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HD Really The Future of Gaming?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the high-def-doesn't-mean-good-game dept.

XBox (Games) 71

Eurogamer.com has an editorial discussing the "HD Future", as revealed in the Microsoft Keynote at GDC. In the article, author Kristan Reed argues that while the crispness of the HD Living Room would be welcome, "using it as a hook to hang next gen console gaming on is misleading to say the least, and there are more than a few barriers to entry for the masses."

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A hook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11967287)

Using it as a hook to hang your kids on is a bit extreme, don't you think? Why not just setup a wooden beam in the floor and call it first post?

next gen (1)

karmafeed (728544) | more than 8 years ago | (#11967470)

I am sure that in the next generation of gaming systems, there will be HD options offered by Microsoft and Sony. Has anyone heard anything from Nintendo for their next system? As we all know, they stress games instead of hardware but the Gamecube currently supports HD.

Re:next gen (3, Insightful)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 8 years ago | (#11967536)

One of the semi-confirmed rumors about the Revolution is that it will have a DVI/VGA port directly on the back of the system for connecting monitors. I think it's safe to assume then that they will at least support progressive display in all games. I believe, though, that 1080i or 720p HDTV gaming will be the standard on all 3 consoles.

Re:next gen (1)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 8 years ago | (#11968927)

Well, being that in the US (the current largest gaming market) all TV sets will be required by law to include HDTV capabilities starting in 2006, and the Xbox2 is most likely coming out this fall...it sounds like perfect timing to me. Most people are going to be buying new televisions over the next couple years, and getting a new console to show it off will definitely be a selling point. I do agree that all 3 systems will most likely have the same standards for HD resolutions though. And it's not a surprise to see a DVI port on the back of one of the new systems since most new DVD players already come with them, if not a HDMI port [hdmi.org] . HDMI will probably be standard on all 3 systems as well.

Re:next gen (2, Interesting)

gameboyhippo (827141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973067)

I'm not so sure I would like a DVI port. I'd rather use the HiDef cables (can't remember if they are composit or component). I already have my mythTV box plugged into my single HDMI port.

I guess I haven't found any DVI splitters at any of my local shops, but I've found HDTV splitters at Wally World.

Re:next gen (1)

leland242 (736905) | more than 8 years ago | (#11969233)

The Gamecube *did* stress HD. The new GC systems do not have the HD port. See "http://www.lik-sang.com/news.php?artc=3466" Which is a real shame...because it looks *really* good in progressive scan mode.

Re:next gen (2, Funny)

real_smiff (611054) | more than 8 years ago | (#11970332)

god. nintendo (who i love btw) has a history of doing this. they removed all the high quality outputs (rgb, s-video) from the later SNES and left you with a choice of Composite... or RF. whoopee. In the UK, we typically get shafted even worse, with more outputs dropped for no apparent reason (or saving a few pence on the connector?). Maybe kids poke the wrong things in the wrong holes, and more is less. i dunno.

Re:next gen (1)

nystul555 (579614) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971405)

I'll second that.

I recently bought a big screen hdtv and the Gamecube games didn't look that great on it. Luckily I have an older Gamecube with the digital connector so I picked up a composite cable and its a night and day difference. Almost all Gamecube games support progressive scan and they are MUCH clearer and brighter with the composite/progressive hookup than the regular RBG. My wife said it was like she had just put her contacts in, it's that much of an improvement in the picture quality.

Its a shame they removed the port from the newer Gamecubes. Nintendo said the reason was that only 1% of Gamecube owners used the digital output, but I think that is in large part due to the fact that you couldn't get the cables anywhere but from Nintendo directly and they never advertised them.

Re:next gen (1)

ksiddique (749168) | more than 9 years ago | (#11974959)

I also agree that the progressive scan games look a whole lot better. I notice it more on a big TV than on a small TV. Unfortunately my big TV presumes that any progressive signal is in widescreen format so some of my games get stretched. I'm used to it now for Mario games but some racing games look too weird. And I'm playing RE4 in non-progressive mode (however it still looks damn good).

So, my hope for the future is that more games support 16:9 format. I know I'm in the minority but I'm keeping hope alive! :)

These [hdtvarcade.com] sites [hdgames.net] might be handy for anyone reading this.

Re:next gen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11969764)

Currently, cube doesnt. Previously, it did.

Re:next gen (1)

MatW (842555) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973227)

I think they'd go for the HD.

The HD Revolution!!!!! (4, Insightful)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 8 years ago | (#11967496)

What MS is counting on is that consumers will believe that somehow, even though they don't have an HDTV, the HD capabilities of the X-Box 2 will make it display a higher quality picture on their regular TV.

While it almost certainly will look better on a regular TV than an X-Box, HD is not the reason. On the plus side, though, mandating HDTV support in all games is a positive step towards forward-compatability. It will ensure that the console will work well with TV's that come out even a decade down the road.

I still don't understand what all the huge fuss is about though. Was this a surprise to anyone at all? Does anyone think that the PS3 and Revolution won't also have HDTV support in every game? It only makes sense to support the technology as, in 6 years when these consoles are really hitting their mainstream, there's a strong possibility that HDTV will become more of a mainstream technology.

Re:The HD Revolution!!!!! (2, Insightful)

nightski (860922) | more than 8 years ago | (#11967596)

Well this article really misses Microsoft's point. They called it the "HD era", but if you really listen to the keynote about where they are trying to go - it isn't just about HD. It is about user customizable content, broadband connected games, consistent experience around games, and a common development platform for both Windows and Xbox. I just think the name was a really bad one. They shouldn't have called it the HD era because that is misleading. However, full HDTV support really is a good thing too :-)

Re:The HD Revolution!!!!! (1)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 8 years ago | (#11967701)

So basically, this is an article about a poorly chosen marketing slogan? :-P

I did pay attention to the MS presentation on the XBox 2 and a lot of the concepts seemed good. Their intense restrictions and (seemingly) rigid standardization makes me afraid that there could be an adverse effect on developers. I think they may rebel against the rules and end up doing stupid shit... but that probably depends more on how the rules are enforced, not how strict they are.

Re:The HD Revolution!!!!! (1)

nightski (860922) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971263)

Correct Sir :-) It will be interesting to see what comes of it.

Re:The HD Revolution!!!!! (3, Insightful)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 8 years ago | (#11967753)

> What MS is counting on is that consumers will believe that somehow, even though they don't have an HDTV, the HD capabilities of the X-Box 2 will make it display a higher quality picture on their regular TV.

I disagree. What MS is counting on is that in a few short years, maybe as soon as 2 years, you'll have to look for old non-HD TV's when you go to buy.

HD gaming and programming will fuel HDTV purchases, and HDTV purchases will fuel HD game purchases, etc etc.

It's a zeitgeist.. right now most non-HD TV owners don't know what they're missing. That will change quite soon.

Re:The HD Revolution!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11969092)

right now most non-HD TV owners don't know what they're missing.

Oh, I know what I'm missing. I'm just not willing/able to pay for it yet. Add to that the few channels that are in HD (which often increase your bill, too), and it's simply not economical or worth it yet. And that'll change, too.

Re:The HD Revolution!!!!! (2, Insightful)

chromaphobic (764362) | more than 8 years ago | (#11969650)

It's a zeitgeist.. right now most non-HD TV owners don't know what they're missing. That will change quite soon.

Or, like me, they know exactly what they're missing and find the cost of moving to HDTV still too high. Not only the extra expense of a HD television, but the extra cost of subscribing to HD channels on my cable system. For all of 16 channels of actual HD content that are available to me right now? Meh, not worth it.

Once there's more content, including a final, single standard for HD DVD's, and the price of the hardware comes down, I'll happily jump on board. But right now? I have ZERO interest in HD.

Re:The HD Revolution!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11977175)

I agree it's true that it's probably not worth the cost of *upgrading* for most people. BUT, if you're in the market for a TV anyway it's pretty unpleasant to spend a big chunk of cash and still not have HD. I think people are waiting yes, but I think the people who are buying are buying HD's more and more.

Re:The HD Revolution!!!!! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11970716)

right now most non-HD TV owners don't know what they're missing. That will change quite soon.

Shut the fuck up, you pompous douchebag.

Re:The HD Revolution!!!!! (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 9 years ago | (#11975498)

How can non-HD users not know what they're missing? Everywhere from electronics stores to Sams Clubs have spent massive amounts of floorspace on HDTV demos. Just about any store that sells TVs has one of these displays running as loud and bright as possible all throughout the day. Everyone has seen what HDTV has to offer, and they've seen it on the most impressive setups the store can muster.

I know it is strage to people who are concerned with superior image/sound quality, but many people simply do not care.

Re:The HD Revolution!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11977127)

Well I'll admit that I don't live in the capital of tomorrowland or anything, pretty tradtional area.. but what I've seen is that people see all sorts of pretty pictures and whatnot when they're out shopping. They get dazzled. Who doesn't really.

It's not until they go over to a friend's and see their favorite movie (even on just standard DVD enhanced for widescreen)that they say "WOW how much was that TV?"

Why is HD a barrier? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11967608)

HDTV is drastically cheaper that it was even 2 years ago. I can walk in to Wal-Mart and buy a 30" diagonal wide screen direct-view Sanyo set WITH BUILT IN HD TUNER for $699. This set supports all the HDTV standard resolutions (yes, including 720p). It also has built-in stereo and speakers. Not the same as a 5.1 or 7.1 system, but that can always be added. In another 6 months to a year, as more people replace their older NTSC sets, the price should drop even more. Sorry, I just don't see the problem here.

Re:Why is HD a barrier? (1)

drxray (839725) | more than 8 years ago | (#11968030)

$700 for a television? I'd call that a barrier. Consoles are supposed to be cheap.

I really hope that MS/Sony/Nintendo put DVI or VGA outputs on their next consoles that allow me to connect a standard PC monitor.
I live in the UK and HDTVs here just aren't happening, and I think it's likely they won't for some time. Letting people connect up a £120 19-inch monitor and actually see the game ought to sell more consoles than using a regular TV and getting sniped by distant enemies rendered invisible by the pixel size.

Re:Why is HD a barrier? (1)

Bagels (676159) | more than 8 years ago | (#11968476)

I believe I heard that Nintendo's Revolution *will* be able to connect to computer monitors, but unfortunately I cannot remember where... it was one of the pieces of information that came out around last E3. Can anyone confirm this?

Re:Why is HD a barrier? (1)

drxray (839725) | more than 8 years ago | (#11968809)

Thanks for the info! A quick google indicates a Nintendo engineer made this claim back in mid-2004. I hope they stick to it, and that the other consoles do the same.

Re:Why is HD a barrier? (1)

incom (570967) | more than 8 years ago | (#11968520)

Some nintendo exec confirmed ages ago that you could connect a computer monitor to the revolution. Haven't heard about any MS or sony confirmations/denials though.

Re:Why is HD a barrier? (2, Insightful)

standsolid (619377) | more than 8 years ago | (#11968203)

Spend USD$700 at Wal*Mart? For a low-income family (you know... the type who would shop at Wal-Mart) that's a 1990 Honda Civic for your wife to stop asking you to drive her to Wal*Mart.

(yes it is [ebay.com] )

Re:Why is HD a barrier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11968752)

Just about everyone I know is considered middle-class. They also shop at Wal-Mart. Your statement implies that only "low income" people shop at Wal-Mart, which is patently untrue. If Wal-Mart didn't think they could sell HDTVs, they wouldn't be selling them. Period. Just because YOU won't pay $700 for that TV doesn't mean NO ONE will.

Re:Why is HD a barrier? (1)

standsolid (619377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971457)

#1 -- Sign on if you want to argue anything I say. I hate having to respond in a public forum to make you look like an ass or to make me look like an ass.

#2 -- Regarding low-income families... what I was implying it that the type of low-income family that would shop at Wal-Mart so exclusively that they would go there for their major electronics purchases... probably isn't spending $700 on a TV. HD equipped or not.

#3 -- Do you think I'm concerned about Wal*Mart selling TVs? They will survive even if gramma doesn't buy HDTV -- what I'm concerned about is finally getting HDTV mainstream... $700 isn't going to cut it.

Re:Why is HD a barrier? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11988577)

#1 -- Sign on if you want to argue anything I say.

Slashdot's anti-bot system prohibits persons with vision disabilities from creating accounts [w3.org] .

what I'm concerned about is finally getting HDTV mainstream... $700 isn't going to cut it.

Exactly. In January 2007, when FCC pulls the plug on analog TV broadcasting, electronics stores and the local TV stations are going to have to deal with a lot of pissed-off viewers who can't get their Super Bowl XLI.

Re:Why is HD a barrier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11968690)

My original post was meant to show that prices are coming down. HDTV is getting cheaper (2 years ago a similar set WITHOUT the built-in tuner and not supporting 720p sold for close to $1200, and Wal-Mard didn't have anything even close to HDTV). Surround sound is getting cheaper, but isn't nearly as necessary. Now keep in mind that a 30" diag. widescreen takes up about the same width as a 35" NTSC 4:3 screen. Take a look at the price of those same 35" TVs, and tell me that HDTV isn't in the affordable range. I'm not saying that this TV is going to take the place of the old 19" Magnavox in the basement or bedroom, and it will be used for more than just a gaming monitor. HDTV is well within the grasp of the middle class family with 3 kids, who want to watch cable and DVDs, while also playing video games. The middle class is the biggest market segment, so your "poor people can't afford it" analogy is flawed. They probably can't afford a normal 35" TV anyway.

If you are going to buy your first or replace your old PRIMARY (living-room based) TV, then HD is the way to go. If not now, then in the next 6 months to a year.

Re:Why is HD a barrier? (2, Insightful)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 8 years ago | (#11969805)

You can get an equally sized tv for less than a quarter of that price, thats the problem

Re:Why is HD a barrier? (1)

Shalda (560388) | more than 8 years ago | (#11970074)

Or I can buy a perfectly good 25" analog set for $159. Digital is nice. Real nice - I've got an HDTV tuner for my PC. In another couple of years, digital/HD will be competitive with analog. People do in fact want digital HDTV, but most aren't willing to pay much more for it. Especially when their existing setup works just fine. Most people only replace their TVs when the existing set breaks. On the other hand, people willing to shell out $300 for the latest in gaming are already much more like to have or be willing to buy HD.

Re:Why is HD a barrier? (1)

jensen404 (717086) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972460)

The only reason I'm not willing to buy HD is because there is almost no HD content. If all DVD movies were available in HD, an HD screen would be much more appealing to me. If all video games support HD, that will give me another reason.

No Surprises (4, Insightful)

Alaren (682568) | more than 8 years ago | (#11967643)

"...using it as a hook to hang next gen console gaming on is misleading to say the least, and there are more than a few barriers to entry for the masses."

Does this really surprise anyone? It had been interesting to watch, over the last 20+ years, what sometimes gets called the "digital divide." For those unfamiliar, this describes the phenomenon of "haves" and "have nots" from a technological standpoint.

But (more on-topic) there is also a real growing chasm between "enthusiasts" or "fanatics" (depending on which side you're on) and regular users. How many motherboards come with optical audio outputs now? How many users actually use them? Online gaming is discussed as an enormous phenomenon (and it is certainly not small) but broadband penetration is still significantly less than 50% in the U.S.A. and many other first-world countries. HDTV is also still under 50% penetration by a pretty good chunk (can't remember the exact number ATM). Surround sound, well, I have no idea but I don't know a lot of people with surround sound, either--even people who could easily afford a setup.

I do not think this is because technology is outstripping our ability to understand or afford it... rather, I think technology in games and in other areas is outstripping our ability to care. As an avid gamer but also the father of two young children, I find myself with a tremendous backlog of games and consequently less and less motivation to upgrade until I absolutely have to. I don't own an HDTV and have no plans to purchase one in the next three or maybe five years. I still use standard stereo sound on decent speakers and I'm fine. I could probably afford a little better, but...

Well, I'll stop before I ramble too much, but I think we're starting to see the very beginnings of what folks at Nintendo and elsewhere have been saying for a while. There will come a point, probably sooner rather than later, when existing technology will be "good" enough that dangling new technology will no longer be sufficient reason for making purchases.

That's not a prophecy of doom, by the way. More a prophecy of change in the air. We'll see...

Re:No Surprises (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11967789)

Very, very well put. Know that you are not alone in this thinking. Simply upgrading for the sake of upgrading is no longer an option for me. I look back to my parent's refusal to buy any more consoles, and "upgrade" to a Colecovision as an indication of what is coming ahead.

Likewise, I only upgrade my PC these days when I absolutely MUST. It is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.

Re:No Surprises (1)

mattACK (90482) | more than 8 years ago | (#11968341)

That is the same thing that John Romero said in pre launch Daikatana hype. Now he is making PocketPC games.
I think that content is king, but I also think that the since of wonder at new technologies on the part of our community is justified. That is to say we ain't see nothing yet.

Re:No Surprises (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 8 years ago | (#11969977)

How many motherboards come with optical audio outputs now? How many users actually use them?


How many people who have optical audio speakers have been annoyed when their DVDs would not play any sound, due to a stupid and short-sighted copy protection scheme? I would happily pay $20 or $30 more to go completely optical, but having a stupid limitation like that totally breaks the deal.

Here are the questions that I ask about new tech:
1) What can it allow me to do that I cannot do now?
2) What will it stop me from doing that I can do now? Some very old VCRs completely ignore macrovision, so older tech is sometimes the best.
3) How much does it cost?

But you are absolutely right about "outstripping our ability to care," but I also think that it is also outstripping our ability to afford it too. I would love to have a nice HD setup with surround sound. HD is too expensive right now. Plus, I do not watch much television in the first place. Would I take it for $100? Sure! Would I pay $500 for the honor of having HD? Nope. Not worth it.

And surround sound is out because I would have to somehow get a half-dozen speakers mounted to walls and ceilings, and run all sorts of ugly wires. Two speakers are easy - on either side of the TV. Six speakers only work for people who have one entire room dedicated to the television. So, this is not a factor of money, but one of convenience. Surround sound would be cool, but is not necessary.

Re:No Surprises (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 9 years ago | (#11970840)

I went to the big Microsoft talk at the GDC and my understanding was that Bill was going to solve the whole "digital divide" issue by buying us all HDTVs.

Or did I miss something?

Is HD Really The Future of Gaming? (2, Insightful)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 8 years ago | (#11967676)


For console gaming, yes.

Next article please.

TFA bemoaning the sporadic HD support in current generation consoles, bringing up PC gaming, etc. seems like it is just trolling for an excuse to pick on MS. Yes HD is the future of TV, so of course it's the future of console gaming. And console gamers everywhere will joyously welcome all the HD gaming to come.

What's the point of this article anyway?

Re:Is HD Really The Future of Gaming? (2, Insightful)

Ed_Moyse (171820) | more than 8 years ago | (#11968730)

They're responding to the GDC keynote by J Allard, who was saying that HD was basically the most important innovation/lure for NG consoles. They were disagreeing, pretty cogently I thought. If you read the article carefully, you'll see that the author a) owns a HD tv (which is pretty amazing in the UK) and b) is enthusiastic about how good it looks.

Hell, here's a quote from the end of the article "While you have to applaud Microsoft for trying to push on with forward-looking, boundary-breaking ideas that some of its rivals balk at, it's better to live in the realms of reality and note that the HD era has been with us for some time. This is not a new thing, and it will take far longer than people think to become part of the mainstream. For us Europeans, it's even less likely to take ahold with current HD broadcasting trials not even getting underway until next year, so don't go throwing away your crusty old CRT set just yet. You may not see the benefits for some time to come, and you'll save yourself a vast outlay in the process..."

Remember this is EURO gamer, and over here HD tvs aren't common.

Re:Is HD Really The Future of Gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11997194)

If you think every question is best answered with a knee-jerk reaction, the question is not so much "what's the point of the article" as "what's the point of getting out of bed and reading Slashdot every day"?

Next post, please.

a bit obvious (1, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#11967703)

HD will be the future of consoles , as it will be the future of TV.
The question is not if , it is when.
Tv standerds will contiune to improve and pixel counts will push ever updward ,
Now that These standerds are making the way to the market it is clear that we will see them in games (many have suported HDTV since 2000 or so iirc ).
I expect normal standerds to hang on for a good while longer though

Clever Marketing Ploy (1)

Sundroid (777083) | more than 8 years ago | (#11968194)

Somewhere in the closet I have an old PlayStation One packed neatly in its original box. Game makers' fundamental strategy is to get the consumers to keep buying the "latest and grandest" so they can sustain the industry. Their marketing scheme dictates that they constantly talk about that "illusive future game super console" or else people will find other brands or other forms of entertainment.

Always remember, the marketing mantra of any consumer hardware industry is: "Talk up a storm about the 'mystique' of the yet-to-be-released new product, so people will buy them at the premium price as soon as it comes out, because that is how they make profits with the biggest margin."

Yep, that's why I paid $299 for my PlayStation One, which I doubt I could fetch more than $10 (if at all) for at a garage sale.

Re:Clever Marketing Ploy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11968318)

So basically you're saying you're a sucker, right?

Re:Clever Marketing Ploy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11969663)

[Disclaimer: I'm trying to share a bit of insight (directed at the general reader), but it may be possible to misread this as a flame of the parent. No flamage is intended, and I apologize if it appears that way.]

Game makers' fundamental strategy is to get the consumers to keep buying the "latest and grandest" so they can sustain the industry...


And what's wrong with that? If consumers didn't buy new things, there wouldn't be a market, so there wouldn't be any new products to buy.

Based on the price you quote, I assume you bought it in 1994, so you've had *at least* 120 months of potential use. $300 / 120 = $2.50/mo. So I'll ask the rhetorical question: Did you get $300 worth of enjoyment out of your playstation? (If not, repeat after me: A game console is not an financial investment. It is a luxury that enables you to entertain yourself with luxury game discs.)

You buy game consoles with the expecation that they'll play games produced within the next N years, but that games produced in N+1 years will not be compatable. You can continue to play the old games on them, but you'll have to buy new hardware to play new games. But you already knew that when you shelled out the $300.

Don't purchase luxury items if you can't afford them.

MS never a visionary company (0, Offtopic)

SunFan (845761) | more than 8 years ago | (#11968280)


Innovation happens elswhere. It's been said a thousand times, but Microsoft won't know what business it will need to be in until that business is already two years past them and they adopt it.

Sun and IBM are much bigger risk takers, right now, which is amazing for how big and relatively old these companies are. HP took a big risk too, but...the execution is leaving something to be desired.

If IBM takes off with the theories about IBM-branded Linux desktops, and Sun has a compatible Java Desktop System (Linux/Solaris), both of which are much cheaper than Windows and Office...I mean, really, where does that leave Microsoft in ten years?

The future is Linux/UNIX, OpenOffice.org, and Mozilla/Firefox. The cheaper-is-better lessons of history require it. And, IBM and Sun can back up their software with selling real hardware and services (it's called diversification, which Microsoft really doesn't do).

Re:MS never a visionary company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11969768)

Ummm... you realize you're posting on games.slashdot.org, right?

Re:MS never a visionary company (1)

SunFan (845761) | more than 8 years ago | (#11970120)


Yes, but it is tangentially on topic, becuase XBox might be all Microsoft has in ten years, in addition to their legacy support base. It's getting to a point where it's hard to charge money for an operating system or an office suite, and the only places that can continue doing so are embedded systems, like gaming consoles (no one really ever sees the OS there--it's a package deal).

It would be pretty retarded for applications makers to ignore UNIX/Linux desktops in the next few years. They can use Qt or Java to ease the pain of moving to a different platform, if they like. I think the snowball has begun a-rollin, and it's all downhill from here.

Re:MS never a visionary company (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971803)

(Slightly offtopic)

"It's getting to a point where it's hard to charge money for an operating system or an office suite..."

I don't know about that one. Microsoft is doing pretty well from what I've heard. The typical person has this kind of attitude to operating systems:

Microsoft Windows: "Hey! A new version! I better go out and get it right away!"

Apple: "Don't they make the iPod? Too bad they are too elite for me."

Linux: "Isn't that some kind of seed?" (I wish I was joking, someone actually said that when I mentioned Linux.)

It's common economic theory that the public always chooses the best product. Right now, I guess the product that satisfies most people and their needs is Microsoft Windows. Why should they change to anything else? It's my personal belief that once the silly program names are done away with (vi, emacs, kate grep anyone?), people MIGHT start coming to Linux.

But anyways, back to Xbox.

I do not see much of a difference between HDTV and regular TV. My neighbors have a wide screen HDTV, and I (and others) can't tell the difference between Project Gotham Racing 2 (Just a random game) on their TV and a normal one.

As far as it being the "Future of Gaming", of course it will be! Televisions are heading toward HD at an increasing pace, it'd be ludacris to not support it. It would be like computer game makers deciding to stay in black and white even though computers are capable of doing colors.

Sure they are going to use it as a hook. They are simply trying to stay in the console business. It's business really. Simple as that.

Re:MS never a visionary company (1)

jensen404 (717086) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972367)

Project Gotham Racing 2 only runs at 480p, so it is a small upgrade in quality.

Re:MS never a visionary company (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972464)

It was a random example. I could've used Morrowind, Halo 2, Mercenaries, Amped 2, but decided to use PGR 2. But I suppose that would be why I didn't see a difference, heh.

Re:MS never a visionary company (1)

jensen404 (717086) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972651)

most of those run at 480p, too (I think)

Re:MS never a visionary company (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973307)

Nitpicker.

EDIT FOR MY POST:
-"Project Gotham Racing 2" +(some game that is HDTV enabled)

Re:MS never a visionary company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972660)

Right now, I guess the product that satisfies most people and their needs is Microsoft Windows.

Actually, Microsoft somehow figured out how to get all the OEMs to ship _only_ Windows. It was probably illegal, but it seemed their prosecuters a while ago were obsessed with Internet Explorer and their illegal acts toward Netscape. Before that, they managed to get everyone to pirate Office, even though the other options at the time were vastly superior (e.g., Smartsuite). It wasn't long before the OEMs shipped only Office or Works, too.

Windows, Office, and Internet Explorer are three inferior products that through illegal acts and disingenuous marketing were thrust upon millions of unsuspecting computer users. People went to computer stores and had only one thing to choose from (that and three macs at the back of the store). _That_ is the economics of Microsoft.

Re:MS never a visionary company (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 9 years ago | (#11980219)

Well what is stopping them from changing to Linux then? They have a choice of operating systems to use. They just choose to keep Windows.

Choice of operating systems? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11988632)

Well what is stopping them from changing to Linux then? They have a choice of operating systems to use.

Oh really? Go to dell.com and tell me how to get GNU/Linux pre-installed on a new home PC. And tell me how to use consumer-priced flatbed scanners sold new at Best Buy with GNU/Linux when the driver manufacturers don't want to reveal detailed specifications to the SANE project maintainers. And tell me how to run video games from those developers that console makers won't talk to without spending $100 for Windows OEM or $60 for Cedega.

True, there is a choice, but for common home computing tasks, there is no viable choice other than Microsoft Windows.

480p is NOT NOT NOT HD they != (2, Informative)

nidx (583973) | more than 8 years ago | (#11968560)

420p is Enhansed Definition and 4:3 (although it is somtimes streched for 16:9)
720p and 1080i are HD

and nothing the writers ignorance more ...
it has also been stated (through gamespy articles) that ALL xbox2 games will support 720p ...
as opposed to the ~31/532 listed on hdgames.net of the current xbox generation

Exactly! (1)

DeadScreenSky (666442) | more than 8 years ago | (#11969948)

The author ignoring this fact destroys a huge part of his argument. MS stated pretty clearly that 720p was what they were talking about as a minimum for the "HD era", not 480p. It seems like a third of the silly article is spent arguing that earlier systems supported 480p too. That's not what MS is talking about. And honestly, I don't think they are claiming to be the first to do HD anyway - the point is to make it the standard for gaming, not to invent it.

(Bizarrely, the author seems to actually recognize that 720p is the minimum standard for the Xbox2 late in the article. Why did he spend so much time arguing that 'many Xbox2 games wouldn't support that and so 480p isn't a big deal because other consoles support that blah blah blah' earlier in the article?)

consoles r fer kids ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11968738)

yawn, must be a slow day, eh! My advice, buy a real vid card dood!

HD is the distant future. (2, Insightful)

DeanMeister (868655) | more than 8 years ago | (#11969264)

The fact of the matter is that most people don't have an HDTV. That doesn't mean they're not gamers it means they're not yet ready to shell out the cash for one. I'd tend to agree with them. It's good that MS is including all there titles with HD for the xbox but to go on the assumption that the majority of consumers have one is just foolish.

I've been gaming in HD for years (1)

JeffTL (667728) | more than 8 years ago | (#11969627)

And I've never had a console.

I've been playing in 1280x1024 since 2001, when I got a Gateway computer with a TNT2 in it and a 17" monitor.

1280x720 is 720p HDTV, with 389,120 pixels less than 1280x1024, a relatively common PC resolution.

Ergo, HD console gaming isn't a big novelty, it's just catching up to what you can do with a PC or a Mac.

Re:I've been gaming in HD for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11992691)

Uh, no it isn't - your PC is hooked up to a shitty little 17-inch monitor - my Gamecube is hooked up to a 34 inch HD CRT TV with DMR. I wouldn't bother to play games at all if it was on anything less than 30". Console gaming is streets ahead of PC gaming in this regard.

From an HDTV salesman (2, Interesting)

willynate (804952) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971625)

Having worked at Ulimate Electronics for awhile (before it went bankrupt), I've encountered most of the common questions/confusions regarding HDTV. Despite the fact the FCC is still hammering away at moving towards all digital signals by end of 2006, for the most part the general public is quite clueless about HDTV and digital television in general.

Alot of people I encountered believed that digital cable is HDTV. In realty, the compression used for digital cable usually makes the picture even crappier than analog cable.

And don't get me started about HDTV-built-in vs. HDTV monitors. Alot of people were dumb-founded that their new $5500 plamsa TV actually wouldn't be able to pick up HDTV signals out of the box, but instead needed to be hooked up to a seperate $500 over-the-air tuner to get any local signals.

And this is just for watching television . . .

My point being is that if Joe and Jane Public are confused by just the appliance used to display a game, they're probably not not going to understand how to get their gaming system to work in HD either. When I see a friend's Xbox hooked up to their HDTV with analog RCA cables (at least try S-Video), I realized that most people either don't know or don't care that they are under-utilizing their expensive investment.

Re:From an HDTV salesman (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11988805)

A LOT is two words.

Re:From an HDTV salesman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11997208)

Actually, assuming you're using component video outputs, RCA cables are the best option. S-Video only seperates sync, and S-Video cables often do not provide adequate screening between cores on the cable. With RCA every core is shielded.

I want to know is why PAL on current gen sucks (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972134)

Why did microsoft disable HD on XBOX for PAL?
Why did sony disable HD support in PAL releases of games?

Given the various standards involved, I seriously doubt that it was techincal (i.e. "these games require extra coding to work on PAL HDTVs" that we cant afford to do). Especially in the case of the XBOX (where it should be up to the game maker to decide if they want to invest the $$$ to make their game HDTV aware in PAL regions)

Is the next-gen Xbox true HD? (1)

News for nerds (448130) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973630)

According to this article [gamespy.com] the next-gen Xbox lacks the next-gen optical media meant for HDTV (Blu-ray/HD-DVD). Even though the next-gen Xbox can support 720p/1080i for the output, it seems a bit odd that MS put emphasis on the 'HD era' as the Xbox 1 already supports 720p/1080i for some games though not obligatory.

Low quality article (2, Informative)

vmardian (321592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11978696)

The article was supposed to be about the case for HD and the case against HD, but it spent most of its time talking about lack of (good) HD support on current generation hardware and software. What a waste of time.

The article also claims that mass market HD is 5 to 10 years away. 10 years???? I don't think so. Lots of companies in Japan are already working with Super HDTV (SHDTV) with 3840 x 2160 resolution.

The author doesn't even acknowledge the fact that developers can very simply support multiple resolutions so that it runs fast on standard TVs and runs beautifully on HD TVs.

Bring it On! (2, Informative)

Grygonos (848602) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979466)

I say bring it on.. let HD become the standard. Ever since I picked up by 57" hitatchi with 720p/480p/1080i support, I have been blown away by playing Soul Calibur 2 in 720p (although in 4:3 which is strange) and NBA2K3 in 720p is just gorgeous. Tekken 5 for the PS2 supports something around 520p (don't remember) and it too, is beauty in motion. The advent of HDTV could really help console makers pull moderately commited PC gamers off the desktops and onto the consoles. Granted the price of HDTV is not right for a great majority of the public, but hey niether were CD players around 1984-1989, and look at what a low-cost standard they have become. I see HD as the technological future of gaming, that and standard 5.1+.
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