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The 360's Position in the Next-Gen War 287

An anonymous reader wrote to mention a great article on the Elite Bastards site looking at the Xbox 360's positioning in the next-gen market. In the first of a three part article series, the author looks at the lessons Microsoft learned from its first hardware outing, and what he feels the company's strategy will be in the near future. From the article: "Clearly my impression of the Xbox 360 is that it is positioned to compete significantly better in the next gen console race than its predecessor. The difference this time around is that although Microsoft will no longer have the decidedly most powerful console, they also won't have the most expensive console, and believe me, they will compete on price. The Xbox 360s media (DVD) and input device (gamepad) are safe choices and the CPU may be merely adequate, but the GPU is quite potent and should go far in keeping Microsoft's box in the same league as Sony's overall despite the disparity in time to market."
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The 360's Position in the Next-Gen War

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  • My Take (Score:5, Insightful)

    by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) * on Friday February 17, 2006 @05:29PM (#14745773) Homepage
    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the XBox 360 is in for a rough future.

    The Launch: Microsoft did a decent job hyping the system, but the launch was, on balance, weak. You had your brief hysteria of $5,000 systems on eBay, but it died down fairly quickly. You had serious supply issues--to the point where it hurt more than helped. You had the whole power supply issue. You had decent games, but no "killer title" that made you want to go out and get it.

    Today: The games are still pretty pedestrian--the operative word is "prettier", which will only get you so far. Now that the insanity of the launch period has passed, there isn't much about the XBox 360 that appeals to the average consumer--it's expensive, it has decent games but nothing "must-have", and finally, it's expensive. $350 for the system and $50-60 games is simply too expensive for the casual gamer.

    Tomorrow: As Thanksgiving approaches, I'm willing to bet that the 360 hits hard times. Unless they can come up with a bigger hit than Halo, all the chatter is going to be about the Revolution. Nintendo is going to have the luxury of not needing killer games at launch; the new user interface alone will likely drive sales, and if they can put out a few decent games that take advantage of this, they'll be set.

    Basically, to your average consumer, there's little reason to get an XBox 360 right now. It's a big enough investment that most people won't consider it as an impulse buy, and it's enough like the last generation of consoles that it won't generate enough interest--again, this is unless they can get a truly must-have game out before, say, September.

    The 360's position in the next-gen war is that of the gung-ho kid who vaults out of the trench and bursts ahead of the rest of the charge: he's out front right now and will bask in glory if he can survive--but he's also the first target to come in range.

    Or, from another angle: Sony and Microsoft are working hard to field the finest cavalry regiments ever seen on a field of battle. Nintendo is working hard on building a tank.

    • Re:My Take (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Soporific ( 595477 )
      $350 for the system and $50-60 games is simply too expensive for the casual gamer.


      What new systems are going to sell below that on launch? And I seem to remember paying upwards of $75 for Sega Genesis games, I don't think $50 or $60 is unreasonable.

      ~S
      • Re:My Take (Score:5, Informative)

        by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @05:38PM (#14745846)
        Revolution is going to come in around 200.

        And I don't remember ANY SNES/Genesis games costing over $60. The vast majority released at $50.
        • There were games like Strider and Virtual Racer that went for like 70 to 100 dollars depending on how much ram they put into them. But you are right, 98% of the games where $50 or less
          • The big reason why Virtual Racer cost $100 is because to pull the game off they need to put a co-processor inside of the cartridge to handle all of the polygons. It was similar to the FX chip inside SNES games like Starfox.
        • Re:My Take (Score:4, Insightful)

          by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @06:01PM (#14745997)
          And I don't remember ANY SNES/Genesis games costing over $60. The vast majority released at $50.
          Well, to be fair, due to inflation, $50 in the SNES era is worth about the same as $60 today, perhaps a little more. So by that measure, the prices haven't really changed. You would do better to compare them to previous-generation games (most of those started at $50, too, so the price goes up by $10.)

          I suspect that those who were willing to pay $50 for the latest games a year ago will be willing to pay $60 now. Those of us who are more money-conscious aren't paying fifty dollars for a game anyway; we wait a year for them to drop to twenty.

          • In my day, the Atari 2600 was $200 new and Pac-Man, E.T., Haunted House, Adventure (what todays kids call the duck game http://www.1up.com/do/feature?cId=3137498&did=1 [1up.com]) were $50 and that's 1980 dollars where video games were 25 cents and could last all day if you were good enough.

            Intellivision and Colecovision were in the upper $100 to $200 and those games were $30 to $50.

            I seem to remember that is was SNES, Genesis where the ames broke the $60 mark but they also warrant that in terms of artistic qualit
            • Mortal Kombat was worth the price for Genesis as it was the a game that was close to identical to the arcade version.

              There, fixed it for you

              How can you say that the SNES was close to identical to the Arcade version, when the main attractive that game had were the blood and the fatalities, which were absent from the SNES version?

              The Sega Genesis version was much closer to the original, same thing with MK2, MK3 and Street Fighter Champion Edition and SUPER Street Fighter II

              • The Sega Genesis version was much closer to the original, same thing with MK2, MK3 and Street Fighter Champion Edition and SUPER Street Fighter II

                Granted the First Mortal Kombat for SNES was bloodless (there was a stupid game genie code that changes the sweat red... they claimed that was a blood code... yeah right), but the 2nd and 3rd games in the series were just as bloody as their arcade counterparts, and given the relative superiority of the SNES hardware over the Genesis (they were called mega-drives h
          • Except for the fact that I can buy Quake 4 for $40 on PC, but I'd have to shell out $60 for the XBox360 version. Wasn't King Kong going for $50 on all systems but the 360?
        • And I don't remember ANY SNES/Genesis games costing over $60.

          Oooh, Star Control on the Genesis. It cost $69.99, but it was sooo worth it. That game was a masterpiece.

          • If I'm recalling right, Virtua Racer for the Genesis cost $100, due to the extra hardware. I played it on the Sega Classics collection for the PS2, and eh. It didn't have enough depth to justify the cost, but it's a fun game on the super-cheap.

            Neo Geo games were $200, and the console was $600. It priced itself out of the market.
        • My brothers and I pooled out money to buy Street Fighter II for the SNES for $75 from Toys 'r Us on release day. And it was the only store that even had it in stock.
        • Final Fantasy III cost me 70$. I still have the receipt. :P

          SNES retail was 40$ for "budget" titles, 55-60 for everything else, 65-70 for certain Big games. The "bargin bin" level was 20-35$.
      • Re:My Take (Score:4, Informative)

        by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) * on Friday February 17, 2006 @05:59PM (#14745991) Homepage
        What new systems are going to sell below that on launch?

        NES: $199 ($353)
        SMS: $199 ($340)

        SNES: $199 ($280)
        Genesis: $249 ($388)

        Saturn: $399 ($496)
        PS1: $299 ($372)
        N64: $199 ($241)

        DC: $199 ($230)

        PS2: $299 ($332)
        XBox: $299 ($324)
        GC: $199 ($299)

        First number is launch price, second is launch price adjusted for inflation (USD in 2005). "Winner" in bold.

        The XBox 360 comes in at the high end, price-wise; the "real" system launched at $399, which means that only the Sega Saturn was more expensive at launch, in adjusted dollars.

        What this does not show is the relative technological leap between console generations. The leap between the current next-gen and their predecessors is much, much narrower than was the leap between earlier iterations. You don't look at side-by-side screenshots of XBox and XBox 360 games and go, "Holy shit, that's amazing!" like you did when you first saw the SNES...

        And I seem to remember paying upwards of $75 for Sega Genesis games, I don't think $50 or $60 is unreasonable.

        As I recall, $75 games were the exception, not the rule. Remember, too, that Nintendo won that round--and I'm reasonably certain that their games tended to be less expensive than Sega's games.

        • Nintendo's games in the SNES/Genesis era were more expensive. The same game on Genesis and SNES would often retail for $50 on Genesis and $60 on SNES. Most of the Final Fantasy games cost >= $70. Part of this is because Nintendo's cartridges contained more hardware than the Genesis ones, making them more expensive to manufacture. Another part might be the devkit costs, but I am unsure of the numbers there.
          • Maybe my memory is failing me, but I don't ever remember paying more than $40 for a Genesis game. Of course, I was about seven at the time, so my parents are much more likely to remember the cost than I am. I do remember that I picked up the system for $120 - so I obviously wasn't going for cutting edge. But Sonic and Knuckles is still a fun game to play, provided I can find a TV that still has inputs for it.
        • Those are pretty interesting numbers, especially since PC prices (especially in real dollars) have fallen so much over the same period. $399 is really bumping up against PC prices these days. Whether consoles are direct competitors to PCs is up for debate, but they certainly do use a lot of the same technology. I have to wonder if consoles will hit a point where more people choose to reap technology advances through price cuts instead of higher performance, as with PCs over the last 5 years or so.
          • "I have to wonder if consoles will hit a point where more people choose to reap technology advances through price cuts instead of higher performance, as with PCs over the last 5 years or so."
            That's essentially what Nintendo is doing. The Revolution is rumored to be a less dramatic performance improvement than past generations have seen, which will allow Nintendo to sell it for a lower price than the competition.
    • Exactly. The only advantage of the 360, that I can see, is nicer graphics. The games are pretty much the same as anywhere else- except a lot more money. If the PS3 is comparably priced and has better graphics, while the Revolution targets an entirely different demographic with a much lower cost, then the 360 will be the big loser of the Next-Gen war.

      I think one of the most interesting things being said, or rather not said, is that the PS3 and Revolution will have to perform at a high level to beat the

    • Re:My Take (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @05:54PM (#14745957) Journal
      Nintendo is also hoping to pull in Girls with the new interface.

      I think they have a very strong opportunity to expand the number of females who are buying and regularly playing console games.

      Nintendo needs something like The Sims or some female friendly game that makes good use of the innovative controller. Reaching out to women is how they can really blow-out the X-Box.
      • Re:My Take (Score:5, Insightful)

        by archen ( 447353 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @07:00PM (#14746349)
        Not just girls but everyone who isn't your conventional "gamer" demographic. The PS2 seems to have attained the widest audience just because it managed to be sitting as the fat cat at the top the longest and has the largest library. The Xbox seems to be targeting college age males extensively. Then MS seems to go after the same target audience again with the 360. I doubt Sony really has much of a comprehensive plan on a target market aside from throw out as much hype as possible and try to dazzle everyone you can.

        Sony and MS seem to be missing the really big picture here, and that's that there is a HUGE untapped market that's going to be emergeing - everyone ELSE. My wife likes to play various games, but is quite dismayed at the fact that very very little seems to appeal to females at all. When you're talking about kids, family-oriented stuff, WOMEN, and possibly other segmants not considered - that adds up to a huge potential MS has already over-looked, and Sony will probably gloss over as well.
        • Re:My Take (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Saige ( 53303 )
          Xbox Live Arcade. Bejeweled, Hexic, Hardwood Backgammon/Spades/Hearts, Zuma, etc. More PopCap games and other casual and puzzle games on the way.

          I've heard quite a few cases of guys that bought a 360, showed their wife the arcade games... and found themselves having to wait to get on the console. So they're getting the market for the casual women gamers that way.

          (Of course, the serious female gamers don't need those sorts of games, though we do play them. I'm much more interested in other games - DOA4,
      • Nintendo needs something like The Sims or some female friendly game that makes good use of the innovative controller. Reaching out to women is how they can really blow-out the X-Box.

        I tend to agree. It's actually for that reason alone that I'm not willing to count out Nintendo, even tho I sold my shares in them, as every market study i've seen in the Wall Street Journal says that this is going to be an exploding game sector (women and girls).

        For some reason, I tend to like a lot of the same games that many
    • I'm also of the opinion that the X360's future isn't perfectly smooth sailing.

      The problem is that "being safe" in gaming usually means delivering an experience a lot like everyone else's experiences. But this really is a hit-driven industry, and so far Microsoft's only homer is Xbox Live.

      Nintendo is pushing the bounds of immersion. It might be the next 2D to 3D revolution, or the next Virtual Boy. We'll see. The PS3 might be a slightly more powerful X360 with 10x the storage, but that storage capacity w
    • Re:My Take (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Capt Xano ( 805127 )

      The Launch: Microsoft did a decent job hyping the system, but the launch was, on balance, weak. You had your brief hysteria of $5,000 systems on eBay, but it died down fairly quickly. You had serious supply issues--to the point where it hurt more than helped. You had the whole power supply issue. You had decent games, but no "killer title" that made you want to go out and get it.

      Today: The games are still pretty pedestrian--the operative word is "prettier", which will only get you so far. Now that the ins

    • Especially if the revolution comes out at $100 - $150.
      Think about it. Even hardcore gamers would get one as a second system, and parents would be MUCH more likely to get one than a $300 Xbox or PS3.
  • Well, duh! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by babbling ( 952366 )
    Of course it's going to compete significantly better! It has no competitors now, and won't have any for months yet. The 360 has a huge head-start.
  • by ChrisRijk ( 1818 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @05:37PM (#14745831)
    Xbox 360 is going nowhere fast in Japan. Worse than original Xbox actually. Latest weekly sales available (*) show just 1288 units being sold (estimated) - even the Game Cube is still selling more. Of course, there's still the rest of the world, but one of Microsoft's objectives with Xbox 360 was to succeed in Japan. Looks to be a distant dream right now.

    (*) See bottom of: http://www.m-create.com/jpn/s_ranking.html [m-create.com]
    • The Japanese market, while important, isn't as dominant as it once was. Both in terms of developers and sales. I think it's entirely possible to be the number one console in the world and still bomb in Japan. I don't think the PS3 is going to be the slam dunk Sony thought it would be and it seems to me that they are a lot more concerned about Microsoft this time around.
    • by jchenx ( 267053 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @06:21PM (#14746114) Journal
      Of course the 360 is going nowhere in Japan at the moment! There aren't any RPGs for the platform, for crying out loud. DOA 4 alone isn't going to bring over Japanese gamers.

      But there are several Japanese RPGs in development, most notably those by Mistwalker Studios [gamespot.com] (headed by a former Square-Enix producer). I think the 360 in Japan is really going to depend on the quality of these first games. If they aren't that that good, then yeah, the 360 in Japan is going to continue to flounder. But, if they turn out to be pretty decent, then I would imagine the 360 is going to do better. Also, we still have to see what Square-Enix decides to do with the platform. Somehow I doubt FFXI is going to be the only game released for the 360.

      That said, I've looked at the previews for one of the first Japanese RPGs (Enchant Arm [gamespot.com]), and it doesn't look that hot to me. I'm a big fan of Japanese RPGs (most Squeenix titles, Xenosaga, Disgaea, etc.), so I guess I'm a target audience.
      • Wasn't Hironbu Sakaguchi the guy who headed final fantasy 7 and was a big wig for numerous projects there? Was his decline that bad after the first failed movie that he had to get kicked or move to another company?
        • Yes, I believe he headed both FFVII and the failed FF movie. Then again, seeing how Advent Children is getting so much attention, maybe he was just "ahead of the time".

          Personally, FFVII was the only FF game I skipped (well, FFXI too, but I almost don't count that since it's an MMO), and I wasn't a fan of the Final Fantasy movie. Thus, I'm hesitant on saying Sakaguchi's studio is going to be the saviour for Japanese support on the 360. But it's still better than the lack of support for the first Xbox. (Most
          • I just researched into it with greater detail and it looks like he started with the very first final fantasy, not seven.

            I knew i was forgetting something about him. I can't believe they lost THE man. God with the xenogears guys gone, hironobu sakaguchi (father of the final fantasy series) gone wtf does squenix have left?

            Final fantasy 9 remake?!!??!
      • Of course the 360 is going nowhere in Japan at the moment! There aren't any RPGs for the platform, for crying out loud. DOA 4 alone isn't going to bring over Japanese gamers.

        Actually, there are many possible reasons that the 360 might not be popular in Japan. Given that the original X-Box was also unpopular, we can assume it's something that isn't specific to one particular model, but rather encompasses the whole brand. Perhaps gamers there are more aware of Microsoft's use of money to worm their way into

    • Frankly the Xbox launch in Japan was lousy. I can't speak for Tokyo, but up here in Sapporo (which is Japan's fifth largest city with a population of nearly 2 million) we got a few crappy billboard ads on the walls at train and subway stations. I couldn't even tell you what date it launched on, until I noticed they were selling it one day when I walked into an electronics store. Apart from instore displays (which were not exactly mindblowing - a couple of demo consoles and some posters) I saw little else
  • by Richthofen80 ( 412488 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @05:38PM (#14745845) Homepage
    Clearly my impression of the Xbox 360 is that it is positioned to compete significantly better in the next gen console

    Could that be because the Xbox360 actually exists, and isn't just an idea. Does PS3 even have a launch date yet? People keep saying this and that about PS3, but Microsoft actually anticipated their existing product's shelf life accurately, and planned for it. I have been dying for some of the stuff the xbox 360 does, like HD gaming, a consistent online experience, and OEM wireless that comes with the system. Sure, xbox has issues, namely a lot of bugs made it through. But since I'm online they're patched pretty quickly and things are working out pretty well.

    I'll take HD gaming now versus something that doesn't have a launch date yet.

    • I agree 100%. Look at all the promises Sony made about the PS2. How many of the came true??? Is the PS2 tying everything in your house together? Are you downloading movies (legally) and watching them on the PS2? Where's all the online services that Sony promised?

      Sony has the position now of being able to sit down and say anything they want about the PS3.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      but Microsoft actually anticipated their existing product's shelf life accurately

      I really don't understand where you get this idea. All of those things you listed are available for the Xbox today (HD, online gaming with Xbox Live, and even wireless). Most gamers would agree that the Xbox still has at least a good year or two left in it. I imagine that most Xbox developers would say that there's still a lot of potential in the machine that's unused. Microsoft even admits that they did a preemptive launch

    • Are you aware that the original XBox already has 720p HD output? Of course the PS2 and Gamecube do *not* have any HD.

    • Could that be because the Dreamcast actually exists, and isn't just an idea. Does PS2 even have a launch date yet? People keep saying this and that about PS2, but Sega actually anticipated their existing product's shelf life accurately, and planned for it. I have been dying for some of the stuff the Dreamcast does, like high-res texture gaming, an online experience, and OEM modem that comes with the system. Sure, DC has issues, namely a lot of bugs made it through. But since I'm online they're patched prett
    • Could that be because the Xbox360 actually exists, and isn't just an idea.

      Can't prove it by me; I've been on a waiting list since before release.
  • by Siguy ( 634325 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @05:43PM (#14745885)
    I own a 360. I like the console a lot. There's definitely a dearth of good games right now, but there are at least two that I really want coming out next week, and I did really enjoy some of the ones I got at launch.

    Having said that, I think your opinion of what's going to happen in this console race depends on your opinion of Sony. If you think they're gonna have a great launch with tons of titles lined up and in great shape and lots of available consoles and on time this year, then you have to think they're gonna cream Microsoft's anemic launch. If you think Sony is gonna be in the same boat as the 360 with even more complicated components and an even tighter release schedule that might get pushed back, then you probably think it'll be a pretty even battle with maybe a slight edge going either way.

    Personally, my bet is that Sony runs into the same problems Microsoft did. I think they sell more consoles, but by then the 360 has a decent amount of games and it's a fairly even race for a year or two till the 360 fades about 6 months earlier than the PS3 does. Then we get the next next gen, and so on, and so on.

  • by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @05:43PM (#14745889)
    The target audience for the PS3 is the same people who buy lots of CDs, and were most affected by the rootkit.

    Since the rootkit got so much attention, victims will remember it when the PS3 comes out.
    • Oh come on... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by serginho ( 909707 )
      Let's be realistic. Rootkit? Bad, bad move. But thinking that this will keep people from buying the PS3? What's "so much attention"? We're talking about millions of consoles. Well, Sony might lose some Slashdot customers (not me, by the way).
    • Get realistic... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 7Prime ( 871679 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @06:34PM (#14746183) Homepage Journal
      Oh come on, I've heard this arguement more than a few times, only from slashdot. But the other 98% of the population doesn't even know what a "rootkit" is. And "so much attention" is only relative. It got quite a bit of attention on tech sites, but if it wasn't on NBC Nightly News or on the front of a section of the NY Times, it won't even make a dent in sales. I would say, even if it DID make headline news, you might see a 1% sales drop. Most people use consoles for playing games, not viewing media, anyway, most of what Joe Sumer will be hooked with is fancy graphics, a lot of buzz, and news of must-have games. I have little doubt that Sony will be able to deliver those three things just fine, as it did on their last two releases. So no, the rootkit issues is not going to bite Sony.
  • Early Launch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Silence86 ( 946763 ) * on Friday February 17, 2006 @05:46PM (#14745902)
    The XBox 360 is doing well now. This is unsurprising, as it has no competition at the given moment. The true test for Microsoft and the 360 will be its staying power and ability to compete against the more-powerful, better-backed playstation. Because it had a headstart, the 360 made a good bit of money due to the cool-factor of being the first next-gen console. But the question we have to ask ourselves is "will these graphics even be on par in 3 years?". The answer to that, probably not. I know that as the developers get a feel for the platform the graphics will improve, but they can't outreach the limits of the hardware itself, which frankly are mediocre. When the Playstation relases, I predict that it will have slighly less "burst" profitability, but will have much greater staying power. Sony has traditionally had better backing from game developers, and I don't really see that changing. I was a proud owner of all three consoles of the previous generation. Most of the games I bought for XBox were on other systems as well. I bought them for XBox because it was the most powerful. Now I'll buy them for Playstation because it'll be the most powerful. Gameplay is important, but if you can get the same game on two different consoles, which would you choose. Most people would choose the one with more power.
    • Gameplay is important, but if you can get the same game on two different consoles, which would you choose. Most people would choose the one with more power.

      Now, there is some truth in that.

      I bought the xBox version of Lego Star Wars and Sims 2 - both multi-platform - because the graphics are better for the xBox version than the GameCube.

      But, overall, I've bought way more GameCube games, cause they're just plain more fun! And, in the end, that matters more.
    • Re:Early Launch (Score:2, Insightful)

      by justchris ( 802302 )
      You know, I did that once. Bought a game that was available on all three consoles for the Xbox cause it had better graphics, shorter load times and online play. It was an FPS. Last time I make that mistake.

      As it turns out, as much as I hate load times, a lousy, stiff, horribly inaccurate controller is an even bigger annoyance. The 360 controller is leaps and fucking bounds above the original Xbox controller, but if the PS3 or Rev have better control yet, then I won't be getting my cross platform games

  • by RodgerTheGreat ( 905510 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @05:54PM (#14745963)
    Whatever console has the best games will come out on top. Hardware alone will not win this war.

    Personally, I hope that the new power of Next-gen consoles will let game developers explore new ideas in games, an area mostly limited to PCs due to processing power and licensing issues, such as the groundbreaking Garry's Mod [garry.tv], a physics-based sandbox in which you can build mechanical contraptions, vehicles, etc, and make them really work. Hopefully the revamped systems should give game makers room to forge new genres.

    • Which is why I'm waiting until the PS3 and NR come out, before I waste money on a new console.

      So far, all I've seen is stuff that's cross-platform, so I can't get excited by xBox360. And all I hear about for the 360 is pretty boring. yet more FPS, yet more racing, nothing that makes fun.

      Until they come out with GTA:Cascadia or GT5:Emerald City (the Seattle versions), I'm not buying yet another cross-platform.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It was a bit of news on consumer hardware enthusiast sites recently that nVidia has been 'caught' promoting their products on message boards without disclosing their affiliation. Which isn't surprising to me. I just can't help but wonder every time I see some shill promote the Playstation Three like it will be a 'paradigm shift' in gaming that they are in fact of the same nature. I imagine a lot of companies do it. It make sense to create a large base of rabid morons who infect every corner of the intra
  • Development Tools (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrm677 ( 456727 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @06:13PM (#14746072)
    Talk to game developers and many/most will say that Microsoft has better developer tools, documentation, and assistance.

  • The awful truth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Y-Crate ( 540566 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @06:14PM (#14746074)
    It's far too early to tell how this generation is going to pan out. That won't generate traffic to any gaming sites, so they have to go off into the realm of mindless conjecture.

    So far, the PS3 has been nothing but a smoke and mirrors show. The reason being, Sony needed to do something to blunt the 360 announcement long before the PS3 hardware was ready, so they sent the FUD machine into overdrive and spat out the same drivel they did when trying to kill off the Dreamcast. Not surprisingly, people lapped it right up, despite the previews being little more than mockups and "real time demos" rendered at 1FPS prior to the show and sped up. I'm not saying the PS3 is going to be a disappointment, nor am I saying that it will be comparable to, or lightyears beyond the 360 or Revolution. We simply know far too little substantive information about its capabilities and exactly what its game library will look like.

    The Revolution was being heralded as the only good console of this generation - even before there was a single feature announced. Other than the controller and the back-catalog being rereleased for it, we have seen nothing of what it can do or what it will bring to the table.

    Let's have this conversation in a few months, after E3.
  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Friday February 17, 2006 @06:37PM (#14746200)
    Having not bothered with any console since the Atari2600, here is how I view the landscape.

    Xbox 360

    Pro: Out first, never discount the advantage of getting on shelves first.
    Fairly solid design, nothing too daring.
    Massive marketing push

    Con: Fairly solid design, nothing too daring.
    Early mover advantage all but negated by supply issues, Xmas '05 was a bust.
    Only a DVD Drive

    PS3

    Pro: Backward compatibility with PS2 and PS1.
    Proven ability to churn out titles appealing to key 16-24yo male demographic.
    BlueRay, especially if it wins in the broader next gen DVD war.

    Con: Late arrival

    ???: Cell. If it can be harnessed it will be a major plus, otherwise another Itanic fiasco.

    Revolution

    Pro: Widest range of software covering the most catagories.

    Con: From teh prelim info available it appears to be woefully underpowered.

    ???: New input system is a total wildcard much like Cell.

    I'd say Nintendo will survive this round simply because it will mostly be fighting for ground not coveted by the other two contenders. If the new input system permits new catagories of gaming the others can't port it could gain major ground.

    However there really isn't room for both Xbox and the Playstation since they both target the same demographic and neither is likely to be able to slide into the media center/tivo market with their current generation hardware.

    If Xbox suffers another lackluster second place finish to Sony it will be hard to convince the instituitional investors who hold vast quantities of Microsoft stock in pension plans to piss away billions more on a third try. Sony on the other hand can probably afford to lose a round and come back with another try so while the pressure is on Sony to deliver a knockout and end the war they probably can better survive a loss while for Microsoft it is probably "win or go home" time. Expect them to realize that and play for keeps, slashing prices at the first hint of erosion in sales, knowing this brief period before PS3 & Revolution launch is their best opportunity to lock in customers.
  • IMHO, Microsoft really screwed themselves over by launching too soon. The reason they did it was mostly to get a product out significantly sooner than Sony so they could get 1) people that owned nothing but the original XBox to buy a 360, 2) get the people that did no console research at all to buy a 360, and 3) so people with money to burn would have something to tide them over until the PS3 launch.

    In order to get this signicifantly earlier (than the other next-gen consoles) launch date, they had no choi

  • by krunoce ( 906444 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @06:54PM (#14746312)
    I purchased one, and the 2 games I have are pretty fun(PGR3 & Call of Duty 2), but not addicting. 99% of the time I use my xbox 360 is for DVD playing.

    I was expecting to have more titles available, and it sucks to see long periods of time seperating release dates for the new games. Actually, the only game I'm looking forward to is Burnout that comes out in March. Sure you can play old Xbox games, but I want to play games in full HD.

    For MS's sake they should put out more titles soon, because the PS3 will dominate if the Xbox 360 game selection still sucks like it does now.

    Now that I think of it, the cause for this bad game selection is probably because of all the nonsense that companies require to make modern games. I mean shit, a symphony orchestra is needed for the sounds. Maybe if the SDK/MS licensing was cheaper, developers that aren't as rich as EA can afford to make/sell games too.

    ::Dusts off NES and Mario 3::

  • The Xbox 360's position in retail is "those guys made us tie up all that shelf space just before XMas and then botched the launch. And we've still got unsold accessories and games stacked up. Next time, their box goes in the back unless they pay us for positioning".
  • For the record: Xbox/GameCube owner, ex-PS2 owner, currently an avid PC gamer.

    Let's face it, regardless of what Microsoft does, Sony is going to make piles of money off of the PS3, simply because they've got the brand. Most likely, Microsoft will be raking in similar piles of money this generation because they got their product out first. As long as there are console-exclusive Halos and GTAs out there to keep the casual gamers playing, neither console is going anywhere.

    But that's not what concerns me.
  • Wow. Time and again I see the same things...Nintendos controllers going to do wonderful things, Sony's graphics are going to do amazing things. As someone thats played games since the 2600, I'm really thinking that people aren't 'getting it'.

    You dont factor winners by how strong a launch they have. But you do factor losers. If they dont sell (we're looking at you Gizmondo and those sidetalkers) then you have problems. If you sell them as fast as you can make them, well no prob, make more, move on.

    Long ter
  • Here we go with the comparisons and "in depth analysis" between things on the market and things yet to be on the market. The headline is no more, or less, than trollbait for those who feel the desire to stroke their ego about hating Microsoft. Do it with elegance, and you might find yourself +5 Insightful!

    In reality, nobody knows where the console market is going. The meat of the buyers will be those who thought one commercial or advertising campaign was better than the other. Much like how Sony was able to

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