ATI powers Xbox2

Just goes to show that a couple slip-ups (and some significant turnarounds from competitors) can really affect your marketshare.

Sweet no more Splinter Cell type issues from using Nvidia specific code. :)

– Xaroc

Ah, and thus begins another company’s cycle from “beloved underdog with excellent products” to “evil heartless MegaCorp that’s merely treading water”.

Makes you wonder how closely DX10 will be tied into ATI’s future chips?

Why doesn’t the evil empire just buy ATI, AMD, NVIDIA, APPLE, REDHAT and on and on… now would be a perfect time for them what with the regime in power. That $50 billion needs to be put to use! (Maybe spend a few billion on windows security issues…nah!)

I’m just guessing here, but ATI’s digital video expertise might be a part of MS’s decision. I mean, Xbox2 or Xbox Next or whatever it will be called could very well be a whole DVR and media server and all that stuff as well.

It’s a tough decision…Microsoft has to pick someone now if they want a product in 2005, and it’s really hard to look at a roadmap and tell who is actually going to be able to execute on time. Perhaps ATI’s roadmap is a little more conservative on things like manufacturing process or projected power usage / heat dissipation.

I’d love to have more detail.

Maybe this means ATI will finally have good drivers (hey, I own a 9500pro and have had some issues so it’s not like I’m a Geforce fanboi).

Their drivers are still the Achilles heel and they know that. I bet they are workign their asses off trying to find good driver programmers.

The drivers are actually pretty damned good right now. Also for a console drivers aren’t really a big issue. Developers should know if their games work right on the fixed drivers that will be on Xbox2. So even if there is a small issue, developers will know about it and be able to code a work around well before their game ships.

– Xaroc

Supposedly Nvidia wasn’t that hot on being apart of future Xbox stuff with their current experience. All the fighting/arbitration they had with MS about costs.

Also didn’t ATI sign up a similar deal with Nintendo?


  1. I don’t think Nvidia really ingratiated themselves well with MS. The big legal battle and then arbitration to wring more money from MS had to tick Bill and the boys off a bit.

  2. Some people say that the NV2a chip for the Xbox is what helped Nvidia lose it’s lead over ATI (though I think it was the crazed attempt to merge the acquired 3dfx tech with their tech to create that gigantic Frankenstein of a videocard). Supposedly Nvidia had to devote a ton of resources to get the NV2a in time, and those resources were needed to refine the GeForceFX line.

  3. I do find it strange that their making the announcement now. Yeah, I imagine the Xbox2 is in gestation, but you’d think they’d have some kind of bidding war, like they did between AMD and Intel for the CPU, or Nvidia and ArtX (?) for the GPU. I wonder if there’s going to be a CPU announcement soon.

  4. ATI has a motherboard chipset in development, right? Cause one of the really great things to come out of the Xbox was the nForce board technology. If ATI could come up with something similar (which they would need, anyway, cause I doubt Nvidia is going to be supplying boards for the X2), that would be great.

And I forgot, here’s the big question.

Will Xbox2 be backward compatible with Xbox1 games now? In theory, they should be, since it’s all DX. But don’t some games use their own OpenGL drivers? Would that get fucked up in a change from Nvidia to ATI architecture?

Their drivers are still the Achilles heel and they know that. I bet they are workign their asses off trying to find good driver programmers.[/quote]

Hmm, I know this used to be a problem, but my last two cards have been Ati, and I think the drivers situation is much better than it used to be. Enough that I won’t bother with another nvidia card unless they do something out-of-this-world amazing.

Well, I can say that even with the latest drivers, there are still some problems with Operation Flashpoint, NWN, Half Life (maybe counterstrike specifically), and BF1942 just to name a few. I do have to give a ton of credit to Bioware, they seem to be working very hard to get things worked out with their game. Not sure about the others.

I would imagine with a console with such specific requirements, ATI couldn’t help but develop gret drivers for the XBox 2. I really hope that XBox 2 plays original XBox games the way it works with the PS2.

There will always be an increased chance for problems when you’re running hardware that wasn’t used to develop the game in question. Nvidia has clearly dominated developer support for the years of 2000-2002. I remember being shocked when my new GF3 couldn’t run certain games like Deus Ex and NOLF significantly faster than my old V5, even though the former was substantially more powerful hardware. Why? Because those games had been developed on 3dfx hardware. And NWN is a great example of a developer building their engine on some rather proprietary NV OpenGL extensions. It’s simply something to keep in mind when shopping for new hardware, and it’s obviously not easily quantified.

I sincerely doubt there will be backwards compatibility. I don’t see how it will be possible with different hardware in the box unless Microsoft made everybody code without touching the hardware which would be pretty nutso in a console world.

But a simple XB1 emulation layer would totally be offset by the higher CPU speed. Might have to hack something for memory access though.

I don’t think so. Emulating Pentium II 800 and GF3 level hardware on the next generation of consoles? Highly unlikely.

It’s entirely possible that they could have a translation layer for the GF3 specific calls. The sound goes through and API as does everything else, so making it backwards compatible would be far from impossible and in fact highly plausible. I doubt they will abandon the X86 Windows architecture. I don’t think anyone programs right to the metal on the Xbox.