Microsoft: "No reason to put anything down on a hard disk"

And Gates goes for Nintendo and Sony...

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Microsoft: "No reason to put anything down on a hard disk"
Microsoft retains its less than laid-back approach to the competition, and maintains its plans for the Xbox to own your sitting room if an interview with William Gates (chairman of Microsoft Corporation) with The San Jose Mercury’s Dean Takahashi is to be believed.

Ranging over subjects as diverse as IPTV, and Viva Pinata Gates was clear and concise in his views on the future of Xbox – and the chances of the other two major platform holders being able to compete.

Let’s start with his views on both in one go:
”Sony has always been our most direct competitor. Nintendo of course is a competitor. But look at the resolution you get with a controlled experience like that. Say to yourself, how in terms of using a game for a long period of time, what kind of accuracy and capability do you want? Look at the classic Nintendo positioning. Look at the graphics. Look at Nintendo’s execution in terms of online capability.”

OK, so game-player Bill doesn’t rate the Wii then? What about the rest of Nintendo?
” Do you expect Nintendo to rev up a team to create cross-device gaming and tool kits to develop those things? Not very likely. We clearly think that Nintendo did some things right.”

What about PlayStation 3?
” They were going to have the Cell be the video processor. But they didn’t know what they were doing. ”

Ouch! But there’s more:
” They took their year and burned it by not having a decent CPU strategy and then turning to Nvidia at the last minute… but Nvidia can’t do embedded DRAM. Go look at the bandwidth problems.”

But it’s good to know that officially, Bill’s a gamer,
“In my household, everybody plays Viva Pinata.”

What about your own console then, Bill?:
“ We wanted to be the guy with the small box that costs less. We wanted to have the most games. We wanted to play to our software strength, and tools and online. We wanted to swap positions with Sony. We wanted to not be a year late, not be a big box, not be a more expensive box. How are we doing on that?”

And the Xbox's future with all the IPTV hype?:
“In an IPTV environment, there is no reason to put anything down on a hard disk because you created a broadband infrastructure that has enough capacity to stream individual video streams to everybody on the network. We don’t need to change [Xbox 360] at all to do the IPTV thing.

“There is enough uncertainty about who wants PC coming down in the living room and Xbox coming up that I don’t mind them meeting and even overlapping as long as the point system, the user interface, the development tools – as long as we get this incredible alignment. The name spaces are the same. Your gamertag is the same on those two things.”

Source for the full interview: San Jose Mercury News


OptimusP 18 Jan 2007 18:42
The IPTV sounds real good, i wonder if Nintendo can't do something similiar with the Opera browser, you kinda allready can by going with it to youtube and other videosites. Streaming is always fun.

Also the physical strain on the Wii argument he very subtle slipt in is very moot. I've played Red Steel hours on end and only then i realised...i'm not getting any cramps! This is the second controller ever that doesn't give me cramps in my hands! So no fatigue and no cramp combined with superior accuracy...i'm happy with Nintendo's choice, that i am.

And Nintendo chances of developing cross-platform tools aren't very unlikely, they're non-existant. When is someone going to pitch Bill Gates, Kaz Harai and Reggie in a round-table debate? That would give sparks.
phoo 19 Jan 2007 21:04
I've been saying that for a while. Wii would be an AWSOME IPTV reciever. In fact, considering you have a remote control, Wifi, a proper channel setup and a $250 price tag, I think it could blow an MS service out of the water.

The question is, is it technichly possible. This answer is probably. I've done tests (really innacurate eyeballing but tests nonetheless) that show you could very well process an h.264 video stream + mp3/aac audio at DVD type resolutions within 700 mHZ. True this was gauging resource usage on an x86 cpu, but I hear power PC is more efficient clock for clock, and any accelerations can be more than compensated for through use of the GPU (something that usually isn't taken advantage of for non-gaming apps on PC).

The other half however is bitrate. This may be a bigger problem. Squeezing decent quality res video + decent res audio + containers + redundancy + error correction + overhead for bandwidth variability into a 64Kbps stream (Standard 1XADSL) is pushing it to the limit. Therefore 512kbps may not cut it, and this goes for Xbox 360 as well.
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