By: César A. Berardini - "Cesar"
Paul Thurrott got the chance to visit Microsoft's campus and
interview Jeff Henshaw, the Executive Producer for Xbox Digital
Entertainment. The first part of the interview, which you can find
here, takes a look deep inside Xbox 360 while the second part focuses
on the Xbox 360 Dashboard, the Marketplace, the new Xbox Live and the
media experiences user will enjoy with the Xbox 360.
Here are some highlights:
Speaking on PlayStation 3 capability to deliver two 1080p signals:
The total number of 1080p-capable TVs on the planet today is ...
zero. There are none. Sony has got a dual ... I want to make sure I
say this right, because it's science fiction. They had dual HDMI
outputs off the back of the console. And I think that there's some
theory that you could take dual 1080i signals and interlace them
together to have a progressively rendered scene.
But again, there are no TVs that actually support this. I think most
people are going to actually take one of the HDMI outputs and just
feed it out at 1080i.
The new Dashboard: This has all of the features from the Guide, plus
some of the stuff from the Xbox 1 Dashboard, plus a whole bunch of
brand new Xbox 360 stuff as well. For some of the experiences, we
actually want to leave the game altogether and go to what we call the
Xbox Dashboard. You've seen an earlier version of the Dashboard on
Xbox 1; it's that green wire frame thing, the kind of spooky looking
thing. We have completely redone that for Xbox 360. Unlike Xbox 1,
where you have to get up and eject the disc to get into the
Dashboard, which is a pain, anytime you have the Xbox Guide up in
Xbox 360 you can now press X and it will take you out of the game and
drop you right into the Xbox 360 Dashboard. And you can get right
back into the game, if you want, without having to get up once again
and reinsert the disc. You can even power up and down the console
with your wireless controller.
On the new Guide: It overlays right on top of the game. What that
means is that these Invitations and the Xbox Guide are available any
time, in any game, or any other Xbox 360 experience. The game will
usually pause, if it's a single player game. In this case [the demo
version of Crimson Skies] the game is still running, but most games
will pause. With online multiplayer games, we'll let the other people
continue to go at it. But it's up to the game [developer] to decide
what it does here.
The Message Center: It's very similar to email, but there are a few
key differences. If you've used email, this is going to be very
familiar. It gives you a list of messages just like your email Inbox,
but this isn't connected [directly] to the Internet. This is part of
the Xbox Live service. So all of those messages are going to be
gaming-specific or entertainment-specific messages from trusted
people that you've given the OK to. I can also get an invite to chat,
have an audio chat with someone. But with Xbox 360, people that have
a camera can also send video messages to anyone, whether [the
recipient] has a camera or not. And then they can play those video
The Media Blade: The Media Blade is the place you can go to
experience connected digital entertainment experiences without any of
that hard core competitive stuff. Obviously, we've got great support
for music and photos here. Music can be ripped directly from a CD to
the Xbox 360, but that's actually not the optimal scenario. The
optimal scenario is when you've already got your library of music
ripped to your PC. Or, you're a digital photographer and you've
already got a photo library built up on your PC.
*Taken from TeamXbox.com