Microsofts' XBOX Online Edge
03/02/2001 9:46:56 PM MST Albuquerque, Nm
By Dustin D. Brand; Owner AMO
Why Microsofts' XBOX has an Online Edge
Microsoft is entering the Video Game System market with their XBOX System. This XBOX has an online edge compared to the other systems out now, like the Sony Playstation 2, and the upcoming Nintendo GameCube.
Microsoft is the only Video Game system coming out, and will be the only one in existance that comes out of the box (pun intended) with Broadband capabilities. Not your average broadband capabilities either. Even though DSL and Cable Modems aren't available to everyone, everywhere, with the future of gaming it's absolutely necessary in technical terms to have broadband useable gaming. The US currently leads the world in Broadband internet access, and coverage areas are in each and every major city in America with expansion growing at a rapid rate.
Many people falsely think Microsoft is new to the market of Video Game Systems. This simply isn't true because Microsoft helped with the DreamCast, in fact it uses Windows CE as it's operating system, and Direct X 6 for it's graphics. Microsoft helped with previous other Video Game Systems design before the Dreamcast, but in the mind of keeping this article focused on broadband I won't mention any more names, ahem, Nintendo. Needless to say, Microsoft is not only a software company, but the worlds largest and most successful. Lets face it, Video Games are Software, and they need the best Hardware to support the visions of the Computer Engineers.
The XBOX not only has an online edge because of the fact that it's the only system with a 10/100 Mbps Network Card built in, but because Microsoft has added the ability for LAN Parties. A single user with 4 or so TV's in their house, or even 4 Computer monitors can invite over their Neighborhood friends and connect their XBOX's together, and then play online against 28-60 other DOOM III players. This is of course, using the capabilities of a single Broadband connection.
Beyond these things, Microsoft isn't allowing lower than BroadBand Access on the XBOX. This is in response to the very cold welcome the Dreamcast had with a 56k modem built in, and the mere fact that better more intense gaming, especially PC Games demand faster throughput and faster connections.
Probably the best example of Microsofts' Online Edge for the XBOX is that Microsoft has it's own ISP, MSN, and it's own Online Gaming Servers called the Zone. At any given time you can find 75,000+ Active Gamers playing games on the Zone. One given is that Microsoft has plenty of Bandwidth, for SONY and Nintendo, it will cost them greatly to build infrastructure in the US, and they can't match Microsoft there. Microsoft pulls in more bandwith than the entire country of Japan does, but then again Japan is smaller than California and California is a major internet gateway which pulls in about 100 times Japans bandwidth which they feed a small portion to Japan under the Pacific. So SONY and Nintendo have to build their infrastructure in the US, I'm sure they can do it, it just won't match Microsofts'.
The XBOX will have games like DOOM III, the Matrix, and Fate, which are all heavily Multiplayer online gaming. In fact, Fate is a first time game which is called a Masively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. Fate is an XBOX only title and each world will support between 1500 and 3000 simultaneous gamers.
While Single Player games may not be popular on the Computer, on systems like Nintendo and SONY that's all they've had to make with only 4 controller ports maximum. On the Computer or PC side, which Microsoft is bridging with the XBOX, 9 out of 10 games shipped are multiplayer online capable. The XBOX is the only system which has an edge. Read it and weep Nintendo/SONY fans.
Related AMO Articles:
The XBOX GPU, an inside look.
John Carmack talks about the XBOX GPU
The XBOX has them drooling...
XBOX GPU sent to fabrication
Microsofts' XBOX vs Japan
AMO Looks into the XBOX