XBox 360’s Metaverse Roots

Well this is interesting. Via a Wonderland post I’ve come across a piece over on TechRepublic that includes this bit:

What noted science-fiction novel did Xbox development chief J Allard use as his inspiration for the Xbox 360, a book he listed as required reading for his entire project team?

The tome in question is none other than Neal Stephenson’s 1992 cyberpunk epic Snow Crash. (Check out the Trivia Geek’s blog review of the book.)

While the Xbox 360 won’t necessarily usher in a dystopian future of franchised suburban nation-states, post-religious spoken-word mind control, and mafia-owned military-grade pizza delivery vehicles (all major fixtures in the book), Allard hopes that at least one plot device from Snow Crash—the persistent virtual world known as the Metaverse—will take one step closer to reality by way of Microsoft’s new game console.

I’ve not given too much thought lately to how Google’s entry affects my earlier prediction:

Prediction: Microsoft is building a virtual 3D world.

And I’m talking virtual world as in Snow Crash’s “Metaverse�. I’m making this prediction based on not just recent news, but on some very old things.

Certainly, Google’s entrance has affected how things will play out (and I read a very good piece on Google yesterday relating to some of this, but I need to digest it all). Then again my prediction is about what Microsoft is attempting to do and not whether they’ll be successful. Right now, it looks as if my thoughts were on the right track.