According to reports, Microsoft will reveal the final design for the Xbox console and game controllers next month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Dubbing 2001 "Xbox Year," Microsoft will begin its crusade to bring next generation gaming to the masses with a mammoth presence at the show, which takes place January 6 to 9. The Xbox is Microsoft's Windows-based gaming console, which is due to go on sale in Q3 2001. Though technically superior to the Sony PlayStation 2 and Sega Dreamcast, the Xbox is expected to make a big splash next year mostly because of the wide range of developers working on titles for the new system. The company announced a strategic agreement with Electronic Arts just last week.
Also of note is news that the specifications for the Xbox are still in flux. Currently slated to include a Pentium III 733, the Xbox is now expected to ship with a 1 GHz or faster chip instead. When it announced the new system in early 2000, Microsoft was considering a 600 MHz part. Though the company will need to settle on a final specification sometime soon, so that developers can target a specific specification, most gamers see this change as a good sign for the Xbox, which will be entering a competitive market. Gaming giant Nintendo hopes to enter the fray in late 2001 as well, with its own next-generation "cube" console