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Xbox 360 Blue-Ray Support, Achievement Addiction

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the still-waiting-on-the-great-games dept.

XBox (Games) 41

Fibonasty_Sequence wrote to mention a piece on Gamespy looking into the Achievement addiction that the 360 can provoke in gamers. Playing games with specific goals in mind can be lots of fun. In related news, these heady post-launch days have seen a lot of rumors that need to be sorted out. One that keeps turning up is the possible support of the Blue-Ray standard by the 360. From that article: "Microsoft clearly - and very understandably - doesn't want to risk lumbering Xbox 360 with an internal drive format consumers don't want, and while it's favouring HD DVD by announcing an external drive that can read that disc format, it wants to ensure it's free to support the BD if it has to."

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FIST SPORT! (0, Offtopic)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14455701)

340 dead towelheads in the Hajj.

IT'S NOT FUCKING ENOUGH!

This is a must (2, Insightful)

ecryder (851413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14455793)

for the 360 if it is not to be relegated to the junk pile within 18 mos. I spoke with 2 major US dvd manufacturers in southern california yesterday who have both phased out the pre-press operations for the hd-dvd format and are concentrating almost solely on Blu-ray. However MS wants to support Blu-ray - they need to do it...soon, too.

Achievements (3, Interesting)

Saige (53303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14455919)

I actually rented King Kong through GameFly just to play through it one evening and get the 1000 gamerscore. I'm actually going to pick up NBA 2k6 for the same reason - all 1000 points are easily achievable in only a game or two.

And I don't mind padding my gamerscore where available, because I still have plenty of noteworthy achievements to show that I do have my gaming prowess. My Grand Pearh Pooh-Bah achievement last night in Hexic is significant, and the Survive 1,000,000 in Geo Wars is a VERY HARD one to get - and I have it.

Whoever came up with the idea for achievements and gamerscore really needs to get a raise. This is huge - and not just for the increased competitiveness to gaming I'm sure it's going to bring, but I suspect it increases attach rate and helps out with game rentals, too. It's also wonderful being able to actually see which people run off at the mouth about their gaming skills and can't back it up, and those which can. You say you're good at DOA4? Let's see the grade achievements to prove it.

(Currently at 3185 [xbox.com] and growing. Should hit 3200 tonite with another chapter of Condemned.)

Re:Achievements (1)

strider2k (945409) | more than 8 years ago | (#14456429)

One thing that I don't like about the achievement system is people bragging they got the highest score in a fighting game. Sure, they may have earned X points for beating DOA4. But, that is just beating an AI. Human vs Human is a completely different story. As for adventure games, those are really good incentives for finding every single little specks of dust, I mean secrets, in a game.

Re:Achievements (1)

InsaneLampshade (890845) | more than 8 years ago | (#14457142)

You do realise that there are achievements awarded for online play too?

Re:Achievements (1)

strider2k (945409) | more than 8 years ago | (#14465085)

Yes I am aware of that. I was just commenting on people who claim they get XXX points from beating the AI blah blah blah and then claiming they are invincible and can beat any human. Sorry for the ambiguous remark.

Re:Achievements (1)

pnice (753704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14458042)

Yeah, after reading that I really want to rent King Kong and play through it to get the points. I've only got like 1010 points right now. I need to work on things a bit.

Re:Achievements (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459385)

Whoever came up with the idea for achievements and gamerscore really needs to get a raise.

Sounds like you haven't played games for very long. There used to be a place we'd go to called "the arcade" where if you were really good (or had lots of quarters), you could get your initials on the "high score" list...at least until they power-cycled the machines.

Re:Achievements (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14465198)

Old arcade high score tables aren't quite the same. So what, I got the high score on a game for a day. The next day, it might be wiped. Or even on the games that store the table over power down - that only means that anyone who plays that specific machine would see.

Xbox Live has leaderboards, so when I know I've made #77 on Hexic, I can know it's against more than a small crowd, but everyone on Xbox Live. And achievements are so easily comparable between friends and the like, that I don't think there's much similarity there at all.

Re:Achievements (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14468087)

The next day, it might be wiped.

You might try reading my post again.

Retarded Sideshow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14455991)

Microsoft has long past 'competitor' status to Sony and Nintendo. They no longer relevant to the battle between them and have become some sort of bizzaro sideshow to the main event.

Next up for the 360?

Firings for key 360 execs.
Cancelation.

High def dvd not really necessary in my eyes (2, Insightful)

dividedsky319 (907852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14456010)

This is slightly off topic, but it's something I've had on my mind.

Is anyone really THAT excited over high definition DVD? I mean... my progressive scan DVD player going into my DLP HDTV looks impressive as it is. I'd go as far as saying that anamorphic DVDs look just as good as watching a tv show in high definition.

Standard definition to High def for tv broadcasts is a huge jump... I couldn't go back. But, I really don't see how there can be as big a jump from DVD to HD DVD/Blue Ray when in my eyes, anamorphic DVDs look fairly high def already.

Therefore... When I do eventually buy a next gen system (Well, I'll be buying Revolution, but I may purchase PS3 or Xbox360 eventually once they drop in price) it won't be for its ability to play HD DVDs... that's just an added perk that I may or may not use. I don't really see these systems defining which will be the "winner" in the high def DVD debate.

We'll see, I guess.

Re:High def dvd not really necessary in my eyes (2, Interesting)

systmoadownfreak (943687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14456145)

I'm less interested in so-called "quality upgrades" going from DVD to HD-DVD, than I am the increased capacity of the discs. So honestly I don't care if it plays them or not. I'm thinking more along the lines of greater backup or transfer capabilities via dvd.

Re:High def dvd not really necessary in my eyes (1)

Leiterfluid (876193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14458149)

You are so right.

Most people compare the HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray debate to Beta vs VHS, which is inaccurate. Before both formats, there wasn't an established mechanism for television video recording. This is more like DVD-Audio vs SACD, in which case both formats have barely survived, because CDs are fine for most people. And, as far as I know, there's no way (nor any point) to rip multichannel music to a portable media device.

For most people, the DVDs they have in their collection is going to be as good as they need, at least for a few more years.

Re:High def dvd not really necessary in my eyes (1)

Kaldaien (676190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459909)

Your TV must be pretty poor if you do not notice the blocky artifacts from DVD's MPEG2 compression. No amount of upscaling will ever fix that, and noise reduction may smooth them out, but you lose details in other areas. I have seen video using the new Codec that HD-DVD and BluRay both use, and I can never look at a standard DVD or HDTV broadcast signal the same ever again.

I am looking forward to BluRay instead of Toshiba's cheap hack for one reason only -- larger capacity. It would be a tragedy if Toshiba won the war and we were stuck with a marginally larger disc than the original DVD disc format for the next 10 years. Other than that, I do not see a significant advantage to either format. BluRay discs will cost more to make, but the publishers would undoubtedly mark HD discs up to unreasonably high prices for early adopters anyway. It will not hurt them to pay a couple of extra cents to press a BluRay disc, when they charge perhaps $5-10 more per disc.

Re:High def dvd not really necessary in my eyes (1)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14460868)

There's tons of posterization and compression artifacts in DVD. DVD sucks balls compared to real HDTV. It is many times better than broadcast and VHS tho.

Re:High def dvd not really necessary in my eyes (1)

Keeper (56691) | more than 8 years ago | (#14461172)

If you think that DVD's look great compared to hi-def source material, your tv must not be that great. No, it isn't poor quality. But it is similar to the jump from VHS to DVD.

A widescreen DVD is encoded at 720x480. A 1080p hi-def display has a resolution of 1920x1080. That means the width is scaled by nearly a factor of 3, and the height is scaled by over a factor of 2.

You could display 4 widescreen DVD's on a 1080p display without losing detail and have a sizeable border between each.

Oh, hell yeah. (2, Interesting)

misfit13b (572861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14456076)

Achivements make me do all sorts of stuff I would have never thought of trying in games. They're most certainly the only reason I'm playing Call of Duty 2 on "Veteran" (the highest) difficulty!

As long as they aren't all set too easy (EA Sports games, King Kong) or too hard (Bejeweled 2, NHL 2K6), achievements are a great addition to my personal gaming experience, and will keep me playing games I might not have stuck with for as long.

Re:Oh, hell yeah. (1)

tapo (855172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14456352)

My personal favorite is Geometry Wars' Pacifism achievement, surviving the first minute without dying or shooting anything. I've been trying constantly for a week to get it, but to no avail...

Re:Oh, hell yeah. (1)

misfit13b (572861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14456529)

I like that one too, and that's the one I went for first. I heard the beep telling me I got it right before I died (cause of death: screen FULL of enemies). Since then, it's been guns blazing.

Of course, I didn't really learn much from that evasion lesson, as I'm still pretty terrible at the game. My best score is only a measly 100,000 and change. ;^)

Re:Oh, hell yeah. (1)

InsaneLampshade (890845) | more than 8 years ago | (#14457838)

If you think the pacifism achievemnt is hard... just wait until you start trying to get the survive 1,000,000! >_

Re:Oh, hell yeah. (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14465244)

Yeah, that one was a pain. The key is to not use any bombs until you hit 500k, then start playing very conservative and bombing at the first sign of trouble. You should have enough bombs to last, and since your multiplier is getting nice by that point, the second 500k is a lot quicker.

I started playing for that achievement, and was able to get it in about an hour of play.

Re:Oh, hell yeah. (1)

pnice (753704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14458100)

Same here with the Call of Duty thing. I would have never gone back to play through it again without the point thing going on.

What if some companies start to create games that really suck but are super easy to get gamer points on. Like...what if they made Snood 2 for the Xbox360 and sold it for $9.99? I'm guessing the game blows ass because it's only $9.99 for the Nintendo DS at Best Buy. Would people buy a crap game for ten bucks just to get a jump on their points by 1000?

my gamertag [xbox.com]

Re:Oh, hell yeah. (1)

pnice (753704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14458124)

and I forgot to add that I hate the fact that you can't remove a game from your list that you just played only once on the Xbox and didn't even try to get points on it. It's just sitting there....0 of 1000 points and you can't make it go away unless you rent or buy the game and actually get the points.

Ha ha. (1)

misfit13b (572861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14458368)

Very true. "11 Games Played - 485 of 3000 Gamerscore" makes me look even worse than I really am. ;^)

Re:Oh, hell yeah. (1)

misfit13b (572861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14458274)

Not for Snood, as that would probably be relegated to the Arcade (for a max of 200 points), but I hear ya. There's always a risk for point-whoring with everything, but that's when the ability to compare games on the xbox.com website comes in.

From there, I can tell that you have half of your points from COD2--which is a tough game to earn points from--as opposed to some known creampuff game.

On the surface, score bloat would look impressive, but could reveal itself with just a little digging.

The games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14456122)

from the still-waiting-on-the-great-games dept.

You got that right, Zonk. The current tripe available for the Xbox 360 is a bad sign for the future. Face it, Xbox 360 owners, you've been had. Your system is a non-contender. It'll go down in history with the Sega 32X and Atari Jaguar as one of the biggest flops ever in video game history. You might as well toss it in the fucking trash.

They're eliminating their killer app! (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14456241)

<joke>
If the 360 starts supporting Blu-Ray, they'll be eliminating thier fans most touted feature: Blu-Ray/PS3 trash talk.
</joke>

Seriously though, cue all the 360 fanboys who are going to have to switch from HD-DVD is way better than Blu-Ray so the PS3 sucks to "Built in HD players are overrated, I'd rather the machine was cheaper".

Xbox 360 addiction article... (1)

Somatic (888514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14456420)

in 3... 2... 1...

what? (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 8 years ago | (#14456633)

"Seriously though, cue all the 360 fanboys who are going to have to switch from HD-DVD is way better than Blu-Ray so the PS3 sucks to "Built in HD players are overrated, I'd rather the machine was cheaper"."

You do know that the 360 will use HD-DVD's only for movies, not games, right? Sony is including Blu-Ray as a punishment to the wallets of gamers just to push the format.

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14456946)

And here's the post of "Redmond Bob". The PS3 and Revolution are commiting suicide at the gates (ha!) of Microsoft! The Infidel Pigs will charge more for their vastly inferior games!

Re:what? (1)

Trepalium (109107) | more than 8 years ago | (#14465631)

You do know that the 360 will use HD-DVD's only for movies, not games, right? Sony is including Blu-Ray as a punishment to the wallets of gamers just to push the format.
You're absolutely right. There's no way it was done because some game developers were already pushing the limits of DVD-9. It certainly has nothing to do with the fact that the addition of high resolution textures would only make the 9GB limit for DVDs feel even more constricting. And there's no way that HD FMV sequences would take up more space, either! Nope, it's all gotta be Sony trying to gouge its customers again.

Certainly, Sony would like to leverage the PS3 to promote the market penetration of Blu-ray players over HD-DVD, but it's foolish to think that's the only reason why such a drive would be going into the PS3.

Seems to me... (1)

RealmRPGer (889362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14457159)

It's likely that Microsoft realized that since 1) 360 does not come with an HD-DVD drive and 2) Nobody else has released any HD-DVD players either that they realized they were fighting a losing battle, and, as always, Microsoft is quick to switch sides when there's profit involved.

Achievements + Scores = Next-Gen (2, Insightful)

CaseM (746707) | more than 8 years ago | (#14457895)

Achievements and scores on the 360 are the real "next-gen" feature of the XBox 360.

Forget the graphics (although they're great) and forget the other much-touted features of the 360 - achievements and high scores take that old-school high score competitiveness from yesterday's old-school arcades and make them relevant once again!

This is great for someone like me - a guy in his early 30's who doesn't have many gamer friends anymore and certainly none on XBL - because it brings back that arcade competitiveness right to my living room: enhancing replayability, upping the tension factor, and generally just making the games more fun. Whoever decided to make integrated Live and Achievements mandatory for all XBox 360 games was a genius.

Re:Achievements + Scores = Next-Gen (1)

CaseM (746707) | more than 8 years ago | (#14457919)

As an addendum to this, I must say that while I certainly plan on buying a PS3, after having played the 360 the lack of a centralized, integrated community will be one of the PS3's biggest disappointments (should it not materialize) no matter how profound its technical aspects or great its games. That's saying something.

Re:Achievements + Scores = Next-Gen (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459016)

BTW, if you're in need of XBL friends to play with, there are plenty of places to find groups of people to play with - and I don't mean the masses of teenage idiots. 2Old2Play [2old2play.com] is good for the over-25 crowd, and there are actually some decent threads on the Xbox.com forums.

Heck, for that matter, toss me a FR (PMS GibGirl). I have enough people sending me FRs for various reasons that I cycle some people through quicker than I'd like, but depending on what you play, I may be able to get you into some games to meet some other people. Once you start meeting the right people on Live, your friends list will snowball and you'll have plenty to play with.

Of course, this all presupposes you have a Gold-level account. :)

Re:Achievements + Scores = Next-Gen (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459663)

I'm as much of a Nintendo booster as you can be without cheering them on in a knee-jerk fashion, but I have to admit: the Achievements thing on X-box 360 is really, really great. (A better idea, in fact, than any of their in-store launch games.)

You mean Blu-Ray (1)

e03179 (578506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14457900)

It's Blu-Ray. The letter "e" was intentionally left out of the name to allow trademarking, as the term "blue ray" is a commonly used phrase and can't be registered as a trademark. Thanks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc [wikipedia.org] .

Gamer Score is a genius idea (1)

LordZardoz (155141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459464)

I suspect that the Gamerscore thing is one of the few elements that Microsoft has come up with that will be ripped off by Nintendo and Sony. It is such a simple idea, so easy to implement, but its implications are huge.

While its obvious that many gamers will simply not care one way or the other about their gamerscore, many of the hard core gamers will. This will have several consequences. some of which are already being noticed, and are mentioned in that article.

- Gamers will play games they otherwise might not just to pump their score.
- Games will probably incur a longer shelf life as gamers try to wring the last few points out of a game
- Gamers in X-Box live will have an idea of what games are being played by their friends.

There are several things I can see happening with these gamers scores that may take a while to become apparant.

- Games could have unlockable content based on gamer scores acheived in other games. Think of this as an extension of the Pokemon 2 cartrige strategy; in order to play 100% of a game, you are forced to play other games.

- It is probable that contests will be held where the gamerscore is a key component, such as 'first person to get all 1000 points in this game gets a free trip to E3'. Or 'first person to get 100 000 gamerpoints will get $100 000.

- It is probable that some games may get an additional shelf life simply by awarding gamer points if the game is played after a certain date, using the time / date features of the console.

- Matchmaking services will likley utilize the gamerscore to avoid Newbie Stomping.

- The data from gamerscores might be used to target in game advertising. If a player is known to like first person shooters, he may be seeing more ads for action movies.

The one thing I see as being absolutely necessary to happen is for Microsoft to become more involved in deciding how many points and how fast they should be given out. If it becomes too easy to get points from playing 'crapware' titles like "Barbies pony adventure", the hardcore audience will probably start to complain quite loudly about it.

END COMMUNICATION

Re:Gamer Score is a genius idea (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14460664)

I suspect that the Gamerscore thing is one of the few elements that Microsoft has come up with that will be ripped off by Nintendo and Sony. It is such a simple idea, so easy to implement, but its implications are huge.

The whole concept is predicated on a unified online system like Xbox Live. While Nintendo may have something out there like this for the Revolution (prompted by their need to cheaply sell old games online), Sony has said over and over that they're not going to do anything like Live. Without this, GamerScore is meaningless.

Games could have unlockable content based on gamer scores acheived in other games. Think of this as an extension of the Pokemon 2 cartrige strategy; in order to play 100% of a game, you are forced to play other games.

I wouldn't expect this to happen. You might see some cross-talk (get this achievement in that game, get this new thing in this other game), but that's something we've already seen before. For example, NFS:MW gives you a credit boost if you have NFS:U2 saves on your hard drive, and Gran Turismo 4 lets you carry over a certain amount of credits if you have a previous Gran Turismo 3 profile.

- It is probable that some games may get an additional shelf life simply by awarding gamer points if the game is played after a certain date, using the time / date features of the console.

Don't count on time-based unlockables, unless it's "play the game this long". System date/time is easily changed.

- Matchmaking services will likley utilize the gamerscore to avoid Newbie Stomping.

You can't assume that a gamer with a 3000 score is better than a gamer with a 1000 score when they may be playing completely different games. For example, a gamer who only plays Geometry Wars but is really awesome at it and has all 200 available points is in a completely different class than a gamer who played through King Kong and the EA Sports titles, getting cheap and easy points. However, Microsoft has already considered this problem, and developed the TrueSkill [microsoft.com] system. You have a TrueSkill value for each game you play, so the only way to prove you're good is to play the game. You can't pump up your stats in Madden and the go wreck a high-level PGR3 race.

- The data from gamerscores might be used to target in game advertising. If a player is known to like first person shooters, he may be seeing more ads for action movies.

Probably not in-game, but I could see this being used on the dashboard. If I play very few sports games, I don't really care that there are new gamer tiles available for NBA 06. However, if I play a lot of racing games, I really do want to know when there's a demo for Forza 2.

The one thing I see as being absolutely necessary to happen is for Microsoft to become more involved in deciding how many points and how fast they should be given out. If it becomes too easy to get points from playing 'crapware' titles like "Barbies pony adventure", the hardcore audience will probably start to complain quite loudly about it.

The hardcore have already been complaining for a while, now (with good reason when you look at some of the "achievements" in something like Madden -- you get 10 points just for clicking the right thumbstick). It's too late to do anything about the current games, but hopefully Microsoft is listening and will have more strict requirements for future titles. Then again, you can always see what achievements another player has, so while he may have a 3000 point gamerscore, you can tell whether it's truly valid or if he just padded it with "cheap" achievements. It's a balancing act between giving the developers some freedom and not pissing off the hardcore gamers.

Activision did it on the 2600 (1)

Saffaya (702234) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459763)

Atari 2600 games from Activision, featuring classics such as River Raid or SeaQuest, did include the aspect of game achievement and even reward.
If you would succeed in the task described in the manual, as for example getting a score of 10,000, you were invited to take a photo of your TV screen and mail it to Activision.
They would send you back a badge (IIRC) acknowledging your achievement in that particular game.
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