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Bill Gates chats with Dean Takahashi on all things Xbox 360

Engadget reported two weeks ago that a new revision of the Xbox 360, Zephyr, was due to be launched this year. Engadget posted a rather grainy image of an Xbox 360 which sported an HDMI port for native 1080p support. Xbox-Scene followed up with some clearer shots of the HDMI port along with a revised motherboard featuring the new HANA scaler chip.

Along with the new HDMI port, Engadget also reported that a new 120GB hard drive would be included in addition to already anticipated cooler-running 65 nanometer IBM Xenon PowerPC processor.

Not surprisingly, the inclusion of an HDMI port sparked the most debate on the internet. Discussion boards across the web turned into flame zones as techies argued back and forth over whether Microsoft was justified in releasing an HDMI-equipped Xbox 360.

When Microsoft was asked directly, Microsoft's Chris Satchell confirmed the existence of prototype Xbox 360s with an HDMI ports, but declined to expound on the possibility of seeing it in the future. Satchell also deflected questioning on the larger 120GB hard drive.

Dean Takahashi, always a close confidant to Microsoft executives, had a chance to press Bill Gates on future upgrades to the Xbox 360 including his thoughts on a larger hard drive and IPTV.

While Satchell deflected questioning on the possibility of a larger hard drive for IPTV, Gates simply said that it isn't needed. "In an IPTV environment, there is no reason to put anything down on a hard disk because you created a broadband infrastructure that has enough capacity to stream individual video streams to everybody on the network," said Gates. "In terms of videos and music, there is no reason to put it on the local hard disk."

Bill Gates also made mention that content providers are likely to be elated with the idea that no IPTV content would be stored on the Xbox 360's hard drive. “It means you can insert ads that are up to date. You can control how much ad skipping you allow. And you’re less vulnerable to getting at the bits. Xbox is a very protected environment. No one is going to go and get bits on an Xbox.” He went on to say “By being more secure than anything else out there, it’s pretty good. It’s really just the simplicity. You have to get permissions to do server-based DVR. You have to get the copyright owner’s permission.”

Also, contrary to what Paul Thurrott said in the January 12 edition of the Windows Weekly, no new revision of the Xbox 360 will be needed for users to take advantage of IPTV. "No, we don’t need to change it at all to do an IPTV thing."

Takahashi questioned Gates on the subject of the Xbox 360 competing head to head with Windows Media Center PCs. "Xbox has a slightly better hardware protection model. We may have some content we don’t get for everywhere. It’s very valid to point out that some of the good things we are doing in Media Center we should share with Xbox and some of the good things we are doing on Xbox we should share with the Media Center," Gates responded.

He added "If people are comparing Microsoft to Microsoft, we have no concern. It’s OK. Should we pick one form factor and worry about that? Should we be concerned if someone puts their media on my Zune or media on my Blackjack? There is enough uncertainty about who wants PC coming down in the living room and Xbox coming up that I don’t mind them meeting and even overlapping as long as the point system, the user interface, the development tools - as long as we get this incredible alignment.”

Gates also took the time to take a few jabs at Sony's PlayStation 3. Gates stated that Sony wouldn't have anything better-looking than the upcoming Halo 3 for the Xbox 360. "They were going to have the Cell be the video processor. But they didn’t know what they were doing. They said the Cell is the video processor. But they turned to Nvidia at the last minute, but Nvidia can’t do embedded DRAM. Go look at the bandwidth problems. Go ask the guys running ... now."

Gates seems very optimistic about the future of the Xbox 360 in the interview and is looking forward to working with content providers like AT&T for IPTV. Though Microsoft is downplaying the importance of hard drives larger than the 20GB currently in use (actually, only about 13GB are useable), the company is more likely than not to cave in to the demands of gamers and the market to deliver a considerable boost in storage.



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RE: Gates wants too much control.
By daftrok on 1/22/2007 1:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
I will blame the industry! I want to be able to download a song (a dollar) and put it wherever I damn well please! (my console, my Creative Muvo2 FM, my computer, a CD) without paying 1 dollar for each location, dammit! I don't want to spend 10 to 15 dollars to get a rechargeable kit for my wireless 360 controller when a 2-5 dollar usb cable should be enough! I don't want to spend 60-100 dollars on a USB wireless adapter when a 10 dollar one will do just fine. And I don't want to spend 50-100 dollars for a 20 GB HDD when I can get a 160 GB one and a 3.5" to 2.5" adapter for less than that. And on top of that, they made the plug from the wall to the AC adapter with a notch so that you can't use standard plugs and you have to use theirs! What the FUCK! And if I am paying 40-50 dollars a month for High Definition Digital Cable with HD DVR, I should be able to record a show or movie and transfer it to a DVD so I can watch it whenever I want and not use up space on my DVR. So I WILL blame the industry for being greedy because THEY ARE. And seriously, they're wealthy...FUCK THEM! They are getting paid enough with making songs for movies, being IN movies, getting sponsorship, and performing in concerts (and of course the loyal that buy their CDs). I'm not saying download for free everything, I am saying let us have some leniency.


RE: Gates wants too much control.
By XtremeM3 on 1/23/2007 6:32:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I will blame the industry! I want to be able to download a song (a dollar) and put it wherever I damn well please! (my console, my Creative Muvo2 FM, my computer, a CD) without paying 1 dollar for each location, dammit!


Ok...download it from the company that provides the song for a dollar without DRM. Don't get mad at the way a company provides a service. Don't get pissed at iTunes because they made sure they're stuff works with the ipod, but won't work with your Muvo. Don't be suprised that the iTunes(Apple) service works with the iPod(Apple again, holy cow - conspiracy!!!) but not everything else you want. Shame on them for supporting their own product but not everything else. It should be on Apples iTunes shoulders to provide music to be listened to on any medium. /fantasyland

quote:
I don't want to spend 10 to 15 dollars to get a rechargeable kit for my wireless 360 controller when a 2-5 dollar usb cable should be enough! I don't want to spend 60-100 dollars on a USB wireless adapter when a 10 dollar one will do just fine. And I don't want to spend 50-100 dollars for a 20 GB HDD when I can get a 160 GB one and a 3.5" to 2.5" adapter for less than that.


When you make a console and controller you can make sure to make it all use standard connections so that you have no opportunity to make money on accessories (did you sleep through ecomomics?)

quote:

So I WILL blame the industry for being greedy because THEY ARE. And seriously, they're wealthy...FUCK THEM! They are getting paid enough with making songs for movies, being IN movies, getting sponsorship, and performing in concerts (and of course the loyal that buy their CDs). I'm not saying download for free everything, I am saying let us have some leniency.


Sounds like someone has a little jealousy there. Don't hate on others because they are making money. Everything you are bitching about are products or services provided by companies whose primary goal is to make money. Not to make your life easier or fun - as I said above. And the thought that they are wealthy enough...c'mon now, that's just silly. "Ok MSoft...you guys have enough $ now...go ahead and start providing for free for all us broke ass people that don't have real paying jobs."

Ahhh..that was therapeutic...


Jeff


"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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