Post-E3: Xbox 360

E3 has been over for a few days now - and I've been trying to gather all of the information I can find. ______________________________________________

Xbox 360 System Performance Specifications Custom IBM PowerPC-based CPU * Three symmetrical cores running at 3.2 GHz each * Two hardware threads per core; six hardware threads total * VMX-128 vector unit per core; three total * 128 VMX-128 registers per hardware thread * 1 MB L2 cache

CPU Game Math Performance * 9 billion dot product operations per second

Custom ATI Graphics Processor * 10 MB of embedded DRAM * 48-way parallel floating-point dynamically scheduled shader pipelines * Unified shader architecture

Polygon Performance * 500 million triangles per second

Pixel Fill Rate * 16 gigasamples per second fill rate using 4x MSAA

Shader Performance * 48 billion shader operations per second

Memory * 512 MB of 700 MHz GDDR3 RAM * Unified memory architecture

Memory Bandwidth * 22.4 GB/s memory interface bus bandwidth * 256 GB/s memory bandwidth to EDRAM * 21.6 GB/s front-side bus

Overall System Floating-Point Performance * 1 teraflop

Storage * Detachable and upgradeable 20GB hard drive * 12x dual-layer DVD-ROM * Memory Unit support starting at 64 MB

I/O * Support for up to four wireless game controllers * Three USB 2.0 ports * Two memory unit slots

Optimized for Online * Instant, out-of-the-box access to Xbox Live features with broadband service, including Xbox Live Marketplace for downloadable content, gamer profile for digital identity, and voice chat to talk to friends while playing games, watching movies, or listening to music * Built-in Ethernet port * Wi-Fi ready: 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g * Video camera ready

Digital Media Support * Support for DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, JPEG Photo CD * Ability to stream media from portable music devices, digital cameras and Windows XP-based PCs * Ability to rip music to the Xbox 360 hard drive * Custom playlists in every game * Built-in Media Center Extender for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 * Interactive, full-screen 3-D visualizers

High-Definition Game Support * All games supported at 16:9, 720p, and 1080i, anti-aliasing * Standard-definition and high-definition video output supported

Audio * Multi-channel surround sound output * Supports 48KHz 16-bit audio * 320 independent decompression channels * 32-bit audio processing * Over 256 audio channels

System Orientation * Stands vertically or horizontally

Customizable Face Plates * Interchangeable to personalize the console _____________________________________________

OK, so you already know the specifications. Do the games look good? Most definitely. Do they play well? I honestly don't know - but if I have an Xbox 360 - I'd likely be setting my sights on Full Auto and Oblivion - not Gears of War. It's a personal preference - looking at stuff blow up on next gen hardware. However, I have no doubt in my mind about the launch titles for the Xbox 360 - there is most definitely enough to keep things in line - I expect at least 50 titles to be around by the release of Playstation 3 - which should give the Xbox 360 a huge headstart over the PS3.

My disappointment with the Xbox 360 really comes not from the games, but from the lack of USB ports and other media ports. It only has 3 USB ports - and I don't know if this is a cost thing or something, but the lack of media card readers on a next generation media device is quite a letdown - have you used a Media Centre with a lack of a card reader? There's a hard drive? Wow, thet hard drive is like.... how many times bigger than my Secure Digital card in my pocket? Be serious.

I'm also unhappy with what impressions the pre-E3 Microsoft press conference most gamers who saw the excerpt off G4TV. The VelocityGirl example was not practical, not realistic, and not in any way - enlightening to the gaming audience. The new Xbox Live was still confusing -I'm pretty sure it promises a lot in the days to come - just not anything now - it's incomplete as of current - but I'm pretty sure it'll make the Xbox 360 rule - just that I think nobody outside of Microsoft can make full sense out of Xbox Live.

Do I seemed biased? Blame it on Microsoft - they didn't have much to impress me with - unlike Sony and Nintendo. The press conference for Microsoft was a disaster at best - but the games lined up at the booths for their side of the war were no less than good. Gears of War looks good, Full Auto looks good, the Xbox quadrant idea is good - and more of all of this is likely to make you into a bigger couch potato than before. (Hey, what do you expect if you don't have to get up to switch it on? :D)