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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: Xbox 360 RELEASED FIRST
By DingieM on 1/23/2007 6:03:36 AM , Rating: 2
I've seen video comparison on GameTrailers between Gears and Resistance and its obvious that Gears is miles ahead of Resistance in terms of visual quality.
I demand the highest visual quality in games and its very clear the Xbox360 has a vastly superior GPU.
Period.
But the PS3 has a much faster main CPU for physics etc, granted that only the most highly skilled game programmers may understand the programming model of the Cell for game applications.

At the end it comes down to the games people will be able to play on the machines.
For me its Gears, Mass Effect etc. I want to play and games with such quality can only be achieved on the Xbox360 and the PC.
PS3 will have its nice games and some of them will look great but graphically it lacks behind.
If I look at screenshots of the latest Final Fantasy (which is still in development), MGS4 etc. I clearly see images that are not entirely crisp and I don't want that. Maybe people will notice it less while playing but sometimes I want to stand still and look at the graphics of a game.

Seriously Sony really screwed up by overhyping the PS3 and people are falling for that. And people will get less than Sony promises and fooling themselves into believing it will come...
Shame on Sony.


RE: Xbox 360 RELEASED FIRST
By daftrok on 1/23/2007 1:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
Are you gonna sit there with a straight face and tell me this:
http://media.ps3.ign.com/media/748/748488/img_4150...

and this:
http://media.ps3.ign.com/media/714/714044/img_3975...

and this:
http://media.ps3.ign.com/media/826/826843/img_3975...

AND this:
http://media.ps3.ign.com/media/748/748483/img_4060...

Are not entirely crisp? Note that this images are in fact DOWNSCALED. You are picky as hell! WAIT for the games to come out and make a judgment. Remember back in June when they said Motorstorm looked bad? Look at it now!


"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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