Microsoft has hired electronics testing firm Cimtek to put the early prototypes of the Xbox 360 through its paces. As Globe and Mail reports, Microsoft wants to be sure that everything is A-OK with the 360 before it begins mass production of the console in September so it can meet a November launch date.
The machine was whisked into a secure zone of the building, where Cimtek employees had signed non-disclosure agreements and passed criminal background checks.
Microsoft spent years of research and development and billions of dollars on the Xbox 360, and it hired Cimtek to make sure nothing "comes up to bite them," as one executive at the electronics testing company puts it.
Everyone likes to toss around specs and capabilities, but it's not often that we on the outside of the various game companies hear very much about product testing. Microsoft spent a lot of time and money making sure that the original Xbox performed to expectations and wouldn't melt in the heat or spontaneously combust.
While the article doesn't go into details on just how the 360 is being tested, I like to imagine a massive proving ground facility where 360s are bashed, burnt, frozen, flipped, dropped, and disemboweled. The more punishment they put the prototypes through, the more likely Cimtek and Microsoft will detect any problems and hopefully fix them before the consoles reach us later this year.