2005-09-19

Geeky News - IBM Behind 2 of 3

Reading a new article on CNN, about the new Xbox 360, I learned something interesting about IBM. It seems they are not limiting themselves to Business machines these days.
While Apple is jumping ship to Intel from the Power-PC chip, not one, but 2 new games systems are jumping over to IBM.
Microsoft and IBM co-designed the chip for Xbox 360, based on the Power PC chip.
But IBM also co-designed the chip for the next Playstation, PS3, with Sony and Toshiba, also includes a Power PC processor.
Not a bad deal position for IBM - involved in the chips for the two big game consoles. I wonder if they can get an inside to the next Nintendo game console too? :)
The original Xbox was built with PC-based components, including Intel processors. By going to Power-PC based chips, that means that supporting the older games will have to be done in an emulation mode or they will have to include an intel-based instruction set in the new console. The good news is that they have said the new system will support the old games. The question becomes if the old games will play OK.
And Playstation will also have to answer if they will support old games. I give them a lot of credit for supporting first generation Playstation when they built the PS2. I hope they continue the support into the PS3.

I find it pretty funny everytime I hear the name of the new Xbox console. Calling it Xbox 360 is a very odd choice. The 360 series of computers was a line of mainframes from IBM back in the 60s. It was the previous architecture to the 370/390 series of mainframes out now (390 is a superset of 370, but the 370 is not based on the 360). So calling it an Xbox 360 makes me think of the old mainframes from before my time. And with IBM in on the project, it makes me wonder if the Xbox 360 has the hidden ability to run old 360 mainframe code? :) The Xbox 360 probably has more processing power than the 360 series computers, so in theory I'd guess it is a possibility. Will the Xbox that comes out after this one be able to run today's mainframe applications? :)

No comments: