Wall Street Gecko


Video Gaming

August 24, 2007

for those who don't have kids
to advise them of the latest technology news:

Microsoft has been experiencing problems
with their new Xbox 360

my understanding is that the Microsoft strategy
is to practically give away the Xbox hardware at cost
seeking to make a fortune selling game software for it
(Microsoft is a software company)

Xbox 360 hardware problems have been causing financial losses

Xbox 360 hardware originally
was sold with the standard 90 warranty;
however because of hardware malfunction problems
they extended the warranty to one year in 2006,
and has now again announced another extension to 2 years;
with writedowns of over one billion dollars
to cover repair costs

repaired units have had epoxy underfill added
to the Central Proccessing Unit (CPU) and Graphics Processing Unit(GPU),
as well as a new GPU heatsink,
which might indicate overheating and thermal cycling problems.

Xbox 360 photo

there also exists speculation of difficulty in trying to
comply with the new lead-free solder joint requirements

lead is a rather soft metal,
without lead the solder joints would be more brittle;
and broken solder joints would be a significant electrical problem

the concept of "relativity" pertains to the stock market
same as it does to the entire universe though,

one should view Microsoft's one billion dollar warrantee writedown
in a context of such huge costs being relative to their earnings stream;
Microsoft reported earnings of more the 50 billion dollars last year,
and has a stack of corporate cash of more then 20 billion dollars.

they will suvive the Xbox 360 hardware problems,

and remember, Microsoft is a software company,

if they are able to fix the hardware problems,
and if they have software game titles ready,
well, year end holiday season
could be a profitable time for such products

competitor video game hardware platforms are:

the Nintendo Wii
(in the United States demand still outpaced supply as of June 2007)

and Sony Playstation3 (PS3)
which features Blu-ray Disc

the size of video games keeps increasing,
they will no longer fit on a CD,
and eventually the larger capacity DVDs
will run into capacity limits;
Blu-ray Discs offer higher storage capacity then DVD

try buying a Blue-ray disc player for your television
and you will realize the bargain price of the Playstation 3

as of November 2006:
it costs Sony $805.85 to build a 20GB PS3 system
($840.35 for the 60 GB version)
which amounts to a loss of $250 for each unit sold
Sony Losing Almost $250 per Console

it reportedly costs Microsoft $323.30 to manufacture Xbox 360 which sells for $400
(not inclunding warrantee repair costs)

anyone who has kids interested in PC video gaming
realizes that it requires a high performance PC computer
to be able to run the latest popular computer games;
its rather mind boggling the quantity of mathematics involved
in computer generation of 3D Graphics
Gecko Wireframe

the Sony PlayStation 3 CPU is based upon a seven core version
of the IBM designed Cell microprocessor
with graphics processing performed by by NVIDIA RSX

the IBM Cell microprocessor
is a story in itself

most computers now have multiple processing units,
and some technologically savvy persons
see computer architecture such as the IBM Cell
as being the future direction of computers

the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
is exploring the possibilities of connecting together
large quantities of such high performance
(and low cost) computer game hardware
to create supercomputer clusters


this webpage was last updated on: August 24, 2007