Microsoft Officially Announces the X-Box

After many months of rumors and speculation, the Microsoft X-Box has been officially announced. Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and head honcho, confirmed the system's existence in a special news feed released yesterday afternoon. Gates stated yesterday that the system is in fact planned for release in Fall 2001, and that it would, being a "global product," be sold worldwide -- not just in North America. Earlier today, Gates made a special presentation at the annual Game Developers Conference, in which he provided full details on the upcoming system.

At the event, the following hardware specifications for the X-Box were released:

  • 600 MHz x86 compatible CPU
  • Custom 3-D nVidia graphics processor
  • 64 MB of RAM (unified memory architecture)
  • Custom 3-D audio processor
  • 8GB hard drive
  • 4X DVD drive with movie playback
  • Four game controller ports
  • Expansion port
  • Proprietary A/V connector
  • 100 MBps Ethernet

The custom nVidia graphics chip is said to deliver "more than 300 million polygons per second," which blows away the PlayStation2's capability of approximately 66 million polygons per second. Gates also mentioned that X-Box game developers will be able to take advantage of familiar PC development tools, such as the Microsoft DirectX API. These tools will help developers to squeeze the most out of the system in terms of important aspects such as graphics, audio, and internet connectivity. RPGamer attended the Game Developers Conference and witnessed all the excitement, so stay tuned for system impressions and other commentary later today.

by Andrew P. Bilyk    
Source: [Microsoft]
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