The latest rumors surrounding the Xbox One are that the demos that Microsoft allowed people to play on at E3 were not running on an Xbox One
, but instead running on high-end PCs with Titan graphics cards
If this is the case, they were running the games on a system that is around 3x faster than the Xbox One.
These rumors are backed up by images that clearly show a high-end desktop under the displays of the Xbox One stands at E3.
Its like a train wreck that you can’t look away from
Psst… there’s a good chance the PS3 was doing the same.
Here’s the thing, the logistics of having a huge number of pre-release systems ready for E3, fully tested in “this cannot break, 100% for sure” and locked down, is not an easy task. The logistics of just having that supply of pre-release boxes that weren’t developer boxes would be expensive and complicated for no reason.
XBox runs on the same architecture as PCs, and to be honest, they were probably running them on virtual machines - that way, if a system crash happened with games that aren’t public yet, they can just load the VM in again and in a matter of seconds have it back in action. Furthermore, VMs are great for being remotely configured and managed, so one dude in a back room can simply push a few buttons to reload an entire system in a couple of seconds rather than the PR disaster of a machine breaking and them having to replace/reinstall it or leave it there with “out of order” signs on it. Nobody wants the optics of a dead XBox being taken away.
So, they load the XBox OS as a VM, stick it on high-end machines to make sure the VM overhead doesn’t affect play, and managed them all that way. It also means instead of producing these machines just for E3 they can use stock hardware (or even rent these things) and wipe it all at the end of show, no fuss, no muss. It also stops the nightmare scenario of a box being stolen so far before launch.
There’s lots of things Microsoft did wrong at E3, but this is just people trying way too hard to be indignant over what is a company being smart with their money.