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Game Studio Flight From Microsoft A Sign of Troubles?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the watch-out-for-the-stingers dept.

XBox (Games) 122

Newsweek's LevelUp blog continues to produce some highly interesting material. Today they have up a look at the 'flight' of game studios from Microsoft's corporate umbrella. BioWare's purchase by EA distances it a bit from their cosy relationship with Microsoft, as does Bizarre's purchase by Activision. Bungie's departure from the company itself goes without saying. So what does all this mean? Is this a sign of troubles in Redmond, or just more fallout from the huge undertaking required to get the Xbox 360 to the position it has today? "For us, the flight of the Killer B's is a clear indication that Microsoft as a whole is still shell shocked not only by the massive losses in the Xbox division, but also more importantly by the poor showing of Rare, which has to rank as not only one of the Microsoft's least successful purchases, but as quite possibly the worst acquisition in the history of gaming. Microsoft paid $375 million in cash for Rare, and based on the modest revenues from its ensuing titles--a Conker's Bad Fur Day remake, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Kameo, Perfect Dark Zero and Viva Pinata--all they've got to show for it is that proverbial lousy T-shirt, completely stained with red ink."

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122 comments

Bioware? Bizarre? (3, Insightful)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986083)

Since when was either Studio owned by Microsoft? This is such a fluff piece for a slow gaming "news" week.

Re:Bioware? Bizarre? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20986111)

The best way to improve the accuracy of your post:

s/fluff/FUD/

Re:Bioware? Bizarre? (1)

MagusZeal (1156955) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986135)

The Bioware part is more than likely refrencing EA's less than great relationship with MS. Bioware's done alot of exlusive RPG's for the xbox and now with EA pulling the strings it may become a major issue. As for Bizarre, PGR4 is their last game of the series since MS owns the rights.

Gotham is dead; long live Metropolis (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986417)

As for Bizarre, PGR4 is their last game of the series since MS owns the rights.
Until you get Project Metropolis Racing. Good-bye Batman; hello Superman.

Re:Gotham is dead; long live Metropolis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20987181)

Uh, they already did that : Project Gotham Racing was the spritual successor to Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast....

Re:Gotham is dead; long live Metropolis (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20989901)

Uh, they already did that : Project Gotham Racing was the spritual successor to Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast....
I wasn't aware of that. What's the next DC city to pick?

Re:Bioware? Bizarre? (2, Informative)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986199)

Both companies had an exclusive publishing agreement with Microsoft Game Studios and were developing games only for the XBox and Xbox 360 platform.

Both companies will now be able to develop for other platforms as well.

Re:Bioware? Bizarre? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987329)

only if/when EA ponies up a big wad of cash to buy off MS's publishing rights. Any development so far would have been done with XBox as a target, so they may still be released on XBox first.

Re:Bioware? Bizarre? (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 6 years ago | (#20988887)

Why, because when you get bought out all your existing contracts are voided? There was serious cash that changed hands for such agreements, and special access to resources. That's not coming without a contract that doesn't go away because you got bought out by EA.

Re:Bioware? Bizarre? (4, Insightful)

tbannist (230135) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986317)

No, it's definitely not a fluff piece. It's overanalyzing a trend of 3 items. And the point isn't that Bioware and Bizarre were owned by MS, but that they had close partnerships with MS and were making the games that sell 360s.

If they go platform neutral that's a large blow to Microsoft's Third Party development and the release of Bungie is a huge blow to Microsoft's internall developed games. Overwall it reflects poorly on the 360s continued success. It might be a blip or it might be the first signs of major trouble in Microsoft's games department.

To put it more bluntly, the idea is that if Microsoft were on the ball and interested in developing first part titles for the 360, they would have kept Bungie and bought both Bioware and Bizarre. As it is now, they are leaving themselves very much at the mercy of their third party games developers. Hoping that they will stick with the Xbox line of products. If the PS3 ever surpasses the Xbox in sales (I know, not terribly likely at this time), they could end up royally screwed.

Re:Bioware? Bizarre? (4, Informative)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986571)

You're right, it might be over-analyzing the trend (based on the number of points). It does look at an overlooked part of the picture though.

Nintendo has lots of development companies inhouse and exlusive ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nintendo_developers [wikipedia.org] ).

Even Sony has been pretty consistent about maintaining worldwide developer studios ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Computer_Entertainment#Internal_organization [wikipedia.org] ). Leaving aside studios like Insomniac Games (Resistance:Fall of Man, Ratchet & Clank Series) who have "Close ties" to the studio.

MicroSoft has a much smaller stable of inhouse (and related) development companies ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Games#In-house_studios [wikipedia.org] ). They also have the split focus of providing games for the XBox 360, and providing games for Vista (though this is not mentioned). Any decrease in the inhouse development obviously puts more reliance on outside development, and as more and more games (especially from developers like EA) go cross-platform, its those in-house developers that help provide differentiation between competing products (all else being equal).

Re:Bioware? Bizarre? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#20991789)

A hint of an upcoming buying spree by M$ as they target a range of mid level game publishers with a diverse spread of in house game titles. The only way M$ will ever get a dominant range of xbox only game titles is to buy them, because there is one thing software developers have definitely learned, do not trust M$. So which major publishers will be the M$ targets for acquisition. Likely they will pursue the bread and butter titles, like the board game translations etc. (family gaming).

Re:Bioware? Bizarre? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20991843)

What the hell are you talking about?

It is close to two years into the 360's life. Microsoft isn't buying ANYONE. They just let their entire first party line up of developers go multiplatform outside of their basket case of a dev Rare.

With break even on the hardware losses being pushed back year after year before the 1.1 billion dollar RRoD fiasco and multiple Microsoft execs having made it clear over the past few years that bleeding cash is something that will no longer be tolerated for the Xbox mess, Microsoft is no way in hell going on any tens or hundreds of million dollar gaming studio shopping spree.

Jettisoning first party developers is a preparation of an exit from the console biz. End of story.

Re:Bioware? Bizarre? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#20988865)

If the PS3 ever surpasses the Xbox in sales (I know, not terribly likely at this time)

You can say that again. I've not looked for a couple of months, but the last time I checked prices here in the UK I could be an XBox 360 *and* a Wii for less than I could get a PS3. I know cost isn't everything, but *damn*.

Re:Bioware? Bizarre? (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 6 years ago | (#20991323)

the release of Bungie is a huge blow to Microsoft's internall developed games

No, not at all. They were always independant within the company and MS still owns a large chunk of their equity. No don't expect to see Marathon on the PS anytime soon.

Re:Bioware? Bizarre? (1)

ECMIM (946033) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986509)

Actually, the point is simply that MS is losing a lot of devs that were exclusive to them, content-wise, for the past 5 years, and are responsible for some of their biggest sellers (even if they own PGR, losing the dev isn't exactly something to be happy about.)

Re:Bioware? Bizarre? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20988151)

They don't, but they do (or did) like to suck Billy's willy.

Don't dis (2, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986099)

!Viva Pinata!

That's the only reason my boy swaps the XBox on, in place of the Wii.

We are a market of ONE!

Re:Don't dis (1)

Cheeko (165493) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986359)

Make that 2. My room mate have been playing on and off for a few months now (and we're in our 20's). Its a great game for sitting down for 20 minutes and blowing off a little steam.

If you like Piñata Crossing... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986499)

!Viva Pinata!

That's the only reason my boy swaps the XBox on, in place of the Wii.

Your boy might also like Animal Crossing, a GameCube game with a lot of the same ideas. It works fine on a Wii, and a native Wii version is rumored to be in the works.

X [] O [uncyclopedia.org]

Re:If you like Piñata Crossing... (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987683)

Thanks! We gonna look at it.

Re:Don't dis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20989321)

I heard Bill Gates called your son a little girl!

Are you going to take that from a NERD? ;)

Re:Don't dis (1)

radish (98371) | more than 6 years ago | (#20989573)

VP is awesome, first I got hooked then my wife did. One of those well reviewed but strangely under appreciated gems.

The story behind Rare? (2, Interesting)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986123)

What happened with Rare? I remember when Nintendo announced that it had let Rare go from 2nd party Nintendo developer to Microsoft exclusive developer. I figured that would be the "white flag" moment for Nintendo.

They took with them the underrated Conker's Bad Fur Day series, anything Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie (I think)... arguably the best games development studio behind Nintendo itself. What happened?

Re:The story behind Rare? (1)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986153)

Rare had been making increasingly crappy games for Nintendo even before they left the fold. Star Fox Adventures was an atrocious pile of crap.

Re:The story behind Rare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20987431)

They then went on to make Kameo, Perfect Dark Zero, and Viva Pinata. PDZ may have been the weakest of the lineup, but that's only because it was an uninspired remake -- technically it was fabulous, and frankly much better than Halo.

Maybe Rare was just looking for greener pastures.

Re:The story behind Rare? (3, Interesting)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986275)

They took with them the underrated Conker's Bad Fur Day series, anything Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie (I think)... arguably the best games development studio behind Nintendo itself. What happened?
They neglected to take with them most of the developers that made those titles so great... IIRC most of the core staff behind Rare in the Nintendo days now work under Free Radical which hasn't done much beyond the "Timesplitters" series, though not a blockbuster franchise, it's certainly more well received than Rares offerings over the last 5 years. They're also the ones behind the upcoming game: Haze...

When Microsoft bought rare, all they really bought was the name and some semi-popular franchses. Honestly the games they've made for the DS have probably made MS more money than the Xbox branded stuff they're put out. I'd be impressed if they've even as much as made half of the original investment back at this point.

Re:The story behind Rare? (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987377)

the "Timesplitters" series, though not a blockbuster franchise, it's certainly more well received than Rares offerings over the last 5 years.

Sadly, TimeSplitters was and still is an excellent game series. The game play matches, or not passes, that of GoldenEye for the N64 and the story was super fun and humorous. Sadly, I never meet many people who knew this, despite them saying how much they loved GoldenEye.

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:The story behind Rare? (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987541)

Getting off-topic but FWIW I was (and still am) a fan of the Timesplitters series. I remember back when I first got an Xbox I picked up Timesplitters 2 and loved it, I never even bought Halo. Of course I could never find anyone willing to play a few rounds with me as everyone was more interested in Halo. The TS series does truly follow in the footsteps of Goldeneye and Perfect Dark.

Perfect Dark Zero, despite being developed by a completely different staff, actually does capture a lot of the spirit of Goldeneye and the original Perfect Dark. The only reason PDZ was a bomb was the game mechanics, it was just too clunky to play. side by side with the original it was an improvement but when compared to other modern shooters like halo and timesplitters it was just clumsy. It could have easily been the blockbuster MS was looking for but the semi-cartoony graphics coupled with wooden game mechanics just turned too many people away. If you can get past those two things it's actually not too bad and very similar to Timesplitters/older rare titles once you sit down with it for a while.

Re:The story behind Rare? (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 6 years ago | (#20994489)

Something to note is that Perfect Dark 2 is underway with rumors of a late 2008 release.

I agree that PDZ's controls were poor and the core flaw of this launch title. What I don't get, is why this was allowed to happen. Halo is an MS franchise and Bungie was MS-owned at the time. Shadowrun's console controls were stellar because they were taken directly from Halo 2. Why didn't they carry over the same aiming scheme from Halo like they did for Shadowrun? Or was PDZ's failure the lesson that taught them to bring Halo's controls over to Shadowrun.

Perhaps PD2 will be able to make up for it's predecessor.

Let's jump in the way-back machine-reality check (1)

gmezero (4448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986487)

Here is how I called in 2002 and I'm sticking with my statement! [gamezero.com]

You can read the whole post there, but in short I closed with: "While I hate to see a core group from Nintendo go over to the hands of the soulless boys and girls of Microsoft... deep down I almost hope that Rare actually continues it's pitiful slide into the hole of mediocrity and takes MS with them... but that would be hoping for to much I guess."

Or you can read one of my many posts on the subject [slashdot.org] on this very site.

Maybe that's actually playing out as predicted? Who can tell. The facts of the matter are that Microsoft got screwed in the purchase.

Bryan

Rareware (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986143)

Microsoft paid $375 million in cash for Rare, and based on the modest revenues from its ensuing titles . . . all they've got to show for it is that proverbial lousy T-shirt, completely stained with red ink
They seemed to do pretty well when they were playing nice with Nintendo. I wonder what is it Nintendo was doing for Rare that Microsoft isn't, or what Microsoft is doing that Nintendo didn't.

Re:Rareware (3, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986457)

Nintendo made them DO STUFF. I remember reading something in 2001 where Rare complained that Nintendo was "working them too hard" or something along those lines. Well, at least they had something to show for it. And by "something" I mean games that set new standards in their respective genres, from Goldeneye for FPS's to KI for fighters to DKC for side-scrolling platformers, and everything in-between. Rare kept the N64 afloat because their games were semi-frequent and they all were pure awesome.

Now it seems Rare has gotten lazy, and MS let that happen. Nintendo's probably been laughing their butts off at all this. AS IF Rare could have made $375 mil for Nintendo if they'd been this lazy releasing games for GCN.

Re:Rareware (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20990201)

They weren't all awesome. Jet Force Gemini sucked ass.

Re:Rareware (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#20991175)

Sacrilege. JFG is rightly considered one of the most underrated games of all time. The music alone is tremendously good, right up there with DKC and DKC2.

Re:Rareware (1)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 6 years ago | (#20990621)

MS bought the company. Many people who made Rare jumped ship for Free Radical. It's dicey buying game companies. If the talent doesn't like you...well...your humped.

Re:Rareware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20986459)

Many of the developers that originally compromised Rare went off to do other things. From what I understand, a significant portion of the staff broke away and became Free Radical, which produced Time Splitters, a spiritual successor to Goldeneye.

I think Nintendo saw the writing on the wall and sold off their share in the company at just the right moment. Microsoft bought the empty 'shell' of Rare and Nintendo pocketed a nice chunk of change, which they probably spent in R&D while creating the Wii.

Did Microsoft finance their own demise? Hiroshi Yamauchi and Satoru Iwata are brilliant businessmen, in my opinion, and I think they played this hand well.

Re:Rareware (3, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986919)

They seemed to do pretty well when they were playing nice with Nintendo. I wonder what is it Nintendo was doing for Rare that Microsoft isn't, or what Microsoft is doing that Nintendo didn't.

And yet there was a reason Nintendo was willing to part with them. Remember, Rare was not an independent company - MS bought them from Nintendo.

Rare's output was dropping for years before the sale. In their last three years of development for Nintendo, they released five home console games: Donkey Kong 64, Perfect Dark, Jet Force Gemini, Conker's Bad Fur Day, and Starfox Adventures. Of those, only Perfect Dark could be called a legitimate hit. (DK64 sold well as a pack-in game, but it wasn't what you'd call a top quality game.)

A lot of people were pretty shocked at the price MS paid for them. This isn't just a 20/20 hindsight thing - many people said at the time that it was a dumb purchase. There were some hardcore hopefuls who thought otherwise, but this was not a purchase that was universally praised at the time.

And while this doesn't really apply to a studio like Bungie that's buying themselves, whenever one publisher is all too willing to dump a development studio onto another publisher, you have to ask yourself why. It's always a big red flag, and it seems obvious now that Nintendo knew something that MS didn't. Not about how to run Rare, but about how far Rare had really fallen.

Clearly, MS is going out of business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20986171)

I predict they will declare bankruptcy when Linux wins the desktop.

Was M$ forcing them to make new games vista only? (2, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986311)

Was M$ forcing them to make new games vista only? and the game coders do not want to piss of people who still have XP.

Re:Was M$ forcing them to make new games vista onl (1)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 6 years ago | (#20988371)

This was actually what I was wondering. DirectX10 could be the problem as well. Vista so far seems quite unpopular and forcing gamers to it isn't going making anyone happy.

So? (2, Insightful)

coolhandlucas (1174225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986335)

Microsoft failed to keep first- and third-party developers happy? THAT'S news ... The BioWare thing is a tragedy, but lack of console exclusivity is the least of my worries there. I don't care what console it comes out for, if I see "EA Games Presents Mass Effect 2009" I'm getting out the torches. The Rare deal was a stupid decision that was more about keeping the brand away from Nintendo, and it's old news anyway. As a fan of Bungie since the first Marathon, I am absolutely ecstatic that they're going independent again and wonder how many of their firstborn it cost them (really, though, how the HELL did they pull that off?). PGR is in my opinion a B franchise and I can't see it hurting them very much. Added up, there seems to be a trend of Microsoft failing to buy innovative development studios before somebody else does ... given history, that may be the best news of all. As to the future of the Xbox, I don't really care. As long as this fight continues, we (the consumers) win.

Is Newsweek still owned by Microsoft? (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986437)

That about says it all. Does Microsoft still own Newsweek?

Re:Is Newsweek still owned by Microsoft? (1)

coolhandlucas (1174225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986473)

If so, tell them to get rid of the stupid automatically streaming video. I hate that crap.

Re:Is Newsweek still owned by Microsoft? (1)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986977)

agreed!

wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , the source of all knowledge doesn't mention anything about that, no

Xbox Losing Money? (3, Insightful)

Cheeko (165493) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986469)

This article came off very strange. It seems like trying to create a story out of nowhere.

Last I heard MS was already making a profit on the 360, due to the cost coming down quicker than expected. Yes they took that billion dollar charge, but as I understand it each one sold is still profit at this point.

Add onto that some pretty killer titles in the last year and MS has made some cash. Halo3 alone would offset any losses in the last year I would assume. (Short of the charge).

If you read the statement Bungie released on their website it sounds more like what MS did was pull lots of companies into the fold, in order to foster the growth of its image as a gaming company. Now that they've established their beachhead, they can let those companies go sink or swim on their own merits.

I think Rare is the perfect example of why MS is letting the studios go (though still in publishing agreements for many of them). With a good partner relationship MS doesn't take on the risk of a studio starting to turn out poor quality product. At the same time, its become a large enough, established enough player, that those publishers will pay attention to MS, even if they aren't subsidiaries.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20986581)

There are really two options for Xbox fans to deal with the impending exit of Microsoft from the console market:

A) Denial
B) Run around screaming

You went with option A obviously.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20986765)

You forgot:

C) Sell 360, and buy a PS3 and/or Wii before the console is either worth nothing, or suffers a Red Ring of Death failure.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

Stormcrow309 (590240) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986849)

Considering three facts:

A. Microsoft has never given up on a flagship product line

B. They have more cash reserves then their competition

C. Their developer's network treats third party like gold

I don't think we will be seeing Microsoft leaving the market any time soon. We might be in denial, but at lease we are not delusional.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (2, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987093)



Considering three facts:

A. Microsoft has never given up on a flagship product line

B. They have more cash reserves then their competition

C. Their developer's network treats third party like gold

I don't think we will be seeing Microsoft leaving the market any time soon. We might be in denial, but at lease we are not delusional.


A. is not entirely true. They have discontinued unprofitable products [wikipedia.org] . The distinction "flagship" might be the dividing line. But strictly speaking they have discontinued products.

B. This does not translate into "willingness to use entire cash reserve to float product line". At some point their shareholders may demand results from that division. Thus far the division if 5 billion int he hole and only had a sprinkling of profitable quarters without any profitable years.

C. I think this is true but I am not a developer. They do tend to have good docs and run a good support infrastructure.

I doubt they will give up on the product line soon. The product line does add some intangible brand value to the MS brand. But at some future date the investors may demand they shift that intangible benefit to a more tangible one or demand they scuttle the ship.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#20988789)

Your option B there seems to indicate that Sony should have dumped its gaming division long ago. A few years back, it was $17 billion in the hole - I would say that if companies were that unwilling to accept short term loss, we probably wouldn't have any consoles at all - Sony would never have released the PS3 (or likely even the PS2), Nintendo may have just closed up shop entirely, same with Sega, and Microsoft would have just dumped the entertainment division.

Like Sony and Nintendo, they can see that there's still money to be made as long as there are people that don't own consoles yet, and third party developers to license games to their hardware. I don't see the Xbox line being discontinued (perhaps overhauled, though).

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20989211)

A few years back, it was $17 billion in the hole

Just how far up your rectum did you have to go to pull that one?

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#20989669)

Nintendo sells it's consoles at a profit (though admittedly they didn't always).

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#20990563)

Oops, minor correction. That $17 billion should be $1.7 billion. I missed a decimal point. Frigging dodgy keyboard.

Still Sony's gaming division loss is the same as, if not more than, Microsoft's gaming divisions loss. Is Sony intending to leave the console market?

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20987183)

"A. Microsoft has never given up on a flagship product line"

LOL!

"B. They have more cash reserves then their competition"

LOL!

"C. Their developer's network treats third party like gold"

LOL!

What a fucking loser. Your pathetic little Xbot world is coming to an end and the gaming world is laughing our collective asses off at you shit on the gaming world's shoe Xbox fanboys.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987243)

Just a few quick points:

A. Windows ME (granted they has Win98 to fall back on, but they gave up on ME and abandoned anyone who went to it). (although they are releasing a new version of the Zune)

B. Definitely true.

C. Don't know, but considering some of the rumbles from Nintendo and Sony, that may not last as a differentiator.

You're right, they probably are not going to leave the market, and the 360 has already sold more units than the Zune (lots more, I know), but the real question is, can they keep up the momentum enough for the long haul.

Unlike the OS market, people have real choice here on which console they get, and MS can't play the same lock-in games they did with Windows to force a winner (making Word/Wordperfect incompatible, throwing up warning with Dr-Dos, breaking Lotus Notes, giving Businesses discounts so people get used to Windows and Office at work, and bring them home).

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

Stormcrow309 (590240) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987771)

Windows ME is not the product line, it is either the Windows product line or the client/server product lines, depending on how you segment it. Yes, they have dropped products and even product lines (Bob, shutter), but their flagships, such as windows, sql server, exchange, etc... they will not likely drop. Sometimes they have renamed product lines (Backoffice). The only exception I can think of is DOS.

Looking at the financial statements, MSFT current assets are 40 billion, most of it in cash, short term investments, and receivables, the more liquid of liquid assets. Sony has about 36 billion, but a good third of it is in inventory and prepaid expenses. Nintendo is worth about 11 billion, with 8 billion in cash and receivables. Microsoft will not "bet the farm" on Xbox, but they also have intangible benefits all around. I bet many new server management and network technology gets invented to deal with XBox Live, let alone the sheer plethora of research data generated.

Microsoft's developer network, MSDN, does a good job dealing with their partners. Geac, the financial software company bought by Infor, had sessions run by Microsoft for years at their user conference. Microsoft is quite willing to work with anyone pushing the edge of their technology, throwing in a lot of freebies for the developer. Having worked with Microsoft on some projects and a family member having worked with them in a lot, I have seen how well MSDN treats developers, which why I say that. I am not sure what treatment to expect from the competition, but rumor has always been that Sony are absolute snots and Nintendo has its way of doing things.

Oh, as I work at a Notes shop, Notes dors a great job of breaking themselves, thank you very much. It is bad when your admin calls it Lotus Stinking Notes. WordPerfect screwed themselves over the switch from 16 bit to 32 bit. I do love the take office home benefit program. Sybase is just getting the fact that they don't need to treat their customers like crap. They use to, until quite recently, delivered drivers for windows inside a tar ball. The 12.0 to 12.5 pc conversion advice we got was rebuild the pcs. How is that for an install process?

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#20988355)

Actually I meant Lotus-1-2-3, not Lotus Notes, and yes, I'm aware that Sybase had sucky customer service (BTW when did I mention Sybase? :) )

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 6 years ago | (#20992003)

Speaking as a game programmer in the industry, the PS3 has its work cut out for it. Ironically, the xboxor 360 (and I'm a former FreeBSD programmer and no MS sympathizer) is really turning out to be the current gen platform of choice. Its not all that surprising, given that if you want to release on PC and console, you have your work cut out for you if you're trying to do Wii/PC or PS3/PC.

If anything, the PS2 was too successful. If the Wii keeps on doing what its doing, developers will either go 'next gen' with the xbox 360 for pipeline efficiency (developed on windows, ship on 'windows') or current gen with a bajillion ps2s and the Wii so you can reuse most of your assets on both platforms.

360/Ps3 is still out of the reach of many developers simply because of the costs associated with making a next gen cross platform engine.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20992299)

Fucking Microsoft, they are dumb enough to throw a bunch desktop peecee parts into a big ugly black box and every idiotic clown who cuts and pastes directx or opengl code thinks he has something of value to add to console development discussions.

Keep your fucking mouth shut idiot. We console developers don't give a fuck what you have to say. Go back to crapping out yet another fps or rts in your dying peecee market.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (2, Insightful)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 6 years ago | (#20990685)

Another poster covered your statements quite well. About the cash reserves point...Your looking at the total reserves. Microsoft would dump the Xbox division long before they had to sink even 1/10th of their reserves. Same goes for Sony. Nintendo on the other hand is the only player who has staying power here no matter what happens with around seven billion in reserves. They flat out have no choice. What are the going to do? Live off Pokemon forever? Videogames are what they do, and even when they are last place, they still make more than their competitors!

Investors tend to make you axe divisions which aren't making money, especially when your beating your competitor, and they are laughing the entire way to the bank! It's probably partially why Sony is pushing BR with the PS3. They want some good will from the media division so they can keep their attempts to screw with the industry going.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986643)

MS projected they would finally make a profit by the last quarter of the year- that was however only before the massive cost of the extended warrenty.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (2, Informative)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986785)

Last I heard MS was already making a profit on the 360, due to the cost coming down quicker than expected. Yes they took that billion dollar charge, but as I understand it each one sold is still profit at this point.

You heard wrong. The billion dollar allocation for RRD problems with the existing retail models pushed their possibility of profitability into 2008. Each machine is sold at a profit but the division itself is still in the red due to warranty issues. If you factor in the extended RR of D warrant it wipes out any profit on their machines and then some.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

Cheeko (165493) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987339)

Yeah, but I made a specific point of talking outside the bounds of the charge. In corporate terms you write the charge off once and then operate based on profitability and margin past that quarter. While the overall cost of R&D + the charge won't be payed off until 2008, as long as the system remains profitable on each sale, that investment will eventually be paid for. Admittedly it means in a year instead of today, but they are still turning a profit on the systems (I'd call that gaining money, even if its first paying off debt, then pocketing it later).

I personally just think the alarmism over spinning of the game studios is over the top. Nobody seemed to read into MS's decisions to acquire and spin off PC studios, and that was all because MS is in a singular place in the PC gaming market. If not for the fanboy camps in the gaming market, none of these moves by MS would be read into any further than corporate governance.

I seem to recall everyone heralding MS when they dropped Sigil onto SOE. As with everything its a matter of executives trying to figure out what will and won't allow them to capitalize on their investment down the line. None of this spells doom or success for anyone in the console market.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (2, Insightful)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987567)

Yes, but as you point out:

Nobody seemed to read into MS's decisions to acquire and spin off PC studios, and that was all because MS is in a singular place in the PC gaming market.

The reason this is interesting is because the console market is NOT like the PC market where "MS is in a singular place".
There is actual competition in the market, and exclusive titles (usually developed by in-house publishers), is one of the key differentiators between one console and another.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

Cheeko (165493) | more than 6 years ago | (#20988223)

I'd argue that only Nintendo tends to do most of its exclusives out of in house shops. Most of the major Sony exclusives aren't Sony shops, they are simply partners that Sony set up publishing agreements with. Which is the same situation MS is in with Bungie and a few other independent companies.

Partnering and software alliance are VERY common in the Enterprise market, a market MS knows all too well.

I just see this as MS applying much more of a software/IT market philosophy to its gaming division.

As any HW vendor can tell you partnering is key to getting people to buy your system. Even if you are IBM and have a pile of applications in your own software division you still don't have them all. You still need to partner with other vendors, and your success will very much be tied directly to those partnerships. The in-house stuff offsets that some, but its not a replacement for it.

If MS feels like they can get away with a partner model instead of an ownership model its likely a matter of the risks inherent in ownership.

A good market analogy is to look at HP versus IBM in the global server market. IBM owns many important completer apps (DB2, WebSphere, Rational, etc) while HP partners for all of its key completers (Oracle, BEA, etc).

I see no reason a company producing gaming HW can't apply the same model. Its all in keeping the developers happy and doing what you have to to ensure they release on your system. Ownership isn't critical as a piece of that.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#20988413)

Interesting idea, but you do realize that, traditionally, MS, being on the software side has always owned many of its own important completer apps (Windows, Office, MS-SQL, Dev Studio), so its interesting to see them take the other approach in this case. It implies a different culture, as well as an awareness of a different situation (although arguably the Windows monopoly on x86 could be argued as comparable to a hardware platform such as that from HP, or IBM).

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1, Insightful)

fwarren (579763) | more than 6 years ago | (#20989867)

The truth is. There is NO proof that any of the XBox-360's that Microsoft is selling at a "profit" have the overheating causing the board to warp and chips to pop fixed. The red ring of death is still very real. Microsoft may have been very nice extending the warranty on the boxes that are already out there. But they have done nothing to really fix the overheating issues. The one billion write off will be consumed by repairs. Those old units will continue to break, even after the warranty period is over. The new units will break as well. Will the XBox-III save them? How long till the shareholders in Microsoft look at the Wii doing great and wonder how many more billions they need to throw after the five billion they have already eaten? And I am sure that the Zune is making the situation even better...

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 6 years ago | (#20994765)

The shrink from 90nm to 65nm on the processor may have little to no effect since the design flaw is in the X-clamp on the GPU. The new repair service that went in hand with the warranty extension involves an installation of a new heatpipe on the GPU. So there is something being done, but in a passive form, rather than an active product recall. That's what supposed to fix the issue, the idea of the new Falcon chip solving the RROD was pure speculation, and as parent has mentioned there is NO proof. Not even a claim from MS that this is the case.

However, there are rumors of a GPU shrink coming in late 2008 from 90nm to 65nm as well: http://www.digitimes.com/bits_chips/a20070430PB208.html [digitimes.com] . This would be more likely to affect the RROD issue since this is the source of the heat that causes the board flexing under the X-clamps.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20986953)

The console market is won or lost on two pillars:

1. Manufacturing technology - the ability to creating maximally efficient multimedia hardware that is cost reduced rapidly over a console cycle.

2. Exclusive IP - Games and content that can only be found on that console

Microsoft obviously a complete failure at console manufacturing tech, and they have now almost entirely given up on exclusive internal studios.

Microsoft is in the process of dismantling their Xbox division. Any other take on the huge changes going on is simply delusional wishful thinking. If you are an Xbox fan/owner it is time to start coming to grips with reality.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987323)

Oh, give the XBox crowd a little longer, so you can enjoy providing the requisite "I'M SHOCKED, I TELL YOU, SHOCKED!!!"

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987031)

Also, is Viva Pinata doing poorly? I was under the impression that, while Rare had a few bombs after Microsoft acquired them, Kameo was pretty good and Viva Pinata is pretty excellent.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987539)

The problem is that Microsoft decided not to advertise Viva Pinata, in favor of spending their advertising budget on e.g. Gears of War and Halo 3. It's a good game, but most people haven't even heard of it, and correspondingly stores didn't exactly give it priority for shelf space either.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987687)

Don't they have a Saturday morning cartoon which is basically nothing but advertising for the game? Not that I watch Saturday morning cartoons, for all I know it was canceled after one episode...

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 6 years ago | (#20988251)

Huh, I'd never heard of it, but it looks like you're right.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20987417)

I guess if you are an Xbox owner you wouldn't want to face the facts of what is going on, but Microsoft now has no internal first party developers outside of Rare who is considered a sad joke of company by the gaming world.

Every single action Microsoft has taken this year indicates an exit from the console market - execs leaving/getting fired, cancelation of Xbox shows, poor showings at E3 and TGS, almost complete silence on plans beyond 2007, shedding first party developers.

Just one of those things would be a sign of an impending exit from the market. But all of them?

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20988263)

Maybe they just plan on launching the next gen system next year, or the following one.

That'll show everyone! MS first to launch Next-NextGen system.

Of course that means they have to discontinue support for the 360 and you'll be expected to buy a new system after just 3-4 years, but all you loyal fans who followed us from the original Xbox won't mind, right?

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (2, Interesting)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 6 years ago | (#20988043)

One (potential) quarter of profitability does not come *close* to touching the $7B+ losses they have incurred over the lifetime of the Xbox project. From a business perspective, the Xbox has been a disaster for MS. The shareholders should be in revolt; MS has been pissing away *their* money, and the stock price over the last 10 years reflects that. I mean, a billion here and a billion there, and all of a sudden you're talking about *real* money, even for MS.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20988589)

$1.9 bn in red isn't exactly what I'd call "making money"

but hey, people have different way of doing accounting (read Enron)

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (2, Insightful)

Shadowlore (10860) | more than 6 years ago | (#20990015)

it sounds more like what MS did was pull lots of companies into the fold, in order to foster the growth of its image as a gaming company. Now that they've established their beachhead, they can let those companies go sink or swim on their own merits.

And how is this demonstrative of good behavior?

Seriously, what you are describing is essentially the use of other companies' mojo, name, ability, image, etc. until said attribute was ascribed to MS, then let the used up company go "sink or swim" after taking their positive attributes for themselves. A "partner" relationship does not eliminate any risk of the studio/partner putting out poor product.

From what I've heard, this has been a long time coming, and both "sides" knew that.

Personally, I expect MS to somewhat alter their course on the XBox to more of a MS owned media PC type appliance. I don't think they really want to keep it as a games platform per se. Oh they still will, but I predict they will shift more toward non-game media with games as the "high point".

To an extent we may see this from all three players, but none as much as MS, with Sony second. Nintendo, to my knowledge doesn't make TVs, video players, audio receivers, etc.. MS clearly wants to run the home media space, and I believe the XBox group was essentially created as a long term plan to get there, with PC based media center stuff filling in the gap and "working out the main kinks".

If this is true, the regurgitation of gaming studios could represent a shift in the media direction, perhaps presaging more of an emphasis on the media center part of it.

Re:Xbox Losing Money? (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20990495)

Hasn't this been obvious from the beginning? microsoft has been trying forever to take over the living room and extend the windows monopoly. It's too bad, because FIFA and Winning Eleven are easily the best on xbox, but no way I'm going to support the end of digital entertainment freedom represented by microsoft as a leader in the video game/set top box market. As bad as Sony is there's nothing they can do that would be as horrible as what would happen if this generation of consoles ends with microsoft in the place Sony was with PS2.

Rare (1)

tyrantking31 (1115607) | more than 6 years ago | (#20986595)

The games Rare made for Nintendo were some of the only playable non-Nintendo titles on the N64. Rare certainly benefited from having access to Nintendo's characters and Nintendo benefited from having a studio which could competently create a playable game. I'm looking at you Namco and Capcom. After the break-up there were too few good games on the Gamecube and this article tells you everything you need to know about Rare's post Nintendo success.

Stick A Fork In The Xbox, It's Done (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20986775)

4-5 billion in losses with the first Xbox for a tie for last place with Nintendo last gen
Rushed out the door underpowered piece of shit follow up console
1.1 billion in red ink just for one specific flaw in the 360
Disc scratching/destroying lawsuits
Peter Moore gets fired
Internal studios being jettisoned
Closely tied third party studios heading off to multiplatform companies like EA and Activision
Cancelation of major Xbox conferences
Almost complete silence on any plans beyond 2007

Microsoft has finally had enough with the seven year long Xbox trainwreck. They have decided it is time to move on. Perhaps some of the non-hardware Xbox stuff will live on as part of Vista gaming.

Regardless, the Xbox is done. Get over it.

Re:Stick A Fork In The Xbox, It's Done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20986895)

Regardless, the Xbox is done. Get over it.

isn't this a dope? i recall having heard this since day one of xbox. looks like you're wrong again, spanky.

Re:Stick A Fork In The Xbox, It's Done (3, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987051)

Troll that you may be, I will respond anyway.

First, my non-fanboy credentials. I own an Atari 2600, Jaguar, NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, GBA, DS Lite, Genesis, Game Gear, Dreamcast, PS1/PS2/PS3/PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360, and a fairly up-to-date gaming PC.

That being said, my 360 BY FAR has provided me with the most enjoyment and gaming time this generation. I myself haven't experienced a RRoD, however two of my friends have...and you know what? They got them replaced and continue to buy games for the system. Why? Because it's a fun fun FUN system.

The controller feels great and controls tightly (aside from the horrendous d-pad...but no system really has a decent d-pad anymore), the first party/exclusive games are fun and replayable , the graphics are fantastic on an HDTV (and still look damn good on an SDTV), and the interface is fluid and easy to use.

The hardware itself has it's obvious issues for some people, but overall it is a damn fun console and if mine ever went belly up, I would replace it in a second.

Is that you, Mr. Ballmer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20988775)

Don't you think that claiming you have a total of 21 (yes, twenty-one, I counted them) different consoles and then saying that the 360 is BY FAR the best one won't look suspicious?


Geez, astroturfers suck...

Re:Is that you, Mr. Ballmer? (1)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 6 years ago | (#20989239)

In all fairness, he did say "This generation." I'd be interested to know how it stacks up overall against, say, the Dreamcast or GBA. Obviously not just in the graphics department, as while I love my DC, the 360 would mop the floor with it and the GBA is not a contender for obvious reasons, but both systems have had some fantastic and unique stuff to their credit.

Re:Is that you, Mr. Ballmer? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20993865)

As the person that first responded to you noted, I did indeed say "this generation".

Overall, my favourite would be a tie between the SNES and the PC ...If I absoutely had to pick one though, I would likely say PC due to the sheer number of titles that I played on that platform.

The SNES does hold a lot of Street Fighter II Turbo and NBA Jam memories for me though :-)

Re:Stick A Fork In The Xbox, It's Done (3, Interesting)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 6 years ago | (#20990741)

Sure, the system gets the most play from you, but if it doesn't make the company boatloads of money like EVERY system Nintendo has ever made (outside of the Virtual Boy, which I think they broke even on). Investors tend to get a little pissy. They don't care if you personally like the system. They want MS to make them as much money as possible in as short a time as possible. MS, and Sony both keep fucking up, and I wonder just how much longer both will keep this game up. The crazy thing is the top competitor both companies want to beat is winning, by not competing with them!

I'm no fanboy either, hell I love the 360, but the gaming division at MS is taking on a ton of watter. Gota face reality that the 360 may just be the last console MS puts out.

Re:Stick A Fork In The Xbox, It's Done (2, Funny)

nightgeometry (661444) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987151)

But... does netcraft confirm it? (Sorry, couldn't resist)

Wait.. (1)

gspawn (703815) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987113)

Microsoft UN-monopolizing a market is a bad thing? Wow- those guys really cannot win the press no matter what they do.

Endless cash. (1, Troll)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 6 years ago | (#20987635)

The goal behind Microsoft isn't simply to do business as its primary feat of social engineering.

Subversion of the masses through electronic drugs is the primary goal. If Microsoft dies, then it will be replaced by some other machine designed to make people dumb and slow and distracted.

I'm sure all the MS employees, however, don't see it this way. But they're just expendable cogs in the works of a greater force.

Among the best things I ever did for myself was to throw out my television set, to stop playing video games, and to start eating healthy foods.


-FL

Re:Endless cash. (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20989655)

That's fun, you go eat your leaves and enjoy what you think is interesting.

Don't go drawing silly conspiracy theories and backhandedly painting yourself as superior simply because you don't enjoy things that other people do.

Re:Endless cash. (2, Interesting)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 6 years ago | (#20990211)

Don't go drawing silly conspiracy theories and backhandedly painting yourself as superior simply because you don't enjoy things that other people do.

Silly? I'm just looking at the results of the forces which have been playing upon society and drawing conclusions which, yes, I believe do infer intent, though not probably from the standard sectors people might assume. --But wherever it stems from, the old patterns still work; Bread and circuses, and all that. And even in the event that there is no deliberate intent to dumb people down, the results remain the same.

Because the thing is, I DO enjoy video games. A lot. --As I'm sure I'd enjoy heroin were I to use it, but I choose not to because I don't want my brain to fry out and become mushy. Same with video games. Thousands of hours spent moving dots around on a screen with zero practical reward versus time invested in growing my own energies and knowledge? --The power structures of the world do not like people who refine themselves. Such people are much more difficult to control.

Although, 'superior' is certainly not a word I'd use to describe myself. (I've got a helluva lot of personal work to do on myself before I'd ever approach such arrogance, and if the work is done right, then self-importance should be bypassed altogether.) It is however interesting that you should pluck such a word out of the air. This suggests a something about how you perceive yourself.


-FL

Re:Endless cash. (1)

biovoid (785377) | more than 6 years ago | (#20990529)

Healthy food I agree with completely, but there are quality television shows and videogames that don't turn your brain to mush. I'd prefer to be selective about what entertainment I consume, rather than completely cutting out entire mediums of entertainment which, if used properly, can be great sources of education and self-improvement. To follow your own drug metaphor, it looks like you were forced to go "cold-turkey", because you were unable to manage them any other way.

The videogames and television shows I enjoy are certainly more stimulating than posting about your non-gaming lifestyle on the gaming section of Slashdot - which, to defend the other poster, does give you a rather unpleasant air of superiority.

What exactly was the point of posting this in the games section?

Re:Endless cash. (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 6 years ago | (#20991675)

Healthy food I agree with completely, but there are quality television shows and videogames that don't turn your brain to mush. I'd prefer to be selective about what entertainment I consume, rather than completely cutting out entire mediums of entertainment which, if used properly, can be great sources of education and self-improvement. To follow your own drug metaphor, it looks like you were forced to go "cold-turkey", because you were unable to manage them any other way.

Well, I'll concede a point here. . . --I will certainly watch programs on a computer disk, etc, when they are my choice and the timing is up to me. It's a good way to stay in touch with culture and to track down the material which is of interest. But broadcast television I find to be just plain nasty; I've seen countless people plan their lives around broadcast schedules, and from what I've seen, it's rarely a simple matter of just watching the one program a person likes. It usually entails absorbing the crud before and after to kill time. And then it's not so much about the program, but about the calming, zone-out state created which I believe has been demonstrated to have a chemical and addictive component. --The known neurological effects of TV are really quite astonishing. After having removed the old CRT from my life and canceled the cable subscription, I'm always stunned when I enter a person's home where television still rules; the hammering of advertising and programming, (especially with regard to channel flipping), literally leaves my head buzzing, --in a bad way. I really don't think people can consciously put up the barriers necessary to avoid being negatively affected by television.

As for computer games. . . There are again some interesting elements which I pay attention to. --Without having played the games, I eagerly absorb the story ideas from the laest games. The stories we tell each other are the barometer of a society's awareness and psychological state. Stories are fun! But that can be studied in a relatively short amount of time without having to actually directly immerse oneself in the medium. But again, if it's drugs people want, then there's nothing actually wrong with partaking. All experiences are valid. I just prefer, for my part, not to experience having my mind re-written through hours of dissociative hypnosis in front of somebody else's world-view come to life and mixed with all manner of stress chemicals produced by the brain.

It seems to me that there is not really any such thing as 'being able to handle' it, when it comes to TV and video games. All exposure has a measurable effect. I find it best to just stay clear.

As for my attitude with regard to this. . , I really don't intend any sort of 'holier than thou' tone. This story is about MS computer games, a subject which fascinates me. So I'm just commenting on the patterns as I see them in good old public forum. The fact that my attitude happens to be different from the norm, while I can understand why it might annoy people, isn't my problem. I like different ways of looking at things, and I appreciate it when others post new ideas. Same-ness is dull, and in this world, same-ness also usually indicates something to be wary of.


-FL

Are you protecting your precious... (1)

AmazingRuss (555076) | more than 6 years ago | (#20990673)

...bodily fluids as well?

Does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20988427)

The biggest loss is Bungie and seeing as MS has a larger share in them still than Sony has in Square Enix there's certainly no worry for MS there and even then Bungie is nothing without Halo and Halo 3 would be nowhere near the success it was without MS' resources. Bungie would be stupid to totally divorce themselves from MS because their only other success prior to MS was Halo 1 which sold 5 mill units compared to Halo 2 at 9 mill units and Halo 3 which will possibly top that again.

Mass Effect is staying 360 only for now, if it does get ported to PS3 the port is so far away it's irrelevant so there's nothing to worry about there at least from the Bioware merge with EA.

Bizarre, well, yeah, PGR is good but it's just not as good as Forza II, so the 360 sure as hell aint gonna die if it loses the PGR series because racing fans still have Forza 2 so again Bizarre is no big loss.

It certainly can't be spun off as being good for MS certainly but to suggest it's in any way a disaster is a major overexageration, particularly when you compare the amount of previously Sony exclusives and exclusive studios that have jumped shipped or at least gone dual format. When you take that lot into account it's still a massive net win for MS over the last generation so there's certainly no need to start panicing just yet!

Re:Does it matter? (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 6 years ago | (#20991439)

their only other success prior to MS was Halo 1

While your post sounds like you are intelligent I am boggled by how you can be unaware that MS purchased Bungie long before the original Xbox came out - that's why Halo was a launch title.

Nonsense (2, Insightful)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20988803)

More like 3 stories makes a conspiracy. How many of those companies were EXCLUSIVELY with M$? One maybe? Sounds like PS3 scaremongering.
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