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XBox (Games)

Microsoft Wants 360 To Have PS2-Like Lifespan 160

Posted by Zonk
from the just-finish-out-the-mass-effect-trilogy dept.
Gamasutra is reporting on comments from Microsoft executive Mindy Mount, reacting to Nintendo's Satoru Iwata and his observations about the modern console life cycle. Mount indicated that the company is looking towards the PlayStation 2's success well into its lifespan for inspiration. "In comments very similar to those made by Iwata, Mount suggested that a rush to create a new generation of consoles was not necessary until there was a compelling hardware feature to justify it. 'At this point from the technological perspective, there are some real advances ... that make it worth having a next-generation console," said Mount. "Right now there aren't that many things on the horizon that you think, wow, that's going to be a game-changer.'"
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Microsoft Wants 360 To Have PS2-Like Lifespan

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  • by C. Alan (623148) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @01:27PM (#21269203)
    Microsoft *realy* need to get the quality control situation figured out before they can hope the 360 will have the console life of the PS2. Lets face it, when your two or three year old console breaks, chances are you won't buy another one.
  • by geminidomino (614729) * on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @01:29PM (#21269243) Journal
    No, but you may file a class-action lawsuit and the company will replace the drive for free, even beyond warranty (That happened with the PS2).
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @01:35PM (#21269347)
    Of course, it's not totally. Microsoft's decision how long the 360 lasts, they've got to ensure publisher support doesn't dry up like it did with the Xbox. I've read in a lot of places that this was down to customers jumping ship to the 360 and the back compatability wasn't really there, so there was no point in developing original Xbox titles. This seems like a good time to bring it up again and ask whether this is reason why the platform was abandoned, or a just-so story.
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @01:41PM (#21269443)

    This seems like a good time to bring it up again and ask whether this is reason why the platform was abandoned, or a just-so story.


    DRM, plain and simple.

    xbox was modable, and with the new 360 they can now go as far as breaking your machine's hardware remotely (see my sig) to keep you from using your device how you want.

    if they provided a fully reverse compatible api people would just use the original games to reverse engineer the 360, and microsoft can't have uppity people exercising their personal property rights.

  • I'd prefer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @01:46PM (#21269549)
    if the console actually lasted that long.

    I sent one back for "red ring of death" - which they still won't admit is their own fucking fault for not putting in enough cooling for the original processors (multiple sites have opened up the new ones and photographed the enlarged heatsinks they're putting in now compared to the original).

    What do I get back? A "replacement" unit that dies a month later because the fucking DVD drive motor is defective.

    So for this year, I've actually had my 360 for 10 of the 12 months (a full 1/6 of the year) because the fucking morons won't do a proper "advance replacement" (you guarantee w/ credit card that you'll send the defective unit back in the box they shop your replacement) and insist it goes to the factory where their techs will go "yup, it's defective" and ship another out.
  • No he doesn't. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @01:46PM (#21269551) Journal

    If he did, MS would have made ONE version of the 360. Does he really think he can get away for 7 years with a console without a harddisk for that long? Does he really think DVD's are going to be a big enough storage option for that long?

    MS has set themselves up to have a constant stream of 360 setups that won't be good enough to play new releases. A game will need a HD, a game will need HD-DVD and whatever else MS WILL decide to add in the future. Make NO mistake about it. MS will find it impossible to resist to release newer 'better' versions of the 360.

    Then there is the hardware itself, current generation consoles are obsolete already compared to the PC. Even a modest PC gaming rig will have more video memory then consoles have for TOTAL memory.

    Does this matter? Can you say MMORPG? That is one big cash machine in the game industry but so far there has been little luck getting it too run on consoles. That is because in a MMORPG you never really know what is going to happen next. They are memory hogs because they need to have lots of data loaded all the time.

    In a more traditional game, no matter how large the level, it is more or less up to the designer WHAT is actually in that level. In a MMORPG (or for that matter a modded game like The Sims or Oblivion) the contents of a level can skyrocket simply because of varation.

    I can come across several dozen people each in outfits with their own textures.

    Stream load that!

    It is one of the reasons why user mods to games like The Sims and Oblivion and Never Winter Nights seem to always include higher resolution textures and more style choices. Why didn't the company include them from the start? Because their minimum requirements would have skyrocketed. My 'pimped' oblivion makes the original look like morrowind but the cost in hardware is extreem.

    We all seen how PC games that got the console treatment had to be butchered to deal with the limitations of obsolete hardware. Deus Ex 2 anyone? Why can't I access the huge amount of user mods on the console versions of Oblivion? Where is the user commonity of the Console version of The Sims?

    7 years is a long time for the 360 but more importantly Microsoft. Sony is a different company then MS, it (used to be at least) is a hardware company. MS is a software company, and I think MS will find it impossible to resist pushing updates.

    The proof? The lifespan of the x-box. It was DEAD the moment the 360 was released, Sony is still actively working on the PS2. This despite the fact that the x-box was a younger machine.

    Hardware limitations aside, MS is just not a company that can support a product for so long without new must have features being slipped in. When they see that PC gaming (in which they after all have a very important role) is overtaking their console gaming division in capabilities they WILL release a new 360 with more memory or something, effectivly ending the life of previous models.

    But hey, if they don't that is good new too, I am looking forward as a PC snob of half a decade of looking down on console gamers and their quant old relics again.

  • by koblek (642650) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @01:48PM (#21269569)
    Mount suggested that a rush to create a new generation of consoles was not necessary until there was a compelling hardware feature to justify it. I wish they applied the same thinking before creating an OS that no one wants and releasing games that ONLY work on that OS. This is what killed Shadowrun's sales
  • I'd rather... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AstrumPreliator (708436) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @02:28PM (#21270159)
    ... see them make the console itself have a lifespan of a few years (as opposed to the lifetime of this current console generation). Mine bricked back in May, if it wasn't for them extending the warranty I wouldn't have got a replacement (even though the replacement was bricked out of the box). Looking back on things I think I made a mistake buying a 360. I had mine less than a year, and currently I've been without one since May (thanks to the wonderful 6+ weeks wait time).

    If they want to have a PS2-like lifespan they better work on fixing the console. It's not much fun owning a video game console which is being repaired/replaced for months on end.
  • by king-manic (409855) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @02:39PM (#21270297)

    I will say, though, that I buy/rent games on my PS3 rather than my 360 if given the choice now because my 360 is acting weird sometimes (graphical corruption that goes away when it's turned off and back on) and I don't want to have to wait 6 weeks until I can play it again. It's easier to just get them for the PS3 and not have to worry about it.
    A few friends of mine have picked up PS3's to avoid Xbox live. They got tired of paying for live. So any good multi-platform games they buy the PS3 version id possible to play online for free. I swore off the Wii virtual console shop due to the lack of transferability of the games. They die with your wii as Nintendo has a strict policy about those games and transferring and I ran into it when my new Wii was defective and I opted to exchange instead of sending it off to be refurbished. It made me realize anything I spent there is wasted when my wii dies after the warranty period. I also swore off Xbox live because of the inane credit card retention policy. They make it extremely hard to remove a CC after you use it and there really isn't any good reason for it. PSN or the wii Shopping channel don't demand your card stay persistent with your machine. So I'm on the PSN only for that sort of shopping. They allow you to redownload even off another machine and they allow me to remove my card off my machine if I wish.
  • by JCSoRocks (1142053) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @02:58PM (#21270631)
    Yeah, if you look at the specs the PS3 is more powerful than the 360, it's also capable of creating higher-def images, so it's pretty insane to say it sits somewhere between the Wii and the 360. On paper the PS3's cell processors stomp the xbox 360's processor, but developers aren't yet taking advantage of the PS3's full computing power. It'll probably be another year before we see titles really starting to take advantage of the extra power.
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @03:02PM (#21270693) Homepage
    By having a hard drive in the system, coders would be assured that they could have something they could use as a buffer...games would benefit greatly if they could just load the stuff needed for the starting area, and then stream-load as the game played. Granted, Oblivion did decently with this, but it could still be improved (and frankly, Oblivion is one of the few that actually managed this well)

    Plus, with a hard drive in every system, it might be possible to even set aside a portion of it (say, 512 megs to 1 gig) to act as a swap file, not unlike a PC. It would just enable better performance overall. Considering the Xbox had a hard drive in it (and you couldn't buy one without it), it's surprising Microsoft didn't do the same this time around.
  • What a bunch of BS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Werthless5 (1116649) on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @03:20PM (#21270979)
    MS is clearly trying to use the Sega Genesis model; make a basic system and then continually create upgrades for it. HD-DVD attachment, bigger hard drives, HDMI port, etc. etc. And we all know how well that worked out for Sega.

    The PS2 was one console, never needed to be upgraded to play new games, and it usually lasted forever. I still have my fat PS2 from early release, and it still works beautifully (had one disc read error a year ago that was fixed by cleaning the disc). Microsoft is clearly NOT going the PS2 route.
  • Re:100% backwards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75&yahoo,com> on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @04:49PM (#21272325)
    This is one reason why the PS2 has sold more machines than any other console. The PS2 consistently breaks down a few years after (usually the laser on the DVD drive).

    Bullshit. People who say this are missing the obvious hole in their argument: attach rates.

    If everybody out there were constantly re-buying broken PS2's, the attach rate would plateau and then actually drop. Think about it - a person with 10 games has an attach rate of 10. Then their console breaks, so they buy another one; now their attach rate is 5. (10 games divided by 2 consoles.) But that has never happened. The PS2's attach rate has only ever gone up, consistently, and at least to a year or two ago, the rise in attach rates was actually accelerating. (It's natural for attach rates to start to stabilize at the end of a system's lifespan, as people stop buying games for it.)

    I've never been convinced that any model of PS2 has ever had a higher defect rate than the industry average, or were any easier to break. It was a popular system, so naturally you were going to have some people with breakdowns. It's not like the 360, which even MS has admitted has multiple design flaws (their own words) and seems to have close to a 100% defect rate, judging by both the anecdotal reports and by MS's expectations of what it's going to cost them to repair defective units. But here you have multiple people saying their launch PS2's work just fine - chalk me up as another, and Sony has never had to cop to any problems with these systems. There's never been any threat of any class action either.

    I've seen about as many reports of the Wii overheating as I did of PS2 breakdowns in the early days.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2007 @09:33PM (#21275941)
    Actually many Xbox 360 games (PGR3, Halo 3, etc) are only rendered in 640p and are upscaled to 720p/1080i/p. The reason for this is that a 720x1280+ picture won't fit in the 10MB EDRAM with room for post processing effects (unless the image is tiled before hand which adds significant overhead).

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