Knight's Style

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Peter Moore's EGM, Interview...

After reading the recent article that got my attention from, I can't help but to have mixed feelings about it.

Good because you have THE guy to talk to other than J. Allard talking 360 with, but bad because of the beratement he recieved from the interviewer.

The first page of questions were pretty decent and focused on the 360. The second page, on the other hand, started off with questions about the 360 overheating and the lawsuit against Microsoft.

Now I don't know about anyone else here but i've been into the lates/greatest in technology for QUITE some time now, and it's EXPECTED for some hardware to have glitches. It's the nature of the beast, and anyone who's been following technology for any amount of time knows this.

Right after firing that odd little salvo, the interviewer goes RIGHT into bashing the games.

Owning an Xbox 360, I can attest to my not wanting to purchase SOME games because they aren't up to snuff. *EA Sports, i'm looking RIGHT at you on this one...* The odd thing is that the reviewer brings up games like Need for Speed and King Kong and says they look marginally different... Forgive me for dreaming all this time then, because those two games just happen to BLOW AWAY their Xbox counterparts! The gameplay is the same - that can't be denied - but the visual upgrade is enormous! I can't play Most Wanted on an Xbox any more because of those upgrades.

Then the reviewer goes on to ask about the upgrade in visuals, saying that "With a lot of 360 games, the leap isn't there". Since when have game consoles been tapped dry of their possible power on day one? I could've sworn that doing that took time and learning the ins and outs of the console, but apparently for the reviewer, that's not enough. He wants the best the 360 can offer up front!

The next question was a good one, but the way it was asked and dragged out kinda bothered me. Backwards compatibility. He basically dragged out a bunch of questions choosing between good/bad selling Xbox games that are/aren't compatible with the 360 yet, then tries to make him look like a fool for not having those games backwards-compatible.

Am I the only person on the planet who realizes that the Xbox and the Xbox 360 have only the Hard Drive in common? The reasoning that BC is taking so long is because of a couple main factors:

  • CPUs

  • Video Cards

The CPU in the Xbox is a 733MHz Intel Pentium, while the 360's CPU is a custom-made chip by IBM (based on the same design as the Cell processor, oddly enough for those who weren't in the know) that has 3 cores running at 3.25GHz, and each core has a hardware thread that can theoretically run at the same speed - therefore giving the 360 a theoretical 6 CPUs. Each running at 3.25GHz.

The primary problem with this is that Intel and IBM are two completely different platforms for processing and therefore have completely different instructions. The IBM chip is powerful enough to emulate the Intel chip, but it's a time-consuming process.

The video cards are made by RIVAL COMPANIES. There are a bunch of things that nVidia codes in certain ways that ATI might either code in completely different ways - if at all. The BC takes a long time because each game needs to be figured out for it to work properly. They basically have to reverse-engineer anything that is assigned to the video card, then re-engineer it to work via software on the 360.

Sound complicated? You bet your ass, it is. Just remember that they're constantly working on more games to add to the BC list. Let them work on it!

The last bit of the interview had an odd question about what Peter would give up to have Mario Creator Shigeru Miyamoto develop games on the Xbox. As odd as it is it's an interesting question, but not one that has any relevance. The interview is then finished with asking the normal game/competition questions, but those didn't bother me that much.

Hopefully before the next time they have anyone of importance to interview, maybe they should have a couple articles educating the public on things that might require them to think a little harder about how these gray areas work. Maybe before they get sent to the public, they can educate the staff...

You can catch the article here


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