A Closer Look at Dummy Hardware

As we mentioned in an earlier story, none of the demos at Microsoft's booth were running on working Xbox 360s. Instead, they were all running on development kits based on Apple's Powermac G5.

We did get some time with one of the Xbox 360 shells to take a look at some of the finer details of the console.

The front of the console is quite stylish and definitely exudes an Apple feel. The silver grille on the right side is very reminiscent of the Powermac G5 case that happens to house the current Xbox 360 dev kits:

On the right side of the console, you'll see the two front-mounted USB ports. Those two covers slide away to reveal the actual USB ports, which you can hook up to your portable media player or digital camera, or use to even charge your wireless Xbox 360 controller.

Cooling is a top priority with the Xbox 360, and Microsoft is particularly sensitive about the power specifications of their box. Details have been very scarce about how much power this thing will use, but Microsoft has said that it will be quieter than the current Xbox.

Vents at the top of the machine help get the airflow that the machine needs to operate reliably.

The right side of the Xbox 360 is all grille.

Note that the rear of the console also has a significant portion of it dedicated to cooling:

The final rear will change, but the positioning of the vents most likely will not.

Microsoft still isn't sure about what ports will be placed on the rear of the machine. For now, we see a custom connector for an external A/V pack, as well as a single Ethernet port and one USB 2.0 port:

Index Removable Hard Drive and Console Footprint
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  • milomnderbnder21 - Sunday, May 22, 2005 - link


    There's a link, as proof I guess...
  • milomnderbnder21 - Sunday, May 22, 2005 - link

    That critique/comparison is actually straight from Microsoft, some department or something. It was posted recently on IGN360, they said it was emailed to them or something from Microsoft.

    Obviously, that makes it biased, but there's no denying that it brings up a couple of interesting points. I would expect the PS3 to be more powerful though. The article underestimates the Cell.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Sunday, May 22, 2005 - link


    It was real, not running at full speed, but the only working 360 shown to the public at E3.

    Take care,
  • golemite - Saturday, May 21, 2005 - link

    so was the 360 at the ATI booth an actual prototype or not? from what i was told, it was one of the first working test units.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, May 21, 2005 - link


    I don't get the impression that Nintendo will be able to compete, specification-wise, with Microsoft and Sony. That doesn't mean that their console won't be competitive because, after all, it is the games that matter. But without strongly competitive specs, it wouldn't make sense for Nintendo to reveal anything at E3 from a PR standpoint.


    I'm not one to critique other peoples' work, but there are a number of factual errors presented in that link.

    Remember that the Xbox 360's 256GB/s of bandwidth is a figure for on-die bandwidth between the 192 FPUs and the embedded DRAM on the daughter die. Including that figure in a system bandwidth comparison is like me telling you how much bandwidth exists between the Pentium 4's Trace Cache and its Decoder and then comparing that to the Athlon 64's main memory bandwidth. It's not a valid comparison.

    Comparing the number of general purpose cores between the two CPUs (cell and xbox 360) and using that as a benchmark is also a highly invalid comparison. If I published an article where I said that the dual core Pentium D 840 offered twice the general purpose performance as a single core Athlon 64 4000+...well, you guys wouldn't buy that would you :) So why would that sort of a comparison work for the PS3 vs. Xbox 360?

    I wouldn't put much faith in those types of claims, if you go back and read any of our articles about CPU architecture (including the Cell article) you will realize that a number of these types of claims are quite easily debunked.

    As I mentioned before, I'm not one to criticize other peoples' work, but if you have any specific questions about whether or not a particular claim is true (or makes sense) ask it and I'll do my best to answer it.

    Take care,
  • Staples - Saturday, May 21, 2005 - link

    Very neat. Seems like the PS3 is almost a faster PS2 and that is about all. MS certainly has the upperhand as far as interface goes.
  • barnett25 - Friday, May 20, 2005 - link

    Anand: I'd like to see what you have to say about the PS3, Xbox comparison at http://www.majornelson.com.
  • flatblastard - Friday, May 20, 2005 - link

    Anand #19

    I do appreciate your effort in at least making an attempt to get into the press conference. How did it go...."Fink? We've never heard of you." I guess the old saying that, It's Not What You Know, It's Who You Know, is still true. The big N has a history of doing this, so I'm not really surprised. I guess I was just expecting more from our great reviewer but if there was nothing to report, then there's nothing to report. duh
  • tfranzese - Friday, May 20, 2005 - link

    #24, sorry if you don't like me actually looking forward to the big N's next console. I actually enjoy my Gamecube along side my Xbox, so I will probably be buying two consoles again.

    As long as Nintendo makes their 1st party titles, that's enough reason for me to buy their system. I don't buy it so I can play EA's 20th rendition of Madden, Live, NFS, or any other 3rd party title. I'll have an Xbox for that junk. I've been more than satisfied with the quality and quantity of titles Nintendo has put on the Gamecube, and I have more to look forward to.
  • shaw - Friday, May 20, 2005 - link

    #20 Look at how much nostalgia helps Sega. :p

    People used to think the world was flat once, get over it, move on.

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