Microsoft Corporation XBOX - PAL Rev K

Released in 2001 the Microsoft XBOX was the first American company game console marketed since the unfortunately unsuccessful Atari Jaguar in the early to mid 90s.

The XBOX was in direct competition with Sony's Playstation 2, Nintendo's Game Cube and predominantly in software sales only with the Sega Dreamcast (as retail Dreamcast sales had ceased).

The console was firmly in the sixth generation game market offering impressive sound a visuals as well as DVD playback and online services.

The XBOX offered access to a paid online gaming experience named XBOX Live (XBL) also offered at the time by the Dreamcast and later the Playstation 2. Of the three XBL was hailed the greater offering due to the implementation of features and superior server support. This is even though it was a paid service and required an ADSL connection while many users were still on dial-up. In comparison the Playstation 2 and Dreamcast online services were offered free.

All that stale stuff out of the way, more culturally interesting is the almost immediate arguments as soon as the XBOX was released as to which was the better console, PS2 or XBOX. Not since the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis VS SNES fan war had such whining existing.

Before you start throwing stones the truth is while not necessarily the better console the XBOX wiped the floor with the PS2 as far as hardware goes. As a console it was a beast of a thing as the below abridged specs show.

In addition the Playstation 2 proprietary 'Emotion Engine' was extremely difficult to code for VS the XBOX's hybrid nVidia/Microsoft custom chip.

However.... the Playstation 2 had something the XBOX could never compete with..... the Playstation 1.

Having been such an amazingly well received console the Playstation had paved a clear path for its successor sporting a solid fan base which greatly impacted both console and game sales. So even while (graphically) for example the PS2 was greatly inferior (no anti aliasing for example) and many games that looked poor on the XBOX being PS2 ports with anti aliasing added (Electronic Arts regularly did this) the Playstation 2 was better received.
Which was the better console?

Depends on whom you ask.

   Playstation 2 XBOX
CPU Clock Freq. 294.912 MHz 733 MHz
Instructions p/sec. 30 Million More than 1 Trillion
System Memory 32 MB 64 MB
Maximum Resolution 1280 X 1040 1920 X 1080
System Floating-point Arithmetic Capability 6.2 GFLOPS 120 GFLOPS
Image Processing Features Fog, Curved Surface Generation, Lighting Programmable vertex and pixel shaders, fog, Subpixel Anti-aliasing, 8 Hardware Lights, Alpha Blending, Multi-texturing, Bump Mapping, Environment Mapping, MIP Mapping, Bilinear Filtering, Trilinear Filtering, Anisotropic Filtering, Real-time Hardware Texture Decompression (S3TC)

 

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Unit pictured has been sold and its location is unknown.