microsoft Corporate VP J Allard has some announced details of the Xbox 2 at Game Developers’ Conference in San Francisco.
Allard said an “HD Era” in games will be fuelled by gamers wanting to be connected, in high-definition to personalised games at all times. Software inside the Xbox 2 to help gamers reach these new experiences in the form of a game "guide" would include:
Gamer Cards: "Gamer Cards provide gamers with a quick look at key Xbox Live information. They let players instantly connect with people who have similar skills."
Marketplace: "Browseable by game, by genre, and in other ways, the Marketplace will provide a one-stop shop for consumers to acquire episodic content, new game levels, maps, weapons, vehicles, skins and new community-created content."
mîcro-transactions: "Will allow developers and the gaming community to charge as little as they like for content they publish on Marketplace. Imagine players slapping down 99 cents to buy a one-of-a-kind racing car."
Custom playlists: "Eliminates the need for developers to support custom music in games. The guide instantly connects players to their music so they can listen to their own tracks while playing next-generation Xbox games."
As widely expected, Allard announced that features like custom playlists, Friends list and voice chat would be hardwired into the chip of the Xbox 2. Noticeably the press release to accompany his speech still doesn’t mention a name for the system, despite the rumours being that Allard would officially declare the system called "Xenon".
Other technical details announced for the Xenon included that it would push over a teraflop of computing power.