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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Meet Ana, the Xbox 360 hardware scaler

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How did Microsoft dodge the scaling issue that has plagued Sony since its launch? Maybe it was the timing -- an HD console in a Standard Def world -- or perhaps it was Ana, the affectionate title for Xbox 360's hardware scaler.

Whereas the PlayStation 3 downscales to meet resolution, Ana upscales Xbox 360 titles to 1080p to impressive results, according to Ars Technica's Ben Kuchera. Speaking with Microsoft's Scott Henson, Kuchera learns that Ana was designed at the same time as Xenos, the console's GPU. Though the addition of a PS3 hardware scaler is possible in the future, Xbox Group Product Marketing Manager Aaron Greenberg opines that it would be difficult for Sony to fix the issue with software, leaving first-generation PS3 owners in the cold.

However, the truth is, as Kuchera notes, differences between the two console's graphics are minimal to nonexistent. "By [the time PS3 has second-generation titles] we'll have Halo 3," Henson said. "We'll be on the third-generation games. We hope to always be a little bit ahead." When will Sony pull ahead of the Xbox 360, graphically, and to what extent is Ana Microsoft's secret weapon in keeping up?

See Also:
The second Xbox 360 (with HDMI): introducing " Zephyr"

[Thanks, Theo1130; image inspiration]
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