Monday, November 06, 2006

XBox HD-DVD comes at a heavy price @ VNU

STARTING TODAY, we'll be rounding up the weekend's gaming news with a feature-length article posted on every Monday, in the hope of cheering you up and attempting to relieve the Monday-morning doldrums.

Xbox 360
An interesting post appeared on the official Xbox Team blog as the week fizzled out, concerning the amount of development the team endured to ensure HD-DVD drive compatibility with the Xbox 360.

The add-on drive has apparently meant a staggering 4.7 million lines of code have been added to the 360's OS in an attempt to bring the Microsoft backed HD-DVD standard to the Xbox. This software-update driving the Xbox's HD-DVD implementation apparently utitlises the full 'six hardware threads' of the triple core CPU, and is claimed to push the system harder than any game currently available, ensuring for some considerable fan noise one would imagine.

It's also cost Microsoft 'millions of dollars' to add. Lets hope it's all worth it and Xbox fans don't end up with the runner-up in the re-run of the VHS/Betamax war.

Generally it seems discussion and debate surrounding the next incarnation of Playstation from Sony has been moving steadily towards a more positive vibe this week, after numerous press show cases and live demonstrations of real kit. Plenty of journos also had PS3 debug and test consoles delivered with final working code, prompting much jubilation and fanfare.

The general consensus is that the product is incredibly sleek, well designed, and fortunately very quiet. Microsoft take note when producing something to be used as a media-hub - we don't want to hear the player hum over the media.

More negative exposure came from a feature over at which has stoked fears of problems with Sony's online designs for the PS3. Insomniac revealed in an interview that one of the launch titles for the console, 'Resistance', is set to use its own basic online gaming features, instead of any Sony provided services. The columnist writes "The ball, in other words, has not so much been dropped; it has been hurled at the ground with alarming force" - sentiments we can only agree with.

After a quick mention of Wii DVD playback support in this month's copy of Edge magazine, the Internet was abuzz with rumours of a Japanese-only Wii that would allow DVDs to be played back on the machine. Nintendo have confirmed this, and although they first denied that the US or Europe would receive the enhanced console, further questions to Nintendo received a 'wait and see' response.

Most people already have a DVD player, in our opinion it seems a bit pointless to release a secondary SKU just to enable the support of DVD.

After misprints from Nintendo and further rumours of 720p playback, Nintendo have confirmed the console will support 480p (via an optional component cable) as its maximum output.

No comments: