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Microsoft Admits to Release Schedule Bungle 43

Eurogamer is reporting on comments made by Microsoft Games Studio general manager Phil Spencer, who has said that first party titles were not released often enough during the 360's first year. While true in all markets, this has especially been a problem in the U.K., where a delay of 210 days separated Dead Rising and Nintey-Nine Nights. From the article: "'I won't duck the question. Obviously our job as a first-party publisher is to lead on our platform and to create content not only that appeals to a broad set of customers, but also content that comes out with a regular pacing to continue to freshen the shelves,' Spencer said. 'But I wouldn't disagree with you that there were periods this year where there were gaps that were too long from first-party.' Microsoft's gaming blackspot was mirrored by a paucity of heavyweight third-party releases over a particular barren summer during which the firm arguably failed to capitalise on good early momentum and the absence of Sony's rival PlayStation 3 system."
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Microsoft Admits to Release Schedule Bungle

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  • Video game spam (Score:1, Insightful)

    To be honest, besides NFS:MW and Halo 2, does anyone really play those other 360 titles?
    • And Halo 2 isn't even a 360 title. Not to mention that NFS:MW is also available for just about every other platform out there, too.
      • Re:Video game spam (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Ucklak ( 755284 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @03:26PM (#16490617)
        What exactly is 360 supposed to convey in the name XBox 360?

        I just read the tech specs and developers blog and can't find anything to the name.
        I can almost get that 360 is half of 720 and that the games will play at 720p but I think that is a stretch.
        The fact that some or all games are in surround sound is also a bit stretchy. Why would you name your console after your audio capabilities?
        Both the XBox and XBox 360 utilize 3D rendered graphics so that doesn't make any sense either.

        Someone told me that it was Microsoft copying Nintendo on the Revolution name - I can get that and it's almost believable. In fact it's more believable over the other ones I mentioned.

        They could have called it XBox Zingo and it would make more sense than XBox 360.
        Every time I hear 360 to convey the newest XBox brings back memories of the CD-i and 3DO. Granted that the 360 is more successful than the CD-i and 3DO combined but it still means a crappy marketing naming team behind it to me.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Honestly, I'm not sure. I think your revolution theory is probably closest. Also keep in mind that the name xBox360 kinda-sorta-if-you-squint-real-hard-you-can-almost -see-it puts it on par with the PS3 (both have 3 in their name, geddit?). Combine 'revolution' with a number that has a strong 3 presence in it and you get 360. Seems ridiculously lame to me, but I certainly wouldn't put it past the marketing guys at MS.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          What exactly is 360 supposed to convey in the name XBox 360?

          It's supposed to convey nothing more than "OMGWTFBBQ 360 is higher then 3 so the XBox 360 must be better than the PS3".

          No, seriously. The marketing guys at Microsoft realised that putting out an XBox 2 versus a PlayStation 3 would sound very bad indeed as a large chunk of the public would see 3 > 2 and therefore better. Since they couldn't call it an XBox 3, they had to come up some other wowser name instead.

          Enter the 360 - totally meaningl

          • by miro f ( 944325 )
            damn why didn't Nintendo think of this? Who'd buy a Playstation 3 when they can get a Nintendo 5?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by brkello ( 642429 )
          There is a console named the "Wii" running around out there and you stop to consider 360. Crazy!
          • by Ucklak ( 755284 )
            I get the "Wii" as it conveys the wireless capabilities. I liked Revolution better but I'm just a consumer.

            The angle on the 360 > `the number 3` makes the most sense however I still feel that they copied the name from `Revolution`.

            Whatever happened to the good ole days when it was Atari vs Intellivision, Genesis vs Turbografx?

            I'm rooting for Nintento on this round as history has shown that the console prices drop 50% after a couple of years.
            At that rate, the 360 is still over $200 for a usable unit. Sam
            • by brkello ( 642429 )
              Yes, well, the playstation named their console "3". I think you put a little too much thought in this. 360 sounds fine to me compared to Wii...which I really think has nothing to do with it's wireless capabilities.
        • by sloth jr ( 88200 )
          Stupid marketing doesn't need reasons.

          When SGI released their O2, they specifically mentioned that it doesn't stand for anything , and even though the 2 was subscripted, had no relationship to any molecule of oxygen. I'm sure you can find many more stupid and senseless marketing redos, in logos, product names, etc. Marketing doesn't need reasons or facts.

          In the case of the 360, perhaps you can argue that it's the "complete" gaming solution. yah, whatever. I wonder the same thing about Yahoo's 360. The link
          • You must admit though that while it is a strange name that put it back in the running this generation. I hate to be a consumer though I'd counted myself out of this generation cause I couldn't afford a ps3, I wasn't interested in the xbox2, and well the revolution seemed bland. Nintendo turned that around with a simple name change and an effective marketing push...They made it stand out enough that every day pc gamers like myself said 'peh okay I'll have a look' and they backed it up with interesting new
        • Because if a typical clueless parent is Xmas shopping and has the choice of Playstation 3 or XBox 2 for roughly similar prices ... well, 3 > 2 so the Playstation must be newer and better. In short, typical marketing.
          • by birder ( 61402 )
            but if it was called the Xbox 3.99 ( 3.99 > 3) the PS 3 would be regarded as the better product because it has the lower number. On a personal rant, why are Sony charging $4.99 for a downloaded game. Christs sake, just make it $5.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by camperslo ( 704715 )
          What exactly is 360 supposed to convey in the name XBox 360?

          The operating temperature??
    • Actually Dead Rising is one of the best games in the last few years. Personally I also enjoy Chromehounds and Import Tuner Challenge. I did enjoy 99 Nights until it broke my 360 (their warranty program is absolutely amazing though, gave me a brand new machine in a matter of days)

      Though I do agree that the lineup has been fairly weak. In a whole year there should be too many good games to count on your fingers and toes.
  • by also-rr ( 980579 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @02:38PM (#16489817) Homepage
    9457637863458736457843 admissions to go!
  • 99 nights and 210 days? Must be Microsoft math.
  • well... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Manmademan ( 952354 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @02:43PM (#16489917)
    While true in all markets, this has especially been a problem in the U.K., where a delay of 210 days separated Dead Rising and Nintey-Nine Nights...
    Neither Dead rising nor Ninety Nine Nights were first party games. Dead Rising was developed by capcom, NNN by the same people who made lumines, IIRC.
    • by Osty ( 16825 )

      Neither Dead rising nor Ninety Nine Nights were first party games. Dead Rising was developed by capcom, NNN by the same people who made lumines, IIRC.

      N3 was published by Microsoft, though. But yes, the comparison is silly since the article was talking about Microsoft-published games.

      Maybe they'll make up for it by bringing Forza 2 back into the Holiday timeframe ...

    • by tc ( 93768 )
      And if you RTFA, you'd realize that the Slashdot article has a typo, and the quote should refer to Dead or Alive not Dead Rising.

      Also, in the games business, "first-party" refers to games published by the platform holder, not necessarily developed by it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by badasscat ( 563442 )
        Also, in the games business, "first-party" refers to games published by the platform holder, not necessarily developed by it.

        Well, as someone who worked in the game business (at a third-party publisher) for many years, I can tell you that this is in fact not at all true.

        First-party means games developed in-house. Nintendo's EAD being the only "pure" example left, although you could probably rightly argue that any developer purchased and then brought under the fold of one of the console manufacturers also q
        • Very insightful comment.
        • by tc ( 93768 )
          And as someone who still works in the games publishing business, for a platform holder, I can tell you that the terminology we use is "first party" to refer to all titles published by us, regardless of who developed them. Note that "published by us" is not the same as "released on our platform". If, say, Electronic Arts releases a title for our platform, then that would indeed be called "third party".

          Perhaps there are some distinctions from company to company about how exactly the terminology is used, leadi
  • ...now if they'd only stop holding a game's release off until November for Christmas season, the summer months may actually see some real releases! It's a large problem that tons of games that gets completed by April are held off release until November, and any that miss the Christmas deadline are all released in Feb/March. That means 3 months out of the year, we see way too many releases. (Of course, if I had any self control, I'd hold off on purchasing all the games until price drops :))
    • by rblum ( 211213 )
      Uhuh. Could you name *any* game that was actually completed in April and only released in November?

      Sorry, but the way this works is that the schedule is actively tailored towards November if you're a heavy hitter, and around it if you want to break into the market. (I.e. September or January)

      Blame the market - people buy more games around XMas & Turkey Day.

  • I've got limited access here at work, and can't check this for myself, but was there really about 7 months between the release of Dead Rising and Ninety Nine Nights?!
  • Sony have announced that George and Zippy have been put in charge of the PS3's release schedule.

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