[BOOKS] Opening the Xbox

2 min read · Posted on: Jul 31, 2004 · Print this page

Disclaimer: The following text is a semi-review of a book. Such posts will be marked with [“BOOKS”] prefixed at their headings until Blogger.com comes up with such a feature (which BTW will not take long)

The possibilities opened up by books are sometimes so immense that it can prove to be turning points. I stumbled upon ‘Opening the Xbox’ in a second hand book fair in Bangalore. For 200 rupees it gave me a fairly up to date recount of the extraordinary rise of Microsoft in the gaming industry. Written by a journalist, the fast paced narrative laced with references to gaming stalwarts gave a clear picture of the strategies required to survive in this cut throat business.

I’ve noticed that while Indian bookstores are inundated with books regarding learning new packages (from beginner to advanced “guru” levels), there seems to be a certain dearth of books offering an industry focus. For all you know this might have been an American edition (judging from the flap) left behind by someone. Well suffice to say, just my luck. Interestingly, the side effect of having read an influential book (influential? at least from my perspective, yes) is that you tend to completely agree with the book’s logic. I have often seen this with books by Ayn Ryand. For me, at least, my perspective of consoles changed so much that I was all for the go-for-laptop-and-Xbox idea. But much later it dawned on me (finally!) that for a serious game developer, Xbox offers no value unless he buys the Xbox SDK as well! Back to the PC with GPU-based card idea again.

Surprisingly, this is the logic of many serious non-game-developing gamers as well. This is perhaps they have other multimedia intensive uses like video editing/encoding as well. Anyway, from preliminary reports GPU is going to be an integral part of our PCs. Despite this, over here, only a handful, including your local hardware guru, knows even what it is.

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Arun Ravindran

Arun is the author of "Django Design Patterns and Best Practices". Works as a Product Manager at Google. Avid open source enthusiast. Keen on Python. Loves to help people learn technology. Find out more about Arun on the about page.

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