The Launch is Here
In our Xbox Technical Overview a few months ago, we went into the theory behind the hardware inside the Xbox, its strengths, and possible weaknesses. A few weeks ago, Microsoft dropped off an Xbox XDK and the latest builds of 7 games: Halo, Dead or Alive 3, Project Gotham Racing, Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, Amped, Fusion Frenzy, and NFL Fever 2001. We've spent all our time playing the games to stress the machine and test out gameplay mechanics, and have we've come out enthusiastic. We've yet to encounter any system crashes, nor at any point did we feel as if we were playing on a PC instead of a console. These may seem like minor points -- obvious features for every other console on the market -- but for the Xbox, this shows that Microsoft has been able to overcome two of the most important concerns gamers have had about the system.
The last question that remains is whether or not the Xbox will have the quality games that make or break consoles. This isn't something we can easily answer today, but we can look at the 7 games Microsoft sent us as a sampling of the Xbox library. Like every other system before it, the early games vary widely in quality - some are great, and others aren't quite as hot.