I doubt very seriously that the XBox is doomed, judging from its performance at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The XBox stole the limelight in a powerful demonstration. The machine boasts three times the graphic capabilities of its competitors, with the ability to create real-time shadows and realistic facial expressions.

Some interesting specs:

                        MS Xbox              Sony PlayStation 2       Nintendo GameCube
CPU                     733 MHz              294.912 MHz              405MHz Power PC

Graphics Processor      250Mhz custom-       147.456MHz               202.5 MHz 
                        designed chip,                                Custom chip 
                        developed by                                  "Flipper"
                        Microsoft and 
Total Memory            64MB                 32MB                     43MB

Memory Bandwidth        6.4GB/sec            3.2 GB/sec               3.2GB/sec
Polygon Performance     125 M/sec            66 M/sec                 6-12 M/sec
Simultaneous Textures   4                    1                        N/A
Storage Medium          2-5x DVD,            4x DVD,                  Propriety 1.5GB disc, 
                        Hard disk 8GB,       8MB Memory card          Digicard - ½ Megabyte
                        8MB Memory card

Audio Channels          256                  48                       64

Broadband enabled       Yes                  Future Upgrade           Optional
DVD Movie playback      Remote control       Yes                      No
                        accessory required

Maximum resolution      1920x1080            1280X1024                N/A
US Launch Date          Fall 2001            October 2000             October 2001

In response to fondue's addition to the original WU:
I simply placed some comparison information in here and commented that it's far too early to tell if the XBox is "doomed", especially after the recent CES. Games, you ask? The system is not scheduled to be available until the Fall. Of course, MS could post a page in their site like Nintendo did, showing off "screenshots" of games. I thought it was humorous, though, that Nintendo disclaimed the page with the following comment:
These images are provided as examples of the type of graphics you may see on NINTENDO GAMECUBE. These images are not meant to imply that any games starring these characters are planned for a future release in either Japan or the U.S. But they sure look cool!

Hmmmm. Anyway, here's a link to the specs for the Gamecube, if anyone's interested (and it is not dead): http://www.nintendo.com/gamecube/specs.html
My take on the X box (and why I think it's doomed to either failure, or massive success). For the past decades the world headquarters of console gaming has really been located in Japan. The Japanese have been looked to by "x-treme" gamers across the world. There's not a game magazine or web site that doesn't point to the "latest thing" that's been released in Japan. You can see the drool as these guys await it's release in the US.

To this end I see one of two thing happening.

1.) The japanese companies in competition with the X box step up the schedule for the release of games/technology to the US market to be concurrent with US releases. Japanese nationalism dooms the platform in japan itself, and a community of Japan-centric hardcore gamers leads the community in avoiding the X box like the plague.

2.) Microsoft produces a superior (or at least equal) product (with a similar or lower price tag), finances a launch of several game titles concurrent with the release of the platform and switches the center of US console gaming from the east to Redmond. I still don't think the system will fare well in the japanese market (although I'd love to hear a japanese noder's take on this situation).

This is based on my (I'll admit) somewhat limited insights into the culture of harcore console gamers, the japanese and microsoft.

(the unofficial 3rd option) A bunch of linux hackers port linux to the X box, create some killer linux based games for the console. Microsoft threatens to sue anyone who does so and gets a huge load of bad PR. I laugh my pants off.
Thanks for the insight Clone maybe the x box will work out. Although I can always hope for dismal failure...
An amusingly crusty node, which can remain in the nodegel for historical interest. I was right about the hacking potential - I'm still considering picking an XBox up for emulation, especially since someone's just made a joyport->USB adaptor, and there are USB adaptors for most retro control pads. I was wrong about Japan though, very wrong. After all the huffle, Konami won't even be releasing Metal Gear Substance over there due to the installed userbase being about six Microsoft Execs. As predicted though, it's selling well in the US (especially now that xenophobia patriotism is back in vogue), and reasonably well in the UK, but tanking everywhere else, and at this point in time (November 2002) still has an installed userbase of less than 1,000,000.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the X-Box. Why? Because it's the fixed-hardware hack-platform from heaven.

Emulation is what I'm talking about. x86 core? Hardware-optimised DirectX? Hmm, so those DirectX/ASM emulators will be pretty easy to port then, and run at a rather vast speed. Subsequent hardware optimisation will yield greater speed still. Yum. Playstation emulation won't be a problem, and Dreamcast emulation isn't unfeasible.

As for MS's chances in Japan, they're higher than most of the writeups on this node state. "Arcade also-rans" Konami have a little project known as Metal Gear: Sons Of Liberty, which is currently serving as the Playstation 2's main jam tomorrow promise. It's also being released on the X-Box, likely with added features and almost certainly with better graphics. (Note: it's not been confirmed that Metal Gear X will be a Sons of Liberty port, but recent press releases make it sound very likely). The only title on the PS2 currently really worth playing, SSX, is also recieving an X-Box port, with network/online play, better graphics, yada yada.

One of the reasons why Konami are developing for the X-Box, asides from big, fat sacks of cash money, is that they owe their early home-computer success to the MSX, Microsoft's 8-bit home computer from the mid/late 80's (incidently the first two Metal Gear games were originally developed for the MSX ). Japanese gamers remember the MSX as a decent, popular system (it was), and will likely be less opposed to the X-Box than western 'hardcore' gamers.

What will really make/break the X-Box in Japan will probably be RPG's. Both Sonic Team and Squaresoft have expressed an interest in developing for the X-Box, with a port of Final Fantasy XI, the first all-online FF, all but confirmed.

But why should Japan lead the gaming market, just because it's a console rather than a computer? DirectX, x86 core, PC style architecture... I think we'll see a lot of titles which would previously have only seen a PC release entering the console market. This, along with the fact that the X-Box has no regional-hardware lockout (just like the PC software distribution model) will take the focus of gaming away from Japan and move it more towards the west. Alternately, it will split the console market with an East/West divide; it looks like MS is going to be pushing the All American aspect of the X-Box, which is a horrific, but likely effective, marketing ploy.

But hey, it's not seeing a UK release until Easter 2002 at the earliest, so I can just stand back and watch it rise/fall for a while. I think it'll do well, but I haven't decided if that's a good thing.

The Xbox was also the original name for Joel Hodgson's second TV concept which later became The TV Wheel. Basically there was a 360 degree set with one camera in the middle. The set was designed to rotate, so actors and puppets could perform their skit then just rotate the set and another skit could be performed almost instantly. This would allow for everything, special effects and delivery, to be performed real-time and without the aid of post production. Originally slated to air on HBO, the TV Wheel aired only one time in the May of 1996 on Comedy Central (strangely enough, after the final CC-era episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which Joel created). The occasional tape appears on eBay every once and again, and if you have the chance to watch it you'll see an amusing little program.

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