LAS VEGAS Jan. 6, 2001
Today at 2001 International CES, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software
Architect Bill Gates revealed to the world the highly anticipated Xbox video game
console during his keynote address. As the finale of his keynote, Gates showed off the
Xbox console and game controller and demonstrated two exclusive Xbox games that highlight
the future-generation consoles rich and realistic graphics capabilities.
is the future of video gaming," Gates said. "With its breakthrough technology
and incredible graphics capabilities, Xbox will set the standard in gaming for years to
come. It enables game designers to create a whole new world of gameplaying experiences
that will captivate the imagination and competitive spirit of gamers like no other
"Xbox is on track for an awesome launch in fall 2001," said Robbie Bach,
senior vice president and chief Xbox officer at Microsoft. "With more than 200 game
companies around the world creating Xbox games for launch and beyond, the unveiling of the
Xbox design is just the start of great things to come."
To emphasize the power of Xbox, Gates called on "The Rock," World Wrestling
Federation (WWF) champion and star of THQ Inc.s popular video game "WWF
Smackdown," to help unveil Microsofts new future-generation console.
The Future of Video Games
The Xbox console and controller are designed to capture the power and performance that
Xbox will deliver and are based on the input of more than 5,000 gamers and games creators
from around the world. Sleek and powerful in its look, in a rich shade of black, the Xbox
console is emblazoned with a large "X" and a signature green Xbox
"jewel" positioned in its center. The Xbox console includes the following:
- Four game controller ports that allow easy multiplayer gaming and enable other
peripherals, ranging from game pads to voice-activated headsets
- A front-loading DVD tray
- A multisignal audio-video connector that allows for easy hookup to televisions
and home theater systems
- An Ethernet port for rich, fast-action online gaming via a broadband connection
- An NVIDIA graphics processing unit (GPU), delivering more than three times the
graphics performance of other consoles
- An Intel 733MHz processor, the most powerful CPU of any console
- An 8GB hard drive, for massive storage of game information a first
in the console gaming industry
The Xbox game controller, which also sports the logo, is built for maximum control and
comfort. Its design is the result of thousands of hours of usability testing. It features
an eight-way directional pad (D-pad); left and right analog sticks; left and right
shoulder triggers; six pressure-sensitive multicolored analog buttons; dual slots for
memory cards and other peripherals; and a built-in "rumble" feature to increase
gaming realism. The controller also features a cord over
9.5 feet long to give gamers the freedom to sit nearly anywhere they want during gameplay.
Games on Xbox
Making good on its promise to deliver a new world of gameplay experiences, Microsoft
showcased prerelease versions of two exclusive Xbox games. Shown on an Xbox containing
only 20 percent of the horsepower of the final console, these games demonstrated some of
the amazing experiences gamers will enjoy in fall 2001:
- "Oddworld: Munchs Oddysee," published by Microsoft as an
exclusive Xbox game, is the third installment of the best-selling "Oddworld"
game series. It comes to Xbox after the creators abandoned another system nine months into
development; it took "Oddworld" artists only two weeks to get the game running
on Microsoft® Xbox technology.
- "Malice," developed by Argonaut Games PLC (developer of "Croc"
and "Croc 2") exclusively for Xbox, uses the same rendering techniques that were
used in the "Toy Story" movies. With a character-driven, quest-based plot rich
in detail and sumptuous in visual humor, "Malice" is a unique, fast-paced and
challenging 3-D action-adventure game.
During his keynote, Gates also confirmed that future versions of two of the
worlds most popular video game franchises will be optimized for Xbox:
"WWF," published by THQ, and an enhanced version of "Tony Hawk Pro Skater
2x," published by Activision.