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CNN's Game Over On The 360 442

Posted by Zonk
from the oblivion-is-the-killer-app dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNN's Chris Morris has taken a look at Microsoft's new system. He calls the system 'good, but not great' in a fairly lengthy, well thought out piece. The article also has an amusing gallery of rejected prototype designs." From the article: "Admittedly, tastes vary - so you could easily find a game out this month that's a 'must have' for you. (We'll have a closer look at the launch games early next week.) But if you're looking for something that's ground breaking and sets the trend for the system (as 'Halo' did with the original Xbox), you're not going to find it."
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CNN's Game Over On The 360

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  • Oooof.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aicrules (819392) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:26PM (#14056541)
    that's gotta hurt. I expect that's probably the last Microsoft product that CNN gets their hands on early for review.
    • Halo (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:32PM (#14056608)
      What was so groundbreaking about Halo? It was a great game, but it was simply a first person shooter with a cool story. It was the first FPS with a cool story (Half Life). It didn't have extraordinary graphics. Very good, yes, but not like it embarassed the rest of the genre. Weapons were pretty standard. You got to drive vehicles but that had been done before too. I'm not knocking it but I don't see what was groundbreaking about it.
      • Re:Halo (Score:5, Informative)

        by aicrules (819392) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:37PM (#14056653)
        It was the first console FPS that was actually playable with a decent control mechanism.

        And on the marketing-side Halo had been at as high a level of anticipation and notariety as any of the FPS games of this era. Controversy (going from a Mac/PC game to just a PC game to just an XBox game) fed into that as well as the vehicles.

        They sold a LOT of xbox consoles because of Halo.
        • Re:Halo (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:42PM (#14056716)

          It was the first console FPS that was actually playable with a decent control mechanism.

          um can you say N64 Goldeneye??? Everyone always left it on the default control style (1.1 Honey IIRC) but if you switch to 1.2 Solitaire your skillz go through the roof. it used the analog stick to look around and the c-pad to walk/strafe

          • Re:Halo (Score:4, Insightful)

            by aicrules (819392) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:58PM (#14056871)
            And as we know, to be groundbreaking to the masses, you mustn't require any deviation from the standard to be noticed by those masses. Something that simple to make a game that much more intuitive to play should have been caught in user testing and made standard. Little things CAN make a good game GREAT.
        • err, almost every other console FPS since the invention of dual analog sticks has has the same control system.
        • Re:Halo (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Morinaga (857587) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:03PM (#14056928)
          I think this is a bit of re-writing history. It's said so often it's taken for granted now it seems. Halo was anticipated pretty highly when Bungie released the first screen shots of the game. Then the game got delayed. After that the game was gobbled up by Mircosoft Game Studios and was delayed even further due to the fact it was going to wait for the Xbox release. During these delays other released games rapidly caught up to Halo in the graphics department. Those original screenshots that hyped Halo so early in it's developement were quickly forgotten. Subsequently previews of Halo prior to the xbox release were friendly but not of the Earth shaking variety. There was limited anticipation, another decent looking FPS to share market with Quake 3, Unreal Tournament and any number of other FPS games out on the market. It wasn't until Halo gathered a bit of a following with the Xbox that it started to really become a bigger deal. What I'm trying to say is that Xbox did not come to market with a higly anticipated game that made the units sell, no one said this about Halo before the Xbox release. In retrospect it certainly helped Xbox stay afloat and Halo 2 gave it another large boost. That next Halo type game that will help push the 360 could already be in production. It could be Oblivion or Gears of War. Just like the original xbox release no one can be sure quite yet. This constant drum of how the 360 is worse off because it didn't have that "must have" game at launch is incorrect. No one felt that way about Halo when the Xbox first went to market.
          • Re:Halo (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Jonny_eh (765306)
            I agree, launch games are important but not THAT important, especially when you're first out of the gate (next-gen wise).

            I can only think of the NES, SNES, and N64 as systems that had launch games that justified the system purchase. (MARIO!)

            I'm buying the 360, and a couple launch games, but I'm not getting the system for just the launch games. I'm also getting the system for all the great upcoming games over the next 4/5/6 years. Plus, I have a HD TV, and it's nice to have a system designed for it.
        • by LKM (227954) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:24PM (#14057177) Homepage
          It was the first console FPS that was actually playable with a decent control mechanism.

          No. That honor probably goes to Goldeneye on the N64. Which was made by Rare, ironically. Another games company bought by Microsoft.

      • Re:Halo (Score:5, Interesting)

        by timster (32400) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:59PM (#14056889)
        For the same reason every other "groundbreaking" first-person shooter is called "groundbreaking" -- the state of video game criticism is atrocious.
      • It was [not] the first FPS with a cool story (Half Life).

        Half-Life's story is very good, and it is a fine game... but you should also check Bungie's old first-person shooters: Pathways Into Darkness (93) [bungie.org] and the Marathon series (94/95/96). [bungie.org] Not only they came first, and were also great games, but their stories - actually a single huge epic hard sci-fi tale - remain as possibly the deepest, most complex and finely crafted plot in a computer or console game, of any genre, ever.

    • Either that or the submitter doesn't know how to read [slashdot.org]...
  • What?? (Score:5, Funny)

    by jackcarter (884148) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:26PM (#14056542)
    How can it not be great with 3 3.2GHz processors?!
    • Re:What?? (Score:5, Funny)

      by WormholeFiend (674934) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:28PM (#14056567)
      How can it not be great with 3 3.2GHz processors?!

      Not to mention the interchangeable faceplates! They make everything look faster...
    • Re:What?? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by macaulay805 (823467) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:28PM (#14056569) Homepage Journal
      Lets hypothetically say I have a Quad-Processor P4 System running at 8GHz. Does that make Windows any better?
  • ebay? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:26PM (#14056548) Journal
    The first of the next gen video game machines hits store shelves next week. Should you get one?

    The short answer: Not on Day One.

    What if you plan on making money because of the shortages and selling one overpriced on ebay for an extra 100-500$?
  • Simple Differences (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FortKnox (169099) * on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:29PM (#14056571) Homepage Journal
    X-Box isn't about cracking the best graphics or anything like that... its all about X-Box live and the multiplay capability.
    Sony is still working strong on delivering the prettiest stuff. Nintendo is going for revolutionary technology (just look at the controller!).

    The odd man out in this situation is Sony. Nintendo is taking a big chance which will (IMHO) cash them into tons of entertainment centers this upcoming year. X-Box has replayability simply due to the fact that you can play the same game over and over online and get a new experience everytime. Sony is just standing still. They either need to make some reliable online play a la Microsoft, go for something revolutionary a la nintendo, or they may be sitting in third place this time next year...
    • by Shadow Wrought (586631) <shadow.wrought@gmai l . com> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:34PM (#14056623) Homepage Journal
      With so many of the new 360s having HDs, and HDs being necessary for emulation, does anyone have any ideas about virus' getting spread through the Xbox Live system? Maybe it simply can't happen, but I can't help but think that Xbox sales would suffer substantially if Live were ever poisoned. While nothing has happen with the Xbox, I'd think that the advent of a new technology would perhaps open the door that much farther.
      • The XBox was quite paranoid about refusing to run "unsigned" code. Unless Microsoft's really dumb, the hard-drive-resident emulator programs will similarly refuse to run if they've been modified (and thus no longer match Microsoft's cryptographic key). So a virus could probably only effect modchippers. Here's what makes me more curious:

        The XBox backwards compatibility is handled by a series of small emulator programs installed on the hard drive, and distributed by Microsoft either on CD or over XBox Live (y
    • by PyroPunk (545300)
      X-Box isn't about cracking the best graphics or anything like that... its all about X-Box live and the multiplay capability.

      I couldn't tell from the article, but it almost sounded like part of setting up the machine is creating an XBox-Live account. Is that right? Here's the part I'm referring to

      When you first turn on your Xbox 360 and take care of initial set-up (choosing a language, time zone, etc.), you're prompted to either set up or transfer an Xbox Live account. Doing so is an easy, painless
      • by lowe0 (136140)
        You're just setting up a Silver account. It allows you to download content, purchase new features in the Marketplace, voice-chat with other users, etc. It doesn't let you actually play online.

        So, don't worry. Single player games will still be necessary, especially for those who don't have broadband yet.
      • Final Fantasy XI is a MMORPG like World of Warcraft. You can't play MMORPG offline. It doesn't "seem" to be geared towards online...it was designed to be a MMORPG which doesn't have a single player. In any case, even if XBOX did force you to make an account, they can't force you to play online. That is just silly.
    • X-Box has replayability simply due to the fact that you can play the same game over and over online and get a new experience everytime.

      You know, it really depends on the game. To this day I can still fire up a game of Gran Turismo I and be just as happy with it as the first 104958215335 races I played. While I wouldn't mind online play I'm certainly not going to go about it via Microsoft's implementation (a pay-for network).
      • You've obviously never tried to play online games on a PS2 to compare the difference between an obscenely cheap paid network and a "free for all" network.
    • by Endymion (12816)
      X-Box isn't about cracking the best graphics or anything like that... its all about X-Box live and the multiplay capability.

      wha? *spit-take* ...

      Muhahahahaha!

      That's exactly contradictory to the annoying rhetoric I've gotten from every single xbox fanboy I've seen!

      For such a long time it was "What? PS2? GCN? Never! We want the platform with superior graphics - slightly inferior graphics is so last decade!"

      Heck... they even would go off on a rant about how the xbox has far superior sound or some such bs, even
      • For the record, I'm a not a fan boy. Don't own, nor never owned an X-Box or PS (played'm both, though)... I do own a Cube, but I play my PC more than my console (needed the console for zelda, metroid, and sports games).
      • Sound? Dolby Digital beats Pro Logic II in my book. Personally, I like true surround sound when I'm gaming.

        I'm an XBox fanboy (although you haven't technically seen me), but I'm primarily a videogame fanboy. Where fun games are, I will be.
      • Since the Xbox has the best graphics, sound and the best network gameplay, I'm not sure I see your point.
      • What the hell are you talking about? The XBOX has better graphics than the other 2 consoles. For the 360 they are really focused about playing up its online capabilities. As far as who will have better graphics between the 360 and PS3 is yet to be seen (Nintendo isn't playing the graphics competition game, but I am sure their games will still be beautiful). You are confusing the current gen with the next gen. I can't really comment on XBOX sound capabilities because I haven't really researched it but
      • Heck... they even would go off on a rant about how the xbox has far superior sound or some such bs

        Well, that's somewhat true actually. The XBox is capable of Dolby Digital 5.1 sound during gameplay, while he PS2 is not. I have a PS2, and it will only play sound in 5.1 during prerendered cutscenes (or playing DVDs). It will switch back to Pro Logic II for gameplay. Take a look at the intro to MGS2 on the PS2 for an example of this.

        even though it's still going over the same link quality 44.1kHz/16-bit

      • It's entirely possible that FortKnox is not one of those people who was touting the X-Box graphics at the time.

        I know it's easy to lump people together under the "fanboy" label, pretend they all think in exactly the same way, and treat any disagreements between them as hypocracy (since they are obviously contradicting themselves... even if they aren't the same selves... or something.)

        As a Mac guy, I get that shit all the time.

        "What??? You think Intel-based laptops are a good move? Hah! What a joke! Last
    • by Some Random Username (873177) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:57PM (#14056862) Journal
      Online gaming would never work without a central system like xbox live. I mean, look at the PC. Nobody ever plays PC games online. Why? Because PCs don't have xbox live. They just let each game do their online thing however they want. Obviously nobody wants that, but sony is doing it just like the PC anyways.
      • by rblum (211213)
        Uh, yes. Because the PC online experience for your average Joe is *crap*. Live is about getting
        - average Joe to play. No dice with PC games
        - having a universal friends system. (I don't see that on the PC. And don't say GameSpy. POS)
        - having universal voice chat. How many different voice chats do you have on the PC?
        - Micropayments for content.
        - Authenticated content only. Let me just say goatse....

        As for Sony doing it anyways: You remember the Red vs Blue movie about g
    • X-Box has replayability simply due to the fact that you can play the same game over and over online and get a new experience everytime. Sony is just standing still.

      The current generation XBox already has XBox Live. Sony may be behind, but Microsoft isn't moving anywhere with their new system. They're holding to the status quo, just like Sony.
      • Its my opinion that X-Box live is one reason why Microsoft was able to go neck and neck with Sony on their FIRST GENERATION console! They are riding what has been successful for them. Sony is riding what it was successful with when they were solely competing with nintendo.
    • Maybe it is just me, but that controller is a real turn off. I really can't see myself enjoying holding a remote like that for any extended period of time. I am really in a wait and see mode with that thing. I think what will help Nintendo a lot is that it will be significantly cheaper. While it didn't seem to help it much this gen, the newer gen is going to be much more expensive and Nintendo can take advantage of that.
  • Wait... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Saige (53303) <evil DOT angela AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:30PM (#14056584) Journal
    That's right, just go ahead and wait until later to get one. Especially if you're in the Redmond/Bellevue, WA area. Don't go out and wait in line for an Xbox 360. Just keep on playing on your regular consoles. Really, there's no reason to get one. You really don't want it now. You want it later.

    If you're thinking you're gonna go wait at Best Buy in Bellevue, you're not. It's not worth the trouble. Just pretend it's just another day, and don't go out.

    Please wait? The fewer the people that go out, the better the chance of getting mine. And I'm already planning to take Tuesday off of work.
    • You sound like me when I worked in the electronics department...
      "No, you don't need to come in on $insanely_busy_day, we'll have to later I'm sure."
      "Ok."
      (To myself:) "YES! One less customer to serve!"
  • by 0kComputer (872064) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:30PM (#14056596)
    when he said "good but not great" he was talking about the games, not the system. Poster needs to learn how to read, very wrong statement.

    But when it comes to must-have games, the Xbox 360 falls short. While there are several good - and even very good - titles that will be available at launch, there's nothing truly great.
    • By the way, if the poster is going to put "good but not great" in quotes like the summary has, he better make for damn sure that exact quote is in the article, do a search on the article, no hits. This paractice of paraphrasing in quotes whithout mentioning to the reader has gotten out of control. If I see quotes, I expect to see that exact literal string in there.
      • Uh, did you read the title of the article? Because it's there in 24px bold font. Did you remember to include the comma in your search string?
        • Can you really quote article titles? They often have grammatical ambiguities because they must be composed of so few words. The content of the article does nothing to support the title of the article MEANING that XBox360 is good, not great. It does say that Xbox 360 launch titles aren't all that spectacular, and that's reinforced by the fact that they compare it to the Halo release.

          That all said, without including the games in your assessment of a console, the assessment is somewhat flawed. The differ
    • by Aexia (517457) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:49PM (#14056789)
      Xbox 360: Good, but not great

      Right there in bold in big letters at the top of the article.
      • Xbox 360: Good, but not great. Right there in bold in big letters at the top of the article.

        Perhaps people should read the article before flaming the Slashdot editors for not doing so. Or at least read as far as the article title.
    • So yes, his comments are correct. If the games really suck, so does the system.
    • Does it really matter? The games ARE the system. If the games suck, then the system sucks, no matter how great the system might be technically.
  • Core Gamer? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BigDork1001 (683341) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:35PM (#14056639) Homepage
    Ultimately, if you consider yourself a core gamer, you've probably already pre-ordered a 360 (and hopefully, your retailer will be able to fulfill that pre-order - many are quietly letting customers know they won't be able to meet demand before Christmas).

    I consider myself a core gamer and I wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot poll on launch day. I have my reservations about the 360 and to be honest, Microsoft hasn't done enough to get me excited about this launch. I'd pre-order a Revolution right now if I could. PS3 has some time still to either get me really excited or turn me off completely to the PS3.

    I remember waiting eagerly for the PS2, Game Cube, and X-box. I couldn't wait for the release of these systems. I don't know if it's the fact that I'm a few years older or if it's the way these systems are marketed, or the fact that they just seem to be more of the same (except for the Revolution). But I'm taking a cautious approach to the 360 and unless things change will do more of the same with the PS3.

    • Re:Core Gamer? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by egomaniac (105476)
      The XBox 360 is the first system in a long time that has completely and utterly failed to arouse my interest.

      Ooooh! Marginally improved graphics and mediocre games! How could I not want one??

      I'm sure I'll end up getting one eventually when the price drops and better games are available, but at the moment I can barely muster the energy for a "meh". And that's remarkable considering that I'm a high-def freak -- in an age when most people don't have one high-def display, I have five. The XBox 360 is the fi
    • Re:Core Gamer? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MrNiceguy_KS (800771) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:07PM (#14056974)
      PS3 has some time still to either get me really excited or turn me off completely to the PS3.

      I don't know about you, but the Sony rootkit has managed to turn me off completely to the PS3.

      I'm not going to make the mistake of believing that the general public would feel the same way, but I can't understand why anyone who reads /. would even consider sending money to Sony.

      • Re:Core Gamer? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by djupedal (584558)
        I don't know about you, but the Sony rootkit has managed to turn me off completely to the PS3. I'm not going to make the mistake of believing that the general public would feel the same way, but I can't understand why anyone who reads /. would even consider sending money to Sony.

        Right, that holds water.

        You seem to think MS can be trusted to treat you any better? Sony's blunder is just dumb. MS plots this type of think while you sleep...day in and day out.

        This is from the recent Wired article on t [wired.com]
        • Re:Core Gamer? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Walkiry (698192)
          >Your ire should be 100 times larger over MS....yet you don't mention them - hmmm...MS troll smell?

          Indeed, he doesn't mention Microsoft. Not at all. Yet you somehow manage to infer in his post that he thinks MS can be trusted? He didn't say anything! For all we know he may be throwing darts at a picture of Bill Gates every day.

          Want to know where that troll smell is coming from? Check your post. (And you got modded up to boot, gotta love /.).
    • Re:Core Gamer? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cvas (150274)
      You've pretty much summed up my feelings with the new consoles, but I wanted to add one thing, because it is a factor for me with the 360. I bought an original X-Box the week it launched and I loved it. What I have now though is a very large doorstop. I didn't find out about the defect in the early optical drives until mine was out of warranty and I wasn't about to pay the ridiculous amount MS was asking to fix it*. So tack on "waiting to see what they screwed up in the initial run" to my reasons for not ge
  • Couldn't care less (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:35PM (#14056640)
    I must be getting old.
    • by donutello (88309)
      Judging by the fact that you used that expression correctly, you don't fit into the demographic here.
  • Beware the Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:37PM (#14056662) Homepage
    I don't have an order for a 360, I'll wait. There are reasons for that (mostly price) but I have been following it closely. Here is the part I've found the most interesting.

    Read the reviews of the games. The games visual quality varries drastically (reportadly). Take the GameSpot review of NBA 2K6. If you have a SDTV, it is almost indistinguisable between the XBox and XBox 360 versions (there are slight differences, but nothing noticible). But if you have an HDTV, things look agazing. During replays they say you could easily mistake it for real footage. There is supposed to be tons of animation and detail (ex: the player's shirts get wet with sweat during the course of the game). But while that looks great, they say that the croud and coach look almost like they did in the XBox version (so when compared to players, it is a bit of a visual jolt because of the quality difference). If you have an HDTV, it is supposed to be great.

    Now take Tony Hawk's American Wasteland. With SDTV, it looks like the XBox version. At HDTV, it looks worse. That's what Gamespot says. The low resolution of the textures become apparent, they shimmer, and the models obviously have low poly counts (they mention it especially with the story footage scenes, as opposed to in game). This is what quick & dirty XBox 360 ports will often look like, I bet. If the game isn't designed for the system (or next gen) then it will probably look like this.

    But the most important thing I've taken away in all the reviews is while things look beatuiful, there isn't that much difference if you still have a SDTV (like me). While I will buy an HDTV one day, it really sounds like buying an XBox 360 wouldn't be worth it right now for me (on a pure graphics basis). A killer game would be one thing, but they don't have any killer-apps for me yet (I want to play PGR3, but not that much).

    I wonder how much this trend will continue. Will later games (1.5, 2nd gen) look better at SDTV than current games (excluding a little anti-aliasing), or have we reached the end of what SDTV can show us. My guess is the first category (because with games like Shadow of the Colossus you could have higher poly counts on the large monsters), but we'll see.

    I've only seen the 360 in real life for about 5 minutes playing Call of Duty 2 on a 20" screen at Best Buy. While it looked nice, it looked just like any PC game to me (given: Call of Duty IS a PC game, so I realize that).

    We'll have to reserve graphics judgements untill more native games come out (the few that are designed for the 360 like PGR3 are supposed to be amazing). But this SDTV thing is something I think more people should be aware of. I wonder how many people will plug in their 360 and their copy of Madden or NBA 2K6 and say to themselves "I spent HOW MUCH for this? It looks just like my XBox" because they only have a SDTV.

    • by cafeman (46922) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:10PM (#14057015) Homepage

      I wonder how much this trend will continue. Will later games (1.5, 2nd gen) look better at SDTV than current games (excluding a little anti-aliasing), or have we reached the end of what SDTV can show us.

      Considering that SDTV still manages to provide an image that looks much more realistic than any game on a PC running at 1700x1200 (consider a well mastered DVD), I think there's a long way we could go yet with SD games. HDTV on games is like polishing a turd (if you'll excuse the crass analogy). It looks like a prettier turd, but it's still a turd.

      Fundamentally, computer games still look like computer games. That's not the way it should be. Going to HD rather than staying SD with more processing power only hurts the immersion and simulation of reality. What they should be doing is upping the poly counts on SD resolutions as much as possible to make it look better, not simplying upping the resolution and maintaining the current standard of "art direction". Lower resolutions mean you can spend more cycles on making things look better, not just making them look sharper.

      Sony and Microsoft are using the Korean business model - market based on specs, probably mainly because they know men tend to buy into the whole numbers BS. I'm sure things will look better than the current generation of consoles, but I also think that fundamentally, they're chasing the wrong goal. I'm really hoping Nintendo goes in the opposite direction, based on their comments about HD. You don't need HD to have stunning graphics. We can't even do realistic SD graphics yet - how is moving to HD going to help the situation?

      • by Generic Guy (678542) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:50PM (#14057440)
        HDTV on games is like polishing a turd (if you'll excuse the crass analogy). It looks like a prettier turd, but it's still a turd.

        Amusing anecdote, but I'd correct it just a bit: Standard-Def allows you to disguise the turd a lot easier, whereas HDTV illustrates the turd in all its bare turdliness.

      • Re:Beware the Games (Score:3, Interesting)

        by grumbel (592662)
        ### What they should be doing is upping the poly counts on SD resolutions as much as possible to make it look better

        Polycount won't help, with normal mapping you can already do extremly detailed looking creatures without using that much polygons at all. What games are laking graphical wise these days are three things in my eyes:

        1) proper lighting, shadows are still the sharp ugly ones which we already had in the day of Starfox on the SNES, that just isn't very realistic, HDR helps quite a bit, but what is n
    • If you have a SDTV, it is almost indistinguisable between the XBox and XBox 360 versions (there are slight differences, but nothing noticible). But if you have an HDTV, things look agazing. During replays they say you could easily mistake it for real footage.

      Come again?

      If you have an HDTV, the game looks like real hdtv footage.
      If you have a 525 line set, the game doesn't come close to matching real NTSC footage.

      Or maybe, if you have an HDTV, the XBox 360 looks like real NTSC footage. But exposure to hdtv br

  • Project Gotham Racing 3 is the killer app for a lot of racing fans. Granted that group of gamers is not as large as the FPS fanbase.
  • by creimer (824291) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:39PM (#14056680) Homepage
    When will Microsoft drop the price on the original XBox?
  • I agree that out of the box on release the 360 will be far from stellar, but thats to be expected. A system like this takes time to mature. Programmers have to gear up for a new platform and so on. There is definately no reason to jump on this especially at the high price. I would wait till Sony and Nintendo release theirs thus driving down prices.

    gasmonso http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
  • Another Take (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Deinhard (644412) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:42PM (#14056718)
    The title of this [yahoo.com] New York Post article - Don't Buy the Xbox 360 - pretty much sums up that paper's attitude toward the system. It's another interesting read.
  • by StarBeamAlpha (852142) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:42PM (#14056725)
    Who cares out the next gen consoles, good games for the current consoles are being released like crazy so they can release before the new console wars if you haven't been noticing.
  • I played Call to Duty on XBox 360 in a best buy and I have to say the game play was incredibly good. The only frustration I had with it was that I couldn't figure out the preset controls.

    The game was smooth, very intense and very detailed. The resolution was absolutely insane. It was waaaay better than the original xbox, so I don't quite understand where this guy is coming from.

    There are some people who are quite simply PS2 religious and maybe this guy is one of them.
  • Wha? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak (669689)

    "After the endless jokes about the size and heft of the original Xbox, Microsoft got it right. ...About the only thing that detracts from the visual appeal is the machine's enormous power brick. Fortunately, it's a bit easier to hide that."

    What does weight have anything to do with the quality of the original Xbox?

    They made the PSU external for the 360, now reviewers are complaining about that. I personally could care less if the damn Xbox weighed 10 lbs as long as it does what its supposed to do.

    And the art

    • What does weight have anything to do with the quality of the original Xbox?

      Perhaps entertainment centers cringed when they heard about the vast quantities of mass contained within that green X. Rumor has it that on launch day alone, three thousand entertainment centers fell to the height, weight and girth of the X Box...

  • by popo (107611) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:50PM (#14056798) Homepage

    The 360 has a disastrous lack of solid launch titles. Nothing is revolutionary.

    They have no Halo.

    They have no Elderscrolls.

    They're left with Perfect Dark Zero (which at this point, being so close to launch and seeing no hype, we can only assume will be underwhelming), and Project Gotham (which most people already know will look stunning and be collecting dust within a week).

    This is something of a disaster for MSFT, but not in anyway unpredictable. As someone who has worked closely with Microsoft for the last 10 years I've grown to understand how they make decisions: Its all about platform extension and repeat revenue streams. Very, very little thought tends to go in to creativity, design and consumer appeal. Microsofties tend to scoff at those things, holding instead to the belief that a superior business model leads to a superior product line. (What they forget is that they are now in the entertainment business and people could give a crap about their business model.)

    More unfortunate for MSFT is the fact that Oblivion, one of their biggest system-sellers (if not *the* biggest) will be released for PC months before 360. Anyone who followed the Morrowind release knows why this is a big deal: The PC version was better supported, and had an enormous user community creating free (and amazingly good) mods for the game. That history, combined with the earlier release will cut deeply into the initial appeal for the 360.

    I'll probably get a 360 -- next Xmas -- when there are some games to play.

    • The 360 has a disastrous lack of solid launch titles. Nothing is revolutionary.

      Launch titles have never been revolutionary. What revolutionary title did the PS2 launch with? The Gamecube? The Dreamcast?

      360 is launching with a very competent lineup, though no (as the CNN article pointed out) killer app. It's hard to imagine that the same people who bought the original Xbox for Halo and PGR aren't going to buy the 360 for Perfect Dark and PGR3.

      Revolutionary games will come in the second year and beyond, as th
      • by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75@nospAM.yahoo.com> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:30PM (#14057234)
        Launch titles have never been revolutionary. What revolutionary title did the PS2 launch with? The Gamecube? The Dreamcast?

        The PS2 launch lineup:

        Armored Core 2 (Agetec, Action)
        DOA2: Hardcore (Tecmo, Fighting)
        Dynasty Warriors 2 (Koei, Action)
        ESPN International Track and Field (Konami, Sports)
        ESPN X-Games Snowboarding (Konami, Sports)
        Eternal Ring (Agetec, RPG)
        Evergrace (Agetec, RPG)
        FantaVision (SCEI, Puzzle)
        Gun Griffon Blaze (Working Designs, Action)
        Kessen (EA, Adventure)
        Madden NFL 2001 (EA, Sports)
        Midnight Club (Rockstar, Racing)
        Moto GP (Namco, Racing)
        NHL 2001 (EA, Sports)
        Orphen (Activision, RPG)
        Q-Ball Billiards Master (Take-Two Interactive, Simulation)
        Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2 (Midway, Sports)
        Ridge Racer V (Namco, Racing)
        Silent Scope (Konami, Shooter)
        Smuggler's Run (Rockstar, Racing-Adventure)
        SSX (EA, Sports)
        Street Fighter EX3 (Capcom, Fighting)
        Summoner (THQ, RPG)
        Swing Away (Paradise Golf in Japan) (EA, Sports)
        Tekken Tag Tournament (Namco, fighting)
        TimeSplitters (Eidos, First-Person Shooter)
        Unreal Tournament (Infogrames, First-Person Shooter)
        Wild Wild Racing (Interplay, Racing)
        X-Squad (EA, Action)

        Not a huge number of classics, but I would argue that SSX was pretty revolutionary and it's still fun today. The only game that really sort of approximated what it did prior to that was 1080, but it wasn't nearly as tight.

        There were also some good niche titles in that list, such as Silent Scope, Kessen, and Dynasty Warriors 2. The 360 launch is lacking quality niche titles to draw in those who aren't all about sports or FPS games. The PS2 also had *two* triple-A fighting games; the 360 has none.

        Here's the Dreamcast launch list:

                * Airforce Delta | Konami | $49
                * Blue Stinger | Sega | $49
                * CART Flag to Flag | Sega | $49
                * Expendable | Infogrames | $49
                * House of the Dead 2 | Sega | $49
                * Hydro Thunder | Midway | $49
                * Monaco Grand Prix | Ubi Soft | $49
                * Mortal Kombat Gold | Midway | $49
                * NFL 2000 | Sega | $49
                * NFL Blitz 2000 | Midway | $49
                * Pen Pen Tri-Icelon | Infogrames | $49
                * Power Stone | Capcom | $49
                * Ready 2 Rumble | Midway | $49
                * Sonic Adventure | Sega | $49
                * Soul Calibur | Namco | $49
                * TNN Hardcore Heat | ASC | $49
                * Tokyo Xtreme Racing | Crave | $49
                * TrickStyle | Acclaim | $49

        You'll never convince me that Power Stone was not revolutionary, Sonic Adventure wasn't the best platformer of its time, and Soul Calibur was not the best fighting game ever made. Beyond that, again a good mix of mainstream stuff (NFL 2K being the best sports title available at the time) and niche titles (HotD2, TXR, etc.). The 360 just doesn't have the mix right, and it's lacking *any* true standouts.

        It's also worth noting that the Dreamcast launch had a much better proportion of original titles to sequels than the Xbox 360 does.

        The GameCube I might grant you, although at least the GameCube did have some of Nintendo's best franchises represented (though no Mario) - and it had one of my favorite games of all time, Super Monkey Ball. Show me that kind of silly fun in the Xbox 360's launch lineup.

        I would agree with those that say the 360's launch lineup is relatively weak. It's not the worst I've ever seen (go back a few years and you'll find systems that launched with only 2 or 3 games total!), but it's not great by recent standards.
  • by Luscious868 (679143) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:50PM (#14056799)

    The article isn't talking about the console so much as the games that are available at launch. Here are the quotes in context. Jesus editors, biased much?

    While there are several good - and even very good - titles that will be available at launch, there's nothing truly great.

    Admittedly, tastes vary - so you could easily find a game out this month that's a "must have" for you. (We'll have a closer look at the launch games early next week.) But if you're looking for something that's ground breaking and sets the trend for the system (as "Halo" did with the original Xbox), you're not going to find it.
  • We get shinier graphics for this new generation. Ooo, aah, whatever.

    The generation before this (the N64 and Playstation) definitely needed obselescence. The Playstation had pitiful graphics and hardware, while the N64 had no space for anything useful.

    Yes, this next generation will allow for shinier graphics, but the clarity of the graphics of the current generation already allow for pretty much the same games this new generation can have.

    So what now? Will all games at least look like Doom 3? So now we c
  • by TheWorkz (866187) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:54PM (#14056834)
    I would have to say that the launch titles are ok/good and probably worth it for anyone who can afford it. I will be getting mine, but I have disposable money and already an HDTV. Why would microsoft waste a huge launch title like Halo 3, when they really need to save that one for the launch of the PS3! Come the PS3/Revolution Launch, Prices will drop, and they will drop the biggest title Halo 3 then. Its going to Hurt Sony!
  • by ToasterofDOOM (878240) <d.murphy.davis@gmail.com> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @05:57PM (#14056864)
    ... or do half of those concepts look like George Foreman Grills???
  • From TFA:

    Even Microsoft admits the first Xbox was ugly. ("It was big," Xbox's Peter Moore said in August. "It was the Humvee of consoles.")

    No, it was more like the Aztec of consoles.

  • Extend its lead? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Some Random Username (873177) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:03PM (#14056938) Journal
    "And Microsoft continues to extend its lead in the online console marketplace."

    They don't have a lead, Sony does. By a very large margin. "Close the gap on its competition" maybe?
  • $60/pop? I haven't played a game in the past couple of years that was worth $60, especially on a console. Anyone going to pay EA $60 for Madden x360? Screw that. It's not like the games at release are ground breaking. No sequal is worth $60, no matter how pretty it looks.

    Publisher greed is going to bite them.
  • Online is the Key (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DarthVain (724186)
    If Microsoft wants to Beat Sony and dominate, they are going to have to capitalize on the online play. The orginal xbox was a good first step, with the 360 they really have to step up. I don't see this happening. I was a PC gamer than went over to xbox live, and I can tell you there are problems, fairly big problems. The first problem is how things are run. PC games typically have servers, you don't just connect to what ever PC has the best connection or whatever. In xbox live you are essientially running
    • by Red Flayer (890720)
      "BUt online play is especially important at the beginning as MOST people do not have a HDTV, and while it would be nice MOST are not going to shell out the 2000-4000 dollars to get one."

      Just wait until February, when consumer electronics prices drop. Especially this year in the US, since there is expected to be a pretty stiff drop in consumer spending around that time... in addition to the annual post-holiday season lull, there are also all the bills for heating coming due, which will cost the typical h
  • Strange review (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aphrika (756248) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:24PM (#14057175)
    Initial thoughts were that it was negative, but on re-reading, it's just the title that gives the wrong impression, and in this case the impression seems solely weighted on whether the console has any killer games at launch.

    Now, whether halo came out at the X-Box launch or 3 months later is a moot point, either way it would still have been a success. The gameboy initially had Tetris, but long after its launch, Pokemon came along midway through the console's life and totally revitalised it.

    What I'm saying is that the killer game doesn't need to be there at launch, just in the first half of the console's lifespan. In any case, good software makes a console, not a single title.

    I also think he may have missed the point of the online and media capabilities of the 360. He mentions them with a great deal of enthusiasm, yet seems very blasé about them; to me these are some of the most exciting areas of the 360, especially when it's coupled with a Media Center PC and MP3 players to give you a digital entertainment center. The X-Box Live community is already a proven success and if Microsoft expand on this, they really do have some serious clout against Sony who have yet to roll out a coherent first generation online community for the PSX platform.

    All in all, I think the 360 will be a big success, and ultimately one where Microsoft has played on equal terms with other contenders, but as I mentioned earlier, it's the good software that has to make the hardware shine, and I suppose I'm almost glad that that's out of Microsoft's hands...
  • My experience (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ActionAL (260721) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:49PM (#14057418)
    I've played on the XBOX360 and I can say that the graphics are not as phenomenal as one would expect from a next-generation system.

    The graphics are about the same as a modern day computer game with the latest graphics card and cpu.

    When I was playing the XBOX360, I realized there's nothing really that cool about this next-gen system. A point the CNN article talks about. It really isn't that innovative. It's just the same games, made prettier.

    There's only so much you can do to the graphics, until the gamer realizes hey this is the same thing! Except I paid a whole lot more money!

    Playing the XBOX360 made me realize, the innovation of something like Nintendo's Revolution controller may be a greater leap in gaming than Microsoft and Sony. You could end up using the Revolution's controller as a lightsaber, a gun, a tennis racket, a baseball bat, a steering wheel (use your imagination), you can really revolutionize the interaction between the user and the game simply by changing the controller like Nintendo has done. And that thought makes me drool at how more fun games will be.

    Otherwise there's no difference in me just going and buying Call of Duty 2 and playing it on my home PC.
  • XBox Redux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @07:12PM (#14057649) Homepage
    Maybe I shouldn't post this, because I get the feeling it would be quite unpopular with a few of the people who've posted in this thread so far. But...
    Admittedly, tastes vary - so you could easily find a game out this month that's a 'must have' for you.
    I'm not entirely sure about this one part from the article. It honestly seems to me like the XBox 360 launch library caters to a very narrow range of tastes. Tastes vary, so what if you like RPGs? Or platformers? Or strategy games? Or puzzle games? Or like racers, but prefer not to play realistic ones? Or beat-em-ups, or shoot-em-ups, or hack-n-slash, or sims, or ...

    Basically, what if you consider "a wide range of tastes" to include things other than sports games and first person shooters? Because that's really all the 360 lineup offers this month. (Though if we are courteous enough to wait until December 1 there's one fighting game; we probably shouldn't think of those as sports games.)

    There are literally three games in the XBox launch lineup which are not a sports game or a first person shooter. Kameo, King Kong, and Gun. Kameo is an adventure game-- but, I have yet to encounter anyone at all who considers Kameo a 'must-have' game, or really is particularly interested in it at all. If you like adventure games you'd be much more interested in King Kong and Gun, which do both look like absolutely fantastic games with wide-ranging appeal. But... both of these games are coming out for approximately every system known to man, from the PSP to the Gamecube to the PC. If you own any video game systems at all you can play these games already. Would anyone seriously buy an XBox 360 to play these? Aside from these three, there is one arcade-looking game on the XBox Live marketplace called "Geometry Wars" that looks really cool, but the article said 'must have', so I'm just trying to think about must-have, system seller games here. This is a minigame.

    So we're left with what? Well, a niche system that caters to a "wide range" of sports gamers and first person shooter gamers, with a cop to the fighting game crowd coming next month. In other words, the XBox 360 caters to exactly those set of tastes who comprised the hardcore of XBox owners. If you weren't an XBox owner, it seems like the 360 launch library really doesn't do much for you. I can definitely see how the XBox 360 launch would look "must-own" to anyone who really, really liked the XBox! But for the rest of us... well, unless you want to spend $400 to play a $10 psychadelic arcade game, or for some reason you really, really, really want to play "Gun" in HD, the current window of XBox 360 games just seems to ignore your existence entirely.
  • by dindi (78034) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @07:58PM (#14058015) Homepage
    Only a couple of titles are exclusive to Xbox 360 (that is, they can't be played on any other machine). "

    A bit off topic, but I would like to see less PS2 only and XBOX only titles.

    In fact, I would like to see platform independent online modes (of course on same powered boxes) eg PS3 and 360..

    I can understand that sometimes an XBOX map is bigger than a PS2 map, but network-wise I would really appreciate if there would be interoperability thru multiplayer titles.

    Even with different single player maps, there should be multiplayer maps that could be played on ps2,ps3,xbox, and 360 ... link mode, and online mode...

    clear that ps3 won't connect to Xbox Live, but manufacturer hosted game servers wold be cool for that, or using XBC or KAI Xlink...

    Am I dreaming ? I know they are different architectures, but in multiplayer you send cordinates (persons. bullets. vehicles, objects) , button presses and the same map could be playable with e.g. lower res, less textures on Ps2 and Ps3..... (well a bit over simplyfied)

    Someone kick me in the head if that is completely an idiotic idea ! And tell me why that does not exist?

    I actually tried to find games that would be playable on my consoles - to no avail...

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