The quest began several weeks back. A new, more powerful, experience beckoned. And there was no honourable way to decline the quest.
We had to achieve that which only a select few would be able to achieve.
The pressure was intense. And I knew, for the sake of my sons, that I had no choice. I had to find a way. A way to acquire an xbox 360 platform on release day.
We had tried to pre-order from Best Buy. Through some miscommunication this attempt to secure a device failed miserably. We were left with the unlikely option of trying to acquire a unit on its release date.
Did we have a chance?
People had started to line up at our local Best Buy around midnight on Monday. Best Buy did not open its doors until 8am on Tuesday. I counselled the family to bypass Best Buy and Futureshop and go directly to the most reliable source of high technology gaming platforms: Wal-Mart. I received an update at 7:40am. A ticket had been successfully acquired at Wal-Mart. And, by 8:20am, an xbox 360 had been successfully acquired. A slight problem though. The desired games, Project Gotham Racing and Call of Duty 2, were sold out.
Back to Best Buy. My wife, always resourceful, found a way to get in ahead of the crowds waiting to purchase their xbox 360 platforms. She told them that all she wanted was to go in and buy a couple of games. And in she went. First pick of all the games and accessories.
Here is a screenshot from one of the games she picked up. Call of Duty 2:
Our two boys were allowed to join in on the quest for an xbox this morning. Which means they missed school this morning. My wife and I talked about this last night. Sometimes family memories are built from such silly events. Joshua and Matthew will remember this adventure for years. For them it was fun and exciting. A special treat marked with an element of uncertainty.
They will be playing their xbox games this morning and then back to school this afternoon. I will get to play later tonight. I am a hopeless technology geek. The xbox 360 is a supercomputer with a teraflop of floating-point performance. Here are some of the technical specifications:
Custom IBM PowerPC-based CPU
”¢ Three symmetrical cores running at 3.2 GHz each
”¢ Two hardware threads per core; six hardware threads total
”¢ VMX-128 vector unit per core; three total
”¢ 128 VMX-128 registers per hardware thread
”¢ 1 MB L2 cache
CPU Game Math Performance
”¢ 9 billion dot product operations per second
Custom ATI Graphics Processor
”¢ 500MHz processor
”¢ 10 MB of embedded DRAM
”¢ 48-way parallel floating-point dynamically scheduled shader pipelines
”¢ Unified shader architecture
”¢ 500 million triangles per second
Pixel Fill Rate
”¢ 16 gigasamples per second fill rate using 4x MSAA
”¢ 48 billion shader operations per second
”¢ 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM
”¢ 700 MHz of DDR
”¢ Unified memory architecture
Memory Bandwidth ”¢ 22.4 GB/s memory interface bus bandwidth
”¢ 256 GB/s memory bandwidth to EDRAM
”¢ 21.6 GB/s front-side bus
Overall System Floating-Point Performance
”¢ 1 teraflop
And here is what you can do with all that computer power. Amazing graphics. Anyone remember Pong?
AWESOME. Just awesome. I saw Call of Duty 2 and Perfect Dark .. WOW.
Make sure you put your software order in with the new guy (smile)
now ibm thinks like sony and looks like apple….
They didn’t just take the curve on this one… they invented a spherical wheel. I wonder when the collision will happen between the internet and all this HDTV, VR, wireless, triple-encrypted, bandwidth-pipelined, optics-enhanced, gaming-comm-music stuff?