WinInfo Daily UPDATE, April 12, 2005

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In the News

- Xbox 2 To Debut on MTV
- Intel Ships Dual-Core Pentium 4 Chip

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Xbox 2 To Debut on MTV

In an unexpected move that ignores the gaming industry tradition of showcasing new systems at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trade show, Microsoft will officially launch its next-generation Xbox on TV in early May. Specifically, MTV will showcase the next Xbox during a 30-minute special that will run on all its networks on May 12 and May 13.
"Just as MTV revolutionized the way the world experiences music, the next-generation video game console from Xbox will spark a revolution in how consumers experience games and other forms of digital entertainment," Peter Moore, the corporate vice president of Xbox marketing, said. "We are ecstatic about our alliance with MTV and unveiling a video game platform in a way that has never been done."
Moore noted that Microsoft chose to reveal the next Xbox on TV before the E3 2005 event because the company wants Xbox fans to see the new system first. "I think we need to signal a change that things aren't going to be the same in the next generation \[of video games\]," he added. "While \[the next Xbox is about\] gaming at its core, there's a much bigger and broader entertainment message that we need to get out there."
Actor Elijah Wood, who played Frodo in "The Lord of the Rings" movies, will host the event, which will be called "MTV Presents: The Next-Generation Xbox Revealed." During the broadcast, Microsoft will showcase the Xbox 2 system, various Xbox 2 games, the new Xbox 2 GUI, and changes to the Xbox Live online game service. The broadcast will also feature celebrity and athlete interviews and exclusive insider information about the making of the new Xbox, Microsoft said.
The MTV launch of the next Xbox comes just days before the E3 2005 trade show convenes in Los Angeles. Microsoft says it will discuss the new Xbox in more detail at the show. But the MTV launch is clearly designed to upstage Sony, which had previously scheduled its E3 2005 press conference for the PlayStation 3 for just hours before the Microsoft press conference that would have debuted the Xbox 2. Microsoft claims that it scheduled the MTV event a month ago, and Microsoft representatives say that they didn't know about Sony's plans at the time.

Intel Ships Dual-Core Pentium 4 Chip

Intel has begun shipping its first-ever dual-core Pentium 4 microprocessor, which features two processor cores in one chip, giving users much of the performance of a dual-processor configuration at a lower cost. The Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 840--you have to love the ultra-clear Intel naming conventions--is now shipping to PC makers, who will unveil dual-core systems at the chip's launch event, which should be any day now.
The dual-core Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 840 features two processor cores that each run at 3.2GHz. Leading PC makers such as Dell have confirmed that they'll ship PCs based on the new chip later this month. However, the Extreme Edition versions of the Pentium 4 are expensive, high-end chips that are aimed at gaming enthusiasts. Intel will ship a more widely available dual-core chip, the Pentium D, by the end of June, the company says.
Both Intel and rival AMD are working on dual-core designs for their desktop and server chips, but the two companies are taking opposite approaches to shipping the chips. Intel will ship dual-core versions of its desktop-oriented Pentium 4 chips before it preps dual-core Xeon processors for workstations and servers. AMD, meanwhile, is prepping dual-core versions of its server-oriented Opteron processors but won't provide dual-core Athlon-64 chips for desktop PCs until 2006.

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