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No WoW for the 360 132

Next Generation reports that Blizzard COO Paul Sims has dispelled any ideas that their hit MMOG would appear on the Xbox 360. From the article: "WoW is built as a PC gaming experience. Porting PC games to console often compromises games, and we'd never allow the WoW gameplay experience to suffer ... Also, it's important to us that the entire player base is able to play together. Microsoft's Xbox Live architecture is very protected from all sorts of outside influence, so shared play between 360 and PC owners would be very tough. We wouldn't even consider WoW for 360 unless we could overcome that hurdle."
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No WoW for the 360

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  • Queuecraft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pjh3000 ( 583652 ) * on Friday March 03, 2006 @03:46PM (#14844967)
    Considering the server problems they've been having - 1519225 [] - I don't think World of Queuecraft could handle the millions of Xbox 360 players.
  • Anyone who'd played WoW for more than 30 seconds would know that you NEED a keyboard.
    • Re:Well, DUH (Score:3, Informative)

      by pjh3000 ( 583652 ) *
      The Xbox 360 has support for mice and keyboards. Just plug them into the USB ports on the front or back.
    • Re:Well, DUH (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jchenx ( 267053 )
      The 360 supports USB keyboards. I used one myself while trying out the FFXI beta. As horrible the install scenario was (thanks PlayOnline!), it would have been 10x worse if I didn't have the keyboard.

      I also saw lots of people doing lots of chatting in the game. It's obviously a lot easier to chat using a regular keyboard than the on-screen one.
      • I don't think MS will like it if you tell them that your game cannot be controlled without a keyboard.
        • One of the biggest problem is probably the interface. Can Blizzard make changes to the interface so that's its more controller friendly? Perhaps ... but the experience may not be very good. When I played FFXI, another MMORPG, for the 360, I had lots of beef with the control scheme as well. And this is for a game that was ALSO developed with the PS2 in-mind.
    • by Onan ( 25162 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:03PM (#14845138)
      I'm not so sure. If you just bound a few buttons to pasting in "lol", "nub", "wtf", and "hax!", I think it would be sadly difficult to distinguish from most existing players.
    • Re:Well, DUH (Score:3, Informative)

      I've heard a lot of good things about the Nostromo SpeedPad n52 []. Seems like a great idea, because I often find that I play with one hand, and I have a hard time reaching the F7 key to trigger Bloodrage while trying to out-manuever a rogue in AV. However, apparently it's not compatible with Intel Macs, so no go yet.

      The gamepad is a brain damaged interface for anything except Soul Calibur, Final Fantasy and possibly Mario Tennis. Its pestulence is part of what made Deus Ex 2 so horrible - they replaced a pr

      • The only thing more stupid than porting a PC FPS to console is porting a console FPS to the PC.

        IMO, the only thing more stupid than porting a PC FPS to console is playing any FPS on a console. I wish people would stop encouraging these stupid ports... Er, there is one exception though, Quake on the Dreamcast. It was only a beta, so it's a bit crashy, but it works and supports the dreamcast keyboard/mouse (as well as the gamepad.)

        • "IMO, the only thing more stupid than porting a PC FPS to console is playing any FPS on a console." Would you consider the Metroid Prime games to be FPSs? What about the GBA port of Doom, where a keypad and a few buttons are all that's needed anyway?
          • Since playing LegacyDOOM, I got over playing the digital-control version (as opposed to analog controls.) Doom is much better when you can jump and mouseaim. Doom had its day, and I was as addicted as anybody, but since Quake came out I haven't wanted to replicate the bad old days.

            I haven't played the metroid game on DS, that seems more like a first person clicker :) But I certainly will not play any FPS with only digital controls. (I realize mice are digital, being based on pulses and discrete locations,

      • by Zangief ( 461457 )
        The gamepad is a brain damaged interface for anything except Soul Calibur, Final Fantasy and possibly Mario Tennis.

        Yeah, that must be why the PC has lots of different genres, while in consoles the only games that you can find are RTSs, RPGs and FPSs. And, most FPSs are about WW2 or counter terrorism. How boring!
        • The gamepad is a brain damaged interface for anything except Soul Calibur, Final Fantasy and possibly Mario Tennis.

          Yeah, that must be why the PC has lots of different genres, while in consoles the only games that you can find are RTSs, RPGs and FPSs. And, most FPSs are about WW2 or counter terrorism. How boring!

          (Psst -- I don't think he was bad-mouthing consoles; he was talking about the controllers and specifically how poorly ported PC games play on them. That being the subject of the article and al

      • I have an n50 speedpad, which only has 2 rows of 5 keys and doesnt have the orange button obove the Dpad, but basically the same idea. I found using it was completely awesome, had custom binds in it for each game i played. My only problem was that it got in the way on my relatively small desk, and I still needed the kybd around for bindings i couldnt map on there without sacraficing an important key. Maybe 15 buttons would fix that. That, paired with either my Razer Copperhead or my Logitech mx700 was quite
      • The real killer is weapon switching in FPSes. It's a real stetch to map enough keys for that, since the shift button affects everything. Guess it would be less of an issue if you're used to using the wheel to switch, although the wheel on the n52 blows.
    • Hotkeys are for lazy people.
  • by CaseM ( 746707 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @03:55PM (#14845053)
    as told here [], is there any doubt that porting WoW to the 360 would be a waste of time? When you have 6 million paying subscribers, you're already exceeded your goals by your wildest imaginations and it probably wouldn't be a sound financial investment given the technical hurdles and (relatively) small install-base for the 360.

    And, yes, you can use a keyboard with the 360, so this is not one of them.
  • Duh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HunterZ ( 20035 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @03:56PM (#14845061) Journal
    Anyone who has used mods/addons will tell you that playing WoW on a console would be stupid. There's no way the Blizzard nor Microsoft would set something up to let users download and install fan-created mods/addons either. It just wouldn't happen.

    Plus, just because you CAN plug in a keyboard and/or mouse doesn't mean that they can expect it of everyone who wants to play. Thus, they'd again need to cripple the game's interface in order to make it playable with a controller.
    • They don't need to cripple it. They need to add a new control scheme. The old one could hang around unmolested.
  • "We're already making bucketloads of cash [] from an installed user base of 6 million [] just being a PC title. We don't need no stinkin' Xbox!"
    • "We're already making bucketloads of cash from an installed user base of 6 million just being a PC title.

      Correction: It's a PC/Mac title.

      Furthermore, if it already runs on PPC Macs, it would be rather trivial to "port" it to the X-Box, which uses very similar chips.

      X-Box Live's lock-down, coupled with lack of an included keyboard/mouse, are the only real technical hurdles. It's not as if they would just say "no" to a little extra money if MS were to open up their Live network to them.
      • Re:In other words (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NDPTAL85 ( 260093 )
        Trivial you say? So you are a programmer? Am I? No I am not. I'm just going to go off on a limb here and guess that the type of CPU being similar is less important than the fact that the 360 is a much more paralell system then a Macintosh is. Meaning WoW on the Mac depends mostly on the video card, not the CPU.
      • A Mac is a PC, it's just not a Microsoft PC.

        PC stands for Personal computer. Althought the vast majority of PCs are Wintel, not all are.

        • PC is often shorthand for "PC Compatible." which in turn is shorthand for "IBM PC Compatible." Now granted IBM has a hand in PowerPC, "IBM PC Compatible" has a very specific meaning, and it doesn't encompass "Macintosh,"
          • 1) IBM no longer make PCs. Lenovo took over that part of the business.
            2) Even when they did, Microsoft and IBM parted ways so that IBM no longer made the industry standard; Microsoft plus the clone makers (read: Compaq) did. Remember the PS/2 fiasco?
            3) The IBM PC was a 16-bit Intel platform with little RAM, a command-line interface to a crippled CP/M knockoff of a boot loader, and has very little in common with what you buy today. The old definition of a PC is pointless.
            • The old definition of a PC is pointless.
              Which is irrelevant. It the the definition that is understood as correct by the most number of people, which is all that matters.
          • And guess where IBM got the idea of calling their (then) new machine "The IBM PC"?

            There were a number of PC's before IBM got into the fray. The Radio Shack Pocket Computer was often referred to as "The Pocket PC []". In this case, PC coulde be said to refer to either Personal Computer or Pocket Computer.

            Again: Wintel is it's still the most pervasive example of what is now considered a PC, but it's not the only one.
            Try doing a google for "define: PC []", then "define: Personal Computer []". If you have a Lin

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yes, FFXI has both a PC port and an XBox 360 port.

    However, both of them are shitty ports of the original PS2 version. It was designed to run on a console from the start. It doesn't have the same problems that WoW has (like too many subscribers...) because it was originally intended for a console.

    Plus the PC and XBox360 ports are some of the most half-assed ports you're ever likely to see. The UI is designed to be viewed at 640x480 and doesn't scale as you increase the resolution, making UI elements absol
    • Since when is mindless bashing of a game you just don't like for very little reason insightful?

      The UI scales unless your blind or doing something stupid like running it at 4096x3072. The PC and xbox 360 look and work just fine. The FFXI 360 port doesn't use Live at all. You need to have the free version of Live because the hardware requires it. The game attaches to a service completely different from Live, so again why wouldn't the POL viewer?

      The only reason that WoW 'couldn't' be ported to the XBox is e
    • FFXI plays with PC and PS2 players, it allows content patchs, it allows keyboard and mouse input.

      Bliz is making up reasons on why its not coming to 360. They should just say they dont want to port it. Not BS about it cant be done.

      If they ported it to 360 they would get an easy million plus users with in 6 months and maybe alot more. With that comes their problem. They already are having growing pains and if they added 360 it would hurt alot more. They would need to get many more GM's because consol player
    • As 0racle said, in much more flowery language, you're full of shit.

      I don't mind the textures and models in FFXI one iota. I'm playing because I find it fun and engaging, not because it requires me to have the most powerful PC in the fucking universe. Besides which, throw 64 people into a single zone and tell me you don't have a problem seeing everyone, even with the "dated" textures and character models.
      I'm not arguing that the engine doesn't need an update - it does. However, the textures and models most d
  • We are now experiencing the diversion between Console gaming and PC gaming.

    With the extra cost in developing PC games (testing on more hardware, troubleshooting after the sale, driver testing) along with the extra time to develop (creating textures to fit high and low end systems) PC gaming is becoming a niche market.

    MMORPG's, such as WoW, ARE that niche. PC's will always excel at social games that require a keyboard and heavy interaction with others.

    Consoles will continue to dominate nearly eve
    • I tend to think on the contrary... consoles are converging with the PC platform rather than diverging. With standard USB ports, support for PC input devices, built-in network connectivity, hard drive storage, the ancient shift from cartridges to CDs and DVDs, VGA output, and a whole host of other features, consoles are looking more and more like inexpensive general purpose computers (again).

      That said, the two platforms do have advantages, but a lot of them creep their way into the other; such as gamepads fo
    • Consoles will never dominate first person shooters or real-time strategies. mouse/kb again far superior.

      The real advantage consoles have over PC is not development costs (work smarter, not harder), but rather the locked up, committed userbase, and the marketing opportunities are only getting better with technology. Of course, racing, fighting, puzzle, and children's games are also going to find a niche in the console market.
      • I think it depends on how you were introduced to First Person Shooters. I never played one until Halo on my XBox. Since then I've played Halo, Halo 2, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Half-Life 2, Doom, etc. all on my console, still never tried the PC, because I use my laptop for coding and my consoles with my 50" HDTV for game playing. I enjoy FPS on the console. If you were trained to use the keyboard + mouse it would be hard to use a controller, but if you started off on the controller it's not bad at a
    • Except for games that need precision input, like First person shooters, or games that need lots of hotkeys like real time strategies.

      The genre/ideal platform breakdown is really like this:

      Handheld: Puzzle, sidescroller
      Console: Sports, Racing, Platformer

      With some somewhat acceptable crossover on each.
      • > Handheld: Puzzle, sidescroller

        And, interestingly, turn-based strategy. My little DS can run the three incarnations of Advance Wars, Fire Emblem, FF:T Advance and Age of Empires (which is turn-based in the DS incarnation).

        Chris Mattern
    • Consoles can't dominate the FPS, MMO, or RTS markets, or even come close to it for that matter. PC gaming is anything but a niche market. Console gaming will never support the modding community like the PC can.

      You're just going to have to accept that both the console and PC markets are strong and will be for a long time. Don't worry, it's better that way.
      • I think it could be possible for consoles to handle an MMO, if a simple enough control scheme was established. I also think the Revolution could handle FPS and RTS as well as a PC for most users (the ones who don't memorize every hot key).
  • In the past it might have been reasonable to dismiss the idea of PC/Console interaction, but as SquareEnix has shown interoperability is not as hard as it sounds. The PS2 and XBOX 360 both have two standard USB ports on the front and support keyboards and mice, so the argument of user input is not as strong as it used to be. Granted, fonts need to be bigger so that text is legible on piss poor standard definition televisions, but WOW's existing interface is already well suited. Blizzard already uses a brain
    • The thing about Final Fantasy XI is that the user interface sucks, hard ... and I think a large part of that sucking has to do with the fact that you can't create an interface that is as robust or customizable on the console as you can for the PC.

      This isn't a problem if you have a servicable but necessarily somewhat poor console interface, while allowing PC players to enjoy all of the benefits of having a more powerful UI ... that isn't the route Square Enix has chosen to take, though, and it's one of the

      • I suppose they don't want to give an "advantage" to PC users that console users don't have. Maybe Blizzard has similar reservations, but they don't have the option of crippling their existing game because it'd mean losing lots of customers.

        WoW mods have created mods that have made it possible to create a list of every attack, ability and spell and cycle through them using one button. That pretty much screams "advantage" right there. And WoW's interface is considered to be the WORST of all MMOs out there, s

        • And WoW's interface is considered to be the WORST of all MMOs out there, so Blizzard isn't one to talk.

          By who?! Have you ever played FFXI? FFXI's is far, far, far worse than WoW. The default interface in WoW may not be one of the best (it's far better than FFXI's, though) - but it's customizable using XML and LUA.

          That beats FFXI's completely uncustomizable interface any day. Not to mention other "minor" things like FFXI crashing if it loses application focus, the extremely limited "background" resol

        • WoW mods have created mods that have made it possible to create a list of every attack, ability and spell and cycle through them using one button. That pretty much screams "advantage" right there.

          I was speaking of an advantage the PC user would have over a console user. If the PC user can customize and add new functionality to his interface in ways that a console user can't, the PC user has a definite advantage. As it is now, everybody who plays WoW can take advantage of virtually any addon out there if

    • The majority of Blizzard's customer base -- 12-year-old fanboys -- will be equally annoying no matter what platform they play on.

      I've never played WOW, but if annoying 12-year-old fanboys are its base, it should be a great match for the XBox.
    • the porting isnt the hurdle they were talking about, the hurdle was that xbox live only works with xbox live, and they want for people playing WoW on the 360 to be able to play with people who play WoW on their computers and not xbox live. PS2 didnt have this problem with FFXI because the PS2 doesnt have anything like xbox live, it just connects to the internet.
  • This makes a lot of sense really. I mean, how many successful PC to console ports have there been? It's mainly because by porting a PC game to a console, you aren't reaching a larger audience by doing so. Putting WOW on the 360 would be trying to reach the population that owns a 360 but doesn't own a computer. Even of both those guys of them bought it, that probably wouldn't be profitable enough to justify the cost of making it. Everyone who wants to play WOW is doing so, and I don't think there is a s
    • I know a guy with a 360, but his computer is terrible for playing WoW on because it's dated. The 360 represents incredible graphics power for a very economical price, about 400 dollars instead of 1500 for a decent PC.

      That said, I'm sure analysts that make more money in a month than I do in a year determined the market share isn't there for the return on investment. As a WoW player, it benefits me more to see them developing more content, rather than expanding their player base. Especially with the queues
  • If they are not going to even get game ports from popular PC titles, then yet another black mark against the Xbox 360.

    I don't think it would be too bad to port a PC MMORPG to a game console, the problem is that generally most PC games play better with a keyboard, few game consoles have ever come out with decent gamepad controls for PC ports. Even first person shooters generally work better with a keyboard and mouse rather then a game pad.

    The problem then is, you have to expect that people will be intereste
  • Waste of Time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by panthro ( 552708 ) < minus caffeine> on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:23PM (#14845322) Homepage

    Here's the potential market -- people who:

    • Own an XBOX 360
    • Have a keyboard and mouse for their XBOX 360
    • Can connect to the Internet on their XBOX 360
    • Play RPGs and want to play WoW
    • Don't already play WoW on their PC

    That's a pretty small market, considering there are only 1.75 million XBOX 360s sold, and the original XBOX sold 25 million units. Knock off the vast majority of that already slim market if the expectation is that they will pay for XBOX 360 Live and Blizzard's monthly fee (I'm sure they wouldn't do this, but how else would it work?). Complete waste of Blizzard's resources.

    • there's only one reason to play wow on a 360 instead of a PC. graphics. if you have a computer that doesn't have a newer (say, less than 1 year old) graphics card then you are just as likely to play it on a 360 than not play WOW on your computer (which in many cases WON'T play WOW)

      Of course, with EQ2 having even more of a graphics requirement they should probably move to the 360 first.
      • That's a short lived reason. How long do you think before low end video on PCs passes the 360? It took about 18 months for the original Xbox, and it would have been less if not for contract terms with nVidia.

        You buy consoles for the games. They're only the "latest tech" for the first few months, so that's a stupid reason to buy one, or use it for something. (The games go to the consoles for ease of development and the captive audience)
        • wow, now I feel much better having been called stupid on slashdot. w00t!

          But, at the same time, that might be a very good reason to keep MMORPG's off of consoles. Games are short lived. consoles aren't. the reason that MMORPG's have been able to maintain their life cycles is continual improvements through patches which have required better and better hardware each time. meaning that not only will low end video on PC's pass the 360, but so will WOW requirements. so, in 2 years, you wouldn't be able to p
      • if you have a computer that doesn't have a newer (say, less than 1 year old) graphics card then you are just as likely to play it on a 360 than not play WOW on your computer (which in many cases WON'T play WOW)

        Huh? WoW played just fine on 4 year hardware for me. Until just recently I was playing WoW on a 2.26Ghz Intel (533FSB) with 1GB RAM and a GeForce4 Ti4600 video card. The computer was built about 4 years ago, and ran WoW without a problem. Yes, I couldn't run it with the graphics maxed out, that
        • WOW is very forgiving; while my desktop computer was out of action, I played it on a old Sony Vaio - something like 800Mhz with no graphics card. OK, so I was only getting 10 fps, but I was still mildly impressed.

    • Live Silver is FREE.


      This is how FFXI is -already- being handled on XBox360 - XBox Silver is all that's required, the rest is handled by PlayOnline - SE's interface to their online games (and FFXI specifically).

    Seriously, when WoW players are keeping the PC revolution alive by buying new hardware to cut lag down, a port to console is inconceivable. Nor do I see silly amounts of money being thrown at Blizzard by console manufacturers for such a port. This is obviously a joke story.
    • For real... I think NewEgg should start profit sharing with Blizzard considering all of the action they've probably been getting lately. I'll admit that I'm a friggen addict since January and probably will be for a long time to come. Today I just opened up a newegg box with 2GB of ram and a new video card cooler for the 6800 GS I just bought the week before. I swear there's subliminal messages in WOW telling me to upgrade my hardware.
  • by Swanktastic ( 109747 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:38PM (#14845482)
    If Blizzard really wanted to keep folks hooked, they'd just build an IM client for subscribers. For those of us with jobs, it be a great way to stay unproductive at work. I'd wager it's the social aspects of guilds that keep folks subscribing over the years.
    • The PlayOnline client for FFXI that everybody seems to love to hate has basic IM functionality, and it's accessable through a JavaScript applet at through most browsers (including Firefox). So using the "Friend List Plus" option lets you talk to people playing the game while you're at work, etc.
    • I believe that Xfire [] accomplishes the tastk of an in-game messenger that can used not only during WoW, but virtually any other PC game under the sun.
  • One major component of MMORPGs is patches, changes, (gasp) Nerfs, new content, etc.. Blizzard has already introduced significant new content by so doing. These are quite large downloads even by PC standards. So right off the bat, you'd be out of the loop if you had a 360 that didn't have a hard drive. And even then, you'd be running most the game from the HD, not the disc. Is this the standard MO on console RPGs? I can't see them distributing patches through stores. Hey, its the Pally Nerf expansion
    • Final Fantasy XI for the PlayStation 2 runs entirely off the hard drive. You don't even need the game DVD inserted to play. Patches are downloaded from the Internet.

      The 360 version will likely work the same way.
  • Microsoft is backing Sigil games, which is making the Vanguard mmo, as well as a marvel comics mmo for the 360. If they're planning on putting it on the 360, then there's no way they'd let the competition onto the console.
  • it's important to us that the entire player base is able to play together

    Exept US, european and asian players --> cann't join the same realms legally

    Exept an early player on a now full realm and a new player wo cannot join that realm

    Heck, exept any two players that have started on different realms, they cannot play together unless one of them starts over since Blizzard does not even offer character transfers.

    So, this does not seem so important to them so far. Why now?
    • Oh, come on. You're just trolling.

      Why would you want to mix languages on a given server? I have no idea how they manage it in Europe, but there's already enough French from the Canadians and Chinese/Korean/whatever from the farmers. And it's still sometimes hard to find groups. Now why would I want the same player cap on people who can't communicate with each other?

      You're on a full realm? Want to play with someone else? Reroll. You can play with anyone else. It obviously doesn't mean you're going to be able
      • The european servers manage just fine.
        You say "no idea how they manage it", but have you bothered to check it? Apparently you do know that it is possible.

        Europeans can play on french, english or german servers and there is no incentive to play on a server whose language you don't understand if you have better alternatives.

        Have you ever thought that if this does not work out on the us servers, maybe it is because non-english speakers cannot go to their own server?

        The chinese gold farmers will get on any serv
  • As others have noted here already, Square Enix has managed to get Final Fantasy XI to work well across the PS2, PC, and 360, so the notion that they'd have to compromise a lot is just plain bogus. The work may not be easy, but it is possible. So it really comes down to money. Blizzard isn't going to make a whole lot more than the 6 million subscribers are already bringing in, by doing the 360 right now. But they've got to be worried that that 6 million is the peak.

    Sooner or later, the WoW numbers are going
    • I agree in general with most of your post, but I take issue with the following statement:

      As others have noted here already, Square Enix has managed to get Final Fantasy XI to work well across the PS2, PC, and 360, so the notion that they'd have to compromise a lot is just plain bogus.

      As a hardcore Final Fantasy fanboi (look at my nick) I really wanted to love FFXI and was generally as much of an apologist as possible when it came to the game's many frustrations. However, I used to play Asheron's Call, and n
      • And y'know what? There's a half million people who -don't- mind the interface enough to not play.

        Of course, if people would actually play using the "compact" keyboard layout, it's really not nearly as bad...I can't stand the "standard" keyboard layout, but compact works well for me.

        (For the record:200 days playtime, 75BLM, 59WHM, 3 crafts at, or over, 80, etc. I play the game several hours a day, every day - just like the WoW Fanbois.)
  • I play WoW... I have a 60 priest and I'm currently working on my rogue (level 55)

    If anyone can explain to me how to effectively play WoW (Espically the priest!) With a controller, you are teh WINNAR

    Even with my easymode rogue... PvP is still Hotbutton for cheapshot, hotbutton for sinister strike x 2, hot button for kidney shot, hot button for gouge.. .etc etc

    I would LoL @ all teh auto-attackers
  • I have only played WoW once and that was for like 10mins, but one thing I learned is... well, you NEED a keyboard. There is no way that WoW could be converted into a game using a controller like the XB360's. Besides, after hearing about some of their server troubles, I would be surprised if Blizzard could even handle the thousands of new players. I think Blizzard is right about sticking to their PC-based WoW that won't "compromise any game play."
  • Paraphrasing: "We'd never port our game to the XBox 360 as it would compromise our player's experience. And also because it's technically impossible. Technical hurdles aside, then yes, maybe."

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351