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Microsoft's Gamefest Explored 20

1up was there to cover Microsoft's annual Gamefest event, and came away with some interesting information. Across all of its gaming platforms (Xbox Live, Games for Windows, MSN Games, etc.), the company claims 100 Million gamers per month. Xbox Live, in particular, received attention at the event. The company talking about more demos, downloads, and microtransactions being the hallmarks for the future of the service. From that article: "While Microsoft wants demos and add-ons to be a critical part of the plans for games, they also iterated the importance of other parts of the Marketplace. The personalization options offered by the Gamer Pictures and Themes is something Microsoft will continue to encourage developers to create. However, the notion that these 360-pieces of flair would regularly appear free on the Marketplace should be squashed, for now. Microsoft indicated that they have very strict limitations on free content and that they intend on keeping the gamer pictures and themes pretty consistently priced."
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Microsoft's Gamefest Explored

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  • How dare they (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twistedsymphony ( 956982 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @11:36AM (#15910491) Homepage
    How dare developers try to give away next to worthless items like icons for free...

    I might actually considering BUYING those things if they added the super cool features to actually SEE what you buy on the console before you buy it. Maybe a 5 minute trial for themes instea of just buying it blindly for $2. If I'm going to spend money on something that's nothing more then a pretty picture, at least let me determine if the pretty picture is actually pretty.
  • Players will not have free stuff like on PC and it is a feature. Good to know.
    • Re:It is a feature (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This is just a result of the buisness model that Microsoft has adpoted. They sell their system at a loss, so they need their customers to buy as many pieces of high-margin content as they possibly can; through the XBox Live Marketplace, Microsoft can take a cut of every $2 cow or theme that you purchase (and they probably end up with a healthy profit from it). Developers need more money to add normal maps, and material effects, to the coffee cups in the games you play so they need their customers to give th
  • by drachenstern ( 160456 ) <> on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @11:51AM (#15910615) Journal
    From TFA:
    Microsoft recommends releasing add-ons between 60 and 90 days after a game's release.
    The article starts by discussing the success and popularity of DOA4, and then says that the game developers shouldn't want to release add-ons to the game for a full quarter? I can understand when the add-ons have not been developed yet (such as The SIMS), but certainly many add-ons can be developed in line with the game and released at a closer later date (ie war games that focus on mid-20th century Europe, or games such as the venerable C&C and all of it's subsequent titles).

    If MS is going to cater to the gamer market, don't they need to realize that the best way to sell a lot of titles is to build on immediate success?
    • released at a closer later date
      If I saw a bunch of content appear immediately after the game's release for an additional charge, I know I'd begin to wonder if the publisher wasn't being more than slightly disingenuous with me, their customer, by witholding content that could very well have been included in the final version. This is likely the reason behind Microsoft's recommendation...not that I necessarily condone their logic.
      • You got it. You don't want to make it look like you're screwing your clients over, when you are screwing them over.

        Plus, you want to keep interest in your game up. When you add new content, your name comes up again. Maybe I missed "WizzO: RPG" when it first got released, or I had other things to buy that month, but now I have some cash and 'Wow!' you can buy an attack slug for this WizzO game for just 900 credits! Maybe I should buy WizzO...

  • Across all of its gaming platforms (Xbox Live, Games for Windows, MSN Games, etc.), the company claims 100 Million gamers per month.

    If that many gamers are being killed every month, I think it's high time we instituted some sort of "Just Say No to Microsoft" campaign in our schools. Won't somebody please think of the children?

  • I didn't read the article of course, but... I'm sure Nokia would have at least 100 million 'gamers' playing Snake on their phones, but it doesn't count. Just because 99.5 million bored office workers play Freecell and Online Reversi (Othello... whatever) doesn't mean your #1 with the hardcore gamerz. man.
  • If you read TFA it says they have 7 million gamers a month and 93 million bored office workers and former AOL users.
  • I think microsoft is thinking too big with the marketplace, or as I like to call it, the get-rich-quick-E-mart. The idea of placing marketplace items in fable (well TFA said something about buying a fancy sword from an ingame vendor, which seems to coincide with Fable 2 IMHO) may be interesting, but I feel that it will destroy gaming.This whole idea looks like it will go from the "hrm, I'm bored I wonder if I can get a new car to race in PGR3?" impulse micropayments to forcing people to make a purchase to c
    • The cost of the games is too high as it is and now they want to pay monthly fees and you are being forced to buy stuff in game to move on in the game what a rip off.
      • Indeed. $110 for a boring game that is $30 cheaper for the PC... Why do all games cost the same? Blockbusters that aren't hype should be in the higher range and every day run of the mill games should be almost nothing price wise. (All prices in AUD.)
    • The sales forecasts for this scheme must make for humorous reading, really out there, more fit for some business RPG than the real world. Microsoft is really struggling with the xbox, this marketing diatribe is just the billy goat's, devlopers, developers, developers, developers coming to fruition.

      The xbox main target audience is teenage children, by far the majority do not have credit cards, any regular payment style purchases are generally restricted to mobile phones and MMORPG, if their ain't no money

      • I think you're trying to put too much anti-microsoft spin on it. This could be ANY company at all but because it happens to be Microsoft it is "extra evil." I call bullshit on this!
        You're also trying to pull this Jack Thompson "Somebody please think of the childrens!!!1" when last I checked Microsoft is marketing to the right market, the majority of gamers are approximately 16-25 year old males. 16-25 year old males tend to have the most disposable income to be used on entertainment.
        I could see Nintendo doi
        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )
          Sure every accountant dreams of charging everybody all the time. Past history has demostrated the failure of this expectation. People generally pay once for one block of entertainment, they get frustrated when you keep trying to charge extra, for each little bit.

          People call lawyers sharks not only becuase of how large their bill is but also because of it's contents, charges for photcopying, make call, answer call, read letter, write letter, say hello to client in hallway etc. Contrary to your leet speak,

          • Bullshit, you dredge up 2 ads from Microsoft's website and you can say their primary market is children?

            how about the front page with ads for Ninety Nine Nights; one of the biggest hack/slash games in the past few years. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion; a game that would largely fly over the heads of anyone younger than 16. Or maybe Prey; ultraviolent, bizarre, first person shooter that would give nightmares to anyone younger than 16. Why don't we try Gaming with Audioslave, how many children do you

  • Cause you know there'll be some annoying asshole with 37 peices of flair.

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