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The Battle Of The Consoles: From Atari's 2600 To Microsoft's Xbox

Consoles Versus PCs

However, there has always been a debate between what plays best-consoles versus PCs. The difference is greater than you think, with PCs sporting big hard drives and non-standard controllers, consoles placed in living rooms and connected to TVs, computers in 2nd bedrooms with big monitors on desks. Which brings us back to the three consoles now vying for space in our living room, the first almost indistinguishable from the PC, the second straddling the two, and the third the only pure-play gaming console. These are, respectively, Microsoft's Xbox, Sony's Playstation 2, and Nintendo's ATI-powered GameCube.

XBOXPlayStationGameCube
CPU733 MHz Intel300 MHz Toshiba486 MHz Power PC
Graphics Processor Unit233 MHz custom chip, jointly developed by NVIDIA and Microsoft150 MHz Proprietary200 MHz "Flipper"
RAM64 MB32 MB43 MB
Memory Bandwidth6.4 GB/sec3.2 GB/sec3.2 GB/sec
Polygon Performance125 M/sec66 M/sec6-12 M/s
Simultaneous Texture Fills41N/A
Compressed Textures4 g/sec2.4 g/secN/A
Storage2-5x DVD, 8 GB hard drive, 8 Mb storage card4x DVD player, 8 Mb memory card1 Mb digicard
I/O4 Game controllers, Ethernet 10/1002 game Controlle, USB, Firewire, PCMCIA4 Game controllers, high speed serial port x 2, high speed parallel port
Audio Channels2564864
3D Audio Support in HardwareYes (64 3D channels)NoN/A
Midi and DLS SupportYesYesN/A
Hardware Audio Filtering and EQYesNoN/A
DVD Movie Playback$30 remote accessory requiredYesNo (Optional in Japan_
HDTV Movie SupportYesNoN/A
HDTV Game SupportYesNoN/A
Maximum Resolution1920 x 10801280 x 1024N/A
Maximum Resolution (2X 32 bpp Frame Buffers + z)1920 x 1080640 x 480N/A
Operating SystemW2K KernelClosed, Sony proprietoryClosed, Nintendo proprietory
US Launch Date15-Nov-01October 200018-Nov-01
Broadband EnabledYesFuture upgradeFuture Upgrade

Source: Dundee Securities Corp.