The Xbox is Microsoft's game console, released in November 2001. It is Microsoft's first independent venture into the console arena, after having collaborated with Sega in porting Windows CE to the doomed Sega Dreamcast console. The price is currently 179 USD/EUR (or 129 GBP). Highlight release titles include Dead or Alive 3, Oddworld 3, Halo and Project Gotham Racing.

Microsoft built the Xbox around industry standard PC hardware, in contrast to the traditionaly proprietary design of nearly all gaming consoles. It has an Intel Pentium III processor clocked at 733 MHz and an NVIDIA graphics processor. The processors share 64 MB of system RAM. Storage includes a DVD-ROM drive and a hard disk. Although the Xbox is based on PC architecture and runs a stripped down version of the Windows 2000 kernel it incorporates security features designed to protect it against uses not approved by Microsoft. As the console business model essentially involves giving away the hardware at cost and making profit on game licenses, this is understandable. However it did not take long for the hacker community to circumvent these limitations and get the Linux operating system running on the Xbox [1], thus making it usable as a PC.

Critics have speculated that the Xbox is Microsoft's attempt to monopolize yet another technology market. As of November 2003, estimates show the Xbox's share of the global console games market is falling behind the GameCube's and is far behind the PS2. The Xbox has yet to return a profit for Microsoft. This is in-line with Microsoft's original assessments, however, predicting that they would not make a profit on the Xbox for at least three years after its debut.

In 2001, Microsoft released the successful online gaming service "Xbox Live" which quickly became the defacto standard for online gaming. Third party services for online play also exist.

Table of contents
1 Specifications
2 Devices and addons
3 External links


  • CPU: 733 MHz Pentium III chip crafted by Intel
  • Graphics Processor: 250 MHz custom chip named XGPU, developed by Microsoft and nVIDIA
  • Total Memory: The RAM in the Xbox is supplied by Micron, it is 64 MB running at 200 MHz DDR (Double-Data-Rate)
  • Memory Bandwidth: 6.4 GB/sec
  • Polygon Performance: 125 M/sec*
  • Sustained Polygon Performance: 100+ M/sec (transformed and lit polygons per second)
  • Micropolygons/particles per second: 125 M/sec
  • Particle Performance: 125 M/sec
  • Simultaneous Textures: 4
  • Pixel Fill Rate - No Texture: 4.0 G/Sec (anti-aliased)
  • Pixel Fill Rate - 1 Texture: 4.0 G/Sec (anti-aliased)
  • Compressed Textures: Yes (6:1)
  • Full Scene Anti-Alias: Yes
  • Micro Polygon Support: Yes
  • Storage Medium: 2-5x DVD, 10GB hard disk, 8MB memory card
  • I/0: 2-5x DVD, 10GB hard disk, 8MB memory card
  • Audio Channels: 64 (up to 256 stereo voices)
  • 3D Audio Support: Yes
  • MIDI DLS2 Support: Yes
  • AC3 (Dolby Digital) Encoded Game Audio: Yes
  • Broadband Enabled: Yes
  • Modem Enabled: No
  • DVD Movie Playback: Remote control package required
  • Maximum Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Maximum Resolution (2x32bpp frame buffers +Z): 1920x1080
  • HDTV Support: Yes
  • Controller Ports: 4 proprietary USB ports
  • Weight: 3.86kg
  • Dimensions: 32426590mm

* Some criticise the Xbox's polygon per second number as being exaggerated due to unrealistic testing conditions. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the Xbox's hardware is generally more powerful than the Sony Playstation 2 and Nintendo GameCube.

Devices and addons

External links

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