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Microsoft

XBox Screenshot Flim-Flammery? 210

X_Bones points to discussion on ign.com, saying: "There's been some amount of talk recently about XBox screenshots being touched up using Photoshop. Apparently a game character was pasted on the scene background and a stock Photoshop lens flare was added (which looks like it centers on the eyewear frame, and not the lens itself). here(1)'s a comparison between the "original" and a lens flare, and here(2) and here(3) are two more detailed comparisons." While companies have long used visual and verbal exaggerations of their products (glass marbles hold up soup veggies, and fruit glistens with baby oil), implying extra graphics capabilities for what is essentially a graphics box seems a little worse than some advertisng slime-tactics, though this too surely isn't new. The screenshots on the XBox site have been updated, but gamers seem to have long, intense, pixel-specific memories.
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X-Box Screenshot Flim-Flammery?

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  • Somewhat different situation... A photo of the Cube had been leaked, and analysts found evidence of Photoshop touch-ups on the picture. For some reason, they believed that Apple would never "touch up" a real product picture, and so the picture had to be fake. The picture was real (same picture that showed up on the Apple website), but it was Apple that had done the photoshop work.The question was not whether the image had been Photoshoped (it had), but what significance that fact had.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You mean your Big Macs aren't as juicy and delicious as the ones pictured on the ad? Yours don't come with crisp full pieces of lettuce, tomato and a thick patty of the purest American beef? haha. More like a couple 16th of an ounce patties that are actually 1/24th of an ounce combined after cooking and some shredded wilting green crap they call lettuce.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Stop reading /. for news and discussion, read for amusement.

    Learn to spot the trolls, too, if you can't already. It's quite entertaining to watch the effects of a good troll as it suckers people in. Almost like one of the currently fashionable 'voyeur' TV programs, 'examining' human nature.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 18, 2001 @04:07PM (#354951)
    Given that anyone who voted for either Bush or Gore probably is American, I can easily agree.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 18, 2001 @04:08PM (#354952)
    I have ton of random thoughts.

    Maybe its Fraud, yet Dreamcast games use Lens Flare in many of the premier titles.

    Many of the outdoor 3d combat games use Lens Flare (such as Soul Calibur), and many outdoor race games such as Sega Extreme Sports, I seem to recall.

    Live Lensflare added on top of a 3d scene is simple and is merely an overlay, and is not 3d intensive, It moves interestingly as the camera swivels past the action, but its still not a big deal.

    Faking shadows would be far more serious of fraud for XBOX, or faking reflections, translucency, flowing robe animation, flowing hair, course woven cloth etc.

    But faking a lens flare is not a big deal because its not a big deal to add in real life and not a massive computation.

    Am I shoked that they would resort to fraud? No. Some game console companies in the late 1970s and early 1980s used to have a fake console box on a table but the wires to the demo screen came from special high end hardware hidden in rackmount device under the convention table!

    Switching BOXES is the ultimate fraud. And that was done.

    Gaming companies are all corrupt. They survive on draconian punishment clauses for publicly discussing terms of distriution.

    3D0 (a 602 PPC console) and Apple Pippin (603 PPC) had 3% royalty extrortions of the GROSS, same as the Apple Newton. 3% of the GROSS not NET sales.

    And if you did not like it, your media could not ever boot becuase the devices booted encrypted (scrambled technically), media only.

    3D0,Pippin, and Newton are all dead. Maybe the 3% had something to do with it.

    The TI/994A had a PATENT ON THE CONNECTOR to the game cartridge. A Patent! Just to keep out unlscenced content. Years later in Europe they agreed that you can ignore patents desinged to merely prohibit interoperability, like the TI-994A game connector patent.

    The Europeans also allowed that Kodaks disgusting PATENT on a file format was invalid and that people not wanting to spend 100,000 dollars to obtain the PhotoCD fle format manual from Kodak could use the "bootleg" independently reverse engineered PhotoCD code.

    Imagine a patent on ASCII files!

    The disgusting american DMCA is headed back toward protecting such disgusting things.

    Apple had no less than FIVE, count them FIVE fraudulent patents on the PEF container file format header.

    Without a PEF header no code can load in Apples newer PowerPC architectures. Creating a PEF header required 5 thousnad dollar liscence from apple.

    5 Thousand. Even if you wnat ed to write a shareware or freeware assembler or small c compiler.

    5 Thousnad for PEF was so disgusting in turned my stomach the real goal was to make money off EVERY PROGRAM EVER WRITTEN FOR THE MAC. And porno and anti-women content would make you lose the "made for Mac" box art. They also had executive artistic content control over Pippin and Macintosh games.

    Eventually After Tom Dowdy (i thinm it was jim) finally wrote a letter to Dr Dobbs, apple stopped charging people 5 thousnad to look at how to make object code loadable on a powermac.

    Metrowerks (now Motorola) also had to pay 5 thousand. I asked them.

    The XBox will be little different from all other protected content delivery platforms... Encryption, scrambling, violation of CD R-W channels and or 14 bit EFM moduilation, bogus session lead out information, and probably new stuff like track wobble detection to combat CDR at a hardware reading level.

    But liscensing and patents will no doubt be a part of the the pay-per-play model.
  • good flame, now you just need to fix your sig so you can be taken seriously.
  • by Wakko Warner ( 324 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @04:46PM (#354954) Homepage Journal
    It looks like the games I play on my PC now.

    I'm impressed!

    - A.P.

    --
    * CmdrTaco is an idiot.

  • Fortunately, the homebrew development communities are more impressed by ideas-in-action than flat screenshots. Now if I can figure out how to add lens flares to this game [min.net], then I'm all set. ;>

    By the way, here's a Random Dreamcast Lens-Flare [min.net] that still manages to beat the pants off M$'s screenshot.

  • Posted by VitSoft:

    No way, just darkness :( MS monopoly growing now. Do you accepting it ? ;)
  • They also have a lifetime warranty... check the box.
  • Put down those eyebrows, Milhouse. And the other one.

    --
    "Where, where is the town? Now, it's nothing but flowers!"

  • "The sad part is, I'm probably going to have to abandon my argument in the question of Win vs. Mac, that Windows is more configurable." Nothing personal but the "sad part" is that your argument is only between Mac and Windows, who cares about both, run linux and be done with it.
  • The profits, from any purchase of Microsoft software or hardware product, will be utilized to limit my choices in software. I refuse to contribute my money to their war chest.
  • Deliver, yes. But the technology is HP's, and it was licensed out to Logitech, and Apple, and probably several other companies by now.

    As for the wheel, wasn't that Mouse Systems?
  • at any fast food place. Look at the food on the menu then look at the food you get there is a big difference. That is just a picture on what is expected look like let us how well it comes out in the end.
  • How soon after launch will xBSD or LinuX be available. Since MS will sell the $350 cost machine at $200 we should be in for a treat.
  • The point I was trying to make is that everyone shows the best side of the product in an ad - MS, Redhat, whoever - that's advertising.

    How sad that this is accepted. One of the critical points for captilalism to work correctly is that the consumer has to be informed and know what the better product for their needs is. Modern day adverstising (and reviews) tell you little about the product in a manner you can use to make an informed purchase. Lies like this X-box show, and I'm sure just about every other advertiser uses, just makes it that much harder for a consumer, who doesn't spend a lot of time in research, to make an informed purchasing decision.

  • Actually, check out the video... http://www.microsoft.com/games/gamestock/videos/am ped.avi [microsoft.com] What impressed me was the trees and how the trees in the distance showed parallex scrolling. That isn't just a pretty background. Everything is rendered realtime, better than anything I've seen on my computer.

    Time flies like an arrow;
  • Poor, poor misunderstood Microsoft. Just a bunch of working-class slobs trying to make a buck, and maybe getting a little overeager at times.

    Feh. I don't believe it. Here's what happened:

    1. They throw something out there. It's a fake, but they don't tell anyone.

    2. Someone spots the trickery and cries foul.

    3. Microsoft feigns innocence: "OH, we didn't say it was a manufactured demo? Sorry, must have slipped our minds."

    And, BTW, I'm not talking about the Xbox here - I'm thinking of what happened with that "demo" videotape during their antitrust trial. Anyone remember that? Anyone see a pattern here? Anyone still trust Microsoft?

    --Jim
  • Ok that Slashdot is too biased e know. That's undoubtful and unforgetable.

    But that does not change the fact that M$ is playing dirt. Some people claim that "it's natural" and that "everyone does" and "it's expected" in a game development stage.

    Whoever does this is acting quite uethical in relation to its potential consumers. If "everyone" does this then we have a problem in this industry.

    But I could accept it... Should I? No! That would be accepting that "butter" can be stamped on every piece of grease with a look near to butter. That would be accepting certain companies to claim their product is made of oranges, lemons ot other fruits. That would be accepting that major corps would "forget" to add the level of conservants in their products.

    Yes, it's a piece of software. But M$ sells it to me the same way as Coca-Cola sells me its cans. Why should I accept?
  • You're not getting the point though. You say that it's fine, and legal, because X-Box will eventually be able to do the things that these screenshots show. However, let's go back to the car example.

    Cars will eventually be able to do big loops in the air, as well as even fly about. However, if Chrystler were to show this on their commercials air next month, it would be false advertising, and would be illegal. Until the game can actually do it, they can't advertise that it does.

    What Microsoft is actually advertising is a photoshop doctored picture, something which X-Box will never be able to create. Microsoft can legally post a screenshot taken from 20 different X-Box generated screens, but if they add even one photoshop generated scene, it's false advertising.
  • You gave a car example, where a company could post a prototype picture of a car door , before it was actually developed, and it would not be false advertising. This might be the case, however a declaration must be made that this is actually a made-up image.

    You state repetitively that these doctored images are not harming the consumer. I'm not an anti-Microsoft zealot. I'm not blinded by hate towards Microsoft programmers. I don't even believe that consumers are wronged by being shown doctored images from a game system currently in development. I understand that X-Box should be able to do this kind of stuff in the future. The point still remains, however, that they didn't tell us that these images were doctored, leading us to the conclusion that when we buy an X-Box six months from now, the image should look like that. Since it won't be able to run Photoshop filters, it won't look like that, and the consumer gets the shaft.
  • Ok, now you're just taking things I've said out of context.

    The bottom line is that if a company is selling something that can do graphics, and makes a prototype image to demonstrate the power that they intend to put in, they ought to declare it as a prototype. If they do not, consumers will assume it's the real deal, and be wronged because of it.
  • by M@T ( 10268 )
    The sticking point, though, is the following quote from the site: "Yes, these are actual screen shots!" and yes, its probably been done since the days of pacman. But that shouldn't stop us from thowing M$ and co. into the fire should it? ;-) M@T

  • Its a fair point.

    This is just another example of their willingness to go to any length to prop-up and maintain THE IMAGE, no matter what the cost.

    They are, above all else, a marketing company albeit a very good one :(
  • Well, at least I "guesed" correctly, the models were pasted by MS. They confirmed all the screenshots were concept art. To my surprise of course, I initially tought only the "face closeup" picture was fake.
  • They added the "yes these are actual screenshots" after news sites picked up our thread in the IGN forums.
  • The lens flare is not the only problem. The biggest problem is that they pasted much higher high-poly characters on top of real game shots !

    The new screenshots show the big difference in character quality.
  • They posted a "clarification" on Friday (no longer there)

    xbox.com clarification

    Some of the images for Amped released during Gamestock were enhanced to illustrate some features that will be in the final product. While this is a common practice for games so early in development, we apologize for the confusion. No one intended to be deceptive. Everyone was so busy prepping for Gamestock, that we just missed the fact that these were labeled "concept art". Frankly, we're impressed with the skillz of those digital sleuths! Nice work!

    I've tried to document this whole thing since we talked about it in the IGN forums in my website [sellmic.com].
  • The character was pasted on top of the "real" in game background, that was the worst offense, not the lens flare. The lens flare is just what "caught" our attention initially.
  • Excellent point.

    This is not only about MS, but other game companies trying to fool the public. However, MS does make a good example as usual, so this story will hopefully make game developers be more careful in the future.

    Either that, or they'll hire more professional "fake screenshot" engineers. :)
  • I think the lens flare thing is common, but not the "pasting of high poly models" on top of real in-game backgrounds.

    The funny thing is, we tought it was only the close up of the boarder that was fake, but it turned out (like many suspected) that all of the screenshots had fake characters in them.

    This is like pasting a render of a dinosaur from the Jurassic Park movie on top of a pixelated background from a real game and claiming that's how the game looks.
  • This is insulting, yet extremely funny !!! LOL !
  • ... specially MS, is more fun than doing their marketing work for them.

    Also, many gaming sites found this newsworthy, so I don't know why you're complaining :

    planetgamecube.com [planetgamecube.com]
    computerandvideogames.com [computeran...ogames.com]
    fgnonline.com [fgnonline.com]
    gamers.com [gamers.com]
    xbox.ign.com [ign.com]
  • Read what site, the one that links the images in my homepage ?!?!? http://sellmic.com

    LOL !!!
  • I guess you missed the part where MS admitted *ALL* the shots were "concept art". LOL !
  • The main problem with the shots was that they cut & pasted characters on them. The lens flare was just the thing that caught our attention.
  • Again, the main problem here wasn't the lens flare, but the snowboarder model.

    It was a pre-rendered high quality character, that does not look like that in the real game.
  • The final proof, is that xbox.com admitted these images were "concept" art, and not only was the image I picked apart faked, but the others as well.

    Now, the only thing you need to do to convince yourself, is to go to xbox.com and see the "new" "real" Amped screenshots, the model looks nothing like the first released images.
  • I think it's a safe assumption that this could be an honest mistake. I guess most of us are just more skeptical when it comes to Microsoft. :)

    I'm reminded of the Spanish saying :

    "Cria fama y acuestate a dormir."

    Sort of means : "Create a reputation and go to sleep".

    BTW : The other screenshots, didn't have the horrible edge artifacts with the model, they were somewhat more believeable, yet, they proved to be "concept art" too.
  • I don't know why people are making this McDonald's comparision, this is ridiculous.

    There were screenshots released at GameStock, to prove how "powerful" the X-Box is, and how it's games look.

    Does McDonald's release tech demos ?

    Also, what do you suggest we do ? Just ignore it for the good of MS ?
  • > Also, its a fucking silly thing anyway. Does anyone out there really think that of all the things the X-Box can't do,real-time lens flares are one of them? Heh heh. How silly is this shit?

    They probably can. Initially this is want hinted to us that there was a problem with this picture. However, the main thing was that the character model was pasted on the real game background.

    Look at the new screenshots (real ones) and the old ones and compare, there's a BIG difference in poly count/quality of the models.
  • > The doctoring was minimal. They threw a background up behind the character and put a crappy lens flare in. Big fucking deal. Wrong.

    They pasted the characters on top of the background. The background is in-game, the character is not.
  • There isn't some sort of "conspiracy", actually, I think the MS team reacted responsibly. We discussed this mess in the IGN forums like midnight/early morning of last Friday. And by late afternoon, xbox.com clarified the whole situation.

    The only question is, was it an honest mistake, or a real attempt of deception ?
  • > If that's the case how do you know that the edge issues aren't the result of the players being rendered using a different meathod ?

    Because usually, you don't get random white pixels intersecting the background. Also, like I pointed out in my image [sellmic.com], there are 3 types of edges. This is very strange, plus the edge around the character is just typical "pasted" image on Photoshop quality.

    Notice also, that there are white pixels, even when the intersection of colors does not contain any white (trees and face).

    This type of problem, could have been a bug, but coupled with the obvious fake lens flare, and the apparent resolution differences between the character and the background, it's obvious it's pasted on.

    Anyways, it doesn't matter if I proved it completely or not, MS admitted those characters were added to the backgrounds. :)
  • Does this really surprise anybody? This is the same company that submitted doctored videos as evidence in court.

    As a corporation, they have absolutely no conscience. I'm sure there are some good, honest people working for MS, but I don't know how they can do it. I guess they must truly believe the propaganda.
  • I agree for the most part, but I think the whole point was, why doctor it if it can do it already. So if they had to doctor it some people are probably thinking that the xbox can't do it.

    The only thing I would say to that is you are probably right for the most part. But, if you had a vision for a game, and it was not complete, would you modify the graphics to represent what you think the finished product would look like, or would you just post an image from the incomplete product?

    Bryan R.
  • by BRock97 ( 17460 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @03:47PM (#354997) Homepage
    Man, I have been a reader for the longest of times, and this just depresses me. They should change their logo to read "Rage against Microsoft. Any chance we get." Here we get game related news like this, when no one posted the fact that the president of Sega, one of THE gaming companies of the 80's and 90's, passed away last week, something that made every other EMU, game site, and some news organizations. This is dumb. Advertising has been doing this for the longest time! How many magazines have we seen that have had someone air brushed in some way?! Hell, that Microsoft/Borg icon Slashdot uses [slashdot.org] was probably touched up in some way, how about a four image document on how that was done! Plus, it is just retarded. Do you really believe that a lens flare is a huge deal, something that my original Voodoo would do with Wing Commander?! Get a life.

    Bryan R.
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @03:23PM (#354999)
    What do you expect from a company that fakes their computer displays for courtroom evidence?

    --
  • If Taco claimed that the Gates of Borg icon was an actual screenshot, I think there'd be some uproar.

    --
  • I think one of the big deal about MS-Xbox doing it is that they have hyped it up so much you'd think it could do lens flares in real time. I mean I believed that too

    It can do lens-flares in real time -- check out http://gamershq.madonion.com for their 3D Mark 2001 benchmark app, which will give you some feeling as to what the XBox will do.

    Simon
  • While I admit that this is rather interesting evidence, and I'm no fan of M$, when the apple powermac g4 cube [apple.com] was first rumored at, at least one [appleinsider.com] website offered evidence that it was faked in photoshop (note that they have since removed their photoshop analyzation of the images of the cube). If apple users (notably image experts) can't really figure out if an image is faked, how can we expect others to?
  • And that will be, which game machine will more people buy at what profit margin per box and per game.

    My bet is on Nintendo for first place, and Microsoft for the usual second place. But Microsoft will act like it has the better box, because that's what they do.

    [caveat - I own shares of both MSFT and NTDOY (ADR)]

  • > Xbox isn't out... So what if they paste in trees?

    Well, maybe it's because their Xbox site says "Yes, these are actual acreenshots" below the pictures...

    - - - - -
  • by 1010011010 ( 53039 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @03:58PM (#355022) Homepage
    It is common practice to produce 'estimated-will-look-like' graphics for games as the first stage of greasing the media hype machine

    ... is it common practice to label doctored images with the legend "Yes, these are actual screenshots?"

    - - - - -
  • The intellimouse I bought in 1996 is still working great. It occasionally gets gummed up with crap from the mousing surface, but when I clean that out its as good as new. The internals are well designed, and the casing, moving parts, and electronics are all very well built.

    Plus they were the first company to deliver optical mice that don't need a reflective mousepad. And the first company to have a mouse with a scroll wheel.

    I hear their joysticks are of comparable quality, but I haven't used them myself. But my experience with microsoft hardware has been quite excellent in all cases.
  • Hmmmm... so Microsoft doctors something which they claim to be legitimate evidence, and then gets caught when the details are looked into. Reminds me of a video tape during the antitrust trial.

    Sorry, but anyone who says that this is just an honest mistake by Microsoft is deluding themselves. The mistake that Microsoft is a really sorry about is getting caught.
  • The only thing that slashdot MAY have done wrong was to NOT post OTHER game sites that do this.

    What Microsoft did was shitty. Using the 'but everyone does it' excuse is childish and immature. If you can't demonstrate the actually quality of your product in pre-release, then DON'T DEMONSTRATE YOUR PRODUCT.

    If you look at the new images, there is a SEVERE difference in the quality of the image between the 'REAL' post, and the DOCTORED post is dramatically different. So, why aren't the doctored images 'false advertising?.
  • Is it me, or some of us have WAY TOO MUCH TIME to spend trying to find absurd details like this one. You have some m4D photoshop skillz and you can zoom a picture and find out that there's three type of edge. Great, you've solved every single problem on planet earth.

    Sorry for being a troll, but sometimes I can't believe all the hours wasted looking for stupid details like this one. The worst part is that slashdot is posting 'em :/.
  • Granted, the comment was a bit blunt, but is a "troll" label necessary?

    There was ample evidence to suggest that Microsoft did fake demonstration videos during the DOJ trial. The Washington Post reported in Feb 1999 (sorry, no URL available) that "Microsoft was forced to concede that the demonstrations contained inaccuracies". Wired also reported [wired.com] that Microsoft conveniently "edited" video to that inaccurately suggested that Netscape Communicator was easier to install than it really was. the DOJ submitted their own footage indicating this, which forced MS Vice President Brad Chase to concede.

    Newsbytes reported a similar incident (sorry, no URL available), when Boise confronted Allchin with proof that another MS video didn't depict what it was supposed to about the "Felton Program" and its effect on Internet Explorer.

    Each time this happens, Microsoft responds with a "Whoops! An unfortunate mistake!" Of course, they only seem to do this when they're caught. I haven't heard of an incident when they've volunteered this information before someone caught them.

  • by neier ( 103246 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @03:27PM (#355038)
    Is this really M$ fault?? I mean, every _other_ X-* site has some touched-up
    pictures for download, and nobody seems to complain about them. ;-)
  • caveat - I own shares of both MSFT and NTDOY (ADR)]

    Sweek Jesus! Don't tell me everyone is going to start add stock disclaimers to their posts - as if IANAL wasn't bad enough!

  • They have an ad here in the US showing a pickup pulling the moon down to the earth with a large chain. I don't think that would work in real life.

    In fact I have seen many ads here which seem to show things which just plain wouldn't happen. And quite a few with just plain outright lies. Coming from the UK, this was quite a shock to me as consumer protection is taken quite seriously there (for better or worse) and honesty in advertising is strictly enforced (an exception was made for Heineken as the claims in their adverts were considered as just too outlandish to apply (as I guess the pickup/moon could claim to be)

    Rich

  • Open source zealots touch up their screenshots too.
    What you just mention is not "touching up". Touching up means that the pixels are manipulated after the screenshot has been taken. What they do is take the screenshot when there are no bad things happening. This is like in a car commercial, do they ever show scenes when cars crash? No, they don't. And this is perfectly legal (because there are no untruths). If they would show the cars flying through the air doing loops, that would be illegal, because the cars could not perform that in reality. This is what Microsoft has done, add things to the screenshot which do not exist in reality (the lens flare, and maybe even the character). In some countries at least this is illegal and is called "misleading marketing".
  • With a 3d engine you could end up with 'jaggie' edges, like the trees have with the rest of the backdrop, but this isn't what you get round the figure. The figure had already been anti-aliased, only they'd been anti-aliased onto a white backdrop, when they cut'n'pasted off this they had the problem that there were rogue stray white pixels round the figure, and the edges faded to white. This is not a new problem, designers face this everyday when copying images from stock studio photographs to use elsewhere. What is new is their solution: Don't bother. Given a Photoshop-equipped machine and a bit of time I could have removed the white edges to some reasonable amount, and I'm not a professional designer.

    The fact is these were not only faked, but faked badly. Yes, you can easily get better images from a 3d package, or Photoshop, but these didn't do it. The artifacts round the character are definately those of copying off a white background though, I somehow don't think nVidia are suddenly going to build chips that randomly add white pixels round a character, and alias the surrounding character pixels to them and not the background. It's pathetic.

    Now the reason this is the 'worst offence' is that in game graphics the amount of polugons, and the shading used on them, is king. nVidia became leaders by throwing more polygons round in a reasonable time than their competitors. The face on this screenshot is pretty much what I'd expect from a pre-render for a 3d package.. the actual polygon quality is far in excess of what most games have at the moment. Yes, XBox will be capable of doing some quite incredible 3d tricks (Having read, and salivated, at the specs for the GeForce3 I can tell nVidia is doing some good stuff) but it won't be capable of this. That's the problem, the face is too good, and claiming it's an actual screenshot is a blatant lie.

    This is like a newspaper doctoring the image of President Bush to actually show devil's horns sticking out of the top of his head, and claiming it's an actual photograph. No matter what your politics, or viewpoint, what was done here was lying- not marketing. It's simple.


  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @05:57PM (#355048) Homepage
    Yes, and it was held to be illegal. FTC vs. Campbell Soup Co., 77 FTC 664 (1970).
  • Stop buying soup from the store then.
    ---
  • What Microsoft is actually advertising is a Photoshop doctored picture, something which X-Box will never be able to create.

    Are you saying that the Xbox won't be able to do simple 2d image transformations that I could do on my Pentium 75? Adobe premiere was capable of doing the lens flair effect in better then real time on a 60mhz PPC Mac back at my high school. In fact, most lens flair effects in video games don't have anything to do with 3d. Just a couple of alpha blended circles being drawn on the screen. I'm sure the X-box would be capable of it.

    A lens flair is totally within the realm of the X-Box's graphic capability.

    Rate me on Picture-rate.com [picture-rate.com]
  • Why wouldn't it be able to run photoshop filters? You don't think adobe would license their code?

    Anyway, the final lens flair might look a little diffrent, but probably not by much.

    Rate me on Picture-rate.com [picture-rate.com]
  • The site said photoshop, but the slashdoterotii were claming that the site was wrong and the image was a 3d render.

    But whatever, almost every image looks 'doctored' if you look close enough.

    Rate me on Picture-rate.com [picture-rate.com]
  • Nope, the NVidia card in the Xbox is going to be at least one generation ahead of the one they're going to be selling to consumers.

    Rate me on Picture-rate.com [picture-rate.com]
  • Please stop making claims for a machine that doesn't exist yet. You have no idea of the exact specs of the machine yet, merely what an accomplished hype machine says are the specs. Just like the Windows 2000 final version was missing some of the promised features, I'm willing to bet that the XBox will too.
  • MS did this with another game [planetgamecube.com] too. have they no shame?
  • Specifically, I remember Sony doing this for the PS2 (not to be confused with PS/2...duh). They produced screenshots of games not yet in development by taking screenshots from existing playstation titles and making them look better.

  • Cars will eventually be able to do big loops in the air, as well as even fly about. However, if Chrystler were to show this on their commercials air next month, it would be false advertising, and would be illegal.
    But say their new car had a new type of door. If all of the technology and research and design work was in place to make implementing the door a trivial matter, and this was clear, would it still be false advertising if it wasn't on the current development version of the car? Are you really so biased against Microsoft that you can't see a Microsoft programmer being able to use a simple lens flare?

    Until the game can actually do it, they can't advertise that it does.
    False advertising prevent you the consumer from buying a product that was advertised to be able to do more than what the product you bought can do. You cannot buy the development XBox, and the XBox that you will be able to buy will contain all of the features that they advertise. How are you, as the consumer, being wronged?

    Microsoft can legally post a screenshot taken from 20 different X-Box generated screens, but if they add even one photoshop generated scene, it's false advertising.
    In the little banner ad above the Slashdot site here, I can see some examples of what you can do with the service being advertised, which appear to be commands typed out on a shell (bash, actually). Is it false advertising if those commands were something that you could type into bash and get the result they promise, but if the actual commands shown were put into the image in photoshop? How are you wronged? How is the consumer hurt?
  • The doctoring was minimal. They threw a background up behind the character and put a crappy lens flare in. Big fucking deal.

    If you look at the pictures of Abe's Oddyssey for XBox, which has no "modifications" at all, you'll see that they're just as amazing, if not more so. XBox has put out the best visuals of all the upcoming consoles, hands down.

  • They're Sidewinder gamepads work very well. As do most of their Natural keyboards.
  • Uh, hello? Not only are you comparing apples and oranges with the processor (Pentium III vs. G4), but you're not even factoring in the price. $400 for the XBox vs. $3000-4000-whatever for the G4 (those Apples are usually ridiculously overpriced anyway).

    The whole point of hacking a cheap box is because it's cheap. $400 for a high-end P3, NVidia GeForce 3, 100 MB ethernet, 8GB hard drive, 2 USB ports and high end video outputs doesn't seem like a bad deal to me AT ALL.

  • My original Intellimouse Explorer still works. It's been.. what.. 2 years or something?
  • will be utilized to limit my choices in software.

    Uh, how? If you use free software (which I imagine you do, low user #3438) your software choices aren't limited by buying X-Box at all. There will still be a million Linux distros. Freshmeat will still exist.

    If anything, you'll actually be hurting Microsoft by not purchasing software to support the traditional console model (sell the hardware below cost, then rack up profits with the licensing fees). If you're totally against Microsoft so far as you have the words "anti-M$" tatooed to your arm, purchasing the X-Box hardware then not getting the software is probably the BEST thing you can do.

  • Sorry about that. NetBSD.
  • by Fervent ( 178271 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @04:02PM (#355084)
    Ok, I post a ton of stories about the upcoming XBox to Slashdot. The machine has some wicked graphic capabilities with the new NVidia card, it supports DVD, has ethernet and has a hard drive. If nothing else, that should get every Slashdot hacker's Spidey-sense tingling. If you think the Dreamcast was a good cheap machine to put FreeBSD on, what about this thing?

    But no. We focus on the same "Slashdot M$" bullshit as always. The enhance a couple of pics. Key word: a couple. They throw a crappy lens flare up and change the background. Personally I thought the pictures looked worse.

    But does anyone at Slashdot look at some of the other, non-modified screenshots like Abe's Oddysey (which look awesome?) Or say anything other than "Well it's M$. We know they'se are the eE. Where are my Warez? I'm so l33t!" Noooooooo.

    This is such absolute biased bullshit. We've got a great machine here people. Why shoot it down. Why not hack the damn thing. Noone seems to know about this on Slashdot because, quite frankly, most of the people who are anti-MS here act like complete children.

    Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit...

  • by IvyMike ( 178408 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @03:34PM (#355085)

    George Broussard of 3D Realms stated earlier this year that he opposed people taking their own screenshots and posting them on the web or using those shots in magazines. [theregister.co.uk] His interest, of course, is to prevent crappy screenshots from making his games look like crap.

    But of course, the problem with his position is that unethical game developers might try to start passing off touched-up photos as the real deal. I guess we should thank Microsoft (king of the unethical) for proving this point. Good, uncensored reviews are important for the consumer; then it doesn't matter if the screenshots coming out of MS are fake. Informed consumers will be able to seek out and find the truth out for themselves.

    Uninformed consumers, of course, will still be duped, but they already get duped by crappy games in great looking boxes covered with screenshots of pre-rendered cut scenes.

  • Check out PlanetXbox [planetxbox.com] for Micro$oft's reply.... something about those pictures being "concept art mis-labeled as screenshots". Yeah, just an accident... sure. ;)
  • In this case, I can assign this to the marketing as usual nonsense from the Microsoft Marketroids.

    I do not even assign them any particular malice in this sort of thing. I see it as sort of being an ingrained character trait. They might not even be aware of it as a bad thing to do as such. They migh have all sorts of reasons, like all of the good MS has done for the world.

    Microsoft has been famous for vaporware and demos that were not the real thing for many many years. You expect them to suddenly get religion now?

    Even their faithful supporters know better, and expect a flim flam from the marketing department, an exaggerated claim, a quick shuffle and brush off. Even their supporters know to be just a little bit cynical.

    We are not even talking about their "Evil Master Plan"(tm) - We are talking about the culture and the business as usual attitudes. If you live within that culture for many years, all kinds of things becomes justifiable.

    A note of caution: if you choose to fight monsters, be careful that you do not turn into a monster yourself.

  • 3DFX focused on quality over frame rate - for the time being the 5500 will sit.

    Now _THAT'S_ a riot. When every other hardware company had moved to 24/32-bit color 3dfx was the only company not making the transition, trying to convince everyone that there wasn't a difference anyways. 3dfx' mantra was frame-rate over quality, and they were very explicit in stating this. It's just interesting seeing revisionist history such as what you are stating.

    They bought out the competitoin and sold thier souls to Microsoft.

    Bought out? 3dfx was headed to the grave. nvidia did what was reasonable and obtained the technology, though most likely purely to ensure there are no ridiculously broad patents in 3dfx' portfolio that a malicious buyer could use to harrass them with. Windows happens to be on the majority of home PCs, and many console makers are looking to supplant PCs and take over as your primary home entertainment/net access box and this represents a threat to both Microsoft and nvidia (mind you these vacuous threats are about as credible as Marc Andreeson's claims many years ago that Netscape would shortly be your operating system), so of course they coordinate to take on contenders such as Sony and Nintendo. More power to them.

  • So I don't get why people are so excited about the Xbox, technologically; I guess before graduating a CS/CE major, I didn't know any better... is that all that's happening now? Compare, say, a PowerMac tower:
    Similar NVidia card
    DVDR/DVD/CDRW (take your pick)
    Ethernet
    Hard drive
    It also has a faster processor (G4 at 733MHz) as well as gigabit ethernet(I think)

    I guess it's going to be 8x more expensive, but the point is those hardware junkies could get a similar machine now... while the BSD people, well, can wait for their XBox, I guess.

    Is it the prospect of a Microsoft driven gaming economy? Or the high quality of Microsoft software? What?

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • Yeah, I can see the appeal in terms of price, but I don't see why people think this is going to be such an awesome 'gaming' machine, when it really isn't so extraordinary...

    And as per the processor, I know they are of different breeds... but still, a 733MHz G4 vs a 733MHz PIII isn't exactly unfair, since they both exhibit the same clock!

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • by Cirvam ( 216911 )
    Its been happening forever. Once the console comes out indepented reviews go over it and will tell us that its shit. Most games/console have been doctoring photos forever.
  • The milk in the spoon isn't milk. It's glue. Also, 3dfx would NEVER paint their logo on the surface of the chip; it would only be engraved. And that's leaving out the fact that the heatsink/fan isn't on the chip on the on-box photo.
  • by rabtech ( 223758 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @03:34PM (#355109) Homepage
    Whatever Microsoft has managed to lodge up timothy's arse, he should have it removed :)

    Anyhow, here are the specifics of the situation:

    1) Microsoft released some screenshots
    2) Some gamers noticed that they looked faked, and an uproar was started
    3) Microsoft re-checked the images, and had this to say:

    "Some of the images for Amped released during Gamestock were enhanced to illustrate some features that will be in the final product. While this is a common practice for games so early in development, we apologize for the confusion. No one intended to be deceptive. Everyone was so busy prepping for Gamestock, that we just missed the fact that these were labeled "concept art". Frankly, we're impressed with the skillz of those digital sleuths! Nice work!"

    4) The game dev team issued new screenshots, which they insist are in-game, and haven't been doctored in any way, and hte old shots were removed.

    You can read threads about this entire debacle over at Ars:
    http://arstechnica.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q= Y& a=tpc&s=50009562&f=39309975&m=3490923121

    and at Dailyradar:
    http://forums.dailyradar.com/2/OpenTopic?q=Y&a=t pc &s=610091063&f=742091063&m=1620961441

    The long and the short of it is no, there isn't some sort of conspiracy, and Microsoft isn't pulling a sham on anyone. If you really think that all of the media and so forth up to this point is fake, then you have two options:

    a) go see the thing demoed somewhere when it comes out
    b) don't buy it.

    Simple, ne?


    -------
    -- russ

    "You want people to think logically? ACK! Turn in your UID, you traitor!"
  • by eclectro ( 227083 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @04:31PM (#355111)
    There needs to be a seperation (if not here on slashdot) between microsofts hardware and software. Their software (especially the upcoming versions with all the content protection crap, back door holes, call in for install permission) deserves to be loathed.

    Microsofts hardware though is glorious. It's all beautifully engineered, and works as advertised. It's like they are two different companies.

    It's a Dr, Jekyll - Mr. Hyde relationship. So perhaps the don't deserve some of the flames on the hardware side (and do you ever hear any??). But doctoring the photos "because everybody does it" doesn't make it right.

    That being said, if you have read slashdot for any length of time, the kind of journalism here is off the cuff and raw, bias built in. Its not meant for the average CNN crowd.

    In fact, your post is as flamy as some of the bias you set out to condemn. Your points would carry more weight if they didn't have the flames.

  • You know, torches used on turkeys,...

    Uhm, actually I don't know, what does that mean? flashlight? blowtorch? what turkeys? Just curious!

  • Note - I merely said this was common - and I gave an example of totally away from technology ads to showcase that fact. The point I was trying to make is that everyone shows the best side of the product in an ad - MS, Redhat, whoever - that's advertising.

    I do not condone or othwerwise make a value judgement on MS's "false" advertisement (we have laws for that) MS's competitors in this field (of which there are plenty and they have money) can choose to take MS to task for false advertisement if they see a procecutable case. Frankly I don't give a damn what happens to the XBox .. or MS for that matter because I doubt I'll be close enough to the situation to fully understand what is going on.

    These days we're drowned in advertisement that I can't see how anyone can take anything in ads as face value. Who is going to ring Colgate and tell them that their teeth models have had a PaintBox whitening ? Or what the f*ck happened to those McD's Burgers ..? See my point ?


    --
  • by SirFlakey ( 237855 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @03:26PM (#355116) Homepage
    I used to design ads for PC Powerplay magazines and this sort of stuff is pretty common. Marketing is always out for 'More definition' & 'brighter colours' and such. I remember in one of those "Teenage Girl" magazines that you find at the doctors office they had before and after(photoshop) model shots - the XBox trick is rather small in comparison.

    I am sure most of the slashdot readers would know not to buy the bok based on it's cover (unless it has an animal on it =))

    --

  • I think everyone is making a much bigger deal out of this than it really is. So they decided to layer two scenes together and add a silly little lens flare--big whoop.

    When you purchase a box of corn flakes, do you care that Kelloggs went through 300 boxes of flakes to find 50 perfect ones for the picture? And do you care that the milk is really Elmer's Glue? No, you don't. And will you really care if Brett Favre has a Type 3 or Type 2 anti-aliased head in Madden 200x? No, you won't.

    This is just creative advertising. If Microsoft was trying to seriously dupe the public, then they wouldn't have actual video of Amped on the Xbox website. They haven't done anything out of the ordinary here, folks. Advertisers have been doing this very thing for years.

  • by geomcbay ( 263540 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @03:30PM (#355128)
    It is common practice to produce 'estimated-will-look-like' graphics for games as the first stage of greasing the media hype machine. This is not X-Box specific, or console specific, or Microsoft specific. If this were any other company than Microsoft, this story would not have been posted to Slashdot.

    Also, its a fucking silly thing anyway. Does anyone out there really think that of all the things the X-Box can't do, real-time lens flares are one of them? Heh heh. How silly is this shit?

    I really should stop reading Slashdot, as all it ever does is piss me off these days..unfortunately as it slides into uselessness at the speed of VA Linux's stock decline, I can't help but look..kind of like a car wreck.


  • Do you remember the box of Command & Conquer:Tiberian Sun? The effects (especially the fire and the light) on the pictures that were supposed to be in-game pics looked way better than in the actual game.

    If you really want to know what a game looks like before you buy it: play it.
  • by CrazyJim0 ( 324487 ) on Sunday March 18, 2001 @03:30PM (#355150)
    Xbox isn't out... So what if they paste in trees? Its not like its lying and is going to really come out with atari2600 graphics. And I was so looking forward to the lens flare effect! Damn you microsoft! I had it for the last time! M$ has lots of stuff to be upset about, mainly how it grinds software development to a halt by its strong arm tactics, but doctoring photos... Big deal, I think that they should do stuff like that...
  • OKay... listen. Go thru that site. Look at the pictures. They're all pretty amazing... and for the first time in a while, I think we're looking at some serious progress in 3D graphics (credit of course, goes to nVidia). Even if one has a flare added - it may be a feature to be added anyway.

    This modification is as minor as the baby oil on fruit or pushing vegies in soup to the top. No, it's not nearly that intense. Just relax.

    I can't believe shit like this gets posted as a front-page story on /.

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