Originally Published: Friday, 17 September 1999 Author: Ronny Ko
Published to: columnists/Ronny Ko Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Latest Console Gaming Development

The opinions expressed by contributors to Linux.com are their own. Linux.com bears no responsibility for its contributors' opinions.

It seems that Microsoft is not happy to simply stay in the PC operating system market. This week, Microsoft announced that they will be entering the $7 billion gaming market with a console offering of their own.

Microsoft comes at a time when its operating system, Windows NT, and its massive cash cow, Microsoft Office, are under attack from Linux and Sun Microsystems respectively....

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The opinions expressed by contributors to Linux.com are their own. Linux.com bears no responsibility for its contributors' opinions.

It seems that Microsoft is not happy to simply stay in the PC operating system market. This week, Microsoft announced that they will be entering the $7 billion gaming market with a console offering of their own.

Microsoft comes at a time when its operating system, Windows NT, and its massive cash cow, Microsoft Office, are under attack from Linux and Sun Microsystems respectively.

Code-named the "X-Box", the console will feature a faster microprocessor, 64 megabytes of memory, an NVidia video card, DVD support, a 56K modem, and a hard drive. Sounds exciting, eh? Wait, there is more! It's based on -- yup, you guessed it -- Windows. Plus, it will feature an Internet Explorer browser. I am excited. Are you?

Let's take a look at the Playstation, shall we?

The Playstation 2 comes with a 128-bit "Emotion engine" microprocessor running at 294 MHz. It has less memory, featuring only 32 megabytes, and a proprietary video card. While Playstation 2's hardware components are less appealing than Microsoft's, Playstation has over 50 developers and over 84 games already announced. Microsoft has none.

Playstation 2 is an ambitious project which will allow the console to be backward-compatible with current Playstation 1 games, play DVD's, and will feature networking features needed to connect it to the Internet using ADSL or cable. Playstation 2 is poised to be one of the most expandable home appliances for years to come.

But wait! Microsoft has a partner up its sleeves. Sega just released its long-awaited Dreamcast console. The launch of the console has been nothing less than a yawn. While it promises everything that Playstation 2 plans to deliver, it has next to no games available for it, and it comes with a 56K modem. Its browser has no support for JavaScript or any technology other than HTML. Think of it as the Dreamcast version of BeOS's NetPositive. Don't expect me to use Dreamcast to browse the Internet anytime soon.

To make the connection, the Playstation 2 is being developed under Linux and the tools available for gaming development are also available for Linux. Unlike its predecessor, the development tool for Playstation 2 can be used simultaneously on the development PC. In the original Playstation, developers had to develop and debug on one PC and develop graphics on another.

Let's start developing games for Playstation 2 and keep Microsoft out!

Ronny Ko (editor@32bitsonline.com) is the Editor-in-Chief at 32BitsOnline Magazine, a multiplatform online magazine whose purpose is to bring honest and timely information to experienced and novice users alike.





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