XBox, PowerMac G5, and NT?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,693
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The Inquirer reported over the weekend that the Software Development Kit for the upcoming Xbox 2 is being seeded to developers "on dual Apple Power Mac G5 systems running a custom Windows NT Kernel."

It was previously announced that Microsoft had chosen the PowerPC as the processor for their upcoming gaming system.

Meanwhile, Windows NT for PowerPC is something that existed in the past, but was dropped.
 

awulf

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2002
483
1
South Australia
I wonder If Microsoft will be Making Windows for Macintosh, it would be good since that would salve compatibility issues between Mac and PC without running the sluggish VirtualPC.

BTW: Nice Forum Upgrade
 

ITR 81

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2003
1,052
0
I read about this over the weekend...I'm wondering what this could all mean??

Maybe more game ports?

NT on PPC?

Direct X for PPC?
 

MoparShaha

macrumors 68000
May 15, 2003
1,640
31
San Francisco
awulf said:
I wonder If Microsoft will be Making Windows for Macintosh, it would be good since that would salve compatibility issues between Mac and PC without running the sluggish VirtualPC.

BTW: Nice Forum Upgrade
Sure, you'd be able to run Windows flawlessly, but you wouldn't be able to run any other programs. People just don't understand that programs have to be compiled for specific architectures. The OS has nothing to do with whether you can run programs on Mac/PC -- it's the processor.

I think this whole G5 XBox SDK thing shall prove very interesting.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,271
3,422
Windows NT for PowerPC existed...

I don't see Microsoft bringing it back...

I also don't think there's much significance to the fact that they have an NT kernel on PowerPC. Presumably it's all just for development for the Xbox.

arn
 

samh004

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2004
2,216
89
Australia
SpaceMagic said:
Why would an xBox need something as powerful as a dual g5??? :D
because the xBox 2 has 3 processors in it, so one would assume that the games made for it would need more processing power that a dual G5...
 

ipiloot

macrumors member
Oct 22, 2001
93
0
arn said:
Windows NT for PowerPC existed...

I don't see Microsoft bringing it back...

I also don't think there's much significance to the fact that they have an NT kernel on PowerPC. Presumably it's all just for development for the Xbox.

arn
I agree. There's no reason to read out too much from this situation. However something can be concluded from that and the previous rumor:

1. Xbox2 will not have some very specific processor design. It's going to be binary compatible with G5 in large part
2. Apple is part of the project. Possibly they helped in making the dev tools and porting NT to Mac-specific hardware. Why else is there Apple logo presented in dev tools.
3. Xbox2 will run on top of the stripped-down NT kernel
4. ATI-s R420 will not differ much binary-wise R350
5. Xbox2 is going to be 64-bit. I think that M$ and Apple made necessary adjustments to ATI-s 64-bit drivers to get them running. Keep in mind that making drivers for single machine is far simpler than making them for the whole legion of different configurations.
6. IBM's processors are going to be cheaper and cheaper.
 

eSnow

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2004
164
0
ipiloot said:
2. Apple is part of the project. Possibly they helped in making the dev tools and porting NT to Mac-specific hardware. Why else is there Apple logo presented in dev tools.
Don't forget that if NT is running natively (i.e. not on Top of MacOS X) on this machines, Apple has provided MS with the informations needed to compile drivers for the Apple-ASICS (fan control ...).

5. Xbox2 is going to be 64-bit. I think that M$ and Apple made necessary adjustments to ATI-s 64-bit drivers to get them running. Keep in mind that making drivers for single machine is far simpler than making them for the whole legion of different configurations.
Which is puzzling. 64 Bit does not make a whole lot of sense in a game console (yeah, I know, they are at 128 Bit already) since the main advantage , which is the capability to adresse huge amounts of memory, is irrelevant.
 

hvfsl

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2001
1,829
130
London, UK
G4 Macs were used to develop the first GameCube games on and a shop in London has a combined Mac and NES that people used to use to program NES games on.

Although the if this Xbox2 thing is true, then it will hopefully mean it will be easy to port Xbox2 games to the Mac in future and maybe an emulator that will run well on Macs.
 

reflex

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2002
721
0
eSnow said:
Which is puzzling. 64 Bit does not make a whole lot of sense in a game console (yeah, I know, they are at 128 Bit already) since the main advantage , which is the capability to adresse huge amounts of memory, is irrelevant.
Another advantage of a 64bit cpu over a 32bit one, is the possibility to read 64 bits of data at once, which is faster than reading 64 bits in two times like you'd have to do on a 32bit cpu (depending on what you're doing).
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,088
4
Sol III - Terra
awulf said:
I wonder If Microsoft will be Making Windows for Macintosh, it would be good since that would salve compatibility issues between Mac and PC without running the sluggish VirtualPC.
No it wouldn't. The programs would have to be compiled and tested for the PwoerPC platform as well as Windows. This all costs money to developers.

Also, do you really want to run windows on your Mac? It means you would be not be able to run any Mac programs while windows was booted.

At least when you're running virtual PC, you can still run Mac applications and if(when) Windows crashes you just have to restart windows under VirtualPC and not the whole Mac. This of courses prevents yo from having to restart everything you were running.
 

CmdrLaForge

macrumors 601
Feb 26, 2003
4,411
2,547
around the world
ipiloot said:
I agree. There's no reason to read out too much from this situation. However something can be concluded from that and the previous rumor:

1. Xbox2 will not have some very specific processor design. It's going to be binary compatible with G5 in large part
2. Apple is part of the project. Possibly they helped in making the dev tools and porting NT to Mac-specific hardware. Why else is there Apple logo presented in dev tools.
3. Xbox2 will run on top of the stripped-down NT kernel
4. ATI-s R420 will not differ much binary-wise R350
5. Xbox2 is going to be 64-bit. I think that M$ and Apple made necessary adjustments to ATI-s 64-bit drivers to get them running. Keep in mind that making drivers for single machine is far simpler than making them for the whole legion of different configurations.
6. IBM's processors are going to be cheaper and cheaper.
I agree to most of your assumptions. I guess that the important question will be if there is an easy way of compiling the games under OS X as well - what I believe and if it will be done. And the second part is questionable. If there are many games available for Macs it would definitly increase the overall value of Macs and does M$ wants this to happen ?

I think the equotation is how much many can they make with games sold for Macs in comparison to how much money the lose because more people switch to Macs and are not running a copy of Windows.
 

Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2003
5,427
3,804
hvfsl said:
G4 Macs were used to develop the first GameCube games on and a shop in London has a combined Mac and NES that people used to use to program NES games on.

Although the if this Xbox2 thing is true, then it will hopefully mean it will be easy to port Xbox2 games to the Mac in future and maybe an emulator that will run well on Macs.
Yeah, but Nintendo isn't competing with Apple... One of the major advantages Windows has over Mac OS is the number of games available. They don't want people thinking "Hmmm... Wonder what would happen if I imported the source into Xcode...".

I have to think this is an interim solution. I'm surprised they didn't use an IBM workstation for the purpose... Can't imagine the cost of development hardware is an impediment to gaming teams.

MS will probably design custom hardware, if only to get the Apple logo out of their dev tools, and off of the box.
 

Heltik

macrumors 6502
Jul 16, 2002
254
51
USA
Depending when it comes out - I've not seen the expected release date - won't the XBox2 represent a rather cheap but well specified option in comparison to an iMac of the time?

If this is the case, would it not be possible to crack the XBox in order to run OSX? If I 'retired' my iBook, which is capable of running X, then would that not fulfill the license requirements of the Mac OS, that I need to have a mac chipset to run Mac OS, thus making this legal?

What would be the legal aspects in relation to Microsoft? Or is this something unlikely.

I've heard of Linux running on XBox, so why not BSD based OSX on XBox2? It would certainly make a nice iTunes server!
 

mkjellman

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2003
158
0
well problem is that they are not going to have a hard drive in the new xbox so it would be hard to try and do it. Also if you really wanted to you would have to find a way to incorperate a hard drive which it may not have the drivers for....just a though
 

army_guy

macrumors regular
Jan 7, 2004
240
0
United Kingdom
Its the original NT kernal not XP and not W2K. Looking on my NT cd it runs on 486, MIPS, Alpha, PowerPC, Pentium, Petium Pro etc... However no x86 applications will run on it, they have to be recompiled for the architechture. Like wanting to run a EDA application (conpiled for SPARC) on x86 SOLARIS, it doesnt work. Also you wont be able to run MAC apps at the same time, I think it would be logical to assume its 64-bit but I cant remember if the NT kernal was 64-bit for the PowerPC, it was for the Alpha though. I remember that NT only supported early versions of direct x upto 5/6 but not 7/8/9?, I dont think it could even do DirectX 3D acceleration only OpenGL. IMO this system would be just to develope and sample games not for actually playing them at realistic speeds.
 

nerfmachine

Guest
Mar 1, 2004
1
0
There is no way that Xbox2 games will be portable to Mac OS. The model for Xbox2 is likely to follow the Xbox: a stripped down win2k kernel providing only memory management, threads, etc - a tiny fraction of the windows OS that needs to be ported to PPC. Graphics and sound API's are DirectX like but with no driver baggage, just compiled directly into each game executable.
 

Photorun

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2003
1,216
0
NYC
Despite the naysayers and an understanding software needs to be coded to an architecture it'd be cool to see if someone tries to hack XSux2's games to work on a G5 and, if this "accidentally" happened I'd be happy to try it out! :p
 

JtheLemur

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2002
502
46
hvfsl said:
G4 Macs were used to develop the first GameCube games on and a shop in London has a combined Mac and NES that people used to use to program NES games on.
In addition to what Analog Kid said... the GameCube doesn't run on Windows. ;)
 

Henriok

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2002
222
7
Gothenburg, Sweden
army_guy said:
Its the original NT kernal not XP and not W2K.
No.. the article just stated "a modified NT kernel", and since W2K, XP and XP'03 all run on a NT kernel of some sort it's probably a later version than NT 4 (I just assume that you meant NT 4, since it was the lastest OS actually named NT). I cannot se any reason why it isn't quite a late version, even later than what's beneath current Windows XP.
 

army_guy

macrumors regular
Jan 7, 2004
240
0
United Kingdom
Henriok said:
No.. the article just stated "a modified NT kernel", and since W2K, XP and XP'03 all run on a NT kernel of some sort it's probably a later version than NT 4 (I just assume that you meant NT 4, since it was the lastest OS actually named NT). I cannot se any reason why it isn't quite a late version, even later than what's beneath current Windows XP.
I suppose they could use a later version, allthough that NT 4 is rocksolid in terms of stability and allready tested with PowerPC hardware. More likely W2K as its allready compact and very stable(it has been compiled for PowerPC but is only available to OEMS i.e. IBM) but XP is bloated with crap it would need to much effort to cut it down and then recompile, debug and test it for PowerPC.
 

piracy

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2003
22
0
"NT kernel" not just "Windows NT"

Keep in mind that the "NT kernel" doesn't equal just "Windows NT". The "NT kernel" is a semi-generic name for what is at the heart of not only the named NT family, but also Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003.

(This is similar to the way that saying "Linux kernel" doesn't refer to just one version. "NT kernel" is an umbrella name for the kernel family.)
 
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