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The Successes and Failures of the XBox

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the many-and-varied dept.

XBox (Games) 99

thegamebiz writes "Amped IGO continues its 'XBox Retrospective Week' with a great two-page feature breaking down exactly where Microsoft went right and wrong with the XBox. From the article: 'Both lists have included hardware and the acquisitions of developers, but both have ended by reverting to the big issue: games...No matter how many impressive technical specs are shoved down our throats we must remember one simple fact: in the end, it's all about the games.'"

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Eh? (3, Interesting)

Demona (7994) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980352)

"It's all about the games." I didn't buy an Xbox for the games, I bought it for the Xbox Media Center. Of course I had to void the warranty, but I've never used a warranty for anything I've bought anyway.

Re:Eh? (1)

jclast (888957) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980697)

It's also all about price. Now that I could buy one for a reasonable price ($150) and there are 5 exclusive games I'm interested in (Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Fable, Jade Empire, and OddWorld: Stranger's Wrath), it became worth it for me to buy one.

I'm sure any third party games I pick up from now on will be XBox, too, but it took a while for me to buy it, and price was the biggest player (after all, you can pick up a GameCube with Super Smash Brothers Meleee for $100).

Re:Eh? (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980842)

Ummm...KotoR I and II are both available for your PC. Guess what else, the PC version can be patched to fix the bugs that cannot be fixed in the Console version.

Re:Eh? (1)

jclast (888957) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980882)

Fable is, too, but I prefer to play in the living room. Give a controller and the couch over an office chair and a keyboard/mouse combo any day.

My PC is for work; my consoles are for fun. I only play on the PC when a console version isn't available (right now, I only have Syberia, Syberia II, and Civilization III for the PC).

Re:Eh? (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981359)

Syberia is available for the XBox. But seriously, can you really play through that thing?

Check out Still Life or Indigo Prophecy.

Re:Eh? (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 8 years ago | (#13990555)

So much better and easier control usually on the PC. Not to mention better frame rates and presently better resolutions then your TV. Now if you got yourself a nice HDTV I do recommend game play through a PC on there...played WoW, HL2, and CS: Source on an HDTV before like that....oh so sweet....

Re:Eh? (1)

Digex (928229) | more than 8 years ago | (#13987670)

You must not own an XBox. The hard drive in the XBox allows auto-updates (more commonly referred to as patch updates).

Re:Eh? (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 8 years ago | (#13990535)

Yes, but do you have to pay for live to update games? If not, you realize that many games have ignored this function since they had 0 online capability there was no point in adding a patching system. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind comes to mind, as I recall it had many problems on X-Box that were PC patched. The same for KotoR I.

Re:Eh? (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980855)

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath would have been worth buying an Xbox all by itself.

The fact that they (Oddworld) are going to get out of video games alltogether made me cry a little bit.

Re:Eh? (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13983539)

Don't forget that modern electronics have a warranty that lasts an even shorter time than that new electronics smell. The Xbox had what, 60 days? 90, maybe. About a week after my warranty expired, I cracked open the box and hacked it up. I was lucky enough to get a version 1.1 Xbox with the "good" DVD-ROM (which is now on its way out) and XBMC has been my hero ever since.

Re:Eh? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 8 years ago | (#13989033)

One year in the UK, with manufacturing defects protected for 7 years after purchase. How do you guys put up with 60 day warranties?

Re:Eh? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13990008)

Mostly we suffer. You can of course buy an extended warranty but in my experience, most devices you do not mistreat either fail within the short warranty period or don't fail until I stop using them and throw or give them away.

They shouldn't have dropped the 2 A.I. games (2, Interesting)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980591)

They had two games that were supposed to be part of the launchday lineup, that were offshoots of the movie A.I. From what little I heard, they were cool, and expanded that universe. But they apparently dumped them because the movie was considered unsuccessful in the U.S.

I told myself when I heard about the games coming out that I'd be sure to buy the system as soon as they did. Still haven't bought an XBox. Bought a PS/2 instead, after the first price drop.

Re:They shouldn't have dropped the 2 A.I. games (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13982603)

What does an ancient IBM computer have to do with this? (PS2= PlayStation 2, PS/2= Personal System/2)

Games... (1, Flamebait)

Serapth (643581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980702)

Its funny that one of the biggest reasons for XBox's failure ( and most likely true ), is one of the biggest reason its my favorite console of this generation... Japanese RPG's.

To this day, I still dont understand the obsession with these games and how they manage to sell consoles. The most lauded console RPG in the last decade has to be FFVII, which I personally couldnt bring myself to finish. I played a handful of other J-RPG's on my PS2, and always came to the same conclussion, its always the same story/characters across different settings with random and mind numbingly boring combat throw into the mix.

Im sorry, maybe its my age coming into play here ( im 30 ), but the dialogue and especially romantic interests in theses games seem to be written to target a 12 year old. Plots from the games I played were well... um.... I suppose unique is a nice way to say it... non-sensical is probrably a more accurate way to put it. Then again, maybe its because I was raised playing mostly PC based RPGs so I have developed a different mindset and expectations then most console RPG gamers. Then again... I found dragon warrior fun on the Nes/SNES... but hey wait... I was what, 12 at the time? Makes sense.

So, as I said, I choose the XBox exactly because I prefer games outside the JRPG mode. Yet, I know im the minority here.

Re:Games... (3, Funny)

StocDred (691816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980769)

Its funny that one of the biggest reasons for XBox's success( and most likely true ), is one of the biggest reason its my least favorite console of this generation... FPS's.

To this day, I still dont understand the obsession with these games and how they manage to sell consoles. The most lauded console FPS in the last decade has to be Halo, which I personally couldnt bring myself to finish. I played a handful of other FPS's on my PS2, and always came to the same conclussion, its always the same story/characters across different settings with random and mind numbingly boring combat throw into the mix.

Im sorry, maybe its my age coming into play here ( im 30 ), but the dialogue and especially violence in theses games seem to be written to target a 12 year old. Plots from the games I played were well... um.... I suppose unique is a nice way to say it... non-sensical is probrably a more accurate way to put it. Then again, maybe its because I was raised playing mostly PC based FPSs so I have developed a different mindset and expectations then most console RPG gamers. Then again... I found Duke Nukem fun... but hey wait... I was what, 12 at the time? Makes sense.

So, as I said, I avoid the XBox exactly because I prefer games outside the FPS mode. Yet, I know im the minority here.

/Irony

I trust you see my point.

Re:Games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13988448)

I trust you see my point.

You have honestly no taste in games?

Try playing games where you can play against other people, instead of games where your enemies moves are literally chosen at random. Then maybe you'll understand why FPSes will always be FAR superior to JRPGs.

And if not, just remember, you can't even actually ROLEPLAY in a JRPG. There's literally no point to playing them, ever.

Re:Games... (1)

StocDred (691816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13992617)

You have honestly no taste in games?

I actually don't particularly care for either genre, RPG or FPS. My point was that any old wanker can show up and pontificate about his or her favorite/least favorite genre using almost exactly the same reasoning.

My point was to inspire you bottom-feeding troglodytes to avoid posting your crap opinions, but as your post proves, I was unsuccessful.

Re:Games... (2, Interesting)

frederec (911880) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980850)

I have to say this is one of the reasons I'm glad that the Xbox and PS2 had somewhat different markets where they excelled: there are different kinds of gamers with different tastes. It's great that there's a console that had what you wanted. As for me, since I dig those Japanese games, the PS2 is what I have and I've never touched the XBox. All my American RPGs are on the PC.

Though I will let you know, I've always thought that people who played J-RPGs for the story or characters are nuts. I agree with you, so much of the time they're all the same. There are exceptions (SMT from Atlus, arguably Xenogears, some NIS games), but even those are debatable. To me, the whole point of playing these games is all about the battle system and the progression systems. FFVII had a confused and meandering plot that eventually just drops itself and finishes, but what made it fun was the materia system. What keeps me playing Final Fantasy games are the different systems in place like materia, sphere grids, or a job system. The battle system was pretty simple, but the character progression was fun.

On the other hand, Shin Megami Tensei and Digital Devil Saga from Atlus both had very fast-paced battles, yet even still most average battles required some thought, care, and strategy. Games like that are nice, the only older RPG I can think of where you could get your butt kicked no matter how powerful you thought you were was Chrono Trigger.

So just so you know, even people who love J-RPGs have the same complaints as you. Heck, that's what makes the list of role-playing cliches [project-apollo.net] funny. But in spite of their shortcomings, they can be a lot of fun.

Re:Games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13981086)

The entire point to the completely linear JRPG gameplay is that they can "tell a story". If you don't care about the story, why the hell are you going to play the game?

Oh, right, the completely identical battle systems. Sorry, but repeatedly selecting "Fight" for three hours on end collecting whatever "Point" they decided is required to increase the values of the collection of undefined stats isn't my idea of a game.

The only reason to play a linear RPG is for the story. If the story is crap (and like you said, they invariably are) then there's no point to putting up with whatever lousy combat system they invented for this variant of the game.

Renaming "experience points" as "skill points" or "ability points" does not a new combat system make.

Re:Games... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13982728)

The combat system in the Tales series (most recently Tales of Symphonia) is pretty nice. While I can't say that I started battles just to experience the fighting system, (some people say they did) it's certainly more interesting than the normal "click fight and see the combat resolve" system. In Tales you run around like in a 2d fighter and beat up the enemies, dealing combos and stuff. Star Ocean (at least Till The End Of Time) has a decent combat system as well though it's not as good.

Did you play Grandia 2? The story was so clicheed you knew how it'd end half way through but the combat system was pretty fun because the timing could be abused nicely.

Re:Games... (1)

bateleur (814657) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981161)

So, as I said, I choose the XBox exactly because I prefer games outside the JRPG mode.

The way you put that is revealing to me. The implication of your statement is that the presence of such games - even if you never purchased one - would weaken the console for you. Presumably this is because you perceive that only a fixed number of strong titles are released for any console and therefore each game in a genre you don't play is bad ? I don't know if this was really true of the XBox or not, but if so it was a weakness indeed.

Re:Games... (1)

Serapth (643581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981356)

[q]The way you put that is revealing to me. The implication of your statement is that the presence of such games - even if you never purchased one - would weaken the console for you. Presumably this is because you perceive that only a fixed number of strong titles are released for any console and therefore each game in a genre you don't play is bad ? I don't know if this was really true of the XBox or not, but if so it was a weakness indeed.[/q]

In a nutshell, that is exactly true. JRPGs were the focus for the PS2, and perhaps the biggest reason for its success. Therefore, if the market is buying PS2's mostly for their JRPGs, in turn, the developers will cater to this market. Pretty much cause and effect. The same thing kinda happened with the XBox, but in reverse. XBox because focused on more western styled (and thus, PC based ) games, like first person shooters.

Outside of those specializations, there werent too many titles that went outside the norm, or that werent available on both consoles ( I leave GC out of this because 1, I didnt own one, and 2, I think they cater to a different market... and no im not saying kiddy gaming... I think people who buy Nintendo buy for Nintendos first party games more then anything else... plus I think they are more likely to buy a second console ). With some exceptions ( such as Katamary (sp? ) and a few breakout hits, games between the PS2 and XBox outside of their specializations were either cross platform, or have an equivelant on the other system. For every Gran Tourismo there was a Forza, for Metal Gear Solid there was Splinter Cell.

So, when it came time to pick a console... you generally pick based off the type of games you play. This again, leads to more of those games being created. So yes, JRPGs popularity had a profound effect on the library of games for the PS2, just as Halo had a profound effect on the XBox's library.

And, its not that I didnt enjoy my PS2, I did. But in the end, I bought about 5 games for the PS2, and probrably 15 for the XBox ( many of the Xbox titles being simply the better version of a cross platform title ). This speaks volumes to me.

Re:Games... (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13982633)

I agree with Serapth on this entire thread-

I too am very happy that the Xbox was NOT a home for many Japanese RPGs. It made a difference in the culture of the two consoles, and I also think it may have led developers to target a console based on the perceived clientele.

Games like Top Spin, Crimson Skies, Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six...those games interested me. And I think they did well on the Xbox, because of types of games they were, and the type of person who chose Xbox as their primary console.

Very rarely did I see a PS2 exclusive that interested me. But I saw a bunch of RPGs that were crowding the game space with titles I was not interested in. And yes, I think it makes a difference. Developers need to decide what platform to develop for (if not all platforms) and they kindof crowd together. And the ones I liked, crowded together on the Xbox.

 

Re:Games... (1)

StocDred (691816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13992822)

Games like Top Spin, Crimson Skies, Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six...those games interested me. And I think they did well on the Xbox, because of types of games they were, and the type of person who chose Xbox as their primary console.

This thread is absolutely crazy batshit nuts.

First of all, the games Splinter Cell and Rainbow Six were released for every gaming system under the sun, including PC, GBA and fucking cell phones, so they're hardly some kind of high-concept Xbox exclusive that gave people a reason to buy an Xbox above and beyond anything else. Top Spin was also released on PS2 (according to IGN's database) and Crimson Skies originally was a PC title! Are all Xbox owners so blinded to the Xbox's Obvious Brilliance that they don't even know that these games are literally everywhere?

Secondly, this is not a zero-sum system. If the PS2 has more RPGs, that doesn't mean it will have less games of another genre. The PS2 library is massive; there are plenty of games covering all genres. I have never heard anyone (aside from you lot) complain that the PS2 is a success primarily due to Japanese RPGs. The fact that Sony has the largest installed user base and therefore the biggest money pit to dive into is what kept developers making games for it. Nobody shied away from the PS2 because of all the JRPGs. If the Xbox had PS2-level sales, you would have seen a ton more RPGs released for it.

What you guys are dancing around isn't genre at all, it's online play. The Xbox has the best online setup and that is clearly the common demoninator in every Xbox game you mention. And, yeah, that could be a reason why a consumer or a developer chose Xbox over PS2 or GameCube. It wasn't because of JRPGs "crowding the game space."

Re:Games... (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13994048)

If you want to play Grand Theft Auto- which console do you buy?

All the games have come out on the Xbox...but they are always on the PS2 first. If you want GTA- you buy a PS2.

Now go check your release dates for Splinter Cell and Top Spin on the Xbox and compare them to the PS2...then check the ratings of each game at GameRankings.com. You will see that the dates, and the rankings, aren't even close. Xbox is the superior platform for those games.

Then go look at the PC version of Crimson Skies...and compare it to the Xbox version. Totally different games.

Re:Games... (1)

mirror_ed123 (929750) | more than 8 years ago | (#13995708)

Xbox was indeed the superior platform for these launches. But keep in mind that the xbox came out almost 1 year later than the PS2. There would be a certain amount of advancement in technology compared between these 2 boxes. But despite the difference in power, PS2 continued to perform well. I would love to see how things pan out this time around. It would be interesting to see whether or not can the xbox hold a candle against a console that comes out later than it does.

Re:Games... (1)

StocDred (691816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13997747)

Now wait a minute... it's okay to buy a PS2 (inferior version) for GTA because it comes out there first instead of Xbox (superior version). And it's also okay to buy an Xbox (superior version) for Splinter Cell because it comes out there first instead of PS2 (inferior version). So your chief concern really isn't the quality of the game, it's which console gets it first.

And let's look at those release dates. Splinter Cell Xbox: 11/02. PS2: 04/03. GameCube: 04/03. That's pretty close, in my book, around 6 months. (And if I remember correctly, the PS2 version had an exclusive level and the GameCube version had GBA interactivity.) It sounds to me like this is the result of Microsoft's disengenous "exclusivity" marketing. Some people still think of Splinter Cell as an "Xbox game." Splinter Cell was marketed as an Xbox exclusive - and I heard of people who bought an Xbox specifically for SC - even though everyone who reads the press knew that the game was coming to PS2 and GameCube in a few months. Disgustingly, now we have accepted this practice under the label of "timed exclusives," which is probably this generation's most reprehensible addition to the marketing bag of tricks (although faked screenshots is a close second, also an Xbox innovation).

The release gaps for Pandora Tomorrow are similar to SC, and Chaos Theory was released for all three on the same day. And IGN really doesn't show much of a point difference in their review scores... not that they're the most trusted source in games journalism but at least that's one major player who didn't see much disparity across the versions. Rainbow Six is also awfully close among all the various iterations.

Top Spin, yeah, it came out 2 years later on PS2. Yes, that one is not even close. And yeah, same story with Crimson Skies.

But even with a big release gap, that wasn't really the point of the original commentary. The idea put forth was that "those types of games" were typical of Xbox and nothing else, and people who liked "those type of games" preferred Xbox over the others, especially given the JRPGs that typified the PS2 shelf stock (which is a false point anyway). My point was that "those type of games" are available for other systems, along with many other types of games, and that the Xbox really wasn't unique in that regard. Out of the four games quoted, only one is an Xbox exclusive (Crimson Skies) and that wasn't a wholly original IP anyway... nobody has listed any pure Xbox exclusives that truly defined, differentiated and sold the system. That's probably because there isn't that many of them, and most of them start with "Halo."

I also question what kind of Xbox Fanboy parameters unify a stealth action game, an airplane dogfighting game, a military simulation shooting game, and a tennis game... but, as I said, I think the true unifier for Xbox fans isn't genre preference at all, it's online play. People who preferred online play bought an Xbox... but having JRPGs on PS2 did not encourage developers to avoid releasing certain games on the system because they didn't think their games would cater to JRPG fans. That's absurd. The PS2 has the widest game library covering the most amount of genres simply because it is the better selling system and therefore has more consumers ready to throw money at it.

Re:Games... (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13997930)

Wait...do you really want to mention Rainbow Six?

At Gamerankings.com:

Rainbow Six 3 Xbox- 88% (pretty good)
Rainbow Six 3 PS2 - 72.1% (even lower if you take out the PS2 fanzines)

Rainbow Six 3 was another game that was essentially Xbox only (for the consoles).

And another game I liked.

Sure...go buy the PS2 version...it just isn't the same. Here is what Gamespot had to say about the PS2 version:

Unfortunately, the online multiplayer mode is stripped down from the Xbox version. It supports up to six players in a match (down from the Xbox's 16 players) and offers just three modes of play (down from the Xbox's five), all of which are variations on the deathmatch.


So if you want to play Rainbow Six (a multi-platform game) you are just getting ripped off if you go with the PS2 version. No...all things are not equal.

Re:Games... (1)

StocDred (691816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14005184)

You're ignoring my point, yet you still manage to prove it.

Once again, it is the enhanced online play that differentiates the Xbox, not the game's genre.

The original posting suggested that "these types of games" - of which Rainbow Six was mentioned - were indicative of the Xbox's game library and people who liked those types of games tended to stick with the Xbox rather than the PS2. Several people in this thread were complaining about "all the JRPGs" available for PS2 and seem to think that the larger number of JRPGs scared away developers and gamers who did not make/like JRPGs. My point was that "these types of games" are all available for the PS2 in near-enough form (come on, the difference between 72% and 88% is not all that much, especially in the world of game reviews!) and that it's not genre that distinguished the Xbox library, it's online play. Because the genres mentioned as being Super Awesome on Xbox are readily available everywhere else. There is no genre available on Xbox that PS2 does not have... and if there is, it certainly isn't among the games yet mentioned.

Re:Games... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13982752)

With all those story clichees I wonder if it would be possible to write an algorithm that creates a random JRPG (minus new twist on the combat system, obviously) by combining a number of clichees and whether that would pass the Turing test.

Re:Games... (1)

Digex (928229) | more than 8 years ago | (#13987691)

I wouldn't say you are a minority. Most RPG's worth playing are PC-based anyway (and even then it's MMORPG's pulling in the millions, not your console-based RPG in Japan). When was the last time you heard about WoW being huge in Japan?

ybox in the next six months. (4, Informative)

GoNINzo (32266) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980758)

So the Xbox 360...

SUCCESSES:
5. VIRAL MARKETING: Check
4. THE HARD DRIVE: Not the standard in all machines, which is major key to the original xbox. This might lead to a failure of the system.
3. XBOX LIVE: Check, all your box are belong to us! More invasive than before, even.
2. NORTH AMERICAN MARKET PENETRATION: Check, maybe, if the supply chain holds up.
1. THE ACQUISITION OF BUNGIE: Check, sorta, they are still there but without any radical or life changing games in the pipeline. Time to ressurect Marathon?
FAILURES:

5. THE "DUKE" CONTROLLER: The new controller is a lot different. Until I actually use it...
4. THE ACQUISITION OF RARE: This is going into the success column, I think, cause the new games they are working on.
3. THE CANCELLATION OF TRUE FANTASY LIVE ONLINE: Check, still not there. I'm sure they'll be working on MMO's for xbox 360 though. Hard drive required.
2. NO ASIAN MARKET PENETRATION: Without a massive games lineup change, I don't see this happening.
1. LACK OF GENRE VARIETY: On launch, the differences between xbox 360 games and previous gen games is so small, I think this is a major failure.

We'll see how the launch goes. Not much time left though...

Re:ybox in the next six months. (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980929)

Where the hell is the $4 billion loss on that list?

Re:ybox in the next six months. (1)

GoNINzo (32266) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981032)

Heh it's not a failure if they planned to do that from the start. The xbox had budgeted $5 bil in losses, but were sure they were going to make it a profit by the 2nd year. wait no, 4th. no wait, now. no wait... nevermind, about this xbox 360, huh? It's only a loss leader for the first year, really!

Re:ybox in the next six months. (1)

Serapth (643581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981042)

As to the controller, ive played with the new one at an EB store, and frankly, I want the duke controller back. It was by far and away the first controller that didnt give me carpal tunnel. Im kinda disappointed it isnt an option with the 360. The dreamcast controller came close, but for some reason with the button layout it seemed to big. Wasnt a big fan of the S controller ( I think it was called ), it was too small and finally the dual-shock would cramp my hands up within an hours playtime. Never did get a GC, but I heard the wavebird wireless controller kicked ass... cant verify or deny either way.

That said, I watched my 5 year old nephew trying to use the controller to play Forza, and it was too funny. Hey basically had to balance it in his lap, then use one hand to steer, and the other to either press the gas or break. I can see the value in the smaller controllers, just not to western adult males with normal sized hands. Looking back, even as a kid, im not sure how the hell I used the NES controller without bleeding everytime. Genesis had a nice controller though.

Re:ybox in the next six months. (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#13983109)

None of my brothers and I are exactly small, all of us are over six feet. You'd have to be a lot larger than I for your hands to not fit the S controller. My brothers and I use it for hours at a stretch and never even notice the controller, it's as if our hands have forged some kind of electronic mind meld with the videogame character. It's that good.

Second to the S controller is the Gamecube controller, very sweet. Then the Dreamcast controller.

Any of the playstation controllers are horribly atrocious for us to use. They feel clunky, awkward, and annoying. Hand cramping, finger strain, and wrist pain abound.

Re:ybox in the next six months. (1)

Serapth (643581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13983291)

The S controller may be fine, my experiences with it are limited to play time at friends. I bought my xbox and extra controller within a month of it being released when the S didnt exist, so its what I got used to. The damned thing fit like a glove ( except the black and white button placement, they were pretty bad ), so when I use an S, it feels small. That said, it doesnt cause me pain like the DualShock does.

Part that sucks, is the new controller seems smaller then the S. I hope its just the wierd angle the display units had them on, but sofar I dont like the trend.

2 Pages? (3, Insightful)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980834)

This is an on-line article. What do you mean there are two pages? Oh... There's really one one page of information split up to accomodate twice the number of ads. I get it.

Re:2 Pages? (1, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984718)

It's also a useful way to split up information from time to time. As much as a love my scroll wheel, I do appreciate not having to spend 10 seconds going back to the top of a page to look at a navigation menu or something that I remembered seeing up there.

Perhaps you'd find slashdot more enjoyable if they just put put the full text and every comment from all the articles on one big page. Then you wouldn't have to see any more of those ads that help support all this content that so many people participate in for free.

Damn some of you people are cynical sometimes. If IGO had put each and every one of their bullet points on a separate page, then your whining would make some sense. As it is, you're being way more childish than insightful, regardless of what some moderates may have thought.

Re:2 Pages? (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#13988083)

While I do agree that are situations where multiple pages might make sense, there is no way all the text of that article wouldn't fit nicely on a single printed page.

My primary gripe with this article is that there just as much screen real estate devoted to advertising (both of the site itself and of its advertisers) than there is devoted to content. If you have to push that much extraneous content in to publish articles for free, then maybe you should consider another line of business.

Live should be the number one success (2, Insightful)

indytx (825419) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980861)

The purchase of Bungie was important (and irritated quite a few Mac people, myself included), but Xbox Live is impressive. When I am considering whether a game is worth purchasing, I look first for whether the game is Live Enabled. Xbox Live verifies something that everyone should know, human opponents and team mates are more fun than AI. Xbox Live gives real value, because games finally have real replay value.

If there is any lesson to be learned from the Xbox, it is that people like to play against other people, not computers. Is Halo 2 the best FPS ever? No. There are better shooters on the PC, many of them play better on the PC, and they certainly usually look much better with the appropriate expensive hardware. On the other hand, Xbox Live allows for easy network play at all times of the day against opponents from all over the world.

Did I mention that it's easy?

Does M$ need a great MMORPG? Sure. Does it need to have other genres better represented? Of course. However, having online play on so many games means that you're never stuck trying to get past a certain level. You don't even have to play the single player games. Live is fun.

Besides, M$ never released Myth on the Xbox. What a bummer.

Re:Live should be the number one success (3, Insightful)

dividedsky319 (907852) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981071)

If there is any lesson to be learned from the Xbox, it is that people like to play against other people, not computers.

I disagree. This isn't true for all people.

If I'm sitting at home playing a game, and someone rings the doorbell, I can pause the game while playing against the computer. Or if something else comes up, I can save and turn the system off.

You can't do that when playing someone else. (Well, it's not polite to, at least) When I'm playing an online game, I make sure I'll have no distractions and I'll be able to dedicate my time to at least one game of whatever I'm playing.

When playing single player, or against a friend sitting next to me, you aren't "stuck" finishing a game. I feel bad making others wait, and hate when people do it to me in World of Warcraft. So... playing against a human isn't always better, IMO.

Re:Live should be the number one success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13987926)

If I'm sitting at home playing a game, and someone rings the doorbell, I can pause the game while playing against the computer. Or if something else comes up, I can save and turn the system off.

You can't do that when playing someone else.


The accepted etiquette in these situations seems to be to scream "laters, faggots!" and disconnect.

Re:Live should be the number one success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13981380)

How much are you payed to post on sites like this? Please email me and let me know if you have any job openings.

Re:Live should be the number one success (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#13982294)

Seeing that less than 10% of Xbox owners actually subscribed to Live ever (and we have no idea what number of those only did so for 1 month as part of free bundles) I'd say that the lesson to be learned is that online play really only appeals to a small fraction of console gamers. Calling 10% market penetration (at its best point, much lower at a sustained point) on your killer feature a success is suspicious at the very least. The way they were marketing it and pushing it as the reason to buy an Xbox, I'd consider it a dismal failure.

Re:Live should be the number one success (1)

Digex (928229) | more than 8 years ago | (#13987770)

I'd say that the lesson to be learned is that online play really only appeals to a small fraction of console gamers.

You still don't get it. Why are we on Slashdot right now posting these messages? That's right I want to interact with my fellow dotters. I'm not just reading this stuff, I'm interacting with the environment. Same principle with XBox Live and online gaming. Kind of like, not every response to a topic is the same the second time around. Your typical Halo 2 or BF2 match is never the same no matter how many times you've played on a given map. Tell me what single player game you want to play a hundred times over? Or how challenging is the AI of a game after you've discovered it's weakness? Think of it this way, MMORPGs are to RPGs, what Live is to Console gaming. Sony better learn this with the PS3.

Re:Live should be the number one success (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#13990220)

Right- we're on slashdot because we want to interact. Slashdot is a minority of the web. Even then, slashdot is a minority of my web time, I spend most of it just reading. Online gaming is a minority of console gamers. Even Live, touted as the Xbox killer feature, managed to get less than 10% of owners to buy it, despite many free month bundles.

You compare it to MMOs- mmos are a tiny market compared to gaming overall. Its niche software. The number of gamers willing to pay extra to play online is a small percentage of the total gaming market. Its big enough that someone will always address the market, but not big enough to make or break a console.

Oh as for playing single player games hundreds of times- I'm sure I have at least 100 games of civ logged. Other than MMOs I can't remember the last time I played a multiplayer game, it may have been back in college. So 4 years now. Spending time dealing with the immaturity of the average internet gamer just doesn't appeal to me.

Re:Live should be the number one success (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13983924)

My online gaming experiences have been full of kids typing obscenities, people I just can't compete with annhilating me at every turn and being accused of cheating when other players have lag issues.

I prefer to play against the computer because I can turn the AI difficulty up or down as I choose, it rarely trash-talks me and like others have said, can be paused.

I play for fun. I don't care if I never get to be a great player. It's not about that for me, and I don't have the time to invest anyway. Halo is a good single-player game, but without bots, I can't touch it for multi-player fun. I lose that part of the game, which is a shame because I think it could have been great.

X-Box Live is the most successful of the console online services, from everything I've seen, but it's not something I'll ever pay money for.

Re:Live should be the number one success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13987078)

M$

STOP!

Re:Live should be the number one success (1)

Digex (928229) | more than 8 years ago | (#13987733)

Does M$ need a great MMORPG? Sure.

M$ just needs to buy Blizzard and be done with it.

These "successes" (4, Interesting)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980900)

Are all overshadowed by the amount of money MicroSoft lost. Look, the Xbox 360 would need to be the most profitable console ever for MS to break even on this venture. No other company could sustain this level of loss. In fact, this sort of business model is precisely the sort of thing that our anti-trust laws should prevent. Microsoft must be paying some politicians a lot of money to overlook the Xbox subsidy in every Windows or Office license the government buys. It is a fucking joke to call this preversion of our economic system a success.

Re:These "successes" (1)

scolby (838499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981013)

What is wrong with a company investing profits from one product in another product it produces? All they're doing is keeping alive a product they think might one day be successful but just needs a little more time.

Re:These "successes" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13981205)

In general I agree with you that a company should be able to subsidize a product but I think that the main issue is a matter of scale.

The fundamental rule in capitalism is that competition is good, thus competition should be encouraged; this means that a company should be allowed to take losses in order to break into a market to encourage competition. The problem is that Microsoft seems to be willing to take losses so that they will dominate the market and thus eliminating all competition. Without competition what is stopping Microsoft from charging even more than $50 per controller, $60 per game or $400 per system? Without competition what is stopping Microsoft from bullying developers into unsatisfactory deals?

Re:These "successes" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13981261)

You're right. They should have just gotten out of the way and let Sony do it instead. They were half way there when the Dreamcast fell...

Re:These "successes" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13981759)

The funny part is, MS is charging $50 for first party games. The third party developers are charging $60. I never know where people get that MS is forcing the price increase.

Re:These "successes" (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13986593)

They can't yet, but that is the goal. Use one monopoly to create another, THEN raise the prices. They do not have a monopoly in video games yet so they will still undersell and subsidize. Then what? Oh, that's the good part. Yearly fees to play the Xbox. Non-competition clauses for anyone who wants to make games for them. Utopia! Oh wait, that's not utopia. That's ASS!

Re:These "successes" (1)

xx404 (755873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13986772)

It's not that simple. A company in a monopoly position can only charge what it likes when the product it is selling is a necessity. We are talking about a games console here, which is generally considered a luxury or non-essential item. Games are competing with other entertainment forms for your time and money so if the price is raised too high then people will find something else to do with their time and money, like watch TV for example. If the price is raised too high then not enough of the product gets sold and it ends up losing money, the market will still decide what it wants to pay; of course the price may be higher than if there were competition but a lower price can still be attractive to the monopoly company. The console business is also a very expensive business to get into so Microsoft makins a loss to enter it is good because they have the money to be able to compete in the first place. Other big companies could of course also try to compete but then you would also think that it's an anti-trust issue, or is it only Microsoft that is capabably of anti-trust violations? Not to mention that anti-trust is a complete farse anyway, it's a law that you don't know you've broken until it goes to court so a company is under constant threat of anti-trust as soon as they get to a certain size. Any law that is not clear as to when you are an offender should be abolished.

Re:These "successes" (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13986931)

Other big companies could of course also try to compete but then you would also think that it's an anti-trust issue, or is it only Microsoft that is capabably of anti-trust violations?

Yeah, you see there is this whole issue of a company losing $4 billion and counting to break into a market where everyone else must turn a profit to survive. The rules are different when you are a monopoly. What would be a good business practice for a non-monopoly can become illegal once you are.

Not to mention that anti-trust is a complete farse anyway, it's a law that you don't know you've broken until it goes to court so a company is under constant threat of anti-trust as soon as they get to a certain size.

Spoken like a true Republican. Read some history. Learn what a monopoly can become.

Re:These "successes" (1)

xx404 (755873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13987119)

It's not Microsoft's monopoly position in another market that enables them to lose $4 billion dollars in the console market, it's the fact that they are extremely profitable in another market. While in this instance we may be talking about a company that is a monopoly, as a general rule any company that has the cash reserves should be allowed to break into another market at a loss otherwise the barrier to entry would be too high. There is also a chance that this company will never turn a profit and end up losing in both markets. This could still happen to Microsoft. I'm not in favour of monopolies and I'm not a Microsoft fan either but I think it's not easy to set up rules that specify who can and can't enter a new market and think the market should be able to decide itself. Especially for non-essential items. As far as I can see there are few companies that are sitting totally comfortable at the moment.

Re:These "successes" (1)

Digex (928229) | more than 8 years ago | (#13987806)

Yeah, you see there is this whole issue of a company losing $4 billion and counting to break into a market where everyone else must turn a profit to survive

So it's ok for Sony (who you can say approaches being a monopoly in some of it's other markets) to do the same to Nintendo? Where was Sony in console gaming before the PS? Or would you prefer that Sony establish a monopoly in the console market? Give me a break, competition between two giants is good for everyone and the industry.

Re:These "successes" (1)

GeorgeMonroy (784609) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981036)

Oh please. So what if a company has a ton of money. If they want to throw it away to break into an industry then why should they not be allowed to do so? It costs money to make money. Get over it.

Re:These "successes" (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13982873)

Anti-monopoly laws say that when you have a monopoly (de-facto, it doesn't matter that there's some competition with 5% marketshare) in one market, you are NOT allowed to use the money made from it to sell goods under value in another market. That's because other companies in that market couldn't survive if they didn't make a profit on their goods while it's just a secondary market to you so you'd have a cost advantage. Since that advantage can do massive damage to the free market and is a very popular mechanism to create a new monopoly that practice is outlawed (dumping).

Re:These "successes" (1)

Krandor3 (621755) | more than 8 years ago | (#13987425)

Not quite. The monopoly laws say you cannot use a monology in one market to leverage a monopoly in another market. This is things like illegal bundling - a customer knows they have to buy product A and so you force them to buy your new product B as well. In the case of Microsoft, IE and Office are good examples of leveraging one monopoly to create another and force out competition. Just using money from one monopoly to start a business in a new sector is not illegal.

Re:These "successes" (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13987507)

There's a difference between entering a market and entering the market by dumping.

Re:These "successes" (1)

Digex (928229) | more than 8 years ago | (#13987866)

There's a difference between entering a market and entering the market by dumping.

What are you calling dumping? It's not like the XBox was priced at a severe discount to the PS2. Dumping would be enticing new customers on price alone.

Re:These "successes" (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981471)

Why do you think the 360 is coming out *now* and not in a year or two?

Hint: It's not to beat Sony out the door, because Sony wouldn't be releasing the PS3 nearly as soon if not to keep up with Microsoft.

The Xbox 360 is designed to be inexpensive to build and sell at a profit. Even Microsoft can't afford to lose billions of dollars, especially now that they have to pay out their stash of cash as dividends. So they have to get the newer, profitable version out right away. That's also the only explination for why they deviated from the otherwise excelent architecture of the first Xbox too. Xbox was well designed - everything a PC should be - and there was no reason Xbox 2 couldn't have been the same thing with a faster processor, faster GPU, and faster memory... But you need to make a profit!

Re:These "successes" (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 8 years ago | (#14033274)

Why do you think the 360 is coming out *now* and not in a year or two?

Hint: It's not to beat Sony out the door, because Sony wouldn't be releasing the PS3 nearly as soon if not to keep up with Microsoft.

The Xbox 360 is designed to be inexpensive to build and sell at a profit. Even Microsoft can't afford to lose billions of dollars, especially now that they have to pay out their stash of cash as dividends. So they have to get the newer, profitable version out right away. That's also the only explination for why they deviated from the otherwise excelent architecture of the first Xbox too. Xbox was well designed - everything a PC should be - and there was no reason Xbox 2 couldn't have been the same thing with a faster processor, faster GPU, and faster memory... But you need to make a profit!


Teh 360 isn't designed to be profitable anytime in the near future on hardware sales alone. This release date is to catch the 2005 christmas season and beat Sony to market. Sony initially planed a 2007 winter release but have moved it up to compete. The core compnents of the 360 even at a manufactuers price will be ~$600 USD as of november 2005. IT's sellign for $499.

The estimated manufacterers prices for the gear in a PS3 will be ~$550 USD, their also goign to be sellign it at $499.

Re:These "successes" (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14034583)

Why do people bother to argue with "estimated" data? Especially when the estimated data has tyipcally been wrong in the past?

I wish I could get actual numbers, but I can't because nobody releases them. I'd bet money though that the 360 only costs $450 to make in volume. Look at what's in it. Where does the money go?

Re:These "successes" (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 8 years ago | (#14036880)

Why do people bother to argue with "estimated" data? Especially when the estimated data has tyipcally been wrong in the past?

I wish I could get actual numbers, but I can't because nobody releases them. I'd bet money though that the 360 only costs $450 to make in volume. Look at what's in it. Where does the money go?


Lets assume yrou estimate is right (GDDR3 ram is expensive, so your estimate is pretty off). So microsoft spends $450 dollars to make the system. Now they sell it to wallmart/EB/Circuit city ect... for $150 and the retailer marks it up to $499. Microsoft has now lost $300 on each box.

Remember retail stores don't sell things for free. The standard mark up is to triple to wholesale price. Now even if for this product the whole sale price was higher say $300 Microsoft is still goign to be out money. The only console to make money when it was released in the last generation was the game cube. Both the PS2 and the Xbox cost more then it's retail price to make. a 3 core chip, no matter how efficiently made or special purpose or scaled will still cost ~$200 to make(Remember they purchase this from IBM, they don't make it). 512 GDDR3 ram will cost a lot more then DDR 2 ram to make of the same size, so lets assume Microsoft buys it for $100 from their supplier (they dont' make that), The GPU should be another at least $100 or so (they also don't make that). Lets assume they make the mother board, the controllers, the cables ectt and put it all together for another $150, and shippign and storage woudl make it close to $600 for each box. As their process gets better this price comes down, and someday they will make money on it. (Note: the original xbox stilld doesn't make money per box because they had to purchase all parts from suppliers so the price never really came down. But the retail price did).

So the assertion that the xbox was designed to make money form the start isn't correct. Even the retail mark-up defeats yoru estimate.

Re:These "successes" (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14037036)

GDDR3 ram is expensive, so your estimate is pretty off

You can get video cards with 256MB of it at retail for under $100. The memory is *not* the most expensive component on those cards. You do realize that the difference between GDDR3 and older technologies (like regular DDR, DDR2 and GDDR2) is that they *simplified* it to make it cheaper to manufacture, right? The reason they don't use it for general purpose PC memory isn't because it's more expensive. It's because they hacked features out of it. It's totally unsuitable, for example, for being used on a DIMM, or with long traces.

Now they sell it to wallmart/EB/Circuit city ect... for $150 and the retailer marks it up to $499. Microsoft has now lost $300 on each box.

Remember retail stores don't sell things for free. The standard mark up is to triple to wholesale price.


Let's stop right there.

There is no "standard markup". The markup depends on the product. Typically only "service" products have a markup greater than 100%. 25% is considered excelent for general retail goods. When the PS2 launched, retailers only made $2 in profit per sale. The wholsale price was only $2 less than the retail price. With Xbox, the wholsale price and retail price were identical... No profit. Stores sold them anyway, because margins are high on games and (especially) accessories. That's why stores sell bundles. If stores are selling the 360 for $499, you can bet that Microsoft is getting almost all of that... At least for the first few months. Even in the waning years of a console's life cycle, the margins never get up past 20%.

Ok, now that we've debunked your assumptions, there's really no point in discussing the rest of your comment.

Re:These "successes" (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 8 years ago | (#14037185)

Let's stop right there.

There is no "standard markup". The markup depends on the product. Typically only "service" products have a markup greater than 100%. 25% is considered excelent for general retail goods. When the PS2 launched, retailers only made $2 in profit per sale. The wholsale price was only $2 less than the retail price. With Xbox, the wholsale price and retail price were identical... No profit. Stores sold them anyway, because margins are high on games and (especially) accessories. That's why stores sell bundles. If stores are selling the 360 for $499, you can bet that Microsoft is getting almost all of that... At least for the first few months. Even in the waning years of a console's life cycle, the margins never get up past 20%.

Ok, now that we've debunked your assumptions, there's really no point in discussing the rest of your comment.


Have you ever worked in retail? Cloths have a 300% mark up, as does anything in food services. Electorinics range from 25% mark up to 300% depedning on the items. Computers generally have a slimmer mark-up, which is why a 256 mb GDDRS 350mzh GeForce 6800 is around $299, while the 550Mzh version is $399. Your $100 card is most likly DDR2. 700 mzh GDDR3 is still not cheap because aside from premium video cards, only the xbox 360 will use it so far. It may be true the Xbox sold at wholesale cost, even so $499 doesn't cover the intitial manufacturing cost.

Also, I forgot to include the price of a hard drive, since the $499 retail price includes a hard drive. Since the heads on a harddrive are the most expensive part, and hard drived never get cheaper to make the price is fixed through out the lifespan of the machine. HD's only come down in price per GB. This tags at least $50 onto the price of any machine. The intitial estimate came from Forbes which estimated the manufacturing cost of the PS3 will be $550 per machine when it come out next year. Apply mores law of transitor yeilds to that and increase the price appropriatly you will get $600 for the Xbox 360 since most of the compnents will have a similiar manufacturign cost, but 6 months premium to be paid for the technology.

Re:These "successes" (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14038473)

Have you ever worked in retail? Cloths have a 300% mark up, as does anything in food services. Electorinics range from 25% mark up to 300% depedning on the items.

Worked retail? Yeah, because joe associate knows shit about how the company makes money.

Oh, and yes I've worked retail.

BTW, You're just plain wrong. "consumer electronics margins typically average 15%-20%, compared with 25%-30% in other categories [multichannelmerchant.com] ".

Re:These "successes" (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 8 years ago | (#14038801)

Worked retail? Yeah, because joe associate knows shit about how the company makes money.

Oh, and yes I've worked retail.

BTW, You're just plain wrong. "consumer electronics margins typically average 15%-20%, compared with 25%-30% in other categories".


I have clothing merchants in the family the mark up is around 300%, as well computer retailers, the mark-up varies. Commodity parts are 5-10% while luxury parts like high end video cards are 20%-30%. Consumer elctronics varies as well, some products are 300% markup(cabling) while others like TV's are 20-25%. This is % over the wholesale price, not % over the final retail price.

Re:These "successes" (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14044364)

Well, you're right about cabling. Cable prices are rediculous. $300 for a "Monster" DVI cable (Yes, they're $300 at Radio Shack) is probably more like a 3000% markup... I also love how a 6 foot cable can sometimes cost twice as much as a 3 foot cable, even though 95% of the manufacturing costs went to producing and attaching the connectors on the ends... That markup goes mostly to the manufacturer though.

Anyway, the markup varies for consoles in the other direction. Just like how the manufacturers expect to make the majority of their profits on the add-ons and games, they expect the retailers to do the same. If you've got a local mom & pop style gaming store around, go ask them and they'll tell you. The few that are left near me don't even stock the systems; only games and accessories. Some managers at EB are friendly enough to discuss it to; especially if you're the type that spends thousands of dollars a year in their store. (Don't bother asking the associates at one of those chains though. They just make shit up, so if you do ge4t an answer it's probably not valid info.)

Re:These "successes" (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981481)

Why? It's not like Microsoft doesn't have to compete in order to end up making a profit at the end of the day/year/decade.

If Microsoft were producing shoddy games, and cornering the market, and being willfully deceptive with their games division, you'd have an argument. But right now they're far from a monopoly, clearly some people must like their games because they're selling, and even though it's bankrolled by the monopoly that is Windows, it's not like Sony or Nintendo don't have the cash to compete, either.

Were they to do this with the toilet paper industry, I would be in agreement with you. I hesitate to call video gaming a commodity, though.

Re:These "successes" (2, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981548)

Why? [...] But right now they're far from a monopoly [...] even though it's bankrolled by the monopoly that is Windows

You almost answered your own question. Being a monopoly isn't illegal. Using your monopoly in another sector to force out the competition, thus granting yourself a new monopoly with a different product is. If it weren't, new businesses wouldn't stand a chance, and eventually we'd just end up with one big company that had a monopoly on everything.

Re:These "successes" (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 8 years ago | (#13982022)

If it weren't, new businesses wouldn't stand a chance, and eventually we'd just end up with one big company that had a monopoly on everything.

Which is fine, but I still must ask... and then what?

We know that Microsoft didn't become a monopoly overnight, but instead happened to become, through marketing and better decisions, the biggest computer company in the U.S. When they illegally destroyed Netscape (and Netscape put out Communicator 4.8) that was a criminal offense. Was it one when the market share was 50/50?

If Sony is also selling boxes at a loss to maintain a market edge, is that not also a monopoly and an illegal practice?

Re:These "successes" (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13982491)

When they illegally destroyed Netscape (and Netscape put out Communicator 4.8) that was a criminal offense. Was it one when the market share was 50/50?

Yes, because it was the Windows market share that mattered, not their market share in the browser sector. But the Netscape case is a bad example anyway, because it's way too complex. Good arguments could be made for why Microsoft wasn't guilty there too, and they were essentially convicted based on a technicality (bundling).

If Sony is also selling boxes at a loss to maintain a market edge, is that not also a monopoly and an illegal practice?

No, because Sony doesn't have a monopoly. They make a profit anyway, so it's a silly question.

Re:These "successes" (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#13984699)

A lot of products take a while to end up being profitable for a company, it's a fact of business. You gotta spend money to make money. Sometimes the profits come a ways down the line, that's the way it works. It's kind of crazy in this case, because the gaming market is such a huge entity, and you really need a significant presence to stand a chance. So MS has had to spend a whole lot of money to get into the game. I don't think they're really doing anything illegal, immoral, or even unusual with the Xbox, they're just doing it at a scale that we're not used to seeing.

Re:These "successes" (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13986522)

The scale is what makes it questionable. No startup is going to have $4 bil to lose. Most existing companies do not have $4 bil to lose. This is the spirit of the anti-trust laws. How can most start ups and established business compete in a market where one company does not have to play by the rules of profitability? You might say that they are now, but how long does that last? This is the point. It is an unfair advantage. They shouldn't have that advantage.

Re:These "successes" (1)

xx404 (755873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13986813)

If only startups or companies that can turn a profit from the start are allowed to compete, how are we ever going to get competition in markets where there are already established players? Like the console market.

Re:These "successes" (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13986897)

Whatever. Companies we like can do whatever they want. Screw everyone else. There won't be any consequences to letting companies suppress competition. None at all. We certainly aren't experiencing any of those now. Nope. Everything is going swimmingly.

Re:These "successes" (1)

xx404 (755873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13987107)

I don't really know what you are saying, should a company that is a monopoly in one market not be able to enter a new market? Should they not be allowed to make a loss at all in that new market? What is the difference between a company taking risks to establish itself in a new market and it trying to run the existing players into the ground? How can you tell the difference? Where do venture capitalists fit into this? Sometimes startups get money from companies that are in a monopoly position. Not I'm not talking about Microsoft but companies in general.

Re:These "successes" (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13988485)

What is the difference between a company taking risks to establish itself in a new market and it trying to run the existing players into the ground? How can you tell the difference?

It's hard to tell the difference. It takes years in court to tell the difference because you're prosecuting intent rather than reality. If there's some internal Microsoft memo or some other sort of proof that their intent was to distroy the competition in order to take over the market, you'd have a smoking gun. If not, and that was their intent, they might get away with it.

Usually you have to succeed at doing something bad to get in trouble for it though, and Microsoft hasn't succeeded at taking out *any* of the competition yet, so this discussion is pretty pointless.

Re:These "successes" (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#13988673)

We aren't experiencing any of those bad things in the console market. I've been a mac fanboy for over a decade, so I've got no love for MS, but I can't see anything that they've done to hurt gaming as a whole. The only move they've made that's even upset me a little was buying bungie, because I was looking forwards to seeing Halo on the Mac. But I'm over that.

The Xbox has kept sony from completely dominating the market. It's given Nintendo some more room to maneuver. MS has created a quality benchmark for how online console gaming might work.. And in the upcoming generation, we're going to be able to buy some ridiculously high powered hardware for ridiculously low prices. The gaming market continues to quickly grow, there's tons of games on the shelves. What exactly has MS done that is so detrimental to gaming?

The gaming industry has its share of problems, but I hardly think MS deserves any more of the blame than anyone else.

Success is relative (1)

xswl0931 (562013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13982344)

Anyone who brings up the fact that XBox 1.0 lost a lot of money misses the fact that Microsoft EXPECTED this. They knew that to establish themselves as a serious player in the console business and to get brand recognition, they would not make money on the first version of XBox. This is not a surprise. I think that Microsoft expects to make money off XBox360, however. Now that the XBox Live infrastructure is complete, they shouldn't have to spend the money they did in R&D for XBox Live 1.0. They have better control of the manufacturering to keep costs down. Because of the "success" of XBox 1.0, they've signed on more Japanese developers. Success is only measured against the goals. If their goal was to make money, then obviously they failed. If their goal was to get brand recognition to set the stage for Xbox360, I think they've succeeded.

Re:Success is relative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13984519)

As they themselves announced, Microsoft expected to lose $2 billion in 5 years on the Xbox experiment.

Xbox lost them $4.5 billion in less than 4 years.

From TFA: (2, Interesting)

travail_jgd (80602) | more than 8 years ago | (#13981047)

"It instead competed by traditional means, and made the Xbox a success through its smart business practices, games, and focus on offering a central unified online gaming service."

Having effectively unlimited funds doesn't hurt either. Unlike other companies, Microsoft had no exit strategy [xboxsolution.com] if the XBox tanked -- other than pouring more money into it.

I once told a friend that with Microsoft's cash reserves, they could pretty much afford to give away 10-12 million XBox bundles and still have a ton of play money left over. Even if each giveaway cost the company $500-$1000, it wouldn't deplete their cash reserves. What other companies could afford to do that??

Re:From TFA: (1)

Thrakkerzog (7580) | more than 8 years ago | (#13982907)

According to the Reuters report, industry analysts expect Microsoft to spend up to $2 billion on the console over five years.

The article was posted in December of 2002. I guess the analysts were a bit off!

Executive Editor of Amped IGO here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13982778)

To handle the traffic we had to knock down the server for a very short period of time, so if the link is dead. It's only because we're only trying to restabalize the server to handle the traffic.

Not a bad article but... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13983595)

...I strongly disagree with one of the assertions made. In particular, I am a part of that vocal minority that thinks that Microsoft should have continued selling the big-hands original Xbox controller. Why not just keep selling it? I have gigantic hands, and I was forced to run around buying up used controllers so that I would still have controllers that fit my hands when there were no longer any non-busted original controllers. Also, Microsoft didn't invent a new controller because people were whining about the original being too big; they just repackaged the Japanese controller.

Re:Not a bad article but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13983964)

"Microsoft didn't invent a new controller because people were whining about the original being too big; they just repackaged the Japanese controller."

That's highly debatable. Remember, it took a while for Microsoft to bring the Japanese Controller S to the US market. It was finally brought to North America because a lot of people were like "Hey, why can't we get that."

Plus the minority you are in was mentioned in the article when the writer said, and I quote, "While there is a minority that does prefer the Duke over the revamped Controller S..."

Re:Not a bad article but... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13989922)

Plus the minority you are in was mentioned in the article when the writer said, and I quote, "While there is a minority that does prefer the Duke over the revamped Controller S..."

That's why I said I was part of "that" vocal minority, not "a" vocal minority. Please read my comments before you reply to them :P

Fantastic read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13986166)

While points are certainly debatable, it was a fantastic read. If the site continues to pump out worthwhile content like this, I will be a fast regular.
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