In what might be the most-watched infomercial in history, the next-generation Xbox was unveiled on MTV yesterday. There are reports everywhere, including the NY Times and AnandTech. If you missed the debut but still want to see video, the folks at Shacknews are saying this video is better than what was on MTV.
I haven't had time to absorb all of the information yet, but the Xbox 360 does look close to its rumored hardware specs, with three PowerPC CPU cores, ATI R500-class graphics, and wireless controllers by default. These specs make it sound like the Xbox 360 could possibly be a more powerful gaming box than a high-end gaming PC when it debuts, although that distinction isn't likely to last long. The best news for PC gamers may be the highly threaded nature of the Xbox 360 design, which includes SMT on each PowerPC CPU for a total of six processor front-ends. Threaded games developed for the Xbox 360 ought to translate nicely to a PC with a multicore CPU and vice-versa.
Even more intriguing is the Xbox 360's new ATI GPU with a unified shader architecture, as Team Xbox is reporting. The chip supposedly uses its 48 shader units to process either vertex or pixel shader tasks as needed, dynamically allocating power on the fly. The GPU also apparently has 10MB of embedded DRAM onboard. We'll have to watch and see what more we can learn about this new GPU, and the possibilities for its PC variants, as new Xbox 360 info rolls in.
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