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View Full Version : Inside X2! From Gamespy



Sammael
03-08-2005, 03:15 PM
http://xbox.gamespy.com/xbox/microsoft-xbox/594331p1.html

The Guts of the Next Box

# CPU - Xenon's CPU has three 3.0 GHz PowerPC cores. Each core is capable of two instructions per cycle and has an L1 cache with 32 KB for data and 32 KB for instructions. The three cores share 1 MB of L2 cache. Alpha 2 developer kits currently have two cores instead of three.

# GPU - Xenon's GPU is a generation beyond the ATI X800. Its clock speed is 500 MHz and it supports Shader 3.0. Developers are currently working with an alpha 2 GPU. Beta GPU units are expected by May and the final GPU is slated for a summer release. The final GPU will be more powerful than anything on the market today; in game terms, it would handle a game like Half-Life 2 with ease.

# System Memory - Xenon will have 256 MB of system RAM. Keep in mind that this number should not be equated to typical PC RAM. The Xbox has 64 MB of system RAM and is a very capable machine.

# Optical Drive - As many have speculated, Xenon will not use Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. Games will come on dual-layer DVD-9 discs. While the media is the same as that of the current Xbox, the usable space on each disc is up to 7 GB. The drive is slated to run at 12X.

# Memory Units - Xenon will use 64 MB to 1,024 MB memory cards. 8 MB is reserved for system use, leaving a 56 MB to 1,016 MB for user data.

# Hard Drive - As many have speculated, Xenon's hard drive is optional. 2 GB of the drive will be used as game cache. The final drive size is still being determined.

# Camera - Xenon will have a USB 2.0 camera. It's capable of 1.2 megapixel still shots and VGA video. Photos can be used in-game and for gamer profiles. The camera can also be used for video chat. It's unknown if the Xenon camera will allow for EyeToy-like gameplay. Developers are currently using a simulated camera driver.

# Sound Chip - Xenon does not have an audio chip in the traditional sense. Decompression is handled by hardware, while the rest of the chores are handled by software. DirectSound3D has been dropped in favor of X3DAudio. The former was deemed too inflexible.

The Software

Microsoft is requiring developers to make all Xenon titles Live enabled. One of the key reasons for this will be revealed in the second part of this story.

Developers are being instructed to plan their games for high-definition. The baseline is 720p at 1280x720 for gameplay and video clips, 16:9 aspect ratio, 5.1 Surround Sound, and anti-aliasing. These features are the current minimum requirement.

All Xenon games can be played using custom soundtracks. Owners can also play their own music directly. Supported formats are MP3 and WMA. Files can be encoded up to 320Kbps CBR or VBR stereo. The system is branded a Music Player Service.

For gameplay movies, Xenon uses Xenon Motion Video (XMV). XMV is based on Windows Media 9 and uses the mandatory codec for HD-DVD. The goal for video is 720p running at 30 frames per second with 5.1 Surround Sound.

Reclaimer
03-08-2005, 03:30 PM
Sweet mother mercy this is looking good.
No word on the infernal wireless controllers, which is good.
Too bad about the hard drive being optional though.

But the rest I'm really digging.

SamSmith
03-08-2005, 04:27 PM
those are similar specs to this diagram that i found.. would be sweet if it were real... but until we know otherwise it isnt :(

wbio
03-08-2005, 04:53 PM
Wow, that is much more powerful than I expected, MS is really doing things right this time.

MerimacHamwich
03-08-2005, 05:06 PM
Fairly promising. Kinda sad that article points to them using HD-DVD technology though.

SamSmith
03-08-2005, 05:38 PM
Kinda sad that article points to them using HD-DVD technology though.
why do you say that?? i think it was always prety much confirmed that that would be the format for xbox2 to use... but do you think its a bad thing?? im quite happy that its using hd-dvd... loads ofdual layer space... much more than i can ever imagine being used!! and similar to blu ray... but development of hddvd is cheaper, so that might pay off for the consumour!! but im thankful that hddvd will be used... i got a bit of a fright a while back when i heard that they might stick with regular dvd... but thankfully this is unlikely.

wbio
03-08-2005, 05:54 PM
Fairly promising. Kinda sad that article points to them using HD-DVD technology though.
Where do you get that from?

# Optical Drive - As many have speculated, Xenon will not use Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. Games will come on dual-layer DVD-9 discs. While the media is the same as that of the current Xbox, the usable space on each disc is up to 7 GB. The drive is slated to run at 12X.

squid413
03-08-2005, 06:02 PM
ummm no hddvd or blu ray??? What are they thinking? If they actually want to compete, they will need one of those formats. Preferably blu ray because of the storage. Games are gonna need much more space than what dvd currently offers. Other than that the rest looks pretty good.

MerimacHamwich
03-08-2005, 06:04 PM
http://xbox.gamespy.com/xbox/microsoft-xbox/594331p1.html

For gameplay movies, Xenon uses Xenon Motion Video (XMV). XMV is based on Windows Media 9 and uses the mandatory codec for HD-DVD. The goal for video is 720p running at 30 frames per second with 5.1 Surround Sound.
Note I said HD-DVD technology, not the format itself. As it clearly states there, they will be using HD-DVD codecs. Which could be ok, but I dunno.

wbio
03-08-2005, 06:17 PM
Note I said HD-DVD technology, not the format itself. As it clearly states there, they will be using HD-DVD codecs. Which could be ok, but I dunno.
Ah, ok, sorry, I got mixed up :bang:

vman
03-08-2005, 09:08 PM
wow, that is ****ing awesome. im gonna make love to my Xenon. its so sexy! UGHH!!

CharlieHustle
03-08-2005, 09:21 PM
ummm no hddvd or blu ray??? What are they thinking? If they actually want to compete, they will need one of those formats. Preferably blu ray because of the storage. Games are gonna need much more space than what dvd currently offers. Other than that the rest looks pretty good.

Ms are being smart.. First off, the hd dvd or blue ray isnt even out the door. So a lot of people wont even know what it is. Also , This medium will not make the games better. As we all forgot that dvd's are 8 gigs, as i recall, not too many games require a total of 8 gigs to hold. As long as our games will be in 720p or 1080i(hopefully) then we will all be happy. Our xbox has a ton of storage, (HD), and most of us dont even use all of it, or even half of it. So what do you think a ton of storage will do for games, but make developers take longer to make games because of more code writing, and so forth? Ms should wait for the xbox3 or 720 if they want to take advantage of the blu ray or hddvd format, its not necessary now.

TOTTEN
03-08-2005, 09:25 PM
Im getting it for sure. Now all I need is to get a job pretty soon to start saving up.

Snowblind
03-08-2005, 09:27 PM
All Xenon games can be played using custom soundtracks. Owners can also play their own music directly. Supported formats are MP3 and WMA. Files can be encoded up to 320Kbps CBR or VBR stereo. The system is branded a Music Player Service.



Riiiiight on! Xenon is becoming more and more tempting to buy.

natedog8
03-08-2005, 09:34 PM
For gameplay movies, Xenon uses Xenon Motion Video (XMV). XMV is based on Windows Media 9 and uses the mandatory codec for HD-DVD.
so does that mean that it WILL be called the xenon? since they've got the whole XMV thing planned out?

and can someone explain what anti aliasing is? perhaps in words i could understand? :D

MerimacHamwich
03-08-2005, 10:16 PM
It "fuzzes" edges out so that you don't have jaggies. It's an incredible system hog, and at HD resolutions, it's really unnecessary. But, if it's mandatory, that just means games will look uber good. Hopefully it doesn't mean they run uber slow though.
: \

/me wonders how the whole HD thing is going to transfer over to regular definition users.

squid413
03-08-2005, 10:39 PM
Ms are being smart.. First off, the hd dvd or blue ray isnt even out the door. So a lot of people wont even know what it is. Also , This medium will not make the games better. As we all forgot that dvd's are 8 gigs, as i recall, not too many games require a total of 8 gigs to hold. As long as our games will be in 720p or 1080i(hopefully) then we will all be happy. Our xbox has a ton of storage, (HD), and most of us dont even use all of it, or even half of it. So what do you think a ton of storage will do for games, but make developers take longer to make games because of more code writing, and so forth? Ms should wait for the xbox3 or 720 if they want to take advantage of the blu ray or hddvd format, its not necessary now.

Actually Bluray is out now. Its been out for some time now in japan. Also blu ray and HD DVD movies are set to come out later this year. So then Bluray and HDDVD will be coming out around when xenon comes out. MS could actually make a lot of money this way. Since HD DVD and Blu ray players will most likely be about $1000 when they first come out, if xenon is $300 or even $400 and can play HD DVD or Blu ray, then maybe people will get xenon as their players. Also if they wait they will probably release xbox 3 in 2009 or 2010 somewhere around that time. By that time DVD will be obsolete and movies will be coming out on Blu ray or HD DVD (whichever format wins). If ms decided to go blu ray, it is almost certain blu ray would win because ps3 will be blu ray for sure.

GuiltySpark
03-08-2005, 11:09 PM
Triple 3 GHZ processors! :yikes: The things gonna burn a hole in my center!

What kind of cooling is this thing gonna have? Is it going to be loud? These are questions I need the answers to!

vman
03-08-2005, 11:13 PM
Actually Bluray is out now. Its been out for some time now in japan. Also blu ray and HD DVD movies are set to come out later this year. So then Bluray and HDDVD will be coming out around when xenon comes out. MS could actually make a lot of money this way. Since HD DVD and Blu ray players will most likely be about $1000 when they first come out, if xenon is $300 or even $400 and can play HD DVD or Blu ray, then maybe people will get xenon as their players. Also if they wait they will probably release xbox 3 in 2009 or 2010 somewhere around that time. By that time DVD will be obsolete and movies will be coming out on Blu ray or HD DVD (whichever format wins). If ms decided to go blu ray, it is almost certain blu ray would win because ps3 will be blu ray for sure.
im sure that if MS has to, they will make another Xenon model with Bluray capabilities.

MerimacHamwich
03-08-2005, 11:18 PM
im sure that if MS has to, they will make another Xenon model with Bluray capabilities.
I highly doubt that.

TheCovenant
03-09-2005, 12:09 AM
Triple 3 GHZ processors! :yikes: The things gonna burn a hole in my center!

What kind of cooling is this thing gonna have? Is it going to be loud? These are questions I need the answers to!


although prominent, i think its too obviouos to have answered. I highly doubt microsoft will release a system that will melt your entertainment center. Same with cooling, im betting on standard heat sink/fan combo.

Those specs are damn impressive. Damn impressive indeed. Wireless cam included? damn. :yikes:

Reclaimer
03-09-2005, 12:22 AM
I have this feeling that if it's going to run triple processors, it's going to be a tall unit, like the current size of the Xbox to accomodate the heatsinks and fans.

blonks
03-09-2005, 12:39 AM
now wouldnt that be sweet if you could hack it to run windows... or linux or something... and get some benchmarks!!!

WOAH! i think i might buy 2 for that reason!

Conchord
03-09-2005, 01:04 AM
xbox 2 specs mean nothing without matching them up to ps3 specs.

ShannonX
03-09-2005, 01:05 AM
so, i'll be looking for a harddrive unit at around the 300 dollar price range, when it gets there i'll buy one. i'm not even going to start messing with memory cards and I'll just not have a new xbox for awhile i guess, unless i can pick up that 1024 mb memory card for about 15 or 20 bucks. Then it might be more tempting.

skorp
03-09-2005, 03:20 AM
and can someone explain what anti aliasing is? perhaps in words i could understand? :D


It means they're going to smooth out the rough edges on blocky looking graphics.

The specs are impressive... Damn. All that power is strictly dedicated to everything gaming! ;)

SamSmith
03-09-2005, 04:35 AM
As we all forgot that dvd's are 8 gigs, as i recall, not too many games require a total of 8 gigs to hold. .

yep... your right:) ive got hl2 and doom 3 on my pc... and doom3 is only 1800mbs worth of game.... far cry takes up more, 3gb... and the most ive ever seen in a game is somewhere around 4gb. so i really dont think that mega storage is neccesary for the next gens.

Sammael
03-09-2005, 09:11 AM
Gamespys "We Got Next" part 2.. The future of LIVE!

Microsoft Supports Profiling

Whether the games are single player or multiplayer, all Xenon titles tie into a new gamer profile feature. Think of it as a universal profile for each gamer that uses the system; the gamer profiles are the player's single identity across all Xenon games. Similar to how a single Windows XP machine can be set up for multiple users, each Xenon system will house profiles for every gamer it serves. This feature is fantastic for households with multiple gamers, since each player's settings can be saved in his or her profile and selected when the system boots.

The system is very flexible. You're able to choose universal settings while making exceptions for individual games. You can set your profile to automatically set inverted controls and yellow uniforms if that's your preference, but if for some reason you prefer to play Splinter Cell with a standard look and orange uniforms you can change the setting for just that title.

The settings are available online and offline. System settings can be brought up in every Xenon title. The profile is also where you make your privacy and opt-in selections.

The profile also records achievements and something dubbed "Gamer Cred." Achievements are game-specific tasks, such as beating a certain boss or completing a level in a certain amount of time. Achievements can be awarded online and offline; the baseline is for every game to award at least five achievements. Gamer Cred is how much you're awarded for each achievement. The more games you play and the better you do, the more Gamer Cred you'll earn. Microsoft's is suggesting that developers award at least 1000 Gamer Cred points per title.

Parents will be pleased to learn that the profile system includes extensive parental controls and privileges. The system lets parents decide what games their kids are allowed to play, as well as if their children are allowed to share their profile and chat with other players. Software controls allow parents to select multiplayer restrictions.

Last, but not least, is the" Gamer Card." Think of it as an at-a-glance gamer profile. The Gamer Card allows other online players to quickly see another's Gamertag, title, Gamer Creds, reputation rating, gamer zone, country, and title. It's a virtual membership card that helps gamers find people to play with. If you think you've found a match then you can select the Gamer Card to view that player's full profile to make sure.



As I noted in part one of this feature, all Xenon titles will be Live enabled. The console itself will have system-enabled Live features including:

# Friends management
# Access to recent players
# Message center
# Game invite management
# User notifications
# Gamer profile
# One-on-one voice chat
# Downloads
# Feedback
# Sign-in

It will be easier than ever for players to communicate with others on Xenon. Players no longer need to create custom message centers for each game. The message center manages player-to-player messages, friend invites, game invites, open P2P messaging, service-to-player messages, and title-to-player messages. Players can also communicate via voice and video chat.

All online multiplayer games are required to have social and ranked matches. Social matches rely on affiliate list tracking. Each player can be in contact with 1500 others, including friends, recent players, and preferred players.

Downloads will be managed from a central system user interface. They will appear as offers to the player in a download marketplace. Free and premium downloads will be supported. Developers will be able to send players to the marketplace and notify them when new content is available.

As I mentioned when I was discussing the Gamer Card, other players can see your various profile stats quickly. One of the most pertinent stats to Live is player reputation. Players will be able to grade, compliment, and complain about other players. Reviews are tied to a player's own experience as well. It's unclear how the whole system will be policed. It's a great feature, but one that can be taken advantage of and seems difficult to arbitrate. The complaint system is managed by Microsoft customer service.

:hump: :hump:

TOTTEN
03-09-2005, 09:31 AM
Sheeyt I wuv u. I love Xenon. I cant wait untill it comes out.

AlphaRaptor
03-09-2005, 09:38 AM
Ms are being smart.. First off, the hd dvd or blue ray isnt even out the door. So a lot of people wont even know what it is. Also , This medium will not make the games better. As we all forgot that dvd's are 8 gigs, as i recall, not too many games require a total of 8 gigs to hold.
Very true, even the biggest games today still don't fill up a normal DVD.

Sammael
03-09-2005, 09:51 AM
Um my name isn't Sheeyt.... Its Sammael... :watchout:

TOTTEN
03-09-2005, 09:54 AM
Um my name isn't Sheeyt.... Its Sammael... :watchout:
:rolleyes:

LynxFX
03-09-2005, 02:11 PM
Some of those specs bring a grin to my face, and some have me worried. Most have already been touched on by other members.

3 processors have me excited and skeptical. Programming games for multiprocessors is going to be a headache and it will probably be a while before the developers really figure out how to exploit that extra power. Not knowing how it is all being implimented, I'm only speculating.

256mb ram is pretty much what was to be expected. Doubt there will be a problem there.

Manditory 16x9 and 720p minimum is what the Xbox1 should have been. So this is an excelent move, but again if they didn't do that it would have been a huge mistake. What caught my eye though is that the article said that when played on a standard def tv that the game will be letterboxed. That will piss off a lot of gamers, and hopefully they give the option to run in 4x3. It shouldn't be a problem as games have always been able to run different resolutions and aspects.

Using standard DVD is a mistake. Not just for the technical limitations, but this thing is going to be pirated. They may have some new uber copyprotection system in place, but they already gave everyone the first key, burnable media and dual layer DVD9's will be more popular by the time this comes out.

Game space isn't a big issue...now. It probably won't for a couple years or even the life of the machine. But it sure put a very very low ceiling on the machine for anything else. If MS wants this to be part of the new 'media hub' of your living room, well they are giving you the crippled stepchild in this case. HD-DVD is launching in October. Players are speculated to be around $500 which is less than DVD players were when they launched. Manufacturer costs are quite low as the fabs can use the same machines that make standard dvd players with very little modding. Blu-ray is already out in Japan. The final spec'd machine will launch state-side sometime after HD-DVD. It might make it out this year, but most believe that it will coincide with the PS3 launch which will contain Blu-ray.

Using MS's codec should be expected. It is their VC-1 codec which is part of HD-DVD specs as well as Blu-rays. Yes they both are having VC-1 be manditory. It's a great codec and renders HD beautifully....if you have the space. ;)

I'm probably the only one that doesn't care Live anymore. Nice that they are making it standard, but that is just Live Aware. I just couldn't justify $50 a year for a service that didn't really offer me much more than what I get on the PC for free. Maybe we will see some must have features develope that will change that.

Anyway it will be interesting to see how the PS3 stacks up and see how realworld games actually use that power.

Variation-XBA
03-10-2005, 12:14 AM
On the bright side, with the media they chose, with the higher density DVDs, this not only makes Backwards comppatibility possible, but more leaning towards probable.

The camera took me by surprise, but imagine the possibilities with LIVE games.

What I want to see at E3: Launch titles, and controller.

LynxFX
03-10-2005, 12:38 AM
Media was never the problem with backwards compatibility. HD-DVD and Blu-ray both are backwards compatible with DVD.

The problem is switching to powerpc vs x86 processors. The only way to be BC is emulation which isn't exactly easy as games and technology get more complicated.

Camera took me by surprise too. Never heard anything about that before.

DemonLoki
03-10-2005, 02:39 AM
Media was never the problem with backwards compatibility. HD-DVD and Blu-ray both are backwards compatible with DVD.

The problem is switching to powerpc vs x86 processors. The only way to be BC is emulation which isn't exactly easy as games and technology get more complicated.

Camera took me by surprise too. Never heard anything about that before.
So the camera is stadard? What the deal, they want Eyetoy built in....? but not necessarily a hard drive.... I could see how it could be cool (or espionage)

CharlieHustle
03-10-2005, 10:44 AM
Actually Bluray is out now. Its been out for some time now in japan. Also blu ray and HD DVD movies are set to come out later this year. So then Bluray and HDDVD will be coming out around when xenon comes out. MS could actually make a lot of money this way. Since HD DVD and Blu ray players will most likely be about $1000 when they first come out, if xenon is $300 or even $400 and can play HD DVD or Blu ray, then maybe people will get xenon as their players. Also if they wait they will probably release xbox 3 in 2009 or 2010 somewhere around that time. By that time DVD will be obsolete and movies will be coming out on Blu ray or HD DVD (whichever format wins). If ms decided to go blu ray, it is almost certain blu ray would win because ps3 will be blu ray for sure.

Yup, you said it just right.. Its not out now in the US. And if the players cost around a grand. How many people do you think will buy it, when its first released? And how much money will MS lose per console sold?? They are tryin to make money here, not get further in the hole. MS could really care less if the blu ray or the hd dvd win, they are only concerned about their system. The majority of the consumers use dvd players now, and they dont want to jump to an expensive player. So why would MS want to support something that hasnt caught on yet? And yes, by that time the dvd will be obsolete, in 2009-2010, but the dvd is far from obsolete now. So stick with what is working. And worry about the hddvd when its time to. No developer is going to take advantage of the extra space now anyways, thats more time and more code writing, and more delays of games.

LynxFX
03-10-2005, 02:19 PM
After thinking about this for a day I'm actually relieved that MS decided to not use HD-DVD as their drive. A perfect world, they would have used Blu-ray but since that isn't happening either, I'm glad they didn't pick Blu-ray's direct competitor in the next format war. I want HD-DVD to die a quick and sudden death. It is inferior in everyway to Blu-ray and would have been a baby step forward in getting prerecorded HD content in our homes.

Still no news on whether it is confirmed that the PS3 will be able to play Blu-ray movies. We probably won't know until after E3.

Variation-XBA
03-10-2005, 11:22 PM
Still no news on whether it is confirmed that the PS3 will be able to play Blu-ray movies. We probably won't know until after E3.

I'm sure that's one of Sony's big announcements.