FAQ - Guide for System Info
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Q: What is the Microsoft "Xbox"? A: It is the name for Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console world. Q: What games are expected to work on it? A: Microsoft has announced that only Xbox specific games will work on this new console. Q: Will it be compatible with PC's? A: No. During one of the meetings Microsoft announced that it would not. Although rumors are now flying that you will be able to port games. Q: What are some of the audio features? -256 Audio channels -3-D Audio support in Hardware (64 Channels) -Midi/DLS2 support -AC3 encoded game audio Q: What brands of hardware will be used? A: Intel will Design the CPU; NVIDIA the xGPU and MCPx, Thompson the DVD player and Seagate the Hard drive. Q: Has testing begun? A: Yes. Only testing internally on location in Seattle. Apply here: http://www.microsoft.com/playtest Q: I'm an independent developer and I would like to develop games for Xbox, where should I go for more information? A: Microsoft has announced it's Xbox Incubator Program geared specifically for independent developers. Game developers or potential game developers worldwide can participate in the Xbox Independent Developer Program by applying to receive the Xbox Prototype Kit (XPK). Available free of charge, the XPK offers software and detailed information designed to help creative individuals and game development companies create prototype Xbox games using familiar programming tools on standard PCs. Developers can use these prototypes to secure distribution deals with licensed Xbox publishers. Q: I hear there will be a Xbox magazine, is this true? A: Yes, the magazine produced by Imagine Media will be released in the summer of 2000. It will be distributed in 23 countries worldwide. Q: Where will it be produced? A: The console will be produced in Hungary by Flextronics International. Q: What processor does it have? A: Currently, a 733 MHz Intel Pentium III processor technology with Streaming SIMD Extensions. Q: Who will make the graphic processor? A: NVIDIA will make a specialized GPU for the console, named NV2x. Q: What is the MCPx? A: In a recent interview with ActiveXbox, Derek Perez of NVIDIA stated "that is all of the audio (3D environmental audio), all of the broadband (The Ethernet), all of the USB, all of the wireless parts, basically all of the connecting stuff." Q: Will Xbox support Dolby Digital? A: Yes Q: How many games will be ready when Xbox is released? A: 10-15 minimum, but it could be as high as 35. Q: Will Xbox have a hard drive? A: Yes, Seagate is set to manufacture the hard drives for Xbox from June 2001 through June 2003. 10 GB. Q: Are any pictures of upcoming games available? A: Yes, you can view Oddworld and Malice Screen pics. Q: Will it support DVD? A: Yes, DVD-ROM format is compatible. You will need a special remote accessory though. Q: What size Hard-Drive will it have? A: It will have an 10 Gigabyte hard drive, though it hasn't been finalized. Q: What size memory has Microsoft stated it will contain? A: 64MB RAM (including VRAM) Q: Will the game ports on the X-Box be standard game ports? A: No. All four are USB ports. Q: What are some of the graphical performances we can expect to see? A: 6.4GB/sec Memory Bandwidth 150 million micropolygons/particles per second 150 million transformed and lit polygons per second 100 million polygons per second sustained performance (shading, texturing) 4 simultaneous textures Compressed textures available at 6:1 compression Full-scene anti-aliasing DVD movie playback 1920x1080 maximum resolution HDTV support Q: Has an internal modem speed been mentioned? A: Yes. 100 MBps Ethernet Q: How does it compare against the Playstation 2? Xbox vs Playstation2 Xbox PS 2 CPU 733 MHz Intel 300 MHz Graphics Processor 250 MHz, by Nvidia 150 MHz Sony GS Total Memory 64 MB 38 MB Memory Bandwidth 6.4 GB/sec 3.2 GB/sec Polygon Performance 150 M/sec 66 M/sec Storage Medium 5x DVD, 10 GB hard disk, 2x DVD, 8 MB memory card 8 MB memory card Broadband Enabled Yes Future upgrade DVD Movie Playback Built in Utility required to be on memory card Q: How many Developers are Microsoft working with? A: So far over 150 developers have been selected to develop games for Xbox. To see the list Q: What do developers use to develop the Xbox? A: A "XDK" Q: What is an XDK? A: A XDK is an Xbox Development Kit, similar to the SDK (Software Development Kit). Right now developers have Phase 2 XDK. Q: What type of controllers will be used? A: Xbox will make use of USB controllers; four controller ports have been used since Sony's decision to use only two ports with the PlayStation 2. The controllers will feature new "Rumble" technology. It is also possible that new game pad releases from Microsoft (USB only devices) will be compatible with the Xbox...Note: This has been confirmed as true on March 9th. Q: What kind of stuff will the Xbox offer? A: Game playing with ease, online gaming through the MS Zone, DVD movie playback via the operating system, TV viewing functions (such as taping television shows to the hard drive), e-mail, and other Internet functions. Q: Will Xbox offer a memory card? A: Yes. 8 MB. It will be available to save games and other information. Q: So it will be possible to check e-mail and browse the web from Xbox? A: Yes, there will be features available to do that. But remember, this is a gaming console. Q: How much is it expected to cost? A: Microsoft are willing to go as low as $200 they have announced, but they also stated that it would all depend on the price of the Playstation 2 at the time they launch. It would not be significantly higher than PS2. Q: Has a release date been set? A: Microsoft has announced that the console is set to ship by the end of September 2001. Q: Have pictures been released on Xbox yet? A: Yes, you can seen them right here: http://www.activewin.com/xbox/screens/box.shtml Q: Have any Xbox titles been announced yet? A: Yes a number of titles have been announced, you can find an updated list on our ActiveXBox website. Q: What department in Microsoft will handle the Xbox and related material? A: Robbie Bach, vice president of the Home and Retail Division, will over see Microsoft's new Games Division which will handle these new products. Ed Fries, General Manager, will over see first-party software development. Vice President Rick Thompson will direct the division's efforts. Microsoft Xbox Timeline First developers signed off: October 1999 X-Box General Specs Officially signed off by Bill Gates and sent to developers: 21st December 1999 New Secret 3rd Party Developers Meeting Held In Seattle: February 2000 Microsoft Go With NVidia For Xbox Graphics Engine: March 6th 2000 Bill Gates Officially Announces The "XBox" On CNBC: March 9th 2000 Bill Gates Announces "Xbox" At The GDC and In Japan: March 10th 2000 The X-Box Processor Speed Increases To 733MHz: May 15th First Screenshot Of A Prototype Xbox System Is Release Unofficially: June 2nd 2000 Microsoft chooses Seagate as hard drive manufacturer: November 7, 2000 Xbox is Unveiled at CES - January 6, 2001 On The Internet Xbox.com The Official website for the X-Box ActiveXBox The latest news and information on the X-Box MSXbox.com One of the best unofficial sites on the internet.