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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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  • 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
  • by Glock27 ( 446276 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:42PM (#2466765)
    Cnet is carrying an article about a worldwide Linux kit for PS2:

    Sony to expand Linux for PlayStation 2 []

    Now I know which console I'll be getting this holiday season! :-)

    299,792,458 m/s...not just a good idea, its the law!

  • fucking retards (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mosch ( 204 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:43PM (#2466777) Homepage
    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 LazyDawg ( 519783 ) <lazydawg@h[ ] ['otm' in gap]> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:47PM (#2466819) Homepage
    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.
  • Bah to user opinion. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by magnetHEAD ( 158470 ) <tingham@co[ ] ['alm' in gap]> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:50PM (#2466852) Homepage Journal
    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 Dimensio ( 311070 ) <darkstar.iglou@com> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:51PM (#2466869)
    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.
  • I'll wait ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:01PM (#2466996) Homepage Journal
    I can wait for the release on the Mac/PC. If I buy a console it will be a GameCube as the sort of games that come out on that platform don't generally come out on the PC. The XBox on the other hand will probably be compared most to a PC than a console, especially since I have a feeling that the games will be of similar quality. Of course time will be the ultimate judge and I will find out after 6 months of the XBox being on the shelf whether my current judgment is fair.
  • 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.

  • by Exedore ( 223159 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:13PM (#2467115)

    It may be a good way to test the Xbox, but it's still a horrible blunder from a marketing standpoint.

    What's your garden variety 12 year old boy going to say when he plays with an Xbox kiosk and it crashes? He's not going to say "Oh. A bug. I guess I'll contact Microsoft with the circumstances and error details." No, he's going to say "Dude, this sucks. I'm getting a PS2."

  • Xbox Rumors (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Majix ( 139279 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:39PM (#2467387) Homepage []


    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!

  • by osorronophris ( 318023 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:47PM (#2467462)
    A good picture of an Xbox crash:
  • by alcohollins ( 64804 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:05PM (#2467621)
    Gaming Age has a response [] 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."

  • by dmouritsendk ( 321667 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:09PM (#2467664)
    A consoles most important feature? Ease of use. Period. Look at the history, console addons like Segas 32x and Sega CD failed miserably. NOBODY needs addons that adds a "requirements" for their games. People want to be sure that whatever game they buy, they can play it out of the box. With no need to download/install/reboot Service Pack xx for xbox. I have a really hard time beliving MS could do a product right, the first time. They have no experince in this. Its just not the way they work overthere, MS seems to follow the following bizz. model:

    First make press(aka. investors) happy = say you are going to release a really cool product, which does everything. At half the cost(time when we talk office apps/devtools) of their compeditors.

    Next, focus on "looks" and making the deadline(you know you got around 6 month of buffer, since people dont really expect you to deliver on time).

    Have a huge release party(where the app. chrashes), ship the product anyways.

    After articles begin rising on "important" newssites like PCworld, beging to test the application. If under 34 bugs is cound, claim it works. And start building a service pack.

    BUUT, Im probertly going to get a xbox anyways. Because its VERY VEEEEERY hackable.
    And i would LOVE to be able to run linux on something MS produced.

    You're going to listen to something I said? Haven't I made it abundantly clear during the tenure of our friendship that I don't know shit?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:10PM (#2467671)
    It's amazing how you all gloss over the fact that when Sony released the PS1 (RELEASED, not demo), there were hundreds of units that crashed due to heat problems, mine included.

    And yet, despite these problems, PS1 effectively handed Nintendo their own testicles in a jar.

    Xbox's biggest problem isn't its hardware - it's Microsoft's public image. Heck, I get flack to this day for having worked there at one point. If Xbox were made by, say, Matsushita, you wouldn't be giving it half the flak you're giving it now.
  • by FatRatBastard ( 7583 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:15PM (#2467727) Homepage
    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.
  • Xbox and Games (Score:2, Interesting)

    by _RiZ_ ( 26333 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:15PM (#2467738) Homepage
    I have a friend who is a game developer and who will remain anonymous (nda bleh). He has been working with the Xbox dev kit and recently has gotten his xbox test machines in order to test his levels and what not. He says there are no problems other than those which would be there while play testing levels.

    I wouldnt count out the entire Xbox because some demo doesnt work. Could the code from the developer of that demo be crap? I have personally seen some of what will be on Xbox and it has some great potential as well as some top notch developers in line to make some great games.

    Its too bad that when it crashes, and when it has problems, it will just be blamed on Microsoft. Oh well.
  • by neurocide ( 179122 ) <neuro@[ ] ['pla' in gap]> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @05:47PM (#2468896)
    well, i'd bet more on the 5-month old version of oddworld they were running as demos .. plus the older hardware.

    yes they run rather warm, etc .. but they're also not meant to be used for such long periods of time (granted, it should be expected in quality testing, but still) in such a small enclosure.

    plenty of games have locked up before, and on other systems as well... but of course, since its slashdot, we should focus on microsoft and the evil from redmond.

    no i'm not a microsoft supporter, yes i've played the console before, no it's not crashed on me.

    wanna look at buggy, play anything by 3do.
  • First Generation .. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @07:01PM (#2469285)
    and if your dumb enough to actually *buy* first generation technology , then you deserve all you get, because throughout history time has proven that first generation (IE first "public" build) of just about any hardware / software ever made, has bugs, simple.

    people create software / hardware, people make mistakes, get over it.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun