An interview with Todd Holmdahl, corporate vice president of the Xbox product group, conducted by consumer game site TeamXbox.com has revealed a number of new facts about the exact capabilities of the Xbox 360.
Perhaps the most interesting comment concerns the hard drive, which Holmdahl indicates will not be necessary to play any games. He is cited as explaining: "Xbox 360 games do not require the HDD or a memory unit, but Xbox Live requires one or the other to save the gamers’ account information."
This will mean that Xbox 360 developers cannot require the hard drive to be present during gameplay for streaming data from, or for storing other transient information, something that was originally intended to be a selling point for original Xbox games such as Blinx: The Time Sweeper
, which recorded your gameplay data to hard disc so you could rewind time. However, since the PlayStation 3 is not thought
to include a hard drive as standard, this does not necessarily present a major problem for Microsoft, and may aid multi-SKU releases.
Holmdahl’s other comments confirm that the Xbox 360’s Ethernet network port can be used to enable two different network connections at one time, and that the console can support four wireless controllers and four wireless headset communicators simultaneously, using custom 2.4GHz technology and not Bluetooth or WUSB.
When asked to comment on suggestions that the PlayStation 3 hardware was more powerful than the Xbox 360, Holmdahl answered, "I dispute the notion that the PS3 is more powerful than Xbox 360. We outperform where it matters, and our system is much more balanced, making sure we can actually harness all the power of the system, unlike Sony. We believe that their teraflop calculations are wrong, and we put them at a similar teraflop number as Xbox 360."
In related Xbox 360, new images first appearing on the GameSpot user forums appear to show a youth playing a copy of Halo 2
on a Xbox 360 console. In his forum post user “Elmojesus” claimed that his stepfather works in Seattle as an Xbox “foreign tester” and lent the Xbox 360 to his stepson. The images of the Xbox 360 hardware seem legitimate, but if the leak is true, then the posting of the stepfather’s business card and Microsoft security card are not likely to be viewed with much amusement by Microsoft bosses.