Xbox is Microsoft's future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game  artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality.

Microsoft X-Box


X Box Controller US Version
$29.99  [Add to Cart]

X Box Memory Card
$19.99  [Add to Cart]

RF Unit
$19.99  [Add to Cart]

X-Box Controller Extension Cable
$9.99 / [Add to Cart]

X-Box DVD Playback Kit
$34.99  [Add to Cart]


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Soul Calibur 2
$44.99 / [Add to Cart]

Indiana Jones
$49.99 / Add to Cart

Turok: Evolution
$43.99  [Add to Cart]

Slugfest Baseball 2003
$42.99  [Add to Cart]

Prisoner of War
$42.99  [Add to Cart]

Dead or Alive 3 Platinum
$19.99 [Add to Cart]

New Releases

Marvel vs Capcom $36.99
Bloody Roar Extreme $29.99
The Hulk $43.99
Enter the Matrix $43.99
Brute Force $43.99
X-Men Wolverines Revenge $42.99
Jurassic Park: Genesis $43.99
State of Emergency $19.99
The Sims $43.99
Roller Coaster Tycoon $27.99
V-Rally 3 $27.99
Red Faction 2 $44.99
Pro Race Driver $39.99
Godzilla Destroy All Monsters $43.99

Available Games!!!
007 Agent Under Fire $49.99
Aggressive Inline Skating $49.99
Azurik: Rise of Perathia $49.99
Blood Omen 2 $49.99
Blood Wake $29.00
Bruce Lee Quest for the Dragon $49.99
Buffy the Vampie Slayer $42.99
Burnout $49.99
Crash Bandicoot $49.99
Crazi Taxi 3 $44.99
Dark Summit $49.99
Dave Mirra $49.99
Dead Or Alive 3 $49.99
Dead to Rights $42.99
Genma Onimusha $49.99
Gun Valkyrie $49.99
Halo $49.99
Elder Scrolls: Morrowind $49.99
Enclave $44.99
ESPN MLS Soccer $44.99
Jet Set Radio Future $49.99
Kabucki Warriors $19.99
Knockout Kings 2002 $49.99
Legends of Wrestling $39.99
Madden NFL 2002 $49.99
Madden 2003 $39.99
MX 2002 $34.99
NASCAR Heat $49.99
Nascar Thunder 2002 $49.99
NBA Inside Drive 2002 $49.99
NBA 2k2 $49.99
NBA 2 Night 2002 $29.99
NCAA Football 2003 $44.99
New Legends $49.99
Nightcaster $29.99
NFL 2K2 $14.99
NFL 2K3 $44.99
NFL Blitz 2002 $24.99
NFL Fever 2002 $49.99
Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee $49.99
Outlaw Golf $49.99
Panzer Dragoon $49.99
Pirates $39.99
Prisoner of War $42.99
Project Gotham Racing $19.99
Rallisport Challenge $49.99
Shrek $29.99
Slugfest Baseball 2003 $42.99
Smashing Drive $34.99
Spiderman $49.99
Spy Hunter $49.99
Starwars Starfighter: S.E. $49.99
Tony Hawk 2k $24.99
Triple Play 2002 $39.99
Turok: Evolution $43.99
Star Wars Obi Wan $49.99
UFC Tap Out $49.99
WWF Raw is War $29.99

Visit our new Xbox Page



Justin Stevenson
yess my friend had purchased an x-box and can not figure out how to keep the music he downloaded playing while you play a game....and neither can i, could you explain that too us.......we would sure appreciate it
thank you very much,
justin stevenson
josh strom
I try to play DVD's on my XBOX, yet each DVD freezes approx. when it gets a little past half-way through the movie. This error/gliche has occurred with all of the DVDs that I have tried to watch through the XBOX. I thought it was just the certain DVD hook-up kit that I bought, so I bought another one, yet the same thing happened again. And again and again. I don't know what to do. Please help. Anyone have any suggestions or answers to this unfortunate dilemma? Thanks.
Rohan Padiyar
My father intended to get this system, but after hearing news about faulty XBOX units and the fact that it is not TV-ready and limited game selection, I persuaded him to get a PS2 instead.
You got to be kidding!
I sold my PS2 in october of 2001 to buy Xbox games and haven't regret since.

Until the release of MGS2 for the PS2, the ONLY title that even showed you the potential of the PS2 was GT3. All the rest were PSX ports or PSX deports.
The PS2 had nothing remotely close to DOA3, HALO, or AIR FORCE DELTA STORM in it's debut lineup. Red Faction came out a few months after it's debut, which was okay; but nothing that the PSX couldn't have done.

10 months into the PS2 you had Red Faction, MGS2, GT3, and mostly PSX releases since the PS2 titles were still largely CD-ROMS.

10 months into the Xbox we got HALO, Project Gotham Racing, DOA3, Circus Maximus, Air Force Delta Storm, WWF RAW, Max Payne, Knockout Kings 2002, NFL Fever 2001, NBA Inside Drive 2001, Obi-Wan, Jedi StarFighter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hunter: The Reckoning, Sega GT 2002, Dead to Rights, and the coolest RPG's, snowboarding, THPS genres you could want.

The PS2 was designed for use in a teenagers room hooked up to 19" TV.
It doesn't support 5.1 DSS in game, nor does it support digital or HDTV's.
The Xbox was designed for adults who would most likely own a theatre sound system and/or a digital/HDTV.

Hype? Hype is Sony's middle name, and don't you forget it.

jesse o'keefe
gday my name is Jesse o'keefe could you please send me information on box such as 


If you think the XBOX is like the Playstation then you must be blind.  Play Halo with 8 people at the same house and then tell me it's not better than the PS2.  Deal with it.
I bought my X-box Slightly before christmas, this June it stopped working.  For no reason i was changing from one game to another and it just stopped reading the disks. ive tried dvds, audio cds, and games, nothing will work.  My 90day warrenty is up so i took the thing apart and cleaned the laser put it back together and it still does not work.  I believe for some reason my laser has become to weak to read anything. If anyone knows where i am able to search for electronic parts, or a website that has similar products plz email me. I have the product number for the laser, Ive already tried calling the manufactuar they told me that i cannot be sent this product and if i want it fixed ill have to send it in and pay 130 dollars plus any shipping and handleing fees. I told them squarly to screw off, i had just spent 300 on the thing why should i spend more. plz if you have any ideas email me.
Tim Newby
I bought the X-BOX last X-mas and I love it. Halo is the best game I have ever played. There are a few things that I do have a grip about
nothing to bad though. I just am not a big fan of all the sports games I would like to see the action, shooter games start to equal the sports games in numbers. I also can't understand why any gamemaker would make a fighting (Bruce Lee for exp.) just a single player game. why not at least a 2 player that can fight each other. Well thats about all I have to say right now except please tell me theres going to be a Halo 2.THANK YOU
Rob Z
Waddayah mean? Halo is almost to a tee what you described the the games lacked. In any case that is more the responsibility of the software end than the hardware aspect. The consoles only recently acquired the power to render the kind of effects you are desiring, there was no need for game coders to write such effects into their games until the means to image it properly was there.
In which case the Xbox is more than ready to do, it was literally born ready for high quality graphic rendering.

AND IT IS THE ONLY CONSOLE WITH IN GAME DOLBY 5.1 SS, the cube has DTS at least, the PS2 only supports 5.1DSS in DVD playback mode.

Only the Xbox is HDTV ready.

AIRFORCE DELTA STORM is great, HUNTER:THE RECKONING looks way cool, PROJECT GOTHAM RACING is beautiful, the best is still yet to come:
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE KILLER(8-20), THE THING(9-12), GHOST RECON, SPLINTER CELL, BRUTE FORCE.......and so much more most w/online play features.

I sold my PS2 in favor of getting my Xbox on it's debut day 11.15.01, and I haven't regretted it since.
It's worth noting that the PS2 eventually crapped out all together on the person I sold it to; it's laser assembly was just one of many defective PS2's. First it quit reading DVD's and certain PS2 games, then it quit altogether.

Get an Xbox you won't regret it.

i was wondering if xbox hooks up to the internet (like surf the web and talk to people on msn messenger.) and how to do it if it does hook up to the internet. also what did you mean when it said "such as taping television shows to the hard drive" how do you also do that?
Facts about X-box ? I LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!! You have no idea , i neglect my kids , friends , girlfriend , mom , dad on . the games are soo realistic  ! i dont know what ''robert'' is talkin about , X-BOX RULES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PlayStation3Specs<DIE XBOX>                                         ------------------------------
Main Processor: code-named "Cell" produced by IBM on 0.10-micron process. 
Clock Speed: 3 GHz 
Floating-Point Performance: 196 GFLOPS 
Operations per Second: 2 Trillion 
3D Geometric Transformations: 2 Billion Polygons per Second 
New processor design specifically for broadband communication generation. 

System Memory: 512MB 
System Memory Bandwidth: 24 GB/sec 

Secondary Processor: Emotion Engine on 0.13-micron process (backward compatible with PS2) 
Clock Speed: 300 MHz or 375 MHz (selectable) 

GS3 (Graphics Synthesizer 3) 
Clock Speed: 750 MHz 
Embedded DRAM: 64MB 
Screen Resolution: variable from 320x224 to 1920x1080 
Fillrate: 24 Billion Pixels per Second 

Sound: SPU3 + CPU 
Number of Voices: 256 ADPCM channels + software

32x DVD-ROM 
Built-in Broadband Ethernet Port 
120GB Hard Disk Drive 

Japanese Release Date: Q4 2004 
US Release Date: Q3 2005 

ADULTS DONT BELIEVE THE HYPE i bought an xbox and nfl fever and after hour i took it back laughing with my buddies! the controller both american and japanese sucks and is worst for any system the system feels very much like a pc very sharp high resolution but jerky graphics and gameplay nfl fever was a joke comparedto madden infact playstatio 2s madden looks better overall id say than the mighty xboxs fever the players on the xbox were too colorful like a cartoon with no real faces justcartoon faces only the crowd looked had (newage) graphics so after a goodlaugh i took it back and bought a playstion 2 and ITS PROBLEM IS PLAYSTATION 2S ARE MADE BAD PAY EXTRA AN GET THE EXTENDED WARRANTY TRUST ME SOME PLAYSTION 2S SKIP SOME BURNOUT SOME HAVE FANS GO OUT BUT EVEN WITH ALL THAT ITS SLEEKEST SYSTEM LOOKING HAS BEST ADULT GAMES AND BEST CONTROLLERS CAN MOVE MORE POLYGONS THAN GAMECUBE GC 6-12 P2 6-65 SO P2 ITS ALMOST EXACTLY SAME AS XBOX WITH LIL LESS SPEED AND MEMORY BUT MUCH BETTER OVERALL

four the future video game systems will the xbox still be the best system of them all?

Will the xbox have more games then the amount of games sony made?

i dont have cable or dsl & i want to use the x-box's modem Is microsoft gonna make a special connecter for people like me ?
As part of my degree course, i have to do a oresentation on consumer perception of the xbox.  i would be very grateful for any information you might be able to forward on to me regarding your marketing plan/spend, etc 

Thank you in advance for your help


Top Secret
Sorry to say guys/girls but the xbox is crap.
I own a PS2 and the xbox has no chance of taking Sony's place in the console market!

Game Cube looks to have a good chance but X box no!
The specs of X box make me wanna crap my self when im laughing my head off.

I just wanted to make my point of what i think.


Top Secret

Chris Jackson
I got my X-box and i have to say that there is no comparison between it and the PS2.  I'm really impressed with the extras that come with the systtem, and hope that you guys at Microsoft will continue to create kick butt systems. 

Man u guys over did it perfect idea of online play in the future.thats probably what will bring in Bill's idea of creation they find a way to do something on the internet u probably can to.
the games graphics are well done as well, I guess I saw what Robert didint because i was playing Tony Hawk's PS X and i saw shadows heard noises and im tellin' ya the grass was swayin when i looked at it!
then im over at my friend's house he's playing an N64 and im like whoa! these graphics arent like THPSX at all, it looked all choppy.
So the Xbox's graphics are in my book. now the DVD Movie Qaulity is pretty good to the Remote has everything that an ordinary one has and the pause doesnt look like they just smeared the picture which is a good thing so I guess I'm saying ur doin' alright!

P.S keep it up this is all true!

M McDaniel

I have been able to play all dvd's which I have at the moment except for one.  The X box will not 
play Disney's Snow White.  Any ideas.  It plays Snow White's disk 2, but not the one with the 
movie on it.

Jake Dawes

The Star Wars Obi Wan stops loading on certian levels.  I can't play them because it doesn't 
save until you are in the level. 


I bought the X-box, but I was hoping to see better graphics in it than the N64, Playstation, or PC 
games that I also have, but as it turn out to be it was just exactly like the Playstation. Not 
Playstation 2. I was expecting to see games that seemed more Movie like or with lots of detail. 
I was expecting to see more natural movements in the game like, when a character moves out 
doors the seenary should seem more natural. Plants flowing in the wind, Shadows, Objects 
moving with the wind, noise of nature, but I saw very little of that, and more Cartoonish. I hope
this helps out, and I also hope Microsoft can try to WOW me, and stop trying to Hype the 
machine-up. THANKS

Xbox Revealed

The next entry into the console wars has been revealed by Microsoft. After much speculation, 
the look of the Xbox is now public. Thanks to for the following images.

The X motif, which was rumored from the start, has been retained, and Microsoft has borrowed 
heavily from other systems to round out the console and controller design. 

Like the PS2, the Xbox will feature a sliding CD tray rather than a pop-up lid. Instead of going with 
Sony's often infuriating 2 controller set up, Microsoft has opted to emulate the N64 and Dreamcast's 
4 input configuration.

The back of the system has a heavy-duty fan to alleviate the good ol' PSOne related overheating 
problem. The green thing on the top is creatively called the "Jewel" by Microsoft, and it doesn't glow. 
Perhaps that was just a little too similar to the X-Men movie.


Is this a Dreamcast Controller painted black? Nope, it's the Xbox controller. 
A second analog stick on the right is the major difference. Also, a standard 
six button set up will please fighter fans. Note the black and white buttons 
near the top of the controller. If only society were so tolerant.

Other important information regarding the Xbox's price point and release date 
were alluded to in's mailer. While nothing was confirmed, it was 
mentioned that the Xbox is set for a fall 2001 release, and most console 
releases "tend to happen right around September or October". Similarly,
the Xbox is reported to be carrying a "competitive price", with the $299 PS2, 
PSX, and Dreamcast launch prices being referenced.

Screen Shots: 
Screen 1 Screen 2 Screen 3 Screen 4 Screen 5

Media Clips:
Tech Demo 1 Tech Demo 2 Bill Gates Speaks


Join the Microsoft 

X-Box  Mailing List

Click Here

Updated Xbox Specs  


Xbox Tech Specs
CPU: 733 MHz
Graphics processor: 300-MHz custom-designed X-Chip, 
developed by Microsoft and Nvidia
Total memory: 64MB
Memory bandwidth: 6.4GB/sec
Polygon performance: 150 M/sec
Sustained polygon performance
(full features):
100 M/sec
Particle performance: 150 M/sec
Simultaneous textures: 4
Pixel fill rate (no texture): 4.8 G/sec (antialiased)
Pixel fill rate (1 texture): 4.8 G/sec (antialiased)
Pixel fill rate (2 textures): 4.8 G/sec (antialiased)
Compressed textures: Yes (6:1)
Full-scene antialias: Yes
Storage medium: 2-5X DVD; hard disk TBD (in range 6-8GB);
8+ MB memory card
I/O: Game controller x4; Ethernet (10/100)
Audio channels: 256
3D audio support in hardware: Yes
MIDI+DLS2 support: Yes
Broadband enabled: Yes
Modem enabled: Optional
DVD movie playback Yes
Gamepad included: Yes
Maximum resolution: 1,920 by 1,080 pixels
Maximum resolution (2 by 32bpp
frame buffers + Z):
1,920 by 1,080
HDTV support: Yes

Microsoft enlists Electronic Arts to make Xbox games

Microsoft Corp. Wednesday said the top independent video game developer, Electronic Arts Inc. will make titles for its upcoming Xbox console, giving a huge boost to the software giant's push into the $20 billion-a-year video game market.

The long-anticipated partnership gives Microsoft a key weapon in its quest to unseat Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 2 game console from its throne atop the industry.

"There is no question. This is a crucial relationship," said Steve Kleynhans, an analyst with technology consultancy the META Group.

"EA is the biggest player in games. If you don't have them producing games for your platform, well, I wouldn't say it was impossible, but it would be a fairly significant negative on the new platform," Kleynhans said.

Known for its popular sports games like Madden Football and NASCAR auto racing, Electronic Arts, or EA, would make up to 10 titles within six months of the Xbox's launch, scheduled for fall 2001.

"This is significant in terms of the direction we're heading with Xbox, and a significant sign of momentum building with the platform," Robbie Bach, Microsoft's "Chief Xbox Officer," said in an interview.

Win for EA

The deal was important for EA as well because the Redwood, California-based company stood to reap huge gains if the Xbox takes off, analysts said.

"It gives EA some more robustness to its offerings," said P.J. McNealy, an analyst with the Gartner Group, a technology consultancy.

Noting that a huge part of EA's revenues come from sales of PlayStation titles, McNealy said, "EA doesn't necessarily care which platform is more successful, they just want to sell software."

Bach and EA Chief Executive Larry Probst declined to disclose financial details of the deal, which capped months of negotiations and private comments that an agreement would be reached sooner or later.

"We've been working together really since the beginning. EA was one of the first we briefed on our thinking, and they gave some great feedback," Bach said.

A handful of games would likely go on sale at the Xbox launch, and Electronic Arts had ordered 500 development kits to start work on the titles, Probst said.

Development of more EA titles would depend on how the Xbox fared in the market, Probst said.

"If any platform is successful then we will support it fully," Probst said. "Obviously, we think that the Xbox can be a successful entrant in the category."

But EA may also have to handle its Microsoft relationship with care given its cozy ties to Sony and a budding partnership with Microsoft Internet rival America Online Inc. to offer online games, Gartner's McNealy said.

Tough market

In addition to the PlayStation 2, the Xbox will also face Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s upcoming GameCube and the Dreamcast from Sega Enterprises Ltd.

Microsoft has also signed up some 150 other game developers, including heavyweights like No. 2 Activision Inc., to ensure there are enough titles to make an Xbox purchase worthwhile.

Featuring a 733-megahertz Intel Corp. processor, a hard drive and a modem for high-speed Internet access, the Xbox uses PC-based technology to power what Microsoft says will be the most powerful game machine on the planet.

The Xbox is also the software giant's biggest push yet into hardware, and the company's determination to win is signaled by the $500 million marketing war chest it is throwing behind the product.

Xbox at E3
To Live and Hype in L.A.

Since E3 is to hyperbole as Los Angeles is to fakery, it is a credit to Microsoft that it was able to promote the Xbox without cranking the hype amp to 11. The Xbox had a high profile debut, thanks to spokesmodel Raven climbing a few crates on a trailer and kicking open another enormous crate containing... another enormous X. After that, the Xbox had a center place at the Microsoft booth on the floor, and the Xbox team was showing some new demos in an office that Microsoft had set up in another part of the Expo. Microsoft realized that since playable code for Xbox games is obviously a long way off, it should not promote hysterically what is right now only the acorn of the Xbox.

The DirectMusic demo was interesting because it is one of the few times that a company has placed an emphasis on the auditory experience of video gaming. Often musical scores are ignored by most gamers or are simply crowded by the sound effects or the dialogue. Microsoft is obviously intent upon making the Xbox as powerful as possible, and that includes giving it the kind of aural capabilities that no other current console can boast. While the DirectMusic capabilities were the primary focus of the demo, the secondary importance was the plastic nature of programming for the Xbox. With 64MB of unified RAM and a sound chip that supports up to 256 voice channels, composers have tremendous power and flexibility within the Xbox architecture. Although none of Microsoft's representatives mentioned the rumored difficulties developers are having with the PS2, they often repeated the fact that the Xbox is going to relatively simple to program for.

 It was clear that there are more tech demos in our near future; Seamus Blackley hinted that there are some new versions of the GDC demos that show off the system's full-screen anti-aliasing capabilities. However, this kind of mammoth launch doesn't happen without a very detailed plan, and right now that plan includes only showing the music demo.

 The popular consensus for E3 was that Sony didn't have any homeruns, Nintendo stayed on the bench, and that Sega came in and stole the game. Microsoft had a presence -- there were those colorful Xbox Xterras driving journalists around town, and there was plenty of advertising presence -- but there wasn't much hard news to discuss. Developers have clearly been given their marching orders too, because when we spoke to Mark Rein of Epic and asked him how Unreal 2 was coming along for the Xbox, he just smiled a Cheshire cat grin and said he had no idea what we were talking about. There have been other leaks from other developers about Xbox titles, but much of the speculation is little more than guessing that high-end PC developers will port whatever they are working on for 2002.

 Microsoft did what it had to do for this E3. It already generated the buzz it needed in San Jose, and it simply kept a presence in L.A. There will naturally be a few post-E3 announcements in the coming weeks, and we'll keep you posted on what those are.  Daily


Microsoft Announces X-Box

In a news feed released Thursday afternoon, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates officially announced the existence of the long-rumored X-Box. Scheduled to release in the fall of 2001, the console will be supported by a number of video and computer game developers and boast performance greater than any previous game system.

"We're taking the time today to announce the breakthrough game console known as X-Box," said Gates during the feed. "The X-box provides performance better than twice that of any previous platform."

The feed was meant for news agencies to extract audio and video excerpts from, and as such, didn't reveal any concrete details behind the system, its capabilities, or its lineup. Microsoft did manage to line up a number of console and PC game developers to praise the machine's abilities, however.

"X-Box is a global product so we'll be selling it worldwide," continued Gates. "...We're very anxious to have software developers throughout the world contributing to the platform." Microsoft stressed the importance of getting X-Box development kits into the hands of developers now in order to give them a year's worth of time to create what Gates hopes to be "unbelievable games".

Executives from Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games, Infogrames, Midway, Acclaim, Konami, Sierra Studios, and other game developers extolled the virtues of the X-Box, citing its universal hardware standard and powerful graphics as some of its many outstanding features.

Activision executive VP Mitch Lasky revealed that an X-Box port of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater is currently in the works. Unlike the previous PlayStation, Nintendo64, and Dreamcast versions of the game, Pro Skater on the X-Box will benefit from the console's additional hardware muscle and boast effects such as motion blur and true anti-aliasing.

"We're going to obviously bring many of our familiar hits ... to the X-Box, and deliver an experience to the consumer with much more fluid animation and lots more polygons in the characters," noted Lasky. "But what's particularly exciting are the kinds of things that we can't even imagine are going to be capable with this device."

The X-Box will ship with 64MB of system and video RAM, will have an 8GB hard drive, and will be powered by a 650MHz version of AMD's popular Athlon CPU. Contrary to previous reports, however, the X-Box will not be using a GeForce 256 as its primary graphics processor. Instead, Microsoft has supposedly opted to use a future chip from Nvidia - most likely the NV11 or NV15.

"With the level of semiconductor technology we can deploy, and the understanding of the 3-D research that we can bring to bear, we can provide all kinds of terrific value in the consumer electronics industry," said Nvidia president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang.

And what of continued Microsoft support for the existing PC? "It's important to know that the X-Box complements the PC, and we see the X-Box in the living room," said Gates. "The PC will continue to grow in the other parts of the house and we're going to make sure that developers can target both of these products very easily."

Gates is expected to unveil the X-Box's complete specifications, and give more details behind the console's developer support at the Game Developers Conference Friday morning in San Jose.

Microsoft may talk up X-box next month
By Michael Kanellos
Staff Writer, CNET
February 22, 2000, 4:15 p.m. PT

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates may disclose his company's plans to participate in the game console market soon, but analysts cautioned that any statements are likely to be long on promise and short on details.

 Gates may unveil plans for the X-box, a game-console project based around PC technologies, when he delivers a keynote speech at the Game Developer's Forum in San Jose, Calif., on March 10, according to various published reports. This event happens a few days after the Tokyo debut of Sony's anticipated PlayStation2 console. The X-box announcement could also come at Seattle's coming GameStock convention, other sources have said.
Microsoft has been meeting with hardware makers and game publishers since at least last October to drum up support for the X-box project.

But, while Microsoft can typically corral support for its technology projects, don't expect to see much tangible progress just yet, analysts say. Most computer companies and software makers are waiting to see how well the PlayStation2 does before committing resources to Microsoft's project, sources said. Reference platforms of the X-box might exist, but any sort of production, or exact system specifications, likely won't be forthcoming. X-boxes won't even hit the streets until late next year, assuming the project stays on track.

"We believe that every vendor that has met with them has said they want to wait until after the Sony PlayStation2 comes out," said Richard Doherty of The Envisioneering Group. "All the people that have been meeting with Microsoft have been saying they can't commit."

A speech by Gates, if anything, may occur only to slow down the tidal wave of momentum building for the PlayStation2. Sony will release its anticipated game console on March 4 in Japan and bring the box to the United States later in the year. Sony has already said it expects to sell a million units within the first 48 hours. Sony said it was getting 500,000 orders per minute when it set up a Web site for selling the PlayStation2.

"(The X-box) is just FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) directed at the PlayStation2," said Peter Glaskowsky, an analyst with MicroDesign Resources. "It exists to show that PlayStation2 is not the only way to play games."

The PlayStation2 could prove to be a fairly hearty competitor. The system features a new processor, called the Emotion engine, that only comes with that game console. Demonstrations of the system have largely been greeted with loud applause by gamers and software developers. The box will comes with a DVD player and features broadband Internet access, Doherty said. Nintendo's Dolphin, meanwhile, will come out this year as well.

The X-box, Glaskowsky said, appears to be a PC with a fancy name.

"The problem with the X-box is that you could print some labels and sell one today," Glaskowsky said. "It is just a PC with a specific set of capabilities."

So far, Microsoft's efforts to get into the console market have met with limited success. Earlier, Sega planned to adopt Windows CE as one of the primary features of its Dreamcast console. By incorporating Windows CE, Sega could ensure that its console would be compatible with games designed for the PC. The inclusion of Windows CE would also allow console users to run PC like programs and surf the Web.

Windows CE, however, has become the vestigal tail nub on the Dreamcast platform. Dreamcast can run Windows CE, said Doherty, but few take advantage of it.

Microsoft Unveils X-Box Next Month?  12/10/99 04:18

U.K. trade publication CTW has reported that Microsoft's X-Box console could get its first public unveiling at next month's Consumer Electronics Show. 
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is due to be held in Las Vegas next month. Previous new technologies to have debuted at the event include the VCR, CD and DVD. 

Key development sources have told the publication that the tradition would continue with the unveiling of Microsoft's PC based games console, but nothing has been confirmed by Microsoft or the event's organizer. 

With Sony in its sights, Microsoft
weighs entry into game machines

Ray Allen, right, of the Milwaukee Bucks, watches
Earvin 'Magic' Johnson play Microsoft's 'NBA Inside 
Drive 2000' in this file photo. Microsoft will need all 
of its marketing prowess and video game experience 
to take on Sony.
Microsoft Corp., determined to head off Sony 
Corp. in the battle to control digital entertainment, 
is considering a move that could shake up the 
video game market, industry executives said.
By Dean Takahashi 
In a bid to steal the spotlight from Sony’s forthcoming 
Playstation 2 system, the new Microsoft game system 
is expected to go on sale in the fall of 2000, the 
industry executives said.

MICROSOFT MAY POUR billions of dollars over four years into developing and promoting a home video game console, code-named X-Box, said one person who has been briefed on Microsoft’s plans. Microsoft’s proposed machine, a hybrid akin to a PC that plugs into a television to play games, is expected to be manufactured to the company’s specifications by PC makers or subcontractors.

In a bid to steal the spotlight from Sony’s forthcoming Playstation 2 system, the new Microsoft game system is expected to go on sale in the fall of 2000, the industry executives said. Sony’s Playstation 2 is expected to be launched in Japan in March and in the U.S. in the fall of 2000. It isn’t clear when Microsoft plans to announce the new system.

The Playstation 2 is the focus of a multibillion-dollar investment by Sony and could become potent competition for consumer PCs that use Microsoft software and also digital boxes on top of TV sets, such as Microsoft’s WebTV system. Sony’s machine will be able to run high-quality three-dimensional animations, play digital video disks, connect to the Internet and store data in accessory hard disk drives. The new Microsoft console is expected to play standard PC games, also with movie-quality animations.

The brewing battle between the two companies reflects a growing convergence of industries, as game systems grow up to be full-fledged computers and PCs try to break into the living room. With all of Playstation 2’s new capabilities, Microsoft is believed to be worried about possible defections by PC-game developers, some of whom could shift plans for new products to the Playstation 2.

“Microsoft needs to make a statement to keep the game developers and PC consumers loyal,” said Rick Doherty, an analyst at Envisioneering Group, a Seaford, N.Y., consulting firm. “Everyone can see there are 60 million Playstations out there and 20 games apiece that go with them. Sony has proven that the video game business model works tremendously.”

A Microsoft spokesman and Sony spokeswoman declined to comment.

Whether Microsoft’s box would be marketed by the company under its own brand name, that of manufacturing partners or both isn’t clear. Executives at software makers and PC manufacturers said they have been briefed by Microsoft on the X-Box but knew of no hardware companies that have decided to make or sell it.

It is possible that Microsoft, which has mounted abortive efforts to get into home entertainment devices before, could back away from the idea. In August, one Microsoft executive, who requested anonymity, said X-Box may be killed because of the “opportunity to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in the hardware business.” Still, Microsoft has continued to pursue the project.

At an expected price of about $299, the X-Box seems based on the premise that fast-falling prices of PC components can offer more bang for the buck than Playstation 2. The Microsoft features may include a DVD player, a hard disk drive and extra circuitry suited to fast-moving games and connections to a TV set display.

A software executive Monday described the device as “a console machine with PC innards.” People familiar with the situation say Microsoft has decided against using microprocessor chips from Intel Corp., the company’s longtime partner in PCs, and is strongly considering using Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s Athlon microprocessor. Athlon promises comparable performance to Intel’s fastest chips at a significantly lower price. Officials of AMD and Intel declined to comment.       The Microsoft machine also is expected to use a graphics processor called GeForce, from Nvidia Corp., a Santa Clara, Calif., chip maker. A Nvidia spokesman declined to comment.

Instead of a conventional PC operating system, Mr. Doherty believes that X-Box will use a new hybrid of Windows 98 and a variant of Windows NT that Microsoft designed for non-PC applications. Notably absent is Windows CE, a widely promoted operating system for hand-held computers and other devices that is being used by Sega Enterprises Ltd. in its rival to Playstation 2, the Dreamcast device.


One key difference between the X-Box and PCs is that the X-Box’s basic components and features won’t be modifiable. In the PC business, consumers can update their machines with add-ons that software developers target with new products.       On the other hand, game developers might have an easier time developing for the X-Box since the specifications aren’t expected to change constantly. Moreover, such a machine could become much easier to use than a traditional PC, said Omid Rahmat, a games analyst at Doodah Marketing in San Rafael, Calif.

The potential competition with Sony has been building for months. Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, has touted the upcoming Playstation 2 not as a simple video game machine but as a connected device that can handle Web surfing, electronic commerce and other chores and that is easier to use than a PC. In one recent speech, Mr. Kutaragi said Sony’s future lies in “networked digital entertainment.”

One person briefed by Microsoft said the company hasn’t taken Sony’s possibilities lightly. “The X-Box is a frontal assault on a very big threat,” he said.

Publicly, Microsoft games managers have noted that PC and video games appeal to two different audiences. Most video games are played in groups in the living room, while most PC-game action takes place closer to users’ faces. About a third of U.S. households own game consoles, compared with about half owning PCs. But the PC share of the market has been steadily declining during the past couple of years.

Building a fourth major contender in the game business — alongside Sony, Nintendo Co. and Sega — would require a huge marketing effort. Sega, for example, remains a distant third despite $100 million in U.S. advertising for Dreamcast. One industry executive said Microsoft has considered earmarking as much as $6 billion for its effort, but another person close to the company said that figure is incorrect.

At one point, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was expected to reveal the project next month, at his keynote speech at the Comdex computer trade show, where Sony CEO Noboyuki Idei also is speaking. But other people briefed by Microsoft said the company won’t announce until next year.

Microsoft's Console Threat: X-Box

For years, the soothsayers have prophesized The Great Convergence - the time when
consoles and PCs merge into one, and console gaming as we know it comes to an end. Older
generations of gaming machines showcased technology specifically developed for the
console as the PC hunkered along with subpar graphics and keyboards meant for writing
papers, playing strategic games, and filling in spreadsheets.

With the latest generation of consoles, one would think that convergence is fairly close.
Since the early days of gaming, PCs have since featured increasingly more powerful graphics
and sooner or later console developers had to tap into this wealth of PC technology. The
Dreamcast for instance boasts technologies first developed for PC devices. It uses a
Microsoft-developed operating system (Microsoft's Windows CE); a Hitachi SH-4
microprocessor designed for Microsoft's Windows CE; and a VideoLogic PowerVR
graphics chip developed originally for the PC. Even Nintendo's next-generation machine will
use a processor designed by Big Blue itself - IBM. By doing the math, you can figure out who
is beginning to emerge as a potential threat - Microsoft. And so the rumors began at ECTS in
London that Microsoft was creating a new console, code-named X-Box (the "X" no doubt
being a reference to Microsoft's popular gaming API - DirectX).

Few specifics exist right now, as the company has yet to confirm the existence of the X-Box
reference platform. Yet, in the current issue of Games Business, an article about the X-Box
asserts that development on the X-Box has long been in development. And Sega of America's
Charles Bellfield is quoted in the article as saying, "We've known about this [X-Box] for
ages." However, Bellfield claims that the X-Box will not be in direct competition with Sega's
Dreamcast console. He also told Games Business, "The way we're going [with the
Dreamcast] is very different. We are not a digital home-network entertainment-center company.
The [X-Box] is aimed at a different market, at a higher cost. It's targeting the PlayStation2."

As ZDNN revealed on Tuesday morning, the X-Box hardware is likely being developed by
WebTV engineers - the same crew that originally worked on the failed 3DO hardware and the
cancelled M2 project. After a period of lackluster sales with its 3DO console, 3DO sold its
hardware division to Samsung, which then named it CagEnt. After negotiations fell through
on a project with Nintendo, Samsung then sold the group to Microsoft's WebTV division. "Those
guys are still there," said Hugh Martin, former CEO of 3DO Systems. "They are inside WebTV
in Palo Alto (Calif.)." Martin went on to say, "I guarantee you that if there's a group that knows
how to build a video-game machine, it's the one inside WebTV."

Because of Sega's close ties with Microsoft (its Dreamcast console has more than 70 titles in
development under the Windows CE environment), the company's X-Box develoment
comes as a surprise. ZDNN posed the question, why would Microsoft want to pursue a new game
console when its partner, Sega, has already created a successful one? "[The] Dreamcast
meets all the goals they [Sega] would set for such a device," said Peter Glaskowsky,
graphics guru at chip-technology researcher MicroDesign Resources Inc.

As for developer support, several companies admitted to having spoken with Microsoft about
the X-Box platform. One in particular, SquareSoft, (maker of the popular Final Fantasy
series on the PlayStation), told Bloomberg News last week that, "The biggest player cannot ignore
this market anymore." Yoshihiro Maruyama, the vice-chairman of Square Electronic Arts
commented, "If they decide to come in, their commitment will be very firm. They could
potentially be the biggest competitor to Sony."

The word on the street is that a Pentium III 450MHz level CPU, from either Intel or AMD, will
power the console. For graphics, the X-Box will boast an Nvidia GeForce 256 graphics
processor. Recently, Nvidia has hinted that its new graphics processor will help developers
build console titles for the likes of Sony's PlayStation2. Statements like this may have
been hints that the company has been looking into console development. Microsoft was once
developing a graphics technology called Talisman, which hasn't been talked about in
years. Since Nvidia's introduction of the GeForce 256, there has been talk that the chip
was developed with Microsoft's Talisman technology. Because Nvidia produces what is
arguably the fastest DirectX chips currently available, a Microsoft and Nvidia partnership
appears possible. And rather than release the system on its own, Microsoft will allow PC OEM
companies like Gateway and Dell to build their own devices based on the X-Box reference

Regardless, when Microsoft makes an official announcement regarding the platform and its
plans to take on the console world, all eyes will undoubtedly be watching. For now, we can only
ponder the possibilities of such a system. Microsoft is planning to release the X-Box in late
2000, clearly going head to head with Sony's launch of the PlayStation2. Will the X-Box shake
up the console world? We'll be hunting for answers to those questions throughout the next
few weeks.

Here's what has been speculated about the system so far:

What is the X-Box?
A set-top game console from Microsoft based
on a modified version of the Windows 2000
operating system. (Although it hasn't been
indicated if it will be the consumer or the true
32-bit workstation version)
What will be inside?
An Intel microprocessor as powerful as the chip
inside Sony's PlayStation2, a DVD-ROM drive,
a graphics chip supplied by Nvidia, and a
sizeable (upward of 4GB) hard drive.
What software will it support?
CD-ROM and DVD-ROM formats.
How will it control?
X-Box will make use of USB controllers; four
controller ports are likely since Sony's decision
to use only two ports with the PlayStation has
been hotly debated by gamers.
What will it offer?
The ability to play PC games with no hassle,
online gaming through the MSN Gaming Zone,
DVD movie playback, TV viewing functions
(such as taping television shows to the hard
drive), WebTV-based e-mail, and other Internet

How much will it cost? 
Sources speculate between US$300 and $350.

By Micheal Mullen and Sam Kennedy,

Company must provide a compelling reason for consumers to buy a next-generation platform

Creating a customized Windows operating system for Sega’s 128-bit Dreamcast game console was only the first step in Microsoft’s entry into the console game business. Now, with Sega’s new system on store shelves, Microsoft is preparing to launch a game console of its own.

MICROSOFT HAS NOT FORMALLY announced its new console, which is currently referred to as X-Box. But a few analysts and software publishers were invited to attend highly secretive demonstrations of the new system last week during the European Computer Trade Show in London.  According to sources who attended those closed-door sessions, X-Box will feature a 500-megahertz Intel processor backed by the nVidia GeForce graphics chip — an innovative graphics chip that reportedly generates 3-D graphics without tapping into the main processor. Though X-Box will feature a DVD drive, no one has mentioned whether it will have the navigational software needed to run DVD movies. 


Compare next-generation console specs

Nintendo Dolphin
Playstation 2
Processor 733 Megahertz Intel chip 200 Megahertz, Hitachi-built
SH4 RISC with 128-bit graphic engine.
400 Megahertz, 0.18 micron, copper technology custom chip that is being co-designed with IBM. 300 Megahertz, 0.18 micron, custom chip that is complete and will be manufactured by Toshiba.
Polygons per second Unknown 3 million "As fast as anything our friends at Sony have" according to Nintendo of America chairman
Howard Lincoln.
66 million raw polygons; 38 million with lighting; 36 million with fogging; 16 million with curved surfaces. 
Modem speed 56.6 kbps (built into console) 56.6 kbps Not specified "Best technology available."
Storage medium
and capacity
DVD-ROM with special proprietary coding to protect against piracy. Should hold 8 gigabytes of information. Proprietary GD-ROM (a double-density CD that holds 1 gigabyte of information.) Sega has designs to release a DVD-based machine in the future.  DVD-ROM with special proprietary coding to protect against piracy. Should hold 8 gigabytes of information. (A four-layer DVD-ROM can hold up to 17 gigabytes.)  DVD-ROM should hold 8 gigabytes of information.
U.S. launch date and price Fall 2000, should retail for between $249 and $300. Released Sept. 9, 1999 for
Scheduled for worldwide release in fall 2000. Scheduled for release in Japan this winter and U.S. release in fall 2000.
Special features nVidia GeForce graphics chip, Windows operating system, several-gigabyte hard disk.  One-year head start on other
systems, 15 titles at launch,
creative peripherals such as
gun and fishing pole. 
Is being designed by ArtX, a 
company founded by the guy 
who developed Nintendo 64.
Backwards compatibility with original PlayStation.

One of the system’s unique features will be a multi-gigabyte hard disk. None of the other “next generation” game consoles has an internal storage system. Unlike Dreamcast, which featured both a proprietary operating system and a customized version of Windows CE, X-Box will only feature a Windows operating system. According to sources, the system will have 64 megabytes of textured RAM, a 56K modem and an Internet Explorer-based browser.  Despite all of these PC-esque features, X-Box will be a closed-box system with instant boot-up, giving it the same simplified operation that distinguishes game consoles from standard computers.

According to several reports, Microsoft will follow the business model developed by 3DO. Instead of manufacturing the system itself, Microsoft is turning to Dell, Gateway and Samsung, and will supposedly make its profits through royalties on software.

Microsoft’s formal introduction of X-Box is not expected until the Fall Comdex show in November. Industry analysts were just starting to sort out whether the video game business has enough room for three competitors when Microsoft jumped into the fray.  As somebody who underestimated Sony during the introduction of the PlayStation, I have learned that outsiders can successfully enter the video game market provided they have good hardware, some marketing expertise and a huge wad of cash. Microsoft has all of these and more software successes than Sony had at the time it launched PlayStation. On the other hand, adopting the 3DO model seems ill-advised. One of 3DO’s biggest shortcomings was the lack of first-party software. 3DO founder Trip Hawkins decided that the best way to attract new publishers was to create an open field in which outside publishers would not have to compete against in-house games. That translated into very few system-specific games.

The only reasons for purchasing a Nintendo 64 are Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda, Wave Race, Donkey Kong 64 and Goldeneye 007. These games are made by Nintendo, and you can bet you will never see them legally marketed for any non-Nintendo systems in the near future. Sony has not released PC versions of Crash Bandicoot and Gran Turismo for the very same reason. If you want the games, you have to purchase the system. The only way X-Box will succeed is if it has great games that are only available for X-Box, not X-Box and PCs.  Microsoft is a wealthy and savvy company that does not part with its money easily. Chances are that several high-ups have studied the failure of 3DO closely and determined how to avoid its mistakes.  If Microsoft comes in with a fast machine that is well-supported with proprietary games, it will carve some of the market away from Sony, Nintendo and Sega. If Microsoft comes in with a powerful machine and stacks of familiar PC titles, look for X-Box to go the way of 3DO.

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