IGN.com has the first details on the Revolution's actual hardware. However, at first glance, the hardware doesn't exactly seem, er, revolutionary. One anonymous third-party developer refers to the system as a "souped-up Xbox," and no HDTV support is planned for the unit at this time.
Third parties have revealed to us that the console will top out with 128MBs of RAM, and possibly even less. One studio would not give us an exact figure, but did say, "The same as GameCube plus an extra 64MB of main RAM." That number is by comparison nearly triple the amount of memory in GameCube. However, it is a far cry from the 512MBs present in Xbox 360.All of the developers quoted in the article have something nice to say about the Revolution's controller (a video of it in action is available here), but that's a pretty slim silver lining to cover potentially disappointing hardware performance. Gamers hoping that the ATI-built GPU could save the unit may also be in for a disappointment; developer's were unwilling to directly comment on GPU performance, but one stated: "As soon as we find out what it can do then we'll know if Revolution will just be like an Xbox or something a little more."
Developers interviewed by GamesIndustry.biz are more upbeat about the console's video solution and overall attractiveness. The GamesIndustry article states that the Revolution will be about 2.5 times as powerful as the GameCube, and describes the ATI-built video solution as "an evolution of the Radeon range." If true, the console's video solution should be far more advanced than that of the original Xbox, whose GPU is based on GF3-era technology.
Interestingly, the GamesIndustry article mentions that developers are finding it easy to develop titles for the Revolution platform.
"You can basically treat it like a current generation machine," one told us. "The time it'll take to ramp up to developing on this is basically nil - we can just work on a PC or maybe an Xbox, and then improve the quality of our assets when we move to the Revolution. Or even work on a Cube, in fact. The libraries are very similar."The more concrete details emerge, the more it seems clear that the Revolution truly is designed to appeal to a different market than the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3.
"We could do a game for this in a few months," commented another developer. "Developing games is going to be easy, the challenge is going to be using the controller properly."
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