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Japan Will Have To Wait For Xbox 235

securitas contributed a link to this New York Times article which indicates a delay in the Japanese release of the Xbox. "MS insists it's going to meet its Nov. 8 North American release date. I'll believe it when I see it. Also, Namco has signed on to produce 4 games for Xbox including 2 exclusives." Ledge adds a link to this AP story carried by Fox News as well: upshot is that units won't go on sale in Japan till Feb. 22. (A chart comparing announced vs. actual dates for all the consoles would be interesting, since they all seem to be delayed.)
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Japan Will Have To Wait For Xbox

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  • How does the Xbox compare with Gamecube, PS2, etc ?
    Is it possible to install Linux or BSD on a Xbox ?
    • AFAIK the XBox runs on Intel hardware so it should be doable to get Linux or BSD running on it, but I'm pretty sure that MS put in some weird BIOS or firmware that disables the booting of other Operating Systems.

      All I know of the Gamecube is that it is based on some kind of PPC CPU and I think an ATI video chip.

      The PS2 is IMHO the bestchoice of the 3 because it is powerfull and Linux is officially sold for it by Sony (albeit only in Japan right now, but hopefully this will change).
    • Re:Xbox vs others (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You decide: Currently, XBox's "killer hits" are: Oddworld: Munche's odyssey, Dead or Alive 3, and Halo. These are also exclusive to XBox. PS2's upcoming "killer hits" are: Metal Gear Solid 2, Final Fantasy X, and Tekken 4. Gamecube's upcoming "killer hits" are: Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron 2, Luigi's Mansion, and Metroid Prime. Gameboy Advance's upcoming "killer hits" are: Super Mario Advance 2, Doom, and Metroid IV. I've only named 3 games per system, however, these are the most mentioned and talked about in gaming magazines and sites. Now take the price comparisons for only the system itself: XBox: $299.00 PS2: $299.00 (expected to drop) Gamecube: $199.00 Gameboy Adv. ~$89.00 Also take into comparison how long each system has been out: XBox: delayed, PS2: Oct. 26, 2000, Gamecube: delayed, Gameboy Adv. Jun. 11, 2001. Of course, Gameboy Advance is different in that it is portable, however, it IS a system that has an extremely strong history. I really hope that there is more of a console war than from just 2 manufacturers (Sony & Nintendo). For XBox to get noticed and compete with the big "N" and "S", it will HAVE to get better exclusive games in it's lineup. Dead or Alive 3 is nothing new, just a better Dead or Alive 2, and Oddworld is well, just Oddworld. The one game I am hoping that will become great is Halo. And YES, I think someone WILL install Linux or BSD onto XBox's hard drive. I really hope so, I could use a good M.A.M.E. box. Now THIS is a "KILLER APP".
    • The Xbox is a PC in a fancy cover and it will most
      certainly be hacked so that other OS's can be installed. Wether this is going to require hardware hacking, I don't know, but it _WILL_ be hacked :)

      Now Here comes an utopian dream of mine :)
      Since the Xbox is more or less running a
      GeForce 3.5 (or whatever) and Nvidias Linux Drivers are very PnP, what are the chances that they will simply detect the Xbox GPU as a Geforce 3 or 4?

      Think about it! You buy some very nice hardware from M$, who actually looses money by selling it to you. You then proceed to installing Linux and the Nvidia Linux drivers, and you have a KICKASS Linux Gaming Machine that M$ helped finance :)
      • No, for the nth time, and n is getting large, the Xbox is not a PC. It has a Pentium III processor. It has a custom nVidia GPU. You can get Mac G4's with GeForce3's, they're not specifically PC hardware.
        Xbox executables will be encrypted (well) so good luck trying to run your own stuff!
        • >No, for the nth time, and n is getting large, the
          >Xbox is not a PC. It has a Pentium III
          >processor. It has a custom nVidia GPU. You can
          >get Mac G4's with GeForce3's, they're not
          >specifically PC hardware.

          Are you saying that the Xbox doesn't use AGP/PCI/IDE? If not how does it handle IO between
          the GPU/Memory/Harddrive/Controllers?

          It _IS_ a x86 platform and if win2000 can be
          modified to run on that platform, so can Linux and *BSD.

          >Xbox executables will be encrypted (well) so
          >good luck trying to run your own stuff!

          I'd be pretty amazed if that encryption is hardware based as opposed to implemented in win2000.

          What I'm talking about is wiping the Xbox completely and loading it up with a (probably somewhat modified) version of *NIX. when you do this you remove any form of "encryption" that MS has put in there to annoy you.

          I fully believe that it will be possible to run Linux on the Xbox, but I didn't say it was going to be easy.

          By the way, the idea I had about the Nvidia Linux driver was listed as an "utopian dream".
          • I'd be pretty amazed if that encryption is hardware based as opposed to implemented in win2000.

            That'd be a trick, as the win2k kernel is bound to everything else on the game disc.

            What I'm talking about is wiping the Xbox completely and loading it up with a (probably somewhat modified) version of *NIX. when you do this you remove any form of "encryption" that MS has put in there to annoy you.

            Goood luck. There isn't anything to wipe, and the encryption is most likely not accessible to anything you can load from disc.

            • >Goood luck. There isn't anything to wipe, and the
              >encryption is most likely not accessible to anything you can load from disc.

              If there's nothing to whipe where does
              win2000 reside?

              encryptin not accesseble?
              I don't wan't to access the encryption why should I have to?
              The way i see it you have a x86 chip with access to a harddrive and a DVD drive. Are you saying then that it decrypts all data comming from the harddrive and DVD before it's handed to the processor?
              • It's not W2K, it's a stripped down kernel, and it's on the DVD.
                The encryption is in the boot rom... It won't run anything from DVD that isn't digitally signed and encrypted, and it definitely won't run anything from the HD.
                To run Linux on it you would have to either crack the encryption (good luck) or rewrite the Xbox's firmware (and solder in a new ROM, again, good luck).
                Do you see the problem now?
                • It's not W2K, it's a stripped down kernel, and it's on the DVD.

                  The kernel's on every Game DVD-ROM??? Thats rather silly isn't it.

                  The encryption is in the boot rom... It won't run anything from DVD that isn't digitally signed and encrypted, and it definitely won't run anything from the HD.

                  Why won't it run anything from the HD?

                  To run Linux on it you would have to either crack the encryption (good luck) or rewrite the Xbox's firmware (and solder in a new ROM, again, good luck). Do you see the problem now?

                  Yes I see your point. Now my best bet would be to change the firmware in order to make it boot from the HD, but you say this is impossible, why?

                  • "The kernel's on every Game DVD-ROM??? Thats rather silly isn't it."

                    No I don't think so. Why do you think that is silly?

                    "Why won't it run anything from the HD?"

                    To stop you from booting Linux on it... etc... Anyway why should it?

                    "Yes I see your point. Now my best bet would be to change the firmware in order to make it boot from the HD, but you say this is impossible, why?"

                    It's not impossible, just hard, and it's a hardware modification so not everyone will be doing it. Yes, no doubt some beardy hacker will unsolder their ROM, solder a new one in, and run Linux on his Xbox. We will all go ooh and aah and get on with our business. It's not as if everyone is suddenly going to be making beowulf clusters of Linux Xboxen.

                    Of course there are ways of even making this pretty much impossible, but I wouldn't know if Microsoft have gone down that route.
                    • "Well how does the Xbox itself use the HD?"

                      It's used to cache data from DVD's, to rip WMA audio from CDs, to store saved games, and to store persistent data such as updates for MMORPGs. Anything sensitive will be encrypted and thoroughly buffer checked under pain of submission failure! Microsoft realises that the HD can be tampered with.

                      As for your business venture, I'm not sure the economics will go your way on that one. I can think of easier ways of making money... And given that there aren't an awful lot of games for Linux, it's quite possible that your customers would buy the odd Xbox game, hence MS would not be out of pocket after all. Linux on the Xbox would be a neat hack, but I can't see it catching on...
        • Intel Pentium III based processor, x86 instruction set, Nvidia GPU, Microsoft Operating System...

          Your're right. It doesn't sound like a PC at all. Maybe it is a WebTV unit?
          • "Intel Pentium III based processor": yes, I already said that.
            "x86 instruction set": -1, Redundant (Duh)
            "Nvidia GPU": yes, already said that, available on Mac G4s as well as PCs.
            "Microsoft Operating System": As seen on Pocket PCs, WebTV, Dreamcast etc...
            None of those things make the Xbox a PC.
    • Of course you'll be able to install Linux in it though I suspect XP to be installed in it in a few months. With all the new range of possibilities that web applications can offer and the new xml libraries that XP offers, there's no doubt that XBOX is the new WEBtv of M$.

      Come on, wake up people...

      forget DotGNU it's way behind... unless...
  • Japan - other tech. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by odaiwai ( 31983 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @04:26AM (#2224565) Homepage
    Japan always seems to go its own way on a lot of techie things. Given the dominance of homegrown consoles in that market, is it likely that MSFT will take it over?

    What about localisation issues for XBox, availability of games. local titles?

    Some of the big games in the arcades here (China) are dancing games, drumming games, piano playing games (!), all very far away from traditional console fare. I've seen accessories for these for various consoles. Question, are MSFT going to push games which do well in their home market weirdness and ignore local weirdness?

    dave "no mr. bond, i expect you to dance!"
    • Local weirdness is determined by the developers, not the manufacturer. Granted, the manufacturer is the one that approves titles to be released. However, it is ironic that a manufacturer should nix any title (because it just means more royalties - remember, the loss of the console itself is made up on software royalties).

      Therefore, it makes perfect sense for Microsoft (and therefore Sony and Nintendo) to approve many 3rd party titles for release. Nintendo was pretty stuck up in the N64 days, taking the opinion that 3rd party support wasn't necessary to win against Sony and SEGA. Unfortunately, while their content was certainly good, it wasn't enough.

      So, do I know if Microsoft will focus on American games? No.. but I don't think it's in their best interests to do so.
  • With the current dismal Japanese support now, it won't sell in Japan. How much more support can they find with the 2 months delay they just bought themselves?
  • ...and the Xbox, in spite of "Halo", really doesn't have anything to compare to established game line that Nintendo is going to roll out for the Gamecube. While the Xbox looks like a nice system on paper, it's not going to be the "system to get" for Xmas 2001.

    On the other hand, it has the marketing might of Microsoft behind it, a host of people who understand x86 and DirectX programming for it, and a sweet architecture. Xmas 2002 might be more interesting.

  • Cars Vs OS (Score:2, Funny)

    by Mattygfunk ( 517948 )
    No car racing games please. I'm sure we'll see enough crashes.
    • . . . unless someone brings out a demolition derby game called Blue Scream.

      "sorry, did you say you crashed your Bluescream - or that the Xbox crashed with a Bluescreen?"
    • Well, if you 'like' car racing games on the DC, you have to see Project Gotham, the sucessor to MSR, but on XBOX, 10 869,2770864,00.html
  • by krmt ( 91422 ) <therefrmhere&yahoo,com> on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @04:32AM (#2224574) Homepage
    That's what you get for making us wait forever for all your game systems!

    And for not releasing any RPG's during the NES era!

    And for dumbing down what RPG's you did release!

    And for not releasing the Linux kit for the PS/2 here!

    And for giving us all that tentacle pr0n! *shudder*

    And most of all... that's for the fan abuse at the end of Evangelion!

    So there!
    • Yeah... this is what I thought at first for about a split second. Then I realized this: what self-respecting Japanese gamer is going to want an Xbox anyway?
    • that's for the fan abuse at the end of Evangelion!

      Bitch, bitch, bitch. Death and Rebirth/End of Evangelion are coming out early next year from Manga. Supposedly, that should satisfy your complaints about the end of the TV series.

      And check the trailers for Final Fantasy X. It looks beautiful, and the north american version is said to have decent voice acting.

      I'll give you the tentacle pr0n, though. What are they thinking?

      • From what I remember from some of my friends playing FFX it wasn't any better than the usual drek that they seem to like to pump out. Why can't they spend a while longer working on the games and make them better. 10 games in the FF series (- FFMQ and FFT) and only 2 (FFVI and FFIX) of them worth playing through. That is pretty bad for a company that has been around for as long as Squaresoft has been. Why can't they release more games like Chrono Trigger. Looks don't make the game (unless you are playing Myst I/II/III, in that case it the game (why ppl play screensavers i don't know))

        Also, Death and Rebirth was entertaining, atleast the last half of it was. So much better that was than the last 2 eps of the TV series.

        And well tentacle pr0n in anime isn't nearly as scary as the thought that it also exists in their live action section as well (i am not joking!)
      • Re:Take that Japan! (Score:2, Informative)

        by Harlockjds ( 463986 )
        Blah End of Eva is the real fan abuse.
      • Bah, who cares about Death and Rebirth. They were just recaps of the series that Gainax used as a ploy for cash so they could finish End of. Now, End of Eva, on the other hand.. Well, let's say if you haven't seen it, get your hands on a fansub ASAP ;)
  • I think it's about time I got my finger out of my ****** and got myself a PS2. I'll wait until the release of the xbox. Hopefully, they'll slash prices by then, and I also want to contribute to PS2 keeping up with the xbox. DirectX schmirect x. Does it have anything like the emotion engine?
    • Does it have anything like the emotion engine?
      Uh, yeah... in fact, the X-Box sports an NV25. Pretty much a beefed-up GeForce 3. Thanks to that, it can out-perform the PS2 quite easily.
      In my opinion though, the X-Box will suffer from a lack of great games and will probably be telefragged by the GameCube. Thats just my opinion though.
      • Please elaborate your "outperform" statement. I'd like to see what you are basing this on.
        • Its simple. The XBox will outperform the now 2 year old PS2 design. The XBOX will have more memory, more storage, networking out of the box and a better API to program.

          Everyone knows the PS2 is a bitch to program for. Sure directx isn't the end all, but any joe schmoe can learn it.

          I want to see how the GameCube and the Xbox do. I could care less about the PS2.. PS2 is last years garbage
  • The truth is that Microsoft will be using the Xbox's intended for Japan as backups in case the demand is to great. I suspect that if the launch is short of spectactular and the excess systems are not needed, then the Japanese launch will go on as previously scheduled.
    • Securitas said MS insists it's going to meet its Nov. 8 North American release date. I'll believe it when I see it.

      M$ will certainly ship the north american X-box in time for the X-mas season, even if it is full of bugs [] or has some major safety problems. The only time to make large advances in marketshare come during the christmas season in the U.S., so M$ would rather risk a recall or later fix if they can grab 40% of the game console market this year.

      If the X-box does take off, they will then ramp up production and get units into secondary markets, or, as ioman1 points out, if the U.S. sales aren't spectacular Japan will see suddenly have a bunch of consoles available. But given the state of the world's economies right now, any product manager who mis-calculates demand could cost a company $$$billions if inventory just sits unsold in warehouses.

      the AC
  • by jwakko ( 68476 )
    You mean I'm going to have to wait 3 and a half months before I can get my imports?
  • by sakusha ( 441986 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @04:43AM (#2224585)
    It's already too late for the XBox. More delays in the Japan release will just mean fewer titles developed in Japan. The machine will flop in Japan, and if it flops in Japan, it will be a worldwide flop.

    Now the REAL question is, since Bungie was bought out by M$, are they going to keep their promise and do a simultaneous Mac/PC/XBox release, or will M$ shaft everyone and force them to do an initial release on XBox only?
    • No doubt. The Japanese companies are simply more intune with the gaming market that Microsoft seems to be. Console developers everywhere but America will take one look at the Xbox and laugh; they are console developers, not PC software makers.

      If Microsoft wants the Xbox to suceed, they're going to have to look at their product in a worldview. Because this so-far displayed American-centric view is going to get them nowhere.

    • Bungie never promised a simultaneous PC/Mac/Xbox release for Halo. Xbox comes first, PC/Mac later.
      • Bungie never promised a simultaneous PC/Mac/Xbox release for Halo. Xbox comes first, PC/Mac later.

        Both Microsoft and Bungie have publicly promised a simultaneous release on Mac/PC/Xbox, on multiple occasions. Like for example: eI D=605

        It is the Playstation 2 release that will lag.
    • hang on, the Amiga was nowhere in Japan - would you consider that a flop?
      • Seeing as they had a huge edge in technology but are now...non-existent...then yes.

        And I'm speaking as someone who had an original 1000, with the paw-print mobo, in '86.
        • nothing lasts forever, especially in the games machine market (and let's face it, the Amiga WAS a games machine). The fact that Commodore managed to sell what 6, 7 million machines has to be considered SOMETHING of a success. When I was at school, it was the No.1 machine to have and had ALL the best games. Megadrive (Genesis?) was pretty feeble by comparison.
        • so, according to your logic, the NES, SNES, and every other machine that is non-existent in the year 2001 is a flop.

          Thats some serious defn of flop your are trying to force on us there.
    • "and if it flops in Japan, it will be a worldwide flop"...
      Thats right on the money, bub... In fact, most successful consoles come out in Japan (aka Videogame Mecca) first!

    • Ok, yes Japan is the hear and sould of current console market. Japanese companies have developed the market, and currently rule supreme. But the kinds of games Japanese customers buy are often somewhat different, and the Japaneese market is actually smaller than the US market. It's going to take MS longer to produce games for the Japanese market. If they rush the release there, then they will flop there.

      Microsoft has done well in the PC gaming market, and the xbox may allow them to extend that market into consoles. They may not initially lure away many hard core console gamers, but it they can get a good initial response in the US, then they will lure in more developers to create games for the Japanese market, and also get more traditional console style games written for their platform. For XBox to be successful they need to have solid hardware, and have a good development kit. I've hear many times how the PS2 is just too hard to develop for. If Microsoft can get enought consoles in consumers hands, and the developers like to develop for it, then it will be a success.
    • Well, if you've been keeping up on real gaming news (and I mean real gaming sites - not this Slashdot category BS), then you'd know that they are not going to release Halo simultaneously on Mac/PC/Xbox. It will be Xbox exclusive for a while, and the Mac/PC ports are planned at the moment (and being worked on, which I was told by a friend at Bungie).
    • yeah, because Japan is the game mecca...

      ...and Sony cant compete against the big two Sega and Nintendo!

      ...and Atari was a Japanese company wasnt it?

      ...and things never change!
    • It may be already too late for the machine in the US. At $300, it is going to be (street price) prolly $100 more than both ps2 and gamecube. So right there you have lost the middle class buyers.

      Now, throw in the fact that nintendo has Pokemon, Mario and Zelda, and Ps2 has GT3, while Xbox has Halo. Nintendo is gonna have the kids market in a lockbox, with the key thrown away. Not to mention that MGS2 is coming out for the ps2....

      ...personally I can't wait for all the video of Ballmer trying to speak so fast that no one can understand that MS lost a shitload of money on the Xbox.

    • I'm not ready to disagree with you on what flopping in japan means for worldwide success, but I will point out the following:

      The saturn did ok in japan - flopped here
      The dreamcast "Flopped" in japan, did ok here
      the N64 "flopped" almost everywhere

      Sega is now out of the console hardware business

      Nintendo isn't - even though they have no arcade business, their last system flopped, and they've only got a few interesting franchises. The japanese eat this stuff up though.

      I dont think xbox will take japan by storm, but i dont think MS needs it to. Pleasing the japanese video game market is weird ugly voodoo. People have tried to come up with formulas to do so but in general all you can do are try really hard and have a back up plan. The popular mantra today is "he who gets exclusive Square titles owns japan" but i look at that in one of two ways:

      1) Square knows this, so may be willing to deal with whoever makes them the sweetest deal (hint: who has more money, MS or Sony ?)

      2) The fickle japanese gaming market will decide that Pokemon RPG Universe Piano Simulator for gamecube is the best thing, and square will be hurting for money like no tomorrow.

      In any case, i see MS putting out a good hardware platform, and having a good developer relations effort. Think of them as putting out a respectable offering, and getting their foot in the door in a new market. This is not an alltogether unheard of tactic for MS :)

      So the xbox marketing campaign is 500million. Big deal - thats roughly 1 or 2% of MS's cash holdings.

      In summary: they can afford to push back the japanese launch - especially if its to cushion unit volume for a great looking US launch.
  • Why bother pointing out that the XBox release will encounter some delays?

    It happened frequently with almost all the consoles since the dawn of humanity
  • Is it me or is this a bad move on the part of Microsoft to not sell to Japan until after the Christmass season? First off this gives Sony Playstation 2 and the makers of the Nintendo GameCube the power to use its financial backing in japan to slash prices in the USA. After all the biggest amount of buyers of consoles and games are in Japan. Did anyone else notice that on ebworld the GameCube comes out a full 10 days after the projected date of the Xbox? It used to be that the GameCube was comming out 5 days earlier than the Xbox, guess Microsoft felt the competition eh. I wonder if that time difference will make a difference.
    • Considering the locations of XBox production facilities it isn't suprising Microsoft is waiting for after Christmas to toss their hat into the Japanese market. Sony and Nintendo can spank their asses in console deliveries in the Christmas buying season which would make for a pretty shallow market penetration (sorta like the PS2 not meeting the initial demand when it was released here). By starting off in the US and Europe (where they have production facilities) they can keep overhead low since they don't need to ship units overseas. That means much better margins on the units they sell. The less money they lose the quicker they make a profit which is their goal in the first place.
    • How big is the Christmas season in Japan? Isn't Japan primarily Shinto(sp?) in religion?

      • Well, going by what I learned from a history class (taught by a Japanese teacher), in which we spent a third of a semester studying Japan, they love Christmas.

        She basically said they like adopting the best parts of things - they may not be Christian, but they like Christmas - even so far as "importing" Americans to play Santa. Let's face it - Christmas is only half regligious, at best. If we think about time spent, it's probably less than 5% religious. The rest is all about presents, decorations, and seeing friends and family.

    • It's a question of if Microsoft has games for the Japanese market to go along with the console. I keep hearing how the japanese console market is different from the US and European markets. If MS doesn't have the games, then they shouldn't release it in Japan. It's better to hold off a few months than to flop.

      Remember also that the Japanese economy has been in pretty bad shape for several years, and with our economy not exactly in the best shape I doubt Sony is going to have a really good christmas season in Japan this year. Their console has already been out a year, and if they drop the price of the console to maintain market share, then they are goint to lose even more money on each console. I'm not sure what to think about Nintendo. They have an awsome product in the gameboy advance. It would be even better if it were backlit, but it's still awsome. I'm just not sure if they'll be able to pull off the Gamecube.
      Microsoft has the two things that can allow them to get a foothold in the market despite their entrenched competition. They have a well known name, and lots of money. With the release of XP they are going to have lots of cash comming in. They can definately sell at a loss much longer than Nintendo. Sony's consumer electronics division hasn't made much money for several years, but they may be able to siphon money off of their Music sales to keep fund selling their PS2s at a loss to keep market share. It looks like we're going to see a battle in the console market. Hopefully we'll end up with lower prices, good games, and some strong competition. It's kind of weird that Microsoft is the one bringing competioion to a market that's currently dominated by Sony.
      • I'm not really too pleased by the idea that Microsoft might be able to out-loss Sony and Nintendo on machines. It means more expensive games in the long run, possibly less money for game developers (and thus less selection), and potentially a market with only Microsoft.

        There are supposed to be anti-dumping laws that stop companies from flooding a market at a loss to force others out - do these laws apply to technology sectors, or only to natural resources? If they apply to both, no one can super-short their console prices.
    • It was Nintendo that had a delay. The GameCube was pushed back.
  • I'm going to put together a petition to insist that MS permanently delays XBOX in the UK too. Who's with me?
  • 1. Hack value. You *know* someone will get Linux running on that thing. At the very least I could gut it for the CPU and return it. (It's manufactured by the evil empire, they can deal with some fradulent RMA.) Wait, with Intel's recent price cuts, by the time the Xbox is released, a P3 750MHz would probably cost less than the gas it would take to drive to and from the store. Oh well.

    2. It's not easily confused with an IBM PS/2. But wait, that still doesn't make me want one. Shit.

    3. It looks cool. I can impress all my... Nevermind.

    4. I could play boatloads of cutting-egde, white-knuckle, edge-of-your-seat, blast-in-your-face 3D hyper-accelerated games. Hmm, Duke Nukem Forever is still vaporware and probably won't be released for Xbox anyway. Guess not then.

    5. It will make my writeups on E2 get C!'d and give me lots of /. karma. No it won't, why the fsck I write that? I think I'm being hit with a Microsoft Mind Control Beam(TM).

    6. I can get something high-tech before the Japanese. Only problem... Microsoft != High Tech

    Gee, I guess I DON'T want an Xbox!

  • So? The US market is MS' primary market, and with Nintendo's date being moved back 2 weeks, Microsoft has a chance to actually sell this unit. Sure, the Japanese market would help, but I don't see this console doing well their anyways (WAAAAAY too bulky for most Japanese, most prefer a smaller item like the GCN).
    • yeah, and thats how i decide on which console to buy, the size of it.

      I know that Japan is a crowded place, but thats just getting ridiculous.
  • I seriously think that we all over estimate the importance of launch date of a new console. Just look at the PS2- only now, with the ads for GT3 saturating the evening TV am I inclined to part with £300 for one - it's been around for AGES, theres a couple of spanky new machines just around the corner, but ONE GOOD GAME and I'm most likely going to get one this weekend.

    Which was launched first? The Saturn, PS, N64??? dunno! but the few decent games for the Saturn just weren't as good as those for the PS or N64 - so it was dooooomed.

    Its all about the games!
  • That the Xbox is gonna flop and flop hugh.

    1, There are few developers, apart from M$ and Bungie willing to develop for it and those that do have little or no console experience. btw who whats to play pc games on a tv anyway.

    2. It is overpriced for a consoles (around $299) and underpowered for a computer 600mh.

    3. It is marketed towards the 16 to 25 market who are the most likely to own a computer and have no use for a Xbox anyway.

    4. It is badly designed for a console, who whats a hard disk in their console, what do you do in case of a harddisk crash.

    5. If you are into that cut down puter, intergrated graphics, sound and processor philosophy then Nvidia are about to bring out the nforce + there will prob be a million clone's even when the thing flops.

    In short, the Xbox takes all the disadvantages of a console, such as the inablity to upgrade, low processor power, closed archtechure and paying to develop for it. While it add's all the disadvantages of a computer like bad design, hardware bloat and poor software implementation (ie directx).
    I predict that M$ will both miss the us release date and not even attempt to sell the thing in japan.
    The Xbox is the bastard child of anti-ps2 vapourware that even the marketing of M$ will never be able to sell.

    • by flatrock ( 79357 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @09:21AM (#2224994)
      That reminds me of something Bill Gates once said about Windows in it's infantcy. He was trying to get developers to write Windows applications, when everyone was still developing DOS applications. He had the vision of a highly integrated Windowed environment with applications that had a consistent user interface. He was far from the first to have this vision, but he felt that it had reached it's time. The x86 platform could finally supply the processing power, and the future was multithreaded/windowed environment. The problem was third party developersdidn't want to develop for it beacuse there was a much larger user base for DOS applications than Windows. So he forced his developers at Microsoft to develop Windows applications because MS developers didn't have a choice, they had to do what he wanted. The result was MS Office, which is undeniably MS's cash cow. That time Bill was right.

      Now we have the XBox. Microsoft wants developers to develop for it, but they're not sure. There's a lot of PS2s out there, Gamecube is comming, and what does MS know about the console market? What does microsoft do? They buy some gaming companies to make sure there are some games for the XBox.
      Bill has been wrong before, and MS has taken huge losses on projects in the pase (BOB comes to mind). But they're not afraid to try. And you never know, Bill might be right again.
      • good post.

        but you seem to pursume that the console market is the same as the pc market, M$ forced windows on the desktop by doing deal's with OEM's which forced third parties to write applications for it. Windows became a standard. However, M$ can not force people to buy the Xbox and thus I see them getting a rather big wake up call.

        Billy Bob is wrong on this one for sure.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          1) don't use the phrase "M$", it makes you look like a twat
          2) Microsoft can't force people to buy Xboxes; however, they can make it as easy as falling off a log to develop games for the Xbox, and they have. In a year's time you'll see a huge proliferation of Xbox software, Nintendo will just be releasing their second game and there'll be a few okayish PSX titles. Which do you buy? This is why people buy Windows: the software you want runs on it. Expect the same for the Xbox.
        • It is true that Windows became immensely popular because Microsoft pressured its in-house development teams to make applications for it. BOB didn't get as much of that 'privilege'.

          The thing is, both the MS Office and MS Home (Encarta, Money, etc.) suites of programs were really good at the time of their first releases (admit it, it was Microsoft who first did an office suite right) and thus people started using Windows because of these nifty applications.

          The same thing will happen to the X-Box, as long as the games on the X-Box turn out to be innovative. For the office and casual home markets, Microsoft got their 'innovation' by combining ease-of-use and functionality (although both were present on competitors' products, they were the ones who achieved the right mix first). You can also get that same kind of 'innovation' on consoles by combining games with outstanding gameplay factor with cutting-edge graphics/sound/input technology.

          IHMO, however, I don't think the X-Box will achieve that just yet. Although DirectX is a proven technology for game development (amidst all its COM quirks), Microsoft still lacks innovative gameplay, unlike PS2 and GameCube (Luigi's Mansion sure looks like a very fun game!). Just licensing/buying up a few game companies and tell them to produce games for the X-Box simply Doesn't Work.

          What Microsoft has to do is to focus on their in-house titles and strive for perfection, like what Nintendo did with its NES/Famicom system back in the 80's. Whether Microsoft even has good in-house titles in store remains to be seen, however.

          Or maybe they're doing just that for the Japan release (which probably would have caused the announcement of the delay), especially since the Japanese are extremely stringent when it comes to games and will not buy the X-Box at all if they found out that its games were crappy.
        • Microsoft can't force people to buy XBox, but they can seel them at a loss, and advertise the heck out of it. I suspect you won't see a lot of traditional console titles on XBox to start out. Microsoft is using DirectX on the XBox to make it easy for PC game developers to make games for the XBox. I suspect the first titles will be mostly PC games running on the XBox.
          I'm personally not a console gamer, so I'm not sure how many of those people will buy XBoxs. Who do I think will buy XBoxs? Parents who want to steal their computer back from their kids who are always on it playing games. PC gamers who's PC is getting out of date, and for whom XBox is actually an upgrade. People like me who don't have a DVD player, know buying an XBox isn't a cost effective way of getting one, but can't seem to resist buying yet another expensive toy. I don't know if that will be a big enough market to get them started or not. But if they get some decent market share and some decent games, more good games will follow.
          • You can really screw microsoft by buying an xbox, then not buying any games so they miss out on the licensing fees.
            • In my opinion you don't "screw" them. They chose that business model, or at least chose to enter into a market where that is the business model everyone uses. Microsoft is also trying to convince game developers that there are a lot of XBox owners out there for them to sell games to. While selling XBoxes at a loss is a pretty expensive marketing ploy, at least they get something out of it. Depending on what you run on it you may even buy some Microsoft or Microsoft licened hardware on which they can make some money.
              However, I'll probably buy some games. I play Asheron's Call, and one of the Devs kind of hinted that it may be and XBox title in the future. The hard drive will allow the XBox to support the monthly patches (which include new content, as well as some bug fixes).
    • The XBox will do well. No denying it. I will buy one. 299 for what it comes with is a damn good deal. (i dunno what crackpipe your smoking.. the ps2 costs 299 and doesn't come with nearly the same amount of hardware and who wants to play a bunch of rehashed psx games)
  • Xbox Specs (Score:2, Informative)

    by muffen ( 321442 )
    *Four game controller ports
    *A front-loading DVD tray
    *An Ethernet card
    *An NVIDIA graphics processing unit (GPU)
    *An Intel 733MHz processor
    *An internal hard drive
    (information taken from [])

    How does Xbox compare to others? Well, it has a NIC in it. This is something that no other console has. I am sure that this will increase the popularity of the XBox alot, since it is going to be easy to connect it to the internet using high-speed internet such as xDSL and Cable.

    The XBox will also have a Hardrive. I am not sure how this will work, but I asume you will have to "install" games. This does allow for faster loading times.

    Finally, the console is made by MS. No matter how much people dislike MS, it is clear that they will be able to get a lot of game developers on their "side".

    I just read through my post and realized how much pro-MS I sound :(. However, I do actually think that the XBox could end up being a really cool console.
    • <SARCASM>

      Yea, my DSL provider didn't go out of business and cable companies are beating a path to my door.

    • You forgot a few other cool things the XBox has:

      5.1 digital audio output - not just in pre-recorded games either - any sound you hear can be 5.1 encoded in real time - they put in a chip to do it, iirc.

      the Harddrive isn't for "installing" games - its for optional features. It will be partitioned up in a few ways.. one area will be for savegames, so you dont necessarily need to buy a $30 memory card that holds only 64k. Another area will be a place to rip music to to create soundtracks for games that support that. Finally, a good chunk of the disk will be for caching game data. I beleive there is a strict rule against using the disk for "installing" games - you have to assume anything in the 'cache' area can be blown away once the power button is hit.

      Other uses for the HD have been hinted at - downloading new content from MMRPGs, saving customized models/pictures/music/whatever

      It should be noted that the XBox GPU is similar to a GF3 chip, but has doubled the number of some of the units (pixel shader, and one other one, iirc).

      Finally, it bears mention that it has 64mb of UMA memory. Way more than any other console. The PS/2 has 4mb. The PS2 lack of memory seems to be one of the biggest complaints against it. The original PS had 2.5mb.
      • If I might nitpick slightly, the PS2 has 32MB of main RAM, 4MB of video RAM and 2MB of sound RAM. The PS1 has 2MB main, 1MB video and 512KB sound (oh and 32KB of CD buffer, can't remember how much the PS2 has, if any). I agree with the rest of your comments though. Er, except that the Xbox memory cards are 8MB.
  • One of the exclusives is supposed to be Namco's Dead To Rights, a game already under development for the PS2. Very exclusive indeed. I really hate those straight-faced, blatantly misinforming PR suits.
    • exclusive being the only game with that name on Xbox probably.

      Sort of like the 'exclusive' version of Dead Or Alive 2 for dreamcast, with the 'exclusive' Dead or alive 2 -Hardcore- for PS2.

      For all what its worth.. did anybody notice this is the first US console release after Trip Hawkins 3D0 and the Atari Jaguar?

      Now compare the marketing money of Microsoft (500M$) versus the worldwide economical slowdown, and you must agree, that the best marketing ploy is to give away 2 million Xboxes.
      How's that for creating goodwill ?
  • While the Gamecube was delayed in the US, allowing consumers to adopt the X-Box fist, the Gamecude will be able to establish a decently library if games after its meager offering in mid-September.

    It looks like each will premere beifre the other in their home markets. This however will be better for Gamecube maker Nintendo and Gamecube console owners. Microsft could take a loss for several quarters until they have asserted some dominance because of thier desktop stranglehold, while Nintendo has all their efforts in the videogame market. (Although the Game Boy divion is a safety net, after dominating the handheld market for more than a decade.) As long as the Gamecube is a success in Japan, we will see most if not all games translated into English, unlike what we saw with the N64's relative failure (in hindsight).
  • You know the compact one, not the hot-rod?

    'Member it didn't sell south of the border and after much hair-pulling, GM execs figured it out?

    Maybe in 6 months Bill will wake up to the fact that his new console didn't make it because of language issues in English-speaking territories:

    Xbox == Ex-box

    That, or maybe it's because nobody can use that stupid-ass controller... Anyone checked out that thing's mass yet? Is it bending space-time?

    - Likes the new Zelda

  • It's interesting that the XBox launch quantities have been decreased, right before Xmas. There's no reason for a production problem - the IC and PC industries are hungry for business right now. There's nothing exotic inside the box. So if it's launching in low volume, that's a marketing or financial decision, not a production limit.

    Maybe the games that would sell the thing aren't out yet. Enough fanatics exist to buy a few hundred thousand, but not millions.

    Incidentally, if you want a Sony PS2, they're clogging the aisles at Costco and Fry's. Literally. There are pallets of those things in aisles. Full pallets. With no gaps in the stack, like none sold.

  • ...and smell the maple nut crunch.

    This is their opportunity. Japan is an aggressive and critical market for console gaming. While the X-Box is delayed, if Nintendo got something to market they could do really well. Pity it seems everyone in the console industry has gone belly-up and decided to just LET Microsoft win without a fight. =(


Thufir's a Harkonnen now.