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Businesses Microsoft Games

Why Microsoft Embraced Gaming 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the something-about-extending-and-i-forget dept.
wjousts writes "A interesting take on the birth of the Xbox from Technology Review: 'When the original Xbox video-game console went on sale in 2001, it wasn't clear why Microsoft, known for staid workplace software, was branching out into fast-paced action games. But Microsoft decided that capitalizing on the popularity of gaming could help the company position itself for the coming wave of home digital entertainment. "Microsoft saw the writing on the wall," says David Dennis, a spokesman for Xbox. "It wanted to have a beachhead in the living room." ... Now Microsoft is linking Xbox 360, its most successful consumer-focused brand, with others that have not been as well received. It is integrating Bing, its search engine, into Xbox and Xbox Live to enable people to search for multimedia content. By the end of the year, Microsoft is expected to unveil an updated Xbox Live design that is more in line with the look of Windows phones and the forthcoming Windows 8.'"
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Why Microsoft Embraced Gaming

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  • well even tho they succeeded on launching their gaming business, I believe they really REALLY need to start building brand loyalty, NOBODY likes microsoft as a company, you might like windows, xbox, and games for windows live (why like GFWL is beyond me but whatever),but if MS went crashing and burning down today, nobody would really care about the company, about the services, yes; but about the company.. not really.
    • In the consumer market? Yes. In the business market, you're definitely mistaken. I don't know why, but once an organization becomes of a certain size, Microsoft is unavoidable and PHBs, CEOs and other three-letter-higher-ups absolutely want only to hear about Microsoft.

      As such, I'd wager to say that, yes, there are people who love Microsoft and have very high brand loyalty to it.

      Of course, it doesn't have the religious following Apple has, but there are some real Microsoft lovers[1]. Events like Vista,

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        I still think 7 is a polished Vista

        You say that like most others wouldn't agree with you. Of course that's all Win7 is: they polished the turd that is Vista, though they actually did a pretty good job of it, fixing most of the performance problems and such, so now people just don't have so much reason to complain like they did with Vista. But yes, the interface is definitely different (I don't like it either).

        • Meh. I like 7. I really disliked Vista.

          I relatively regularly use Ubuntu, RedHat, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Android.

          now people just don't have so much reason to complain

          So in other words, it's not really that bad, but people still dislike it? out of principle, I guess?

          Sounds like the same thing that happens with Linux. People don't like it. Why? I dunno. It's "different" or it's not "supported" or it's "slow" or it's "communist" or who knows what else. Typically, there aren't really good answers by typical users. Actually, I'd say it'

          • by tepples (727027)

            Sounds like the same thing that happens with Linux. People don't like it. Why? I dunno. It's "different" or it's not "supported" or it's "slow" or it's "communist" or who knows what else.

            How about "not compatible with the applications that I need to use" or "not compatible with the hardware that I own"? I've run into both at various times, as you mention with Sibelius, NWN, Reaper, etc. Or they disagree with the direction in which Unity and GNOME Shell are headed, such as Unity's mystery-meat [webpagesthatsuck.com] menu bar that's often half a screen away from the focused window. Granted, Mac OS X likewise has a problem of the menu bar being far from the window, but at least its global menu isn't mystery meat hid

      • MS is in a good spot when it comes to having companies use their products. Migrating from one OS and application stack to another is expensive and time consuming and this benefits MS. I have been involved with 2 of my customers who were making attempts to move from the MS stack to the Linux stack and it ended up being a fiasco in both cases. Their IT departments lacked the development and system administrative skills to make the change over and they ran into a couple of situations where they could not migra
      • by g00mbasv (2424710)
        of course I meant consumer market, its sad to see suits demand microsoft stuff because they dont know any better.
    • "NOBODY likes microsoft as a company" While this may be true in the tech world the average consumer could care less about the company they just want more games. Although today it seems that all corporations are under attack for one thing or another which is fine if they are forced to make changes in their business practices.
      • Even though it sounded like you were disagreeing with "Nobody likes microsft", what you said is 100% consistent. Indifference != like.

    • by N0Man74 (1620447)

      well even tho they succeeded on launching their gaming business, I believe they really REALLY need to start building brand loyalty, NOBODY likes microsoft as a company, you might like windows, xbox, and games for windows live (why like GFWL is beyond me but whatever),but if MS went crashing and burning down today, nobody would really care about the company, about the services, yes; but about the company.. not really.

      I would agree that they could use more brand loyalty. Microsoft has never been great at image; they constantly fail to look hip, cool, or caring.

      Look at at their competitors. Sony has repeatedly pissed on their customers left and right, but yet they still manage to have fanboys proclaiming how evil Microsoft is. Apple has managed to convince legions that missing a feature is a feature itself, and it's scary outside the walls of their garden. They even had a CEO that was viewed as a messiah.

      Then again, i

    • by dskzero (960168)
      I know plenty of people who like Microsoft, but, most important, they love the Xbox. THey don't really need to be liked by geeks and gamers, anyway: they have plenty of products that are widely used in business and that's what they need: I haven't RTFA but I really doubt the Xbox failing would be the end of them.
  • I bought my Sega because I believed it would lead me into a larger world.

    I bought my Playstation because I believed I would become more self actualised (whatever the heck that means.)

    Funny how they are in boxes, gathering dust, which I continue to use a desktop computer.

    • by El Torico (732160)

      I bought my Playstation because I believed I would become more self actualised (whatever the heck that means.)

      So, you were waiting for Maslow's Quest to be released too? I guess the developers just couldn't code "peak experiences".

    • If you're not playing Uncharted 3 right now then you don't own a Playstation 3.
    • by hal2814 (725639)
      So are you using the same desktop you were when the Playstation was released or have you replaced that one with newer hardware?
    • by antdude (79039)

      That is why I only had an Atari 2600. Computers are so much better than video game consoles. :)

      • Computers are so much better than video game consoles. :)

        I agree with you, except in one case: when you have friends over. Not a lot of PC game developers anticipate a situation with a gaming PC hooked up to a TV and four USB gamepads.

        • by antdude (79039)

          True, but that won't happen with me these days. ;)

        • To be fair, most multiplayer happens online now anyway (except with the Wii of course), so your point is less relevant now.

          I miss those late nights playing Goldeneye on 4-player, on a tiny CRT TV.
          • by tepples (727027)
            Huh? Is a parent nowadays expected to buy two PS3 consoles or two Xbox 360 consoles and two copies of each game so that both kids in the household can play together?
            • No, at least I hope not. I was responding to the "having friends over" comment/situation. Having mates over for multiplayer gaming rarely happens anymore because online gaming is more popular (to me, both have their merits. I hated sharing the screen with 4 people in Goldeneye, and inevitably people would screen-look, but the social element was nice, something I miss when playing online).
    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      If you are talking about the Dreamcast you really need to check out some of the emulators and ROM collections for the DC. The fact that you didn't have to modchip it meant that while my boys have the original Xbox and PS2 gathering dust the DC stays hooked up loaded with SNES and Genesis games. Its cool to be able to bust out some Ikari warriors or General Chaos without having to blow on carts and if you hit some of the BT sites you can find pre-made ROM collections that are as simple as burn>>run for

  • By the end of the year, Microsoft is expected to unveil an updated Xbox Live design that is more in line with the look of Windows phones and the forthcoming Windows 8.'

    If I were them, I'd unveil a new Windows 8 that looks more like XBox Live. I don't own an XBox, but from what I understand the online support from Microsoft for XBox is better than what is offered by Sony for PS3 and Nintendo for Wii. I do actually own those two systems and have generally found the online support to be pretty terrible.

    • by ThinkWeak (958195)

      I don't own an XBox, but from what I understand the online support from Microsoft for XBox is better than what is offered by Sony for PS3 and Nintendo for Wii. I do actually own those two systems and have generally found the online support to be pretty terrible.

      It's true, you get what you pay for. I've paid for the Live membership for over 5 years and I've been very happy with it. It's easy, they keep it fresh, and the added indie game section is a nice touch. I'll be interested to see what the live TV offering is going to be and I'm also hopeful they'll incorporate Skype with Kinect. The camera on the Kinect doesn't appear to capture the most crisp picture, but it's decent enough to get the point across.

    • Most people would disagree with you which is why the Wii has a huge lead over the 360 everywhere and globally the PS3 right on the 360's ass with only a couple or few million less units despite launching a year later, being initially more expensive, the hacking issues, etc.

      The 360 is all about milking the customer. No included wifi so you can buy a pricey adapter, can't use a standard HD, got to buy a expensive proprietary add-on. If you're a developer and want to give something away then forget about it
      • If you're a developer and want to give something away then forget about it.

        This is just as true on the other platforms. Neither Wii nor PS3 has promotional free games to my knowledge, or even any approved indie scene to speak of. At least Microsoft has Xbox Live Indie Games in select markets.

        No included wifi so you can buy a pricey adapter

        This was fixed in the Xbox 360 S revision.

        • Valve complained that they can give away additional content for their games on the PS3 but not the Xbox. I'm not terribly sure about the Wii but I got Zelda Four Swords for free the other week as did anyone else that wants it.
      • by Dutch Gun (899105)

        The latest 360 systems have built-in wi-fi, incidentally (not that it makes that much difference in your point).

        If you think the online services of the other two consoles are anywhere close to Xbox Live, then you probably don't have enough experience contrasting the services to make a reasonable comparison. You'll have to trust me that most of my friends, while not exactly ecstatic about paying $60 a year for Live really don't consider it enough of a deterrent, considering how slick and seamless the servic

        • That may very well be but what I have works well enough for me. The only issue with the Wii is the friends codes which are non-existant on the 3DS. You just jump online and find a match and network connectivity seems fine. Other than that I use the systems (minus the 3DS though) for web browsing which is quite nice to do away from the desktop sometimes and I just can't do that on the 360.

          Again I would hope it's infinitely better since it's not free but for what I want I don't think it is. I would assume
      • The wii has sold more consoles yes, but that is in spite of, not because of, Nintendo's online offerings (which is what GP was talking about.) You can download some small games, you can through great effort play with some voiceless strangers online for a few games. Anything else that nintendo online offers your smartphone does better.
        • Arguably the voicelessness is a bonus. But I will agree that the Wii didn't sell because of it's lack of online capability. I think it shows more that people aren't that bothered about online play. If they want to browse the web or use netflix they can do that on the Wii and i do think most people rather not be verbally abused by young kids so they're put off by online gaming.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        The 360 is all about milking the customer. No included wifi so you can buy a pricey adapter,

        Or use the built in ethernet port. Saves money for those of us that don't see the need for wireless.

        can't use a standard HD, got to buy a expensive proprietary add-on

        Oh yes, the expensive proprietary add-on otherwise known as a HDMI cable. Bought mine from a supermarket for 1.5GBP (under US$3). Only the first generation of Xbox360 consoles lacked a HDMI port, and you have to remember that when they were released very few people had a HD TV, and those that did mostly had component connections

        To play games online or do anything really it's $60 a year.

        Well I'd consider offline play, patch and game demo downloads as something, but XB

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The 360 is all about milking the customer. No included wifi so you can buy a pricey adapter, can't use a standard HD, got to buy a expensive proprietary add-on.

        The Arcade fixes the HDMI port issue and as tepples says the S adds WiFi. Let us not forget that the magical PS3 with WiFi was $600 at launch.

        To play games online or do anything really it's $60 a year.

        That does suck.

        • I agree the PS3 had a higher base price but at the same time to get a similar experience (ie getting the wifi add-on, the HD-DVD add-on rechargeable battery pack, gold membership, etc) it wasn't cheaper. I believe in fact it was more expensive.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Blu-Ray or no Blu-Ray, that is the question upon which PS3 purchases were justified or not. Me, I just got a BDP-S300 for five bucks, and as soon as I find a matching remote, I'll have a Blu-Ray player. I didn't have an HDTV until relatively recently (well after the PS3 launch anyway) and I'm still pretty much amazed at how good an upscaled DVD can look. So it comes down to which hardware you needed. For many people the 360 was significantly cheaper up front. I don't have Live Gold so I'm not paying for it

    • Microsoft saw what the hacker community is doing with the original xbox and great stuff like XBMC, they put that in Xbox360. They did not see any writing on the wall, as always they were smart in realizing the potential of what the hacker community bought to the xbox, bought that to 360. They did the exact same with Indie games on xbox 360 as people on the original xbox were writing indie games. They just capitalized on what the consumer wanted. A smart thing to do, but I would give credit to the innovato

  • should consider working together on a home game unit. They have more in common than they think.
    • by wjousts (1529427)
      Yes they have their hatred of Microsoft in common. Something which is matched only by their hatred for each other. Steve Jobs would turn in his grave if Apple hooked up with Google again after the whole iPhone/Android thing.
  • This would be the only way I would use bing, but honestly I probably wouldn't mind. Xboxes are for gaming. When they do other things fine. And ok I'll just use whatever search comes with it. Actual good move by M$.
  • Windows (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @12:16PM (#37937164)
    Too bad Microsoft hasn't REALLY embraced gaming, they're just competing with Sony for console hardware.

    Windows 7 is still extremely naive about handling games. There should be options in the OS to disable the windows key when full-screen applications are running, windows should be MUCH better about recognizing games, Games For Windows Live is a JOKE (this I especially don't understand, Xbox Live is actually very impressive, and it should be EASIER to provide that kind of service on a PC. Gamespy has been doing it for FREE for years, but MS continually just releases a crap of DRM they call GFWL with no "features" a gamer would ever possibly use).
    • It's not just games, although games are where it comes out most. Windows doesn't understand what to do with monitors and full-screen applications, up to and including its own desktop.

      I have a two-screen setup. They're cheap, but let's not get picky. The one on the left is 1024x768, a trashy little thing I've had for years. The one on the right is 1360x768, a repurposed LCD TV. (Don't get me started on its problems.) Let's say I'm playing some old game, which wants to run at 4:3. Windows, naively, put

      • But Windows doesn't innovate, and they don't think.

        Amen, brother. I know M$-bashing gets some flak on /. for being everybody's favorite straw-man, but seriously, this OS is embarrassing. I can count the number of useful features they've added since 98SE on my left hand.

        • It's not even about bashing the company. I get that they make a majority of their money on business instead of consumer machines. I don't even really mind that they tend to focus on those clients. However, you would think them capable of using that money to make the end-result better; you know, using it the way MS Research does (the ones who do things like the giant multitouch table, and other projects that never really made it to production, but were hella impressive). Only, you know, doing that for th

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Have you tried multiple monitors on any other OS? MacOS has been doing multiple monitors since time immemorial and it has all the same problems you attribute to Windows. And don't even get me started on how crappy multiple monitor support is on Linux. As bad as Windows is at handling it, it's one of the best.

    • by Xest (935314)

      "There should be options in the OS to disable the windows key when full-screen applications are running"

      What? any programmer worth his salt can do this.

      If it's not done in a game it's because the game's developers made the concious decision that people want to be able to get out of their games and jump to the start menu to do something else, we did after all change to multi-tasking operating systems for a reason.

      "but MS continually just releases a crap of DRM they call GFWL with no "features" a gamer would

  • Because they want to make money, by selling people things? Bear with me, but my theory is they think they can make consoles at a cheaper price than people will be willing to pay for them. So crazy it just might be true.
    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Bear with me, but my theory is they think they can make consoles at a cheaper price than people will be willing to pay for them. So crazy it just might be true.

      That would be more convincing if the Xbox hadn't been a financial boondoggle. They may 'make consoles at a cheaper price than people are willing to pay for them' right now, but they'll take a long time to pay off the debts incurred in reaching that point and will soon have to blow another truckload of cash developing the next generation.

      • by Rogerborg (306625)

        Yup, I'm not convinced they've actually turned a profit yet from the XBox line. If they're tying it to Bing and their long line of CE/Mobile abominations, I'm pretty sure they're in the red.

        OS and Office are still doing a good job of funding their delusions, mind.

        • by MHolmesIV (253236)

          Um, according to the financial statements for FY11, the E&D business (which includes the CE/Mobile "abominations") made $1.3billion in profit on revenue of $8.9billion. This puts it around 125 on the fortune 500 in terms of profit, and about 275 in terms of just revenue, and solidly in the black. If this were any other company it would be considered a ridiculous success. (Amazon took 8 years to make a profit of $73 million, and now, at 16 years old, is making a profit of a third of the E&D division)

  • The article states "Ten years later, the Xbox 360 is the best-selling video-game system of its generation in the United States, where more people plug it into their TVs than either Sony's PlayStation 3 or Nintendo's Wii (emphasis mine), and it's making Microsoft a contender in the fierce battle to serve up entertainment on demand, especially from Internet video services. "

    That makes for a nice story but the Wii has worldwide sales of almost 90M compared to the Xbox 360's 55-57M. If you tak

    • by cornface (900179)

      The article said "plug into TVs" not "dump in box behind TV."

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      best-selling video-game system of its generation in the United States, where more people plug it into their TVs than either Sony's PlayStation 3 or Nintendo's Wii

      Emphasis mine. You listed worldwide numbers. It doesn't change your argument, based on wikipedia's source, but I thought it was important to look at the actual claim.

      wiki [wikipedia.org]

    • by wjousts (1529427)
      It's a shame you didn't also bold the five words before the part you did bold. The part that said "in the United States". So your worldwide comparison is irrelevant compared to the part YOU decided to quote.
  • The last thing Microsoft wants is for people to find out or realize that you can do "computery" things without a computer running one of their operating systems. It's why they had shills in the late 80's early 90's saying: "Hey, don't buy an Amiga or ST, because you'll need to bring home work from the office and those machines don't use the "industry standard" software".

    Or when Microsoft bought WebTV, which allowed people to send e-mail, use USENET, IRC chat, and view webpages on a consumer oriented piece of hardware that hooked up to the TV and didn't run Windows, and then let it languish.

    Sega, Sony and Nintendo probably scared Microsoft silly when their hardware became capable of running PC style games without being cut down so much Sega's netlink and Sony's prototype PSone modem probably gave them the impetus for entering the market. "If we don't enter their makret, they'll eventually enter ours and make game consoles that people can use to browse the net." Sony's use of Linux tools for developing probably gave them fits as well.

    And think of the PS2...acknowledged capable of running Linux from the start, with a slot for a hard drive and networking, and USB ports. Microsoft knew that Cony could do some kind of "web kiosk" software for the PS2 any time they wanted to, or worse, do a general release of the Linux kit. SCEE apparently had a "Live" version of the distro in the Linux kit that they tested out. Let's also not forget the Japan only release of the BBN software which let Japanese PS2 owners do a lot of stuff that we Americans only got to do upon release of the PS3.

    Then came the PS3...which at one time, ran Linux out of the box, all you needed was install media. And there was at one time a plan to install it by default on all PS3's alongside GameOS. The PS3 also does media, and has a built in web browser, and support for downloadable apps (though Sony didn't add an "app" section to the PSN store till recently). That thing was Microsoft's worst nightmare come to life. Who needs Windows to play complex games? Who needs Windows just to visit facebook.

    So Microsoft has to stay in the market just to keep Sony and/or Nintendo off balance enough to prevent them from getting any more ideas.

  • Now Microsoft is linking Xbox 360, its most successful consumer-focused brand, with others that have not been as well received.

    Can't wait for MS Bob w/ avatars on XBox!

  • Twas the game Halo that pulled the Xbox from a race to
    the bottom with the Game Cube. PS2'ers looking down waiting
    to see which one folded first.

    Being a PS2'er I remember when Xbox started being talked about
    in a positive way, just before the release of Halo 2.

    Now Xbox is manipulating game producers for perks, Being a PC
    "Call of Duty" player watching as microsoft claims CoD as their own.

    Seriously home media is fine but it's the games that sell the system.

    I have a PS3,, the last version that was backwards compa

  • by tbannist (230135) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @01:51PM (#37938686)

    I can tell you what Microsoft was telling business about the Xbox when they were rolling it out. I was at one of their "digital home" shows for businesses, where they were trying to convince the attendees that everyone would soon have 3 or 4 Xboxes in their houses which they could use a networked PVR/gaming systems.

    The presentation was pathetic with obvious Microsoft employee "shills" in the audience who lobbed softball questions to the presenters. Even worse the "networked" PVR demo was faked, they hid an extra computer to feed video to their "remote" TV in the "bedroom". It was, overall, a pretty disgusting bit of charlatanism.

    The point, of course, is that it was pretty obvious to anyone who cared to know exactly why Microsoft got into the Xbox business, they were hoping to shore up the Windows monopoly by producing a gaming console that they could eventually parlay into a monopoly on digital homes. They needed to do this to prevent anyone else from establishing domination in this arena, imagine if Linux became the standard for consumer appliances, it could potentially erode the Windows desktop monopoly.

    Unfortunately for Microsoft, all the digital home stuff was way too early, they didn't actually have viable products to back it up at the time, and Nintendo and then Apple stole their thunder with the Wii, and iPhone and the iPad respectively. They've been trying for a very long time to figure out how to use the Xbox 360 to expand the reach of their monopolies without tipping their hand to the regulators. Now that the regulatory period is over, they no longer have to worry about making blatantly anticompetitive moves.

    • Unfortunately for Microsoft, all the digital home stuff was way too early, they didn't actually have viable products to back it up at the time, and Nintendo and then Apple stole their thunder with the Wii, and iPhone and the iPad respectively.

      I think people underestimate how much the iPod screwed up Microsoft's plans. Microsoft developed media formats (WMA/WMV) and created DRM to go with it. They made deals to use their formats and DRM on online stores. They had the XBox ready to stream that media to your TV, and they had media empires ready to make their formats the default format. This would have given them a lock over the consumption of entertainment products.

      But there was one little problem: Apple absolutely refused to support WMA or Pl

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @01:55PM (#37938764) Homepage Journal

    seriously. ms sidewinder controllers and their forcefeedback controllers were _the_ best. they also dipped into game publishing before xbox - AND in the late '90s pc gaming became _the_ platform for high class gaming(which it still is) - on microsoft os, which despite everything made it possible to have pretty much random hardware and things would just work(compare that to early '90s pc gaming where if a game didn't support your soundcard you were fucked so you were better off just staying with blaster clones and other "standard" parts).

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      seriously. ms sidewinder controllers and their forcefeedback controllers were _the_ best.

      no, no they weren't. I have seen more MS FF sticks in the dumpster due to failure than I've ever seen in use. Logitech makes (and made) better pads, sticks, mice, keyboards, and indeed, all classes of hardware device that Microsoft has ever made. And the BEST joysticks came from Thrustmaster and Saitek (specifically the Cyborg.)

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        ms force feedback pro - the first one, it beat any thrustmaster I had used as a gaming joystick. it was pretty good for playing even mech warriors, which seriously you wouldn't want to do with anything spring loaded. it was better than flightsticks we had. the reason they went to dumpster is that they used midi as interface and they didn't port the drivers over to newer windows's. I don't think much of logitechs plastics, tbh, and their keyboards come from the same factories as ms's(and the one xbox logite

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          if you want simulation controls, then sure, I guess thrustmaster is ok. but it's pretty bitchy to rig up that kind of control rig to your chair so that it's comfortable and ok for use with more than few realistic simulators.

          I have a rebuilt and stickworks-converted F22 Pro and it does not take long to set it up for Mechwarrior IV. And I guess my arm is just stronger than yours... a dubious honor at best.

      • Logitech makes (and made) better pads, sticks, mice, keyboards

        Funny you should say that, in the last 6 months I have had 2 out of 3 Logitech mice malfunctioning or DOA right out of the box.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Funny you should say that, in the last 6 months I have had 2 out of 3 Logitech mice malfunctioning or DOA right out of the box.

          Are they the same model? You have have found a magical bad run. I've unboxed dozens of Logitech products and never repeat never had one even have a problem out of the box, or indeed, until years of abuse had gone by.

          • Three different models, only one of which worked out of box. One was a G500, one was a G9x (the one that worked) and one was an MX Anywhere.

            The G500 arrived DOA. Didn't get a replacement, just sent it back and bought a different one. As mentioned the G9x worked. The MX Anywhere kind of worked but the scroll wheel would quit at random times, then start working again (which suggests a software issue but I tried different drivers and different PCs and the problem prevailed. It is a wireless mouse, so possib
            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              I *did* get a used trackman wheel with a weird problem... called up logitech and it was disco'd so they sent me a wireless model. Hard to complain.

              • Was just about to respond to you again. My replacement MX Anywhere arrived yesterday and it is working fine. So I guess I have just had very bad luck!
      • seriously. ms sidewinder controllers and their forcefeedback controllers were _the_ best.

        no, no they weren't. I have seen more MS FF sticks in the dumpster due to failure than I've ever seen in use. Logitech makes (and made) better pads, sticks, mice, keyboards, and indeed, all classes of hardware device that Microsoft has ever made. And the BEST joysticks came from Thrustmaster and Saitek (specifically the Cyborg.)

        still have my sidewinder force feedback pro. still play mechwarrior 3 and 4 with it. I do have a brand spanking new logitech 550 wireless keyboard, though, that is about to go back to the vendor because it is the hands-down crappiest keyboard I've ever used. The tactile response is horrible, the keyboard will freeze for seconds at a time, and when it isn't freezing, it is randomly registering phantom keystrokes. I realize I'm offering only one datapoint here, but first impressions are lasting impressio

  • Microsoft benefitted entirely by IBM's more open system and they used to get the monopoly they have now but that they're the dominant one they want a lock-tight system and everyone's pretty much decided desktops will go away. The idea of set-top boxes have been pushed for so long and failed. MS realises its consoles that will become the set top box.

    So they got into gaming and they're making something that is expensive and locked down from the beginning so there are no expectations that you can have any s
    • by wed128 (722152)

      Only problem: the XBOX is not expensive. $300 will get you an xbox, or a really underpowered computer.

      • A Ford Ka is dirt cheap compared to Ferrari but that doesn't mean anything. Just like the Xbox may be cheaper than a top of the line computer (though you can get a computer for $300) but when compared to other consoles and the costs to get the same experience then it's not exactly cheap.
  • Let me guess: to extend and extinguish them... isn't it? Isn't it?
    <duck>

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