Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ad Viewing Required For Free Zune HD Games

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the read-why-in-thirty-seconds dept.

Microsoft 131

UnknowingFool writes "In releasing the Zune HD, Microsoft decided not to open up software development on the new Zune to third parties yet. Today, Microsoft released a handful of free games for the Zune HD: Texas hold 'em, Sudoku, Space Battle 3, Shell Game, Of the Future, Hexic, Goo Splat and Chess, as well as calculator and weather apps. Users, however, are required to view an ad (up to 30 seconds in length) while the game starts up. While ad-supported free games are also on other platforms, like the iPhone, the difference here is that those iPhone games are from third parties and not from Apple." Reader Rock3t notes related news that the Zune HD will be getting 3D games.

cancel ×

131 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Not really... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464181)

Not really a surprise. On the old MSN gaming network they had them, and there are permanent ones in the MSN client, and the games started over the client had them too.
Microsoft have to make their money somehow, and it's not looking like it's going to be through their software ;)

Re:Not really... (1, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464193)

Microsoft have to make their money somehow, and it's not looking like it's going to be through their software ;)

What about the money you just paid for the device itself?

Re:Not really... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464235)

Microsoft have to make their money somehow, and it's not looking like it's going to be through their software ;)

What about the money you just paid for the device itself?

You mean the lease?

Re:Not really... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464459)

"Microsoft does something bad for its customers." Is anyone shocked?

Re:Not really... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464483)

But its known, thus it is a fea... I mean "service"

Re:Not really... (3, Insightful)

toppavak (943659) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464855)

Exactly, you payed for the device, not the free games you downloaded for the device. It'd be one thing if they included ads on games that came pre-loaded or on other integral features but these are apps you downloaded on your own prerogative for free, its not at all unreasonable to have ads on them. I got a chance to play around with a friend's Zune HD and I've got to say I'm really, really impressed with it. MS didn't try to make it anything its not- its a media player first and foremost. Having apps can be nice, but there's a lot of people out there that just want a PMP that plays media really well and that's what the Zune is (especially with the amazing music-discovery capabilities when integrated with a Zune Pass).

Re:Not really... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29465067)

You pay for an iPhone/iPodTouch then pay for the apps
You pay for a mobile phone, then pay for the apps
You pay for a computer, then pay for the apps
You pay for a zune, then pay....oh shit its microsoft must resist the urge to troll!

Seriously you buy the hardware, then they charge you (in the form of adverts) for additional software, big woop!

Freetardos cant be choosy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464375)

You take what they gives you and you gives back in kind.Snickers bar anyone?Its free!

Guess what's also not a surprise... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464639)

That Ben Bernake lied to Congress about monetizing public debt. Since the Chinese are growing weary of financing our extravagant entitlement system, now the Fed has decided to do it by buying debt from the Treasury. As long as the money is moving from one pocket to the other quickly enough, maybe nobody will notice that we're broke! Still waiting to hear how Obamacare is going to help this situation... I'm also still waiting for a leader to have the balls to stand up and tell the American people, "No we can't afford to do X, Y, and Z." What parent would take their kid to Disney World when their house is being foreclosed and their cars are being repossessed? And finally, I'm still waiting for someone besides Glenn Beck to take the federal government to task for bastardizing it's Constitutional role and running roughshod over the States and their citizens...

Re:Not really... (3, Insightful)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465473)

I have no problem with MS making money, neither do I have a problem with games that do ads whilst they load or move from Level to Level/Area to Area as these normally require load time anyway. What I do have a problem with is waiting more than twice the normal load time for some advert to finish which is hardly going to be targeted at me as I generally make sure any info they get off me is going to be way off par for marketing purposes. If they are lucky they may figure out what country I'm in!

Re:Not really... (2, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465527)

I think Douglas Adams had a neat idea called the Electric Monk. Just as you have devices for recording TV, etc., an Electric Monk believes things for you. Here, I believe we want an Electric Gumby; its job is to watch all the advertising for you so you can be free to concentrate on actual content rather than effluvium from Business School Product.

Difference? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464187)

While ad-supported free games are also on other platforms, like the iPhone, the difference here is that those iPhone games are from third parties and not from Apple.

I dont understand whats the difference here that makes it bad. Why couldn't the manufacturer release ad-supported games too?

In releasing the Zune HD, Microsoft decided not to open up software development on the new Zune to third parties yet.

Wasn't this discussed in the earlier news already. They're not restricting development, but just wont open apple like app store for it. Windows and Windows Mobile is the same way; there's no single place to download apps, but you are free to install any app you like.

Does that mean... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464195)

All games will have ads, or only the ones Microsoft developed? If it were the latter, I wouldn't worry so much. And also, isn't the Zune supposed to get third party support?

Re:Does that mean... (0, Troll)

PARENA (413947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464309)

You haven't been paying attention, really, have you? :) They're not opening up their app store for 3rd party software. I believe this was mentioned on /. 1 or 2 days ago, maybe. Or rather when asked they said something like "we might in the case that there is a situation where it is desirable to possibly have an opportunity like this that we may or may not perhaps consider blablablabla..." Which essentially meant "Nope", or else they would've just said so.

Hope I remember correctly now... :)

Re:Does that mean... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464505)

Yes, Microsoft in fact spent countless amounts of money and time opening up XNA development for the Zune HD, just to not allow XNA development for the Zune HD. In fact, they figured, "Hey let's waste fuck loads of cash doing something completely and utterly pointless for no reason whatsoever because it's not like we're a business in a recession where staff cuts are being made and departments need to justify their existence by doing something useful is it? Let's create Zune HD development tools even though we're not going to allow 3rd party apps on the app store!" -

http://www.develop-online.net/news/32857/XNA-Game-Studio-31-adds-Zune-HD-support [develop-online.net]

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/gaming/a177633/xna-development-now-available-on-zune-hd.html [digitalspy.co.uk]

But then, you did read it on Slashdot so obviously you must be right, it must be true.

A what? (1, Troll)

NaughtyNimitz (763264) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464201)

A Zune? Never heard of it. Oh it's that brown turd you can only buy in the US and Canada?

Re:A what? (0, Troll)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464435)

I really thought it was a parody of other brands' versions for at least a couple of weeks.

All the news I saw about it were jokes... Nobody had one...

Re:A what? (1, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464881)

that shiny brown turd

Fixed it for you...

Re:A what? (0, Flamebait)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465047)

Yes, it's sort of like an iPod only you can't buy in (in the UK), and you wouldn't want to (its from Microsoft, masters of slow and bloated software that doesn't work and is insecure).

Re:A what? (1)

Hitman_Frost (798840) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467373)

I think the original was made by Toshiba, and re-branded as Microsoft.

Dunno about this new one, which will also fail to sell in any significant numbers.

Re:A what? (1)

LordAndrewSama (1216602) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466527)

also in south africa. a friend had one, of course he could have bought it online second hand and yeah, just realized that makes this comment totally pointless, but fuck it this is slashdot, when has that ever stopped anyone?

big deal? (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464205)

so apple doesn't do it - yet.

how the fuck is this news worthy?

Re:big deal? (3, Informative)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464745)

It's news worthy because the Zune HD just recently released, comes with a marketplace not unlike the Apple App Store. Then the news came that the SDK wouldn't be available to the general public, only to a choice few 3rd parties. Then the news came that Microsoft would release all their apps for free. And now this, the catch comes along. Now we know why the marketplace is not like the App Store, because they plan to shove advertising down your throat.

Re:big deal? (1)

maharb (1534501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465165)

did my mod wrong oops

Re:big deal? (1)

Caetel (1057316) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465439)

Calm down - you have the choice download the games, I don't really think that counts as being shoved down your throat.

Re:big deal? (2, Insightful)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465807)

Tell that to all the early Zune HD buyers that were promised free games and apps on the Zune Marketplace and that just now discovered this or will in the future.

Genious Marketing (2, Insightful)

pm_rat_poison (1295589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464215)

Sure Microsoft, that IS a good idea! Ad-supported native software, straight from the mothership. Nothing gives a better impression than a cheapskate company trying to squeeze an extra buck off trivial software! Next time, require 3 subscriptions in spam lists for your notepad equivalent-du-jour, that'll bring in some extra cash!

Re:Genious Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464261)

Sure Microsoft, that IS a good idea! Ad-supported native software, straight from the mothership. Nothing gives a better impression than a cheapskate company trying to squeeze an extra buck off trivial software! Next time, require 3 subscriptions in spam lists for your notepad equivalent-du-jour, that'll bring in some extra cash!

This is not native software, from the summary too:

Today, Microsoft released a handful of free games for the Zune HD

Re:Genious Marketing (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464291)

The timing is also strange, why would they try to alienate the much needed users and potential newcomers with embedded advertisements so early?

Re:Genious Marketing (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466075)

Old habits die hard. They're used to being able to cram down anything their customers' throats because they can't escape it anyway.

Re:Genious Marketing (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464369)

Sure Microsoft, that IS a good idea! Ad-supported native software, straight from the mothership.

You get two choices.

Either the "free" games are sponsored or they are paid for by everyone who buys a Zune - whether they want them or not.

Which would be the Slashdot geek's next complaint.

Re:Genious Marketing (1)

pm_rat_poison (1295589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464515)

Oh, so you mean that these ads allow Microsft to sell Zunes cheaper? A new slogan is in order for such igenuity!
it's not an ad, it's a feature!

Re:Genious Marketing (2, Insightful)

MojoRilla (591502) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464597)

You get two choices.

Either the "free" games are sponsored or they are paid for by everyone who buys a Zune - whether they want them or not.

No. With the IPod model, I get a marketplace where games and business models compete. Sure there are some free ad sponsored games. But there are also low cost no ad games. And some expensive games. And there probably are some free, no ad games as well. Point is that the consumer has their choice. Not just what the guys at Microsoft dream up.

Re:Genious Marketing (4, Insightful)

twoshortplanks (124523) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466131)

Point is that the consumer has their choice. Not just what the guys at Microsoft dream up.

Yes, with an iPod model you have the choice of whatever Apple choose to approve....

Re:Genious Marketing (0, Troll)

pm_rat_poison (1295589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467389)

Yes, but if you're using apple, you don't like freedom in the first place, you just like what Jobs likes.

Re:Genious Marketing (0)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466851)

You get two choices. Either the "free" games are sponsored or they are paid for by everyone who buys a Zune - whether they want them or not.

No. With the IPod model, I get a marketplace where games and business models compete. Sure there are some free ad sponsored games. But there are also low cost no ad games. And some expensive games. And there probably are some free, no ad games as well. Point is that the consumer has their choice. Not just what the guys at Microsoft dream up.

No. Point is with the Zune model, I don't have to go through their app store. I can just download one anywhere online that anyone programmed with visual studio and place it on my zune with no restrictions or ads or whatever. I could make an app and sell them for money without giving microsoft $100 for the privilege of deciding whether the apps I make that year will be allowed in the store or not.

Microsoft is evil, but don't ever use Apple as an example of a less evil company. Next to Apple, Microsoft's evil seems like they are small annoyances. Apple will place you in a torture rack and charge you for the privilege. Because the torture rack is really beautiful, has rounded corners, and an easy-to-use interface.

Re:Genious Marketing (2, Insightful)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464769)

Either the "free" games are sponsored or they are paid for by everyone who buys a Zune - whether they want them or not.

Which would be the Slashdot geek's next complaint.

Like the way we constantly complain about Minesweeper and Solitaire being bundled in Windows... or snakes being bundled on almost every Nokia phone ever..
I'm so proud that Linux distributions never do stuff like that.

Re:Genious Marketing (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465927)

No. A "free" Zune Game published by Microsoft would be "subsidized"
by EVERY MICROSOFT CUSTOMER. This includes every Xbox user, every
forcefed Windows user, every forcefed msoffice user and even every
poor sap that has to run Microsoft's RDBMS product.

Somehow, I think the biggest software monopoly on the planet can
manage a few loss leader bits of software like they have included
with their Desktop OS since the dawn of time.

What's next, ads in the Win8 version of Solitaire?

Re:Genious Marketing (1, Interesting)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464811)

"We don't believe in coming to market like Apple - high margin, high quality, high price. We believe in high volume and low price." - Steve Ballmer speaking to TechRadar UK [techradar.com]

Personally, I prefer the Apple way but if you want to be a cheapskate and be forced to sit through ads to use a device you bought like in some cyberpunk B-movie be my guest.

Re:Genious Marketing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466101)

I find it most interesting that he commented margin/volume and price, but didn't comment quality...

Good for Microsoft (1)

vikhyat (1593841) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464257)

This is just like those view ads to get paid sites - except no one is going to get paid! Except for Microsoft, that is-

I think they've just taken consumer exploitation to the next level.

Horse bolted... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464281)

As the iPod Touch and iPhone turn into gaming devices and their marketshare appears to soar ever higher the response from Microsoft is somewhat strangely to stay behind the curve. "Will be getting 3D games"? Unlike the iPhone/Touch which already have them you mean? No 3rd party development... like the iPhone had at launch.

Sometimes I get the feeling that Microsoft aren't really trying here, the question is when they clearly aren't trying to out innovate why are they continuing to spend money in this space? Is it purely because they "must" compete with Apple? It feels as if their product meetings go

MS PM: What does the current set of Apple products do
MS Marketroid: Well they have apps
MS PM: 3rd party apps?
MS Marketroid: No that is banned

So they then spend 18 months developing the product at which place they are closing the gate against a horse who is already 20 miles down the road.

Re:Horse bolted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464433)

The iPhone did not have third party development at launch.

Don't worry... yet! (1)

Iriscal (1563535) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464283)

The ad-viewing is about as 'required' as Kanye West is humble. What you REALLY have to be afraid of is when they start quizzing you on the contents of the ad in order for you to play.

Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464293)

What does HD stand for in this context? Does it really mean high definition when they're putting out games like poker, chess, and sudoku, does it? WTF do you need high definition for that - prettier backs on the poker cards?

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464331)

"Zune HD" is the device's name..

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (3, Informative)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464341)

What does HD stand for in this context?

Ah, that's another brilliant piece of marketese, everyone assumes it has something to do with HD video. In reality, it refers to the Hybrid Digital FM radio.

Yes, really.

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464413)

Rly?

I'll just adjust my hope-for-humanity meter down a few notches.

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (3, Informative)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464509)

The Zune HD can play back and output 720p videos...

You're confusing the definition of HD radio with the Zune HD.

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (4, Informative)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464571)

Ah, that's another brilliant piece of marketese, everyone assumes it has something to do with HD video. In reality, it refers to the Hybrid Digital FM radio.

Yes, really.

Do you really have to spread your fud? I'm not a microsoft fan, but at least be honest.

"The Zune HD utilizes the Nvidia Tegra 600 chip [3], allowing it to play 720p video through the optional HDMI Zune dock on a high-definition television. Otherwise, content will be scaled down to 480x272 pixels on the player's OLED screen.[5]" From wikipedia.

Also from wikipedia:
# Video support: [14]

        * DVD resolution and frame rate, up to 10 Mbps bit rate, CBR or VBR for:
                    o H.264, Baseline profile up to Level 3.1 + B-frames support [14]
                    o WMV Main and Simple Profile, Advanced profile up to Level 2.
        * 720p HD resolution and up to 14 Mbps bit rate, CBR or VBR for above supported video profles
        * MPEG-4 Part 2 Simple Profile up to 4.0 Mbps bit rate

# 720p high definition video output - HDMI or Composite (additional dock required for both)

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (5, Informative)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464775)

allowing it to play 720p video through the optional HDMI Zune dock on a high-definition television

Yes, you can playback 720p if you buy a $90 dock, for a $219 player. Meanwhile, back in reality, this means that the Zune cannot play HD video (it's only 480x272) unless you spend a significant amount of additional money (40%). They should have called it the Zune HD-ready.

The HD in the name, however, does not refer to that feature, but to the HD-radio.

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467285)

The Doc isn't just a doc, it offers wireless remote control and full functionality of the zune on your tv - including syncing, HD radio playback and HD video playback and alll other zune functionality.

The HD in zune does relate to High Definition video.. only someone severely ignorant of the direction of microsoft could claim otherwise. From 1080p instant watch HD content through Zune on Xboxlive to the 720p TV, Movies & Videos that you can download and watch on your device through either the docking station, the zune player itself or through an xbox 360.

I purchased a docking station for my upstairs tv and love it however i use my already available xbox 360 downstairs.. Of course for the xbox i just use the dashboard integration with windows media connect and play the movies, videos and music that way.

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (3)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464917)

By that definition Apple should be calling their products the "iPhone 3GS HD" and "iPod touch HD" since they too can output "HD" video via an "optional dock".

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465529)

Neither of those currently have the capability to output HD video. They're only able to play the videos at all using a workaround and they're not officially supported.

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (2, Insightful)

daybot (911557) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465247)

allowing it to play 720p video through the optional HDMI Zune dock

So really it should be Zune HD*

*HD sold separately

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465663)

So really it should be Zune HD* *HD sold separately

Should bluray players that don't include an hdmi cable also say that?

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466119)

The price of a HDMI cable is not 40% of the price of the player (unless you let yourself be ripped off)

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466635)

Yeah, I got some tesco value HDMI cables (no seriously!)

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466637)

Blu-ray player, new (not refurbished). $149.99
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9245514&type=product&id=1218067604633 [bestbuy.com]

"Reasonable" HD cable: $29.99
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8427106&type=product&id=1181832627516 [bestbuy.com]

Percentage of price: 20%. Is that significant?

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

toppavak (943659) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464905)

It actually does have to do with HD video. While the device can't natively play at 720p (the screen isn't high-res enough), connecting to the (admittedly too expensive at $90) AV dock gives HDMI output at 720p.

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464545)

The Zune HD can play 720p H.264 via the video out, so it is technically HD, although right at the very bottom end. The hardware is actually very nice; OLED display, dual-core ARM11 CPU, nVidia GPU. It's quite close to nVidia's Tegra reference platform, so hopefully other manufacturers will start putting out devices with similar specs soon, although nVidia's trademark hostility to open source seems to be winning again (Wince is the only supported OS for Tegra at the moment, and there are no specs available for the GPU).

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464951)

Let me know when it runs Android, and I'll buy one. Used, of course. WinCE is aptly named, I've never not hated it. And M$ DRM? Do not want. (My lady likes it though, so she can play WMA audiobooks... on her Zen Vision.)

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467293)

I didn't know inflatable dolls could listen to audiobooks.

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464679)

The Zune HD supports both an HD radio tuner and (just barely) HD video.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zune_HD [wikipedia.org] :

The Zune HD utilizes the Nvidia Tegra 600 chip [3], allowing it to play 720p video through the optional HDMI Zune dock on a high-definition television. Otherwise, content will be scaled down to 480x272 pixels on the player's OLED screen.

You've gotta wonder who is going to spring for that dock; I know that I've never seen a big market for video adaptors for other hand-held gaming platforms. But what do I know, I hardly ever use the external iPod speakers I got for Christmas last year.

A bit further down the same page you can find these nuggets:

The specifications as listed by the official web page of the Zune HD[...]:

  • HD radio tuner
  • Video support: [...]
    • 720p HD resolution and up to 14 Mbps bit rate, CBR or VBR for above supported video profiles

Only PSP-3000 has had composite out (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465649)

I know that I've never seen a big market for video adaptors for other hand-held gaming platforms.

By "video adaptors for other hand-held gaming platforms" are you including Super Game Boy and Game Boy Player? These take a different approach, adding a slot for a handheld's game cartridges to a console.

As for adapters that connect to the handheld system itself, Nintendo never made one to sell to the public. (There were a couple Game Boy systems with video output for demo kiosks in stores, and there was IS-NITRO-CAPTURE for authorized developers and the mainstream gaming press, but the general public never got these.) Sega's Game Gear and Atari's Lynx didn't have them either. Sony made one for the PSP-2000 that required a TV with 480p component inputs. This flopped because a lot of TVs at the time were still CRTs that could not display 480p video. As far as I know, the only major handheld with a widely available composite cable is PSP-3000. (I'm not counting V.Smile and other edutainment-only systems as major.)

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

hazydave (96747) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466311)

You don't understand the beauty of the Zune marketplace!

Of course practically no one bought the original Zune at the original price... but when I bought my brown Zune for $75, that was a damn good buy for a 30GB player at the time. And say what you will about Microsoft in general (and I usually do), but they've keep the upgrades getting better, and kept them free. That doesn't suck.

As for the dock, when I got my Altec-Lansing dock for the orginal Zune for $30, I got to laugh at all the iPodden out there buying the very same dock with iPod connector for $120 or so.

Hopefully the same things happen for the Zune HD... MS already released it at a somewhat decent price. So no one buys it, the $220 model drops to $120 or so, the $90 dock (which is MSRP, anyway) drops to $30, and then I upgrade.

Anyway, if you really want a PDA+MP3 player, you're probably in line for an iPod anyway... as long as you're happy running applications only blessed by The Steve. Otherwise, go with an Android device. But if you just want a decent PMP, the choice right now has to be between the Zune HD (assuming they keep the quite-a-bit-better-than-iPod sound quality of the originals) and the Cowon S9. Both have OLED screens, which pwn the iPod ten ways to Sunday. When you can have OLED, you don't want LCD... period.

As for free applications... does anyone here really think there's a free lunch, particularly from companies like Apple or Microsoft. When they promised free games, my initial assumption was that a few freebies would come out, either trivial ones or those that function as ads for paid games... just like you have on the iTunes store (eg, it's either relative crap, or you pay for it). There is absolutely no way they would have a continued supply of new games and applications being developed with no chance at revenues of some kind... same reason you get ads on Google and YouTube and pretty much anything else related to Web 2.0 hysteria. Oh yeah, and slashdot!

That they chose an advertising model, rather than a cash-up-front-model, is fine with me. I'm adult enough to not expect a free lunch from Microsoft.

Re:Isn't "HD" High Definition? (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466431)

HD doesn't mean anything. It is the new "ultra" or "super." I was in a public restroom a few months ago and noticed that the latch on the door stall was labeled as being an "Acme HD" door latch. (It wasn't actually "acme." I just can't remember the actual name.) If a door latch manufacture feels like calling its door latch "HD" will be a good marketing move then surely "HD" is meaningless. (although of course the latch maker might claim that "HD" stands for "heavy duty" in this context)

Who cares? (-1, Troll)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464431)

It sucks and there are much better alternatives. Just dont buy it.

Goo splat? (2, Funny)

Tx (96709) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464457)

Maybe I spend too much time on the wrong kind of websites, but I don't even want to know what that game is about!

Re:Goo splat? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464705)

Goo Splat? Maybe I spend too much time on the wrong kind of websites, but I don't even want to know what that game is about!

Nothing too fancy. It's a single player puzzle game.

Something like a single player chess where the pieces' movement (or "skills") aren't fixed but depend on their shape (gooey) on that turn. The shape depends on the size and color (indicates density) of other pieces or blocks that the piece has eaten before.

There's a 3D version for the PC where the board inclination can be changed each turn, influencing the pieces' shape.

As you may have guess by this point, I just made up all that crap and I've never heard of such game.

Re:Goo splat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464779)

sounds absolutely BRILIANT!

best copyright/patent that concept, before popcap steals it and makes another iphone hit!

Re:Goo splat? (1)

twmcneil (942300) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465087)

Just a guess: A really poor knock-off of World Of Goo?

They must have a special department (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464497)

There is no way any company can so consistently get things just a bit wrong every single time.

You got to wonder what the hell the person who came up with this was thinking.

Dev1: "Well we can't do squirting again."

Dev2: "And brown has be done too."

Dev3: "I know, we give them ADDS for crappy games that we offered for free with every windows version and are available everywhere for free!

Dev1 and Dev2: "Wow! They don't call you Dev3 for nothing!"

Re:They must have a special department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29466959)

In the next Zune revision they'll streamline the whole experience and force you to watch ads before they squirt brown on you, entirely for free!

I guess it's the future... (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464513)

Developers need to be paid. As much as we want it, it is highly unlikely that all software in the world will be developed in the form of open source projects.

While open source projects will undoubtedly continue, the paid software and software that contains ads will also always be there...

Youtube also has ads at the start of the movies. I've already adopted a strategy to have my mouse of the volume control as soon as a movie starts.

~I prefer creative advertisers who push their message into my brain to voluntarily taking the message in me. In other words: I prefer ad-rape to ad-love~

Re:I guess it's the future... (1)

hazydave (96747) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466389)

The FOSS world has payment, too, it's just a different form of currency... sometimes. You have company-supported open source projects, paid in cash just like any other software engineering work. And you have the volunteers, who work on projects for fun, renown in the FOSS community, "building one's own toys"... eg, it's a hobby, or a technical challenge they may not find in the day job. But they all have day jobs. A sterling reputation in the FOSS community doesn't put food on the table... even Linus has a day job (he was at Transmeta, at least in their better years).

Zune? (1, Flamebait)

pbailey (225135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464585)

Zune? What is a Zune?

Re:Zune? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464761)

It's the iPod that nobody buys and it has this feature that causes it to stop working for a few days towards the end of the year.

Re:Zune? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29464859)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=zune

Re:Zune? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29465789)

It's a self-flagellation device for people who were dumb enough to buy into the MS content model.

30 seconds? (4, Insightful)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464617)

A lot of games on portable devices are something you might play for a few minutes to pass the time waiting for a bus, etc. If you have to wait 30 seconds for a game to start, then that's a sizeable percentage of the playing time which is ridiculous. It's even more annoying than all those trailers/adverts/previews/etc. you have to sit through at the cinema or the film preview you used to be forced to sit through on certain DVDs. And once you've seen the ad once, you're not going to watch it again for 30 seconds. If you have to advertise, put up an advertising splash screen for a few seconds with the option of the user pushing a button to exit the screen sooner.

Re:30 seconds? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465791)

Are you kidding? Haven't you ever heard of PSP games that take 7 minutes to get to the gameplay?

Re:30 seconds? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465999)

The PSP is a gaming platform. The Zune is a media player that can also play games. The expectations are different. PSP users are generally people who want to spend some time playing a game. People playing games on a Zune (or an iPod or mobile phone) are generally people who have a couple of spare minutes and happen to have a device with them for other reasons (playing music, making phone calls) that can play games. You'd play a Zune game in the pub while waiting for friends to arrive, for example, but most people wouldn't play a PSP game in the same situation (or even have their PSP with them).

Re:30 seconds? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466001)

This could certainly explain the popularity of the Nintendo DS both
in the American suburbs and on Tokyo subway trains. A 30 second delay
on startup is going to kill the gaming experience for a lot of adults,
nevermind small children and teenagers.

Re:30 seconds? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466977)

Are you kidding? Haven't you ever heard of PSP games that take 7 minutes to get to the gameplay?

And Sony wonders why people have hacked their PSPs - a hacked PSP running the game off memory stick is much more enjoyable (mostly because it removes those crappy seek times - hey look, SSD makes life better!). Or why they're releasing the Go.

Sony should do on the PSP what Microsoft did on the Xbox360 - let people copy games to the memory stick (with DRM by having the disc in the drive, but redirecting drive reads to the memory stick), which would remove the best legit reason to hack the firmware.

MS going same way as Sun? (2, Interesting)

AnonymousX (1632759) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464649)

Anyone remember when Sun suddenly added Yahoo toolbar, on by default btw, to the main installers and later even the upgrade installers of Java? When I first saw that, I had a suspicious that either someone at Sun made a very bad marketing decision, or things were not going well on the Sun balance sheets. Turned out to be the latter. Could Microsoft be showing the first signs of financial desperation with this stunt, or is this just someone's stupid move?

Re:MS going same way as Sun? (1)

chrish (4714) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464911)

Can't it be both?

So, what is the problem? (1, Insightful)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464655)

I don't really see the problem with this to be honest: If you don't like it, don't download/play those games.
I'd rather have a selection of free games available, than none at all.
Having ads in front of it is only logical for them to make some money out of it.

Microsoft has been doing the same with Live-Messenger for quite some time: If you start up a webcamchat, you first get to see an ad for about 20 seconds.
I got very annoyed by this, so since then I've been doing my (webcam)chats through Skype. It's all about having the choice.

Pardon the Rant on Mobile Game Ads (4, Insightful)

Webcommando (755831) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464799)

One of things in the iTunes app store that is really getting on my nerves, is developer adding ads after the game is released. The progression goes: release a free game, wait until it is in the top 25 or gets popular, then create an update that includes ads.

Why is this annoying? Well, suddenly you have add boxes over key game elements, the game starts up slowly while ad loads (i.e. the much watch ad), or new start or splash pages appear that include the ads. Also, since everyone appears to use the same few ad networks, I get the same ads on every application. I feel like I got hit with some kind of bait and switch. I'll also note, that the update's description never mentions the new and exciting ad feature.

I started developing apps for the iPhone so I can understand the desire to be paid for your work. So, please think about your revenue model (and minimize the impact to players if you have ads) before your first release or better yet just sell it at a fair price. I will buy a good game. I will delete games that become unplayable and rank accordingly.

Re:Pardon the Rant on Mobile Game Ads (1)

shadedream (1225698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465269)

One of things in the iTunes app store that is really getting on my nerves, is developer adding ads after the game is released. The progression goes: release a free game, wait until it is in the top 25 or gets popular, then create an update that includes ads.

This is exactly when I delete the app and give it a one star review. Quite convenient they give you that option while deleting an app.

If they're going to give me a free or "lite" app, don't jack me around later and try to turn me into a revenue model. Make a game good enough Im willing to pay a few bucks for the full version

Re:Pardon the Rant on Mobile Game Ads (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467279)

What I think is a greater crime are all the "lite" apps or "some other stupid clone of Wars game w/ microtransactions" that clutter the Top 25 free lists. Seriously if I'm looking for free games I want an actual fully functional free game, not a cocktease that requires me to pay you in some way for the full experience.

On that note, if anybody knows of any good up to date iPhone game directories that are 100% no strings attached free to play please for the love of god post a link!

Philip K Dick : visionary (4, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29464843)

"The door refused to open. It said, 'Five cents, please.'

He searched his pockets. No more coins; nothing. 'I'll pay you tomorrow,' he told the door. Again he tried the knob. Again it remained locked tight. 'What I pay you,' he informed it, 'is in the nature of a gratuity; I don't have to pay you.'

'I think otherwise,' the door said. 'Look in the purchase contract you signed when you bought this conapt.'

In his desk drawer he found the contract; since signing it he had found it necessary to refer to the document many times. Sure enough; payment to his door for opening and shutting constituted a mandatory fee. Not a tip.

'You discover I'm right,' the door said. It sounded smug.

From the drawer beside the sink Joe Chip got a stainless steel knife; with it he began systematically to unscrew the bolt assembly of his apt's money-gulping door.

'I'll sue you,' the door said as the first screw fell out.

Joe Chip said, 'I've never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live with it.'"
("Ubik", Philip K Dick)

How long until we'll be begging our Zunes to let us use our software ?

Re:Philip K Dick : visionary (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465875)

How long until we'll be begging our Zunes to let us use our software?

About when we'll starting begging our hot girlfriends for sex.

They Shoot Horses (1)

twmcneil (942300) | more than 4 years ago | (#29465127)

Please, somebody just kill the Zune. It's embarrassing to watch this projects continued failures.

Re:They Shoot Horses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29466129)

With my Zune, I have access to millions of songs with having to steal them. I can handle $14.95 a month for three Zunes + three computers, including 10 free songs. I've got 500+ albums loaded. Unlike most iPod users, I don't steal music. When Apple has a subscription option, maybe I'll consider an iPod, but for now the Zune kicks their ass.

Why think it will always be like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29466221)

These games are ports of old Zune games that also had ads at the beginning. It's no surprise that the new versions have ads too. I see this as a sort of "legacy" artifact, a leftover from the way things used to work. There's no reason to believe that future games will have poorly placed ads like this. In fact there's no reason to believe that future games will have ads at all.

Old news. They did this on the last version (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466391)

I've got an old brown zune and there's been an ad before the start of the games ever since they introduced them. The article doesn't make it clear if the ads on the zunehd are videos or if they are static images like on my old zune. The games on my old zune have been "brought to me by Lips" ever since the first time I played one of the games. That the "ad" hasn't changed in more than a year tells me that they aren't having much luck in selling these ads.

Gotta watch ads for the articles too (1)

entrice (1422613) | more than 4 years ago | (#29466835)

I chuckled when I had to skip an ad when trying to read the PC World article

They're doing it wrong (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29467413)

I'm not a huge EA fan but this is the perfect time for MS to copy them. Instead of a thirty second add they should have poker sponsored by Hoyle and use cards with their logo on them. The weather program can be "brought to you by the Weather Channel" or something. There are ways to advertise while minimizing the amount it pisses people off.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>