details are to be decided. In contrast
    with the current Xbox, the next one will have no hard disk drive --
    unless Sony puts one in the PlayStation 3. Instead, the console will
    rely on flash memory to store saved games and permanent data, much
    like the current PlayStation 2.

    The machine also will have about 256 megabytes of dynamic random
    access memory. But Microsoft will upgrade that to 512 gigabytes
    (correction: 512 MB, not GB) if Sony puts in more. The previous Xbox
    had 64 megabytes. And lastly, it isn't clear if Microsoft will include
    the current DVD video technology or Blu-Ray, its successor. Blu-Ray
    will hold much more data, but it's unclear when it will be ready for

    The current Xbox has an eight-gigabyte hard disk drive. That drive is
    useful for online games and storing game art, but many developers
    chose not to make use of it. As a result, Microsoft seems to have
    decided that saving the $50 the hard drive costs outweighs its

    In telling the developers what will be in the box, Microsoft is
    helping them get started on games that will be ready when the console
    launches. But it is also soliciting feedback, and some developers are
    pushing Microsoft to make changes.

    ``I would really like to see a hard disk drive in the box,'' said Tim
    Sweeney, chief executive officer of Epic Games in Raleigh, N.C., who
    has made his opinions known to Microsoft. ``For a console to really
    have a useful online component, it has to have the hard drive to store
    downloaded maps and other data.''

    Sweeney says it is dangerous for Microsoft to wait until Sony reveals
    the details of the PlayStation 3 or to pay too much attention to cost

    ``Sony isn't as motivated to launch a new console because it is No.
    1,'' he said. ``If Microsoft waits for them, it is in effect allowing
    Sony to design Microsoft's box.''

    Regarding cost issues, a Microsoft spokeswoman would only say,
    ``Microsoft is in this for the long term.''

    Developers like Sweeney say they are pleased it will be apparently
    easy to develop games for Microsoft's new box. That was one of the
    main advantages that Microsoft has had over its rivals. Current
    information about the PlayStation 3, sketchy as it is, indicates that
    it could be extremely difficult for developers to master.

    The top executives of both Electronic Arts and Activision said this
    week that they have not received formal ``software development kits''
    from Microsoft yet, but they did say they have begun creating
    next-generation games. Internally, Microsoft has begun developing game
    prototypes, and it is using G5 systems to do so.

    The same developers who have seen the Microsoft specifications say
    Sony hasn't shared as much data with them. Sony appears to be willing
    to wait until 2006, in part so that it can milk the profits from the
    current generation PlayStation 2. In the meantime, Sony is launching
    an all-in-one PS 2/video recording box dubbed the PSX and the
    PlayStation Portable.

    Microsoft's schedule may change -- it has a big meeting coming up for
    developers this month. But for now it appears it will release
    information about the new box at both the Game Developers Conference
    in San Jose in March and at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los
    Angeles in May.

    R420, Feb 1, 2004
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  2. R420

    Zackman Guest

    Fatal error. Xbox2 launches first, Sony looks at it, Sony says "PS3 will
    have this and this and this that makes it better than Xbox2, not to mention
    Grand Theft Auto 5" and nobody buys Xbox2, a la the Dreamcast. Launching
    before Sony will only be good if the lead time is short enough not to give
    Sony any time to react and make changes to the PS3.
    I can't imagine an analyst is so out of touch as to think this matters. It's
    not like buying a new console renders the old one inoperable. And after a
    few months, virually no one will want to play old-gen games on a new
    Oh Lord, PLEASE don't let this be true. There goes ripping soundtracks to
    the Xbox. There goes downloads from Xbox Live. There goes caching games to
    the HDD.

    Hey Microsoft, it's good and all to want to keep costs low to make a profit.
    But if the machine doesn't have the features you've already given gamers in
    the original Xbox, it won't sell and you won't make ANY money.

    Luckily, it's almost guaranteed that the PS3 will have a HDD, since Sony
    wants it to be a media center hub. Hopefully this means the Xbox2 will have
    one too.
    Damn, 512 *GB* of RAM would have been awesome. ;)
    Most Xbox games don't even fill a standard DVD, so why bother with Blu Ray?

    Zackman, Feb 1, 2004
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  3. R420

    Zackman Guest

    It's human nature. If a product comes out and there's a promise of a better
    product coming out six months later, with lots of details an hype about that
    product, people will hold off. And if Microsoft isn't going nuts packing
    every bit of high tech into the box, then they're going to have to compete
    on the basis of games and features alone. Sony has brand loyalty and a large
    stable of game franchises behind it, two things MS is still in the process
    of building.

    If the Xbox launches early with a whole bunch AAA titles (more than just
    Halo 3) then it might have a chance. But anything more than three months
    early dooms them, IMO.

    Zackman, Feb 1, 2004
  4. R420

    Martin Guest

    They would really set the cat amongst the pigeons if they could make an xbox
    that played PS2 games...

    Martin, Feb 1, 2004
  5. R420

    Bobby Guest

    Interesting that MS is ditching nVidia in favour of ATI. That contract must
    be worth $$$ to ATI.
    Bobby, Feb 1, 2004
  6. Boo!
    Andrew Ryan Chang, Feb 1, 2004
  7. R420

    ammonton Guest

    The difference is that unlike Sega, Microsoft actually has a competent
    marketing department (and more money, too).

    ammonton, Feb 1, 2004
  8. R420

    Sir William Guest

    Lol, anyone find it...interesting that Microsoft is using Apple computers to
    develop the hardware demos? I mean it is only natural given the processor
    choice, but still ;)
    Sir William, Feb 1, 2004
  9. R420

    ammonton Guest

    The conspiracy nut in me just keeps thinking about that temp that got
    fired for posting photos of G5 Macs being delivered to Microsoft.
    (I don't believe there's any connection, but let's see how long it takes
    for this to become a rumour..)

    ammonton, Feb 1, 2004
  10. R420

    stu Guest

    Lol, anyone find it...interesting that Microsoft is using Apple computers
    Nope,makes total sense.
    stu, Feb 1, 2004
  11. R420

    Pluvious Guest

    On 1 Feb 2004 08:49:18 -0800, (R420) wrote:

    Microsoft has the opportunity to really shine and completely blow Sony
    out of the water by throwing HUGE AMOUNTS of money at Xbox2 and
    frankly, I don't understand why they don't. M$ has over 50 BILLION in
    cash ON HAND!!! They can afford to throw every bell and whistle at
    xbox 2 and not even be concerned about Sony and the PS3. Leapfrog
    them by going crazy and really doing it right.

    I can't believe M$ is pussy-footing around here. They need to make a
    BOLD move and just drop a billion or so. Sony WHO?..

    Pluvious, Feb 1, 2004
  12. R420

    McCrack Guest

    Microsoft does develop apps for Mac's so why shouldn't they be taking
    delivery of Mac G5's?
    McCrack, Feb 1, 2004
  13. R420

    ammonton Guest

    There was never anything suspicious about that, it was the (over)rection
    to the pictures being posted that caused the stir.

    ammonton, Feb 1, 2004
  14. R420

    Bagpuss Guest

    Its old news and yes.
    Bagpuss, Feb 1, 2004
  15. R420

    Bagpuss Guest

    MS goes on a fishing expedition to guage pubic opinion.
    Bagpuss, Feb 1, 2004
  16. R420

    Dirk Guest

    Three high-end CPUs? Well, high-end now, mid-range in 2005, but
    anyway. That's about as plausible as current XBox having included 3
    Pentium chips... Ie way over the top too expensive, if they're trying
    to save cost.

    Kinda suspcious article IMO in other respects too. I wouldn't trust a
    word in it.
    Dirk, Feb 1, 2004
  17. R420

    Bagpuss Guest

    It depends on what they do. Coupled with ATI being involed in the
    graphics set, you have a 64 bit graphics GPU (not that high specced as
    128 bit is more the power to expect) a 64 bit CPU and a 64 bit
    processor to work as a mobo chipset to control memory, disks, DVD
    playback, sound e.t.c.
    Bagpuss, Feb 1, 2004
  18. R420

    Nate Edel Guest

    Media center -- if it looks like one of the HD-DVD standards is going to
    catch on, you want people to be able to play their movies on it.
    Nate Edel, Feb 1, 2004
  19. Cygnus personality #215 wrote:

    <snipped more Cygnus trollbaiting>

    Cygnus, with how many different names you post through Google Groups how
    do you decide which one to use? I mean do you say R420 is my Sunday
    name, Sprite Scaler is my Wednesday name, Cygnus X-1 is my laptop name
    because everyone in the console groups knows what a psycho troll I am?
    I'm just curious.
    Hank Hank Revolution, Feb 1, 2004
  20. R420

    PYRO-Maniak Guest

    I cant believe anyone is actualy buying any of this! Its the same as
    it always is before a console announcement, endless speculation by
    endless numbers of "journalists" who just want to be the first to
    guess something right. Sounds like an utter pile of wank to me, ill
    wait for the OFFICIAL announcement and ignore speculation

    PYRO-Maniak, Feb 1, 2004
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