Tuesday, November 10, 2009

THE NEW ERA: 2000-2001

VM Labs Delivers
After touting its strengths for three years, VM Labs shows the first NUON-equipped DVD players at CES. Toshiba and Samsung will both sell NUON-equipped DVD players in 2000.

New Console Makes Debut
A start-up company called Indrema promises to release a new gaming console in 2001. Using a Linux operating system, the Indrema L600 will play games, DVDs, and CDs, and it will even record TV shows on its hard drive.

PlayStation 2 Released in Japan
Sony launches the PlayStation 2 in Japan on March 4. In two days, the company sells 1 million consoles--a new record. As is the case with all Japanese launches, gamers begin lining up outside stores two days in advance. Unfortunately, demand exceeds supply and not everybody gets a console, including those who preordered. Robberies of PlayStation 2s are reported.

Xbox Officially Announced
The world's worst-kept secret becomes public knowledge after the opening of the Game Developers' Conference in March. Bill Gates delivers the keynote address and officially announces the Xbox to the world. Gates stresses that the Xbox will not be a PC in a console's clothing. Equipped with an Intel 733MHz Pentium III CPU, an Nvidia NV2a 250MHz graphics processor, 64MB of unified RAM, an 8GB hard drive, and out-of-the-box broadband Internet support, the Xbox sends a strong signal to Sony that it intends to be a major player in the console race. The bad news is that the system won't be available until late 2001.
PlayStation 2 Defect (Bad)
Many of the 8MB memory cards that are packaged with the Japanese PlayStation 2 are defective. Since the DVD drivers are housed in the memory card, DVDs cannot be viewed until the memory card is replaced.
A Second PlayStation 2 Defect (Good)
It is soon discovered that PlayStation 2s that are only supposed to play Region 2 DVDs (Japanese and some European) can also play Region 1 DVDs (North American). Sony quickly issues replacement memory cards.

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