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OT: Xbox Tech Demo (long)
Posted By: Zypper <>Date: 3/29/01 11:33 p.m.

A few Microsofties came to the USC campus today, with Xbox hardware in tow. Here are my impressions:

At the demo there were 3 XDK's Silver tower cases with black DVD drives, and a green "powered by directx" jewel logo on the front. NV20 processor, 64 megs of ram, "1/3 final performance" and the demonstration of a demo called "grass" caused it to lock up. Bootup was about 15 seconds or so, but Microsoft has "a whole group dedicated" to power on speed. There was also a finalized industrial design of the Xbox. only 3 ports in the back: power, Net, and Video.

The sound chip can do 256 Voices, 64 simultaneous 3-D sounds.

And the Xbox does multi-channel audio during actual gameplay. It was one of their most requested features. But they didn't say to what standard.

DirectMusic was rewritten from the ground up for the Xbox, DirectSound was heavily rewritten.

The Xbox CPU's speed can change according to market availability. I asked a dev if it would ship with a 800 MHz processor, and was told it was entirely possible. I'm going to guess it will ship with a 750 MHz one though.

The Alice demo was shown, bad collision detection and all. Abe was shown from a dev box labeled Oddworld 3, the CES demo pretty much word for word.

The controller was reasonably comfortable, although it had sharp corners here and there. When pressing some of the buttons, my finger would rub up against the right analog stick. I checked out the memory card slots and they have 10 conductors in each of the jacks.

The cooling system is well thought out, the system needs only a single fan for cooling.

The system goes from power on to standby when you press the power button. Conceiveably with the remote control, you could turn it on and play a DVD without getting up to press the power button.

The box weighed about 7 pounds, but we were told it would weigh less when it was finalized.

I was also told the Hard Drive is 8 Gigs.

About software: each game will come with the image of the operating system burned in, so the system only loads the modules it needs.

Overheard: "the system will not have extra software like a browser...(and under the rep's breath:) at first"

The DVD player supports double layered DVD's so 9 GB disks can be used for games.

The system supports Redbook Audio, but not DVD Audio or MP3 CD.

Also you will be able to take your CD's, put em in your Xbox, and the system will rip songs to HDD but in the WMA format.

Well that's about all I can remember. If you have any questions, please, ask me while the demo session is still fresh in my mind.

Message Index


OT: Xbox Tech Demo (long)Zypper 3/29/01 11:33 p.m.
     Re: OT: Xbox Tech Demo (long)Kalis 3/30/01 6:01 p.m.
           Re: OT: Xbox Tech Demo (long)Zypper 3/30/01 8:33 p.m.
     Re: OT: Xbox Tech Demo (long)Dan Rudolph 3/31/01 3:22 a.m.

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