What is the XBox 360, exactly? How do you go about designing and building a game console that meets the high standards of today's gamers and handles the computational pressures of today's highly realistic games (think real time physics computation, incredibly rich graphics, etc)? Did you know the XBox 360 team saw into the multi-core future before most anybody else?
Well, who better to talk to about all of this (and more) than Nick Baker. Nick is a hardware engineer and Director who leads the team that thought up the XBox 360 hardware architecture. It's an impressive piece of machinery. In fact, Nick recently won the Outstanding Technical Leadership award for the effort. Here, Nick takes us through the design history and some of the implementation details of the XBox 360. What were some of the design trade-offs? How different is the XBox 360 that you can buy today from what you, Nick and his team were initially thinking?
What does this mean?
Now we know who to blame.
Sorry to say this, but with the three red lights of death plaguing gamers everywhere (myself included), I can't say that I 'admire' the design of the Xbox 360.
Surely the 360 is quite visually pleasing but the reliability of the machine is just horrendous. I would have preferred if Microsoft designed a very large and loud game console just like the original Xbox. so long as it can survive the rigors of daily use.
Don't get me wrong. I love the Xbox 360 and its games and I'm still
a fan of the machine. But to live in fear that my 2nd machine can just die on me anytime (i had to buy another 360 again because my first was beyond repair and out of warranty). that just sucks. There's no eloquent way of saying it. In my mind is the thought that I just spent over 800 dollars to play console games; the first 400 when I dutifully supported the machine at launch and the second 400 when I had to buy the damned thing again because my size of my game library just compels me to do it. I almost bought a PS3. MS is just lucky that at this time they just have better games, so. unfortunately, we gamers don't really have a choice (what? Wii? Are you kidding me? I'm not four years old anymore, thank you very much. )
And I know I'm not the first one to have my console die on me---there are thousands out there with the same problem. What I want to know is, is MS even bothering to DO SOMETHING about this issue or are they just ignoring it completely, knowing full well that letting 3RL happen is more profitable for them?
The game press [whether you like them or not] has also covered this issue extensively. It's not going away anytime soon. Someone has to answer for this problem one day. If and when the PS3 gets games worth having, then maybe that's the only time that MS is going to act on 3RL.
I just wish that MS would acknowledge that the problem is real, and start talking with gamers on how they're planning to get rid of it once and for all.