Kuju Entertainment is one of the biggest developers in Europe. Based just outside of London. It has a reputation for being on the cutting edge of technology. Microsoft approached Kuju to do a demo for the XBox, and the result was Tau, a colorful and ethereal demonstration of what the XBox can do. That was the demo that stunned people during Bill Gates first XBox presentation at last years Games Developers Conference.
On the subject of those amazing XBox demos, one question that has hung in the air since the conference was wondering what the system was that produced the demos, the system seems to have been a standard high spec PC< with tweaks here and there, Julian says, "The demos were created on a set of Xbox demo systems provided by Microsoft. This is basically a PC with a specific spec and Windows 98 -- a tiny bit customized -- and DirectX 7. The PC spec was a 733 MHz Pentium III, the latest nVidia card (Ge-Force 2GTS) and a hardware 3D sound card, one of the Creative Live! cards."
Julian goes into why he thinks the XBox will be a winner with developers, as opposed to the other consoles it shall be competing against, "When we develop for the other consoles, we are working with customized versions of the basic GNU tools or recently written and very expensive versions of third-party tools. With XBox we are using Dev Studio, which has been around for years and is used by millions of people." Its a fascinating technical interview, and worth a read.