"We purchased a number of Apple G5's because very specific hardware components of the G5 allow developers to emulate some of the technology behind future Xbox products and services," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement. "This is an interim development tool that will be replaced with a more powerful and comprehensive solution later."
The current systemsare prototypes. Final systems are expected to come out in all three major regions--North America, Europe and Asia--by the end of the year.
The prices for the new consoles have yet to be announced, but executives have said they won't be released until after the E3 game conference in Los Angeles next week.
Some details have been released on the new console, such as its 20GB hard drive, DVD-ROM drive and 500MHz ATI graphics processor, but others will be announced during the conference. Executives have said that up to 40 titles for the Xbox 360 will be announced by the end of the year.
Thefrom Microsoft is based on a similar IBM PowerPC architecture used in Apple computers--the Xbox 360 uses three 3.2GHz symmetrical cores, according to the company. Apple has been using PowerPC chips since 1994 and Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs has said family of chips.
Microsoft recently switched processors from an Intel chip used in the first Xbox console to abased on Big Blue's Power technology in its new Xbox 360.