PC still can’t play Xbox games… WHYYY??

So it’s been a LOOOOONG time since I posted and honestly, I miss blogging. It’s pretty much the 1 motivation for me to keep up with technology (to brag about it on my blog, psh duh!! jk Smile with tongue out) while working in a company using technologies in the 70s.

Ok back to the main topic, the reasons were pretty obvious at least last year when Core i5 hasn’t come out and GTX 4 series didn’t exist. PCs weren’t strong enough to handle all those eye-candies that Xbox 360 has to offer, duh! But now that the technologies seem to be on par. I’m still wondering why this hasn’t happen.

GeForce GTX 460

GeForce GTX 460

If you don’t know the general specs of Xbox 360, it’s actually not that fancy: CPU is a custom IBM core with 3.2 clock speed having 3 cores on a single die. Each core can handle 2 threads so that makes pretty much 6 threads running consecutively. The GPU used to be pretty top notch, but not now as it’s a merely 500Mhz ATI Graphics Card with only 10Mb of embedded RAM. The system itself only has 512Mb of RAM.

Xbox 360

Xbox 360

Except the CPU, this spec is absolutely nothing compared to any decent gaming PC out there. But there’re a few things the Xbox is better at, actually MUCH better at.

  1. The custom ATI Graphics Card uses Unified Shader Architecture, which handles both Pixel Shaders and Vertex Shaders in the same pipeline. Now the card itself has 256-bit memory bandwidth which is pretty much the same as a mid-to-high end GeForce Graphics Card nowadays, yet handling 2 at 1 doubles the efficiency, which is pretty badass!! (I say “pretty” too much)
  2. Core i5 right now although uses 45nm technology with a whole bunch of other stuff, still technically can’t beat Xbox 360 core, mainly due to the dedication of architecture. Xbox core is clearly 100% for gaming and each thread is designed to handle either sound, physics engine, collision… depending on the game designer him/herself. Intel core i5 is strictly for multitasking and handling general instruction sets from the OS. Implementing the Intel HD Graphics in there doesn’t really help at all!!
  3. Although the ATI has only 10Mb of embedded RAM, its bandwidth is NASSSSTY!!! The same 256-bit in normal GPU was actually hardly optimized to its fullest potential, which comes back to point 2 (different design intentions)

Anyway this has been bugging me for a while so I gotta find out. BTW I’m using M$ Writer for the 1st time so we’ll see how that turns out. Aight have fun and keep on rolling guys!!!

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3 thoughts on “PC still can’t play Xbox games… WHYYY??

  1. Khoa says:

    Interesting article! But when you say PC can’t play Xbox games, do you mean some Xbox games do not have a PC version because of the PC’s hardware limitation? Or do you want to be able to play Xbox version of a game on PC via a software emulator? IMO, today’s PC hardware specification can easily beat the specs of the 5 year old console. The fact is, most Xbox-exclusive games are that way for business reasons instead of technological reasons. A PC version of the same graphics-intensive game usually looks better. A high end PC machine can renders most game at 1920 by 1200 60+fps, some can even play at 2560 by 1600. Xbox 360 renders most game at 1280 by 720 60fps.
    If you want to play your Xbox version of a game on PC, you must have a software emulator of an xbox. And no one but Microsoft has the knowledge and rights to do that. Even if there were one, it would be hugely inefficient. Imagine having to simulate an instruction cycle of a cpu on another cpu architecture, things that are usually done in 1 cycle now takes 20 to 30 or even hundreds of cycles. An Xbox emulator like that would probably run games at around 2-3 fps. Although it might be interesting to see if an emulator can be written on gpu instead of cpu.
    So this is my view on the topic. It’s an interesting one to me since I have dealt with both PC and X360 game development. Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses. But hardware specs should definitely be the PC’s strength.

  2. Gia Duc says:

    PCs definitely have better hardware than Xbox or PS3. Publishers don’t make many games for PCs anymore because they can be pirated more easily. Last year Call of Duty MW2 didn’t even have dedicated servers for PC users.

    You should play Crysis on a strong PC system and it is better than any Xbox360 game out there.

    PS3 has better hardware than the 360 and consequently its exclusive games are also much better looking : Uncharted2, God of War 3, Metal Gear Solid 4, Killzone2, to name a few.

    You should look into buying a PS3 instead 😉

  3. Long Ho says:

    @Khoa: WORD!!
    @A Duc: I just hope that I don’t have to buy another gaming console 😀 While I enjoy FPS games as any other, I still prefer RPGs, which don’t seem to be made very often on PC anymore (except for MMORPG)

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