With an anticipated worldwide release before the close of 2005, Microsoft’s ?nextbox’ hardware iteration has been hotly discussed and surmised from all corners of the gaming industry. Ever found yourself wondering what exactly will lie beneath the Xbox2/Xenon hood? Wonder no more.
The console will be powered by three IBM 3GHz PowerPC CPUs, which will run in parallel and be backed through 256Mb of RAM. It has also been revealed that graphically the console will run via a 500MHz ATI unit with its own allocation of unconfirmed RAM, and that standard screen resolution output will arrive at 1,280×720.
The Xbox’s now familiar hard drive component will not make a return appearance on the new console, Microsoft instead opting for 64Mb memory cards. However, a stand-alone hard drive unit will be available – though its final pricing and specification is not currently known.
Despite Sony’s rumored use of Blu-ray technology in their upcoming PlayStation 3, the new Microsoft console will remain faithful to its established DVD format, but its game controllers will be wireless – which is a welcome development.
Without doubt, Microsoft is aiming to secure ?the’ major participating slot in the gaming market – a money losing second place seemingly no longer good enough. But will the Xbox successor’s first-to-the-finish-post release time, ramped power output (notably stronger than most of today’s top-end gaming PCs), and its developer-friendly foundations be enough to wrestle loose Sony’s dominant devout?
Well, if consumer doubters to Microsoft’s evolving hardware still remain, then perhaps the news of several (previously Sony secure) software swoops will favorably swing their pendulums of uncertainty. [I]Final Fantasy[/I] creator Hironobu Sakaguchi has signed with Microsoft to develop two RPG titles via his Mistwalker studio, and both titles will be developed exclusively for Xbox 2 (working title). Regarding the Xbox 2, Sakaguchi is quoted as saying, “Microsoft’s cutting-edge technologies will allow me to bring to life an array of ideas that I have had for many years.” The possible ensuing software migration from Sony to Microsoft is perhaps further illustrated through the signing of [I]Resident Evil’s[/I] Yoshiki Okamoto and [I]Rez’s[/I] Tetsuya Mizuguchi to develop for the Xbox 2.
Expect much more info to be revealed, along with demos, at this year’s E3 expo in LA,
Check back with MyGamer.com for further Xbox 2 revelations as we receive them.