The Consumer Electronics Show kicks off today in Las Vegas, but Bill Gates will definitely not use his opening speech to whip out Xbox 2 for the first time.[br]"There are still rumours that we will be unveiling our next generation console at CES and this is not true," we were told by a spokesperson for Microsoft today. [br][br]Reports have suggested that rather than revealing Xbox 2 Gates will instead concentrate on discussing Microsoft's other products including PCs, media players and application software.[br][br]Speculation has been rampant for almost six months that Gates would use his keynote speech to unveil the new console, just as he did with the original Xbox in 2001. Then last month we revealed that the Games Developers Conference (GDC) taking place in San Francisco in March was a more likely venue for the console's debut, since Microsoft used it to unveil their XNA development tools there last year.[br][br]With this confirmation from Microsoft that Xbox 2 will not show up at CES, it may be that March will be the time to finally get a look at the machine - or possibly even May's E3 in Los Angeles. Microsoft has declined to comment on what event is more likely, so we'll have to waity and see.[br][br]It's a bit of a disappointment, but don't worry. Here's something that's bound to perk up your Xbox 2 pecker. Microsoft has had a patent approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office that offers some interesting insights into how Xbox 2 might perform.[br][br]The patent is for a "System and method for parallel execution of data generation tasks". Essentially, that means spreading out the processing burden across multiple chips. While this in itself is nothing new in computing, Microsoft's plans for parallel processing are extremely exciting.[br][br]In an exclusive interview with us last year Xbox head honcho J Allard discussed something he called "procedural synthesis" - letting the processing power of a console deal with creating realistic and varied repeated textures and shapes rather than forcing game developers to create them individually, and choking up processing bandwidth in the process.[br][br]The new Microsoft patent mentions this technique specifically, offering the example of a leaf and stating that all developers would need to do is specify its location and any factors affecting it, like wind. Procedural Synthesis would take care of the rest, endlessly creating as many leaves (or bricks, or tarnished metal walls and so on) as required.[br][br]On the surface it's not hugely exciting, but look a little deeper. What this all means is that Xbox 2 and future PC games will offer infinitely more realistic and varied game worlds while freeing up valuable processing power that developers can use to create bigger, better, more satisfying games. Now that's exciting.[br][br]More news further Xbox 2 developments as they happen.
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