Report: Origami "not a portable Xbox"

The gaming industry was shocked to hear of a project called the Origami
Project. This project was apparently a secret Microsoft device that appeared to
be a portable PC with gaming functions. This speculation was made when a video
was leaked showing the device running Halo.

Promising revelations today on the teaser site,
Microsoft merely posted a new flash movie, which promises more information to
come. After asking, "Wondering where to find me?" the movie shows a
montage of locations: a city skyline,


, a snow-capped mountain, a
subway system, the interior of a car, and a long shot of

de Janeiro
. "I am everywhere you are...but never
in the way" the site tells visitors via text, apparently promising a new
level of portability in the device.

Then comes the tease. After posing the rhetorical question, "Who am
I?," the site says, "find out...3.9.06..." Now it seems the
public will have to wait another week for the official Origami unveiling, which
appears to be coordinated with the CeBit PC trade expo, held from March 9 to 15


However, unofficial reports have already broken about what the Origami can
and cannot do. This morning, the Associated Press ran an article citing a
source inside Microsoft that confirms suspicions that the Origami is merely a
new line of "ultra-mobile PCs" the size of a paperback book. It says
that the line of devices is aimed at "tech-savvy consumers who want a
smaller computer that is easy to take on vacation, in the subway or anywhere
else where a full-sized PC would seem too bulky." As shown in the leaked
video, Origami machines will feature a touch-sensitive screen a la Microsoft's
tablet PC line, will run Windows XP, and will be priced lower than most
full-size laptops, running from around $500 to $1,000.

If that price tag seems too low for a mobile PC with a high-end graphics
chip--which would be necessary to run the Halo footage shown in the leaked
concept video--that's because it is. The AP article says flat-out that the
Origami is "not a portable version of Microsoft's Xbox videogame
console," nor is it "a music player designed to take on Apple
Computer Inc.'s mega-popular iPod." According to the source, the Origami
will be "less powerful than full-fledged PCs," and won't have
"advanced entertainment capabilities."

However, the AP article contradicts itself somewhat, quoting its source as
saying that Microsoft expects consumers to use the Origami for "watching
movies," presumably on DVD. That means that the device could have enough
processing and graphics power to play older PC games that don't require a high-end
GPU--think Civilization III on the go. It also raises the possibility that
Microsoft is optimizing less demanding versions of semi recent PC games
specifically for the platform, as is now rumored.

View: Origami Project Website

News source: GameSpot

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