Xbox 360 officially unveiled this evening.

The wraps are off and the folks at GameSpot have a writeup available along with just about every other major gaming related website out there. The Xbox 360 website is live and the NDAs have all expired so you can now read up on all the specs like:

As had been long-rumored, it has a custom IBM PowerPC-based CPU with three symmetrical 3.2GHz cores capable of 9 billion dot product operations per second. It sports a 500MHz custom ATI Graphics Processor with 10MB of embedded DRAM, 48-way parallel floating-point dynamically scheduled shader pipelines, and a unified shader architecture capable of 48 billion shader operations per second. Its polygon performance is 500 million triangles per second, with a pixel fill rate of 16 gigasamples per second. The 360’s unified memory architecture will rival that of a high-end PC, with 512MB GDDR3 RAM and 700MHz DDR. Overall, the console will be capable of a whopping teraflop of overall system floating-point performance.

Besides its processing guts, the Xbox 360 will come with three USB 2.0 slots hidden behind a trapdoor for peripherals, and an infrared port that will work with any standard universal remote to control music and movies. It will have both HD digital and standard audio-visual outputs, since all games will be supported at 16:9 widescreen at 720p and 1080i resolution, replete with antialiasing functionality.

Not too shabby. Most of the rumors we’ve heard over the past year or so have turned out to be true, but there are some surprises. The new redesigned controllers are indeed wireless, but can be patched into the console using an included cable when the batteries run low so you can continue gaming while the batteries are recharged. Another interesting aspect of the controllers is that they are designed to be interchangeable with your PC so you can use it for games on your computer as well as your Xbox. I may end up owning a controller even if I never get an Xbox proper. According to the spec sheet the Xbox 360 will come with a hard drive after all though it’s only 20GB instead of the 40GB in the current Xbox. It snaps onto the end of the Xbox 360 so you can remove it and take it over to a buddy’s house to use on their Xbox if you wish.

Still unknown are the price point, whether there will be more than one version of the Xbox for sale at launch, and whether it will be backwards compatible with the previous generation Xbox. We should know all of that soon, though, as Microsoft is promising the console will be available in time for Christmas 2005 in all regions. Quite a feat if they can pull it off.

4 thoughts on “Xbox 360 officially unveiled this evening.

  1. Actually, the Xbox has either an 8GB or 10GB hard-drive. So we’ll be seeing a doubling of current storage capacity with the 360.

  2. I already have a modified Xbox (equipped with a 80gb Hard drive), I’m just wondering if the 360 can be modified also.

  3. Zach, looks like you may be right. The official specs for the previous Xbox do list a 10GB HD though I had thought Microsoft had bumped it up to 40 at one point.

  4. With a removable hard drive the 360 shouldn’t be that hard to mod, you might not even have to install a chip depending on where the bios is stored.

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