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Halo 3 Beta Impressions

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the that's-master-chief-to-you dept.

XBox (Games) 209

Yesterday in New York City Microsoft held an invite-only preview of the Halo 3 Beta, and passed out early Beta keys to a group of game journalists. The result is a barrage of coverage about this most-anticipated title. Notable features beyond basic previews include Dan Hsu's take on the game, Dean Takahashi's 'I got my butt kicked' perspective, the San Jose Merc's interview with Bungie Community Lead Brian Jarrad, CVG's hosting of the official Beta Movie, and Joystiq's interview with Frank O'Connor, Bungie's writing lead. From the 1up preview: "It's unmistakably Halo gameplay, despite the rearranged controls (which feel natural after 10 minutes), and all of the additions fit perfectly into the multiplayer universe we've come to love. The interface has been overhauled and is even easier to use, and you now have such niceties as being able to change your control layout at any point on any screen. While the visuals are rich and beautiful, it's the audio that's really impressed us so far. The rumbling throttle of unleashing dual SMGs makes them feel incredibly powerful, and the Spartan Laser tearing past your head is as scary as you'd imagine. Audio cues are more important than ever, and the better your sound system the more next-gen this will feel." More coverage below.

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O RLY? (2, Insightful)

Ramble (940291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097033)

I hope the story is damn great, because the visuals don't look all that interesting, and under a barrage of some truly great titles coming to the PC it'll be tough.

Re:O RLY? (5, Informative)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097127)

The Halo 3 beta will be running with mostly Halo 2 assets, at least at first. Saves download bandwidth.
I sure hope they release some larger textures to at least test the engine with later, though.

Re:O RLY? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097201)

Link or it didn't happen

Re:O RLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097571)

"The Halo 3 beta will be running with mostly Halo 2 assets,"

Oh Bungie...talk about the ultimate next gen insult rumor.

What is supposed to be the premier first party and system seller title is being mistaken for last gen graphic assets.

Ouch...

Re:O RLY? (1)

lordmatthias215 (919632) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098451)

Like the GP said, they're only using H2 assets to save on download bandwidth for the beta- The full game won't need to worry about that and will almost definitely show a boost in graphics, (even if they weren't planning on it before, what with the comments swimming the intertubes today).

Re:O RLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098281)

So far graphics wise, it seems really unimpressive, but the game is still beta.
Is it possible we will yet see significant graphical improvement?

Re:O RLY? (4, Informative)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098595)

Here are two screenshots, one from Halo 2, one from Halo 3:
http://media.teamxbox.com/games/ss/1353/1178912776 .jpg [teamxbox.com]
http://media.teamxbox.com/games/ss/472/1085785669. jpg [teamxbox.com]

It certainly looks like they've improved the graphics since H2.
More environmental detail, less blocky characters, more vibrant colours.

So I guess the complainers must have seen an overcompressed YouTube
variant only.

Re:O RLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098671)

I've seen games with much better graphics, ie, Crysis, Mass Effect, BioShock, MGS4(except those ground and wall textures)...

Chair Weapons available in Halo3 (5, Funny)

Ageing Metalhead (586837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097059)

Halo3 three will include a variety of "Chair Weapons":
* A Wooden Chair in which you can break and stab and lacerate people
* A Ikea Chair in which the recipient simply throws the left over peices at any attacker
* An Executive Leather Chair in which the attacker simply places their opponent in the chair and spins it, until the opponent passes out.
* And the classic "Operator Chair" which is simply picked up and thrown.

Re:Chair Weapons available in Halo3 (-1, Redundant)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097121)

And the classic "Operator Chair" which is simply picked up and thrown.
Or the Balmer chair as shall be referred to here.

Re:Chair Weapons available in Halo3 (1)

swatward (956094) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097251)

Haha???

Re:Chair Weapons available in Halo3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098183)

Don't forget the wooden slat chair which pinches the opponent's nutsack and holds them in place giving the attacker ample time to aim for a head shot

Still missing one thing. (0, Troll)

An Ominous Coward (13324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097065)

Wake me when a console FPS game ships with a mouse and keyboard.

Re:Still missing one thing. (5, Insightful)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097151)

You know, I'm really sick of this particular criticism of console FPS games. The game was designed around a controller. It plays perfectly fine with it. Everyone else playing is using the same input device, there is no need for a keyboard / mouse. Remember the first time you ever used a keyboard / mouse to play an FPS? I'll bet it didn't seem intuitive at all, but with practice you got used to it, and then, proficient with it. Console FPS' are the same way now. Once you've sat down and played a while you don't even think about it. Lately I've been playing a lot of FPS titles on my 360 (Battlefield 2: MC, Call of Duty 2 / 3, Halo 2) and I don't even notice the controller.

PC gamers really, really need to stop this particular line of eliteism. A gamer is a gamer whether or not he is playing HL2 on a PC or Bioshock on his Xbox 360.

Re:Still missing one thing. (1, Insightful)

VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097229)

Everyone else playing is using the same input device, there is no need for a keyboard / mouse.
Everyone else is satisfied with candles, we have no need for your newfangled electricity!

On a less sarcastic note, you're wrong. You like dual analog? Power to you. I've been trying to use it for months now. Still hate it, still suck terribly without my mouse. I think the best thing would be a mouse for aiming and an analog stick for movement. I'm also interested in how well the Wii controls will turn out.

Remember the first time you ever used a keyboard / mouse to play an FPS? I'll bet it didn't seem intuitive at all
Mmm, true. But then I turned off look inversion, and it was perfect.

Re:Still missing one thing. (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097325)

ahhhh....I've found out only the spacially gifted use look inversion.
Maybe that's why you can't cut it with the dual analog.........=P

Re:Still missing one thing. (1)

Donut Zeke (1085279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098163)

On a less sarcastic note, you're wrong.

That may be the most asinine thing I've ever heard. Calling someone's opinion wrong. I thought all Slashdotters were supposed to be intelligent.

Re:Still missing one thing. (1)

toolie (22684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098333)

Calling someone's opinion wrong. I thought all Slashdotters were supposed to be intelligent.

You're definitely new here, aren't you?

Re:Still missing one thing. (2, Funny)

Heembo (916647) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098385)

I thought all Slashdotters were supposed to be intelligent.
You're wrong.

Re:Still missing one thing. (1)

bheer (633842) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097235)

I tried playing Gears of War at a friend's place using the controller. I moved around like a drunken sailor. True, the first time I played with a mouse (mouse-look in Quake, I think it was) I wasn't very good, but not as bad at this.

I'm sure I'll improve given enough practice. Until then it's kinda hard to justify dropping cash on a product that you can't even use well. Note that I'm a pretty casual player (the sort who struggles with midrange-skill bots), so the motivation to spend a lot of time learning a new system doesn't exist. But I do like the premise of games like Gears of War, Halo 3 and Mass Effect, and would play them if I could.

I'm probably not in Microsoft's target market for the XBox 360. But I wonder why they're so against offering customers more choice and increasing their market share in the process. Are they scared that a keyboard/mouse enabled XBox will cause a gamers' migration from their bread-and-butter Windows platform?

Re:Still missing one thing. (2, Interesting)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097307)

Don't forget RE4. On the PC it just wouldn't play half as well as on the Cube. The game was designed for the controller and it's done to near perfection when the PC port is ment to be terrible to the point of unplayable.

For the sake of questioning your logic. Is someone playing solitaire a gamer or not? Because your logic seems to imply -any- game playing makes you a gamer. Where as IMO a gamer is someone who invests some time in games and is involved in the future. The same way anyone can spend time on a PC, but most -real- geeks invest a massive amount of time in the community and on their PCs (which is usually the same thing in effect).

Re:Still missing one thing. (1)

toolie (22684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098309)

Where as IMO a gamer is someone who invests some time in games and is involved in the future.

Explain what you mean by 'is involved in the future', please. I know you don't mean either a time traveler or a developer, but I'm having a tough time figuring out what else you could mean.

Re:Still missing one thing. (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098465)

It's dyslexic 'community'.

I didn't catch it til after I posted.

Re:Still missing one thing. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097423)

YES! lets have an FPS mouse vs controller FPS flame war!!

Remember the first time you ever used a keyboard / mouse to play an FPS? I'll bet it didn't seem intuitive at all


WRONG - being immediatly obvious and intuitive is why FPS games on the PC are so popular.
flame on! I hate trying to play an FPS with a controller. I always hear the same story "after 10min it's totally natural" - B.S! I've played for hours and it only gets more frustrating as the action heats up and the controller is this obstacle between you and the kills! Lets get a mouse for the xbox already! What the hell??!

Re:Still missing one thing. (1)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097505)

A gamer is a gamer whether or not he is playing HL2 on a PC or Bioshock on his Xbox 360.
A rap fan is a rap fan whether he listens to Vanilla Ice or Tupac.

Re:Still missing one thing. (0, Troll)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097513)

You know, I'm really sick of this particular criticism of console FPS games. The game was designed around a controller.

Not very well.

It plays perfectly fine with it.

No it doesn't.

Everyone else playing is using the same input device, there is no need for a keyboard / mouse.

Yes there is.

Remember the first time you ever used a keyboard / mouse to play an FPS? I'll bet it didn't seem intuitive at all

Yes it did.

Re:Still missing one thing. (-1, Troll)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097515)

No, we really, really do NOT need to stop explaining why it's impossible to play an FPS with a console controller. I'm sorry, but the fact that it makes you feel bad does not mean it's not true. Aiming with such controller basically means waiting while your weapon travels towards the point you want it to be. Using a mouse makes you jump to the desired point. Yeah technically it still travels all the way to the destination but it's instantaneous if you know how to play.
Which you obviously do not know, because *you* *are* *not* *a* *gamer*. Deal with it. Besides, if you dislike us so much, as you say, then why the hell do you strive to be just like us?

Re:Still missing one thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097581)

Haha, hilarious. "Aiming with a mouse is basically the same as with an analog stick, but it's not because my Alienware cost me mooooore!"

Fuckwit. Maybe you should try increasing the controller sensitivity sometime?

Re:Still missing one thing. (0, Redundant)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097705)

Fuckwit? Cute! Aaaaaaaaand back to anonymous nothingness you go, asshole!

Do we have to listen to this again? (5, Insightful)

Toby_Tyke (797359) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098211)

No, we really, really do NOT need to stop explaining why it's impossible to play an FPS with a console controller.

Well that's just flat out wrong. This story is about people playing Halo. They were doing it with console controllers. Halo is an FPS. There for, playing an FPS on a controller is clearly possible. You might think a keyboard and mouse is better, that hardly means that using a controller is impossible.

Now lots of people play FPSs on consoles, and they seem to be enjoying themselves, so I don't think theres anything wrong with using a controller. I do think using a keyboard and mouse is better, if by better we mean provides faster response times. In any multiplayer game, where half the players were using K/M and half controllers, the K/M guys would win every time, all other things being equal.

On the other hand, I think controllers have some advantages over K/M. My consoles are all in my living room, and I play games sitting on my couch. I don't have a desk in front of my TV, so there's nowhere to put a K/M. Try balancing a keyboard on your lap and running you mouse on the cushion next to you. Comfortable? Thought not. I also prefer a thumbstick to WASD.

But really, why does it matter? As the OP said, why do we have to keep having this stupid argument? You like the K/M, dislike the controller. OP likes controllers. I'm happy with either. Why does each side feel the need to not only say "I like x" but to also insist "because y is inferior"? I feel like I'm back in the playground arguing about C64s and Spectrums.

Which you obviously do not know, because *you* *are* *not* *a* *gamer*. Deal with it.

AH, so you are the final arbiter of who is and isn't a gamer? Wow. Am I a gamer? I've been playing video games for twenty years, but I like some console FPSs, so I might fail your test. Perhaps you mean he isn't a PC gamer? Are PC gamers the one true gamer clan, to whom all others are inferior? Are those who are unwilling or unable to drop stupid amounts of cash on new graphics cards and processors supposed to keep quiet and never offer an opinion? Should they just kneel in supplication and reverence before their PC gaming overlords?

if you dislike us so much, as you say, then why the hell do you strive to be just like us?

I'm not even sure what this means? Where exactly did he say he was trying to be like you?

Oh, just FYI, the first time I played Doom, I used a joypad (yes PAD! not even a joystick), because I hated the keyboard and mouse so much. It was a lot easier back then, since there was no looking up or down. I didn't start using the K/M till quake came out.

Re:Still missing one thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097667)

I'll have to agree with most of the replies to the previous post. Turn off invert look and the PC w/ a mouse is much better than any controller for a FPS. Yes, I am a gamer, yes I play on PC, but I also play Xbox 360. I have Halo 2, Gears of War, and Saint's Row. I can beat all my friends on 360 in any one of these games, BUT...put me on a PC with similar games, and it's not even close. I kill everyone every round, hardly get scratched, etc. Why? Because I have been playing FPS games on a PC since Doom, Duke 3-D, Wolf 3-D, Heretic/Hexen, long before there was even Quake 1.

This argument is not as unfounded as you claim, and the reason is simple. With a mouse you can set it to such precision, and you have an entire mousing surface to work with. Using a controller, you only have that limited angle of the stick, and that's it. It's just not comparable at all. However, I will say that it's getting better. Will it ever equal a mouse? No, not in the eyes of the old school PC crowd.

Will I buy Halo 3? I'll probably have no choice since my son will want it, and I'll have enough friends playing it to justify the purchase. Will I still wish I had a mouse? Of course I will, but until then I'll just keep getting better with the analog sticks, because that's what gamers do, we adapt for love of the game! -=ThX=-

Re:Still missing one thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097689)

Possibly my favorite /. comment ever.

Re:Still missing one thing. (1)

clegrand (1082829) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097829)

I don't care what input device you use.

I do care that MicroSquish does not service the keyboard/mouse gamers by not enabling a USB/driver package for those of us more comfortable with those devices. Dammit.

Help me with the logic here: Does MicroSquish think they are going to lose PC/Vista sales to the XBox360 if they enable mouse/keyboard support? I can't see it. While writing a driver for USB input conversion from mouse/keyboard to gamepad may not be trivial, it couldn't be that large of a resource gobbler. The XBox is just not a replacement to the homePC.

I am part of a large segment of the market that has found gameplay to be frustrating on the gamepad and have either had unsatisfactory gaming experiences (which stops gaming purchases in their tracks) -or- not purchased the games/XBox360 at all. Why does MS intentionally cut off potential revenue? Gears of War and Halo3 look great! (I was at the Beta preview last night) But being pissed off with the input device spoiled my experience with them.

Re:Still missing one thing. (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098505)

Calling them "MicroSquish" makes you sound a lot worse than it makes Microsoft sound. Try for a little more flow in your derogatory names. Just appending some random word doesn't really work.

Re:Still missing one thing. (3, Insightful)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097999)

You know I agree with some of what you're saying. I was originally going to post something similar but figured the GP would get modded flamebait (which he should have been modded). But since you opened the discussion...

I'm a gamer that does both PC and console. I really hate this stupid debate. PC gamers should just stfu and play with their mouse and keyboard and console players should do the same and play with their thumb sticks. Halo was designed for the console* and so were the controls. However, to say both control schemes are equal is wrong. I know I'm much better with a mouse and keyboard and I know why. Since you can't exactly pick up the thumb stick and put it back in the middle when it goes over the edge its input is considerably different than a mouse. When you move a thumb stick to the far right your character spins around until you let go and the stick auto-centers itself. If you put your mouse on the right edge of your mouse pad then you look to the right a bit and that's that. You know how PC games usually have a key binding to turn left and right (yaw)? Well imagine if they added two more to look up and down (pitch). This is the control scheme that a console controller achieves**. Now notice how few PC gamers use these key bindings.

What I seem to notice on console*** is that people put their crosshair in a particular place and then use their left thumb stick to align the shot with the enemy player and only make minor adjustments with their right thumb stick. On PC I most certainly wouldn't do this. When it comes to close quarter combat it gets a lot more difficult to control as the accuracy just isn't there. As I said earlier I doubt any PC gamer would use four separate keys to control pitch and yaw. I also notice that most PC gamers tend to be at least casual console players while the reverse usually isn't true. I'd go deeper into the subject but I think you get the point.

You're free to disagree of course but that's how I see it. Both control schemes have pros and cons. For instance I hate picking my mouse up or what usually happens is it runs into my keyboard or computer case since my desk is small. That means I miss a kill or die or both. I also don't like playing ROMs on the PC that much, the controller was always better for those games. The playing field is not even and both PC and console gamers just need to accept that.

* Technically it was designed for the PC and Mac but I guess that's a bit too technical.
** Almost achieves anyway. Console controllers have to have active resistance on the thumb sticks so they auto-center which takes more getting used to.
*** I don't know any Halo gods so my observation may be wrong in the higher tiers of Halo gameplay.

Re:Still missing one thing. (1)

Wolfrider (856) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098447)

What games like Halo *really* need is an add-on FOOT PEDAL for Melee attacks. Duke Nukem approves. :b

Re:Still missing one thing. (1)

An Ominous Coward (13324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19099001)

Why exactly should I have been modded flamebait? I didn't say "wake me when there's a K/M... and all you people that like controller input are douchebags." All it meant was that I personally am not interested in console FPS until they offer a K/M option. It's the first response to my post that copped a flamebait attitude, and of course in typical Slashdot fashion got +5'd.

Re:Still missing one thing. (0, Troll)

-noefordeg- (697342) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098087)

It's still doesn't change the fact that using an analog controller is vastly inferior to using a mouse/keyboard combination. It really is!
And no! It didn't take long to get used to the mouse/keyboard combination in Wolfenstein 3D. It felt quite good from the start.

Re:Still missing one thing. (2, Insightful)

denominateur (194939) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098859)

Okay... look at this halo 3 gameplay trailer : http://www.gametrailers.com/player.php?id=19430&ty pe=wmv [gametrailers.com] and tell me why the hell the player is unable to hit most targets that are a couple of meters away and only slowly moving? At one point he even shoots around in confusion because he can't track the enemy at a sufficient speed. I realise the game has been designed with this in mind (e.g. missing a lot, forgiving collision detection, wide area weapons) but it just takes the point away from fps. The nice thing about keyboard/mouse control is the smoothness with which the two devices combine their motion (other than the curled up fingers and the resulting pain from the wsad keys... a technical hurdle that could easily be solved with a special device for your keyboard hand sporting a couple of buttons and an intuitive direction control). Take a look at some counterstrike demos and appreciate the difference.

Re:Still missing one thing. (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 7 years ago | (#19099341)

It may be more inaccurate with a controller, but at least it's comfortable. Keyboard and mouse is completely unergonomic, and WASD must be the most braindead control scheme ever invented, I don't think it could be any more awkward, having to use one finger for two keys above each other means you can't even rest your hand.

Windows-live will let us see which is better (1)

RubberChainsaw (669667) | more than 7 years ago | (#19099403)

Windows live will allow PC halo gamers and Xbox halo gamers to compete on the same servers against each other. That will show us which type of controller configuration is best for playing FPS. If PC players dominate the charts, then we'll know that mouse-keyboard is superior, or better FPS players prefer it. If the charts are evenly distributed, then we can say it doesn't matter.

Halo is lame (-1, Flamebait)

XO (250276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097079)

Halo licks balls. Only id and 3d Realms have ever made FPS games worth playing. I doubt that anyone else ever will.

mmh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097105)

how many seconds does it take to revoke your beta key, when you criticise something about halo 3? 3 seconds? 1.5seconds?

(and no, neither could i say something negative nor positive about it, as i will never have an xbox to play it)

Depends (2, Insightful)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097215)

It is a beta after all. If you criticize things to try to make it better you will never be banned. If you bash and criticize to troll the other players then I would hope pretty quick.

If you play Halo and the only thing you can say the whole time is "this game sucks" then why play? There are so many other great games why waste your time?

Swi

Re:Depends (1)

Thexare Blademoon (1010891) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097567)

Well, two possible explanations.

A: Lamers need something to bitch about so people pay attention to them.

B: They're incapable of enjoying anything on their own, so they feel the need to drag others down with them.

Anyone else got some more explanations to contribute?

Yes, audio will be important; (2, Funny)

rushmeat (972949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097107)

"Audio cues are more important than ever, and the better your sound system the more next-gen this will feel."

Now, instead of hearing 12 year olds scream in joy when they frag me, I will here their shrill wails in 5.1
Oh joyous day.

Re:Yes, audio will be important; (4, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097295)

I'm not sure how many people actually hook things up properly, as even the original xbox had 5.1 for most of its games. Player voices in Halo2 come from the appropriate speaker positions, and it does give you a bit of an advantage over someone only playing through their TV speakers. I'm assuming their adding better 'footfall' sounds, and other environmentals to help out a bit.

Re:Yes, audio will be important; (0)

k3vlar (979024) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097563)

I have been a proponent of proper sound setups for a while now. It always bugs me when you go to someone's house, and find them with just the two front speakers (either console or PC). When playing a multiplayer game where tactics and positioning is involved, having 3D positional sound gives you an incredible advantage.

I don't think I can count the number of times I've been labelled as a hacker/cheater in online matches, simply because I heard movement around a corner and anticipated the attack before it came.

If the developers take the time to put such features into the game, why not make full use of them? Even a set of cheap, psuedo-3D headphones (where the translation is done via stereo separation in at the driver level) is better than your crappy beige speakers, or the ones built into your TV.

Re:Yes, audio will be important; (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098971)

As I recall, however, you cannot hear footfall in Halo 1 or Halo 2.

Re:Yes, audio will be important; (1)

JaWiB (963739) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097673)

If I recall correctly, they're making it easier to mute people in Halo 3. In fact, I think slashdot covered a story on it.

Low Quality Graphics (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097115)

The graphics quality of the game looks about what Battlefield 2 looked at medium quality. At this point in development the graphics aren't ever going to get much better. Halo games also aren't know for their unique or revolutionary gameplay so what reason do I have to buy this?

Re:Low Quality Graphics (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097343)

Welcome to the fucked up 360 graphics hardware!

Microsoft knows how to make OEMs roll over and bark but they are absolute morons when it comes to console hardware design. The first Xbox was just a bunch of very expensive commodity x86 parts thrown into a big ugly black box. By brute force and billions in losses Microsoft was able to barely eek out a tiny graphical advantage over the two year older and half the cost to manufacture PS2.

The 360's rendering architecture was as poorly designed as it is reliable. In what has to be the most boneheaded design decision ever in console hardware, Microsoft designed their system around EDRAM that was large enough for 480p but is trying to pass the system off as designed for 720p. What that means is that either you give up on AA to support 720p because the 10megs of EDRAM is too small to support the buffer sizes that rez requires or you force developers to write tedious tile based rendering engines that suck down performance due to the fact that you have to redraw every piece of geometry that overlaps tile boundaries.

And then there is the overall design of the system, which is basically just a dual core CPU with an extra core tacked on connected to a standard desktop GPU. And surprise, surprise it runs just like a two year old desktop system - which is what it is essentially.

Don't blame Bungie for Microsoft's poorly designed hardware. They could have gone down the sleazy route Epic did and fuck up the game design - tiny draw distances, tiny numbers of enemy on screen, tons of blur to cover the AA artifacts, absurdly fake marketing shots. Instead Bungie is being honest with how poor the graphics are. They should at least be commended for being honest.

Re:Low Quality Graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097577)

Your post would be a great explanation, except for the fact that Halo 3 (currently) looks like shit compared to other XBox 360 games.

Re:Low Quality Graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097701)

"looks like shit compared to other XBox 360 games."

I think you meant "looks like shit compared to other XBox 360 bullshots"...

You can't possibly mean Gears of War, here's some REAL screenshots of the game:

http://media.teamxbox.com/games/ss/1167/full-res/1 162870685.jpg [teamxbox.com]

http://media.teamxbox.com/games/ss/1167/full-res/1 162867613.jpg [teamxbox.com]

Yeech!

You can't possibly mean Mass Effect which looks even worse than Gears of War in real gameplay

You can't possibly mean PGR3 which can't even run at 720p natively and is a jaggy mess

You can't possibly mean Forza 2 which looks like a complete joke and is a jaggy mess at 720p

I'm sorry which 'amazing' 360 games are you speaking of? Or are we all supposed to pretend the marketing bullshots are real like 360 fanboys?

I don't know why but the 360 is a graphical disaster. At least Bungie didn't go with the usual Xbox developer route of flooding the net with bullshots. They were right upfront in admitting Halo 3's graphics would suck.

Re:Low Quality Graphics (1)

figleaf (672550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097369)

The textures are low quality right now to save on download bandwidth for the beta stage.
I guess emphasis of this beta is eliminate game play bugs and any irritants not stressing the graphics subsystem.
The final game is supposed to be of much higher quality.

Re:Low Quality Graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097747)

Halo popularised:
-a dedicated button to throw a grenade quickly
-limiting the player to only two weapons, and allowing the player to switch quickly
-a quick melee attack
-the use of closely spaced checkpoints and the lack of a user save facility

Now how many games feature one or more of these things?

Re:Low Quality Graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098077)

TFC had a grenade button years before halo and I doubt that was even the first

Call of Duty and Iron Grip are two games I can think of just off the top of my head that use the quick melee attack like halo and I am sure there were many before those.

I am not sure the many check points and lack of a user save can be counted as a positive but many console and computer games have used the checkpoint style system since the start of time..

Re:Low Quality Graphics (2, Interesting)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#19099105)

TFC had a grenade button years before halo and I doubt that was even the first

TFC? Ha! The original TeamFortress (the Quake mod, not the Half-Life mod) had two buttons for grenades, as each class had two grenade types. Kids these days, thinking TFC was the origin of TeamFortress. The 'C' stands for "Classic" for a reason, you know.

Call of Duty and Iron Grip are two games I can think of just off the top of my head that use the quick melee attack like halo and I am sure there were many before those

Call of Duty (2003) was two years after Halo 1 (2001). I have no idea what Iron Grip [gamefaqs.com] is. As best I can tell, it's a mod for Half-Life 2 which automatically puts it after the launch of Halo 1. Other games had melee (Quake, Doom, Half-Life), but you had to switch weapons rather than just hit a button to attack.

I am not sure the many check points and lack of a user save can be counted as a positive but many console and computer games have used the checkpoint style system since the start of time..

True, but most older games tended towards checkpoints too far apart, and requiring user intervention to actually save (if you aren't paying attention, tough crap. It's another two hours to the next save point). Halo made it automatic.

I'm surprised the original poster didn't point out probably the biggest innovation in Halo 1 that has been copied over and over since -- regenerating shields. Without your shields, 1-2 shots will kill you, so you shields are essentially the same thing as health in Doom, Quake, Half-Life, etc. The difference is that rather than having to hunt around for pickups to regenerate, you just have to hide. Totally changes the dynamic for multiplayer games, because it forces you into tactical situations. Previously, you'd think, "I'm low on health and there's no way I'll find enough to keep me alive for a few more kills. Therefore, I'll just rush the next guy I see in order to do some damage before I'm taken out." Halo changed that to, "Do I hide and regen my armor, or do I attack and prevent my enemy from regenerating his armor?"

Re:Low Quality Graphics (1)

dioscaido (541037) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098489)

The betas are to test the gameplay (particularly wrt to multiplayer, new weapons). I would be extremely surprised if the released game doesn't look significantly different than the betas. It makes sense to keep the 'wow' factor as secret as possible until the release. Otherwise game reviewers will won't have much new to praise before release.

Never played Halo.. (2, Interesting)

1155 (538047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097177)

But I have played Gears of War. Quite a bit, it's almost my favorite game now. How does Halo compare to Gears?

Re:Never played Halo.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097241)

Gears of War? You have to be joking...

The crappy UE3 can only handle 4vs4 players at a time in tiny constrained environments. The networking code is easily the worst ever to ship in major online title. The lag bugs and problems are a complete joke.

And the actual gameplay is mind numbingly lame. Epic really showed the gaming world that put out a bunch of bogus and fake marketing shots for your game and it just doesn't matter what a piece of crap it really is, they'll still buy it.

Re:Never played Halo.. (1)

1155 (538047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097395)

I don't play it online, so the only point here is the game play. How is it "mind numbingly lame"?

Re:Never played Halo.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097507)

Just as shitty.

Gears of War ups the texture detail a bit but has to limit the player counts to only 8 and constrain the levels to tiny confined areas.

Halo 3 has crappier graphics and 16 players and somewhat larger areas.

Neither have dedicated servers which is pathetic in 2007. If you want quality online gaming you need to buy a PS3 or stick to your PC.

Re:Never played Halo.. (1, Insightful)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097585)

"Neither have dedicated servers which is pathetic in 2007. If you want quality online gaming you need to buy a PS3 or stick to your PC."

Since when? I've played games with dedicated servers, I've played games without. I've found that dedicated server games almost always need the dedicated server because their code is so slow and laggy whereas a good non-dedicated server game has no lag whatsoever. I've never seen any lag playing online Halo. Frankly I'd say that having dedicated servers in 2007 makes you out of date, your game should be good enough so that your average person (easier to determine on a console) can host and play the game.

As a PC gamer I'm of the opinion that PC games have great online play, better than just about any console. On the other hand your average console, heck even an antique console, has much better LAN style play, I say LAN style because the consoles don't need a LAN whereas PCs do. I would much rather go over to my friends house to play some Halo against them then try to get them over here to play a LAN game, the setup issues for a LAN combined with everyone needing the game makes Halo the clear winner.

I've never played Gears so I can't compare it to that but I will say this, PC games !> Console games. PC games are different than console games...

Re:Never played Halo.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097635)

"I've found that dedicated server games almost always need the dedicated server because their code is so slow and laggy"

Gee, let me guess some of the other Xbox 360 damage control memes you post...

"I don't see the need for more storage next gen since it just lets developers be lazy and not compress their game data and anyway I heard Microsoft has some amazing compression tech that will fit tens of gigs of game data on a 7gig 360 DVD anyway"

"I don't see the need for backwards compatibility since I am totally focused on next gen games"

"I don't think the red rings of death are a problem since Microsoft really treated me well each of the three times I had to send my 360 in to be replaced"

Xbox 360 - Keep Lowering Your Expectations

50 dollars a year for laggy p2p online play. Yeah, it's the developers and not Microsoft's shitty online service. Right?

Re:Never played Halo.. (1)

Venim (846130) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097647)

if you haven't seen lag in halo 2 then you obviously haven't been playing it long enough

Shocked (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097179)

"Only id and 3d Realms have ever made FPS games worth playing." ...

Valve?

Re:Shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097823)

Looking Glass Studios?

Microsoft Fails To Create A Resistance Killer (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097217)

Two years into the life of the console when Halo 3 gets released and being the primary first party franchise the game should be the technological standard for the Xbox 360. Instead..

A pathetically small number of players per match at 16
No dedicated servers
P2P networking setup that leads to the usual laggy online play
Even diehard Halo players are making jokes about the game looking any better than Halo 2 on the Xbox

And to make things even worse, Microsoft is charging people 50 bucks every years just to play the game online. What a disaster. The only thing that will save Halo 3 is the hundreds of millions in payouts to media and reviewers to generate the usual bogus hype.

Sorry Bungie you failed to come up with a Resistance killer:

40 players per match
Dedicated servers for lagfree online play
Completely free to play for anyone with a PS3

This thread describes why Resistance is the gold standard in online console games now:

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14065 7 [neogaf.com]

Someone needs to tell Bungie it isn't 2000 anymore and no one but hardcore Xbox fans is impressed with that tired old 'shiny metal effect'.

Re:Microsoft Fails To Create A Resistance Killer (2, Insightful)

Mylakovich (1101285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097415)

Even with the facts behind you, you do not account for the "Frat Boy" market. Halo 3 will be a smash hit on name recognition alone.

Re:Microsoft Fails To Create A Resistance Killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098093)

Typical "mine is 9 inches and your's in only 8" logic, that completely ignores the detail of knowing how to use it.

40 players per match??
Who the hell cares, I've played every FPS on virtually every console and everything for the PC (although Live is so good I've all but abandoned by PC at this point), and the number of players does NOT share a linear relationship with gameplay, sorry.

Dedicated servers for lagfree online play??
Ya right, everythng runs in perfect realtime when its put on it's own box.. Too bad MS can't afford dedicated servers ah well

Completely free??
So Sony is paying your ISP as well? Hey at 6 bucks a month a Live gold subscription is well worth it, and much preferred over Sony's "let the game publishers deside" attitude

Bottom line you sound like another Sony fanboy, and yes I've played the PS3 and not just 5 mins at the local EB, and I remain unimpressed with the current titles and only slightly less unimpressed with the hardware. The 360 and the PS3 are probably within 5% in several categories so comparision needs to fall on the games, any guess on who has he better line up so far (I'm talking the entire line up), yup you guessed it Xbox360, and they are way way ahead my friend.

Why would MS need to create a Resistance killer... (4, Funny)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098325)

...When Epic already did it for them?

Re:Why would MS need to create a Resistance killer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098597)

Wait, you mean THIS graphical turd:

http://media.teamxbox.com/games/ss/1167/full-res/1 162870685.jpg [teamxbox.com]

Oh sorry Xbots, I didn't have time to find one of Epic's highrez marketing shots to post...

And to think that jaggy 720p 30fps mess is the 'king' of 360 graphics! Hilarious!

8 players max online
tiny environments
jaggies everywhere
no more than 10 enemies onscreen at once
p2p networking with laggy online play
50 dollars a year
retarded weapons and gameplay

vs

40 players online
pristine AA - not a jaggy to be seen
dedicated servers
free to play online for everyone

Yeah, those clowns at Epic sure blew everyone away with their little UE3 game.

What's the big deal? (0, Flamebait)

Reverend Raven (135361) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097245)

As I've never owned an Xbox (too much like a PC for me and no interesting games), I've always wondered what the deal with Halo was. I mean, it's not the first FPS, not even the first one on the consoles. Is it just from kids who are too young/haven't played real PC shooters, or was because MS made a concerted effort to push Halo as a "story" driven FPS?

A FPS on a console is not my bag. Even Gears of War, as fun as it is, would be that much better with a keyboard and mouse. Maybe on the Wii they will be something less sucktastic, but so far no one's done a FPS right on a console.

And yes, that includes Halo and Goldeneye.

Re:What's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097329)

blah blah blah 10 million people bought this game but i don't like it, therefore the game sucks. My favorite unknown indy band is more indy than yours so I'm better blah blah. Maybe you should realize that you aren't the gold standard for anything and other people are allowed to like things for reasons other than they don't know better(in your opinion).

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097543)

Oh.

Looks like somebody's got the red ring.

Re:What's the big deal? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097391)

It's just the new Goldeneye. As with the old one, it sold a lot on consoles and PC users didn't understand. A lot of people just don't play PC games and aren't exposed to FPSes, so when one comes along on consoles it's interesting. Look at PCs, circa 1993-95 they were coming out the wazoo and everything was exciting. People actually cared about games like Ken's Labyrinth. Same thing here except in the context of consoles. Still, hopefully the consoles will still have some original games and it won't be all 99% FPS/RTS/CRPG like on PC... which, incidentally, is why consoles are seeing a surge in popularity and PC gaming is declining nowadays.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

Ramble (940291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097411)

Halo isn't really special in any way, but the storytelling in the first one was suberb, as was the combat, graphics and sound. I've played my fair share of PC FPS' (and I still do, they're my fav type of game) but Halo 1 was in the same ballpark as Half-Life.

Re:What's the big deal? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097419)

You have to put yourself in the mind of Dreamcast fanboy circa 2000 to understand Halo...

* Your beloved but shitty console has just been squashed like a bug by Sony 'wit teh hype'
* So you latch on to any company that is not Sony - Nintendo is out of the question because they are gay - just look at the purse like handle on the GameCube...
* Microsoft is the only choice
* You know some stuff from reading about pc graphics including 'teh shaders' that makes things 'shiny' which is the true measure of graphics power
* Microsoft has their new game which uses 'teh shaders' to make things 'shiny' so obviously the system is 'teh most powerful' because of games like Halo
* Dreamcast/Xbox fanboys latch on to Halo with dreams of greatness - and there really is nothing else worth buying on the Xbox anyway at least that doesn't have better pc versions

The entire 'I hate teh Sony'/former Dreamcast/Xbox world is based upon Halo. If Halo isn't hyped to the most amazing gaming experience ever that whole world risks crumbling down.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

Twiceblessedman (590621) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098835)

It's not really a big deal, it's just been marketed as such in North America when in reality it's just another generic FPS on a system that is flooded with shooters and not much else.

mod upp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097315)

its coRpse turned

WMV......lame..... (0, Troll)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097349)

any one have a ogg mpg or avi for us?

Re:WMV......lame..... (1)

linumax (910946) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097545)

I have this [videolan.org] for you!

Re:WMV......lame..... (1)

BlueCollarCamel (884092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19099213)

Yes. Yes I do.

Yea yea I know you've heard it before (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097367)

Audio cues are more important than ever, and the better your sound system the more next-gen this will feel.

That's kinda why I'm particular to PC gaming. A good pair of headphones is all you need to hear those 'audio cues' and lacking that, anything above 2 speakers is gravy since most games ship with decent sound engines for realistic 3d sound.

Re:Yea yea I know you've heard it before (1)

Keeper (56691) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098299)

"Virtual" surround is crap. I have never been able to sense a "front/behind" direction from it; only left or right.

Joypad VS Mouse+keyboard: braindead battle (1)

damaki (997243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097549)

Man I cannot understand the long time FPS players. Most people who complain about joypad have been using mouse and keyboard for ages... they do not even notice they are used to play with those. Of course it's easier with your mouse and keyboard, you've been playing with this duo for ages. I mean, I've been playing Rocket Arena for years, of course I handle my mouse and keyboard better than this Xbox 360 joypad I've had for 3 months. I was playing like shit when I began playing FPS on PC. Now I am far better. A friend of mine was used to play FPS on PS2 for months and told me he could not think of using a mouse and a keyboard to play these... The point is that the joypad is not better or worse than your pc set, you just become accustomed to one or the other. I am not used to the 360 pads but these are damn great and precise. I've played Doom 3, Lost Planet and I come to like this setup. So come on, let's end this pointless battle. The only advantage that may have the mouse is that it can be used more often than a gamepad, for other uses, so that you can perhaps have lenghtier training.

Re:Joypad VS Mouse+keyboard: braindead battle (1)

Cythrawl (941686) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097685)

Acutally a mouse IS better because you can move it fast and thus turn faster.. The Joypad only does this to a very small degree in comparison.

Also you are always correcting your aim with the joypad using a thumb (and its generally up, down left right corrections) and it feels so much more restrictive than a good high dpi laser optic mouse ever will.

Its like playing a racing game with a wheel then playing the same game on keyboard. The differences between the two are exactly the same.

can you play the game any better?... no... But the wheel just repsonds/feels better than tapping some keys ever will.

Re:Joypad VS Mouse+keyboard: braindead battle (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097797)

Not knocking those who like/prefer joypads, but I've never been able to get the level of sensitivity a mouse provides with any joypad, regardless of settings. Also, playing against people who felt they were proficient with a joypad while I used a KB/Mouse was simply no contest, ever. They just could not exercise the same level of precision a mouse provides. My $.02

The halo games are some of the best FPSs ever made (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097609)

Bungie has really done an amazing job with the halo series. This is coming from a PC gamer. I think a lot of the haters out there just have never actually sat down and tried to have fun with the game. Multiplayer halo rewards teamwork and positioning far more than twich reflexes. With the exception of the sniper rifle, having a mouse wouldn't really give you a major advantage.

For me though Halo was all about playing through the coop campaign on legendary. Me and my brother used to do speed runs through assault on the control room without dying. Halo is one of those games where the enemies seem incredibly smart and tough, but not cheap. (this is one of the mistakes I believe they made in the Halo 2 campaign. Some of the enemies, such as the sniper jackels seemed cheap and those parts of the game weren't any fun)

Re:The halo games are some of the best FPSs ever m (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097711)

Shouldn't you Bungie guys be trying to salvage your company's dignity by doing something, anything to make Halo 3 look better than Halo 2 and less time posting on Slashdot?

Just a suggestion...

stop exposing us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097851)

I'm so ashamed. Yes, we bungie employees have all been working round the clock to secretly promote our game on the internet. We were just so afraid that without the publicity no one would have heard of our obscure game called Halo. And if no one knows about Halo, then there will be no coal for the furnace, and no Christmas for little Timmy.

Re:stop exposing us (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097889)

Well if you weren't:

* Posting on Slashdot doing damage control
* Weren't working on the graphics for Halo 3 since people are having a hard time telling it apart from Halo 2
* Weren't working on the networking for Halo 3 since it has the same crappy P2P 16 player setup as Halo 2 and no dedicated servers

WTF have they been doing at Bungie for the past few years? Relying on Microsoft's millions to spend ramming the game down gamers throats and buying 9+ reviews is no excuse to put out a shitty game.

You would think Bungie would at least TRY to make it look like they were trying with Halo 3.

Re:stop exposing us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098593)

I dunno dude. I just like playing Halo.

Honestly I've never really liked the big team games. There's too little overall coordination within the group and it's just too chaotic. The way to have fun with halo is to join up with people you can play well with on a team. The match making system is a lot like the system used for RTS's. You get randomly joined up with players who are at your level and the matches last around 5-10 minutes long. When you get matched up with someone you like you can ask them to join your party and then you'll join games together. You just keep inviting people you like until you get a full team. Dedicated servers would be nice for bigger games, but I would have been really sad if bungie went the battlefield route.

What's expected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098061)

The fact is, when halo came out is was a very good game, and built a huge base because of its great weapon balance, multiplayer maps and good campaign story. Halo 2 followed, sure as hell failed with the campaign, because everyone wanted to come back and fight at earth, but obviously if they did that the idea of a trilogy would be seriously flawed as you would save earth in number two. What they did instead, rather than come up with something good like MC goes to the enemy stronghold, they just redid the halo 1 campaign- showing a glaring hole. This however ceased to matter after a while because the multiplayer gameplay was good, it was strong, it was lots of wholesome fun, and it worked well- becuase the huge player base of players caught by halo 1 went online on halo 2 and found, hey this is a hell of a laugh- I know this cause I've been playing halo 2 online for 2 years now, and i find it really fun, when it first came out there was no multiplayer online xboxlive game that was an FPS and successful (There were other great successes like Midtown madness 3)

Halo 1- kickass game
Halo 2- Over hyped, benefitted as a sequel but dealt a killer blow with its online gameplay.
Halo 3- There's no longer a xbox live benefit- it's just expected. It will definately get helped by the huge online, and fofline fan base, hwo are virtually guarenteed sales, but most importantly, they WILL have to deliver an impressive game, it's the difference between the trilogy becoming legendary and just people saying 2 & 3 were let downs after an amazing 1.

*note when I talk about the online play, i'm refering to consoles only of course, comparing like for like.

Hey Bungie People (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098343)

Do you ever wish you'd been bought by Apple instead?

Serious question.

I don't get it... (1)

beef623 (998368) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098415)

...a beta preview? What's next? This just in, Bungie had an idea, preview it next week...

As far as the actual content goes, I didn't notice anything huge. New levels, a new gun or two, and a few new vehicles(it really bugs me that the little 4-wheeler thing looks so much like a shrunk warthog too) but the graphics didn't really look all that much better.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

malkir (1031750) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098743)

You've never played Halo obviously. There are a ton of new weapons, grenades, vehicles, maps, graphic upgrades, physics upgrades, multiplayer upgrades, gameplay upgrades, upgraded continuity/ergonomics, the controller layout has been completely revamped. And by the way, those low-res videos you've been watching aren't even with true Halo 3 textures. So before you bash, at least A)RTFA(s), B) RTFC, C) STFU

Console vs PC (1)

deeceefar2 (1101299) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098681)

They each have their benefits. Saying either side is the best is just a pointless debate. Having played EXTENSIVELY on both setups I feel I'm qualified to enlighten you on 4 pros and cons of each. Since I'm reading mostly PC gamer hate I'll start with PCs so that they can see why people play console games it isn't arcane at all.

PC Gaming:

Pros
1. A Mouse makes a very intuitive and sensitive device to aim with, there are a variety of them to use so you can pick the one that works the best for you. You use it while your using the computer so you become very accustom to it.
2. A Keyboard offers a virtually limitless medium for configuration. Keyboards come in different shapes and sizes and even can be purchased specifically designed for the game your using.
3. The graphics are unparralleled. The latest greatest hardware always shows up in PCs first and the graphics truely show that.
4. PCs are used for far more then just games so it is easier to convince your spouse, parent, or self to buy.

Cons
1. All PCs are not created equal. In competitive and even advanced gaming it is clear that there is always an edge to the gamer with the best hardware. Even to build your own really good PC, not the best, your talking a $2000 a price of entry FAR higher then console gaming. While this is not necessarily a consideration for casual gamers it is frustrating to know that your computer may be what is holding you back.
2. The keyboard's single greatest strengh, configurability, is also its greatest weakness. Learning to play on a standard keyboard is not pretty for a new gamer. The buttons you press have little to no corelation between the action the game takes and learning which buttons do what can be very frustrating. The buttons are often not oriented in an easy to press intuitive manner and require some skill to master and time to learn. Buying a keyboard specifically designed for gaming can make learning easier and button placement more intuitive, but setup on those controllers, depending on game, can sometimes take hours.
3. Graphics are designed to be bleading edge in most games; in order to stay up with the graphics, you need to upgrade hardware at least every 2 years, depending on how much you spend on it. PC games made the graphics card market what it is and the games are usually designed around the latest greatest with the ability to play pretty well on moderate hardware. PC gaming can be VERY expensive. Low frame rates in a game can kill the experience completely.
4. PCs are used for other things and this con sometimes lead to annoyances for gaming. Other people in the house might need to use the computer, you might get viruses or other things that slow it down, sometimes applications that are running in the background can have a dramatic effect on performance, and because the platform is open PC games are a much more attractive market for cheaters.

Console Gaming

Pros
1. Entry cost is relatively low when compared to PCs and you don't have to upgrade for usually 5 years.
2. Everyone plays on the same hardware. Every console is pretty much the same, making for a far more level playing field. The software was designed for the hardware. Because every console is the same and every controller is the same, games are designed ground up to maximize that piece of hardware and gameplay is designed to be intuitive for the controller.
3. Multiple people can play on the same piece of hardware, making it a far more social gaming device. It is much better to see the expression on your friends face when he gets taken out then to hear about it over voice communication.
4. The community the hardware the online experience is all closed. Typically leading to a much more secure gaming environment.

Cons
1. The hardware isn't as good as PCs can be. You are limited to the hardware the console company can afford to put in there rather then what you can afford to buy. You don't get the cutting edge graphics that you do on PCs and until recently the resolution wasn't even close either.
2. Consoles are really only used for one thing so they can be a harder cost to justify then getting a PC which can be used for many more productive things.
3. Analog sticks are not always the best pointing device for the game and sometimes it would be nice to have a few more buttons. Even though you can hook up a keyboard and mouse to a console games are not designed around it so they really don't take advantage of the benefits very well.
4. The environment is closed so you don't get some of the cool mods that you can for computer games. Until recently games and consoles that got rushed out the door and still had bugs in them were stuck without the ability to update them. Game developers also have the ability to exploit their gamers alot more because of the close market. Charging more money for new level and add ons to the game that would usually be given away free or developed for free by game enthusiasts.

Those are just some of the pros and cons to each of the markets, and I think from that list you can see why each side appeals to different markets. It isn't that any way is particualarly better then the other. I can see why console series such as the Halo one continue to succeed the way they do. When you know everyone else is getting the same game as you are and has the same hardware as you do, it becomes a great platform for competition. It is pointless to argues which style of gaming is better when both has benefits the other doesn't, and those benefits appeal to some more then others.

Gamespot review: 5/10 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19099273)

While the multiplayer in this multiplayer beta test exhibits typical Halo levels of excellence, the single player was significantly lacking. The single player consists of no AI, no objectives, and is played on the same maps as the multiplayer levels. While some fun can be had running around in circles, we find it hard to justify the purchase price compared to games that offer hours of interaction and direction.

Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta Test:
Graphics: 9
Halo isn't Gears of War; Get over it. It still looks great.

Sound: 10
Heartstopping.

Multiplayer: 10
It's Halo.

Singleplayer: 2
Strangely neglected.

Overall 5/10
Excellent online play, but most gamers will have a hard time finding value in the single player experience.
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