Interesting Facts about Microsoft XBOX The game consoles that are available today are never enough for video gamers; their attention is always focused on what the next great thing will be. In 2000, it was the PlayStation 2. The game console wars heated up as Nintendo unveiled its latest console, called GameCube. But the big news was that the computer software giant Microsoft entered the multi-billion dollar game console market with the Xbox. The console is a black box with a large "X" imprinted into the top. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has said that the Xbox has more power than any console currently on the market.Microsoft says that its marketing for the Xbox has been the largest effort ever for one of its products. In fact, the Xbox''s marketing budget is the largest for any game console in history, easily surpassing Sega''s $100 million campaign in 1998.On paper, the Xbox has more brute power and speed than any game console on the market. In this edition of HowStuffWorks, we''ll take a look at this machine and see how it compares to the competition. Inside the X:In March 2000, rumors that Microsoft was developing a game console were confirmed when Gates took the wraps off the Xbox demo unit. In January 2001, the demo model, a big chrome "X" with a green-glowing light in the middle, was replaced by a more traditional black box. As analysts predicted, the only part of the demo model to make it into the final design is the glowing green light on top of the box. The sidewinder controller pad used with the demo unit was also altered for the final Xbox design. A lot has been made of the Xbox''s design, but it takes more than a cool look to sell gamers on a product. Just like a book, it''s what''s inside the cover that really matters. One advantage that Microsoft has enjoyed is that it has been able to sit back and watch what other game console manufacturers have done.
In doing so, Microsoft''s designers have examined what has worked and what has failed in recent game consoles. The Games:Game superiority ultimately decides who wins the battle in the video game console industry. You could design a machine with 10 times more power and speed than the Xbox, but, if the games stink, you can forget about selling it. Having better games is what vaulted Sony over Nintendo in the late 1990s. Like the PS2, the Xbox uses proprietary 4.7-GB DVD games. Microsoft has signed deals with more than 150 video game makers who have committed themselves to developing games for Microsoft''s Xbox game console. These game developers include id Software, maker of the popular Quake series, and Eidos Interactive, which makes the Tomb Raider games featuring Lara Croft. Other Xbox game manufacturers include Bandai, Capcom, Hudson, Soft, Konami, Midway Home Entertainment, Namco, Sierra Studios, THQ and Ubi Soft. Microsoft, itself a PC game publisher, is producing about 30 percent of Xbox''s games. One of the most impressive qualities of the Xbox is its realistic environments. For example, characters cast shadows on each other, making for some pretty realistic scenes.The momentum of the PS2 might be too much for the Xbox to overcome -- but then again, in 1995, no one thought that Sony would surpass Nintendo in popularity.