E3: Power Macs run Xbox 360 demos

It's no secret that Microsoft Corp. has seeded key developers of software for its new Xbox 360 video game console specially configured Power Mac G5 systems, and it's no wonder. The Xbox 360 uses a PowerPC CPU just like the Power Mac G5 does. If there was any doubt, all one had to do was look on the show floor of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles this week.

Microsoft's booth included an area dedicated to the forthcoming console, showing games now in development, which was first unveiled to the public last week during a special event broadcast on cable television network MTV. Xbox 360, which Microsoft said will hit stores before the year's end, touts wireless networking and controllers, High Definition (HD) TV output and considerably more processing power and memory than its predecessor, as well as a new industrial design.

The centerpiece of the kiosks dedicated to the Xbox 360 were large flat-panel HDTV systems showing the Xbox 360 games in use. A slot on the podium underneath the display showed an Xbox 360 chassis, powered and glowing, but they were there for show only. Plainly visible behind vented grates were a pair of Power Mac G5s side-by-side, doing the real work.

Microsoft has confirmed that Power Mac G5s have been seeded to early Xbox 360 developers, and said that new development hardware will be forthcoming that will more closely resemble the Xbox 360's final shipping specification.

Fo more game related news, reviews and information, please visit Macworld's Game Room.

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