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XBox 360 Designed for Portability?

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the would-almost-have-to-be-smaller-wouldn't-it? dept.

XBox (Games) 66

Spotless Tiger writes "XBox enthusiasts (or at least, those smart enough to read Slashdot) know now that IBM's PowerPC is at the heart of the next generation XBox 360. IBM has released a paper (PDF) on Solid Logic Technology, SLT, a processor technology that will debut on the 360. Essentially, this is another attempt to produce chips that are high performance with low power consumption. There's speculation that, with Microsoft's technology choices and rumours of a removable hard drive, the XBox 360 is designed to be much, much, smaller and more portable than its predecessor." Update: 04/15 04:27 GMT by Z : Removed the link to the paper from the stone age. Sorry about that. As much as I like reading research papers...

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66 comments

Smaller and more portable? (1, Flamebait)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241183)

So this one won't break your back when you try to lift it?

Here's hoping they make the controllers for average sized hands, not basketball player hands.

Re:Smaller and more portable? (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241393)

"So this one won't break your back when you try to lift it?"

I'd be more inclined to complain about the weight of the XBOX if it didn't have a hard drive in it.

Re:Smaller and more portable? (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12242370)

Compare the XBOX to a MacMini.
I think you can see where im going with that.
in essence the mini is a far more powerfull machine(except perhaps the graphics)
Yet the xbox which whilst being a few years old i do admit , weight alot more than the mini and is a hell of alot louder..ok perhaps im not comparing oranges to oranges. but for example i do have a p3 laptop from around the same time , roughly the same specs as the xbox , yet its a fraction of the size , a fraction of the weight(that fraction probably being 1/4).
I think we are on solid ground when we say that the origional xbox was poorly designed..

I admit the mini is perhaps a poor example , but the laptop is not

Re:Smaller and more portable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12243452)

>for example i do have a p3 laptop from around the same time , roughly the same specs as the xbox , yet its a fraction of the size , a fraction of the weight

A fraction of the price too?

Maybe cramming the same components in a smaller space makes hardware more expensive.

Just a thought.

--
We now return you to your regularly scheduled M$ bashing.

Re:Smaller and more portable? (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12243767)

My laptop was 800 at the time the xbox was origionaly 400 and even then was sold at a loss , so my laptop cost 800 remove the screen , half the ram , and remove the markup im pretty sure it wouldnt of cost that much more than 400.
If i look around nowadays i can be a celeron or p3 700mhz laptop for around 200 maybe 250 .. which is i belive the current going rate for an xbox is it not

Re:Smaller and more portable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12244490)

The Xbox debuted at $300, and currently costs $150. The power to price ratio on it was quite good in the beginning.

The new xbox will take a (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241185)

360 degree turn! Oh wait...

Re:The new xbox will take a (1)

fcheslack (712576) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241259)

They robbed that name out from under Nintendo Revolution...

I can't afford the Three Phase Power (1)

SA Stevens (862201) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241188)

I'll have to settle for a smallish XBox AS/400. . .

Re:I can't afford the Three Phase Power (1)

jupo (717073) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241324)

Your sig is spelt incorrectly - should be apisdn

This only makes sense (3, Insightful)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241209)

Xbox LAN parties are more popular than for other consoles (at least where I live), even though they are the bulkiest by far. This would be really great.

Re:This only makes sense (2, Insightful)

xgamer04 (248962) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241399)

Xbox LAN parties are more popular than for other consoles (at least where I live)

This is a given. The XBOX is the only current-gen console that has/had a (standard) networking port since day 1. (Yes, I know some PS2 games used Firewire for networking, and yes, I know they now ship with ethernet)

Portable (1)

Reignking (832642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241219)

When I read portability, I think about something being portable -- like the PSP :) How about transportable???

Anyway, slim/small form factor would be an attractive feature, but not all that incredible...

Either the submitter is a troll or an idiot (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12241223)

Probably both.

That article is about technology in the IBM/360 mainframe, and if from 1964.

Re:Either the submitter is a troll or an idiot (4, Informative)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241257)

Mod this up!

I verified the facts after downloading the 2.9MB pdf file.

At the bottom of the first page you can make out the following words: "IBM Journal - April 1964". It does indeed mention the IBM/360 mainframe! Nice troll in the article.

Re:Either the submitter is a troll or an idiot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12241661)

Well, the IBM/360 mainframe is still smaller and more portable then an Xbox.

Re:Either the submitter is a troll or an idiot (3, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241406)

We suffered through all the bad jokes on April 1st. If this had been there, it would have been the only GOOD joke of the day. Truly funny.

Re:Either the submitter is a troll or an idiot (1)

SewersOfRivendell (646620) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241524)

Mod parent up. Struth.

Re:Either the submitter is a troll or an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12241598)

The news is just in. April's fool's day will be held at the 15th of april for practical considerations.

Re:Either the submitter is a troll or an idiot (2, Interesting)

King Fuckstain (864155) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241436)

What does that make Zonk, who accepted the submission?

Re:Either the submitter is a troll or an idiot (1)

wdr1 (31310) | more than 9 years ago | (#12242066)

The next timothy?

*duck!*

-Bill

Re:Either the submitter is a troll or an idiot (0, Offtopic)

Spotless Tiger (467911) | more than 9 years ago | (#12243126)

Ahem, every sentence in my original submission was 100% technically correct.

1. The next Xbox is, according to all the experts, going to be called the Xbox 360 and based upon IBM's PowerPC.

2. IBM used SLT [ibm.com] to manufacture the System/360. (I never said the Xbox 360, I just said the 360.)

3. There's a lot of speculation about the new Xbox being smaller and more portable, etc, than the old one.

This is exactly the opposite of, say, the story about Linus Torvalds where a flamebait quote was made up and attributed to him on the front page.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my submission has resulted in a flood of job offers from various sources: the marketing departments of AT&T and MCI, the sales teams of various car dealerships, and the Mail In Rebate R&D lab at Office Depot Corporation.

The great news is, if Microsoft does use SLT to build the new XBox, it'll be the size of two football fields, making it 37% smaller than the current console...

Re:Either the submitter is a troll or an idiot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12243224)

I say jump on the job offer for the Office Depot R&D lab...

Re:Either the submitter is a troll or an idiot (0, Offtopic)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 9 years ago | (#12243327)

I once applied for that job, but my application was rejected because I forgot to include the barcode from the newspaper containing the listing.

Re:Either the submitter is a troll or an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12244153)

Nice one.

The pic in the article... (1)

Reignking (832642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241235)

The pic of the new XBox looks slick -- but why does it say X^2? You would think that if it were a legitimate picture that it would say XBox 360. That, or the whole XBox 360 name is a sham, as well.

Does anyone else (1)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241248)

Find it funny that an IBM microprocessor is going in a portable product named "360"?

Re:Does anyone else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12241277)

Read the pdf. The article is a troll.

(quote from the pdf:)"A new microelectronics technique called Solid Logic Technology, or SLT, is utilized in the new family of IBM/3600 computers."

Re:Does anyone else (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241313)

fakk. That's "IBM/360" not 3600.

PSP Killer? (1)

mungeh (663492) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241261)

Will this be like a PSP sized (or close to) full fledged console? Maybe they're realising they need to do to sony what they did to Apple ;)

Re:PSP Killer? (1)

Mavric1337 (845283) | more than 9 years ago | (#12242288)

By portible they mean easier to carry its still a console not a handheld.

This is for the Japanese market... (1)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241289)

If there's any truth to this, the very small size is going to allow the Japanese to, literally, fit Microsoft's next system inside their homes. Besides being American and not having any dating sims or traditional RPGs, the Xbox's size was an actual factor that makede the Xbox a failure in Japan.

Imagine putting a grand piano in your TV room and you'll know how the Japanese feel about putting Xboxes in their miniscule Tokyo apartments.

As for the name: There is no official name for Microsoft's next system. All we know is the codename--"Xenon". All of this "Xbox 360," "Xbox Next," "Xbox 2/II" stuff is unconfirmed. We won't know what the real name is until MS decides to announce it.

Re:This is for the Japanese market... (1)

TupperTrenine (803932) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241346)

Yes, there is. [slashdot.org]

Re:This is for the Japanese market... (1)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 9 years ago | (#12242708)

It's too stupid a name to possibly be true.

Also, gamesindustry.biz is not official. "British sources." What the hell does that even mean? All Microsoft has said about the name is their "we do not comment on rumors or speculation" rhetoric. Therefore, we don't know what the official name is.

In Soviet Japan... (1)

solomonrex (848655) | more than 9 years ago | (#12243565)

The Xbox IS a miniscule Japanese apartment!

Re:This is for the Japanese market... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12244514)

This is a ridiculous argument that keeps getting thrown around. The Xbox is maybe twice the size of the PS2. That seems to fit inside those tiny apartments fine (hell, given the current sales, it seems like most people have at least two of them). It's big, but the grand piano example is silly.

Re:This is for the Japanese market... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#12252228)

Besides being American
You ever been to a movie theatre in Japan?
Or ever bought a Japanese PC?
Pretty much all there is nowadays are American films, all PCs come with Windows, an American OS, the console being American had NOTHING to do with it's sales!

Portable? (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241292)

So that means we'll have people wrapping their cords around the box and breaking the AC jack on the back, just like with the original Xbox?

I guess Nintendo wasn't so stupid to still be using bricks after all.

Re:Portable? (1)

jkeyes (243984) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241316)

I think it's more like Microsoft did a piss poor job on QA testing with the AC Jacks and now they're living to regret it.

Re:Portable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12241350)

I think it's more like Microsoft did a piss poor job on QA testing

Not as bad a job as the editors did in checking this article. The PDF is about glass-encapsulated transistors and diodes , based on the IBM/360, and is from 1964.

Re:Portable? (1)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241477)

It's more like Foxlink made a crappy PSU. Foxlink, along with Thompson, were bad choices to buy parts from.

Re:Portable? (1)

jkeyes (243984) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241695)

Yeah but Microsoft is the one who gave it the final OK. So they're as much to blame as the others although I do see your point.

Re:Portable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12244012)

This is just like last night's The Apprentice! People getting blamed for not correcting others' mistakes.

IBM monopoly!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12241329)

This just hit me the other day

IBM is making chips PowerPCs for XBOX!
IBM is also making chips for the PS3!

SO.. IBM will have a monopoly on CPUs put in consoles!

Re:IBM monopoly!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12241452)

You missed that IBM supplied the gamecube with it's process, and the Nintendo Revolution's CPU will also be from IBM.

Re:IBM monopoly!! (1)

Justabit (651314) | more than 9 years ago | (#12242605)

If IBM score a contract with Intel to make their chips (cheaper faster stronger) then THAT would be a monopoly. Mac and PC and servers and mainframes and games consoles... I can see the head of IBM sitting in his throne , wringing his hands, laughing like a maniac, Mwuh ha ha HA HA HA!

360 vs Cube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12241342)

Probably trying to compete with the Gamecube's handle :D

smaller yes (1)

sakura the mc (795726) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241349)

but backwards compatible? thats the question.
ill ditch the old xbox in a second if it can play all my old games. the xbox takes up alot of floor real estate.

oh, ill still buy the new xbox eventually, once someone figures out how to mod it :)

hacked/chipped xbox360 running OS X? (0)

voisine (153062) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241379)

PowerPC eh? That'd be pretty sweet if these could be hacked to run OS X. Bet that'd boost sales. Also I wonder if xbox360 games could be easilly ported to OS X... likely not as compiling for a different architecture probably is already the easiest part of a port. It's the APIs that are the hard part.

Re:hacked/chipped xbox360 running OS X? (1)

GROOFY (855580) | more than 9 years ago | (#12251982)

But maybe someone will do a WINE-like thing. But OS X on Xbox 360 is unlikely, given the unsuccessful attempts to boot windows on the Xbox (Microsoft probably has some tricks that go beyond the BIOS, which can be replaced with a mod chip.)

Well I hope... (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241402)

.. that they'll be using miniature media, then. Nintendo made a good choice with the Game Cube's mini-dvds. As Sony has proven, that's a great size for a portable device. If Nintendo decides to make a portable Game Cube, it won't have the minimum size of a Discman.

Re:Well I hope... (1)

fr0dicus (641320) | more than 9 years ago | (#12242137)

I disagree. The Gamecube has had very little by way of large texture rich games, aside possibly from the very recent Resident Evil 4, a multi disk game. This comes in spite of its abilities, and the limited space on the Gamecube disk (less than the PSP's UMD!) means that it's simply impractical to release something like GT4 (a DVD9), a sandbox game with non-linear progression, as you'd be talking about constantly swapping four or five disks. The next generation will have even larger storage requirements.

Re:Well I hope... (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12242711)

"I disagree. The Gamecube has had very little by way of large texture rich games"

And that, somehow, is the fault of their media? Bullshit. PC Games typically come on one CD.

The GameCube has superior texturing abilities than the PS2. I don't know why you're not seeing the games you want to (Lucky for you I haven't been on the GC market in a couple of years, so I can't tell you if they really do exist or if it's because of the developers or what...), but it's not due to space on the disc or capabilities of the hardware. Today's consoles have between 32 and 64 megs of RAM. The source images are typically compressed to far less than that for disc space. 1.5 gigs is more than enough texture space.

Sorry, I don't buy that. Frankly, as a portable, the GameCube hardware would kick ass. That is, of course, assuming that it wouldn't eat batteries like it was candy. I have no idea of a low-power version of the processors can be made or not.

Re:Well I hope... (1)

fr0dicus (641320) | more than 9 years ago | (#12242888)

The last five PC games which used textured graphics (i.e. Football Manager doesn't count ;) I bought (Doom 3, Rome TW, WoW, Farcry and The Sims 2) came on at least 3 CD's, the content of which was uncompressed during the installation process to create installations of between 3.5GB and 8GB. So your argument is pretty invalid.

The average PS2 game is at least a 2GB DVD, thanks in part to textures, FMV, much more audio choice, etc. The small size of Gamecube installation media suits Nintendo style games where including FMV or licensed audio content don't apply to their gaming styles. Xbox games are typically larger still, thanks to its superior texture performance.

Moving forward into the next generation, textures and games are only going to get more complex, requiring more space.

It's worth pointing out that UMD media is smaller in dimensions too, even counting its housing. All in all, Gamecube media is nice for speed of access, but shitty for including similar content to larger media, for obvious reasons. Many 'sandbox' games would simply not be possible, GTA, GT4, being good examples.

Re:Well I hope... (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 9 years ago | (#12243693)

came on at least 3 CD's, the content of which was uncompressed during the installation process to create installations of between 3.5GB and 8GB.

Perhaps the next-next-generation consoles with multiple CPUs can start using some of their extra CPU power to run on-the-fly decompression. I wonder if the Cell subprocessors are general purpose enough to be used to run decompression independently.

Not sure what you mean (4, Funny)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 9 years ago | (#12241556)

I don't know how they could make the XBox any more portable. I took mine with me everywhere -- heck, I kept it in the trunk of my car all winter since it gave me improved traction on ice and snow!

Weight issues? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12241773)

You're all a bunch of 6 year old girls. Stop bitching about the weight of the xbox and focus on it's capabilities. The xbox is the cheapest/most light weight desktop computer ive ever used.

IBM Power PC Chip (1)

Karem Lore (649920) | more than 9 years ago | (#12242048)

Isn't this the same processor that's going into the new Playstation 3, except surrounded by cell processors?


What stops the ability to add cell processors as an extension on the XBox 360? Extra card with a few cell processors on? That way the consoles longevity is vastly increased...slowing down? Add another cell...

:D

Re:IBM Power PC Chip (1)

goMac2500 (741295) | more than 9 years ago | (#12242379)

The Playstation 3 just has a cell, no PowerPC970.

I for one, welcome it's portability... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12242182)

... but I'm a thief and shoplifter.

Just a detail. (1)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12249324)

The name is xbox next. not xbox 360. check it out www.register.com

Re:Just a detail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12254878)

check it out www.register.com
Why? Is the domain name "xbox360.com" not taken yet?

Portable hey? (1)

lordperditor (648289) | more than 9 years ago | (#12251541)

It's gonna be designed so you can wear it like a backpack, kinda like the ghostbusters pack. Gonna be a great leg work out.

Sooooo.... (1)

StormKrow (688323) | more than 9 years ago | (#12260174)



Anyone taking bets on how long it takes someone to install Linux on it?

Re:Sooooo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12345508)

Well, I already got Mac OS X running on one of the developer machines . . .

Re:Sooooo.... (1)

StormKrow (688323) | more than 9 years ago | (#12347263)

....that's not linux, imho.
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