Gamefest 2006: The Future of Xbox Live's Marketplace

Of the top ten most downloaded demos on Xbox Live Marketplace, nine of them were released before the game. It's a safe bet that the recently released Dead or Alive 4, which followed numerous months after the game's release, didn't fit into the model for success on Microsoft's Marketplace.

That model going forward will include demos being released ahead of the game and downloadable content (called 'add-ons' by Microsoft) within the appropriate window after release -- Microsoft recommends releasing add-ons between 60 and 90 days after a game's release. On the success of games like EA's Fight Night 3, Microsoft is encouraging developers to make sure that a demo for their game arrives before the game (right, Mark Rein?). With Fight Night 3, Microsoft saw a 40% conversion rate from users downloading the demo to users purchasing the game.

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mikeeno75386d ago

Central processing unit

Xbox 360 CPU with some thermal paste left on itThe CPU, named Xenon (Microsoft) or Waternoose (IBM) is a custom IBM tri-core PowerPC-based design.[31]

90 nm process, 165 million transistors (65 nm process SOI revision in 2007[32])
Three symmetrical cores, each one SMT-capable and clocked at 3.2 GHz
One VMX-128 SIMD unit per core, dual threaded.
128×128 register file for each hardware thread, 2 sets per VMX unit
1 MiB L2 cache (lockable by the GPU) running at half core speed
Dot product performance: 9.1 billion per second
115 GFLOPS theoretical peak performance
ROM storing Microsoft private encrypted keys
Graphics processing unit

Xbox 360 GPU; note the smaller eDRAM die to the left of the main Xenos dieThe "Xenos" GPU is a custom chip designed by ATI. (Developed under the name "C1", sometimes "R500")[33] The chip contains two separate silicon dies: the parent GPU and the daughter eDRAM.

337 million transistors total (232 million parent shader die+105 million EDRAM daughter die)
500 MHz parent GPU (90 nm TSMC process, 232 million transistors)
500 MHz 10 MiB daughter Embedded DRAM framebuffer (90 nm process, 105 million transistors)
NEC designed eDRAM die includes additional logic for color, alpha blending, Z/stencil buffering, and anti-aliasing.
105 million transistors [34]
8 render output units
48-way parallel floating-point dynamically-scheduled shader pipelines[35]
Unified shader architecture (each pipeline is capable of running either pixel or vertex shaders)
Support for a superset of DirectX 9.0 and Shader Model 3.0
MEMEXPORT shader function
2 shader ALU operations per pipeline per cycle (1 vec4 and 1 scalar, co-issued)
160 programmable shader operations per cycle (48 ALUs x 2 ops + 16 texture fetch + 32 control flow + 16 vertex fetch)[36]
48 billion shader operations per second (96 billion shader operations per second theoretical maximum) [35]
240 GFLOPS programmable[36]
16 filtered or unfiltered texture samples per clock
Maximum polygon performance: 500 million triangles per second
Texel fillrate: 8 gigatexel per second fillrate (16 textures x 500 MHz)
Pixel fillrate: 16 gigasamples per second fillrate using 4X multisample anti aliasing (MSAA), or 32 gigasamples using Z-only operation; 4 gigapixels per second without MSAA (8 ROPs x 500 MHz)[33]
Dot product operations: 24 billion per second or 33.6 billion per second theoretical maximum when summed with CPU operations
Cooling: Both the GPU and CPU of the console have heatsinks. The CPU's heatsink uses heatpipe technology, to efficiently conduct heat from the CPU to the fins of the heatsink.[37] The heatsinks are actively cooled by a pair of 60 mm exhaust fans that push the air out of the case (negative case pressure).
Memory and system bandwidth

512 MiB 700 MHz GDDR3 RAM
Total system memory is shared with the GPU via the unified memory architecture
Produced by Samsung or Infineon Technologies.
System bandwidth

256 GB/s eDRAM internal logic to eDRAM internal memory bandwidth
32 GB/s GPU to eDRAM bandwidth (2 GHz × 2 accesses per clock cycle on a 64 bit DDR bus)
22.4 GB/s memory interface bus bandwidth (700 MHz × 2 accesses per clock cycle (one per edge) on a 128 bit bus)
21.6 GB/s front side bus (aggregated 10.8 GB/s upstream and downstream)
1 GB/s southbridge bandwidth (aggregated 500 MB/s upstream and downstream)
Audio and video
All games must support at least six channel Dolby Digital surround sound.
Support for 48 kHz 16-bit audio [35]
320 independent decompression channels [35]
32 bit processing [35]
256+ audio channels [35]
No voice echo to game players on the same console; voice goes only to remote consoles.
Voice communication is handled by the console, not by the game code, allowing cross-game communication.
Supported resolutions[38]

640 x 480 P/I
848 x 480
1024 x 768
1280 x 720 P/I
1280 x 768
1280 x 1024
1360 x 768
1920 x 1080 I

Supported codecs

VC-1 at non-HD NTSC and PAL resolutions or WMV HD
VC-1 or WMV for streaming video
Bink video
MPEG-2 decoder for DVD video playback
XMA for audio

DVD: (12x, 16.0 MB/s) Xbox 360 DL DVD-ROM (7GB usable[39]), DVD-Video, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW.[35]
CD: CD-DA, CD-R/RW, CD-ROM XA, CD-Extra, WMA-CD, MP3-CD, and JPEG Photo CD.[35]
HD DVD: Optional external drive planned for release Q4 2006
Hard drive: 20 GB optional, detachable, upgradeable, and external 2.5" SATA drive (5400 rpm)
64MB Memory Unit: For game saves and small downloads
256MB Memory Unit: Announced, planned for release Q4 2006

Tempo5386d ago

mikeeno7 wah this all about? Seems to me like u have brought some baggage over from some other arguement completely off topic....

BIadestarX5386d ago (Edited 5386d ago )

mikeeno7, next time copy and paste the url NOT THE ENTIRE ARTICLE!

LilClaw5386d ago

Does this mean that we will see a Gears of War demo soon?

slugg5386d ago

IT is a well known fact that preparing and bug-testing a demo can add months onto a games develpment cycle. Epic and Microsoft have already stated that in order to get Gears of War out on time (before the PS3) they will NOT be able to do a demo. Fine by me. Some games benefit from a demo, like Fight Night, for others it would be impossible (Oblivion), and for others it might actually hurt the game. Is that the case for Gears of War? I doubt it-- it did win numerous awards as best console game of the show at E3, awarded by people who not only saw Cliffy B's walk-thru at the Microsoft conference but played the multiplayer (and before you start b1tching that they could release the E3 demo over live, it was networked, not optimized for internet play, etc.) It is, in my opinion, simply a matter of not enough time for the possible return for Epic to release a demo. Everyone who owns a 360 will buy this game anyway, and full versions of the game will be in demo kiosks around the country the day the game is released for people who feel they MUST "try before they buy."

Jay da 2KBalla5386d ago

"Everyone who owns a 360 will buy this game anyway"

And pretty much everybody else this holiday.

Jay da 2KBalla5386d ago

I think by the end of 2006 Gears will have sold 5 million units at least.

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