Xbox 360 On The Horizon

Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox 360 video game console has received a fair amount of press recently. Of course, the only thing I could possibly care about is the multimedia (specifically, full motion video) capabilities.

The media is supposed to be standard DVD. That means that standard DVD-ROM drives should be able to read the raw sectors. Though some kind of DRM is a distinct possibility, and plausible given how centrally-controlled the whole system is. Things such as DRM should be field-upgradable since online support comes with the unit.

Microsoft makes much of the fact that the console and all games will support HD resolutions. Since I doubt that FMV will go away anytime soon– regardless of the capacity to render real-time 3D cutscene animations– I wonder what video codecs will be used? Bink? According to RadGameTools’ site, Bink already supports the Xbox 360. I did not know Bink was already designed to handle HD material. Microsoft’s own WMV3/WMV9/VC-1/VC-9 should be an obvious contender as well.

According to the Xbox 360 spec sheet, it is also supposed to be able to serve as a basic entertainment center at least by allowing the user to rip music onto the internal hard drive.