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Why Microsoft's Keeping the Next Xbox Under Wraps

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the still-figuring-out-how-to-make-it-infinitely-social dept.

XBox (Games) 195

donniebaseball23 writes "Microsoft recently confirmed that it's not going to be talking at all about its next Xbox, codenamed Durango, at this year's E3, instead keeping the focus on Xbox 360. Forbes columnist Chris Morris explains that Microsoft likely doesn't have games to show for the system yet — and why should they take the focus off Xbox 360, which currently has a lot of momentum? Ultimately, though, the decision not to show the next system 'could have a ripple effect on the rest of the industry,' he says. And by pushing Durango's unveiling back a year, 'Microsoft could find itself going head to head with Sony in a battle of features, even if the machines don't hit shelves at the same time.'" The latest rumor is that an ARM-based Xbox 'lite' is planned for 2013, with a true successor to the 360 coming some time after that.

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195 comments

My personal opinion (4, Insightful)

MasterMan (2603851) | about 2 years ago | (#39476975)

I think that while Microsoft would certainly like to release the new Xbox already, they are afraid of doing so. Not because of Sony, but because of Nintendo.

The last generation surprised everyone on the console front. Hardcore gamers kept playing with PS3 and Xbox360, but Wii ultimately won the round by attracting general population into gaming. Suddenly you had millions of new people introduced into gaming, especially girls. While Microsoft has always produced quality products and by far they are the best on the industry on lots of products, they don't know how to capture that market. They want it badly, but they want to look how Nintendo succeeds with their Wii successor. By delaying the release they can learn from Nintendo's mistakes and hit them hard next year and become the #1 of next generation consoles.

Re:My personal opinion (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477013)

Well, the red ring of death would seem to indicate that MS's gear isn't always the highest quality...

Re:My personal opinion (1, Interesting)

MasterMan (2603851) | about 2 years ago | (#39477067)

The red ring of death issue was majorly overestimated, and you know why? Because Xbox360 actually does show error messages on failure while PS3 and Wii do not. It became it's image, just like the blue screen of death. Image wise it would had been better for MS to just show nothing in both cases. I do, however, appreciate Microsoft's honesty and not trying to hide the issues from users.

Re:My personal opinion (5, Informative)

djdanlib (732853) | about 2 years ago | (#39477201)

I recall that Microsoft did everything they could to deny the issue (including telling retailers not to process returns) until the magnitude of the problem became so obviously large that a hardware redesign and recall was required. Were you around Slashdot back then? It was full of stories about that. I do think we are partly to blame for them finally owning up to it, quietly though that was.

As for the PS3, I have no idea how Sony handles it, but that may be because I don't purchase Sony products anymore. Nintendo has excellent customer service according to the reviews I've seen, although I nor nobody I know ever had to send their Wii in for service - even after blatant abuse by children, animals, drunk roommates etc.

Re:My personal opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39478183)

I've had to send my Wii in *twice*. As it turns out, if you were one of the folks who got the very first wiis, the lasers were kind of crappy, and when the dual-layered discs came out (Brawl), you couldn't play them unless you got your laser cleaned/replaced. Considering I bought the Wii specifically for brawl, and that the laser crapped out on dual-layered discs twice, I can say that those of us who were first in line got kind of a raw deal. Getting the laser replaced cost almost as much as a new Wii.

(yes, I know... anecdotes, selection bias, whatever)

Re:My personal opinion (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477219)

The red ring of death issue was majorly overestimated...
I do, however, appreciate Microsoft's honesty and not trying to hide the issues from users.

Wow. Why do you shill for MS?

From Tech Digest [www.techdigest.tv] - A survey of retailers has found that as many as 30 percent of all Xbox 360s are being returned for repair. This goes against Microsoft's assertion that Xbox 360 is well within standard industry failure rates of 3 - 5 percent.

From HCW [www.hardcoreware.net] After vehemently denying there being a problem, Microsoft has finally caved in and extended the warranty of the XBOX 360 another 3 years across the board, for those who have the RED RING OF DEATH problem.

I could go on and on and on... Use google and see how MS really treated their customers when the RROD was first reported.

Re:My personal opinion (3, Informative)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#39477785)

I could go on and on and on... Use google and see how MS really treated their customers when the RROD was first reported.

Yeah, if you actually called them and didn't gripe to your friends on the Internet, or try to pitch a fit at the store, they replaced them. And did so very quickly. (The early failure repairs were 2-day in-and-out shipping, and if you had it to UPS first thing Monday, you frequently had it back before the weekend.)

A lot of companies got burned during that time by the switch to no-lead solder... and Microsoft, unlike a lot of consumer electronics companies, stood behind their devices.

Re:My personal opinion (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477237)

Really? An estimated 33% of Xbox 360s were sent back for repairs and you think it's overestimated because it has some lights on the front? Both the Wii and PS3 have hundreds of error codes, along with warning lights and beeps that inform the user of a problem.

Re:My personal opinion (2)

Mad Leper (670146) | about 2 years ago | (#39477311)

Microsoft lied & denied about the RROD for a full three years until the threat of a very public lawsuit forced them to admit the problem.

Not what I would call being honest.

Re:My personal opinion (4, Funny)

blackicye (760472) | about 2 years ago | (#39477531)

The red ring of death issue was majorly overestimated, and you know why? Because Xbox360 actually does show error messages on failure while PS3 and Wii do not. It became it's image, just like the blue screen of death. Image wise it would had been better for MS to just show nothing in both cases. I do, however, appreciate Microsoft's honesty and not trying to hide the issues from users.

Because the PS3s and Wiis kept failing, and their owners cluelessly continued using them and enjoying their games until this day for many of the consoles?

As opposed to the Xbox 360 developing the RROD which you otherwise could have mistaken for normal operation in some cases as early as 3 to 6 months after purchase, and often repeatedly after getting it back from RMA, and being such a fiasco that the warranty was retroactively increased to 3 years?

Hmm you have a point I guess, or not.

Re:My personal opinion (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#39477833)

I guess no one remembers the PlayStation (PSOne) drive failures etc etc? Or the PS2 disk read errors? I've been on slashdot well over a decade now (think I first hit this place in about 1999), and there was just as much bitching about the PSOne and PS2 and PS3 as there ever has been about the Xbox360 - the failure modes are different, but because the Xbox360 errors came in a clump they seem to stick in peoples minds more.

Re:My personal opinion (1)

Mordermi (2432580) | about 2 years ago | (#39477939)

The PS2 disc read errors were an easy self fix. The RROD is much more complicated.

Also, as long as you never moved or bumped your PS2, I'm pretty sure you would never get the disc read error since it was caused because the laser would get bumped out of alignment. To my knowledge, there is no real way to prevent RROD. I had my PS2 for at least three years before I got the error, and I haven't had any issues since I fixed it myself. It still runs perfect to this day.

Re:My personal opinion (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 2 years ago | (#39477769)

I have to agree, it was very bad, and MS started out handling it in the worst way. Eventually, Microsoft took care if it, and did it in the best way possible...pay that money up front, do a 'my bad', and satisfy your customers.

Re:My personal opinion (4, Informative)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#39477791)

Yeah, okay dude.

I don't actually know anyone that hasn't had to replace their Xbox 360 console at least once due to it either getting the RRoD or that bullshit where it just stops reading the fucking discs. I'm on my third, the first one died 2 years after purchase, sent it in and got it replaced, it died again about a year and half later (just after the 3 year extended warranty, of course), so I had to purchase a new one out of pocket since obviously I'm not about to just say fuck it when I've got like 40 games and a ton of accessories for it. Now that one is even making a grinding sound and taking forever to load discs so I'm sure I'm going to have to replace that one soon, too. At least I can keep using it as a Netflix box, I guess, but considering I've invested already $700+ dollars into it ($500 for the Elite that died, $200 for the replacement Arcade unit), that does little to soften the blow.

My PS3 and Wii are both still going strong 5 years later. My Playstation 2 is still going strong (although I admit I had to readjust the laser height at one point) and I bought that at least 10 years ago, my N64 still works at 15 years old, my SNES, NES, and Gameboy still work, they're all over 20 years old. Hell, my original Xbox even still works (although I hardly ever use it, not since I last played through KOTOR 1 & 2 a year or so ago in preparation for The Old Republic).

My point is, obviously there is something different about the 360 when all these other consoles are still going strong after so many years (and I put more hours than I can count on some of them, I'm big into JRPGs, so my PS2 had many, many 12 hour days, as did my SNES). Meanwhile, it seems like you fucking breathe on a 360 funny and the thing self-destructs.

I admit, I don't know what the quality is like with the newest consoles with the redesigned cases and ventilation and everything, but Microsoft really screwed the pooch with their older models. Either that, or it's all a ploy to get us to buy the same fucking console over and over again, in which case I'd say they succeeded spectacularly. I know one thing, I'll be damned if I buy the next one right away. I'm giving them at least 2 years to get the kinks worked out first because lord knows they're probably going to need it. I'm not even a Microsoft hater, I've put a lot of hours on my 360, but nowhere near what I've put on those older consoles, and certainly not enough to justify it's ridiculous failure rate even just in my own personal experiences, and like I said, I don't know anyone that has had a vastly different experience than I have with the hardware.

Re:My personal opinion (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 2 years ago | (#39477911)

I own an xbox 360 Elite from when that was new and I have never had an issue with it. So anecdote for anecdote we seem to be even.

Re:My personal opinion (1)

Pubstar (2525396) | about 2 years ago | (#39477955)

Oh the problems of being a console gamer. My PC has yet to fail on me... by the time something does, its time to upgrade anyways.

Re:My personal opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477891)

I literally do not know anyone who is still on their first Xbox 360.

Re:My personal opinion (4, Insightful)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 2 years ago | (#39477039)

Wii won in unit sales, but they have turned a generation off with a (yes, huge-selling) fad device and continued rehashes of old franchises.

If they don't steal some core players from MS and Sony, they're sunk this time around. they need to out-power the big boys and deliver some adult games that compete with the exclusives that Sony and MS own.

Re:My personal opinion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477159)

Adult games??!!???

Re:My personal opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477191)

Adult-oriented games.

Re:My personal opinion (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 2 years ago | (#39477335)

Xenoblade, Last Story, Monster Hunter Tri would like to have a word with you, but in the end I really can't disagree with your statement.

Re:My personal opinion (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#39477503)

Xenoblade, Last Story, Monster Hunter Tri

See, now, that's precisely the problem. Even their good games sound like stupid kids games from the 80's. Maybe they should make the translations from Japanese a bit less literal...

Re:My personal opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477623)

"Call of Duty" do the job then?

Also note that its very much considered a kid's game, even if rating agencies would like to disagree.

Re:My personal opinion (2)

SadButTrue (848439) | about 2 years ago | (#39477343)

Nah, Nintendo couldn't care less about older gamers. Their target audiences are children, teens and young adults. They can continue to re-release effectively the exact same game over and over forever to this group because the group it's self it transitory.

 

Re:My personal opinion (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#39477361)

If they don't steal some core players from MS and Sony, they're sunk this time around.

Because if there's one thing that the recent success of the Wii, games on mobile devices, and the move to freemium models has shown us, it's that the market for casual gamers is much smaller than the market for "core" gamers.

No, wait. I have that backwards.

As much as I would LOVE to think otherwise, the fact is that casual gamers outnumber hardcore gamers by a wide margin, they're quickly becoming worth more to the companies making games, and companies have no need to cater to us if they want to succeed. In fact, by all indications, catering to us is backwards and on the way out. Nintendo proved that you could sell an underpowered console at a profit from day one and still make piles of money. Apple and numerous Android manufacterers have shown that you can sell a nifty device at a decent profit margin and satisfy millions of people with $1 games.

Sony and Microsoft are trying to use their consoles as gateways into the living room, allowing them to sell other services while establishing the beachhead for what they think will eventually be a single device that controls all entertainment that plugs into the TV, but that strategy has yet to pan out, and normal people are getting frustrated by the difficulty of dealing with consoles that require constant firmware updates and patches. They want an appliance, not a computer.

I don't think hardcore gaming is going away, but I have a bad feeling that it will become more niche in the coming years.

Disclaimer: I own a Wii, PS3, iPhone, and iPad, and am looking to purchase a 360 soon so I can finally start playing the games I've already been buying for it.

Re:My personal opinion (2)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about 2 years ago | (#39477621)

and normal people are getting frustrated by the difficulty of dealing with consoles that require constant firmware updates and patches. They want an appliance, not a computer.

Actually computers still let you work while they are downloading upgrades. They also let you choose when you want to get your upgrades. And what irritates console gamers the most, from what I gather, is being forced to wait while a full Gb of updates is downloaded just so they can play their games (I still hold a grudge, Heavy Rain). I have a 512Kbps connection - and a very unstable one, to boot -, so a console like that would be highly impractical for me.

Anyway, my point is that you kind of got it backwards. Computers supposedly give you control over their behaviour - appliances are the ones who usually don't. Of course it's a highly debatable statement, given the recent trend to appliancize (shit, now I hate myself for using such a word) PCs.

Re:My personal opinion (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#39477931)

I don't disagree with what you said. Traditional computers are definitely about giving users control, whereas appliances are not. That said, I think that's a discussion along a different axis than where I had intended to go. The axis I was talking about was the level of hassle. Computers, because they give users more control, also offer more nuisances than locked-down devices. That's just the nature of the beast.

Appliances are supposed to be things that you simply use without having to think about the details. They do restrict a user, but it's done with a purpose in mind. Exposing users to patches and updates is contrary to that purpose and is a hassle that they shouldn't have to deal with.

Even so, PCs aren't uniformly more annoying. PCs have an elegant way of handling patches that consoles should adopt: doing them without bothering the user. I can sit down at my Mac or Windows box in the morning and see that updates were downloaded and are either ready to be applied or were already applied overnight.

Simple. Easy.

Consoles should either be doing that by default, or, at the very least, offering it as an option. The fact that they're forcing that hassle onto the users is turning users away. Even I've been perturbed at the end of a day when I'm looking forward to being done with work, heading home, and spending a few hours with a favorite game, only to discover that I may as well go ahead and make alternative plans because it's going to be a few hours before the game is ready to play. That's not the sort of experience that sells consoles, yet it happens all too often. That was my point.

Re:My personal opinion (2)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 2 years ago | (#39477721)

Those pro-wii arguments are a couple of years old. Selling a zillion consoles is most deffinitely a success, but failing to continue to sell games is a problem. You sour parents on the next Nintendo consoles when their child isn't playing the dust-covered wii anymore.
I think Live and PSN 'panned out' just fine, and the complex consoles did fine, even with lower sales than the wii. They built customer base for this gen coming up, and had games that warranted more than 15 minutes' play. I don't think Nintendo did itself any favors by selling so many consoles and not backing it up with compelling content - especially when it was released with a built-in technical disadvantage.
The wii U is nice, but time will tell what kind of games it's bringing.

Re:My personal opinion (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#39478185)

I don't disagree with most of what you said, but I think you misunderstood some of what I said. Let me clarify.

I do disagree regarding game sales for the Wii mattering as much as you say. The lack of sell-through on games isn't, I believe, as much of an issue as we might hope. I know a few different people with Wii consoles, and the only one getting dusty is mine. All of the others see regular use with their older games. A group of light-gaming college guys I know still play Super Smash Bros. Brawl regularly on their Wii. A young family I know has a four year old who plays the original Super Mario Galaxy and Mario Kart Wii all the time. They even bought an HD projector and screen so he could enjoy them more since he was playing them so much. I know another older couple that uses Wii Fit regularly. None of them are soured on the Wii.

Regarding things "panning out", I wasn't referring to PSN and Live, which I would agree are successes. I was referring to the vision for the future that those two companies have been marketing for the better part of a decade. They've been talking about a home theater device becoming the hub of the living room by doing everything. They both saw the console as the way into that market, which they believed would be a lucrative one. That vision hasn't yet panned out. Microsoft's failures in that market are numerous and pre-date the 360 by quite a few years, and Sony has been moving this direction with consoles since at least the PSX [wikipedia.org] device, which flopped horribly (they were likely trying even before that, but I don't recall anything specific).

And I'm certainly not suggesting that the PS3 or 360 are something other than successes. They succeeded. What I'm suggesting is that the points I raised are evidence of things to come. While they certainly succeeded in this generation, the market they are catering to is likely to get marginalized in the coming years as the gaming market explodes with casual gamers while the hardcore gaming market grows at a much more modest rate (or perhaps even shrinks). They may still make boatloads of money next generation, and I have no reason to believe otherwise at this time, but I believe it will pale in comparison to the cargo boatloads of money being raked in by the companies that successfully cater to the casual gaming market.

Re:My personal opinion (1)

flabordec (984984) | about 2 years ago | (#39477433)

I don't understand this point at all. The huge-selling Wii now has a market that means a lot more than "core gamers". Even if these core gamers stay with Microsoft or Sony, Nintendo has a big market all for themselves and Nintendo has their own exclusives which include the three the top rated games in Gamerankings. And if the Playstation and Xbox have shown something is that "continued rehashes of old franchises" is exactly what the market wants, look at the top selling games for PS3 [wikipedia.org] and Xbox 360 [wikipedia.org] and most of them are yearly rehashes (7 instances of the Call of Duty series!)

Re:My personal opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477443)

The thing is... Nintendo doesn't need this core players, they are doing excellent with the market they are attacking right now which is young kids and whole families, why bring the adults, when the kids are always asking for that new game and parents "don't have a choice" so they have to buy it for them.

The WII is a "cute" console, I don't see how an adult would like to play war or zombie games on it. That's why I got an XBOX 360 for myself while lot's of girls have a WII, is very impressive the marketing power of these people. MS and Sony haven't been able to really bring the family to play together starting by the way their console looks, it is very clear who each console is trying to get.

Re:My personal opinion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477579)

The Wii is cute kind of like a baby with Down's Syndrome is cute. Fun to see once in a while but I wouldn't want one.

Re:My personal opinion (3, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#39477665)

Wii won in unit sales

And turned a profit on every unit sold.

but they have turned a generation off

That "turned off generation" already abandoned them on the gamecube. But nintendo found a whole new market of people to replace them.

continued rehashes of old franchises.

Lets see what's most anticipated according to gamestop's website:

Assassin's Creed III
Another Ghost Recon
Witcher 2
Borderlands 2
Tiger Woods PGA 13
Another Star Wars Game
Halo 4
Prototype 2
Warriors Orochi 3
Darksiders II
Resident Evil 6
Another Bioshock
Max Payne 3 (with BONUS!)
Sniper Elite 2
Dragons Dogma * first game that is not a continued rehash of an existing franchise?
Another Medal of Honor
Lollipop Chainsaw * second game that is not an existing franchise
Far Cry 3

Yep, continued rehashes of old franchises for the win. And a near uninterupted parade of FPS games. How is it you are not turned off by the xbox360?

they need to out-power the big boys and deliver some adult games

Why is that? There aren't enough Medals of Honors and Halo's on your xbox that you'd buy a wii 2.0 to play even more of them?

Hate to break it to you, but Nintendo already lost you. Pandering to you with a parade of FPSes featuring giant robots that dismember alien zombie hookers isn't really going to win you back... that market is saturated.

Going after new markets is a winning strategy... New Super Mario Bros Wii is probably one of the best games I've ever played. Super Paper Mario and Super Mario Galaxy were great too. The Metroid Primes were well done,and Kirby's epic yarn was pretty much adorable, and the kids loved them all too.

Re:My personal opinion (5, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#39477677)

Wii won in unit sales, but they have turned a generation off with a (yes, huge-selling) fad device and continued rehashes of old franchises.

And, more to the point, lost *badly* in game sales. There are a LOT of people with Wii consoles, and most of them have Wii Sports and maybe another game or two.

That didn't put Nintendo out of business, as they don't sell the Wii at a loss, but it sure limits the upside of each sale. Sony and MS make dramatically more money per console sold, because they sell so many more games per console.

Re:My personal opinion (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#39477075)

That may be part of the reason, but I think it may also be that they don't want people to just dump the platform (Not buy new games or new consoles) figuring that the brand new system will soon be out.

If they can release at the same time Xbox360 lite and the 720 then they are in a good position. First game sellers will still sell their old stuff for all those people who got the 360 lite where they were just too expensive before and the Hardcore will get the 720.

Microsoft made a fare amount of ground against Nintendo with its Konnex games and their casual Gamers marketing campaign.

Re:My personal opinion (-1, Troll)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 years ago | (#39477929)

Microsoft's strategy is horrible. If I was a stock holder I would have dumped them as soon as they started selling Xbox for loss. It's also another blatant abuse of their PC monopoly, for which I'm amazed that the people have let the DOJ just look the other way.

No, if Microsoft was to make a game system that actually made a profit I could see the venture. Like the mobile phone market, I don't see a bright future ahead of them. The reputation is poor among gamers. The only people that buy Xbox are people that don't know any better.. or get one "free" with a PC purchase or Windows Phone purchase.

My hope is that in a couple years, as the PC continues to decline, they simply won't be able to afford to keep the line of business. I can hope!

Re:My personal opinion (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#39477125)

It's highly debatable whether the Wii really "won" anything in this generation. The Wii hard great hardware sales at the beginning, but its software attachment rates were awful, it's hardware sales eventually bottomed out (while the PS3 and 360 kept going strong), and with its weak online system it had no real way to make significant income from DLC and subscriptions (just think about how much MS makes each year off of Xbox Live alone).

Re:My personal opinion (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477307)

If there's anybody to be blamed for the Wii losing momentum, it's the third parties. They saw the Wii was selling out, and there was a huge untapped market, and they released... Rehashes, ports, and shovelware. Nintendo can only do so much in terms of software production, and there was a lot of money on the table for third parties to develop a decent game for the Wii. So what did they do? They chose to leave that money on the table, and piss away their money developing 'blockbuster' titles for the PS3 and 360. They chanted the mantra 'the Wii is a fad, and its momentum will fade' so many times, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Don't forget, there was a time when the Wii's moved the most software out of the three systems, even after removing first party titles from the equation. There was a ton of growth potential, but that potential was just outright ignored by everybody except Nintendo.

Re:My personal opinion (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#39477601)

it was a fad

other than nintendo fanboys it was people like me buying the wii fit and EA Sports Active and that's it. the fit board sucked and now i have an x-box with kinect

Re:My personal opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39478115)

Boy are you wrong. The casual gaming market LOVES rehashes, ports, and shovelware. When it costs $2 on their iPhone, that is.

Nintendo is stuck with an outmoded sales model -> physical disks / high prices / lame retail stores / game catalog is not discoverable. Fourteen year old boys read about upcoming videogames, casual gamers don't. Hense nothing sold except exercise games and Mario.

They better be hiring some iOS developers, because N's current business model is still stuck in the 1980s.

Re:My personal opinion (1)

Isaac-1 (233099) | about 2 years ago | (#39477291)

I think it comes down to one thing, why replace a money maker, the buzz about Kinect has seemed to breathe a bit more life into the platform, the latest generation of the entry level console has brought the price point down to be competitive against Wii, and more and more of the game complexities are being handled on the server end. So again why replace a money maker, instead spend more time developing Kinect 2.0, get it right, and then own the industry.

Re:My personal opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477457)

I'll give Nintendo credit for creating a very successful fad console - certainly successful beyond the Xbox360 and PS3 - however the Wii has long since gone around the bend in terms of popularity. Kids like them, sure, but long-term the "sustainable" gaming consoles are the Xbox360 and the PS3. I'm sure Nintendo made a ton of money on the Wii and frankly it will be very interesting to see where they go with their next console but surprisingly Microsoft has taken them head-on - and out-innovated them (though obviously the Kinect and "motion gaming" came along YEARS after the Wii was introduced so I may have to reserve my statement that they were out-innovated). If Nintendo can come up with something in 2013 that trumps Kinect and PS3 in terms of the motion experience but also really soups up the graphics - HDMI, hello? - plus a slate (say 5-15 initially) very good, console-making titles exclusive to the successor to the Wii (Wiii? Wi II? Wii 2?), then there's a very good chance Nintendo is back in the game console market. After all, they had bowed out for years after the SNES and the rise of the Playstation that swamped the console market for so long - Microsoft was still a scrappy start-up in the console market back then. In any case, I for one am not one to count Nintendo out.

Re:My personal opinion (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 years ago | (#39477599)

While Microsoft has always produced quality products and by far they are the best on the industry on lots of products, they don't know how to capture that market. They want it badly, but they want to look how Nintendo succeeds with their Wii successor. By delaying the release they can learn from Nintendo's mistakes and hit them hard next year and become the #1 of next generation consoles.

Sorry, but the reason I won't own a Xbox is because of the quality. My Sony devices can run 24/7 and be just fine. Xbox on the other hand tends to burn up if you play regularly (better now, but still not the same quality as Sony or Nintendo).

A few people I worked with were Xbox fans. All of them had the same issues. 5-6 hours of hard game play daily and their Xbox would die. One guy complained to Microsoft after having to have his Xbox replaced for the 4th time in 3 months and received a reply from the something along the lines of "Microsoft expects the average Xbox to run for 1-2 hours per day. Anything beyond that is considered excessive use. Needless to say, he ditched the Microsoft device and went back to PlayStation. I'm glad I never switched.

Re:My personal opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477723)

The reason I won't own anything Sony makes is because they continually fuck over their customers with their misguided paranoia of pirates (rootkits, anyone?).

Re:My personal opinion (1)

Caratted (806506) | about 2 years ago | (#39478213)

Ba-doi hur dur. A rootkit is present in a closed source OS on your system that authenticates on their servers? Mod this shit insightful, informative and I'm thinking we should probably get a "headline-worthy" category, as well. Totes.

Not that your point is entirely missed, with Sony being insultingly aggressive on the DRM front - but your parenthetical literally made me blush upon my co-workers' inquiry, "why dost thou giveth thine cube a fresh coffee coating from thine mouth?"

Re:My personal opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477687)

While Microsoft has always produced quality products

quality products

.
. .

quality products

You must not be talking about the same company referenced in the article.

Wii? (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 2 years ago | (#39477817)

Sold about 20M more units but from what I've read in Business Week I think it was a few months ago the problem is in game sales. Those casual gamers tend to by a few games and then stop. XBox and PS3 gamers tend to by a few games a quarter. Wii has a lot of add ons too but I suspect XBox with Kinect and its higher initial price probably makes the hardware sales a wash but they sell more games.

A bigger issue might be Kinect: maybe they don't have a new piece of hardware available yet and don't want to get caught being the company that releases the same accessory as the previous console confusing the argument for upgrading. They might end up coming out with it integrated in the console I suspect.

Re:My personal opinion (0)

alienzed (732782) | about 2 years ago | (#39477835)

"While Microsoft has always produced quality products and by far they are the best on the industry on lots of products" How much did they pay you to say that?

Re:My personal opinion (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#39477999)

" While Microsoft has always produced quality products"

Never owned a Xbox360 have you. The graphics chip falling OFF the board because of a massive defect in cooling design is not my definition of "quality product"

Wait.... (0)

bobwrit (1232148) | about 2 years ago | (#39477021)

You mean that companies *don't* reveal 100% of their products before their announcement? What a shock! Modern tech journalism is just getting ridiculous :(

marketing idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477023)

They should call the 360 a "burning platform" to drum up some excitement for the possible future versions.

Re:marketing idea (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 2 years ago | (#39477241)

They should call the 360 a "burning platform" to drum up some excitement for the possible future versions.

They could call it "Deepwater Horizon". That should drum up support!

Re:marketing idea (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39477389)

Nah, hook it up to the next installment of the Hunger Games - "Catching Fire".

Works on so many levels.

So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#39477065)

Just keep in mind, MS and Sony, that every year your systems age is another year for more of your users to look at their friends' new PC's and say "Wow, that blows away my console!" Being more-and-more obsolete is not a good position to be in in the videogaming world. Every time I've turned away from consoles in the past, it's been because I was impressed by how advanced the PC's had gotten compared to the consoles.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (4, Funny)

Joehonkie (665142) | about 2 years ago | (#39477091)

I know, Microsoft loses so much when you buy a Windows PC.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477847)

Well 50$ a year and 10$ a game is no small sum versus a one time 200$ purchase.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39478043)

You have to upgrade Windows too, so it's not a one time purchase.
MS has Windows Live on the PC, so they can still recover some additional reoccuring revenue from games.

Any way you look at it, whether it's a good thing ot not, MS wins.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#39477093)

ok, until you get to the part where you have to buy a $500 graphics card plus the other parts of the PC

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477173)

Yay that lame ass argument again. Right now you can put together a PC for $650 that will be better specced then even the next gen consoles will be. There is no reason to spend $500 on a GPU unless you are gaming across 3 monitors.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#39477207)

and my consoles double as blu ray players, music players, youtube on TV, watching movies from USB stick, etc

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477415)

My TV does all bar the bluray and it was a low range TV.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#39477661)

Except for youtube and games my Asus O!play does it too for $65 AND watching moves from an USB HD. Take that USB stick. Wait my TV takes an USB stock too...

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

stdarg (456557) | about 2 years ago | (#39478081)

I really wanted to use my xbox for movie watching but it was too loud. How is the ps3 in terms of noise?

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#39477229)

and TV's are 1080p and will be for years to come. no need to build a super powerful super expensive console anymore

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39478229)

Except, you couldn't pay most people I know to have a huge ugly desktop PC taking up space in their house. Consoles are more of a lifestyle choice than anything. They tuck out of the way, just like laptops, ipads, etc.

PC gamers are mostly dudes in their 30s/40s reliving the 1990s. Desktop = Dead.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

halofan_sd (683327) | about 2 years ago | (#39477525)

a Radeon 5750 costs $80 now, this video card has 1GB of memory, PS3 has 256MB. it's not even close anymore. once you have seen battlefield 3 on PC while would you ever play the console version, it's like you have half the game missing.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#39477581)

I've played Mass Effect on the x-box and my laptop. i don't care how good the PC version looks, i like the x-box version better. the controller is A LOT easier than the keyboard

strategy games are a different story, but action games are better on consoles

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#39477643)

action games are better on consoles

Action games with crappy controls designed for consoles are better on consoles. Mass Effect's controls were an abomination on the PC precisely because it was a console game.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477733)

There is an xbox controller for PC... have the best of both worlds if you really want the controller!

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#39477097)

Every time I've turned away from consoles in the past, it's been because I was impressed by how advanced the PC's had gotten compared to the consoles.

Fortunately 90% of PC games are now just crappy console ports so they don't have to worry about the PC looking better.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477189)

And the other 10% are actually worth playing.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477519)

Not as of late. Sure there are examples, but not 90%. The average new budget PC is now capable of producing games of superior quality to Xbox... unlike 2-4 years ago. Sure enthusiast/high end machines have been capable, but the mainstream was lacking. Because this target market is growing as hardware advances (while xbox remains stagnant), PC is gaining lost momentum. Borderlands 2 just announced a large list of PC-specific features, Skyrim added the steam workshop, Crysis 2 added in the hi-res texture packs and DX11 support... companies are realizing there is a market for better-than-console PC games. Don't forget Starcraft 2 and Witcher 2 which are top quality, currently PC-only, titles.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

Servaas (1050156) | about 2 years ago | (#39477127)

Every time I've turned away from consoles in the past, it's been because I was impressed by how advanced the PC's had gotten compared to the consoles.

So since the dawn of the game consoles then?

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477171)

Maybe look better next time, because at the time the XBox 360 was released, its specs were already outdated compared to common-available PC hardware. And not a bit, but by large, even. Due to the poor screen resolution it was less noticable as the frame rate was just high enough.

The XBox drove on the fact that it was a console, brought console games, a console controller, and a console account at MS. People bought it for convenience and the games, not because the hardware was so good. And that didnt change, and is the sole reason they can even sell the same crappy hardware 5 years later.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477279)

If anything is going to kill off console gaming it certainly will not be desktops. It will be cell phones. Within a few phone generations (which are remarkably short) we'll have pretty staggering graphics capability on our cell phones. Perhaps the 3rd gen XBox will be a mobile phone + controllers...

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 2 years ago | (#39477375)

THIS HERE WHAT HE JUST SAID. It's phones, not Nintendo or Desktops that are threatening consoles. Phones are killing consoles, Desktops AND portable gaming devices. No one sat there and said, "you know, maybe I shouldn't buy a console because PC's are so much better". They weighed between a 360 and a ps3 and then everybody also bought a wii no matter what they chose. Desktops will be along for the ride again this gen. Sorry, there's nothing to turn that around on the horizon. The question remaining is whether consoles can hold on to their shares when phones are really catching up to them in power.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | about 2 years ago | (#39477695)

Just bought daughter iPhone and Xbox. We're replacing a Wii that died. Daughter (11) is ready to move on from basic Wii games but still likes iOS games.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

reddwar (1684608) | about 2 years ago | (#39477771)

I don't think smart phones or tablets are killing consoles or desktops, portable gaming maybe. The majority of smart phone gamers are more casual gamers that would most likely have never bought a console or a desktop for the more time consuming hardcore titles anyways. Smart phone and tablet gamers didn't steal a piece of that pie, they just made the whole pie a lot bigger.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#39477615)

Within a few phone generations (which are remarkably short) we'll have pretty staggering graphics capability on our cell phones.

Indeed. In a few years you might be able to play a game on a tiny phone display which looks as good as a current console.

You might even be able to play it for ten minutes before the battery goes flat.

Re:So much for the traditional 5-year lifespan (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 2 years ago | (#39477873)

Meanwhile, you can now piece together a PC from 5-year-old parts from the garage and have a PC that's capable of playing games better than the 360.

You're forgetting that the 360 was meh for hardware when it came out. A $400 PC will run circles around it today, as will a $400 PC from several years ago.

Whatever it is.. (1)

mozumder (178398) | about 2 years ago | (#39477195)

it will likely be the last standalone game console ever made.

The 360 has been going on strong for the last 10 years since its inception... an epic long time for vide game industry.

Wild unfounded speculation: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477213)

Microsoft is planning to have XBOX 720 run a variation of Windows 8. This would finally kill the 'black sheep' from their platform lineup and complete their "Windows Everywhere" vision.

Re:Wild unfounded speculation: (1)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#39477647)

Microsoft is planning to have XBOX 720 run a variation of Windows 8. This would finally kill the 'black sheep' from their platform lineup and complete their "Windows Everywhere" vision.

Both versions of the Xbox ran versions of the Windows kernel, so technically speaking they've never been "black sheep".

Re:Wild unfounded speculation: (1)

webheaded (997188) | about 2 years ago | (#39477751)

I highly doubt this and I'll tell you why. If they tried to charge for XBOX Live while the PC players were literally using the exact same OS, they'd probably have some really pissed off customers. Are you really going to pay for XBL to watch Netflix if you can just open up IE? Also, they don't want you running all kinds of weird shit on your console and screwing things up. That's the only advantage of consoles...because they're locked down, everything always works. The trade off is that you basically can't do anything except what they say you can.

Because it's a piece of shit? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39477407)

Just like their giant botnet.

Simple explanation (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 2 years ago | (#39477417)

Why pre-announce something that is far from being ready to ship? All that would do is steal sales and thunder away from your existing product. The only reason to announce a new console early is if a competitor is getting ready to release something significant enough to affect your market share. Seems like this is just an excuse for a fluff article.

Why release a new one? (3, Interesting)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 2 years ago | (#39477431)

The current Xbox 360 is still generating massive amounts of revenue, http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/archive/2012/01/12/xbox-360-extends-win-streak-to-12-straight-months-with-banner-holiday-sales.aspx [technet.com], if they introduce a new platform, it will kill off the current version and forego the millions in additional revenue by extending the life of the 360. only when sales start to slump will the 720 be announced.

Re:Why release a new one? (2)

blackicye (760472) | about 2 years ago | (#39477595)

The current Xbox 360 is still generating massive amounts of revenue, http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/archive/2012/01/12/xbox-360-extends-win-streak-to-12-straight-months-with-banner-holiday-sales.aspx [technet.com], if they introduce a new platform, it will kill off the current version and forego the millions in additional revenue by extending the life of the 360. only when sales start to slump will the 720 be announced.

It's ok, because they will just suddenly pull the plug and cease all development for the Xbox 360 when the 720 is announced. Microsoft did this with the first get Xbox and I have the utmost confidence that they will do it again once their next gen is ready to be launched.

Re:Why release a new one? (1)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 2 years ago | (#39477653)

I would hope that they will give the Game devs a heads up before announcing the 720. So they can stop or finish development on 360 games before the announcement. who wants to buy a game for a dying console?

Re:Why release a new one? (1)

Grave (8234) | about 2 years ago | (#39477993)

They did that with the first-gen XBOX because, quite frankly, the market share it held was tiny. Most devs were eager to jump to 360, and Microsoft was more than willing to help make that happen. The 360, however, has a significant market share, and if the story on the 360 Lite is accurate, this will encourage continued development of 360 titles for awhile.

Re:Why release a new one? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#39478165)

They only did that with the First Xbox as they had no choice. Nvidia were screwing them over big time and had iron clad licensing terms about what they could and could not do. MS did the only thing they could do, learnt their lesson and moved onto a new platform where they control the licensing terms for both software and hardware.

FROST PIST?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39478035)

has been my onl$y code.' Don't
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