Xbox 2 Details Emerge

Microsoft has been particularly protective of its next-gen super console but a few bits and pieces are starting to surface

Every seven days around now it seems to be Friday afternoon, a period which employees across the globe find ”working” a hard concept to take seriously. We at TR salute you noble slackers so put down whatever you were only doing half-heartedly in the first place and concentrate fully on this instead: the latest hush hush Xbox 2 specs.

OK – the killjoy bit first: keep in mind between now and final release details can change (Remember, Microsoft has not even formally announced the successor to its popular Xbox console (pictured below) yet – though it must be the industry’s worst kept secret). Still, since the Redmond based monster let us down by not giving us a long and dirty stare at it during the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco this week as had been suggested, we thought we should give you what we have. Ready? No drooling.


At the beating heart of the next-gen Xbox will be three 3GHz PowerPC cores (yes three, dual core is so last week). Each will carry 32KB L1 cache, 32KB instruction cache and share 1MB of L2 cache. Graphics will be provided by ATI which is designing a 500MHz part expected to be an evolution of its X800 adapter (the console will also display on hi-def screens: 1280 x 720 at 60fps). RAM will be 256MB (what type still remains sketchy) and memory cards will range from 64MB to 1GB.

Disappointingly, it looks like Microsoft has decided against including a Blu-ray or HD DVD drive, choosing rather to stick with existing dual layer technology. Sound will come courtesy of “X3DAudio”, a 5.1 channel solution provided in software and interestingly a USB2.0 camera capable of 1.2 megapixel shots and VGA video will be fitted to spice up online gaming. An optional hard drive is going to be offered but whether it is of fixed capacity or available in different sizes has yet to be solidified. The extent of any inbuilt wireless remains unclear, though (in a slightly different direction) wireless controllers have been mooted.

Funnily enough, despite all these titbits, one of the biggest mysteries still surrounding the follow up to the Xbox is the name. So far we have the predictable: ”Xbox 2”; the annual: ”Xbox 360” and the naff: ”Xbox Next”. What’s wrong with Ybox? On second thoughts, quite a lot actually.


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