Gates showed some rough footage of a fighting game Project KX (a working title). We watched one character fronting some fluid martial arts moves, mostly in the dark, alone on the screen. The game had the type of light effects that make a pixel-shader drool.
We got our hands on one of the first playable XBox games - an incomplete Konami title, Air Force Delta II. The graphics were smooth to say the least; our many-polygonned plane careened around a beautiful map without any noticeable hiccups, even when we hit a thick patch of lensflares.
No, she doesn't come with XBox purchase
Neither do they
We did a flyby of the ground, and it was sadly flat, although the textures were richly detailed. Compared to Namco's Ace Combat 4 for the PlayStation 2, the graphics on the XBox title are slightly sharper. The quality of the graphics seemed to be the most noticeable difference - we didn't see anything about the gameplay or the interface that seemed new or unusual.
Controllers and respect
We were struck by the American XBox controller we used - it's big, solid and light all at the same time; it felt great. It's both larger and lighter than most of the other controllers we've felt, like a controller for adult-sized hands. Maybe it was lighter than a Dreamcast controller, for example, because it didn't have any memory cards or jumppacks installed; we did see two slots on the top of the controller for these sorts of peripherals.
Looks like a DC...
The announced Microsoft-Sega alliance should do a lot to earn the XBox some respect with hardcore video gamers. Some people hinted at some underlying prejudice in the Japanese gaming audience against a non-Japanese game console, but if Bill follows through on his promises to reach out to Japan, with Japanese games developers making games for the Japanese market, the XBox shouldn't stand out as distinctly American.
At the end of his speech, Gates mentioned that he feels the same excitement about the XBox that he felt when he saw the first PC, and when Microsoft first released Windows. "I can't wait to get my hands on one!" he said. While the XBox is exciting, we were left thinking about other things we'd rather have our hands on, like the GameBoy Advance.