It’s no secret that there’s a new version of Media Center Extender that will be shipping soon (codenamed Pika). I just started using a prototype device at home, and I have to say that I’m pretty impressed so far. I’m an avid 360/MCX user, and while I love the rich 3D experience I get on it, I’ve always been disappointed by the lack of native divx/xvid support. Transcode360 is an ok workaround to the limitation, but my wife will never be able to figure out that to play a file you have to click Info/More and then select transcode. Plus I find that the transcoded file is just low-enough quality to make it not totally enjoyable for me.

Enter Pika in all its native-divx-support-glory. It’s just point, click, and enjoy on Pika – that could be enough to justify me buying one of these when it comes out and using it next to my 360...

 

6/25/07 addendum:

I had posted this to the comments section, but want to make it a little more visible by addending it to the post itself:

I should've been more clear in my original post - I was just so happy to see native divx support, I posted without going into the details. The media pipeline in Pika can handle quite a few media types as long as the hardware can manage the decode. You can see the supported media types for the processor that Chris calls out in his blog here: http://msmvps.com/blogs/chrisl/archive/2006/06/17/101784.aspx).

Our partners that are building retail product choose what features (wired and/or wireless, audio outputs, etc) + formats they will support. As it happens, the prototype device I'm using does support divx - and have I mentioned just how cool it is?! :) You'll just have to wait to see their press releases, but if what I've seen is any indication, you won't be disappointed!