Gates Makes Xenon HDTV Pledge

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Gates Makes Xenon HDTV Pledge
Speaking at last week?s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates confirmed that all Xbox 2/Xenon games will support HDTV.

Speaking to Japanese paper Yomiuri Shimbun, Gates said that, ?Current planning should mean we will be able to offer HDTV support across 100% of the [Xbox 2] software range. We expect to be unique in this offering.?

As you may expect, nothing on the subject has been mentioned by either Sony or Nintendo, with their home console offerings being significantly further away, though expect something to be mentioned when both firms outline their wares at this year?s E3.
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config 10 Jan 2005 14:38
1/12
Wow. HDTV - in Europe. That'll be just ace. Notice how I can barely contain myself?
DoctorDee 10 Jan 2005 14:41
2/12
Hmm, that's a pretty vague, and possibly quite unimpressive, claim.

HDTV resolutions start at 720p, which is 1024 x 720 pixels. Most all PCs these days can knock out a game at this resolution and a decent frame rate.

If, however, YBox will be ably to handle every game at: 1080i - 1920x1080pixels that will be more impressive. But again, still within the capabilities of a decent PC fitted with a Radeon X800 card.
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kid_77 10 Jan 2005 15:25
3/12
Oh god, consoles have gone all "complex". Until HDTV is the standard at least in US and Japan, it's a waste of time. It's all very well trying to pioneer, but if the market ain't there to utilise it, it's just a waste of technology. Perhaps by the time PS4 (not Phanstasy Star 4, that came out 10 years ago!) comes out, HDTV will be widespread. Until then I'd rather they made games in 640x480, with bloody amazing textures, draw distances etc.

If you start pissing about with different resolution modes, you're making things more complicated for the user and the developer. I'm pretty sure if I was a developer (well I am, but not in the ideal industry), I'd like a standard specification with a standard video mode. In the past this is how company's like Ninty and Sega ensured very strict QA, they knew what their box was capable of, and standards were expected.

Oh b******s, I've gone and ranted...
DoctorDee 10 Jan 2005 15:35
4/12
kid_77 wrote:

If you start pissing about with different resolution modes, you're making things more complicated for the user and the developer.


It's no more complex for the developer. It's totally transparent. Just like Quake on PC can run at 640x480 (at 768,000fps on most modern gfx card) and it can run at 1600x1200 without the user or the developer having to do anything... so it will be with the Ybox.

It might be a bit trickeer for the user, but if they have HDTV capable display equipment, they all ready be familiar with the wires and leads needed.

As for HDTV becoming a standard - that's not necessary. Almost everyone here in the SPOnG office uses a projector for their home entertainment - we'll be able to make use of HDTV resolutions as soon as they arrive. So will many people who use Plamsa's, LCD TVs etc... Bring it on!
kid_77 10 Jan 2005 16:00
5/12
DoctorDee wrote:
It's no more complex for the developer. It's totally transparent. Just like Quake on PC can run at 640x480 (at 768,000fps on most modern gfx card) and it can run at 1600x1200 without the user or the developer having to do anything... so it will be with the Ybox.


Yeah, Ok. I think I was actually going into my own little interpretation of consoles having multi video modes.

Basically, I like the idea of a game using as much of a consoles potential as possible. PC video modes are there to cater for machines of differing ability. Fair enough. But if a console game is optimised to run at 1600x1200, the guys playing on a TV only capable of 640x480 are gonna get a raw deal. A game engine optimised for one set resolution (1600x1200) will mean it's not at another (640x480). If the developer just sticks to one res, and one that caters for all, you're gonna get a better-looking game.

But I suppose varying technologies are going to drive HDTV into more homes (Sky), and I suppose videogames will be one.
LUPOS 10 Jan 2005 17:16
6/12
kid_77 wrote:

Oh b******s, I've gone and ranted...


shame on you ... thats my job!

i have an hdtv... and love that the xbox is all progressivscantastic! (as is the game cube with those dman mail order wires i got) and i for one am very interested in having my neXtboX run everything in 1080i (especially since my tv doesnt do 720p for some odd reason). The technology is indeed there and the demand for it is high. i think one of the main selling points of the xbox was its rep as being the cutting edge in tech... if nothing else it was a fancy toy to show off to friends early on (i for one bought wreckless... just cause it look sooo damn shiny!... and it was actully kinda fun for the 2 hours it lasted). I think that requireing all games run in all hdtv resolutions is quality control... if a game can run smooth in 1080i it will sure as s**t run smooth in 480i. The complication comes when only some res.'s are supporte but some games on some systems. remember how cheesed off some of the developers where when they initially heard that voice chat would be a requirment for ALL xbox live! games... i feel that ended up being a wise decision.

also i would bet any of you basically any amount of money that the ps3 will also fully support HDTV (nintendo is crazy and you can never tell with them, the revolution coudl be all black and white for all i know).

Yet another reason little Willy Gates own my soul.
DaVinci42 10 Jan 2005 19:33
7/12
If I had MY way, all the next gen consoles would support not just 1080i, but 1080p. The only problem with that is that I believe that spec is limited to 30fps. In that case then many fast moving games, such as racing games, would probably use 720p since it can do 60fps.

I don't have an HDTV yet (unless you count my VD-Z3 & my computer monitor) but considering that these consoles have to last at LEAST 5 years, then I consider full HDTV support a necessity.
mark_in_2k 10 Jan 2005 19:54
8/12
Living in Canada, I've had HDTV for about 18 months now so I've been able to sample some of the current Xbox games on my HDTV.

While most games only run in 480p (not a HD rez) there are some that run at 720p, such as Amped 2, Soul Caliber 2 (looks gorgeous, but has to run in 4:3 ratio), Dragons Lair 3D (havn't played it, but runs in 720p and 1080i), Freedom Fighters, for just a few.

These games all look great in HD, but they still look good at 480i. If I had to switch back to a regullar TV, I'd been pretty disappointed having been used to HDTV rez's.

It was almost sure the M$ would push dev's into using the HDTV rez's, and couple this with the possibilty of either HD-DVD (OK choice) and Blu-ray (hope they choose this!!) games will easily be able to store the high rez textures.
LUPOS 10 Jan 2005 23:06
9/12
mark_in_2k wrote:
the possibilty of either HD-DVD (OK choice) and Blu-ray (hope they choose this!!)


The chances of M$ choosing Blu-ray (or nintendo for that matter) are about as likely as segas next game being a blockbuster hit, sure techinically its possible... but it aint gona happen.

Personaly i think blu-ray is obviously the superior standard but sony has proven tiem and time and time (beta, mini, memory stick) that they cant make a propitary format stick cause they always charge to much, even if the quality is there.(i for one loved mini discs long before mp3 players came with 1+ gigs of space)
DoctorDee 11 Jan 2005 11:15
10/12
DaVinci42 wrote:
If I had MY way, all the next gen consoles would support not just 1080i, but 1080p. The only problem with that is that I believe that spec is limited to 30fps.


1080i at 60Hz is the same (in practical terms) as 1080p at 30Hz. You only get the whole picture redrawn 30 times a second on either system.
mark_in_2k 11 Jan 2005 13:30
11/12
Personaly i think blu-ray is obviously the superior standard but sony has proven tiem and time and time (beta, mini, memory stick) that they cant make a propitary format stick cause they always charge to much, even if the quality is there.


Blu-ray is far from being a proprietary Sony format.

Several other large electronics giants are also supporting the format, such as Philips, Pioneer, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, etc, so I don't think that Blu-ray is about to die a death like mini-discs will.

Add to that the fact that EA games, and VU are also backing the format for the next gen consoles, it seems like Blu-ray is leading in the new DVD format battle.

It was also reported recently that M$ are still looking at offers from Blu-ray and HD-DVD consortiums, so we will just have to wait and see.
config 11 Jan 2005 13:49
12/12
mark_in_2k wrote:
Add to that the fact that EA games, and VU are also backing the format for the next gen consoles, it seems like Blu-ray is leading in the new DVD format battle.

Surely EA and VU will get what they're given - they wanna publish for PS3; it's BluRay, Xenon; it's ... whatever MS chooses, Revolution; some mad proprietary format.

It was also reported recently that M$ are still looking at offers from Blu-ray and HD-DVD consortiums, so we will just have to wait and see.

On the Windows front, I believe Longhorn (huh-huhuh) comes with HD-DVD out of the box, but MS is investigating BR support.
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