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Windows Phone 7 Gaming and Xbox Live

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the at-least-they're-trying dept.

Cellphones 99

Engadget is running a preview of Microsoft's attempt to bring Xbox Live to upcoming Windows Phone 7 devices. Launch titles will include Guitar Hero, Castlevania, and Halo: Waypoint, and many of the features from the console version of Xbox Live will make the transition intact. Quoting: "Live on WP7 will allow for full avatar integration (we're talking fully rendered, interactive avatars) along with customization (clothes, accessories, and more). The company has even crafted an avatar-centric version of familiar phone utilities like flashlight apps and levels, adding some whimsy to what would normally be pretty staid affairs. Additionally, messaging, friend lists / status, achievements, and leaderboards (with friend comparisons) are all here as well, making for a pretty complete mobile Xbox Live experience. And also just like the console, every game will have a try-before-you buy demo to check out before spending your hard-earned cash."

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Cat got your tongue? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33273860)

I read Slashdot for the comments but there are no comments. You all suck.

Re:Cat got your tongue? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33273876)

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Thanks.. (-1, Troll)

h7 (1855514) | more than 4 years ago | (#33273888)

Thanks a lot for this stupid advertisement. You might as well post viagra spam next time.

Re:Thanks.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33273998)

Would you perhaps prefer having the next iPhone spec instead?

Re:Thanks.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274046)

Who modded this idiot +5 insighful? If the next generation rival for iPhone and Android isn't "news for nerds", what is it then? Especially since it's linking to an engadget story. This is far from some shitty slashdot advertisement for some small firm. Get a clue.

Re:Thanks.. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274098)

nerd rage about a pro-M$ article. Nothing to see here move along...to the macstore

Re:Thanks.. (1)

shnull (1359843) | more than 4 years ago | (#33285642)

yea like woaw, avatars on an expensive phone ... euh ... ?

Profit (3, Interesting)

Danieljury3 (1809634) | more than 4 years ago | (#33273906)

So they've taken avatars which serve hardly any purpose, created large numbers of useless items for these useless avatars, charges money for these useless items and then integrated them into applications and platforms where they will continue to serve no purpose. In summery they are going to succeed in charging money for what is effectively nothing. Not surprising from any company these days.

Re:Profit (1)

janoc (699997) | more than 4 years ago | (#33273960)

It feels more like - "Well, we know it doesn't work so well as a phone, but LOOK! YOU CAN BLING OUT YOUR AVATAR!!!! OMG!"

Re:Profit (3, Informative)

odies (1869886) | more than 4 years ago | (#33273964)

Eh, nowhere in the article it says it will cost something. Live is free on Windows too (though not so used besides a few titles).

Live is also a lot more than just some stupid avatars. Matchmaking, online games, friends, achievements and so on work great and the same way in every game. If something is good with Windows Mobile 7, it must be the inclusion of Live gaming.

Re:Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274048)

On xbox live, you can buy clothing and other equally useless items for your avatar with microsoft points, which cost money. I'd assume if they're going to implement this on WP7 it wouldn't be any different.

Re:Profit (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275674)

Can != must.

Re:Profit (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274246)

The confusion is that MS tends to use the same name for different things. Windows Live is free. Xbox Live is both free and subscription based. The article is talking about Xbox Live [wikipedia.org] . Xbox Live Silver is free but does not include multi-player gaming among other features like Netflix. Xbox Live Gold is subscription based and includes said features. Most likely using some of the features only included in Xbox Live Gold. If you have an account you can access it through the phone; however, additional costs will be required for things like customizing your avatar.

Re:Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274414)

Well, they also have multiple things called "Windows Live"--which one are you talking about? :) Remember, they launched Xbox Live services on Windows back with Halo 2, and then wanted everyone to pay for this new multiplayer platform on Windows. Then they made it free, and it's probably discontinued now, not sure.

But through the Windows interface they eventually made free you could actually interact with your Xbox Live stuff that costs money on the Xbox, if I recall correctly. I wish they had just made an open API for Xbox Live services. I hate their walled garden approach to Live. It's very old school thinking! Every* major service provider nowadays is creating APIs for their products.

*: probably not every provi

Re:Profit (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275388)

Windows Live is free on the PC. I got "Xbox" Live Silver and I played some PC Bioshock 2 MP at no charge. I also bought an Bioshock 2 addon with a credit card - though I don't recall if I bought it through Steam of directly on Windows Live.

Re:Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275898)

Why hasn't anyone at M$ ever realized that making 45 different versions of the same thing is IDIOTIC?! Do we really need the choice between 8 different versions of windows and 16 different versions of more or less the same online service? Why not just do it right the first time around and figure out the features that are actually needed and just have those in a single version?

Re:Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33277496)

Why hasn't anyone at M$ ever realized that making 45 different versions of the same thing is IDIOTIC?! Do we really need the choice between 8 different versions of windows and 16 different versions of more or less the same online service? Why not just do it right the first time around and figure out the features that are actually needed and just have those in a single version?

You mean like Linux?

Re:Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33278382)

There's only one... oh, you mean distros?

The $50 Monster Cable of Video Games (0)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274572)

I liken XBox Live on 360 as the $50 Monster Cable internet cable to your network. Microsoft and other claim "it makes it better" by are vague about the claims and specifics just like Monster Cable. When you play "Modern Warfare 2" who is providing the online multiplayer experience? Microsoft is only providing the "account names" to Activision where Infinity Ward (or who ever is left) is responsible for matching and setting up the game as well as the technical aspects the engine and content. Friends lists and party chat and all that probably are a boon to recent gamers but to many old gamers we have had our contact systems for decades that are platform independent. We don't sit around on our XBox 360 waiting for each other to jump in. We first contact each other and find out if we are in the mood to play something then turn on the 360.

XBox Live is only "neat" in the context of that if your gaming experience is limited to only the 360 then it is probably worth the $50 subsidy. If on the other hand you use other platforms and looking at the feature list, it starts to look like one is renting a Monster Cable.

Re:The $50 Monster Cable of Video Games (2, Informative)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275230)

Having both an Xbox 360 and a PS3 I still choose to pay the ~$30 a year for LIVE (if you're paying more keep an eye on the bargain sites for a 1 year card) over the free online found on the PS3. I tried both and found that overall Live was a better experience. If someone doesn't like it then they shouldn't use it but no reason to trash on it. Microsoft does try to bring exclusives to the service as well, there was a period of time where netflix streaming in HD was only available on the 360 through LIVE and they are rolling out ESPN soon (sadly the NFL won't allow their games to be watched through it).

Why not just play all my games on PC? Well I have two "crowds" of friends I play games online with, mostly split between 360 and PC with a few who use both. In addition I feel certain types of games work better on a tv with a controller while others work better on a PC with mouse and keyboard (or joystick).

Re:The $50 Monster Cable of Video Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275422)

Xbox Live provides a heck of a lot more than you are giving them credit for. In many cases, Xbox Live provides the servers for the games unless the publisher wants to be able to shut the game down before it otherwise would (specifically, EA is guilty of this).

Compare Xbox Live to its competition: Wii and Sony. It blows them out of the water. Even Steam on the PC is not as good as Xbox Live on the Xbox 360, although it's slowly getting there.

To suggest that their friend's list, which was the first of its kind to unify it across games (yes, it predates Steam), is anything but a huge benefit is an anti-Microsoft joke. That's great that you have some outside means to contact people outside of the ecosystem, such as [drum roll] a phone to call your friends and family. However, it's awfully convenient to be able to find them while they are already in-game and instantly link up with them, or join a group/party and join games automatically together. The integration with voice chat between games, and even between people in different games is just another benefit. Finally, you can block other's from playing with your by using the rating system. Tired of that 13 year old screaming? Block him. Those two features alone are worth it. No more sitting there on the phone or IM with 3+ people trying to get everyone on the same server. Now it's taken care of for me, and I can avoid the annoying kids along the way.

Re:Profit (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275962)

Live is free on Windows too (though not so used besides a few titles).

Thank god.

Re:Profit (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274074)

Something has value if people are willing to pay for it. People are obviously buying into it. Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure if you created something that others considered dumb you wouldn't care and still market it if it was making you a few million dollars a year...

Re:Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275978)

There's more than one type of value, dumbass.

Re:Profit (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274192)

So they've taken avatars which serve hardly any purpose, created large numbers of useless items for these useless avatars, charges money for these useless items and then integrated them into applications and platforms where they will continue to serve no purpose.

And hooked it all up to XBOX Live, which sucks utterly. Am I the only one who shudders whenever I see that "Live" overlay pop up on any game?

Re:Profit (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274556)

Only because you're seeing that popup on PC games, where it's not needed or wanted. On consoles, which generally lag behind PC gaming for multiplayer gaming, Live is probably the best integrated and well thought out systems. The only complaint I see about XBL nowadays is that it's $50.

Re:Profit (1)

Tom9729 (1134127) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276586)

If you shop around, Live is actually more like $30.

Re:Profit (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#33278636)

I had no idea that Microsoft actually charges money for XBox Live. Now I really hate it. Basically, they've got you paying money for DRM.

Re:Profit (1)

Tom9729 (1134127) | more than 4 years ago | (#33280692)

Xbox Live is a multiplayer game service. You do not need Live or an internet connection if you don't want to play online.

Hard earned cash? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274470)

My cash isn't hard earned - I earn it the easy way, by selling my services to high class business women who are 'lonely' on their trips. Still, I'm not going to spend it on this Windows Mobile 7 shit, I've got an iPhone (and it's address book is fucking stacked to the gills with hot, rich women).

Re:Profit (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274806)

Avatars cost nothing and there are tons of free items available. Avatars also give you some visible identify throughout many games, the dashboard and the xboxlive framework and being able to customize it - even if for a small fee to personalize your gaming experience isn't a bad thing. In fact, i'd go so far as to say you're just jealous ;)

Re:Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33276110)

In fact, i'd go so far as to say you're just jealous ;)

Are you actually serious? Jealous that some dweebs play virtual dress up with their electronic dolls? And actually pay for the privilege? Dude...GET A LIFE.

Re:Profit (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275052)

So they've taken avatars which serve hardly any purpose,

They do seem to have one purpose, they will cause your girlfriend to ask you who that little gay guy on the screen is. The avatar even has a fruity little hair flip. (I have gay friends, but I don't suck them off or anything. Imagine the tone of my post accordingly.)

So like WP7 is for games? Not a phone/pda? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33273914)

What's the world coming to? Kiddiesoft?

Gaming on WP7 (4, Insightful)

janoc (699997) | more than 4 years ago | (#33273950)

Umm, why not make the WP7 actually useful for being used on a phone [infoworld.com] first? It's cool to have a mobile gaming console in the pocket, but then I would probably buy a PSP and not Windows smartphone ...

Re:Gaming on WP7 (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275048)

Umm, why not make the WP7 actually useful for being used on a phone first? It's cool to have a mobile gaming console in the pocket, but then I would probably buy a PSP and not Windows smartphone ...

I assume because this is a project of the XNA/XBox/gaming guys and not the phone / windows mobile guys.

Re:Gaming on WP7 (2, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275590)

To be fair to Windows Mobile 7, a lot of the other commentators came away generally positive although they noted omissions such as video in HTML, lack of YouTube client, no copy & paste & no 3rd party multitasking.

My own view is that Microsoft recognized how mouldy Windows Mobile 6.5 had become, especially the UI and decided to bisect the OS with a rump Windows CE acting as the kernel and a new .NET front end. All well and good but they'd have to toss a lot of functionality out in the process. So they picked to implement a consumer phone first and build the rest of the features in later.

Windows Mobile 7 won't match Android or iPhone for features but if MS can make a decent consumer phone with gaming then they might create a platform they can build from. There is no doubt that Android is pretty poor for gaming and iPhone lacks things that XBL could bring like trophies etc. So if MS can pull off that part they might be in with a chance but they're really going to have work on the missing functionality and fast.

Re:Gaming on WP7 (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275974)

I'd imagine Microsoft are also factoring in the point that 3rd party developers will often fill in missing features such as a YouTube client with apps in no time at all until a 1st party solution is in place anyway.

As an aside, why do you say there's no doubt that Android is poor for gaming? The hardware is generally more than upto it, it has a full OpenGL ES implementation and you have the NDK if you really want raw performance. I suppose it's not as easy as developing for XNA of course that's true, but other than that what's the big problem? It seems no worse a platform for running games than the iPhone or any potential Windows 7 phones, and no harder to develop games for than Windows, Linux, iOS and Mac OS. It's only real problem so far as far as I can see is simply that it's been neglected as a gaming platform and doesn't have too many games released for it, but I'd say this is the same for apps too and is simply a result of its much smaller userbase than say the iPhone. This is something that does seem to be changing though, Angry Birds for example is being developed for Android now and is due for release shortly.

Re:Gaming on WP7 (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#33277026)

As an aside, why do you say there's no doubt that Android is poor for gaming? The hardware is generally more than upto it, it has a full OpenGL ES implementation and you have the NDK if you really want raw performance.

I say its poor because it is poor. There are a dozen high end Android handsets and more by the day. Games might work fine with one handset and be completely bugged on another. This happened recently with a bunch of Gameloft titles that worked on the Motorola Droid but crapped out on the HTC Desire and other phones. The reason was the underlying chipset - PowerVR vs Snapdragon as well as other differences between the platforms.

I'm sure the situation will get better, but it would help enormously if Google created some gaming profiles and compliance tests that phones could implement and games could be coded to.

Aside from that it would also help if there was a service for high scores, saving to cloud, trophies, matchmaking etc. I.e. a unified gaming experience. Apple has Game Center in iOS 4 and Windows Mobile 7 is bound to use XBox Live. Android needs something similar.

Re:Gaming on WP7 (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33277662)

"I say its poor because it is poor. There are a dozen high end Android handsets and more by the day. Games might work fine with one handset and be completely bugged on another. This happened recently with a bunch of Gameloft titles that worked on the Motorola Droid but crapped out on the HTC Desire and other phones. The reason was the underlying chipset - PowerVR vs Snapdragon as well as other differences between the platforms."

That's fair enough, I wasn't aware of such issues, however this really goes back to my point that catering to hardware differences is something you have to do on the PC for example, so it's not an unsurmountable problem that devs haven't been dealing with for decades already, it just means it's more of a problem than with XNA, and the more the iPhone diverges the more it'll be a problem there also. I'd partly blame the devs for this rather than Android per-se as it sounds like a lack of testing on their behalf as much as a platform issue. I agree that in the modern world we shouldn't have to deal with this kind of shit but then look at graphics programming on Windows, say you want to build a toolchain for a game that you wish to release on XNA platforms and wish to follow best practices by keeping your language the same then you run into problems. You can't use XNA for 3D on Windows if you need any level of flexibility in your tools because the content pipeline is useless for runtime loading of most types of dynamic content, so you really have to use C++ and Direct3D or OpenGL, there are libraries like SlimDX but it's a little behind the curve and has hopeless support and documentation. If you want 2D tools too then you can stay with C# and use WPF, or GDI+, but GDI+ will likely be too slow, but that's yet another framework, you can use C++ and Direct2D for this instead if you want but you're still building your game in C# and XNA. So even with the ease of use for XNA for game development there can be major headaches that make it difficult to share your code across your game and toolset. So again I wouldn't say it's really that Android is shit for gaming, it's just that the development tools requires developers put a little work in than would be ideal in some circumstances, but as I point out here, even XNA which is probably the best out the lot can cause headaches in some situations.

I agree a unified gaming system would be nice and in fact in an ideal world I'd like to see it go a step further- I'd like a unified gaming system that works across all platforms, however I think that's probably too much to hope for, and probably too tricky to implement in reality due to the percent chance of getting the relevant companies working together on such a thing being pretty close to zero. Implementing a high score service is fairly trivial because you can just setup a web service to do that in no time at all of course, but as you say switching to a unified gaming platform would be nice if done properly. There have been rumours about Google going into games, but whether that comes into fruition we'll see I guess.

Re:Gaming on WP7 (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#33278516)

I'd like a unified gaming system that works across all platforms, however I think that's probably too much to hope for, and probably too tricky to implement in reality due to the percent chance of getting the relevant companies working together on such a thing being pretty close to zero.

A third party could do it I think. Look what Steam is doing with Win/Mac (and soon Linux?) Someone should get Valve on that. Steam Droid. Achievements, friends, VOIP...

Re:Gaming on WP7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33277588)

A link to an Apple fanboy article passing as an expert opinion doesn't deserve to be here. I'm surprised this article wasn't over at CNN.com.

Re:Gaming on WP7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33284868)

If anyone puts any stock in what Galen Gruman says they are a complete and utter moron. This guy is the most opinionated and yet clueless money-grubbing-advertisement-whoring 'journalist' that I've seen for a very long time. There are many [roughlydrafted.com] examples of this guy [wmexperts.com] just not getting it [bnet.com] .

This is the same guy who in the same week published one article calling users 'idiots' for wanting to buy iPads and another stating it would kill the Netbook. This guy will do anything to drive traffic to a website that makes regular use huge full-page advertisements, pop-ups and slideshow articles. He calls himself an executive editor of a magazine he owns and uses at his credentials to enter press events where he spouts even more technological ignorance. I honestly don't know a single person who can stand this guy at press events and I know a couple who have come close to hitting him. It's pathetic.

OMG Halo Waypoint on a mobile phone! (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33273962)

For those who don't know, Halo Waypoint is basically just a front end for the Halo series of games that lets you view all your achievements for the series and one or two bits of Halo news. It's not a game in itself, so calling it a "title" is probably giving it a bit too much credit, because it's largely dull and pointless.

Yes, the title of this post was meant in a sarcastic tone

On a different note though, I think XBox Live integration actually has the potential to be a killer feature for Windows 7- if Windows 7 phones are going to succede on anything it'll probably be this. It effectively means it's a gamer oriented phone and if it links into XBox live then there's a potential to harness the 27 million (or however many XBox Live has now) achievements whores and allow them to continue their achievement addiction even when they're not at their XBox.

I think Microsoft actually has a good vision in terms of XBox Live everywhere by linking XBox Live with Windows Games and mobile games, especially as it all integrates with MSN messenger and partially with Facebook too. Of course, the real test will be in the execution- having the right vision is only the start of it, pulling it off through Microsoft's layers upon layers of bureaucracy will be the real challenge.

Re:OMG Halo Waypoint on a mobile phone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274138)

Well that's disappointing. I expected "Halo Waypoint" to be something like NOVA on an iPhone. I guess I was horribly wrong.
 
Thanks for clearing up the hype.

WP7 Connect Program (5, Interesting)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274058)

I have received a WP7 prototype device, being an XNA professional developer.

I have to admit I have always considered games on phones *much* beneath any interest from a self respecting developer.

The experience of developing for this platform though has completely changed my mind: it is powerful (I mean REALLY powerful, the kind of 3D scenes one does not expect to see on the phone) the dev tools are very good, the compatibility between Windows, XBox 360 and WP7 is exactly as compatibility should be. The standard phone functions work out of the box (the facebook/gmail contacts integration is pretty neat) and in general the experience feels pleasantly iPhonesque.

After seeing and testing the actual device I have quadrupled my company's development efforts for WP7: it might be a force to be reckoned with.

Maybe nobody cares, but here (http://cid-24c55844373f9e74.office.live.com/browse.aspx/.Public) are two videos of two of my games in action; the sudoku is unimpressive, but the 3D space battle is a completely different matter :)

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274164)

If MS can find the out sourcing talent to write stable closed code, find some cheap hardware and get the input working, they can really do something interesting.
The real trick is Apple is so locked down and closed that MS can offer a real hardware base to code for.
Apple has never understood the charm of 3d and having good fast code that works.
If MS can stop your cute new MS device from calling the outside world for $ then this could be good.
But been MS I am sure they will be "NSA friendly", lazy, "have a product to push on a timeline" or just lazy and mess the non 3d parts up.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274310)

That is a definite possibility; until now, I am pretty satisfied with the non-gaming bits. The phone does tend to "work as expected", which is very important for a consumer device. My feeling is that it will be a decent phone, a good application platform (Silverlight is a Good Thing when you are a developer on a tight budget) and an excellent gaming platform (XNA is very mature). Kind of like a well-made crossover between an iPhone and a PSP, which both have excellent features, but with Android-esque user/developer freedom. This said, even though I work with these things I cannot understand why we are apparently going backwards with cellphone technology. We went from big and bulky with shitty battery to smaller and with better batteries and then AGAIN to big, bulky and with shitty battery...At least companies like AKAI (AKMF01) are here to save technological progress :)

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274360)

There is another important thing I believe. Independent game devs have very few options: the PC is very crowded, and getting your title on Steam or some other DD platform is hard and even then you have lots of competition. Consoles are very closed (XBLA publishes very few titles, and XBLIG does not sell as it could). WP7 might be a good platform for indie game devs, in that the dev tools are simple (huge C++ codebases of professional devs are useless), 3d capabilities are respectable but limited enough that a professional developer cannot make titles that look so much better than indie titles (you can only do so much with that polygon budget) and in general the playing field is very much leveled in favor of the indie dev. Pro devs do have some advantages in terms of integration to the Live! platform: leaderboards, friends, etc.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (2, Interesting)

Wizard Drongo (712526) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274506)

Yes, but iPhone is the big elephant in the room Microsoft are trying not to talk about.
I know for fact they've been offering "inducements" to major iPhone game-devs to come and make a similar game or an outright port for WP7, and just paying them upfront.

Microsoft can do that, because they want the games and don't mind taking the financial hit. But in the long-term, it's not a good strategy.
iPhone is very similar to the WP7 (naturally; MS are trying very hard to copy it after all), but in addition to an easy-to-use SDK (that costs only $99 to put actual paid-games on, free otherwise), respectable graphics (particularly on the iPhone4, that thing is amazingly powerful for a handheld device!), it also has one thing the WP7 doesn't, and if past experiences hold true probably will never have: millions of sold devices.
On the other hand, there are coming close to 500,000 released apps for the iPhone, a literally staggering amount of apps. Probably more apps than exist for Windows, although that's just speculation. Now, a lot of those apps are crapware, like fart-apps and light-apps. But there are a lot of very good titles in there, so making your mark can be hard.
But if you hit it big, you're in there. No such thing exists on WP7 yet since it's not even shipped. So where's the inducement to go WP7 instead of iPhone? Aside from Microsoft bribing you with a large wad of upfront?

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274580)

I agree. But, those 500,000 apps are a bit the point, aren't they? On one hand you have lots of users and lots of devs competing for attention on a well-established platform. On the other hand, you have a giant that will probably invest millions in marketing to capture users that (at least in the beginning) a few developers will have plenty of to share. The way I see it, entering the WP7 Marketplace arena now is a gamble: it could be a gold mine or it could be a splash in a sewer. Who knows?

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

Wizard Drongo (712526) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274892)

Well, if you've been lucky enough for Microsoft to approach you and offer these "inducements" I've heard about, jump on with both feet. You're being paid up front to develop and support a game; you don't have to worry about sales, you get paid by M$.

On the other hand, if it's plonking down cash so you can get a hardware-device, maybe a separate dev machine, books for the coding API's etc. all on the basis that this phone *might* sell well, and that your app *might* be high enough up the store-rank for people who *might* want to buy games to see, so they then *might* buy your game
That's a lot of *might*'s.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274978)

You are entirely right, but it also depends on how much you need to invest. Last year I taught at a University in Italy in a Videogame Development Master Degree. The topic of my lessons was XNA (no WP7, since there was not even a rumor yet). When this WP7 thing came out I contacted a few of my ex-students and offered them a few weeks of development assited by me for a few indie games (sudoku is one, there's also solitary and stuff like that). The cost is very little given that these guys (and the other people I am developing WP7 games with) already knew how to code in XNA.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275226)

"Well, if you've been lucky enough for Microsoft to approach you and offer these "inducements" I've heard about"

You keep mentioning this but do you have any evidence of it or are you simply making it up? If you don't have any evidence for it then your point is useless "I've heard about" is not evidence, it's someone spreading rumours.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33276760)

If you don't have any evidence for it then your point is useless

Maybe to someone like you. Most people of lesser intelligence, like yourself, will simply ignore anything that doesn't jive with their preconceived notions. Others will look at it and say to themselves, "Does this make sense?", "Is this important to me?", "Maybe I should look into it more."

Furthermore, this is the comment section of a news aggregator site, not a court of law, douchebag. It would be kind of hard to get a smoking gun from something like this considering the fact that the negotiations would almost certainly be subject to an NDA. Doesn't mean it isn't happening. It's common knowledge that MS is paying high profile devs to work on WP7. You don't have to believe it, doesn't make it not true.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274958)

"if you hit it big, you're in there." cheers for being so up front - clearly you're a really thick individual and that's fair enough.

while you might be quite happy to enter a lottery and work hard for the pleasure - this isn't clear to everyone. you might expect a dev to look at the figures carefully but apparently not :) it looks like once again apple has managed to take advantage of people that aren't well endowed with gray matter.

anyhow, what you should concentrate on before anything else is getting jobs' wrinkled pecker out of your mouth - it is most unseemly. then you can do the math with a clear head.

and avoid those lottery cards, if you scratch you will only make it worse (your financial situation)

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275142)

So where's the inducement to go WP7 instead of iPhone?

It's (relatively) easy to develop a game that can run on a Windows box, on an XBox, and on a WP7 phone -- which provides a potential user base which dwarfs the iPhone.

Granted, these are going to be simpler games than they could be if a developer restricts themselves to something that will run smoothly on a phone, but there's still some money to be made there.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276864)

It's (relatively) easy to develop a game that can run on a Windows box, on an XBox, and on a WP7

And to think people say that writing apps for Android is difficult due to hardware and OS fragmentation.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33277294)

To be fair, my understanding of XNA is that it's not exactly a 'write once, run anywhere' kind of model, but more that if you wanted to put out a game for both Windows and XBox and used XNA, you could reuse 99% of the code if you leaned on the XNA library as much as possible.

(I am not an XNA dev; I may be mistaken.)

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33277518)

I'm afraid that is not correct. The very same XNA code can be recompiled (that is the only additional step: you do not run the same binary but rather the same source) for each platform. After you have done that, the code simply keeps working. Graphics, input, audio, etc. keep working.

There are a few considerations though. Input devices that make no sense on a platform keep returning no input. Most devs will use #define and #if to comment out those pieces of code that would uselessly poll input devices that are sure to be absent on each platform; also, usually input is abstracted away by a separate component. Graphics capabilities vary quite a bit between the platforms. XNA 4.0 defines two profiles, Reach and HiDef, which support different sets of graphics capabilities (of course Reach HiDef); by using Reach, the code is *guaranteed* to recompile and work for all three devices.

So yes, XNA works "write once, _recompile_ and run anywhere"

Re:WP7 Connect Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33281032)

Wow, I'll be sure to brace myself for some very mediocre lowest common denominator shit to come from you xna devs. There's a reason why Jobs allows code written only specifically for iOS in the app store. I'm sure somewhere in Cupertino maniacal laughter can be heard at the foolishness of MS and all of you microtard followers.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275170)

"On the other hand, there are coming close to 500,000 released apps for the iPhone, a literally staggering amount of apps. Probably more apps than exist for Windows, although that's just speculation."

Did you really just say that?

Importantly, this is a negative, it means people have to find your app amongst those half a million others dependent entirely on Apple's interface with little ability yourself to control how much visibility it gets on that marketplace.

"But if you hit it big, you're in there. No such thing exists on WP7 yet since it's not even shipped. So where's the inducement to go WP7 instead of iPhone? Aside from Microsoft bribing you with a large wad of upfront?"

The fact that if you develop for XNA then you've written a game that can run on XBox 360, Windows, Windows Phone 7. In other words, writing for Windows phone 7 is simple because it uses the same tools and codebase as for Microsoft's other platforms. This means you can target hundreds of millions of devices out there with one codebase. In contrast with the iPhone, it's sold around 50 - 60 mill units to date, however many of those are replacements for previous generations so the actual market size is probably more in the 30mill - 40mill range. That's a much smaller market.

Or to cut a long story short, even if Windows Phone 7 doesn't take off, developing for XNA alone means you automatically are developing for a market that dwarfs that of every other mobile operating system out there.

Of course, there's also the point that there are countless XBLIG and .NET apps that already exist which can be moved directly to, or with minor porting to Windows 7 Phone from the outset. That is, the cost for existing XNA developers to produce for this additional platform is next to nothing, but the potential market is large.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33276004)

Ooohhh... Ballmer cock. Nom nom nom.

Aaaahhh...

Did I do a good enough job quoting your 'turf, faggot?

Re:WP7 Connect Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33277712)

Of course, there's also the point that there are countless XBLIG and .NET apps that already exist which can be moved directly to, or with minor porting to Windows 7 Phone from the outset.

True and not true. WP7 is Silverlight based, and not even the full Silverlight implementation. I'd project that most .NET apps will have about 60% code that won't require porting. Unless it's a WPF .NET app, the UI will need to be completely ported.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33277870)

True, I guess WinForms usage is still pretty high compared to WPF so there's that consideration too which requires a bit more work in terms of porting as you say.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33283748)

Ok, nice massage of the numbers.

You are right, WP7 has a big advantage in that you can target Windows and Xbox, but still this market is smaller than the iPhone.

And don't forget to include all the touch devices, and iPads as well, with those dodgy iphone numbers you pulled out of your arse.

On top of that, Apple users are more likely to actually buy stuff, which hasn't proved the same for android users, and with WP7 we will have to wait and see.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33285414)

What are you on about, you seriously believe the combined iPad/iPhone/iPod touch market is bigger and spends more money than the Windows/Xbox market? Seriously?

Well, sorry to break your dream with reality, but here you go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:IPhone_sales_per_quarter_simple.svg [wikipedia.org]

As you can see, it totals a little over 51 million units. Do you really believe though, that the 6 million iPhone and 12 million iPhone 3G are still all active and none have been replaced with newer models? It's not unrealistic to think that because there's a 2 - 3 year gap between the iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 that people have replaced those handsets when renewing their contract, and some people have even replaced the 3GS with the iPhone 4 just because they want to have the latest device so 30mill - 40mill active devices is a realistic figure. Note that the figures above are directly from Apple's press releases too, so unless you think Apple is also lying about it's sales figures then well, there you have it.

In contrast, there are well over 1 billion Windows PCs in the world, and over 40 million XBox 360s. Many of those Windows PCs are business systems but still hundreds of millions aren't- with the population of North American being around 340mill and the population of Europe being 800mill and a large portion of these populations having a home PC running Windows then there's a massive home market in the west alone, but even if you give the benefit of the doubt and cut the potential PC market down to 1/10th or 1/20th then the current XNA market still dwarfs Apple's platforms.

So you can complain all you want that you don't like the figures, but it doesn't really matter, there they are. The fact is, even the active XBox 360 market is quite possibly as large as the active iOS market before you even consider Windows PCs and Windows phone when it comes out.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#33281778)

Microsoft can do that, because they want the games and don't mind taking the financial hit. But in the long-term, it's not a good strategy.

Indeed, it's not a good strategy in the long term - i.e. if you keep doing it after some time. It is a reasonable strategy to get a foothold in the existing well-established market, though, from which to grow further.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274266)

I never understood why would anybody keep DSCN0818, DSCN0813 and DSCN0814 as a filename

Re:WP7 Connect Program (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33274970)

Shows the amount of laziness/conformity/stupidity it takes to develop for Microsoft Systems.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275046)

have you looked at the games he's making? i suspect renaming files is a bit beyond this poor fellow.

seriously though, without any exaggeration, my 15 yr old nephew has done much much better using Flash. i suspect he will make more money as well :)

Re:WP7 Connect Program (0, Flamebait)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274390)

After seeing and testing the actual device I have quadrupled my company's development efforts for WP7: it might be a force to be reckoned with.

I agree every company should quadruple their development efforts for WP7. It'll be a huge force to be reckoned with. Check out the maths below:

4 x 0 = 0

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274606)

Launch titles for WP7 devices will be a "gold rush" For their developers... You would be dumb not to join that market if your business is related to mobile software. Reality is there are already 200k of these phones in distribution and its not even "public" yet.. Employees/Developers/Partners are getting (or already have) their phones right now.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274846)

Um, If 200,000 of those phones are owned by developers/partners/employees it's hardly going to be paramount to success. You may as well say there are 200,000 phones sitting in a warehouse because that's about as much as they'll actually get used for phones.

That's just Microsoft artificially inflating the distribution numbers to make people (like you) think that people are actually using the phones as something other than a testing platform.

In order to find out the true usage numbers, we now have to subtract 200,000 from whatever number we are given.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 4 years ago | (#33274894)

These phones will never be counted in usage numbers.. you will get those from carriers and partners as they sell the phone. However, i'm not sure what you're point is. Are you trying to insinuate that the phone is already a failure even though the initial developer base is larger than iphone 1s initial launch and availability base? You do realize there are 5-6 hardware vendors launching phones and there are already several global telco's that will be launching this as well - not just at&t. It won't take long for WP7 to surpass iphone sales as long as iphone is contractual to a single carrier..

Re:WP7 Connect Program (2, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275208)

I'm not talking about the iPhone. There are literally millions of Android development phones out there though. Every single one of them. There's less of a development cost. If you want to claim that development will skyrocket because of how many dev phones are out there all you have to do is look at how Android is doing.

There are just as many (if not more) hardware firms kicking out Android based devices (phones, tablets, remote controls, etc.) and several global telco's with Android as well... What's your point?

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275734)

Development for WP7 is free. MS is also very competitive on marketplace pricing & royalties.

I may also add, that Google only officially supports android on mobile devices. None of those tablets/pads/pda type devices are allowed to run Google apps or Google Marketplace.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276176)

It doesn't matter. Android doesn't need the Google Marketplace. It can install any APK files. There are even alternatives to the marketplace with dedicated ranking, sorting, tracking, etc. One example is http://slideme.org/ [slideme.org]

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276204)

Also, Android development is free as well. If you want your app on the Google Marketplace, there's a small fee though.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275128)

The one thing I took from these videos is the annoying 1-2 second lag between pressing something on the screen and the phone actually doing something.

Also, I've seen games with better visuals on Android and the iPhone...

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275518)

Those are not finished games, the menus are custom (no Silverlight libraries: it's all XNA) and there is no loading screen; hence the lag. Also, pardon me but "better visuals" means crap. It's all about polygon count, framerate, textures resolution, shaders.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33275710)

Oh yeah! Poly count, shader support, and texture resolution means a whole lot when your input lag is measured seconds!

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

spongman (182339) | more than 4 years ago | (#33278224)

1-2 second lag

that's nothing you should see my iPhone 3G after installing iOS4.

something like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdk2cJpSXLg [youtube.com]

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

ravenscar (1662985) | more than 4 years ago | (#33276650)

I've played with a Windows Phone 7 quite a bit as well. I was impressed with the hardware (though it was an Asus test device) and the speed with which the OS facilitated things. The big problem was that the UI was awful. At the time I put the phone through its paces I was an iPhone 3G owner looking for a change. I was hoping WP7 might offer a more wholistic experience than Android with a manufacturer shell. I was wrong.

The 'home' screen was bland. Finding apps was not intuitive. Using media was nice (similar to Zune, which is pretty slick IMO), but offered an experience that was completely different from the phone experience. I also found the 'seeing a small portion of one big screen' concept to be awkward. It required me to make and keep a mental map of the phone for navigation.

I don't think a snappy OS and a superior gaming experience can overcome the fact that WP7 is a shitty smart phone. I think that most people with the $$ for a smart phone (and the data plan that goes with it) are looking primarily for smart phone functions with the gaming experience being a secondary consideration. Of course, I could be wrong.

Oh, and one week after spending time with a WP7, I purchased a Samsung Galaxy S.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33277372)

That is an interesting POV. I do not know if at the time of the Asus prototypes (quite a while back, I believe) the facebook integration was as good. WP7 will be very strong in three areas: social networking (Facebook contacts are integrated in one's contacts seamlessly, and you can add a tile for any Friend you want), mail (managing multiple gmail accounts is really a breeze, with a tile per account: I was impressed by the ease, since I am handicapped with smartphones) and semi-hardcore gaming (hardware + XBox Live). As a generic smartphone, passable is a good description: nothing good enough and nothing bad enough to be noticeable.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 4 years ago | (#33279282)

Does Microsoft let you publish your own apps or do they lock the phones down and play god like Apple? I'm not interested in spending one second developing on a platform that censors my code. This is why I won't develop for iPhone or BREW. I'm sticking with Android but will develop for WP7 if and only if it's open. I've had a number of windows mobile devices.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33280248)

There is a degree of censorship far lower than Apple's. The only apps that are exluded are those that would not be appropriate in the hands of a kid or illegal. Explicit sex, ultra-violence, copyrighted materials are forbidden. The rest is ok. I do believe that the Windows philosophy (do what you want as long as it's on our platform) will be kept essentially intact on WP7.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 4 years ago | (#33292118)

I do not develop for children's toys, I'm an Android developer. What I distribute is between me and my customers.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33292554)

Personally that is exactly the reason why I fear Apple far more than MS...

Android is pretty neat, both technologically and philosophically. But Apple platforms, whew, they give me the shivers: a model that is too closed up feels like it is a real danger.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33283730)

Can tell you are a windows developer, by the fantastic names of those folders. Microsoft all the way for you, isn't it? Despite the many incredibly powerful phones out there already.

I feel sorry for you, I look forward to the phone, but I have been trapped in a Microsoft shop before. Very sad.

Re:WP7 Connect Program (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33285326)

Deconstructive psychology based on folder names? Are you high?

Look, I am not trapped in a MS shop. I *am* a MS shop. I know this may not be the smartest thing to say here on /., but it's true. Do I care about MS? Nope. Do I care about Apple? Nope. Do I care about Linux? Same as above. I *just work* in technology. I have a wife and kids to support and some knowledge that I can sell as a consultant or in the form of products. I already know a lot about MS graphics stack (I learned to program with DirectX 8/9) and so XNA was the natural progression. Should MS suddenly disappear, I would move to OGL and other platforms without so much as thinking it twice. Software is no religion, and there are far more relevant things in life than which IDE best defines you as a person.

Just what we need games cut down for a cell phone (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275044)

Just what we need games cut down for a cell phone that are also on the Xbox and pc.

They tryed that with Deus ex 2 and it sucked now think how bad it will be on the cell phone and that may even make xbox gamers feel like they are playing a cut down game for a weaker system.

Re:Just what we need games cut down for a cell pho (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275106)

You're looking at it the wrong way.

Don't think about the kind of games that come on a DVD; think about the kinds of small games you can buy/download on XBox Live.

Something like Puzzle Fighter isn't going to struggle to be converted to a phone, and since (presumably) the XBox version was written in XNA, it's an easy port.

History repeats itself (1)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 4 years ago | (#33275298)

I remember when laptops came out. First there were the "luggables" like the Compaq. Then the big, heavy clamshells with 5" drives.

In 1995 I bought a Gateway Liberty, at the time the smallest, lightest laptop on the market. It was about the size of a hardback book and weighed 6 lbs. It was a marvel of miniaturization.

Then laptops got feature-itis, and got huge. ISTR a laptop with a 19" or 20" screen.

Then someone had a great idea: let's build a small, simple laptop and call it a "netbook"! What a concept!

So it seems to be with cell phones. The bag phone to the pocket phone, to the tiny phone, now much larger with "feature-itis".

I can't wait for the next generation of "simple small phones". Let's call them netphones.

Re:History repeats itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33276682)

Sounds like you want the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini. Yes, it's an Android phone.

Re:History repeats itself (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33283758)

You are a moron and a fool.

Yes, they produced huge laptops, but they never stopped making small laptops. You could always get laptops with 13" screens, from a variety of manufacturers. Good ones from IBM, Toshiba, and shit ones from Sony, HP, Dell even.

The only advantage netbooks bought was that they were too small for adults, and cheap.

Re:History repeats itself (2, Interesting)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 4 years ago | (#33284618)

You have obviously never used the TRS Model 100.

One day laptops may again aspire to 6 weeks runtime (yes, that's 6 weeks!) on a single set of AA batteries.

That was perfection in its day.

One day we'll have little hand held thingies that just.. make.. phone calls.

like GFWL? (1)

Mishotaki (957104) | more than 4 years ago | (#33282010)

Is it like Games For Windows Live? if disconnects your xbox so that your PC can get in the account? therefore stopping you from playing both systems at the same time

I'd love seeing someone being dropped out of a game because he used his cellphone!

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