This year’s Gamescom was a monumental experience. Gamers across the world came together to try out some of the most anticipated games across the next-gen sphere, and had the chance to test out the consoles themselves.
Many gamers were a bit dubious as to the authenticity of the consoles, however, and believed that the games were being powered by a PC with a mockup Xbox One in the foreground, thus hiding the true system in a cleverly designed shelf deep within the booth itself.
They had good reason to assume this, since many games at E3 were powered by PC’s rather than an Xbox One, making the demo experience less authentic.
Microsoft’s director of product planning, Albert Penello, has recently dispelled this allegation in a post on NeoGAF wherein he confirms that the company has “real retail consoles running real code”–and that these systems were used at Gamescom.
But first he outlines some of the environments that were seen at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo:
“At E3, you saw Xbox One games running in a couple of environments:
- Development PC’s (these were our early Alpha kits spec’d similarly to HW targets)
- Development Kits (these are the white and black consoles that look like retail units)
- Other PC’s (in these cases, like the drama around the PC with the nvidia GPU), we asked developers to make sure what they were showing was reflective of what could be achieved on Xbox One.
“I think we were pretty open about it. Some may disagree, but I don’t recall us trying to be particularly cagey about this since it’s typical for this point in the console to have game development being scattered.”
“Despite the belief, our Dev Kits DO NOT have 12gb of ram. They have 8gb, just like shipping units. So anything you see running on a black Xbox One console is the same unit we’re going to ship.
“At this point, just about everything is running on “near final” Hardware. What’s unique about our program this time is that Dev Kits and Retail Kits are exactly the same.
Now, the reason I say “near final” is because you guys like us to be precise. Anyone that knows HW development understands that millions of units don’t come flying off the assembly line by just flipping a switch (see what I did there?)”
“So again to clarify – we have real, retail consoles running real code. Every time you see a black box running software, it’s the real thing. I had almost 300 people see the dash demo at Gamescom, and people were free to inspect the HW I was demoing on.”
It will be interesting to see if Microsoft will make this same effort in authenticity at this year’s PAX, or if the hidden PC’s will return. Be sure to read Penello’s full post on NeoGAF for more information, as well as some clarification on the overall manufacturing processes for the retail console.