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PS2 Vs. X-Box: Winner Emerging? 949

Posted by Hemos
from the battle-of-the-titans dept.
gripdamage writes "This article on MSNBC says XBox's sales are slowing and are not expected to meet Microsoft's expectations. MSNBC previously reported that sales have been weak in Japan. The strongest and most interesting assertion in the article is that "In its regular global video game survey last week, Goldman Sachs said U.S. retailers showed a 'surprisingly clear' preference for Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 2 over the Xbox."" X-Box isn't dead yet - not by a long shot.
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PS2 Vs. X-Box: Winner Emerging?

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  • that the millions that bought a PS1 liked it so much that they bought a PS2. it could also be the fact that there aren't that many xbox games, compared to the ps2. or, maybe the reason is that the xbox sucks? i've played both, and the ps2 is better than xbox, in my opinion.
    • by ergo98 (9391)
      The thing I don't get about this article: What the heck does the RETAILERS opinions of the boxes have to do with things? Retailers have likes/dislikes absolutely and completely different than the general public: They like high margins and lots of co-merchanidizing efforts. They like oily salesmen soliciting regions with cardboard cutouts and salesperson promos. I really don't CARE which box the retailers themselves like because I'm not a retailer, so the like/dislike criteria are totally different. Having said that, personally I have been incredibly unwhelmed by the games that I have seen on the XBox (As a home user of a GF3 video card, let me say that what I see gaming at home is vastly superior to most of the games that I've seen on the xbox, yet on paper the xbox is technically superior, at least from a graphics perspective). I am curious about why most graphics in the current crop of games are so incredibly poor or simply uninspiring given the apparent promise of the xbox : Is this just because of the race to get games out quickly, so they didn't have time to capitalize on the hardware? If anyone would, I'd expect Carmack to be the man to actually capitalize on the potentially that supposedly the xbox has, and Doom 3, if released for the xbox [consolewire.com], might be what puts it over the top as a killer application. If I were Microsoft I'd be a lap dog at his door everyday helping him along and encouraging support of the xbox platform.
      • by xonker (29382) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:52AM (#3316382) Homepage Journal
        What the heck does the RETAILERS opinions of the boxes have to do with things?

        A retailer's relationship with a manufacturer/product can make a lot of difference between a product that sells well and one that doesn't. A good example of this is in grocery stores where the store brand gets preferential treatment -- better placement, more advertising, slightly lower cost -- over the name brand. I've even seen grocers put name-brand products in odd locations (for example, name-brand crackers in a completely different aisle from the rest) or just not carrying popular brands at all. If you shop at King Sooper's or Safeway (I forget which) in Denver, you can buy three generic brands of fig cookies, but you can't find Fig Newtons in the store at all.

        If you are a retailer you decide things like how many units to carry, store placement, promotions and so forth. If a product is in high demand, there's not much a retailer can do to dissuade people -- but if a product (like the XBox) is trying to make inroads into an existing market with a popular front-runner (like the PS2) how retailers treat the product can make a lot of difference. Since Microsoft isn't selling the XBox direct to the public, they have to depend on retailers. (Having a direct outlet is a double-edged sword -- retailers tend to dislike companies selling their products directly, because they have an incentive to take sales away from the retailer (more profits) and can afford to sell the product cheaper than the retailers.)

        If a product doesn't have decent margins or you don't have a good relationship with the vendor (or both) you can certainly understock the product and hope that people will go to the competition's product and kill the products you don't like. I'm not saying that's happening with the XBox, but if several large retailers like Best Buy decided to promote the PS2 more heavily it could certainly have a negative impact on XBox sales. (I doubt this is the case...their margins on the XBox can't be much lower than on the PS2, which has virtually no margin. Game titles are where they make their money, and I imagine the margins are about the same for XBox and PS2.)

        Oh, and speaking as someone who used to work in retail -- I don't care for "oily salesmen" any more than you do. The things I looked for were decent margins, stock when I needed it, a good return policy for unsold inventory and decent terms (net 30 or better).
        • A good example of this is in grocery stores where the store brand gets preferential treatment -- better placement, more advertising, slightly lower cost -- over the name brand.

          Ahh yes.. I have an OS/2 Warp (huge) poster from 95, when I worked at Best Buy. For some reason management didn't want it hung up..
          Of course the Windows 95 stuff went up with peanuts still stuck to it..

      • I expect Gamecube to actually have victory,
        so far it has the best games, the cheapest price, and the best graphics

        its not even listed?!

        Zelda, Pokemon, Mario, all of these games will be huge, and then theres the adult games too
        Gamecube is a very good system, sold equally well to Xbox and PS2, and sold well in Japan

        I think this is premature, but next year we should ask this question again.
        • Because (Score:4, Interesting)

          by DapperDan (513839) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @12:20PM (#3317127)
          Some of us wait for the games to come out before we buy the system.
        • Re:No Gamecubee?! (Score:4, Informative)

          by Melantha_Bacchae (232402) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @01:12PM (#3317558)
          HanzoSan wrote:

          > I expect Gamecube to actually have victory,
          > so far it has the best games, the cheapest
          > price, and the best graphics
          >
          > its not even listed?!

          Don't worry, help is on the way! Godzilla and Mothra noted that the little Gamecube was going up against nasty old Microsoft and convinced a dozen of their friends and enemies to lend a hand. The help will come this fall (November?) in the form of "Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Melee". Unlike most Godzilla games, this one is made by a US company (working with Toho to get it right), and will have a global release. Gamespot and others have screenshots.

          This game alone will cause me to buy a Gamecube. :)

          What happens when you embrace and extend Godzilla? Nuclear heartburn!
          See "Godzilla 2000" (released in Japan as "Godzilla 2000 Millenium") for details.
  • x box (Score:4, Funny)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:25AM (#3316123) Journal
    I guess the x-box may soon be the ex-box.

  • by Khazunga (176423) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:25AM (#3316124)
    As is the rule with all 1.0 Microsoft products. If Microsoft continues to push X-Box, by X-Box 4.0, it will be a decent product.

    The problem with hardware is that it actually costs a lot of money to keep the development versions in the market. Let's wait and see.

    • Hey, no!
      You are trying to imply that the naming scheme would be consistent aren't you? (not that I find 3.11, 95, 98, ME, XP inconsistent, but, still...)
      • 3.11, 95, 98, ME, XP

        Hmm, following the pattern.... that'd make their next product a double symbol, like $#... or
        *GASP*
        /.

        Sure... it starts with a .NET ad on the frontpage, and ends with the selling of naming rights


        This conspiracy theory brought to you by M, S, and the symbol $
  • PS2 will out do Xbox. Consumer electronics is not software. Sony knows this VERY well. Build a sturdy box, with nice controls. Fancy new ways of downloading games is not what gamers want if there aren't much games to begin with.

  • does that mean that I can start to use *BSD on it?
  • economic climate.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by bje2 (533276) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:27AM (#3316140)
    let's not forget that the PS2 debuted before the current downswing in the economy...back then ther was a virtual orgy of consumer spending going on compared to now....the X-box entered the market at a time where consumer confidence and retail spending were both at a very low point...

    that said, i have a PS2 and love it...is there anything better then taking out your agressions and leftover frustration from work then with a good game of Grand Theft Auto 3???
    • by garcia (6573) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:37AM (#3316248) Homepage
      I recv'd my PS2 during the downturn. I also heard on TV that consumer electronics was one of the few areas that was not hard hit by the downturn. That included the PS2 and XBox.

      I believe it mentioned something about people looking for a way to half-escape reality.

      I honestly believe that it was the fact of few games, horrid controller, and did I say horrid controller?

      The PS2 had the niche already. MS is going to have a really tough time breaking in IMHO.
    • that said, i have a PS2 and love it...is there anything better then taking out your agressions and leftover frustration from work then with a good game of Grand Theft Auto 3???

      One word: Halo

      Microsoft have deep pockets, a history of being willing and able to take losses while they wait out competitors, and the barriers to entry for X-Box developers are lower than for PS2. Some reckon this is what killed Sega, their latest console was just too difficult to program relative to the others.

      Remember how MS were caught with their pants down on the Internet, but they turned on a dime and now they are a very serious player in the space. It's far too early for "Death of X-box, film at 11" type commentary.
      • by scenic (4226) <sujal@suja[ ]et ['l.n' in gap]> on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @11:49AM (#3316883) Homepage Journal
        My girlfriend just bought an XBox (and already owned a PS2, as do I). We just started playing Halo together on it, and plan on taking our game online as soon as we get decent at the game. I was curious, though, to ask people what the big fuss is over Halo.

        Before you take this as a reflexive anti-XBox rant from a PS2 owner, it's not. I really like the XBox controller, because it's designed for adult hands (like mine). It's comfortable, and difficult to mis-hit buttons. I also like Halo and am looking forward to playing it online.

        That being said, I'm not sure I understand the big to do about Halo. I'm still early in Halo, to be honest. Having played Tribes 2, Halo looks like a scaled back version of that game. The central concepts are the same, i.e. teamwork, first-person shooter (FPS), good graphics, variety of weaponry, vehicles. The differences, IMHO, definitely lean in favor of Tribes.

        For one thing, it looks like you have to fight to score. In Tribes 2 (T2) you can fight and capture the flag (or whatever the objective is), but you can also have non-combatant roles, like repairing turrets/defenses, repairing teamates (medic), set up defensive structures, etc. You get points for repairing bases that people destroy. Vehicles have non-combatant positions (this is similar in Halo).

        I really enjoyed T2 when I played regularly (I'm on a counterstrike kick right now), and it still ranks as one of the best games out there in my mind. The teamplay possibilities were incredible. Also, the map sizes, some of which were large enough to give you elbow room with 40 people playing, were incredible.

        I like Halo, but not enough to give it very high ratings. The graphics are nicer than most, it's got very nice controls (unique, too), and it's definitely got a good pace to it. But it's basically Unreal + some neat teamwork feature. What am I missing?

        Anyway, I would love to hear opinions from others that have played both, especially those that have played Halo more than I have (I'm only partway through the cooperative missions).

        Sujal

      • by barawn (25691) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @11:49AM (#3316885) Homepage
        Halo's out for PC (or at least, will be? Not sure).

        Don't need to spend $350 for Halo + XBox.

        Most people who would want to play Halo already have a computer easily powerful enough to play it (you could probably spend $500 and make one!). MS needs to get rid of the everpresent thought of gamers that since Microsoft makes XBox, and Windows, games that come out for XBox come out for Windows. I think in the back of most people's minds, they already think this, and so "exclusives" don't feel like exclusives. MS needs to make REAL exclusives.

        Exclusive games come out nowhere else. Look at the Final Fantasy series: FF7, 8 came out on PC, but it's highly unlikely any others will. So no one considers that the FF series will show up on PC (FFXI excluded because of the online stigma it carries). If you want to play FFX, buy a PS2. That's why people buy consoles. That's why I bought my Super Nintendo back in the day. That's why I bought my N64. That's why I bought my PS1.

        MS NEEDS to get rid of the idea that the exclusive games will show up ANYWHERE else. And unfortunately, their track record just isn't good at doing that.

        The Dreamcast failed because 3rd party developers didn't trust that Sega would stick with the Dreamcast - they were right. Sega has a history of constantly jumping console ship, so the developers were worried about that. If you take a look at Microsoft, again, I'd imagine that most developers would opt to develop for the PS2 first, and then port it to the X-Box. And a system with tons of ports doesn't survive.

        It's a bad, recurring nightmare for MS. The low barrier to entry doesn't matter if your games have no shot in hell of succeeding and doing well. So MS needs to get more consoles out there, and more "this game will show up nowhere else" idea. If they don't, give up.

        And people who say "XBox 2 and 3 will rule!" - I once again repeat - developers do NOT develop for a system that the producer doesn't seem to be interested in supporting. That's what killed Sega. It'll kill MS too, if they don't wake up.
      • by pubjames (468013) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @12:52PM (#3317412)
        Remember how MS were caught with their pants down on the Internet, but they turned on a dime and now they are a very serious player in the space.

        I find it funny when I come across this meme, which was originally put about by Microsoft itself. How, exactly, have Microsoft turned on a dime and become a very serious player in the Internet space?

        They gave away their Internet Explorer, from which they make no profit. They failed in their attempt to squash AOL, even though they threw money at MSN - at one stage practically giving away $400 dollars a time to get people to sign up. They brought Hotmail for $400 million in January 1998, and over four years later are only just starting to get any revenue from it. They were wrong footed by Suns Java in 1998, and have only recently released a copycat solution. They've been wrongfooted by competition from Open Source, and have yet to come up with an effective strategy to it. Apache software is still installed on over 60% of all web servers. But most significantly, they don't make any serious revenue selling products or services over the web, nor are their products yet really integrated with the web.

        Bearing in mind that the web started to take off exponentially about seven years ago, please tell me, how exactly has Microsoft "turned on a dime" with regards to the Internet?

        So they got everyone to use a product (IE) by giving it away for free as part of the default install on 99% of PCs sold. Gosh. Well done Microsoft!

    • by laserjet (170008) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @11:43AM (#3316833) Homepage
      This is true, and I'm sure is has some effect on sales, but really it doesn't matter.


      How many of Microsoft's first products have been losers?

      Quite a few. Remember the first time you tried IE? Remember the first time you tried Windows? Remember the first NT server you had to admin? You always thought there had to be a better way.

      Microsoft is notorious, IMHO, for releasing losers that don't do well initially. It is their endurance that keeps them up there. They have the resources and can keep throwing money at something till it becomes a decent project, while other companies would have said, "Well, we tried to get into this market, but it didn't work. Let's not waste even more of our money..."

      Instead, Microsoft is determined to be a player, regardless of what it costs - for they know in the long run they will have a good product that will increase market share and make money. Once they get to that point, they want to control the market.

      So, look beyond the X-Box and think about the future... The X-box may not be it, but you can guaran-damn-tee that it does not stop here for Microsoft.

      • by barawn (25691)
        But you CAN'T do that with consoles. If you make a loser, you can't ditch it and go on. If you do that, developers don't trust you, even if you are Microsoft - at least, probably. They didn't trust Sega, and for God's sake, Sega is a massive player in the arcade market, and is pretty financially solvent.

        That's the key. Microsoft has to stand there with a smile on its face and say 'Xbox is doing great!' and work feverishly behind the scenes to fix the problems in Xbox2 (unique games, better controller design - minimal, but still there). Abandon the Xbox, and ooh, then they'll be really confused when their list of developers (ACTIVE developers, not people who've signed up to be developers) dwindling uncontrollably. And from that, you really can't recover.
        • by ink (4325) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @01:21PM (#3317648) Homepage
          But you CAN'T do that with consoles. If you make a loser, you can't ditch it and go on. If you do that, developers don't trust you, even if you are Microsoft - at least, probably. They didn't trust Sega, and for God's sake, Sega is a massive player in the arcade market, and is pretty financially solvent.

          Look at Windows CE: The first version was atrocious, the second version wasn't much better. Neither of them sold any copies of any significance, but with unlimited resources, competition didn't work and so a third version was made along the lines of dead third-party developers. This version isn't spectacular, but is starting to sell a bit more mostly because of Microsoft's first-party software like Office, Outlook and IE.

          Now, take a look at what Microsoft's been doing with games; they've been ramping up first-party titles for quite a while now. Their lineup is getting impressive -- stuff like Halo, which used to be slated for a PC version now appears to be X-Box only. Look at the number of software houses out there, and look again at the unlimited resources Microsoft has. They can own this market if they want to; even if they have to buy EA and Square to get it. You can't compete against Microsoft if they are determined to crush you.

          Sony can play dirty tricks like this as well, so this should at least be entertaining to watch as two mega-corps go at it. Somehow, though, I think we'll all be left with something that sucks as the end result (witness Windows). Nintendo is going to die off first, as a console maker anyway; they'll still make games for other consoles like Sega does, and their handheld line will continue until Microsoft puts out the X-Palm or whatever.

          • by barawn (25691) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @02:42PM (#3318349) Homepage
            Wow, the defeatist "Microsoft will win, they are amazing!" attitude is really rampant around here for a while.

            OK, first off, the numbers don't support what you're saying - they support what I'm saying. Even in the US, the GameCube is selling better than the XBox (just barely 32K/week as opposed to 28K/week). In Japan, where the GC brought Nintendo back with a vengeance, the PS2 is selling 85K/week to GC's 34K/week (and keep in mind that the GC has been out LONGER, with a weak library of games), and the XBox is churning a measly 5K/week, only barely outselling the WonderSwan Color and the ORIGINAL Game Boy, and losing to the PS1 (7K/week). Hype for the Xbox is losing ground dramatically, and Microsoft doesn't seem to be turning it around. I mean, honestly - the article was about how the X-Box is dying! The GameCube doesn't have articles like that out for it (because, um, Nintendo's doing fine?)!

            Second off, Microsoft's first party titles aren't that strong. They're okay. But they still have the stigma of "they'll go to PC". Even if Halo never goes to PC, they probably cost themselves several hundred thousand sales in both Halo and XBoxen just by suggesting it might. This is dangerous. Really dangerous.

            And if you think they can buy EA and Square, not likely. They're rich, but not THAT rich. I dunno, I could be wrong - a better financial analyst could step in here - but EA and Square (which have a joint venture, recall) are pretty hefty companies, especially Square in Japan. I don't think they'd be that easy to buy.

            Nintendo doesn't have anything to worry about at all. They're making really huge amounts of money, the GameCube is doing extremely well in Japan, in the US, and is generating a lot of hype in Europe (spaced releases are a good thing - they maintain Internet hype). The GBA is a phenomenal success, and Nintendo is even more of a behemoth in the handheld market than Microsoft is in the OS market.

            Sony doesn't have anything to worry about as well. The mindshare is still theirs - XBox can't win with a few unique titles and ports - they need almost ALL unique titles (No PC! PCs are a competitor here!), and the ports need to be far and away better than the competition, which won't happen unless Microsoft does the ports themselves (companies try to do the least amount they can to port a game).

            Nintendo's fine because their first party publishers are a helluva lot more prolific and successful than Microsoft, which is hit and miss (ooh, they've produced some crap). Nintendo also has a fair library of second party publishers, which Microsoft needs badly. Third party publishers only push a console from "secondary" to "primary" status. They just do good things for the industry in general, not consoles in general.

            Huge megacorporations can't just intrude on other industries this easily. It takes time, and it's highly unlikely they will dominate the industry - after all, they'd need to do something far and away BETTER than the competition, which they AREN'T doing. They're doing things arguably worse, arguably equal. And in that sort of a situation, the incumbents (Sony & Nintendo) win.
            • by barawn (25691)
              Wow. That second to last paragraph was totally unreadable, because of one word. Let me fix it myself...

              It should've been "Third party publishers only push a console from "secondary" to "primary" status. They just do good things for the industry in general, not consoles in specific."

              Grr.
  • First off, I must say is that the only reason that I would consider buying one would be if I needed a new coffee table for my living room. Microsoft thinks that because it is a huge corp that it can do anything in any market. Not true, stick to making software and keyboards. Better yet, don't make software.

    p.s. as anyone got an X-box to blue screen?
    • i wasn't really interested in MSFT's venture into the gaming market either, untill i saw them in the stores. the games look awesome. there may be less games, and the console might be less feature rich (do they play dvd's yet?), but from looking at it, it's a high quality gaming machine. awesome graphics! that's what it's all about. the PS2 is outdated, and hardly compares to the now dead dreamcast. dreamcast was a super high quality game machine for its day, and now we have the x-box. since dvd players can be had for 80$, that's not really a feature i want in a gaming machine anyway.
      • You obviously haven't looked at a DC and a PS2 side by side. I love the DC but it doesn't compare at all to the PS2. And the X-Box, for all it's "cutting edge tech" the games are no better than PS2. And guess what, better games, and more games with the PS2 than I ever will with the X-Box. I've played both systems and made my decision. Haven't regretted it since.
  • Slowing Orders (Score:3, Informative)

    by wbtittle (456702) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:27AM (#3316146) Homepage
    A supplier of x-box parts recently told me that Micosoft has shut off their orders for the time being. Apparently they have too much inventory right now.

  • by Acoustic_Nowhere (521733) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:28AM (#3316154)
    Don't worry. When Microsoft decides to bundle the XBox with Internet Explorer, they will do just fine!
  • by gergi (220700) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:28AM (#3316155)
    Gamecube? It's my preferred system by and far to either the PS2 or the XBox. The XBox doesn't interest me at all (supporting evil isn't my thing :) and the PS2 is pretty cool but just doesn't have as many games out or coming out that interest me.

    PS2 - quantity
    Nintendo - quality
    XBox - wants to be both but fails at both
    • I want the Cube, but they don't have a single game out right now that's a must have for me. No FF, no MGS, not to mention their games tend to be kiddie games. I'm not sure where you get off saying Nintendo has higher quality games than PS2, I'll put FFX up against anything the Nintendo has out. Hopefully a new Zelda, or Metroid will come out and I can finally justify buying one. (Although I didn see a kick ass looking game at the import store the other day, so I'm starting to give in allready).
  • by Dutchmaan (442553) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:28AM (#3316156) Homepage
    Since when has an MS product doing badly ever stopped it from dominating the market for which it was aiming.
  • by FortKnox (169099) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:29AM (#3316157) Homepage Journal
    1.) No sales in Japan? Lets see, choices that have existed in the Japanese console department are Nintendo (Japanese corp), PS2 (Japanese corp), Sega (Japanese corp), and now X-Box (american corp).

    2.) With PS2's backward compatability, they already jump the gun with a large userbase already established AND a large game selection already established.

    3.) This was X-Box's first release. Lets determine a winner after either a.) MS (or Sony) drop out of the console market or b.) The 2nd or 3rd generation X-Box.
    • by Juju (1688) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:46AM (#3316330)
      1) is not the problem since X-Box is slumping in Europe as well...

      2) I don't think back compability is that important now. It was 1-2 years ago, but now it is more that PS2 has got plenty of good games (most can be bought 2nd hand of rhalf the price)

      The real reason? X-Box is more expensive and has less good games! Appart from the hardcore gaming fans (who already bought theirs) who is going to buy an X-Box right now?

      If you go into a shop in the Uk, for the same price you have the choice between:
      PS2 with 5 games (with a choice among 100)
      X-Box with one game (with a choice among 10)

      Seriously, what would you choose?
      • The real reason? X-Box is more expensive and has less good games!

        Yep. Though "more expensive" is debatable, it's equivalently priced in most places.

        The PS2 is right in the sweet spot right now, for game volume and quality. The "2nd generation" PS2 games are arriving, and they're good. While the quality of Xbox games is generally high, there are simply not enough available.

        That's really the only reason. No one's complaining about the hardware, apart from the "giant controller" gripes. Even PS2 fanboy reviews will grudgingly admit that the Xbox has better tech under the hood. So I don't expect that MS's answer to the sales problems will be Xbox 2.0. It's going to be even more partnering with or purchasing of game developers.

        MS will never abandon the unit, they know how important it is. They're gonna go terminator, here: It absolutely will not stop, ever. They want to relive the Netscape/IE story in the worst way.

    • The title of the article is "PS2 Vs. X-Box: Winner Emerging?" It's comparing these specific consoles. It's not saying that Sony has beat Microsoft, just that ti looks like they are winning this round. There are many reasons for this, some of which you cite, but it's still valid to say that sales are favoring the PS2, even a year and a half after its release.

      Still, contemporary hard data would be nice. The articles really only talked about the X-box flagging, but also said this is a bad time of year for consoles. There was that sound-bite from Goldman Sachs and data pertaining to the three days after the launches of the respective consoles, but nothing hard to back the claim up.
  • Killer Apps (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Yet Another Smith (42377) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:29AM (#3316158)
    What's the reason behind this? Is it the technology, the pricing, or the software? Halo is cool, but its no GTA3. Is there some break-out, gotta-have-it game waiting in the wings to make x-box take the lead? With PS2 getting Everquest, the logical response might be an Asheron's Call port to X-Box, but is there anything in the wings that makes X-Box look better?

    • I doubt that ONE single game is going to save it. PS2 has a shitload: GTA3, GT3, EQ, previous PS1 classics.

      XBox doesn't have one single game that interests me (other than those that are on PS2 obviously).

      I don't see the need for it.
    • Star Wars: Kinghts of the Old Republic does. It's a RPG developed by Bioware and based on the Neverwinter Nights engine, due out this fall or winter.

      As for Halo not being a GTA3, you're right. These are two wholy different genres of game. Halo is a FPS whild GTA3 is a racing game. However, Rallisport Challenge was just released and this game competes with GTA3 quite nicely, and in fact has been praised by some game reviewers as being better than GTA3 (though only slightly by some).

      It's all personal preference really. I thought Munches Oddeyssee was a great game. I have been playing Halo on and off since I bought the game despite my beating it numerous times. I'm going back and trying the two hardest levels. I'm waiting anxiously for Morrowind to be released as well as Baldur's Gate. Don't forget that Doom 3 will be, to the console market anyway, exclusive to the xbox and there is a good possibility that Quake 4 will be as well. I'm pretty excited about these games myself but I know others who are fans of the console games might not be. Keep in mind that Everquest is going to require the sale of an add-on piece of hardware. The xbox comes with an ethernet port built in so building up a stable of multiplayer online games will be a lot easier for Microsoft.

      I wouldn't read too much into these sales figures yet. Everyone knew the xbox was going to be a tough sell and the fact that Microsoft didn't meet high er expectations they set for themselves doesn't spell the end for this console.
  • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:29AM (#3316159) Homepage Journal
    Once again there's the lesson that someone with zilch-nada experience cannot expect success overnight, if at all, by barging into an established and competitive market. Sony's success wasn't immediate, either. If M$ wants to succeed then they must adopt the long view.

    So, will they decide it's not working and pull-out and leave those X-Box owners dangling (I.e. future Slashdot article titles, "Linux on the X-Box a Review of Distributions","New Life For Your Old XBox - Cheap Firewall", and the inevitable Jon Katz feature lamenting how we are not all playing our fathers' video game consoles anymore)

  • Umm? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spankophile (78098) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:30AM (#3316167) Homepage
    Don't knock it cuz it's MS. People knocked the PS1 because it was Sony ("what does Sony know about video game?")
    Don't knock it cuz it has less games right now. (PS1's launch was ass, as was PS2's).

    The PS2 is looking older and older all the time. Don't get me wrong, there are lots of fun games on the PS2, but they can't get by on near-flat-shaded cartoonish games forever.

    Halo has sold a million copies.
    That's all I need to know.
    • "they can't get by on near-flat-shaded cartoonish games forever."

      Have you played Metal Gear Solid 2 or Virtua Fighter 4? Hardly "cartoonish" games.

      I have yet to find a game that shows as much attention to detail as the tanker episode of MGS2. The "shell" levels are a different matter, though.

      Oops, did I just feed a troll?
    • Re:Umm? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mickeyreznor (320351) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:53AM (#3316386) Homepage Journal
      but they can't get by on near-flat-shaded cartoonish games forever.

      If they are damn good games, they sure as hell can.
    • Re:Umm? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by analog_line (465182) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @02:06PM (#3318063)
      You obviously haven't been paying attention to recent gaming history, have you?

      "near-flat-shaded cartoonish games" made the PSOne the most popular console ever. The crappy PSX chewed up and swallowed the Dreamcast (which when in the right hands can push pixels at least as well as the launch PS2 games did) and would've done so to the N64 if the Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon franchises hadn't kept it hanging on for dear life. Both of those systems have _far_ superior graphics, and both fell before the PSX.

      Even games don't make the console. The Dreamcast had at least twice the number of games released in the US in its 1.5 year run before the death announcement than the N64 had when it was released in 1996. It's got some of the best games I've ever played. Skies, of Arcadia, Armada, Shenmue, Jet Set Radio, the playable Jedi Power Battles, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Sonic Adventure 1 & 2. More and more DC games get ported and sequeled on other systems all the time. Yet somehow it didn't survive.

      Image makes or breaks systems. Image killed the Dreamcast because of the "power" of a system that wasn't even out for more than a year after the DC's release. Image is what's giving Microsoft's Xbox some serious problems, because alot people just despise Microsoft, and while they may feel that they can't get away from them on the PC, they can sure as hell not give them any more money.

      There's one or two Xbox titles I'd want to play. Ones that would normally get me to buy the system, but I'm not doing it because it's Microsoft, and I'm trying to take a stand. No it won't bring them down. Sony and Nintento aren't wonderful by any means, I have no illusions about this. It's just where I feel can have the most impact on preventing Microsoft from extending their defacto monopoly. And from what I can see it's working pretty well.

      The day Microsoft announces that the Xbox is dead, I'll buy a used one and some games, but not before then.
  • this seems to be turning into the war of formats like the betamax vs VHS debate, while betamax was superior to VHS in terms of quality VHS won the battle due to more "software" being available for it, this seems to be ringing true with the X-Box vs PS2 but then its still early days and M$ have a good history of supporting developers with their products unlike Sony who prosecute [slashdot.org] and seek out anyone who even remotly comes near to improving their products.
  • by Konster (252488) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:31AM (#3316172)
    The Gord [actsofgord.com] speaketh about such [actsofgord.com], and I generally agree with his words [actsofgord.com].

    Plus, his site is a classic.

  • by Chainsaw (2302) <jens.backman@NospAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:33AM (#3316193) Homepage
    If you look at the prices in Sweden, you can get your X-Box for 4700 SKR (remove last digit to get US dollars). You get a Playstation 2 for 1200 SKR less, and automatically gain the possibility to play all of your old PS1 games. The much larger existing game base for the PS2, and the price, is dragging Microsoft down.
  • My kids think Gamecube is the cat's ass.
  • by Blackwulf (34848) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:33AM (#3316199) Homepage
    A retailer told me recently that Microsoft is gonna keep pumping money into the XBox just to keep it on store shelves for about 5 years or so. So, it won't go away like the Dreamcast did, it will just clutter up store shelves.

    My personal conspiriacy theory is that they ARE gonna take XBox's off the shelves and put in their PVR and other stuff to make XBox 2.0 the "ultimate convergence box" that was the big thing in 1998.
  • It looked like the Xbox was trying to compete with PS2 headon, with relatively little to differentiate itself, except maybe Halo. While its 3rd party game selection is very healthy (especially compated to GameCube's meager trickle...though Sega Soccer Slam has lightened by view by a lot recently) it is having to try to build all its franchises from scratch, and doesn't have the stable of guaranteed gaming wonders that Nintendo provides for its faithful.

    But competing with the PS2 on its own turf? That's tough.
  • 1. The XBox doesn't look as "high tech" as the PS2. - Hillbillies don't care what's on the inside, c'mon this is America. 2. I have an XBox and the controllers are fscking huge. - Games are for kids. 3. Alright, I really doubt a majority of parents want their 10 yr old playing Halo. Where is microsoft's "Sonic the Hedgehog" or "Mario Bros."?
  • They'll just bundle one in with every PC OS sold, the OS won't be able to function properly w/o one, and then it'll gradually take over everything, whether it's better or not, whether the consumer wants it or not. That worked with browsers, it's working with media, messaging and Internetworking; it'll work w/ consoles.

    Meanwhile, on another planet, the antitrust case plods on thru uncharted, meaningless and irrelevant billable lawyer hours under Msft's direction.

    The joys of closed source: you can commit any crime you want and they can't prove anything. WooHoo!!
  • As previous slashdot articles have mentioned, the selection of "cutting edge" games on PS2 is far superior to those on the X-box. Think about it. GT3, GTA3, MGS, etc., etc., etc. on PS2 (plus all the great PS1 games as another poster has mentioned). The only thing that makes me even want to consider an X-Box is Halo, and as it was originally going to be a PC/MAC title, my hope is that it will eventually be released for home computer.

    (The sad fact is that I haven't the funds for either unit, so this is really the opinion of a totally outside observer. Take with requisite salt allowance.)
  • M$ Shot Own Foot (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lysurgon (126252) <joshk@NOspaM.outlandishjosh.com> on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:37AM (#3316245) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft made some very big blunders with the Xbox, especially internationally. For instance, they didn't re-think their controller (already large for US hands) before releasing in Japan. The result was that they had a lot of angry small-handed customers for whom the system was almost unplayable. Talk about a rookie mistake.

    I actually worked at the Xbox-unleashed launch "party" in NYC, a weekend long game tourny/media happening at a swankish club. Sleeping with enemy, I know, but I needed the cash. It was the most forced/fake hooplah event I've ever been at. Most of the hardcore gamers (who were sleeping in shifts on the corner so as to have the best chance at winning the grand prize) trash talked the system when the M$ reps weren't around.

    Mostly they talked about how all the good games were already out for PS2 and about how the controller felt weird. Even though the X-box is supposed to have superior hardware, I havn't seen any remarkable difference between its graphics and the PS2/Gamecube. Unless they find some real innovative ways to exploit the hardware advantages (notably the presence of a Hard Drive) they're dead in the water. When it comes to consoles, to borrow from the Clintion-insider campaign slogan, "it's the games, stupid."
    • Re:M$ Shot Own Foot (Score:2, Informative)

      by pjkacmar (556653)
      And that's why they released a smaller controller in Japan? You might have missed previous [slashdot.org] mention of this.

      If you compare the same game on the PS2 and the Xbox, you can often tell that it looks better on the Xbox due to the Xbox's power.
  • I think it's about time the X-Box had a price drop. Don't get me wrong. $300 for all the hardware in it is a pretty good deal...to a geek...but to the average buyer (i.e. some kid), he's going to get what his friends all have which, at this time, is the PS2. While it is early in the game for the X-Box to receive a price drop, I think it would be good for Microsoft in the longrun. Nevermind the fact that they'd have to eat more hardware costs sooner than they expected. If people are indeed buying more games than owners of PS2's, they can make it up in software. And as Sony has refused to lower the price on the PS2 (even though it's definitely time they did), this could give microsoft a clear lead, as the technically superior (not to mention a hellava lot easier to program for) X-Box would cost less, sell more, and give microsoft some much needed "street cred" in the video game department.

    ...or something.
  • by jcoleman (139158) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:38AM (#3316253)
    ...is a lack of high-quality games. I can count on one hand the number of X-box games that are worth the price. We always go back to Halo...the other games just can't measure up. When I buy a game system, I expect to have a decent game selection. X-box, when compared to PS2, just doesn't have that.
  • by iainl (136759) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:38AM (#3316254)
    Givent that last week's numbers in Famitsu show that the X-Box is being outsold by the PSOne of all things, I think we can safely say that its Dead In Japan. A disappointing start in Europe has been compounded with the insider news that total European sales so far don't even match what the Gamecube preorders have managed yet with a month to release, and Microsoft really were looking at struggling by just on their US sales. Bad news there surely means a desperate price drop must be on the way.

    Its kind of a pity, actually - Halo really is very good indeed, and the launch titles generally are much better than what the PS2 saw in its first six months.
  • This is going to play out like other version 1 micrsoft products. Ok, this version aint blowing people away... or at least isn't selling as well as MS thinks it should. However, the gaming industry is worth $8 billion. Microsoft wants a chunk of that. They already invested a ton of money into getting it. Don't worry... the next XBox version will be better somehow... design, speed, size, etc. They won't quit now. It took awhile for WinCE to catch on but now we're on version 3 or 4 and it's starting to really heat up.
    • I agree with you Vice,

      Remember that no MS product is "mature" or "production ready" until v3.0 at the earliest. Even then it's still too early to claim it as mature because you need to install Service Pack 6.0b
  • Makes sense to me (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dark Paladin (116525) <jhummelNO@SPAMjohnhummel.net> on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:43AM (#3316302) Homepage
    Good original games on the Xbox: Halo, Dead or Alive 3 (Personally, I thought it was Dead or Alive 2 with a bad controller and no costumes, but that's me).

    Remade games for the Xbox that have been out for the Playstation 2 for at least 6 months: Genmu Onimusha, Silent Hill 2

    Good games for the Playstation 2: Maximo, Devil May Cry, Final Fantasy X, Metal Gear Solid 2, Grand Theft Auto 3, Rez, Etc.

    Advantage: Playstation 2

    Broadband support from Xbox:
    None, and details are unknown (expect something at E3, but the broadband support is suppose be rolled out June 2002.

    Broadband support from Sony:
    Ethernet/Modem kit that allows you to specify how to connect, Linux kit that lets you do just about anything you want (rip/play MP3's, connect to the Internet), Upcoming AOL support (Yes, AOL sucks, but that's still a damn lot of people)

    Advantage: Playstation 2

    Online games on the Xbox:
    Halo (need a router hack),
    Coming? Um...

    Online games from Playstation 2:
    Tony Hawk 3 (needs USB ethernet hack), Final Fantasy XI (will be supported by upcoming ethernet/hard drive kit), Everquest (same), Star Wars Galaxies (same)

    Advantage: Playstation 2

    Graphical ability:

    Xbox: Nvidia chip with Intel Processor, 64 MB RAM

    Playstation 2: Emotion chip, 8 MB RAM, "jaggies"

    Advantage: Xbox

    Storage system:

    Xbox: Hard drive

    Playstation 2: Expensive memory cards - it remains to be seen if upcoming hard drive upgrade will allow game saves/memory card copies to HDD. (Personally, I hope so).

    Advantage: Xbox

    DVD Playback:

    Xbox: Requires purchase of $20-$30 remote control.

    PS2: Remote control optional.

    Advantage: PS2

    Overall:

    PS2 has a bigger games library (not including PSOne games for backwards compatibility). It is "truly" online (USB ethernet) now, and will be supported native TCP/IP for broadband/PPP dialups with modem shortly. Major online games supported.

    What can Microsoft do:

    1. Drop price - this will only help sell more units.

    2. Better games - crucial. Too many games for the Xbox (Blood Wake) seem good ideas, but are terrible execution. MS would be good to go to developers making Xbox games, look at the "final release", then say "Great. Here's some more money - spend another 3 months polishing it so we don't have good games, we have great games."

    3. Strategic partners: I don't care what the fuck people say about "Square's making Final Fantasy for the Xbox", I don't believe it. I see some console support from the Japanese developers, but MS needs to do better. The big RPG for the Xbox is Morrowind - a winner to be sure - but it will hardly drive huge purchases since that game is coming out for the PC at the same time.

    The best thing MS could do is go to Sega and make a deal to remake games for the Xbox - Sakura Taisen (and bring it the hell to North America!), Panzer Dragoon Saga (which evidently a "sequel" is coming to the Xbox, but the original now would help jump start things). Perhaps even coming up with some sort of generic Sega Saturn emulator system and license it from Sega - this would give a bigger backlot of games.

    Either way, MS is still in a good position. They have cash. They've done well in North America up until now. Basically, all of the hard core gamer geeks have an Xbox, and now they need the "mainstream" to ditch their PS2's and go to the Xbox.

    Just remember the rule of Microsoft:

    Version 1.0: Sucks, Version 2.0: Sucks, Version 3.0: Works, Version 4.0: Sucks, pulled from market, never talked about, Version 5.0: Works well enough, and throwing money at people kicks others out of the market.

    Of course, I could be wrong about all of this.
    • Re:Makes sense to me (Score:3, Interesting)

      by thebruce (112025)
      Broadband support from Xbox:
      None, and details are unknown (expect something at E3, but the broadband support is suppose be rolled out June 2002.

      Broadband support from Sony:
      Ethernet/Modem kit that allows you to specify how to connect, Linux kit that lets you do just about anything you want (rip/play MP3's, connect to the Internet), Upcoming AOL support (Yes, AOL sucks, but that's still a damn lot of people)


      Holy cow are you uninformed. You marked the dvd remote as costing people $20-$30, but didn't mark the PS2 accessories as costing money.

      1. Xbox has a built-in ethernet port and card - ie once the online system is active, it's plug and play, and that has always been the plan. Broadband only, so no bottlenecks from slower modem users. Sony's plan wasn't broadband online gaming from the start.

      2. Online gaming - Halo, with a workaround, yes is playable online, but it was optimized for LAN, not 'net, so it's slower and not optimized for online. And you don't know of future online games? There are many, the most anticipated of course, being Unreal Championship. Microsoft is not stupid, and they will not begin an online system without massively good online games. PS2 will be rolling out their online system around the same time, but MS has much more experience with online communities and gaming.

      If you're a PS2 fan, you could say it's a tie for anything online related. But if you're realistic, Xbox has the lead in this area.

      3. Game support. Yes, PS2 may have more better games. And yes, PS2 has more games. Now consider the ratio of games to good games - Xbox comes out on top. When you compare two consoles where the difference is a full year, PS2 obviously will come out on top. You can't compare quantities in relation to time. PS2 has a larger fanbase, PS2 has more games, PS2 generally has a head start. With MS having a handicap of one year, it's doing far better than I personally, would expect. If you want to be objective, compare strating figures of both consoles. Compare the first month, or the first 3 months of the 2 systems. Xbox takes the lead here.

      FYI I couldn't care less that Xbox is made by Microsoft. Why do you think they barely advertise their name on their xbox ads? They know the tension and hatred so many have towards them. They want Xbox to succeed without relating it to the infamous software giant as much as possible. Take that as good or bad, I like Xbox because it's a great system, IMHO. Give MS time, and it'll end up just as big as PS2.

      All, great systems. PS2, Xbox, Gamecube. Just buy the one that has more games that you like. That's all it's about.
  • go into an Electronics Boutique.

    Best Buy

    Circuit City

    anywhere that sells console games.

    compare the amount of shelf space dedicated to PS2/1 games compared to the X-Box.

    there's your winner, and i guarantee that its Sony's Playstation2 line, followed closely by the playstation1

    getting shelf space in stores is hard to do. retailers will only give shelf space to what sells.

    guess whats selling - the playstation games.

  • Recent scientific research has shown that prolonged use of the X-Box can be hazardous to your health:

    The newly discovered problem usually begins with slight fluttering of the eyes and unconscious twitching of muscles in the forearm and hands.
    In most cases, the player begins to slow down and process commands sluggishly.
    If left untreated the player eventually becomes totally unresponsive, and may in fact keel over dead in front of the console.

    Doctors are naming this new disease BSS (Blue Screen Syndrome)

    Parents are urged to have their children tested for yearly for signs of BSS, or to purchase a PS2 which does not exhibit the same health damaging characteristics as the X-Box.

  • There's no mod-chip available for the xbox which let's you play "backup" games.
    Many people are waiting for this, a plus is that by the time this chip comes out the price might have been dropped.

    I'm not sure if such a chip will come, don't know how the copy-protection will work, but my guess is that it uses the same meganisms as the current pc games, which will probably mean that patched isos of games will soon be (or might already) be available on the net.

    I don't want to buy an xbox, because I think most Japanese software companies will exclusively make games for the Japanese consoles and face it they make the most original games most of the time, that's what a console is about.
  • Here's the whole story, as it usually unravels

    - Microsoft releases product to great hype.
    - Product is buggy and not very successful.
    - Competition and Microsoft haters at /. take great comfort from this fact.
    - Microsoft develops new version of product fixing most flaws.
    - Competition is taken by surprise by much improved version.
    - Competition starts losing ground rapidly to Microsoft.
    - Competition sues Microsoft for predatory practices.
    - Competition gets bought over by AOL.

  • I bought the PS2 based on upcoming games and the backwards compatibility with PSX games. I waited until GT3 came out (THE game for the PS2) and have not been sorry, either with existing games or future ones. MS brings out the X-Box, promising new technology and new toys, but they also released it how long after PS2?? Given that much time, PS2 would have had a HD and other features built-in. And given the fact that MS loses money on each one, why is it still the most expensive console you can buy?? Existing consumer base + backwards compatibility + pricepoint + kewl games = PS2.... I guess we should really wait until the PS3 arrives and then compare apples and oranges again...
  • Sales in Japan haven't been bad. I don't think anyone is really surprised with that. Microsoft hoped to be able to sell well in Japan, but I doubt even they are surprised that sales are "disappointing".

    It's hard to tell if the slowing sales are a result of a slowing economy, or a preference for PS2.

    The interesting thing I saw was that retailers prefer PS2. I wonder why? Does it sell better? Do they get better margins on PS2 consoles and games? Are Sony's bundling agreements, or lack of them more attractive? Is SOny now better at getting the items distributed to retailers? Is Sony just an extablished name in this market, and retailers trust them more?

    The numbers I'd really like to see are sales volumes (quantity and revenues) for the games for each console. The PS2 console has been out longer, so volumes on consoles aren't as usefull of numbers as the volumes on games.
  • Its usual tactics being leveraging their dominance in one area (desktop operating system) to conquer other markets.

    For general purpose software, there exists the "network effect": the need for compatability between operating system, computer hardware and applications makes that he who sets a (de facto) standard in one area (the operating system in this case) can easily dictate other areas as well.

    Game consoles are different (even more different than PDA's that still have to interface with general purpose computers): they are 'closed' boxes. A game console just plays the game, the console may have to talk to other consoles of the same brand (to enable network play) but no more. The user is not interested in what software is inside; all 'applications' are written specifically for the console and compatability to the rest of the world plays no role.

    Therefore, MSFT cannot play its usual game here. This makes me think that, even with massive investments, MSFT shall have a hard time to make a dent in this market. Why do so many people claim that with version 2 or 3 they get it right?

    MSFT just had luck in the operating system market but I have no reason to believe they can repeat they luck in a completely different market.
  • Microsoft never gives up. Never. (well, maybe with Xenix). They worked for 10 years to beat Novell. They won't quit on this due to one setback.

    sPh

  • Sega found that out the hard way [usatoday.com]. It's all about staying power and the games that will come out.

    Remember, the PS2 is already starting it's third generation of games, whereas both the X-Box and GC are starting to hit the second wave. Comparing first generation waves of both systems, I'd say the PS2 had NO killer apps (Grand Turismo is arguably the first real killer app for the PS2) whereas the Xbox came out of the door with one (Halo, which is arguably the best [search.com] console game released to this day) and Nintendo had Rebel Assault.)

    The second XBox wave promises tons of games on my "to-buy list" including exclusives like Spiderman, World Series Baseball 2K2, Crazy Taxi 3, Morrowind (coming to the PC too), the Matrix, MGSX, and ToeJam & Earl.

    So the second xbox wave looks very good. The second GC wave also looks very good (a new mario, a new zelda, a new metroid and the resident evil remakes.)

    Finally, everyone expected the X-Box to bomb in Japan. It's the first time a non-japanese company is actually making a console, and the Japanese hvae a strong tendency to be loyal to products produced in their country by their mega-corps. Look at car penetration stats for the country and it'll prove my point right away.

    Besides, as ALWAYS has been the case (why don't analysts EVER remember?) it's not over till it's over. Remember how dominant the Genesis was even AFTER the SNES was out for a year? Remember who won that one?
  • by dipfan (192591) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @11:01AM (#3316479) Homepage
    Today's Financial Times has an interesting article, which suggests Xbox sales are very sluggish. The piece includes an interview with Robbie Bach (head of Xbox at MS), in which he is quoted:

    "Mr Bach refuses to provide the crucial piece of data to measure Xbox's success so far - the number of consoles actually sold. "The investor relations people tell me I can't say," he explains."

    Given MS's usual swiftness to rush into print with sales figures when things are going well, then something's up.
    Here is the article [ft.com]

  • by Boone^ (151057) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @11:18AM (#3316631)
    Let's see... PS2 came out in a virtual next-gen void. DC was winding down, publishers wanted to go with the known commodity, Playstation's follow-on. So, PS2 started selling with major problems, but the desire for a box was so great that they were the de facto "buy" recommendation.

    XBox started with PS2 having 1 year lead and another top console, the Gamecube, a week away from launch.

    Consoles are crowded now. It's been proven over and over that the XBox has superior visuals and audio (if only for the fact that it's 18 months newer than the PS2) but it's in a fight for growth with the Gamecube against the PS2. A huge head-start is never easy to compete with, but it isn't a reason to write off the underdog.

    If you were to replace "Playstation 2" with "Windows", and replace "XBox" with "Linux", this thread would have 1200 comments all stating how just because Windows sells more doesn't mean it's better. But, when MS is the underdog, /. tastes blood in the water and moves in for the kill. Let's be objective!

    (I like to think of myself as objective, but I do own an XBox and 6 games, so I may be biased)
  • by autopr0n (534291) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @12:34PM (#3317241) Homepage Journal
    Personaly, I like to think of it like buying a $400 dedicated jet-set radio future machine :). I really didn't want an Xbox, and I still don't. The thing is just ugly (and they were not kidding about the controller).

    If you ask me, I think microsoft totaly missed their target market. Rather then going after adults, they targeted 14 year old boys who want to think that they are adults. Everything about the system is gaudy. From the adds to the controler (wtf is up with the giant X logo on the controler?)

    Anyway I have a test to study for.
  • IAAVGP (Score:3, Informative)

    by daVinci1980 (73174) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @01:23PM (#3317666) Homepage
    (I am a video game programmer)

    Some factoids about video games you may or may not know:

    1) A title is considered to be very well sold if it sells 200,000 copies. 1,000,000 copies is an incredible number of copies to sell.

    2) Consoles are typically sold at a loss. The real money is made in licensing fees charged to developers.

    3) Developers typically don't make money on their first title. It all goes towards the licensing fees they paid to the console manufacturer. This is why there are so many one-hit-wonder studios.

    4) X-Box may be down, but its certainly not out. Regardless of consumer notions, developers have good relations with MS. When they tell us that they're going to stick this one out, we have no reason to doubt them.

    5) People tend to complain about launch titles. Someone else mentioned this, but most launch titles are intended to be technology proof of concepts, not games. Consider the "games" that come with your geForceX for instance. (The game I got with my first geForce was Animal sanctuary. What the hell kind of game is that?)

  • by Lazy Jones (8403) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @01:52PM (#3317946) Homepage Journal
    The PS2 outsells the X-Box by a factor of ~8, retailers say. Some of this may be due to the fact that many smaller retailers were pissed off by the extremely low prices at some larger chains (some suspect that they were offered better conditions / support for avertising by M$), e.g. EUR 299 vs. the list price of EUR 479.
  • Cost, games, focus (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nelson (1275) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @03:01PM (#3318482)
    Cost is huge. All joe consumer sees is higher price tag and wants to know what he get's for it. Technical details aside, the answer is "not much."


    Games have always been huge, Nintendo is in business still because they get games made that people end up buying the box for. The Zeldas and the Marios and what have you. PS2 has some killer games, GTA3, VF4, SOE, MGS2, Ico, GT3, Jak and Daxter, FFX, and more. MS is operating with a deficit in this department. One or two good games just doesn't do it at this point for them.


    Focus is also key. Nintendo and Sony are focused on games. MS sees the Xbox as their gateway to your living room. They see IE on you TV, PVR on Xbox. They've been meeting with satellite and cable vendors to get integrated with them. They want windows and office on your tv. The games are secondary.


    We've known from the start that they'd take a hit on it, it's just a matter of how big of one they are willing to tolerate before they can it. What's it worth to them? $1billion? $1.5billion? We might find out. Even they can't take a loss forever and they won't. I've long thought that they would have to hit a home run to really matter because unless they clearly hit it out of the park they've got everything working against them, Sony and Nintendo beat them on cost, catalog, they've got history and reputation, they're Japanese and can expect to sell a few copies in Japan based on that alone. MS has made a good product but it's clearly not an unstopable killer. Sony still has the FUD card to play, just now when they can seriously cost reduce the Ps2 (they have a single chip solution..) they can also start talking about the PS3 that will be out in 18 months..

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