Home > Microsoft > Xbox team joins Virtual PC development Xbox team joins Virtual PC development Eugenia Loli 2004-09-21 Microsoft 27 Comments Microsoft’s Xbox team has been assigned to the development of Virtual PC’s native graphics card support, sources tell AppleInsider. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 27 Comments 2004-09-21 9:46 pm Backwards compatibility for XBox 2? 2004-09-21 10:00 pm It would be cool to see this in VPC on Mac, but I doubt it’s for that. Probably it’s for XBox 2. 2004-09-21 10:05 pm “Backwards compatibility for XBox 2?” I knew somebody would mention it. We X-Box owners can only hope that MS is appreciative enough of its customers to make the next one backwards compatible. 2004-09-21 10:14 pm Savok — Looks like MS will be it backwards compatibile.. unfortunately, its looking more and more like emulation. Be really, how many times do you find yourself playing the old games on the new hardware? For me, I don’t think I played a single PS1 game I had on my PS2. Part of that was because my PS1 was modded, but even then, I moved over to PS2 games and never looked back. 2004-09-21 10:47 pm It would be cool to see this in VPC on Mac, but I doubt it’s for that. Probably it’s for XBox 2. Have you actually read the article? This IS for Virtual PC on the Mac. It is not guaranteed that it will work well (after all it’s from Microsoft, even though their Mac stuff is better than the rest), nor is there any date when it will be there, but this IS being developed for Virtual PC. 2004-09-21 10:53 pm I need to get a copy… so, I too can run Windows on my Mac! 2004-09-21 10:56 pm It would be cool to see this in VPC on Mac, but I doubt it’s for that. Probably it’s for XBox 2. do you mean, “It would be cool to see this for the XBox 2, but I doubt it’s for that. Probably it’s for Virtual PC.” this is one of their long promised features (something i thought connectix already had working before they sold out to MS). 2004-09-21 11:10 pm For those who are doubting it’s for Mac, just remember that the XBOX2 hardware will be based on a PowerPC 970 processor (G5). So if they can get it working on a Mac chances are they can take the engine and drivers and attempt to port the code to whatever environment the XBOX2 will run on. Half the battle is writing probably Assembler or Hardware instructions, most of this will probably be portable to the XBOX2 except maybe the specific UI and Mac OS X specific hardware calls. My guesses though are that most of this will be coded in Assembler, or atleast inline PPC Assembly. And for those who think that the XBOX2 would be their main focus for this feature are smoking something, because like stated before this was a goal for the Virtual PC team for version 7 release. 2004-09-21 11:12 pm If they manage to do this right it will mean you can play modern games in Virtual PC – something you can’t do with VMWare. This will finally distinquish the two products making Microsoft the clear winner. VMWare needs to catch up now and get support for well known video cards into VMWare. Of course there’s some hacks that they could do that should have been done long ago: for example, provide an OpenGL library that calls out to the native OpenGL library – and something similar with DirectX. Games have simply never been a priority at VMWare. 2004-09-21 11:34 pm It is odd… but seen what Mocosoft is doing with the XBox 2, making it PowerPC base an all… then trying to get it to be bacward compactible with a pentium (well celeron) CPU… Ha ha… many won`t see it… but they are admiting that PPC is a better platform than their Wintel platform… ADD that they are trying to make more cash by making you (the MAC users) buy their OS plus THEIR emulator fo it… ODD… but what can you do? Still… strange they are actually going PPC… wonder if they will make their OS for PPC… NAA… they will make more forcing you to by the emulator and their crappy OS… 2004-09-21 11:37 pm Well, it’s like this. I just got around to getting an X-Box (having grown exasperated with the whole pc gamer thing) a couple of weeks ago, and have been doing some catching up on games. If you’re a Star Wars fan, there is no other console. So now they’re saying X Box2 maybe next year, and if it’s not compatible I’m wasting my time and money. I could have just waited for next year and all the Episode III games, of course I would have missed out on KOTOR, Battlefront, etc. I probably won’t be tired of these games by the time X-Box2 comes out. Yeah, if a person bought their X-Box when they first came out, I can see how they might be tired of it. But it just seems a bit soon to be looking at trading this machine in already. 2004-09-21 11:47 pm wonder if they will make their OS for PPC… Can’t you read? It’s there, it was known for a long time, and additionaly it was mentioned in the article: The XBox2 SDK runs on a modified Windows NT (actually it’s a modified win2k) kernel. Windows NT is quite portable, and if you had the source and if the source wasn’t full of ugly hacks, you could just recompile it for PPC. Although it would make no sense of course, you would have a crap OS running on your beautiful PPC machine and you still wouldn’t be able to run all the proprietary software which isn’t available for one of you beloved OS’s. Still, theoretically itwould work. Heh, it would be possible to hack OpenDarwin and run Mac OS X on your XBox2… 2004-09-22 12:05 am The joke’s on you. Windows NT ALREADY runs on the PPC platform. Or to be exact NT 4.0 was ported to the ALpha and PPC platforms. The PPC motherboard was the PREP (Power Reference Platform). However Apple Computer Inc. Was SO afraid of compentition at the time (and they need 8MBi Roms) that went to CHiRP platform. THis was in 94 if I remember correctly. I Know (and alomost got) WIndows 2000 for the Alpha, and some of the developers told me it could still compile for PPC. What an interesting web…. Leslie Donaldson 2004-09-22 12:23 am Hum… Does WindowsNT-PPC run in big-endian or in little-endian mode ? Leo. 2004-09-22 12:37 am little endian, both the Alpha and PPC could switch endian modes so Microsoft used the same mode as the intel chips. Donaldson I’m about 90% sure. I would need to boot my NT disk to be 100% sure. 2004-09-22 12:42 am What is CHiRP? 2004-09-22 12:45 am Here is an article about Windows and the PReP platform Faster than P6 and Mips, slower than Alpha, the PowerPC 604 makes a mean NT workstation http://www.byte.com/art/9511/sec9/art1.htm 2004-09-22 12:58 am Note Key point here is CHRP did NOT specify a ROM which Apple HAD to have. There OS at the time was a very piggy 8MBi and the ROM broke the CHRP rules. Also ONLY Apple sold there ROMS thus controlling the MAC OS market. From: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/CHRP.html Pronounced chirp. Short for Common Hardware Reference Platform, a specification for PowePC based machines that can run the Mac OS, Windows NT, or AIX. First released in 1996. CHRP was supposed to make it possible for computer vendors to build Macintosh clones as well as PowerPC based NT computers. CHRP is also called the PowerPC Platform (PPCP) From: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/3682/applehistory.html On November 7, 1994, Apple announced that it would finally license the Macintosh operating system and permit other manufacturers to build clones. This plan was based upon the Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP, pronounced “chirp”) which was designed to create a common standard for future computers and make ports of both operating systems and application software easier.41 By the middle of 1995, many people were seriously questioning Apple’s commitment to allow clone manufacturers to begin operations. Only Power Computing was scheduled to build mainstream systems for the general public, while the other four licensees were to produce specialized systems for niche markets. 2004-09-22 1:41 am Well .. Boy… I Knwe that all ready… What I meant was of an actual Version (say XP) for the PPC… it is not like if there is supoet from microchaft to the platfom… as in actual product… not just a long forgoten alpha… but actual OS ala xp… 2004-09-22 3:10 am The joke’s on anyone who would use any other operating system besides OS X on a MAC. 2004-09-22 7:34 am Savok: Looks like MS will be it backwards compatibile.. unfortunately, its looking more and more like emulation. MacDaddy: Be really, how many times do you find yourself playing the old games on the new hardware? For me, I don’t think I played a single PS1 game I had on my PS2. Part of that was because my PS1 was modded, but even then, I moved over to PS2 games and never looked back. As for me, I mostly use my PS2 for PS1 games. Also I know a number of people who sold their old PSs after they got a PS2 and kept their large collection of PS games. Likewise I know a number of people who play old Game Boy games on their Game Boy Advances. Not everyone play only the latest games. Backwards compatibility is a very important feature for some people, because then they only need one console to play both their old games and their new games. By having one console they can save space (very important for a small house or apartment) and reduce the complexity of their setup. Instead of having to switch between a PS1 and a PS2 and have a bunch of power cables and controllers for both, they can simply hook up the PS2. Or in the case of the Game Boy, instead of hauling around a Game Boy, a Game Boy Color, and a Game Boy Advance (SP or non) and all the accessories, they need to only bring the Game Boy Advance and it’s accessories with them. In fact, this can potentially be a (or even the) deciding factor for which console they’ll get if the new games they happen to want are available on more than one console or if they like exclusives for a number of different consoles, but only have the money to buy one. 2004-09-22 7:39 am Not to dispute your argument, but VMware and Virtual PC are already distinguished in their market presence and feature set. Virtual PC has always been more aimed (and priced) towards individual and home users and Mac switchers. Only recently did they port a version to a Windows host, and that mostly appealed to geeks who wanted to try other OSes. Only after it was bought by Microsoft did they start to try to aim at the enterprise crowd. VMware on the other hand was initially aimed at geeks and developers (but only those with money) and later moved quite handily into the enterprise space. People don’t use VMware for video games, they use it for server consolidation, OS research and platform testing. Buying VMware to play video games is already a bad idea – for the price of a license of VMware Workstation, you could buy an XBox and a cheap TV. For that matter, Virtual PC offers a Mac host (consumer aim), while VMware offers a Linux host (developer/server aim). These products only compete at all over a fraction of their product lines. As long as Microsoft continues to refuse support for non-Windows client OSes and insists on hosting their server version on Windows, VMware will continue to have a sizable market niche. That said, I look forward to these graphics improvements being ported to Virtual PC for Windows (and Virtual XBox for XBox 2) – in principle, as I don’t play video games. 2004-09-22 4:02 pm “Be really, how many times do you find yourself playing the old games on the new hardware?” I do all the time. Part of it is that I never owned a Playstation, so when I gt a PS2 I was able to play alot of games I missed earlier. Also, there are pleanty of older games that are still worth playing. Heck, I still play my good old Super Nintendo. The graphics may not be all 3D and stuff, but when it comes to game play (which really matters in a game), its pretty hard to beat. 2004-09-22 4:47 pm Its simple, MS wants to move to the PPC for the Xbox2. And they also want to get their gamers to upgrade to it, so MS has to have give the ability to play their old games. So, send the graphics guys for the Xbox to work on the VPC for the Mac platform that has the same chips you want to use is a good way to get them started, and you hit two birds with one stone. This could be concidered a very good thing for VPC users, because if they want the Xbox2 to play old games well, they will have to make VPC run well too. If they don’t succeed in getting VPC to run fast, they will have to abandon giving Xbox2 backwards compatiability and that will hurt them badly. They could cribble VPC, but they would get harsh backlash for that, just like they are already for being late and missing features. 2004-09-23 2:45 am Man, for a moment I had a glimmer of hope that I’d be able to play Xbox on the PC… I mean, damn, Halo 2 with a mouse? Booshaka! 2004-09-23 3:22 pm If they actually impleament this “native graphics support” for VPC, it may the the last straw holding me back from Switching. 2004-09-23 6:39 pm “They could cribble VPC, but they would get harsh backlash for that, just like they are already for being late and missing features.” ..will they even care about that backlash? I don’t see why they would see that as a priority. They’d care more about keeping their Windows users than satisfying VPC users given that Windows is their core.