Is 3Dfx Still in the Xbox Hunt?

NVIDIA is the chosen graphics technology developer for the Xbox. But will this remain the same in the final release of Microsoft's console?


The most recent indication that the final specifications for Microsoft's Xbox are yet to be truly solidified came today within the pages of a 3Dfx and Gigapixel merger filing with the securities and exchange commission. It is common knowledge that Microsoft recently confirmed that its Xbox will use a custom 3D graphics processor being developed by NVIDIA. However, information in this latest 3Dfx filing could point to the possibilities of a change in the graphics processor in the final Microsoft Xbox product. Part of the document in question detailed the original development agreement between Microsoft and Gigapixel, consummated on February 18, 2000. As part of the agreement Gigpixel was to design a proprietary graphics processor for the Xbox based on preliminary specifications provided by Microsoft.

In early March, Mircosoft cancelled the development agreement and selected NVIDIA as the third-party designer of the chip. On March 31, 2000 Microsoft and Gigapixel entered into a release agreement. The most interesting part of that agreement specified that Gigapixel could present a product in accordance with the original specifications to Microsoft by June 2001 . Microsoft can then decide to utilize the new Gigapixel chip technology in its upcoming Xbox, and could negotiate an equity investment in Gigapixel of up to US$10 million.

At this time, Microsoft has made its decision to include the NVIDIA chip technology into the upcoming Xbox. The question remains however, could this decision change if Gigapixel, now merged with 3Dfx, were to introduce a greater chip technology into the market in the foreseeable future? GameSpot will continue to follow these intriguing developments and will bring you the latest details.

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