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Microsoft Xbox

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Microsoft Xbox

How do you know "Xbox 2" is in development?
Well, for one, Microsoft has posted job listings for the Xbox 2 on its careers website.

What kinds of jobs are available?
Program Manager, Software Engineer, Website Designer, just to name a few.

Is there a codename for Xbox 2?
Yes, reportedly Xenon.

Will current Xbox peripherals work on Xbox 2?
Probably, but we should expect a new line of improved devices.

What is changing about the controllers?
Reportedly, there will be no "black and white" buttons.

When will Xbox 2 launch?
No date has been announced so far, but it is expected sometimes late 2005

Will the Xbox 2 have a Hard Drive?
Nothing has so far been announced, but is expected that the new Xbox will use Flash Memory cards in place of the Hard Drive.

How many processors are to be included?
2-4 processors.

Will they be Intel, as in Xbox 1?
No, IBM.

Will they be 32 or 64 bit?
64 bit.

Do you have any more information about the processor?
They will be PowerPC 976 chips, based on IBM's Power 5 architecture at 65nm.

Who is the graphics card maker?

What graphics card will it be?
ATI R500, which is more powerful R400.

Will Xbox 2 use DirectX 9?
No, DirectX 10.

How much memory will the Xbox 2 include?
At least 256 MB, possibly 512 MB.

If a hard drive is not included, how will I save games and downloaded enhancements from Xbox Live?
Microsoft recently signed a deal to give future Xbox products large amounts of flash RAM.  It is possible this is not what Microsoft is planning on using for the Xbox 2ís main storage, but it appears the most likely at this point.  Other ideas include packaging the next console with a DVD-RW, allowing users to save data directly to the game.  This seems unlikely, since a DVD-RW drive is both far more expensive and much slower to save to than a hard drive.

Will Xbox 1 games work on Xbox 2?
Maybe. Without a hard drive (either built in or optional), definitely not.

When can we expect to hear more about Xbox 2?
At the GDC (Game Developers' Conference) at the end of March and E3 in mid-May.

How do I sign up to beta test Xbox 2 and Xbox games?
Microsoft and Xbox developers donít often open up their pre-release software/hardware to external testers. You will have to live close by to Microsoft to gain access to beta testing of games which are done onsite.

Will Microsoft stagger the Xbox 2 launch, like they did for the original?
We donít know for sure, but for practical reasons we assume they will stagger the launch.  Producing enough consoles for a worldwide release creates a huge strain on production facilities.  And itís good for creating a buzz.

What games will be launching with Xbox 2?
Again, we donít know.  It would be hard to imagine Microsoft launching a new console without also launching new versions of their golden games (Halo, Ö)

Will Microsoft use the new Blu-ray DVD technology?
There has been some buzz relating to this, but these drives will be a lot more expensive than traditional DVD drives.  It is also questionable as to whether the extra storage that is gained using blue laser technology would be needed.

What can I expect, in a simple overview, from the next Xbox?
Little of the following has been confirmed, and what has been is subject to change, but expect a smaller, slimmer design for Microsoftís next console.  The second Xbox will have multiple 64-bit processors Ė probably three.  Graphics will be powered by ATIís R5000.  Games will run on DirectX 10.  Xbox 2 will most likely use optical disks Ė maybe custom disks.  An Ethernet port is nearly guaranteed.  Turning to more supposition, it would not be surprising to see Microsoft wheel out two different versions of Xbox 2.  One version would use flash memory as its main source of storage.  The other would have a hard drive which could also be used to record television shows, record music, and server as an entertainment hub for the living room.  But that is just a guess.

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