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CNN's Game Over On The 360

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the oblivion-is-the-killer-app dept.

XBox (Games) 442

An anonymous reader writes "CNN's Chris Morris has taken a look at Microsoft's new system. He calls the system 'good, but not great' in a fairly lengthy, well thought out piece. The article also has an amusing gallery of rejected prototype designs." From the article: "Admittedly, tastes vary - so you could easily find a game out this month that's a 'must have' for you. (We'll have a closer look at the launch games early next week.) But if you're looking for something that's ground breaking and sets the trend for the system (as 'Halo' did with the original Xbox), you're not going to find it."

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442 comments

Oooof.... (5, Interesting)

aicrules (819392) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056541)

that's gotta hurt. I expect that's probably the last Microsoft product that CNN gets their hands on early for review.

Halo (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056608)

What was so groundbreaking about Halo? It was a great game, but it was simply a first person shooter with a cool story. It was the first FPS with a cool story (Half Life). It didn't have extraordinary graphics. Very good, yes, but not like it embarassed the rest of the genre. Weapons were pretty standard. You got to drive vehicles but that had been done before too. I'm not knocking it but I don't see what was groundbreaking about it.

Re:Halo (5, Informative)

aicrules (819392) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056653)

It was the first console FPS that was actually playable with a decent control mechanism.

And on the marketing-side Halo had been at as high a level of anticipation and notariety as any of the FPS games of this era. Controversy (going from a Mac/PC game to just a PC game to just an XBox game) fed into that as well as the vehicles.

They sold a LOT of xbox consoles because of Halo.

Re:Halo (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056716)

It was the first console FPS that was actually playable with a decent control mechanism.

um can you say N64 Goldeneye??? Everyone always left it on the default control style (1.1 Honey IIRC) but if you switch to 1.2 Solitaire your skillz go through the roof. it used the analog stick to look around and the c-pad to walk/strafe

Re:Halo (3, Insightful)

aicrules (819392) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056871)

And as we know, to be groundbreaking to the masses, you mustn't require any deviation from the standard to be noticed by those masses. Something that simple to make a game that much more intuitive to play should have been caught in user testing and made standard. Little things CAN make a good game GREAT.

Re:Halo (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056786)

err, almost every other console FPS since the invention of dual analog sticks has has the same control system.

Re:Halo (4, Insightful)

Morinaga (857587) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056928)

I think this is a bit of re-writing history. It's said so often it's taken for granted now it seems. Halo was anticipated pretty highly when Bungie released the first screen shots of the game. Then the game got delayed. After that the game was gobbled up by Mircosoft Game Studios and was delayed even further due to the fact it was going to wait for the Xbox release. During these delays other released games rapidly caught up to Halo in the graphics department. Those original screenshots that hyped Halo so early in it's developement were quickly forgotten. Subsequently previews of Halo prior to the xbox release were friendly but not of the Earth shaking variety. There was limited anticipation, another decent looking FPS to share market with Quake 3, Unreal Tournament and any number of other FPS games out on the market. It wasn't until Halo gathered a bit of a following with the Xbox that it started to really become a bigger deal. What I'm trying to say is that Xbox did not come to market with a higly anticipated game that made the units sell, no one said this about Halo before the Xbox release. In retrospect it certainly helped Xbox stay afloat and Halo 2 gave it another large boost. That next Halo type game that will help push the 360 could already be in production. It could be Oblivion or Gears of War. Just like the original xbox release no one can be sure quite yet. This constant drum of how the 360 is worse off because it didn't have that "must have" game at launch is incorrect. No one felt that way about Halo when the Xbox first went to market.

Re:Halo (4, Interesting)

timster (32400) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056889)

For the same reason every other "groundbreaking" first-person shooter is called "groundbreaking" -- the state of video game criticism is atrocious.

Re:Halo (1)

NetRAVEN5000 (905777) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056964)

Halo was a lot of fun to play multiplayer, and most of the games up until then with a really good storyline were for PC. So I think the storyline attracted people to the single-player part, and then the multiplayer part drew in even more people. Even though most people liked the storyline, almost all of them liked playing against their friends - even the people who didn't actually own Xbox liked Halo because it was familiar since it was just like other FPSes but it did have one or two things in there that (most) other FPSes didn't - such as having 3 people in a Warthog, having teammates be able to sit on your tank, and the sticky nades which were a good equalizer for people who were new to Halo (I was really bad but I almost always managed to stick someone with a sticky nade right before they killed me).

Re:Oooof.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056650)

hell yeah, its by far the best console out right now, and we still dont know if the ps3 will for sure be better yet. (this is my site [therightcoast.net] so im not so anonymous)

What?? (5, Funny)

jackcarter (884148) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056542)

How can it not be great with 3 3.2GHz processors?!

Re:What?? (5, Funny)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056567)

How can it not be great with 3 3.2GHz processors?!

Not to mention the interchangeable faceplates! They make everything look faster...

Re:What?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14057002)

All it's missing is a 6' aluminium spoiler, performance exhaust (fart can), and some vinyl decals. Then the thing will look and sound like it's really fast!!!

Re:What?? (5, Insightful)

macaulay805 (823467) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056569)

Lets hypothetically say I have a Quad-Processor P4 System running at 8GHz. Does that make Windows any better?

Re:What?? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056727)

Nope.. and game developers are not used to coding SMP friendly software. There's a reason Doom 3 runs like crap on my dual xeon (with htt on it acts like 4 cpus..) I've found that i MUST disable htt to play games.

Re:What?? (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056959)

If you can find a copy, give Farcry or UT2k4 a try. They're usually on the cutting edge in terms of supporting "advanced" hardware configurations. I'm not positive, but I think one of them supports multiple processors.

Of course, you may not even like the games, which is fine, but maybe you'll want to give it a whirl just to try it. I imagine you'll have to download a few patches, but still. The results may be interesting.

And, who knows, once some games start doing it, more games (may) follow. And maybe in a year or two, multiple processors won't be a waste of money (on the gaming front). 3

Re:What?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056779)

Lets hypothetically say I have a Quad-Processor P4 System running at 8GHz. Does that make Windows any better?

Absolutely, it allows you to install Linux.

ebay? (4, Insightful)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056548)

The first of the next gen video game machines hits store shelves next week. Should you get one?

The short answer: Not on Day One.

What if you plan on making money because of the shortages and selling one overpriced on ebay for an extra 100-500$?

Re:ebay? (5, Funny)

Hey Pope Felcher . . (921019) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056583)

I believe this strategy is the current one being offered to Microsoft employees rather than stock options.

Needless to say the staff immediately plumped for the 360 and opted to sell short the Microsoft stock.

Simple Differences (5, Interesting)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056571)

X-Box isn't about cracking the best graphics or anything like that... its all about X-Box live and the multiplay capability.
Sony is still working strong on delivering the prettiest stuff. Nintendo is going for revolutionary technology (just look at the controller!).

The odd man out in this situation is Sony. Nintendo is taking a big chance which will (IMHO) cash them into tons of entertainment centers this upcoming year. X-Box has replayability simply due to the fact that you can play the same game over and over online and get a new experience everytime. Sony is just standing still. They either need to make some reliable online play a la Microsoft, go for something revolutionary a la nintendo, or they may be sitting in third place this time next year...

Re:Simple Differences (4, Interesting)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056623)

With so many of the new 360s having HDs, and HDs being necessary for emulation, does anyone have any ideas about virus' getting spread through the Xbox Live system? Maybe it simply can't happen, but I can't help but think that Xbox sales would suffer substantially if Live were ever poisoned. While nothing has happen with the Xbox, I'd think that the advent of a new technology would perhaps open the door that much farther.

Re:Simple Differences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056904)

You'd think you simply couldn't get a virus by reading an email or a website but somehow they find a way.

Re:Simple Differences (2, Interesting)

PyroPunk (545300) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056666)

X-Box isn't about cracking the best graphics or anything like that... its all about X-Box live and the multiplay capability.

I couldn't tell from the article, but it almost sounded like part of setting up the machine is creating an XBox-Live account. Is that right? Here's the part I'm referring to

When you first turn on your Xbox 360 and take care of initial set-up (choosing a language, time zone, etc.), you're prompted to either set up or transfer an Xbox Live account. Doing so is an easy, painless process that takes no more than 10 or 15 minutes. (You'll also need to set up an Xbox Live/Microsoft Passport account if you don't have one already).

I currently own an XBox and a PS2 and plan on eventually upgrading to the newer consoles, but I have never been interested in online play. I don't enjoy it, which is what turned me off of Final Fantasy XI, because it seemed like it was only geared to playing online. I would hope it's not something you have to do to be able to use the machine.

Re:Simple Differences (2, Informative)

lowe0 (136140) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056757)

You're just setting up a Silver account. It allows you to download content, purchase new features in the Marketplace, voice-chat with other users, etc. It doesn't let you actually play online.

So, don't worry. Single player games will still be necessary, especially for those who don't have broadband yet.

Re:Simple Differences (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056814)

Final Fantasy XI is a MMORPG like World of Warcraft. You can't play MMORPG offline. It doesn't "seem" to be geared towards online...it was designed to be a MMORPG which doesn't have a single player. In any case, even if XBOX did force you to make an account, they can't force you to play online. That is just silly.

Re:Simple Differences (1)

clayasaurus (758835) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056698)

The only thing revolutionary about the revolution is the controller.

Re:Simple Differences (2, Interesting)

Endymion (12816) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056793)

The controller? Meh.

It's all about being able to download NES/SNES/N64 games onto it. Such a huge library... it should only take seconds to download most old games, too. They are realy small by today's standards...

Re:Simple Differences (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056705)

X-Box has replayability simply due to the fact that you can play the same game over and over online and get a new experience everytime.

You know, it really depends on the game. To this day I can still fire up a game of Gran Turismo I and be just as happy with it as the first 104958215335 races I played. While I wouldn't mind online play I'm certainly not going to go about it via Microsoft's implementation (a pay-for network).

Re:Simple Differences (1)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056898)

You've obviously never tried to play online games on a PS2 to compare the difference between an obscenely cheap paid network and a "free for all" network.

Re:Simple Differences (2, Insightful)

Endymion (12816) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056731)

X-Box isn't about cracking the best graphics or anything like that... its all about X-Box live and the multiplay capability.

wha? *spit-take* ...

Muhahahahaha!

That's exactly contradictory to the annoying rhetoric I've gotten from every single xbox fanboy I've seen!

For such a long time it was "What? PS2? GCN? Never! We want the platform with superior graphics - slightly inferior graphics is so last decade!"

Heck... they even would go off on a rant about how the xbox has far superior sound or some such bs, even though it's still going over the same link quality 44.1kHz/16-bit PCM link to the amp in the end, anyway.

It's amazing how short memories are...

Re:Simple Differences (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056850)

For the record, I'm a not a fan boy. Don't own, nor never owned an X-Box or PS (played'm both, though)... I do own a Cube, but I play my PC more than my console (needed the console for zelda, metroid, and sports games).

Re:Simple Differences (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056863)

Sound? Dolby Digital beats Pro Logic II in my book. Personally, I like true surround sound when I'm gaming.

I'm an XBox fanboy (although you haven't technically seen me), but I'm primarily a videogame fanboy. Where fun games are, I will be.

Re:Simple Differences (1)

Trepalium (109107) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056867)

The funny thing about fanboys is that they never really have a rational view of things. You have the Xbox fanboys that will recite the fill rates from memory in defense of their platform, PS2 fanboys that will recite marketing drivel about the Emotion Engine, and Nintendo fanboys that are just plain sad (sorry!). When everything is said and done, though, it's always about the games. At this time, I wouldn't purchase a Xbox 360 because the games simply do not interest me enough to shell out that kind of money. The PS2 and Xbox did not appeal to me at launch, either. I eventually did purchase a PS2 when some games were released that I simply had to play. Still debating on if I should get an Xbox since the only thing I'm interested in is the XBMC and maybe the possibility of running a mythtv frontend.

Re:Simple Differences (1)

clontzman (325677) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056920)

Since the Xbox has the best graphics, sound and the best network gameplay, I'm not sure I see your point.

Re:Simple Differences (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056922)

What the hell are you talking about? The XBOX has better graphics than the other 2 consoles. For the 360 they are really focused about playing up its online capabilities. As far as who will have better graphics between the 360 and PS3 is yet to be seen (Nintendo isn't playing the graphics competition game, but I am sure their games will still be beautiful). You are confusing the current gen with the next gen. I can't really comment on XBOX sound capabilities because I haven't really researched it but just because something goes over the same link, does not mean it can't have better quality sound. I hate fanboys of any console...but seriously, you are clueless.

Re:Simple Differences (1)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056999)

Heck... they even would go off on a rant about how the xbox has far superior sound or some such bs

Well, that's somewhat true actually. The XBox is capable of Dolby Digital 5.1 sound during gameplay, while he PS2 is not. I have a PS2, and it will only play sound in 5.1 during prerendered cutscenes (or playing DVDs). It will switch back to Pro Logic II for gameplay. Take a look at the intro to MGS2 on the PS2 for an example of this.

even though it's still going over the same link quality 44.1kHz/16-bit PCM link to the amp in the end, anyway.

It's not the link that's the issue. The PS2 just isn't capable [dolby.com] of playing 5.1 during gameplay.

Re:Simple Differences (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#14057011)

It's entirely possible that FortKnox is not one of those people who was touting the X-Box graphics at the time.

I know it's easy to lump people together under the "fanboy" label, pretend they all think in exactly the same way, and treat any disagreements between them as hypocracy (since they are obviously contradicting themselves... even if they aren't the same selves... or something.)

As a Mac guy, I get that shit all the time.

"What??? You think Intel-based laptops are a good move? Hah! What a joke! Last week, you Mac fanboi's all thought Intel was t3h suX0rz!!!1!!eleventy-one!!"

The original X-Box had pretty good gameplay on a few titles, and very nice graphics compared to the PS2, which had a wider variety of games.

The new X-Box looks like it will be a step forward in performance, but perhaps not as great of one as the PS3 (which we have not yet seen... the PS2 was hyped as due to arrive with better graphics than the first X-Box, too. We know how that one turned out.)

They are clearly betting the farm on X-Box Live... which is probably the biggest reason why I'm not likely to buy the new console anytime soon. I'm not interested in paying $100/year (or whatever) on top of the cost of a new console until I know that there are titles out there good enough to make me want it.

Yeah, sony is so dumb. (3, Interesting)

Some Random Username (873177) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056862)

Online gaming would never work without a central system like xbox live. I mean, look at the PC. Nobody ever plays PC games online. Why? Because PCs don't have xbox live. They just let each game do their online thing however they want. Obviously nobody wants that, but sony is doing it just like the PC anyways.

Re:Simple Differences (1)

ndogg (158021) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056890)

X-Box has replayability simply due to the fact that you can play the same game over and over online and get a new experience everytime. Sony is just standing still.

The current generation XBox already has XBox Live. Sony may be behind, but Microsoft isn't moving anywhere with their new system. They're holding to the status quo, just like Sony.

Re:Simple Differences (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056951)

Maybe it is just me, but that controller is a real turn off. I really can't see myself enjoying holding a remote like that for any extended period of time. I am really in a wait and see mode with that thing. I think what will help Nintendo a lot is that it will be significantly cheaper. While it didn't seem to help it much this gen, the newer gen is going to be much more expensive and Nintendo can take advantage of that.

Wait... (5, Funny)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056584)

That's right, just go ahead and wait until later to get one. Especially if you're in the Redmond/Bellevue, WA area. Don't go out and wait in line for an Xbox 360. Just keep on playing on your regular consoles. Really, there's no reason to get one. You really don't want it now. You want it later.

If you're thinking you're gonna go wait at Best Buy in Bellevue, you're not. It's not worth the trouble. Just pretend it's just another day, and don't go out.

Please wait? The fewer the people that go out, the better the chance of getting mine. And I'm already planning to take Tuesday off of work.

Re:Wait... (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056787)

You sound like me when I worked in the electronics department...
"No, you don't need to come in on $insanely_busy_day, we'll have to later I'm sure."
"Ok."
(To myself:) "YES! One less customer to serve!"

He works for CNN (0, Flamebait)

Dysfnctnl85 (690109) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056594)

'Nuff said.

Mod parent informative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056878)

...or at least underrated. CNN has about as much relevance in this matter as Dvorak.

Submitter Needs to RTFA (5, Informative)

0kComputer (872064) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056596)

when he said "good but not great" he was talking about the games, not the system. Poster needs to learn how to read, very wrong statement.

But when it comes to must-have games, the Xbox 360 falls short. While there are several good - and even very good - titles that will be available at launch, there's nothing truly great.

Re:Submitter Needs to RTFA (1)

0kComputer (872064) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056630)

By the way, if the poster is going to put "good but not great" in quotes like the summary has, he better make for damn sure that exact quote is in the article, do a search on the article, no hits. This paractice of paraphrasing in quotes whithout mentioning to the reader has gotten out of control. If I see quotes, I expect to see that exact literal string in there.

Re:Submitter Needs to RTFA (1)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056707)

Uh, did you read the title of the article? Because it's there in 24px bold font. Did you remember to include the comma in your search string?

Re:Submitter Needs to RTFA (1)

aicrules (819392) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056836)

Can you really quote article titles? They often have grammatical ambiguities because they must be composed of so few words. The content of the article does nothing to support the title of the article MEANING that XBox360 is good, not great. It does say that Xbox 360 launch titles aren't all that spectacular, and that's reinforced by the fact that they compare it to the Halo release.

That all said, without including the games in your assessment of a console, the assessment is somewhat flawed. The difference, however, between this and what happens to unsupported platforms (like Amiga) is that XBox 360 WILL have great games. It isn't just empty potential.

How much clearer can it be? (4, Informative)

Aexia (517457) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056789)

Xbox 360: Good, but not great

Right there in bold in big letters at the top of the article.

Maybe the *moderators* should read the article? (2, Informative)

mcc (14761) | more than 7 years ago | (#14057018)

Xbox 360: Good, but not great. Right there in bold in big letters at the top of the article.

Perhaps people should read the article before flaming the Slashdot editors for not doing so. Or at least read as far as the article title.

Re:Submitter Needs to RTFA (1)

sehryan (412731) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056981)

Does it really matter? The games ARE the system. If the games suck, then the system sucks, no matter how great the system might be technically.

Misleading headline (0, Redundant)

clontzman (325677) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056604)

It's odd that CNN headlines this "Xbox 360: Good, but not Great." He's saying that there's no killer app launch title, but he has many good things to say about the actual hardware. Launch titles are rarely an indication of what's to come, and with the juice that the 360 is packing, there'll be some great stuff over the next six months.

In the meantime, you'll have to make do with Perfect Dark, Project Gotham, next-gen Madden, Kameo and Call of Duty. Systems have been launched with far less (I'm looking you, Fantavision).

Re:Misleading headline (1)

jbarket (530468) | more than 7 years ago | (#14057042)

Years ago, a few friends of mine and I spent two weeks in Spain. My Spanish isn't so great, so when I tried to order a screw driver, I ended up with vodka and orange Fanta instead. Up until this moment, I was sure that was the greatest Fanta moment of all time, but now you're telling me Fanta has its own console? Truly we live in a great time.

:ipostedsomethingretardedemoticon

Core Gamer? (5, Insightful)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056639)

Ultimately, if you consider yourself a core gamer, you've probably already pre-ordered a 360 (and hopefully, your retailer will be able to fulfill that pre-order - many are quietly letting customers know they won't be able to meet demand before Christmas).

I consider myself a core gamer and I wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot poll on launch day. I have my reservations about the 360 and to be honest, Microsoft hasn't done enough to get me excited about this launch. I'd pre-order a Revolution right now if I could. PS3 has some time still to either get me really excited or turn me off completely to the PS3.

I remember waiting eagerly for the PS2, Game Cube, and X-box. I couldn't wait for the release of these systems. I don't know if it's the fact that I'm a few years older or if it's the way these systems are marketed, or the fact that they just seem to be more of the same (except for the Revolution). But I'm taking a cautious approach to the 360 and unless things change will do more of the same with the PS3.

Re:Core Gamer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056843)

I consider myself a core gamer, just one working on a budget. My xbox is still perfectly fine (just got it last summer anyway), I'm sure it'll last till the 360 is under 200 dollars.

Re:Core Gamer? (2, Insightful)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056844)

The XBox 360 is the first system in a long time that has completely and utterly failed to arouse my interest.

Ooooh! Marginally improved graphics and mediocre games! How could I not want one??

I'm sure I'll end up getting one eventually when the price drops and better games are available, but at the moment I can barely muster the energy for a "meh". And that's remarkable considering that I'm a high-def freak -- in an age when most people don't have one high-def display, I have five. The XBox 360 is the first high-def console, and I find myself not giving a rat's ass, because I would rather have fun games than high-def any day.

Conversely, I am quivering with excitement about the Revolution. We haven't seen anything about the games yet, but it's Nintendo -- they will be stellar. I really don't have any doubt about that.

So, on launch day, when everyone else is unpacking their shiny new XBox 360s, I will fire up the ol' NES with The Legend of Zelda, and remind myself that the sheep have forgotten what fun is.

Re:Core Gamer? (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056970)

The XBox 360 is the first high-def console, and I find myself not giving a rat's ass, because I would rather have fun games than high-def any day.

Geometry [bizarreonline.net]
Wars. A $5 Live Marketplace game.

It's like someone threw Tempest, Robotron, and Asteroids in a blender, then added a ton of eye candy. Pure hard-core old-school 2-d shooter gameplay in the prettiest package I've ever seen. I think I'm more excited about this one than any other launch title. In fact, I can't seem to stop watching the video.

It just oozes gameplay and fun.

Re:Core Gamer? (1)

Yhippa (443967) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056873)

I agree. I got burned by the PSP and now more games are coming out but nothing that I really want to see. I also can't see myself buying UMD Videos to replace my DVD's. The new web browser functionality, "meh."

I am going to wait this one out this time. While I own all three of the current major systems, I don't have a favorite. I think this may be the case for me for the next generation of consoles.

Hey, you should do it too. Save like $900!

Re:Core Gamer? (1)

MisterJones (751585) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056906)

I think that age does have a certain amount of effect on how excited a console launch gets you. I remember wanting a SNES really, really badly. I was a real ass to my parents that year, but they still got it for me. Since then, though, I've lost some of my passion for it.

I got a N64, but after a year or so had passed. I own a playstation 2, but I got it at a pawn shop. I also have a GC, but they became so cheap so quickly that it wasn't much of an investment.

This time around, I don't think I'm likely to buy until a year or two has passed, and even then I'll probably stick with used. It isn't like the games are going anywhere, they'll still be around by the time I pick up a console. Plus by then there will probably be some better games out.

Needless to say, I buy most of my games used, and I love GameFly. Plenty of gaming experience for my buck.

I even won tickets to Xbox Zero Hour, and I don't care! I would go if they were giving the console away, but I'm not flying from TX to CA so that I can be blessed with the chance to buy a console before launch. What BS.

I feel sad for those people who wait in line the night before. I'm going to get the same gaming experience later on, and pay half price if that. All I have to do is be paitent.

Re:Core Gamer? (4, Insightful)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056974)

PS3 has some time still to either get me really excited or turn me off completely to the PS3.

I don't know about you, but the Sony rootkit has managed to turn me off completely to the PS3.

I'm not going to make the mistake of believing that the general public would feel the same way, but I can't understand why anyone who reads /. would even consider sending money to Sony.

Couldn't care less (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056640)

I must be getting old.

Re:Couldn't care less (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14057013)

Heck, I remember when consoles used to advertise how many colors they displayed and how many PCM sounds they could play at once... now it's all hi-definition, video-streaming, polygon-texturing, online-gaming shenanigans, and I keep thinking, "do I really need all that to play Llamatron 2112?"

Beware the Games (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056662)

I don't have an order for a 360, I'll wait. There are reasons for that (mostly price) but I have been following it closely. Here is the part I've found the most interesting.

Read the reviews of the games. The games visual quality varries drastically (reportadly). Take the GameSpot review of NBA 2K6. If you have a SDTV, it is almost indistinguisable between the XBox and XBox 360 versions (there are slight differences, but nothing noticible). But if you have an HDTV, things look agazing. During replays they say you could easily mistake it for real footage. There is supposed to be tons of animation and detail (ex: the player's shirts get wet with sweat during the course of the game). But while that looks great, they say that the croud and coach look almost like they did in the XBox version (so when compared to players, it is a bit of a visual jolt because of the quality difference). If you have an HDTV, it is supposed to be great.

Now take Tony Hawk's American Wasteland. With SDTV, it looks like the XBox version. At HDTV, it looks worse. That's what Gamespot says. The low resolution of the textures become apparent, they shimmer, and the models obviously have low poly counts (they mention it especially with the story footage scenes, as opposed to in game). This is what quick & dirty XBox 360 ports will often look like, I bet. If the game isn't designed for the system (or next gen) then it will probably look like this.

But the most important thing I've taken away in all the reviews is while things look beatuiful, there isn't that much difference if you still have a SDTV (like me). While I will buy an HDTV one day, it really sounds like buying an XBox 360 wouldn't be worth it right now for me (on a pure graphics basis). A killer game would be one thing, but they don't have any killer-apps for me yet (I want to play PGR3, but not that much).

I wonder how much this trend will continue. Will later games (1.5, 2nd gen) look better at SDTV than current games (excluding a little anti-aliasing), or have we reached the end of what SDTV can show us. My guess is the first category (because with games like Shadow of the Colossus you could have higher poly counts on the large monsters), but we'll see.

I've only seen the 360 in real life for about 5 minutes playing Call of Duty 2 on a 20" screen at Best Buy. While it looked nice, it looked just like any PC game to me (given: Call of Duty IS a PC game, so I realize that).

We'll have to reserve graphics judgements untill more native games come out (the few that are designed for the 360 like PGR3 are supposed to be amazing). But this SDTV thing is something I think more people should be aware of. I wonder how many people will plug in their 360 and their copy of Madden or NBA 2K6 and say to themselves "I spent HOW MUCH for this? It looks just like my XBox" because they only have a SDTV.

Re:Beware the Games (5, Insightful)

cafeman (46922) | more than 7 years ago | (#14057015)

I wonder how much this trend will continue. Will later games (1.5, 2nd gen) look better at SDTV than current games (excluding a little anti-aliasing), or have we reached the end of what SDTV can show us.

Considering that SDTV still manages to provide an image that looks much more realistic than any game on a PC running at 1700x1200 (consider a well mastered DVD), I think there's a long way we could go yet with SD games. HDTV on games is like polishing a turd (if you'll excuse the crass analogy). It looks like a prettier turd, but it's still a turd.

Fundamentally, computer games still look like computer games. That's not the way it should be. Going to HD rather than staying SD with more processing power only hurts the immersion and simulation of reality. What they should be doing is upping the poly counts on SD resolutions as much as possible to make it look better, not simplying upping the resolution and maintaining the current standard of "art direction". Lower resolutions mean you can spend more cycles on making things look better, not just making them look sharper.

Sony and Microsoft are using the Korean business model - market based on specs, probably mainly because they know men tend to buy into the whole numbers BS. I'm sure things will look better than the current generation of consoles, but I also think that fundamentally, they're chasing the wrong goal. I'm really hoping Nintendo goes in the opposite direction, based on their comments about HD. You don't need HD to have stunning graphics. We can't even do realistic SD graphics yet - how is moving to HD going to help the situation?

No killer app? That depends on who you ask (1)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056675)

Project Gotham Racing 3 is the killer app for a lot of racing fans. Granted that group of gamers is not as large as the FPS fanbase.

Forget the 360 Factor... (3, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056680)

When will Microsoft drop the price on the original XBox?

Re:Forget the 360 Factor... (4, Insightful)

Keeper (56691) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056738)

They won't. Microsoft is still losing money on every xbox they sell.

Re:Forget the 360 Factor... (3, Informative)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056996)

That's because of the hard drive. Hard drives don't get cheaper beyond a certain price point, they just get bigger.

So anyone complaining about the Xbox not getting cheaper better not have been complaining about the 360 not having a HD built-in, since you can't have both at once.

It has the potential to be great (2, Informative)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056711)

I agree that out of the box on release the 360 will be far from stellar, but thats to be expected. A system like this takes time to mature. Programmers have to gear up for a new platform and so on. There is definately no reason to jump on this especially at the high price. I would wait till Sony and Nintendo release theirs thus driving down prices.

gasmonso http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Another Take (4, Interesting)

Deinhard (644412) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056718)

The title of this [yahoo.com] New York Post article - Don't Buy the Xbox 360 - pretty much sums up that paper's attitude toward the system. It's another interesting read.

games for current consoles (4, Interesting)

StarBeamAlpha (852142) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056725)

Who cares out the next gen consoles, good games for the current consoles are being released like crazy so they can release before the new console wars if you haven't been noticing.

Still playing XBOX 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056729)

With so many good games on the XBOX and still good games coming out for it im going to wait a year or two before picking up the 360. Maybe the PS3 will be out and blow away the 360 by then too.

You can get a XBOX for $150 and play Doom3 and Half-Life 2 on it. Same gamea but not as pretty as the PC for 1/10 the cost of buying a gaming pc.

I played xbox 360 in best buy the other day... (1)

kevlar (13509) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056743)

I played Call to Duty on XBox 360 in a best buy and I have to say the game play was incredibly good. The only frustration I had with it was that I couldn't figure out the preset controls.

The game was smooth, very intense and very detailed. The resolution was absolutely insane. It was waaaay better than the original xbox, so I don't quite understand where this guy is coming from.

There are some people who are quite simply PS2 religious and maybe this guy is one of them.

Re:I played xbox 360 in best buy the other day... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056771)

I played xbox 360 in your mom's anus the other day. The graphics were amazing, but the smell left something to be desired...

Re:I played xbox 360 in best buy the other day... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056818)

There is nothing wrong with ps2 people. Microsoft sucks - they have halo and....? and how could you not figue out the presets... you press a button and see what it does (its not going to change). I think someone is below the learning curve and should go back to preschool to work on their moter skills.

Wha? (1, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056759)

"After the endless jokes about the size and heft of the original Xbox, Microsoft got it right. ...About the only thing that detracts from the visual appeal is the machine's enormous power brick. Fortunately, it's a bit easier to hide that."

What does weight have anything to do with the quality of the original Xbox?

They made the PSU external for the 360, now reviewers are complaining about that. I personally could care less if the damn Xbox weighed 10 lbs as long as it does what its supposed to do.

And the article says "it's probably worth waiting a bit."
Why? Will prices drop after the holiday season from $300/$400?



On a seperate note: This article doesn't mention it, but others have said that MS may switch from a 90nm mfg process for the CPU to 65nm. I understand how this benefits MS, but nobody has explained how/if it'll benefit the consumer.

Would it be better to wait for a 65nm cpu core since it should use less energy and generate less heat? Since it'll be a rev2 or rev3 design, I assume they'll have worked out any first run hardware issues.

Re:Wha? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056811)

Since it'll be a rev2 or rev3 design, I assume they'll have worked out any first run homebrew issues.

Fixed for the win.

Re:Wha? (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056874)

What does weight have anything to do with the quality of the original Xbox?

Perhaps entertainment centers cringed when they heard about the vast quantities of mass contained within that green X. Rumor has it that on launch day alone, three thousand entertainment centers fell to the height, weight and girth of the X Box...

Games sell systems. Xbox 360 has none. (5, Interesting)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056798)


The 360 has a disastrous lack of solid launch titles. Nothing is revolutionary.

They have no Halo.

They have no Elderscrolls.

They're left with Perfect Dark Zero (which at this point, being so close to launch and seeing no hype, we can only assume will be underwhelming), and Project Gotham (which most people already know will look stunning and be collecting dust within a week).

This is something of a disaster for MSFT, but not in anyway unpredictable. As someone who has worked closely with Microsoft for the last 10 years I've grown to understand how they make decisions: Its all about platform extension and repeat revenue streams. Very, very little thought tends to go in to creativity, design and consumer appeal. Microsofties tend to scoff at those things, holding instead to the belief that a superior business model leads to a superior product line. (What they forget is that they are now in the entertainment business and people could give a crap about their business model.)

More unfortunate for MSFT is the fact that Oblivion, one of their biggest system-sellers (if not *the* biggest) will be released for PC months before 360. Anyone who followed the Morrowind release knows why this is a big deal: The PC version was better supported, and had an enormous user community creating free (and amazingly good) mods for the game. That history, combined with the earlier release will cut deeply into the initial appeal for the 360.

I'll probably get a 360 -- next Xmas -- when there are some games to play.

Re:Games sell systems. Xbox 360 has none. (1)

clontzman (325677) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056829)

The 360 has a disastrous lack of solid launch titles. Nothing is revolutionary.

Launch titles have never been revolutionary. What revolutionary title did the PS2 launch with? The Gamecube? The Dreamcast?

360 is launching with a very competent lineup, though no (as the CNN article pointed out) killer app. It's hard to imagine that the same people who bought the original Xbox for Halo and PGR aren't going to buy the 360 for Perfect Dark and PGR3.

Revolutionary games will come in the second year and beyond, as they always do.

Re:Games sell systems. Xbox 360 has none. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056975)

I beg to differ.

The N64 had at least one revolutionary title at its launch.

Re:Games sell systems. Xbox 360 has none. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14056984)

Launch titles have never been revolutionary. What revolutionary title did the PS2 launch with? The Gamecube? The Dreamcast?

Super Mario 64 on N64. Enough said.

Wrong! The Editors Are As Biased As Can Be (2, Insightful)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056799)

The article isn't talking about the console so much as the games that are available at launch. Here are the quotes in context. Jesus editors, biased much?

While there are several good - and even very good - titles that will be available at launch, there's nothing truly great.

Admittedly, tastes vary - so you could easily find a game out this month that's a "must have" for you. (We'll have a closer look at the launch games early next week.) But if you're looking for something that's ground breaking and sets the trend for the system (as "Halo" did with the original Xbox), you're not going to find it.

Except for Nintendo, why bother? (1)

ndogg (158021) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056825)

We get shinier graphics for this new generation. Ooo, aah, whatever.

The generation before this (the N64 and Playstation) definitely needed obselescence. The Playstation had pitiful graphics and hardware, while the N64 had no space for anything useful.

Yes, this next generation will allow for shinier graphics, but the clarity of the graphics of the current generation already allow for pretty much the same games this new generation can have.

So what now? Will all games at least look like Doom 3? So now we can have four players playing Doom 3 on XBox 360? More people are still going to play Halo than Doom 3--I play Halo more often than Doom 3. Most, myself included, won't care that much that Halo will now look like Doom 3 (except brighter) once we're playing.

At least the Revolution is attempting something--you know--revolutionary (pun intended).

The current generation should just stick around for a little longer to give developers more time to work on more games (especially considering the enlengthening game development time), and just demand higher quality. This goes especially for the XBox, which is the most powerful of the three systems.

Launch Titles Weak??? (3, Interesting)

TheWorkz (866187) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056834)

I would have to say that the launch titles are ok/good and probably worth it for anyone who can afford it. I will be getting mine, but I have disposable money and already an HDTV. Why would microsoft waste a huge launch title like Halo 3, when they really need to save that one for the launch of the PS3! Come the PS3/Revolution Launch, Prices will drop, and they will drop the biggest title Halo 3 then. Its going to Hurt Sony!

What is a gamer to do (1)

superspaz (902023) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056869)

Setween Sony's CD rootkits and Microsoft's ... well a lot of things, what can a gamer buy without feeling like they are feeding THE EVIL.

I guess that evil spawn a whole new game storyline soon.

"It was the Humvee of consoles." (2, Funny)

sj88 (930814) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056908)

From TFA:

Even Microsoft admits the first Xbox was ugly. ("It was big," Xbox's Peter Moore said in August. "It was the Humvee of consoles.")

No, it was more like the Aztec of consoles.

Extend its lead? (4, Insightful)

Some Random Username (873177) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056938)

"And Microsoft continues to extend its lead in the online console marketplace."

They don't have a lead, Sony does. By a very large margin. "Close the gap on its competition" maybe?

Xbox 360? Looks cool. $60US/game? Screw that. (1)

BattleTroll (561035) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056986)

$60/pop? I haven't played a game in the past couple of years that was worth $60, especially on a console. Anyone going to pay EA $60 for Madden x360? Screw that. It's not like the games at release are ground breaking. No sequal is worth $60, no matter how pretty it looks.

Publisher greed is going to bite them.

Gaming News (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#14056989)

Why is this getting so much press? CNN isn't exactly a bastion of gaming news. There's a similar article from the New York Post getting circulated today. I'll stick to Gamespot and Joystiq when I want to hear an opinion about the video game industry.
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