Microsoft Xbox 360 – Primary Developer Platform for id’s John Carmack

The Best-Known PC Game Programmer Adopts Direct3D, Aims Consoles

by Anton Shilov
08/16/2005 | 03:49 AM

Microsoft’s forthcoming Xbox 360 console will be the primary development platform for the next game from the world’s most known game programmer John Carmack. Adoption of the Xbox 360 as the primary platform means that Mr. Carmack – a long time supporter of OpenGL – now switches to DirectX-like application programming interface (API) and that game consoles have become powerful enough to satisfy needs of PC developers in both technology and financial ways.


The PC game programmer, who created popular titles like Quake and Doom, announced during QuakeCon that he had recently switched his primary development efforts over to the Xbox 360 and that he expected to continue development there for the next six months, according to a report from The Tech Report web-site.

Mr. Carmack said that graphics cards drivers have been a big headache for him and it became more complicated to determine real performance of application because of multiply “layers of abstraction on the PC”. The lead programmer of id Software called Xbox 360’s more direct approach “refreshing” and even praised Microsoft’s development environment “as easily the best of any of the consoles, thanks to the company's background as a software provider”. Nevertheless, Mr. Carmack criticized decision of Microsoft and Sony to use PowerPC derivative processors in the next-generation Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game consoles.

John Carmack has been a very sturdy ally of OpenGL and a critic of Microsoft’s DirectX at first. Even with the most-recent title Doom III he continued to claim that Microsoft’s API did not provide him the level of OpenGL feature-set, even though the engine was ported to Microsoft’s Xbox console at the end. It seems right now the situation has changed and Microsoft’s DirectX-like Xbox 360 environment is able to provide Carmack what he wanted.

Microsoft Xbox 360 console is based around microprocessor developed by IBM, high-definition visual processing unit designed by ATI Technologies, I/O controller engineered by SiS and some other key components. Additionally, the console will be bundled with an HDD as well as wireless controller. The gaming machine will feature optional wireless network connectivity and will provide a broad set of multimedia capabilities, it is projected.