An article by Charles Arthur in today’s Guardian highlights a growing problem for xbox 360 owners – the thing runs so hot, it overheats causing some kind of component failure. So it’s not only poorly engineered – I suspect the xbox 360 is not particularly green either.
The reason I mention this is that Microsoft is planning to offer a high definition video on demand service for the xbox 360. That means households with an xbox 360 and broadband will be able to download 50 Gbyte movies over the Internet.
Call me a cynic but how will the Internet cope with thousands upon thousands of 50 Gbyte downloads every day? It could end up like one permanent denial of service attack as all the bandwidth gets consumed. The only people to make big money out of this will be the network companies, the people who own bandwidth and companies like Akamai that offer content networks to move the data closer to the consumer. Will BT’s 21CN cope?
Moreover, to support on-demand video, there will need to be astronomical amounts of storage and farms of servers running 24 by 7. And as I have said in the past, data centre IT infrastructure is not green.
In the business world Microsoft talks a lot about how its products increase productivity. But I’m not convinced that adding HTML scripting in Outlook and the ability to run email Word macro viruses automatically has really improved our productivity.
So it’s hard to see the productivity gains a home user will achieve from having to wait an hour to download the video onto an energy inefficient xbox 360 via a massive content delivery network, rather than the five minute walk to the video rental shop. Not exactly what I would call progress. The walk will surely do some good, and may even boost our green credentials.