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[Slightly OT] X Box (Real Studio games Mailinglist archive)

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[ANN] Preview of RBD 2.4   -   Marc Zeedar
  [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Joseph Nastasi
   Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Aaron Ballman
   Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Asher Dunn
    Re: Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   John Tsombakos
     Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Andrew Keller
     Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Aaron Ballman
     Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Joseph Nastasi
     Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Aaron Ballman
     Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Aaron Ballman
      Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Lars Jensen
       Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Joseph Nastasi
     Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Nick Lockwood
     Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Phil M.
     Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Nick Lockwood
      Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Lars Jensen
     Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Nick Lockwood
    Re: [Slightly OT] X Box   -   Greg Gillis

[Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 04.01.05 20:26 (Tue, 4 Jan 2005 14:26:37 -0500)
From: Joseph Nastasi
This may just be my memory failing, but is it true that the X-Box is
essentially a Windows box?
If true, what version is it based on and I wonder if RB could be used
to create code for that machine, adding in the special libraries that
I'm sure are needed.

Just wondering.

Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 04.01.05 20:31 (Tue, 4 Jan 2005 13:31:40 -0600)
From: Aaron Ballman
> This may just be my memory failing, but is it true that the X-Box is
> essentially a Windows box?

It is.

> If true, what version is it based on and I wonder if RB could be used
> to create code for that machine, adding in the special libraries that
> I'm sure are needed.

It's a different type of Windows (not really matched to any retail
version), sorta close to XP. It uses DirectX under the hood from what
I've been told.

I've also heard that the next generation of XBoX is going to be a PPC
chip, but I can't really back the claim up (it was a rumor when I heard
it, and I don't know if it's been squashed or verified).

HTH!

~Aaron

Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 07.01.05 03:53 (Thu, 6 Jan 2005 21:53:30 -0500)
From: Asher Dunn

On Jan 4, 2005, at 2:26 PM, Joseph Nastasi wrote:

> This may just be my memory failing, but is it true that the X-Box is
> essentially a Windows box?

X Boxes have an x86 processor in them, and you can put Linux on them,
so.....

Asher Dunn
--------------------------------------------------------
President and Head Developer of Fireye Software
<http://www.fireyesoftware.com/>
AIM and Yahoo: fireye7517

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Re: Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 04.01.05 20:35 (Tue, 4 Jan 2005 14:35:30 -0500)
From: John Tsombakos

>
> From: Aaron Ballman <<email address removed>>
> I've also heard that the next generation of XBoX is going to be a PPC
> chip, but I can't really back the claim up (it was a rumor when I heard
> it, and I don't know if it's been squashed or verified).
>

Not just a PPC, but G5 <http://www.wired.com/news/games/
0,2101,61065,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1> and I also read, a PowerMac G5 is
used to develop for it. <http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t
-93874>

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Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 04.01.05 21:36 (Tue, 4 Jan 2005 15:36:38 -0500)
From: Andrew Keller
>> I've also heard that the next generation of XBoX is going to be a PPC
>> chip, but I can't really back the claim up (it was a rumor when I
>> heard
>> it, and I don't know if it's been squashed or verified).
>
> Not just a PPC, but G5 <http://www.wired.com/news/games/
> 0,2101,61065,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1> and I also read, a PowerMac G5 is
> used to develop for it.
> <http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t
> -93874>

See? Even Microsoft is realizing that the Mac is better for games than
the PC!

sorry - couldn't help it!

Andrew Keller

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Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 04.01.05 21:39 (Tue, 4 Jan 2005 14:39:31 -0600)
From: Aaron Ballman
> See? Even Microsoft is realizing that the Mac is better for games
> than the PC!

Heh, it actually has more to do with the fact that PPC is a RISC
processor, and will (most of the time) be much more efficient than a
CISC processor (such as IA32 chips) for the things that games do. The
XBox is just catching up to the rest of the gaming world. PPC chips
have been used in every other system since the dawn of time (All
Nintendo products starting with the NES, PS 1[I think] & 2, and I am
pretty sure the Sega systems as well).

~Aaron

Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 04.01.05 23:24 (Tue, 4 Jan 2005 17:24:30 -0500)
From: Joseph Nastasi

On Jan 4, 2005, at 3:39 PM, Aaron Ballman wrote:

>> See? Even Microsoft is realizing that the Mac is better for games
>> than the PC!
>
> Heh, it actually has more to do with the fact that PPC is a RISC
> processor, and will (most of the time) be much more efficient than a
> CISC processor (such as IA32 chips) for the things that games do. The
> XBox is just catching up to the rest of the gaming world. PPC chips
> have been used in every other system since the dawn of time (All
> Nintendo products starting with the NES, PS 1[I think] & 2, and I am
> pretty sure the Sega systems as well).

So, I am I to believe they are going to have the Windows - X (if you
will) OS running on this? I can't see them going to a completely new OS
for the next version - Oh, that's right, this is a console... :-)

Really, it would be nice if they still kept using Windows.

Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 04.01.05 23:26 (Tue, 4 Jan 2005 16:26:43 -0600)
From: Aaron Ballman
> So, I am I to believe they are going to have the Windows - X (if you
> will) OS running on this? I can't see them going to a completely new
> OS for the next version - Oh, that's right, this is a console... :-)

Microsoft has had a PPC version of the NT kernel for many years now.

> Really, it would be nice if they still kept using Windows.

I suspect they are -- just using the PPC NT kernel.

~Aaron

Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 04.01.05 23:28 (Tue, 4 Jan 2005 16:28:13 -0600)
From: Aaron Ballman
>> Heh, it actually has more to do with the fact that PPC is a RISC
>> processor, and will (most of the time) be much more efficient than a
>> CISC processor (such as IA32 chips) for the things that games do.
>> The XBox is just catching up to the rest of the gaming world. PPC
>> chips have been used in every other system since the dawn of time
>> (All Nintendo products starting with the NES, PS 1[I think] & 2, and
>> I am pretty sure the Sega systems as well).

Oh yeah, and I forgot, the original NES and SNES was actually 68k, not
PPC. Sorry for the misinformation on that one. :-)

~Aaron

Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 04.01.05 23:48 (Tue, 04 Jan 2005 17:48:47 -0500)
From: Lars Jensen
> PPC chips have been used in every other system since the dawn of time (All
> Nintendo products starting with the NES, PS 1[I think] & 2, and I am pretty
> sure the Sega systems as well).

Ahem: Time officially dawned with the 6502-based Atari 400/800/5200.

(Star Raiders forever!)

lj

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Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 05.01.05 03:14 (Tue, 4 Jan 2005 21:14:29 -0500)
From: Joseph Nastasi

On Jan 4, 2005, at 5:48 PM, Lars Jensen wrote:

> Ahem: Time officially dawned with the 6502-based Atari 400/800/5200.

The dawn of time for the 6502, was actually the KIM-1 single board
computer.

>
> (Star Raiders forever!)

The guy who sold me my 400 said, he saved that game until the end of
the sales pitch.
It was awesome.

Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 06.01.05 20:48 (Thu, 6 Jan 2005 19:48:52 +0000)
From: Nick Lockwood
I was under the impression that most modern CPU cores use RISC
technology down at the microcode level, and then emulate the CISC x86
instructions on a hardware level.

Nick

>> See? Even Microsoft is realizing that the Mac is better for games
>> than the PC!
>
> Heh, it actually has more to do with the fact that PPC is a RISC
> processor, and will (most of the time) be much more efficient than a
> CISC processor (such as IA32 chips) for the things that games do. The
> XBox is just catching up to the rest of the gaming world. PPC chips
> have been used in every other system since the dawn of time (All
> Nintendo products starting with the NES, PS 1[I think] & 2, and I am
> pretty sure the Sega systems as well).
>
> ~Aaron
> --
> REAL World 2005 - The REALbasic User Conference
> March 23-25, 2005, Austin, Texas
> <http://www.realsoftware.com/realworld>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 06.01.05 20:57 (Thu, 6 Jan 2005 11:57:31 -0800)
From: Phil M.
On Jan 6, 2005, at 11:48 AM, Nick Lockwood wrote:

> I was under the impression that most modern CPU cores use RISC
> technology down at the microcode level, and then emulate the CISC x86
> instructions on a hardware level.

RISC stands for 'Reduced Instruction Set Chip' and CISC stands for
'Complex Instruction Set Chip'. On the hardware level you would want
to have a reduced instruction set since the chip can me more optimized.

The only reason why CISC has lasted so long (8 years more than
expected) is that Intel has been able to push the MHz far beyond what
anyone dreamed.

But I get the impression that the technologies are merging (while still
not compatible). Intel went with RISC type technology with Itanium but
the product appears to be a complete flop.

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Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 07.01.05 00:13 (Thu, 6 Jan 2005 23:13:55 +0000)
From: Nick Lockwood
That was what I meant, but perhaps I didn't explain myself clearly.
Modern x86 chips still have to support the x86 instruction set (which
is CISC) so that they can run old PC programs, but the actual
instructions used internally by the chip are RISC because it's faster
to emulate CISC instructions using RISC hardware than to implement CISC
hardware in the first place.

If that makes sense.

In fact I thought this was the reason why (much to Mac users' surprise
and dissapointment) x86 chips still match/surpass PPC cpus in terms of
real world performance, despite the original belief that x86, being a
CISC architecture, would not be able to keep up with the RISC
revolution.

Nick

> On Jan 6, 2005, at 11:48 AM, Nick Lockwood wrote:
>
>> I was under the impression that most modern CPU cores use RISC
>> technology down at the microcode level, and then emulate the CISC x86
>> instructions on a hardware level.
>
> RISC stands for 'Reduced Instruction Set Chip' and CISC stands for
> 'Complex Instruction Set Chip'. On the hardware level you would want
> to have a reduced instruction set since the chip can me more
> optimized.
>
> The only reason why CISC has lasted so long (8 years more than
> expected) is that Intel has been able to push the MHz far beyond what
> anyone dreamed.
>
> But I get the impression that the technologies are merging (while
> still not compatible). Intel went with RISC type technology with
> Itanium but the product appears to be a complete flop.
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 07.01.05 00:23 (Thu, 06 Jan 2005 18:23:28 -0500)
From: Lars Jensen
> I was under the impression that most modern CPU cores use RISC
> technology down at the microcode level, and then emulate the CISC x86
> instructions on a hardware level.

Wikipedia has a nice entry on RISC that goes into more detail about this
(and RISC in general).

lj

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Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 07.01.05 00:24 (Thu, 6 Jan 2005 23:24:22 +0000)
From: Nick Lockwood
It seems I didn't imagine it. According to this article, Pentiums use
RISC instructions internally:

http://www.fool.com/portfolios/rulemaker/2000/rulemaker000224.htm

Nick

> That was what I meant, but perhaps I didn't explain myself clearly.
> Modern x86 chips still have to support the x86 instruction set (which
> is CISC) so that they can run old PC programs, but the actual
> instructions used internally by the chip are RISC because it's faster
> to emulate CISC instructions using RISC hardware than to implement
> CISC hardware in the first place.
>
> If that makes sense.
>
> In fact I thought this was the reason why (much to Mac users' surprise
> and dissapointment) x86 chips still match/surpass PPC cpus in terms of
> real world performance, despite the original belief that x86, being a
> CISC architecture, would not be able to keep up with the RISC
> revolution.
>
> Nick
>
>> On Jan 6, 2005, at 11:48 AM, Nick Lockwood wrote:
>>
>>> I was under the impression that most modern CPU cores use RISC
>>> technology down at the microcode level, and then emulate the CISC
>>> x86 instructions on a hardware level.
>>
>> RISC stands for 'Reduced Instruction Set Chip' and CISC stands for
>> 'Complex Instruction Set Chip'. On the hardware level you would want
>> to have a reduced instruction set since the chip can me more
>> optimized.
>>
>> The only reason why CISC has lasted so long (8 years more than
>> expected) is that Intel has been able to push the MHz far beyond what
>> anyone dreamed.
>>
>> But I get the impression that the technologies are merging (while
>> still not compatible). Intel went with RISC type technology with
>> Itanium but the product appears to be a complete flop.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>>
>> Search the archives of this list here:
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>>
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Re: [Slightly OT] X Box
Date: 06.01.05 00:52 (Wed, 5 Jan 2005 18:52:41 -0500)
From: Greg Gillis
> Heh, it actually has more to do with the fact that PPC is a RISC
> processor, and will (most of the time) be much more efficient than a
> CISC processor (such as IA32 chips) for the things that games do. The
> XBox is just catching up to the rest of the gaming world. PPC chips
> have been used in every other system since the dawn of time (All
> Nintendo products starting with the NES, PS 1[I think] & 2, and I am
> pretty sure the Sega systems as well).

Not to be a pedant, but as far as I'm aware Bandai's Pippin and
Nintendo's GameCube are the only two major game consoles to have used
PPC chips. Perhaps you meant Motorola chips?

For the sake of interest a brief game console CPU history follows:

NES - 6502
Sega Master System - Z80A
Sega Genesis / MegaDrive / Sega CD / SNK Neo-Geo / Atari Jaguar (among
other chips) - 68000
SNES - 65c816
3D0 - ARM 60
Sega Saturn / 32x - Hitachi SH2
Sony PlayStation - 32-bit MIPS (not sure which one; might have been a
custom chip)
Nintendo 64 - custom MIPS R4000
Sega Dreamcast - Hitachi SH4
Sony PlayStation 2 - custom "Emotion Engine"
Nintendo GameCube - custom IBM G3
Microsoft X Box - custom Pentium III

There's a fair bit of technical info on this site, if you're interested:
http://www.vgmuseum.com/
... not to mention my own Genesis website listed below :)

Greg Gillis

Visit The Armadillo Games Home Page:
http://members.rogers.com/armadillogames
... featuring "Radiant Weirdness Zone", the "Fawn" RPG series, and
numerous armadillii...

Visit FORS YARD, A Chronological Retrospective of the Sega Genesis:
http://homepage.mac.com/greggillis

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