Microsoft Press Interviews XBAHeres a clip...
Xbox Ready for Online Gaming
Apart from the improved game play, what gamers most anticipate about Xbox are the multiplayer capabilities and high-speed, online gaming, says Stephen Cameron, Web master for xboxaddict.com, one of about 20 independent Web sites for Xbox fans. He estimates that nearly half of the gamers who visit his site say they are yearning to try these features.
As many as four gamers can play on a single Xbox at one time -- the most for any gaming system. Gamers also can directly link as many as eight Xbox systems, allowing as many as 32 gamers to compete at once. (Future games will likely support even more linked systems.) Microsoft designed the Ethernet port -- which, unlike other consoles, comes standard, right out of the box -- to allow gamers from opposite sides of the block or the globe to compete with no loss in gaming quality.
Cameron expects the online capabilities of Xbox to revolutionize video gaming. Although gamers could play online with their PCs, the technical requirements and network configurations made it too complicated for many. "With Xbox you just plug it in," Cameron says. "Its a lot easier, and its going to appeal to a lot more people."