May 13, 2005 2:11 PM PDT

Xbox 360 demos running on Macs

The nifty clips of video games supporting Microsoft's new Xbox 360 console are running on Apple machines, Microsoft confirmed on Friday.

"We purchased a number of Apple G5's because very specific hardware components of the G5 allow developers to emulate some of the technology behind future Xbox products and services," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement. "This is an interim development tool that will be replaced with a more powerful and comprehensive solution later."

The current systems shown at product introductions are prototypes. Final systems are expected to come out in all three major regions--North America, Europe and Asia--by the end of the year.

The prices for the new consoles have yet to be announced, but executives have said they won't be released until after the E3 game conference in Los Angeles next week.

Some details have been released on the new console, such as its 20GB hard drive, DVD-ROM drive and 500MHz ATI graphics processor, but others will be announced during the conference. Executives have said that up to 40 titles for the Xbox 360 will be announced by the end of the year.

The new console from Microsoft is based on a similar IBM PowerPC architecture used in Apple computers--the Xbox 360 uses three 3.2GHz symmetrical cores, according to the company. Apple has been using PowerPC chips since 1994 and Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs has said the company is happy with IBM's PowerPC family of chips.

Microsoft recently switched processors from an Intel chip used in the first Xbox console to a custom Xbox processor based on Big Blue's Power technology in its new Xbox 360.


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Remember the guy who got fired from Microsoft?
Remember the guy who got fired from Microsoft? He had taken pictures of a bunch of G5s being delivered to the Redmond campus and posted it online. Maybe this is what they were using the computer for?
Posted by drewbyh (91 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dum Dum Dummm
Possibly. But no one even thought that they might be related to the next Xbox at the time. And I think they were delivered to a training campus anyway.

But it is kinda dumb that this guy got fired over a picture when MS openly uses the Macs to demo their own product.
Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft makes Mac software...
Microsoft still makes quite a bit of software for Mac OS X (and it
is, on the whole, much better than their software for Windows).
Macs are pretty much required if you'd like to develop software
for them ;)

Microsoft has hundreds of Macs, and Apple has hundreds of
Windows PC's (they make quite a bit of software for Windows,
too). It's not a surprise, and the media uproar at the time was
ridiculous. The employee was fired because his contract stated
that he could not take pictures on the Microsoft campus.
Posted by bbatsell (57 comments )
Link Flag
hmmm maybe...
someone will take advantage of this and PowerMac G5 owners will
be able to play xbox 360 games. no more waiting for ports then!
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It might happen when the Mac has 6 processors, or when it the G6 runs at 9GHz, but until then the XBOX 360 will be 3x more powerful for graphics.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Re: XBox 360 games for Mac?
While the fact that XBox 360 games are currently being
developed and tested on a PowerMac G5 logically means it
should be easy for such games to be 'ported' to the Mac. We are
talking about Microsoft here. So the reality will be that titles will
arrive on the Mac LAST if at all.

Microsoft did (eventually) keep their promise to release Halo on
the Mac, but I am fairly certain that at the same time they also
mentioned bringing Microsoft Flight Simulator back to the Mac
(there is certainly a huge demand for this).
Posted by (4 comments )
Link Flag
I hope...
Microsoft allows for easy port of XBox games over to the Mac. That would rule!
Posted by (6 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft has a Mac Division
So I'm sure that they buy plenty of Apple machines anyway. But they're correct, the graphics are better on Macs.
Posted by (274 comments )
Reply Link Flag
3.2 Ghz chips??
Interesting how microsoft already has 3.2 GHz chips ready for them
but Apple is "supposedly" struggling to get their G5's up to 3 GHz.
Posted by tigervette2 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not ready
No one (including Microsoft) has said that the triple-core 3.2 GHz
chips are ready. Those are the predicted specifications for when
the Xbox 360 debuts in over half a year (if MS hits their deadline) -
there is even a disclaimer on the specs (although I don't think CNET
printed it) saying that the specs are subject to massive changes.

Hang around for WWDC 2005 - I think we'll have some nice new
G5's for consumption :)
Posted by bbatsell (57 comments )
Link Flag
Not The Same chip
No the chips that the XBox would use are special purpose and
thus simpler than a G5 chip is. The Xbos chips would be useless
for Apple's needs.
Posted by (21 comments )
Link Flag
And the reason you don't think QuickTime and iTunes are software
is... what exactly?

Also, please refer to Bonjour/Rendezvous (also known as zeroconf),
Darwin Streaming Server. Other x86 Apple development includes
Darwin, Shake (for Linux).
Posted by bbatsell (57 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sorry, please ignore, this was supposed to be in reference to an
above comment.
Posted by bbatsell (57 comments )
Link Flag
The MHz Myth and more.
First and formost, comparing the PowerPC chip in an Apple versus a console is rediculous. The architecture will be different, and MHz/GHz making a difference in actual clock speed is a MYTH. It all depends on the architecture and clock cycle Stages versus what the speed of the processor is.

Besides that, yes, the Xbox 360 will be running on PowerPC chips, just like the two Mars Rovers (Which are running on Radiation-coated G4 PowerPC processors). PowerPC is the way to go for advanced processing. x86 architectures are, or at least should be obsolete.

So, by people being surprised that these games are running on Macs is kind of funny. God Forbid the biggest technology monopolist use Apple Computers for their products...

Just goes to show how advanced the G5 chips are and how much its revolutionizing the industry.

As far as Apple making software for x86/Wintel machines, Quicktime, iTunes, Filemaker, Darwin are all in that line. I wouldn't be surporised if iPhoto made its way over. I wouldn't count on the whole iLife suite though.
Posted by (461 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why even Apple submitted to CISC
Oh yes, the G5 revolutionised the industry so much, Apple dumped them for the Core family of x86_64 CPUs.

Also, Mhz/performance isn't entirely mythical, higher frequencies push more instructions and data through the CPU, if you were to say that frequency has no use what so ever, try turning all your buses down to 1Khz and see what happens. There's a direct correlation between frequency and performance, and that's still true today, what is part of the Mhz myth is that simply designing a sub-architecture for the sole purpose of gaining frequency at the cost of efficacy is where the Mhz counter-argument comes from. This is the mistake Intel made with the change from coppermine to northwood. Thankfully Intel corrected this monstrosity.

The G5 is a RISC microprocessor, to say the G5 is more advanced than any of the x86_64 (or CISC, blue peter bad for anyone guessing what this means) CPUs is a contradiction in terms given Reduced Instruction Set Computer means, less instructions, which means more generic computing, which means you need to pump more instructions into the CPU to get a small piece of work done, which means you need more GHz to get the same amount of work done, given that the L1 cache is kept filled at all times, to make an Apples to Oranges comparison. This is why the Core 2 micro-architecture retired the G5, if I had to chose between 50 instructions to complete a formula once, verses 5 instructions that completes the formula as many times as you needed at the same time, I know which instruction set I'd pick.

RISC is is a relic from the time programmers were using punch-cards, and if they were really lucky, assembly with lovely black and green display terminals, which gave them sole access to a mainframe. A time when every instruction and execution pathway was hand designed by people.

And your 'Wintel' remark would imply that the only operating system family that run on x86 hardware is Windows, which is complete nonsense, the majority of mature operating systems that exist today were initially developed from i386 hardware (which Apple fanboys should know, since Apple ripped off FreeBSD), and, surprise surprise, they made Darwin forcibly incompatible with PC-BIOS machines (read non-Apple hardware) when they made the switch to PC architecture.

Apple can stick to developing their software on their own horrible excuse for a Unicies for all I care, their software is buggy, inefficient, bloated, and horribly integrated with Windows. There are much better native variations available.
Apple's business practices are even more viral and shady than Microsoft. Does people assume that just because Apple is the underdog they can behave even more anti-competitively? Hardly, not in this country, or any other that has sane business laws.
Posted by aidanjt (1 comment )
Link Flag
OS X on Xbox
I wonder how long it will take for someone to put OS X on an
Posted by 198775425444042216790779840523 (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's Been Done.
On the Xbox versions 1.0-1.6, it ha sbeen done using a mod chip and PearPC. However, running it natively would be pretty awesome. They might be able to if the PowerPC chipset allows the application stack to work on it.

x86 could run OS X's kernal, but not the application stack, which is why you don't see it running nateively on those chips.
Posted by (461 comments )
Link Flag
PowerMac G5's used to develop all XBox games
It's been known for quite some time that the Apple PowerMac G5
has a similar processor as the current XBox and obviously the
new XBox. So thats how many games have been written (how do
you think these games get written before the hardware arrives?
And do you really thing they code on an XBox itself? Nope)

Of course Microsoft is NOT using OS-X, so any ideas about
porting wouldn't be difficult, but there would be work involved.
I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft developed them on Yellow
Dog Linux...
Posted by (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Only 360
The Xbox (1) uses an Intel x86 processor, nowhere near the
PowerPC architecture. Only the 360 uses a processor similar to
Posted by bbatsell (57 comments )
Link Flag
Apple retaliate by chosing Intel for their OS
IMHO - They could have said ***.
Posted by (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apple proved that they cannot be intimidated.
Why the switch all of a sudden? How long its been? I know it is arlier than the Nu-Bus.
Posted by (23 comments )
Link Flag

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