NEWS - Thursday, July 7, 2005
Jeff Minter Brings His Psychedelic Show To The 360Jeff Minter, the British head of studio LlamaSoft, has been waxing lyrical on the new Xbox 360 console, and his latest creation Neon - which will be preloaded onto Microsofts new system at launch (expected to be this November). Neon is a curious mix of game and musically-inspired light show, and is best described as a glorified visualization tool which you have an element of control over. Its actually based on a 1984 piece of software coded by Minter called Psychedelia, but has of course grown immensely from this original seed. Now itll be made famous by Microsoft who are clearly taken with Minters creation. "Typically in the kind of work Ill be doing, you want a lot of computational power available for generating effects and meshes procedurally in real-time, and the X360 delivers a lot of grunt in that area," Minter told The Guardian on the power of the new hardware. "We were working with the alpha hardware and still managed to achieve staggering performance with just that, and the alpha kits probably operate at only about 30 per cent of the capacity of the final hardware. Im really looking forward to doing more on final hardware and really pushing the thing as hard as we can," he added. Minter also hints in the new Guardian Online interview that itll be possible to hook-up an iPod or other independent device to the Xbox 360 in order to drive Neon, stating also that up to four-controllers can steer the game, with other layers in the image taken over by the games AI. Finally, Minter hints that Neon might have appeared on the original Xbox were it not for an email from Microsofts J Allard going astray: "Oh well, better late than never," he acquiesces. More on Neon, and the Xbox 360, as the festive season draws nearer.