I would've posted this on the eight forums but my threads there always get ignored. Here it gets a chance of at least one post
Everyone familiar with the Windows Experience Index? Microsoft's intention was to make it somewhat easier to guess how powerful your system has to be in order to play a game. But what if you extended that to make Windows XBOX? Rumours have it that a later generation of the XBOX (maybe not the 720) will be based on Windows. But what if that means that this XBOX is simply running an XBOX edition of Windows (like Windows Home Premium or Windows Professional)? All it means is that a computer would simply have to meet minimum requirements to be Windows XBOX edition compatible, and then you can play XBOX games on it.
That also opens up another possibility: as time goes on, newer technologies come out that allow the latest sysatems to be much more powerful. Thus, Windows XBOX edition could come in tiers, with each level higher tier setting it's minimum requirements to take advantage of the latest generation technology available at the time.
here's how it would go:
Tier 1: minimum specifications that a computer manufacturer has to meet or exceed to allow their system to be XBOX Platform certified (the platform will simply not run if the minimums are not met. Tier 1 games are compatible with all XBOX platform certified systems.
Tier 2: is a higher standard of specifications. An XPC Tier 2 system will play all Tier 1 games, but can also play Tier 2 games that take advantage of the Tier 2 XPCS's superior capabilities. Tier 2 games are compatible with all systems Tier 2 and up.
Years later, microsoft can finalize the specifications for tier 3. Tier 3 systems take advantage of the latest technological developments to allow tier 3 games to be more complex and feature rich, while still supporting tier 1 and 2 games. repeat until infinity (or until future advances become incompatible with older tiers. Example: tier 7 is not compatible with anything below tier 5)
This also allows gaming enthusiasts to build and upgrade their own consoles, as long as they meet the tier requirements. for example: if someone has an upgradeable tier 1 console and tier 2 requires a more powerful graphics card, that person can simply replace his current graphics card instead of replacing the entire console.
Windows XBOX edition can come out with Tier 1 as a starter version for lightweight gaming, and Tier 2 can be for higher performance gaming. a year or so later, tier 3 comes out and is built upon the latest technology.