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Kevin Bachus Talks Next-Gen Console Wars

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the finally-a-real-fight dept.

95

conq writes "In a piece on BusinessWeek, former Microsoft exex Kevin Bachus, who was part of the team who pitched the XBox to Bill Gates gives his opinion on the Microsoft/Sony gaming war: '...I believe that regardless of who comes out on top this time, the margin will be the closest it's been since the heady days of Nintendo and Sega. And as always, the winners will be the consumers and the publishers.'"

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95 comments

I KNEW it! (1)

chris_eineke (634570) | about 8 years ago | (#15149915)

former Microsoft exex Kevin Bachus
Microsoft kills their employees over, and over, again! ;)

Re:I KNEW it! (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#15149959)

I wonder if he's allowed to drink on the job, like his namesake :)

Bacchus' Wine grants beserk status, so obviously he'll continue to work until the battle is over, even if he's already been fired.

Oh really? (3, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#15149934)

Bill Gates gives his opinion on the Microsoft/Sony gaming war:

Gates later expounded that the army has acheived a stunning victory on the african front, completely routing our enemies in Eurasia and taking over a million prisoners. In other news, chocolate rations will be increased to 25 grams a week...

//two can play at hyperbole!

Hardware vs Software (4, Insightful)

Necoras (918009) | about 8 years ago | (#15149942)

As the PSP and various other high end systems have proven, it really doesn't matter what kind of hardware you have in your box if your games don't live up to it. I rather hope that next gen games will focus more on being fun to play, and more importantly fun to replay, than just fun to look at. I'm not too optimistic on the MS and Sony front as I've seen the crap titles that launched with the 360 and Sony's too bogged down with hardware problems to worry about listening to users. The Revolution looks promising in it's own way, but if it can't pick up a decent marketshare then all of the gimmiks in the world won't save it. We can only hope that the best games will come out on top, and not the best hardware tech.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

ZiakII (829432) | about 8 years ago | (#15150075)

The Revolution looks promising in it's own way, but if it can't pick up a decent marketshare then all of the gimmiks in the world won't save it


Usually Nintendo's best games are made by Nintendo so I don't see that even being a problem. Look at N64, not many third party games, but in my opinion the system was awesome, include that it was only $150 at launch.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

radish (98371) | about 8 years ago | (#15150328)

Actually the N64 was $199 at launch [wikipedia.org] in the US, that's about $250 in today's money. By comparison, that's not much less than the 360 ($299).

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

Krakhan (784021) | about 8 years ago | (#15150806)

In comparison to the initial prices of the Playstation and Saturn, the N64 had a lower launch price.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 8 years ago | (#15151743)

"By comparison, that's not much less than the 360 ($299)."

$399, you mean.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

radish (98371) | about 8 years ago | (#15152869)

No, I mean $299. That's the price of the 360 Core. The $399 price gets you some extra accessories, none of which are essential - or included with previous consoles.

Re:Hardware vs Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15153366)

They are essential. That core system can't do crap. By the time you buy the pieces just so you can save and 'enjoy' the games, you're up to about the 'premium' price. The system isn't even backwards compatible without the hard drive, $99 right there.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 8 years ago | (#15153804)

"The $399 price gets you some extra accessories, none of which are essential - or included with previous consoles."

Wrong. For $299, you don't get ANY option to save your games. The Nintendo 64 cartridges had memory in them so you saved directly to the game. Even though NOBODY wanted the Core system, I'll concede to $339. The cost of the core unit with a memory card. I'll just ignore the whole backwards compatibility and some games not running on it until you upgrade thing.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

radish (98371) | about 8 years ago | (#15153972)

I'll just ignore the whole backwards compatibility and some games not running on it until you upgrade thing.
Probably wise, since the N64 wasn't BC at all and didn't offer any bugfix mechanism (and don't tell me none of the games had bugs). I'm not aware of any games which need the HD to run, patches or no patches. But I'll agree that you need some kind of storage to get the most out of the console (much like the PS/PS2/NGC, etc).

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 8 years ago | (#15154170)

"I'm not aware of any games which need the HD to run, patches or no patches."

FFXI is supposed to require the hard drive. However, Microsoft has stated that they want their developers to work with both scenarios. Time will tell, so I'll let that argument rest for now. (That's what I get for talking about the 360 even though I don't own one. ;) )

There is a perceptual difference about the lack of a hard drive, though. As I mentioned, not many (and I mean very low numbers of people) wanted the Core system.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

rohlfinator (888775) | about 8 years ago | (#15155063)

And a pocket calculator in the 1970's cost $345, which is more than $1600 in today's money. By that logic, the 360 is a steal. ;)

I'm not picking on you in particular, just pointing out a fallacy that I see around here a lot. It's innacurate to compare prices to older technology, simply because the price of electronic components is decreasing so rapidly. It's virtually impossible to know whether the N64 or the 360 provides more tech for the dollar with respect to their own time frames.

Again, don't take this personally. It just kind of irks me when someone says, "I think the 360 is too expensive," and someone else responds, "it's cheaper than the Atari 2600 in today's dollars." This IGN article [ign.com] is perhaps one of the worst offenders. Technology has improved so much in the last 20 years... we should be expecting prices to go down, actually, as they have in other sectors of the electronics industry.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

radish (98371) | about 8 years ago | (#15150373)

I've seen the crap titles that launched with the 360
Pardon? There were 19 launch titles, that's pretty good in itself. That list included one of the best racing games ever (PGR3), a pretty fine WW2 shooter (CoD2), and a decent survival horror game (Condemned). All those titles have over 80% average review scores. In my world that's not "crap". I also happened to really like Kameo, Quake 4 and Amped 3, but the praise was slightly less universal for those. I challenge you to compare the 360's launch line up with that of ANY other console, and we'll see how crap it looks then.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

sageFool (36961) | about 8 years ago | (#15150520)

I thought by 'game mag law' all reviews have to be 80% or higher? ;) And arguably if out of 19 titles there is only one you think is kick ass and a couple that are pretty good, how amazing is the launch group really? I'm not saying they all suck, the xbox seems to be ok besides being associated with microsoft, but I'm holding out for the revolution of nintendo.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

PyroMosh (287149) | about 8 years ago | (#15151392)

The SNES launched with Super Mario World, Pilotwings, F-Zero, Castlevania IV, Actraiser, and that's just off the top of my head.

If we're talking "launch window" then I believe Sim City, Populus, Lemmings, Contra, and several other high profile games qualify as well.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

radish (98371) | about 8 years ago | (#15152952)

According to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] (and I have no idea if this is accurate) the SNES in the US launched with a whopping 3 titles: Super Mario, F-Zero & Pilotwings. I never played Pilotwings but the other two certainly stand out as great games of their time. Even assuming Pilotwings was just as good, we're looking at 3 great games - the 360 easily provides that, plus considerably more variety.

This isn't crazy MS fanboysim - I'm sure the PS3 and Rev will also have great launch lineups - but some people seem to have a rather blinkered memory when it comes to previous consoles. Whilst they may have gone onto great things, many had pretty small (and/or crappy) choices at launch. What I find particularly amusing with the current trend for bashing the 360 and PS3 for having too many sequels is that the launch lineup for the N64 was Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64! I guess F-Zero 64 was behind schedule...

If we're talking "launch window" then I believe Sim City, Populus, Lemmings, Contra, and several other high profile games qualify as well.
To which I offer GRAW, DOA4, Tomb Raider, Oblivion, etc. We can argue over which games we prefer for ever (though I have no intention of doing so!) but my point remains - the original assertion that the 360's launch lineup was "crap" is BS.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

justchris (802302) | about 8 years ago | (#15154380)

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I'll give you DOA4, and maybe GRAW, but there is no way Tomb Raider or Oblivion made the launch window. The 360 came out last year, the launch window ended December 31, 2005.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

Black Pete (222858) | about 8 years ago | (#15154691)

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I'll give you DOA4, and maybe GRAW, but there is no way Tomb Raider or Oblivion made the launch window. The 360 came out last year, the launch window ended December 31, 2005.

But considering that Microsoft is relaunching [slashdot.org] the XBox360, one might argue that the launch window is still open. ;)

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

tbannist (230135) | about 8 years ago | (#15159922)

If we're talking "launch window" then I believe Sim City, Populus, Lemmings, Contra, and several other high profile games qualify as well.
To which I offer GRAW, DOA4, Tomb Raider, Oblivion, etc. We can argue over which games we prefer for ever (though I have no intention of doing so!) but my point remains - the original assertion that the 360's launch lineup was "crap" is BS.


You seem to forget, opinions are suggestive. The games are "crap (to me)" as long as there are none that I want to play.

Kevin who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150014)

Did anyone else read this as Kevin Bacon? For the life of me I couldn't figure out why Kevin Bacon was commenting on consoles.

Re:Kevin who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150372)

Mmm, bacon.... *Drools*

What kind of job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150016)

former Microsoft exex Kevin Bachus

a former ex ex?
This guy must've really had an interesting time while working at MS.

What a WAR only one soldier ! (3, Insightful)

denisbergeron (197036) | about 8 years ago | (#15150036)

Do you see war somewhere ?
How someone can speak about war, when only one soldier was there !
Where PS3 ? Where Revolution ?
When PS3 ? May be in 2007 ? May be !
When Revolution ? May be in 2007 ? May Be !
What a war !

Re:What a WAR only one soldier ! (3, Insightful)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | about 8 years ago | (#15150218)

In Japan, the gamecube is winning the current battle against the Xbox 360.

Re:What a WAR only one soldier ! (1)

catprog (849688) | about 8 years ago | (#15153630)

Acording to the latest chart the 260 is finaly outselling the GC in the weekly sales.

Re:What a WAR only one soldier ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15154326)

You will be very very lucky if you can buy a nintendo DS over there.
The new DS generation disapeared from the shelves on a couple hours on the first day out, and even a few weeks later it's rather dificult to find one for sale.

Re:What a WAR only one soldier ! (1)

sehryan (412731) | about 8 years ago | (#15150587)

The Dreamcast could say the same thing at one point about its competition. First to the market means nothing, especially considering MS's problems getting them on the shevles of American retailers. They are only now able to meet demand. Of course, E3 is less than a month away, and if the PS3 and/or Revolution can show some hot stuff, I have a feeling many brand-neutral consumers will wait for those to hit shelves first before making a decision.

Re:What a WAR only one soldier ! (2, Insightful)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about 8 years ago | (#15150786)

The buzz on the Revolution is that it will be 3rd-4th Q 2006. Nintendo has been very tight on any information on the Revolution, which is why they havn't needed to say that it is delayed. In a sense this is a good strategy. And don't compair this with "Duke Nukem: Whenever" either... Nintendo has done this in the past and has always come through with the product.

Personally I am looking forward towards it. They are really the one one that is working on new features other then "bigger, better, faster graphics"... I mean seriously, if you just want bigger, better, faster graphics, get a computer. It will cost you 10x the price but at least you can do other things as well with it.

Re:What a WAR only one soldier ! (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | about 8 years ago | (#15151826)

Everything i've read has said that the revolution will be out by thanksgiving in time for the xmas shopping season. Personally i cant wait untill E3 and an official release date so i can pre-order the damn thing.

War? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150065)

Uh, there is no 'war' between Sony and Microsoft.

Microsoft is nothing more than a company that came in last place in the current gen console race behind Nintendo. And Microsoft's second entry into the console market is doing roughly two to three times WORSE than the first Xbox.

The 360 is:

1) Completely dead in Japan
2) Almost dead in Europe
3) Sold a pathetic 190k consoles in March in the US - five months into its life and it is getting outsold by the six year old Sony PS2

And there are 360 sitting unsold on store shelves in every major US retailer for over a month now. The 360 is on track to sell no more than three million units this year. That's one dead console.

The 360 is a marketplace failure. No one outside of the most diehard of Dreamcast and Xbox fans gives a damn about the system. Notice the major switch to pushing Vista gaming recently by Microsoft... They see the writing on the wall for the Xbox project.

The next gen race is going to be brutal between Sony and Nintendo - with Nintendo standing a good chance of actually outselling Sony in Japan this upcoming console cycle and selling probably around N64 levels in the US and Europe. Microsoft is no longer relevant to the console market.

Re:War? (3, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | about 8 years ago | (#15150178)

Uh, there is no 'war' between Sony and Microsoft.
Not with only one console on the market, no. PSP vs. 360 is hardly a war. But come December, I wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of commercial aggression.

And there are 360 sitting unsold on store shelves in every major US retailer for over a month now. The 360 is on track to sell no more than three million units this year. That's one dead console.
Actually, they are selling like crazy in my part of the woods. My area got royally shafted on supplies (I believe we only had 10 in the entire county at launch) and now the waiting list is being taken care of.

The 360 is a marketplace failure. No one outside of the most diehard of Dreamcast and Xbox fans gives a damn about the system. Notice the major switch to pushing Vista gaming recently by Microsoft... They see the writing on the wall for the Xbox project.
I noticed this not. Not in EB, not in FYE, not in Rhino, not in the smaller gaming shops, nada.

The next gen race is going to be brutal between Sony and Nintendo - with Nintendo standing a good chance of actually outselling Sony in Japan this upcoming console cycle and selling probably around N64 levels in the US and Europe. Microsoft is no longer relevant to the console market.
Nintendo may very well be the sleeper hit this year, but I wouldn't say Microsoft is no longer relevant. Even though I do not want a 360 personally, they seem to have enough features that people are enjoying to continue selling their products in many areas. (Case in point, the waiting list in this area continues to grow daily)

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150277)

Actually, they are selling like crazy in my part of the woods. My area got royally shafted on supplies (I believe we only had 10 in the entire county at launch) and now the waiting list is being taken care of.

I'd love to know why some people claim that the X360 is not selling, while some people assert that it's sold out everywhere. It's apparently being both a total failure and a great success, at the same time.

Also, TFA is bullshit because it doesn't include Nintendo. Just because they aren't participating in graphics circle-jerking doesn't mean that they aren't releasing a new console that will compete againts the X360 and PS3.

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150400)

"while some people assert that it's sold out everywhere."

Those would be marketing drones at one or more companies hired by Microsoft to try to flood the net with people claiming "to be desperately searching for a 360 everywhere but just can't find one because it is so darn popular!!!"

You basically get a bunch of guys being paid minimum wage all sitting in a room:

1) Create accounts all over the Net on high profile discussion boards
2) Generate an innocuous post history on these accounts that indicate no indication that they are anything but average and uneventful 'normal folk'
3) Slowly start using these accounts to flood the boards with whatever is the target message, ie 'sold out everywhere'
4) Use other accounts to backup/modup the 'on message' postings

You can usually catch these guys when the try to claim they can't find a 360 anywhere or have never seen one in stores or some other BS when you get them to either refuse to say which city or they give a city and a bunch of people all jump in and talk about the huge stack of 360s they just saw at such and such store in that city.

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150897)

1) Create accounts all over the Net on high profile discussion boards
2) Generate an innocuous post history on these accounts that indicate no indication that they are anything but average and uneventful 'normal folk'
3) Slowly start using these accounts to flood the boards with whatever is the target message, ie 'sold out everywhere'
4) Use other accounts to backup/modup the 'on message' postings

That sounds alot like what nintendo fans do, except a little different:
1. Create accounts all over the net on high profile discussion boards
2. Generate an innocuous post history on these accounts that indicate no indication that they are anything but average and uneventful 'normal folk'
3. Slowly start using these accounts to flood the boards with whatever is the target message, ie 'nintendo isn't pure shit'
4. Use other accounts to backup/modup the 'on message' postings

You can usually catch these guys when the try to claim nintendo doesn't suck ass or some other BS and a bunch of people all jump in and talk about how the games suck, the console sucks, and the company sucks.

Re:War? (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | about 8 years ago | (#15151152)

Astroturfing aside, there is truth to both statements.

Where I live, (Sharon PA) I can get a 360 IF it's a core system. If you want a premium system they're still hard to come by.

As for the grandparent. I see fake grass with the smell of plumber. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Console_wars [wikipedia.org] , Xbox is beating the Cube by over 3 million.

Sony PlayStation 2: 100 Million
Nintendo GameCube: 20.61 Million
Microsoft Xbox: 23 Million

And that using more up to date Nintendo sales figures.

The only thing going for the revolution is price and emulation (That and the controller that sounds more like a Power Glove every time I hear about it.). If any of the other competitors start doing this (And they can. The 360 and PS3 will have more than enough power to emulate just about anything previous generation, and prices will drop eventually) Nintendo is done home console wise. in Fact. Nintendo is so happy with DS and GBA sales that the revolution is just icing for the cake. Even if they sell 0 revolutions, DS and GBA sales will easily make up for it.

Most likely, it's going to end up PS3, 360, REV Unless Sony royally screws up, Ms can't fix the overheat problems, or the revolution puts out tons of killer app games at a dirt cheap price level.

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15152497)

Where I live, (Sharon PA) I can get a 360 IF it's a core system. If you want a premium system they're still hard to come by.

That is what I have noticed as well; from what I have seen retailers can not give an XBox 360 core bundle away because everyone knows that, between the wireless controller and the Hard-drive and (temporary) memory card, the Core console will cost them $100 more to get the system they want. This still isn't a good sign for Microsoft though, had people had the option to buy the PS2 when it was released (immediately) and have it cost them an aditional $100 over list, or to buy it 3-4 months down the road, people would have spent the money.

The only thing going for the revolution is price and emulation (That and the controller that sounds more like a Power Glove every time I hear about it

To be honest, the first time I heard of the 'Analogue Stick' on a controller I was reminded of my old Colecovision and the crappy stick they had on the controller; that didn't mean that after 15 years of research and development that people couldn't come up with a better implementation. The fact that it is a 6 axis control, with a pointer interface, that is remarkably accurate should make it a little more interesting than the MATEL made powerglove (Remember kids, Nintendo did not make the powerglove )

Most likely, it's going to end up PS3, 360, REV Unless Sony royally screws up, Ms can't fix the overheat problems, or the revolution puts out tons of killer app games at a dirt cheap price level.

You know what I find interesting, the same people who said Nintendo's Gimicky DS didn't stand a chance against Sony's Super PSP (with the leet PS2 graphics and the Uber-Awsome UMD Movies) are the same people who say that Nintendo's Gimicky Revolution doesn't stand a chance against Sony's Super PS3 (with the Leet next generation graphics and the Uber-Awsom Blu-Ray movies).

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15151385)

"Not with only one console on the market, no. PSP vs. 360 is hardly a war"

Reality check.

The 360 is in a war with the PS2 and GameCube.

It is a war it is losing, badly.

The 360 is losing the war against the GameCube in Japan. And it is getting slaughtered by PS2 by some 30 to 1.

The 360 is losing the war against the PS2 in the US. The PS2, which came out five years ago, is outselling the 360 by 50-100k units a month.

So, no, 360 "are(n't) selling like crazy" in your, or anyone's "part of the woods".

Microsoft is on track to be the first company ever to get its ass kicked TWICE in the same console generation.

Re:War? (5, Informative)

MayonakaHa (562348) | about 8 years ago | (#15150245)

And there are 360 sitting unsold on store shelves in every major US retailer for over a month now.

Someone send those unsold consoles down here to San Antonio so we can get all the customers off our backs! Every major and minor retailer here hasn't been able to keep them in stock more than a day. We got 18 of them the other day and sold out within 4 hours. I'm wondering if that 190K number is because the areas that need more consoles don't have them and the ones that have them in abundance have already sold to all the customers that wanted them.

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150353)

Come up to Austin/Round Rock. We could build the alamo out of 360s up here.

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150455)

Costco up in Austin has a ton of them.

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150894)

Most of the people I know at work that have consoles do not have the XBox360 due to lack of desire for the system. The popular systems (most to least): PC (not a game console, but the most popular), PS2, XBox, GameCube. Only one person out of the twelve or so gamers in my department has the XBox360. The others aren't talking much about XBox360.

Out of my son's friends, the order is pretty much the same although PC is not usually listed at all. I know only one friend of my son who has the XBox360 and he's a kid who pretty much has every system that comes out.

I've seen extra systems in several of the stores in the Maryland area (Howard County) but I'm not in the stores often and I may just be lucky to be in when they have some in stock.

Generally the conversation about games/consoles is focused on the games more than the consoles though. I'm more of a PC gamer myself but as far as consoles go, I'd probably place my preference as Nintendo (like the Zelda games, just don't have time to get into them lately), PlayStation (titles are OK but lots of bad ones to weed through), and XBox comes in last (some sports titles have been OK for the original XBox...haven't seen the XBox360 in action).

Jim

Re:War? (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | about 8 years ago | (#15150280)

No one outside of the most diehard of Dreamcast and Xbox fans gives a damn about the system.
Why do so many people assume that dreamcast fans are also xbox fans?

Re:War? (1)

ronfar (52216) | about 8 years ago | (#15150526)

I think that's just intended as Flamebait, or else the comment author was raped by a Dreamcast fanboy at some point.

Re:War? (1)

MayonakaHa (562348) | about 8 years ago | (#15150546)

Maybe it's cause since WindowsCE "powered" (meaning some functions had something vaguely to do with WCE even though it usually sat off by the wayside, almsot never used) that Dreamcast fans MUST be XBox fans.. you know.. Microsoft and all.

Personally, I love my Dreamcast and don't really care for either XBox. My friend left me his for a week and even modded and loaded up with videos and emulators and extra features, I touched it maybe three times that entire week. I usually either stuck with watching tv/dvd's on my TiVo or playing games on either my PC or GameCube.

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150673)

The Dreamcast/Xbox relationship come from this history:

Dreamcast is announced
Console companies decide the system is not worth supporting, focus on the upcomming PS2
Dreamcast hits the stores
Dreamcast fans decry the lack of developer support for the system
Dreamcast fans latch onto the 'Sony killed my Dreamcast with teh Hype' damage control meme
Sony goes on to dominate the industry once again with the PS2
Microsoft decides to enter the console market with a pc in a big console box
Dreamcast fans latch onto Microsoft in a 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' type of thing
Sony destroys Microsoft in the marketplace
Dreamcast(now Xbox fans) become even more bitter that Sony killed another one of their console with 'teh Hype'
Dreamcast(now Xbox fans) latch onto the 360 ...

Of course not every single Dreamcast fan went through that progression, but a massive number did(and still are).

Re:War? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 8 years ago | (#15150742)

There's only this one troll who thinks that. He makes one or two posts in every XCircle story proclaiming how the "Dreamcast 360" will fail. I'm surprised he isn't pulling his "Cell is the second coming!" routine today.

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150868)

You're the only one in this entire story talking about the "Dreamcast 360"...

Let's look at what is being claimed.

The Xbox 360 isn't technically dead in Japan, but it is close enough. It is selling, what, 1000 units a week over there?

I haven't seen any Europe numbers for the 360 recently, but last I checked it was selling at less than half the rate of the 360 in the US. That isn't really dead, but that is still very bad.

And the 360 is selling at half the rate of the first Xbox in the US.

Feel free to post different numbers if you have better news for the 360. Maybe the 360 will suddenly start selling at a decent rate next month, but so far Microsoft isn't going to get anywhere near their lowered sales targets for the first six months.

It's selling at half the rate of the XBox.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15151478)

Because they're sold out, and selling every single box they can ship. If they could manufacture and sell twice as many, they'd still be sold out.

It's a pointless statistic, to say it's selling at half the rate of the XBox. It's simply not comparable, because they're selling every single box they can get onto a store shelf.

Re:It's selling at half the rate of the XBox.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15151565)

Bzzzttt!!!

But thanks for sharing the latest Xbox fanboy Damage Control Meme. You guys do manage to stay on message like no other group of fanboys can.

The damage control meme for the first Xbox marketplace failure was 'Microsoft wasn't really trying since it was their first console' but 'they actually did 'better than expected''

See the beauty of that damage control is there is no way of demonstrating it as false since no matter how ridiuculous it sounds, only Microsoft would truly know their own motivations.

The problem with your new damage control meme for the 360 is people can see for themselves the 360s sitting on store shelves unsold. And they can hear for themselves Microsoft's various announcements of increasing production over the last few months and the continued pathetic sales of the system in all three regions.

Why don't you head back to teamxbox, brainstorm a little, and get back to us with a better 'why the 360 isn't really a failure' meme?

We'll be playing our PS2s,GameCubes, DSes, and PSPs while you do...

Re:It's selling at half the rate of the XBox.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15153415)

I call shenanigans. Within a ten mile radius of where I live, there are six Best Buys, three Circuit Cities, eight Super Wal-Marts, four Costcos, and at least four dozen smaller stores, from EB to the independents. I regularly visit them as I videogame on all platforms. There are ZERO X-Box 360s to be had at any of them. Zero. Not even core systems. And this is in a metropolitan area of four million people. They receive shipments and they sell out immediately.

X-Box 360 is a complete sell-out, achieving 100% of the market penetration it is capable of reaching with each new shipment. Even the Playstation 2 didn't have this sort of staying power six months in. They were the first movers and it's working - the only problem is that they can't ship the items fast ENOUGH, and that's a positive problem. Meanwhile, Sony can't throw away the crown fast enough, what with pushing an overpriced system, shackled to blu-ray and inscrutable DRM, and their handheld being clowned WORLDWIDE by a portable deck that's half the price. My PS2 might have to last for a while - I won't be in any rush to get a PS3 this time around.

Re:It's selling at half the rate of the XBox.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15157680)

I live in Boone, NC near a university of 14,000 students (and a lot of really bored kids, there's nothing to do in the mountains except drugs and video games) and we only have one walmart. Every time I go to walmart they have at least 2 premium systems there. I would figure since we got a lot of frats and nerds, then xboxes would be sold out, but they're not.

Re:It's selling at half the rate of the XBox.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15157802)

Yes, I don't know what people are hoping to accomplish with these crazy sold out everywhere claims.

Since at least early March 360s of both types have been in stock in varying amounts at the local:

BestBuy
Target
Walmart

The only place it seems to actually be sold out is EB.

I just saw a confirmed sold through number of around 1.5 million 360s worldwide so far. That is shockingly bad for five months of being on sale. The 360 has pretty much fallen off the radar. I don't hear anyone talking about it. With so few 360s sold, there should be millions of people out there about not being able to get one.

Re:War? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 8 years ago | (#15156960)

I haven't seen any Europe numbers for the 360 recently, but last I checked it was selling at less than half the rate of the 360 in the US. That isn't really dead, but that is still very bad.

That's normal. If it was selling as much in Europe as it's selling in the US that would be strange because so far all consoles had less than half of the US sales numbers in Europe. The US market for videogames (or at least consoles) is about twice as large as the European one. I think the distribution is different with PC games but the XCircle doesn't qualify as a PC, no matter how you look at it.

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150432)

That sounds like the kind of FUD of which Microsoft itself could be proud.

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150555)

The US March numbers are probably the first definitive sign of the 360 being destined for failure.

Microsoft has talked about how they have been ramping up production and getting more systems out to retailers, yet the number of units sold has been declining every month since launch.

If you add up the monthly totals for the system and extrapolate, the 360 isn't going to get anywhere close to 3 million units by the end of 2006 - and that is being generous and ignoring the clear downtrend the sales have had since launch.

With so few 360s having been sold there should be millions of people all over the Net screaming about not being able to find a 360. There appears to be almost no demand for the system now that the hardcore Xbox fans have all rushed out and bought one.

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15150790)

Nintendo sucks. They will never be the top selling console, because while it may have good games, ps* and xbox* have good games, AND good graphics. Nintendo fanboys are always claiming that theyd rather their game be fun than good looking, but fail to mention that xbox* and ps* games are both.

Nintendo fanboys might also have you believe that nintendo is "revolutionary", but this is no more than blatant propoganda. The nintendo DS was supposed to be revolutionary with its two screens and touchscreen, but I have had a dual monitor setup for years, and a touchscreen pda I play games on for nearly as long. Now they're trying to pimp their "revolutionary, never been seen before" remote control technology on their weak console, and are going to fail at it.

Nintendo fanboys claim that by producing a crappy console, and charging less for it, it will compete in a class of its own, but don't realize that consoles compete with other consoles.

So if you want a crappy console with an endless stream of tetris remakes, get a revolution, or a DS, or a gamecube.
If you want a revolutionary console, with fun, graphically advanced games, get a PS3, or an XBOX360.

Re:War? (2, Interesting)

ooze (307871) | about 8 years ago | (#15150944)

You know what? I never owned a console. I haven't even played any computer games in the last years apart from the few weeks until WoW bored me. I'm seriously considering to get myself a Revolution now. It looks interesting and fun. And now I finally can have it all! Playing games with one hand, having the beer in the other. That controller could even make real time strategy and 1st Person shooters playable on a console. Not my favourite kind of games, but just the fact that you have a comfortable pointing device on the console now opens up so many possibilities.

Re:War? (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | about 8 years ago | (#15151222)

Umm..best buy says they don't have a single premium 360 in any of their stores in ARIZONA. So much product on the shelves.

Re:War? (1)

drewmca (611245) | about 8 years ago | (#15153834)

The meme police are looking for you. You're under arrest.

Seriously, insisting that the 360 is dead just to get the idea out there when all other evidence indicates that it's doing just fine is getting a bit old. really. We're tired of it. People won't start thinking "the 360 is dead" just because you planted the idea in their heads. Not when numbers speak otherwise. And even if they did, you're only talking about the slashdot community, who probably wouldn't buy a microsoft product anyway.

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15155236)

"The 360 is a marketplace failure. No one outside of the most diehard of Dreamcast and Xbox fans gives a damn about the system."

Hello... Reality calling. I know you arn't really interested in hearing from me, and want to maintain your own twisted view of the 360 but I'll try anyway...

I've been an avid console gamer for years; having owned the Megadrive, SNES, PS2 and Gamecube consoles. I skipped on the original XBox's because the design was... so american, so aweful. I never even owned the Dreamcast.

Now, I'm actually giving the 360 a go this round. It's been really good so far actually... I'm sure you are sorry to hear. The design is alot less 'yank-tank' and more sleek. The games are more appealing. The interface (both software and controllers) are superb. Live is great, and the media extender capabilities the icing on the cake.

I'll be getting a Revolution as well, but unless Sony manages to pull off something really special, the PS3 looks to be a expensive debacle that I will be avoiding. I suspect I'm not the only one.

Industry Has-Been Shoots Mouth Off: Film at Eleven (4, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 8 years ago | (#15150197)

After jumping ship from Microsoft to Infinium, like a dot-bomb era flea, Bacchus' opinions are worth next to nothing in my opinion. The man fucked the dog for the sake of a ridiculously obvious scam that's resulted in nothing but ridicule, frivolous lawsuits and vaporware; anything he has to say about the industry he clearly has no understanding of is a desperate attempt to rebuild his annihilated credibility.

Re:Industry Has-Been Shoots Mouth Off: Film at Ele (1)

F_Scentura (250214) | about 8 years ago | (#15150854)

"who was part of the team who pitched the XBox to Bill Gates" is the "I invented the internet" of console gaming.

Thank you (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | about 8 years ago | (#15155149)

While I'm sure he knows a bit more about the industry then most, I wouldn't trust him to tell the truth anymore than a used car salesman.

Bacchus has zero credibility. I hope Infinium paid him well, because I wouldn't trust him with another system launch.

Very important article! (1)

tehpwn (896928) | about 8 years ago | (#15150479)

Random Dude talks about some unpredictable outcome! He is from Random Company! You have to read it! And click ads, please!

Between Nintendo and 360 (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | about 8 years ago | (#15151310)

I see the war being mainly between the 360 and the revolution, unless the following becomes true:
1) The playstion 3 is NOT $600-700 as stated by a the french sony spokesman (no link, on /. backlog)
2) They are able to hit xmas US 06 with ample supply (I think they will run into the same probs as the 360).

Number 1 is based on the fact that 600-700 is way too much for a console. Buying another controller, recharge kit, and game, and you're already into middle ground PC costs, plus you can get a 360 and a revolution for that price. Sure, they have blu-ray, but I'm betting I'm not the only one waiting for Apex blu-ray/HD-DVD combo players for $50, and I bet we'll see those within a year or two.

Number two is based on the fact that if they run into the same supply problems as the 360 (like they did with the playstation 2) then it means we won't even see the console in stores until 3-6 months after release, giving the 360 and revolution more time to establish a decent game base, and is a greater chance for people to say "screw it, I'm not waiting 6 months, there are 360s and revolutions on the shelves right now...".

Sony not $600 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15153357)

I see the war being mainly between the 360 and the revolution, unless the following becomes true:
1) The playstion 3 is NOT $600-700 as stated by a the french sony spokesman (no link, on /. backlog)
2) They are able to hit xmas US 06 with ample supply (I think they will run into the same probs as the 360).
Reign in those horses. That french SOny spokesman was misquotes in a sense that was lost in translation. He wasn't saying the PS3 was going to cost $600-700. He was saying it would be more than worth the price just because of Blu-Ray playback. Now of course he's a bloody idiot but he was an idiot over one thing and you're accusing him of being an idiot over another.

I'd link to show you but it's on the Slashdot backlog check it yourself.

Bachus - Bacon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15151334)

Kevin Bachus was in Microsoft with Bill Gates, who guest starred on "Frasier" with Kelsey Grammer, who was in "15 Minutes" with David Alan Grier, who was in "The Woodsman" with Kevin Bacon.

Re:Bachus - Bacon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15152646)

Kevin Bachus was in Microsoft with Bill Gates, who guest starred on "Frasier" with Kelsey Grammer, who was in "15 Minutes" with David Alan Grier, who was in "The Woodsman" with Kevin Bacon.

Although a kevin bacon number of 4 is pretty impressive, for those of you that revel in the obsucure, here's how he might get a kevin bacon number of 3...

Kevin Bachus was working on Xbox at Microsoft for Bill Gates...
Who cameoed on "Frasier" the same episode as Jennifer Jason Leigh...
Who was in the movie "In the Cut" with Kevin Bacon...

or perhaps even more obscurely...

Kevin Bachus was working at Microsoft with Bill Gates...
Who cameoed on "Frasier" which normally has "eddie" the dog played by Enzo the Dog or Moose...
Who both also appeared in the movie "My Dog Skip" with Kevin Bacon...

however, maybe a case can be made for a kevin bacon number of 2...

Kevin Bachus worked on Xbox at Microsoft with Seamus Blackley...
Who left to join Creative Artists Agency which is the same agency that represents...

you guessed it, Kevin Bacon!

The Next-Next Gen will be interesting (1)

Tom (822) | about 8 years ago | (#15151759)

Everyone - and that doesn't mean just us geeks - knows that M$ has never built anything even remotely good before it hit version 3.0

So whatever comes after the Xbox360 will be what's interesting. Xbox was just a test to see how many dumb people the console market offers (result: A lot). Xbox360 is M$'s try to do a proper console, and like windos 2.0 it's behind the competition and isn't there, yet. But Xbox720 (or whatever) will be like windos 3.0 - almost there, and good enough for way too many people.

There'll be no "war", except in the media, of course ("console war!!! OMG!" just sells much better than "not so spectacular console comparison made"). Just look at the architecture of the PS3 and you see how much more advanced it is. But M$ has deep pockets, a lot of stamina, and will sink another couple billions into the loss-leader just to get market share. And then when Xbox4 or so comes out, they'll have had enough paid-for-by-the-consumer beta tests to make a product that is good enough, cheap enough and has enough of the industry behind it to drive it home like a piledriver. The choice for most people then will be "Xbox or no console?", pretty much like it is with computers today.

That's where they're going. So move on, nothing to see here, this "war" is just a training excercise.

Re:The Next-Next Gen will be interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15151906)

Oh goody, some dimwit and the Microsoft and Version 3 crap again.

It's like some idiot showing up at a party and trying to impress people with the detachable thumb trick...

PS. The 360 is selling worse than the first Xbox dummy, so Microsoft is burning money right now to LOSE MARKETSHARE.

The difference (1)

News for nerds (448130) | about 8 years ago | (#15157771)

You should keep it in mind that gaming console is not like an office productibity suite or an operating system for business machines. It's entertainment business. If money is the only way to the success in entertainment business Bill Gates would have become a rock star by now.

XBox Needs Japan, according to MS (1)

LoveMe2Times (416048) | about 8 years ago | (#15152338)


According to this [dsrevolution.com] , the 360 is going nowhere in Japan (note: I can't vouch for the accuracy of the page, but I have no reason to doubt it). And these are recent numbers, about a month old. In addition, remember this:

"Microsoft's head of games division, Peter Moore, has repeatedly said that there would be no true success for Microsoft without Xbox's success in Japan," Sensui said.

Taken from a recent article here [reuters.com] .

Ok, so the 360 has been selling about 1000 a week in Japan. We're like, what, 15 weeks into the year? That puts them on track to have around 150,000 units sold by the end of the year. Sure, as the Reuters article states, they're going to release more games, but once people already think you've bombed and the PS3 and Rev are getting really close, who in their freakin right mind is going to jump on the 360 bandwagon (in Japan)? For reference, the DS Lite sold over 100K IN ONE WEEK. The PSP has sold over 3 million in Japan, and is still a luke-warm success (being outsold by the DS + DS Lite 5-1 week by week).

I'm having trouble finding non-Japanese numbers, but MS themselves said they needed success in Japan, and the numbers just don't look good.

Not at these price points... (1)

gorehog (534288) | about 8 years ago | (#15152505)

An xbox360 at best buy costs $399.99--unless you go for the lesser core system for $299.99

I can only assume that a ps3 will be in that higher price range, around $400 to $500 at release (and as a side note thats when MS will drop the 360's price, or offer free games with it, or free xbox live or something).

A Mac Mini costs $599.99 and can dual boot into windows and then run all those MS compatible games.

I think a lot of people are going to consider the nextgen consoles way too expensive for too few features and opt for a Nintendo Revolution as Nintendo seems to be the "baragain label" these days.

Re:Not at these price points... (1)

SenatorOrrinHatch (741838) | about 8 years ago | (#15152590)

Yah right. Maybe someone with vision will make a console for adult males with jobs, as opposed to college students and kids. Maybe it will cost a few hundred bucks and make good use of a several-thousand dollar huge flatscreen HDTV. And maybe then, like the original nintendo, everyone who sees it will say "Wow!"

Re:Not at these price points... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15154403)

Actually, the mac mini has an intel graphics chipset, and not the ati chipsets the imacs have. It can't play games like Oblivion and Fear.

No one cares about game content? (0, Troll)

mjhacker (922395) | about 8 years ago | (#15152784)

Everyone complains about the console wars one way or the other: M$ is greedy, $ony $ucks, Revolution controller is dumb, etc. But as for myself and a few other people I know, we've already made our decision.

Whatever console has the best games, we're going to buy.

I've made this statement before, and I'll make it again: whichever console has the best/most RPGs wins. That single statement has been true for the past 4 console wars (NES won, SNES won, PS won, PS2 won. All of them had more RPGs than the competing systems; granted, that's not to say that the other systems didn't have good games or good RPGs, but the opposing system simply had more). I'm willing to bet that the 360 has no RPGs to speak of (Oblivion doesn't count), and therefore I'm not going to buy it. Now, that of course is my own opinion and personal experience, but I'm not the only one who feels this way. Mark my words: whichever console has the most and/or best RPGs WILL win. Four other systems can't be wrong.

And just as an after-thought, 360s are currently sitting on my local Wal-Mart and Hastings shelves gathering dust.

Re:No one cares about game content? (1)

drewmca (611245) | about 8 years ago | (#15153859)

And why, pray tell, doesn't Oblivion count? Because it doesn't have a Saturday morning cartoon plotline and feature remarkable dice rolling that the player can watch (I mean combat)?

Re:No one cares about game content? (0, Flamebait)

mjhacker (922395) | about 8 years ago | (#15154084)

Take it easy, fanboy. Oblivion doesn't count because it's for PC too. I'm referring to console-only games. Geez, you'd think I insulted your mother or something =)

Re:No one cares about game content? (1)

drewmca (611245) | about 8 years ago | (#15154149)

Fanboy? Umm, how?

Also, haven't pretty much all of the Final Fantasy games ever released on a Sony system come out on PC as well? And yet they still sold systems?

Oblivion is an RPG, and it is on 360, and it is doing quite well on that system. Fastest selling game since launch. It is also doing quite well on PC, but that's not stopping it from selling well on any other platform.

Point is, if the game is available on a system, that system has that game.

Re:No one cares about game content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15154186)

Very few people give a damn about Oblivion in the PC world - too busy playing WoW. No wonder since Oblivion is basically a buggy and boring single player MMORPG that has a that hideous shiny effect thrown on everything. Although it at least looks better than the 360 version's wimpy graphics.

And for 360 owners? What the hell else is there for them to buy?

Re:No one cares about game content? (1)

drewmca (611245) | about 8 years ago | (#15154325)

Oh god, just go away. If you don't like something, it doesn't mean no one else does. Rephrase that last as "what the hell else is there for me to play" and your assumed answer of "nothing" can actually make sense.

I don't care if you or anyone else does or doesn't like any game or console in the universe. I am just getting sick of people assuming that everyone in the world thinks like them, so if they think something sucks then it inherently does.

Re:No one cares about game content? (1)

mjhacker (922395) | about 8 years ago | (#15156896)

No. The only Final Fantasy games to be released on PC were 7 and 8, and they were released much, much later than the original PS versions. Oblivion was simultaneously released for 360 and PC. If I want to play Oblivion, I'll buy the PC version.

Winners? (3, Insightful)

A Brand of Fire (640320) | about 8 years ago | (#15153065)

And as always, the winners will be the consumers and the publishers.

I don't wish to sound so pessimistic here, but I really can't see how -- between the 360 and the PS3 -- the consumers will be winners in this coming console generation (I don't think 'war' applies as it just seems like a pissing contest between Microsoft and Sony). Their development focus seems centered on the wrong things, for one. Number crunching, graphical horsepower, and 3rd party developer support is all fine and well, but it doesn't always make for fun games.

The biggest issue, though, is price. The 360, adequately equipped with a selection of nearly-requisite accessories, is well over $400. And that's before the first game (I'm not counting Live! content because not everyone has broadband). When the PS3 is released, I suspect, as rumors have suggested, that it's price will be slightly higher. Games in this round are also expected to be more expensive for both consoles, and who wants to pay $70 for a sequel of a sequel that's lackluster at best?

I remember rolling up into a Toys 'R Us back in the 80s and buying a brand new Nintendo Entertainment System for just under $100US. Yeah, a 'current-gen' console shortly after nation-wide rollout for UNDER ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Unthinkable nowadays, isn't it? Toss in my first game -- The Legend of Zelda -- and I was set and still under the $200 mark. New games? At the time, I rented them. If I liked them, I bought them, and they certainly didn't cost $70.

Rising cost of living, rising gas prices, and the rising price of sub-standard entertainment (film, music, television, and video games)... I can't see how the consumers are winners.

I'm not saying there won't be some good games on either console, but it's so bloody expensive. And for gamers on a budget, it's completely out of reach until sometime after the six-month mark when those pennies have been saved and the console price drops a bit. I mean, I don't even get to play many of the new PC games until they get into the $10-$20 bargain level because of financial issues.

Nintendo, on the other hand, seems better-focused on providing an actual product at a price that's easier to swallow. They seem focused on fun, too, and while I'm sure it'll have its share of games that suck, I feel that the majority will be innovative and entertaining.

The bottom line for all three companies is to push a product and make a profit, as it is with any company, really, but I believe Nintendo has a better hold on what people are after, and they seem to care more about their customer having fun. And in video games, it's about enjoying yourself. And it doesn't hurt that they also conscientious about costs to the consumer.

In the end? Well, I'll probably end up buying all three consoles, wallet willing, but I foresee my first purchase in this generation being a Nintendo console.

Re:Winners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15156090)

Disclaimer : I am a Nintendo fanboy through and through.

We should stop focusing on bashing microsony, thinking they'll only sell a huge-horsepower-zero-fun console each. Hey, they're in the business to sell videogames, not just hype.

Now, you might have wanted to say they WILL want to sell Madden$YEAR or Gta : Another fucking city, Final (really, this time we mean it) Fantasy 48, or even "Fiddy Cent : Get rich or die tryin' exxxtreme snowboarding 4 XX Slash Prime", and that kind of game does not appeal to us connoisseurs who grew up with breakout and pac-man.
But keep in mind they aim for the frustrated 14-year old with power fantasies and maturity issues (ah, haven't we nerds suffered at their hands in middle-and-high-school?), and for that demographic, this kind of game is fun.
And it's all for the best, because this or that way, my console isn't polluted by those wigger and wapanese freaks!

Anyway. I'm buying Nintendo the day it's released, just to make a point ;)
But don't say microsony want to force gentle gamers into playing unfun games - that's entirely up to the customer to beware before buying!

Re:Winners? (1)

vivin (671928) | about 8 years ago | (#15158191)

Good point. I wanted to buy a Gamecube when it came out, but didn't do so until late 2003 (or maybe it was early 2004) when I was able to get it for $99. I mainly wanted it to play Zelda. However, speaking of titles, I've found that Gamecube titles come up woefully short against PS2/Xbox. I've always found the Gamecube selection to be much smaller. I'm in Iraq right now, and they sell games here for all consoles at the PX. Here too, I don't find too many titles. Some titles that are on the PS2 and XBox, aren't on the Gamecube. I don't know too much about titles and deals between different game companies and consoles, but is there a reason Nintendo doesn't have that many titles? Will the Revolution have the same problem?
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