Neon creator Talks Xbox 360
Jeff Minter, the British head of studio LlamaSoft, has been waxing lyrical on the new Xbox 360 console, and his latest creation 'Neon' - which will be preloaded onto Microsoft's new system at launch (expected to be this November). Neon is a curious mix of game and musically-inspired light show, and is best described as a glorified visualisation tool which you have an element of control over. It's actually based on a 1984 piece of software coded by Minter called 'Psychedelia', but has of course grown immensely from this original seed. Now it'll be made famous by Microsoft who are clearly taken with Minter's creation.
"Typically in the kind of work I'll be doing, you want a lot of computational power available for generating effects and meshes procedurally in real-time, and the X360 delivers a lot of grunt in that area," Minter told The Guardian on the power of the new hardware. "We were working with the alpha hardware and still managed to achieve staggering performance with just that, and the alpha kits probably operate at only about 30 per cent of the capacity of the final hardware. I'm really looking forward to doing more on final hardware and really pushing the thing as hard as we can," he added.
Minter also hints in the new Guardian Online interview that it'll be possible to hook-up an iPod or other independent device to the Xbox 360 in order to drive Neon, stating also that up to four-controllers can steer the game, with other 'layers' in the image taken over by the game's AI.
Finally, Minter hints that Neon might have appeared on the original Xbox were it not for an email from Microsoft's J Allard going astray: "Oh well, better late than never," he acquiesces. More on Neon, and the Xbox 360, as the festive season draws nearer.
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