Microsoft owns the source code to DirectX and they employ thousands of software engineers. You mean to tell me that they can't port it to PowerPC with months (or years) of development time?
I don't doubt they CAN, I doubt they want to.
Frankly, it would be like a second platform they'd have to maintain, unless they wanted to make it a 100% closed system with no way to update or implement new stuff. Actually looking at it from this perspective, it makes sense.
Still, it makes more sense if you think about IBM making a custom chip for them, not a 976 based one. Custom chip would mean closed system that nobody would hack a linux distro for and that nobody would use to make a true PPC DirectX of, to use it, for example on Mac OS X or Linux PPC. (Maybe I'm totally wrong when I think that Microsoft has absolutely no interest in bringing DX to either of these platforms and will do whatever they can do prevent that from happening).
So, assuming they're aiming for a custom, proprietary closed system platform, why does everyone think they're going to use the 976 chip that is going to have so many cores it's going to outperform a small-sized serverfarm?
It might as well be a very custom chip-fabric similar to the earth simulator, just several thousand times smaller and slower.
That would make tons more sense than having it based off 3 enterprise level high-end server CPUs working in tridem, causing the machine to melt.
basically what I'm trying to argue about is that this "article" is the wet dream of some geeky journalist, while the reality is going to be entirely different, such as pictured above.
I don't doubt MS is going with IBM or moving to PPC. I said I see several things that would have spoken against it, but aparently the egg-heads at MS beg to differ. Probably for a good reason we don't know yet.
Actually we know almost nothing anyway:
-IBM is going to fab a chip of their own design for MS
-ATI is going to fab a chip of their own design for MS
-Xbox2 will be more performant than Xbox1
That's about all we know for sure.
Now make of that whatever you want. Some will make it a 3 core, SMT enabled monster PPC 976 cluster with ATI R500 core and the option to bake bread while playing, luring millions of readers to their website, while others might take a more traditional (and imho sensible) approach and look more towards a mix of a PS1-Gamecube design with custom PPC chips working together with a custom ATI chip to provide excellent performance for specific uses (which is what games are all about). I'm sorry if I'm the only person not seeing a 3 core SMT PPC 976 solution as a "specific use solution". A brute force approach, rather, uneconomic by definition, expensive and overkill.
And everyone who thinks MS is going to spend an extra 1000$ on an Xbox2, just to satisfy the customer, hoping to make up for it in game sales, simply has no clue, really.