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XBox Released 1062

Gallowglass writes: "Salon has written a review of the Xbox which damns with extremely faint praise." There was a big hoopla in Times Square last night, but apparently no one pied Bill Gates. So, for all you poor souls who lined up to give money to the borg: does it work? Any blue-screens yet? :) Update: 11/15 15:23 GMT by M : Okay, I'm sorry. That's green screen of death, not blue screen.
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XBox Released

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  • by -douggy ( 316782 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @10:53AM (#2568585)
    Can I play pong on it? If Not why not?
  • by gergi ( 220700 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @10:54AM (#2568592)
    The movie with the Riddler? Where he creates these boxes that sit on your TV and take over your thoughts? Are we sure that was Jim Carrey and not Bill Gates in that costume? :)

    Microsoft: "What do you want to think today?"
    • YES! (Score:2, Funny)

      by Nerftoe ( 74385 )
      Where he creates these boxes that sit on your TV and take over your thoughts?

      That neon green Xbox logo sends out microwave pulsations to your brain to the beat of the Madonna song played on the WinXP commercials. Mysteriously, on our next visit to Best Buy, you pick up a copy of WinXP:

      Wife: Honey, I thought you only ran Linux?
      You: Microsoft for life, babe.
  • by Drizzten ( 459420 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @10:55AM (#2568599) Homepage
    I own a PS2 and am quite happy with it. However, I plan on keeping an open mind about the Xbox and the GameCube. Anyone else remember the damning the SNES got when it first came out? And how popular did it get?
  • another news article (Score:5, Informative)

    by osiris ( 30004 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @10:55AM (#2568602) Homepage
    the register [] is also carrying a story about this. it talks about the uk release date as well as containing links to sites with more info on where to buy it and where you can test them out.
  • by mblase ( 200735 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @10:55AM (#2568605)
    ...take a look at C|Net's review [] of Microsoft's strategies with the Xbox. Bottom line of their article is that Microsoft has had to put on a completely different face to court developers for their game console, switching from monopolistic tyrant to play-nice we-want-to-help-you-succeed hardware investor. According to the quotes cited, it's worked, too. So far.
  • by Junks Jerzey ( 54586 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @10:59AM (#2568631)
    I have it. I've played it. The bottom line at the moment is: *shrug*. It's extremely difficult to see how this is any different than a PlayStation 2. If you're expecting something miles beyond the PS2, then you'll be disappointed. From my point of view it's a PS2 with different games.

    Halo is Yet Another First Person Shooter. I was expecting something revolutionary. Don't get me wrong, it's fun just like Half-Life and friends are fun, but it's simply other game of that style. It isn't a great leap forward. Arguably it isn't any leap forward.
    • by djrogers ( 153854 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:31AM (#2568837)
      There is a _major_ difference - the PS2 won't/can't do any resolutions above the NTSC standard 480i. That looks like crap on anything bigger than a 32" tube TV, and pales in comparison to the HD quality games that you can play on a PC. XBOX games are 480p (non-interlaced) at least, and the developers have the option of making them 16:9 - not by letterboxing, but by having more horizontal resolution. This is the #1 reason I've been waiting for the XBOX, as NTSC stuff just looks poor on my 120" FPTV.
    • by instinctdesign ( 534196 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:32AM (#2568846) Homepage
      This quote from the Salon article said it best (and I couldn't agree more):
      "Have one look at the tanker scene in MGS2," says Keighley, "with the rain falling, the puddles splashing and the wind gushing, all at 60 frames per second. That scene by itself is more cinematic and more realistic than anything I've seen on the other consoles ... Microsoft keeps telling us that Xbox is more powerful than the PS2," says Keighley, "but at least at this point MGS2 is just as impressive looking as anything I've seen on the Xbox. It just goes to show that graphic horsepower and processing speed isn't always what matters -- creativity and artistry can go a long way to making a console successful."
  • Sad, sad commentary (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @10:59AM (#2568634) Homepage
    I personally sent a few stories Slashdot's way (including numerous discussions on hacking the Box) and apparently noone thought them worthy.

    The problem here is that people instantly lambash the box without thinking of the ramifications. Basically:

    - It's a strong PC with great graphics. In the living room. The centerpiece of the family community.
    - It is a console to actually push competition and strengthen games. Other consoles from here on out are going to have to consider putting an ethernet card on board. Or a hard drive. Competition is always good (even non-franchise reliant Sony is getting stale at this point).
    - It's just another system. It's not the antichrist. Bill Gates personally doesn't take a cut on each box (in fact, cuts are probably taken out of HIM).

    Let's think about that first one a good deal. A real PC. In the living room of thousands of people -- people, additionally, who wouldn't have thought of putting a PC in their living room. Why doesn't this get more people excited? It does for me. Naysayers like to tout X-Filish conspiracy theories about MS owning the world. It's not going to happen. Other companies are going to expand, reject, and strengthen parts of the box with 3rd party peripherals and software. The dream of having some kind of decent server in everyone's house will finally be realized.

    Even if you completely reject the box and all it's strong points, you've got to admit THE CONVERSATION IS GOOD. Unfortunately, even with a thousand comments, Slashdot editors won't learn that this is one of the things we want to talk about. And quite frankly, I still like to follow the average Slashdotter's opinion over hype.

    • by CaseyB ( 1105 )
      It's just another system. It's not the antichrist.

      What kills me, is people promoting Sony and Nintendo over MS, for reasons of business ethics! These companies are at least as predatory and monopolistic as MS ever was, in a nation that practically invented the concept.

    • by ebbv ( 34786 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:26AM (#2568805) Homepage

      you claim things are good (such as having a PC in the living room or having an ethernet or a harddrive on a console) but you don't explain why these things are good.

      i'll tell you my take; both of those things are not good in and of themselves.

      i don't have my PC in my living room, it's in my bedroom. the console is in the living room with the TV. i play different games on them, completely different (RTS, RPG on the computer, Gran Turismo, Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy (which are not RPG IMHO) on the console.)

      an ethernet connection on a console isn't some gaming messiah. there are currently no games which i could see benefitting from this on any console, nor any in the future. same with having a hard drive. great, it'd lead to faster and more saved games. dandy. personally i don't run out of space on my memory cards, but that's me. this by itself is not a reason to buy a console.

      as this salon article says (and i hate salon), it's the games, stupid. great games sell consoles, mediocre games sell a few as will the flood of adverts that MS has put out.

      but in the end, there are no interesting games for the console, thus it is uninteresting and will ultimately fail.

      personally, i'm spending $700 on a new computer which has more than twice the power (and 5 times the storage space, and that's nothing) of the X-box. there are actually interesting games for this computer i'm buying; civ3, dark ages of camelot, max payne (which i still haven't played), et cetera.

      anyway, this is a dead horse i'll stop beating it.
      • by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:54AM (#2568997) Homepage Journal
        an ethernet connection on a console isn't some gaming messiah. there are currently no games which i could see benefitting from this on any console, nor any in the future.

        I share your opinion with PC good for some games, console for others (although, I'll add sports games to the console). Now you mentioned "Gran Turisimo" and I mention "sports" for console. Once you play a game for, say, a month, you understand the AI and what to expect. The only way you get replayability is by playing the unpredictable human opponents. Especially for Racing and Sports games. Ethernet is a messiah for consoles, because I can play my football games over and over again, and still lose, cause there's always a better human opponent out on the net (and the computer isn't a challenge anymore).

        Just my opinion.
      • by renehollan ( 138013 ) <> on Thursday November 15, 2001 @12:44PM (#2569309) Homepage Journal
        People here know that I've gone on and on about having a reasonably powerful device in my living/family room to which I can stream audio and compressed video from a home server (hence the need for some kind of standard network connection). It has to be quiet, and not look like a computer.

        While we're at it, it would be nice if it would let me browse the web, or perhaps run some online games that are playable at some distance from a relatively large, low-resolution (640x480) screen (though I have an HD-ready high-resolution set, most don't). And you know, all these entertainment devices with their complex controls, some of which have a video output for interactive menus are getting a pain to control. Why can't they provide a web server interface to a device with a browser and appropriate plugins, and just be hubbed into the local room 'net?

        The ability to run local entertainment software (i.e. games), networked or not, is a feature that comes for free if we're going to have enough "oomph" to do MPEG2 decoding. While you might want to use it for non-entertainment duties (i.e. checking one's bank acount, or ordering a pizza on-line), work isn't it's primary purpose.

        THAT is what the XBox could be. Architecture should be open, so third parties can develop apps/add on hardware for it. Still, it should be useful enough on it's own to justify it's price. Whether the hard disk (if present) and or CD/DVD-ROM is integrated, or outboard (firewire?) is more of a stylistic issue -- today we have A/V receivers as well as separates.

        In my search I have come across some neat tech by Sigma Designs (, sole.htm (watch the damn inserted space), and particularly the iDVD3036 []). So decent convergence products are coming (say 2002).

        But, if PC history tells us anything, the ones that succeed will be more open than the one's that don't. Unless Microsoft opens the XBox up architecturally and makes it easy for third party hacker developers, they will be among the convergence also-rans.

    • by Chundra ( 189402 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:51AM (#2568974)
      Gimme a break.

      Repeat after me: "The whole point of a gaming console is to play games."

      Most people don't buy consoles to double as a bloody servers. Sure, it can be done, and there's a lot of hack value there, but dude...get a clue! "The dream of having some kind of decent server in everyone's house" is NOT going to happen with an Xbox. Maybe with a good PC with a good OS, but NOT some mediocre gaming console. Compared to real PCs made in the last year or so, the xbox is by no means "a strong PC".

      Lemme turn your argument around a little bit. Hey guys! I'm really excited. My furnace and air conditioner contain a Hitachi H8/3292 microcontroller, which is really a pretty hefty little CPU. I'm gonna hack the thing and run a server on my airconditioner! It keeps me cool in the summer, warm in the winter, it serves mp3s, and is now running Apache! Finally! The dream of running a server can be realized by the masses. w00t!

    • The thing is, your statements could almost apply just as well to the PS2 as the XBox. Sure, with the PS2 you have to obtain a seperate solution for ethernet or a HD (which is not totally nessicary as you could consider the memory card enough storage to make things interesting).

      However, you also have to consider that MS had said repeatedly they are NOT making a home PC, they are making a pure game console. To help drive that point home they have made the USB ports non-standard.

      If you look at it from a point of connectivity, the XBox has ethernet but as far as the larger device market goes nothing else. The PS2 has both standard Firewire and USB ports, and also a SUPPORTED version of Linux (and Java in the works). You can use USB keyboards and mice you have sittig around from computers, or go to lots of stores and have keyboards to choose from as well as being able to hook up digital cameras with included cables.

      Which one sounds more like a home PC hub to you? Remember, just because it doesn't have an Intel processor does not mean it can't be a computing device...

      One last point - though I have a cable modem and DSL line (not for long though - thanks a lot Sprint!), people are still going to be using modems for a long time. Sony has realized this and is including a modem with thier ethernet/HD extension. MS has only ethernet which is great for some but not all users. I can't remember exactly what Nintendo was planning, but I think they had a combo modem/ethernet solution as well.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2001 @10:59AM (#2568639)
    Almost every article on the Xbox I see on Slashdot is slanted against them. The Gamecube gets much more coverage and not the nasty slashdot commentary along with the story.

    Is this my imagination, or does slashdot take its anti-microsoft bias into everything they do?

    I mean really, linking the xbox release with one totally negative article, while other sites have given it a much better outlook.

    Please try to be fair here slashdot.

    • First, yes, the /. community is very anti-m$. with good reason too. i actually support them usually (i have having to reboot win every 3 hours becasue it leaks too much, while i easily get months of uptime with linux and bang on it more too, among other things).

      But, in regards to the Gamecube, I have _no_ idea why it isnt hammered as well. do the /. readers not know how much nintendo is like m$, esp when it comes to emulation etc? given that both companies are similar (anti-open), i'd think they'd both get knocked at least a little.

      i recall hearing about an open game console. did this ever happen?
    • by Trifthen ( 40989 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @12:07PM (#2569073) Homepage

      Is this my imagination, or does slashdot take its anti-microsoft bias into everything they do?

      Well, you had to say it, didn't you? I'm not going to defend Slashdot posters, other gaming platforms, or even myself. What I will tell you is that this isn't restricted to the Slashdot crowd.

      Go on over to the The GIA [] and read their double-agent columns for a while. You'll get more than a few comments for and against the XBox. The one that really stood out to me though, was this one: YOU BIG BULLY! []

      There's the truth right there. Microsoft has had years to get into the game, and only does so now. Why now? Where were they back when I was 13, playing Zelda or Sonic? The problem is, company profiteering notwithstanding, they're making it obvious that's all they're interested in. "Oh look! The gaming industry has lots of money! We can get some of that!"

      Not the best way to make friends.

      Besides that, have you actually read what the general gaming community thinks about the XBox? I've talked to random people I meet in gaming stores, and I hear the same damn thing every time. "The Xbox is the size of a Buick," or "The controller could kill small children," and even a "Microsoft makes shit, and I won't buy it." These are the very people Microsoft is trying to target, here. What makes you think Slashdot is going to be more forgiving than your average gamer? The Slashdot bias is assumed.

      But head on over to Penny Arcade [] if you think Salon is being harsh. Dear Sweet Merciful God, this thing is the laughing stock of the entire gaming community, and they seem completely blind to it.

      I've been gaming since I was 5. Xbox is a me-too, and I'm not impressed. Go home, little Xbox, I don't want to play with arrogant bastards like you.

    • by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @12:34PM (#2569243)
      Is this my imagination, or does slashdot take its anti-microsoft bias into everything they do?

      You say this like it's some kind of big secret that the Slashdot crowd's feelings about Microsoft range from mild antipathy to deep loathing. Are you the same guy who visits Macintosh advocacy sites and wonders why there's no positive press on Gateway and Dell?

    • The gaming community as a whole pretty much looks down upon the XBox. Why? Because the XBox has nothing you can't get elsewhere. Sony has already sold umpteen million PS2s, and with games like Metal Gear Solid 2 (finished it yesterday.. Bar none one of the best games I've ever played) there's no real compelling reason to buy an XBox.

      Yes, I know MGS2 is supposed to make it to XBox, but that's exactly my point. I'm not going to buy the same game twice. Every major title on XBox is available elsewhere, with the exception of Halo, which I wasn't really impressed with. It's just another FPS (and it felt like a Tribes ripoff) added to the fact that FPS games really don't play well on consoles. I'm not saying the XBox is bad/evil because it's made by Microsoft, I'm saying that I see no real reason to buy one. Most of my "non hardcore" gamer friends feel the same. Their attitude is "I already have a PS2, I don't need another one." The hardcore gamers hate the thing because it's Microsoft. I have a feeling this will be a failed experiment for Bill and Steve.
  • by Master_Ruthless ( 89957 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:02AM (#2568658)
    What's next, Ars Technica's take on national health care?? Tom's Hardware celebrity gossip? If you're going to post a hardware review, you should aim a little higher than the online version of "The Nation". Surely someone that knows what they're talking about has reviewed this product?
  • It just accured to me. Will M$ try to stop people from reselling Xbox games like they do when you try to resell thier software? Honest I'm not trolling I am really curious do you think they will try this? Because they won't make any money off of second hand games.

  • Not to be a flamer here, but quite honestly... I'll pass on the "Xbox," thanks.

    If I wanted a PC, I would've bought one. I'd rather have the Playstation, which plays both the new AND old games, DVDs and CDs. It looks cooler, to boot.

    Microsoft sure is spending a LOT of money on advertising though. I keep seeing Xbox commercials (or rather games FOR the Xbox). Judging by the pictures though, I still think the PS2 blows it away.

    • "If I wanted a PC, I would've bought one."

      How are you posting on an Internet site without a PC? WebTV?

    • Last I saw XBox would play DVD's and CD's and a little hacking and emulator love and you could play PC, PS1, SNES, SEGA, ATARI, and probably eventually PS2 games on the unit. Sorry but as far as PS2 blowing it away I've yet to any games on the PS2 that are as good as the games I've seen for XBox.
  • At a bare minimum, this means that we're closer to Halo will shipping for the PC & Mac. I expect they'll start porting it within the next month, if they haven't already started. Of course, they won't release it for at least half a year to a year from now, but it's a start.

    It's pretty sad when I have no interest in the system itself, but find more significance in the software that will become available for other platforms shortly after it's release.
  • You should have pre-ordered them, but you can still get in line to get your XBox Bundles [].

  • by opkool ( 231966 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:09AM (#2568706) Homepage
    Check this picture

    Or this other one

    More on The Register []
  • (Redmond, WA) - Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, today announced a launch date for a second edition of the X-Box. At a press conference today, Mr. Gates described the intentions of his company in developing the Second Edition of X-Box. "The system, nicknamed 'Box the Second', or 'BS', will carry console gaming into new heights, and continue to develop the synergy that grows between computing and consoles." When pressed for specs, Mr. Gates gave a list of specifications that almost exactly matched that of the original X-Box. Except for one difference: "This one is purple."
  • by Lord_Pall ( 136066 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:13AM (#2568731)
    is the hardware itself..

    The launch titles suck.. Rehashed fighting/racing/whatever games.. extreme sports, extreme driving, extreme first person shooters with a console controller..blech..

    But what we've got is a pc.. Fast as hell nvidia chipset, hardrive, network card, dvd drive..

    Tell me someone isn't going to turn that into some cool as hell hardware.. slap a bigger hardrive into, make an mp3 box.. slap an even bigger hardrive into it, turn it into a pvr..

    Take it even further.. turn it into the convergence device people have been talking about for the past 10 years.. Except instead of paying 999.99 for it, buy it for 299 (or less when the price drops)..

    I think as a piece of hardware its got great potential...

    As a console.. well its motsos.. (More of the same old s..t)

    lastly.. for your truly rabid anti-ms people..

    The XBOX represents the only true way you can DIRECTLY damage microsoft through buying things.. Every unit they sell is sold at a loss.. Buy one.. Hack the hardware.. make it do stuff its not supposed to do.. And don't buy any software for it :)

    Okay maybe the logic's a little spurious.. But it sounds good on paper :)
    • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
      I was scanning posts to see somebody hadn't beat me to it - think of a relatively nice PC with superb graphics and a lot of other bells and whistles - all at $300. If you could buy these in bulk and turn them into a nice internet appliance with all sorts of multimedia features, that be a truly ironic kick in the pants to MS.

      It be great if half the people who bought them didn't buy a single game.

      And when MS starts complaining, all I can ask is why they didn't see it coming. Of course, the XBOX will probably come with some shrink wrap agreement saying you can't do jack to it, so we'll all somehow be violating the DMCA if we try to hack it - no hack websites, because the government flunkies will bow to the will of MS (just like they did with the RIAA and MPAA).

      Oh well, you can't keep a good hack down for long. I may actually put off buying a second "real" PC until we see what we can do with one of these.
    • I'm with you - while MS makes my skin crawl, its a decent box for the price which I expect will drop. Anyone up for starting :) If this thing can be hacked so it'll run linux - that would be fun! Thats why Tivo's are so much fun! Of course, my only beef is the thing is HUGE. Box is an understatement. :)

      But I look forward to hearing folks stories of hack attempts - it could bath new life into the Xbox :)

    • you can build a better PC for the cost you're talking about. bigger harddrive will be $100, so for $400 you can build a better machine than the X-Box. :P or right around there anyway, and it will have a case that's actually a lot easier to work on! (and hell you can buy one of those fancy-schmansy all aluminum cases.)
    • The XBOX represents the only true way you can DIRECTLY damage microsoft through buying things.. Every unit they sell is sold at a loss.. Buy one.. Hack the hardware.. make it do stuff its not supposed to do.. And don't buy any software for it :)

      Your logic is flawed. Which is of more use to Microsoft, a big pile of unsold Xboxen, or the cash equivalent? They lose -more- money if they have to scrap them.

      As for hacking, hasn't the message [] got through yet?

    • I believe the XBox will only boot off of media they have crytographically signed. Thus, you won't be creating and MP3 box or a PVR or any kind of convergence device without their permission (you sure won't be booting Linux) .
  • So, for all you poor souls who lined up to give money to the borg: does it work?

    But since MS is losing money on each unit sold, (at least it was reported that they are losing money per unit), isn't this like taking money from MS? ;-)
  • The console wars... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GuntherAEPi ( 254349 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:19AM (#2568765)
    Sony seems to think the xbox is going to force them to abandon PS2 sooner than they anticipated....and roll out the PS3...check it out here.

    Full Story []

  • From the Salon article: It's already drawn the interest of PC gamers, who often dismiss console games as brainless kiddy fodder.

    Maybe the reason it drew interest from us PC gamers was that Halo was announced ages ago as a PC/Mac game, a situation which changed dramatically when MS bought out Bungie?

    I'm not alone in being extremely disappointed in Bungie over this. I remember desperately looking forward to Halo a year ago, but now I probably won't even buy it. (And not out of spite; by the time the PC version is out, I'm sure there'll be much more attractive games available. That's if the PC version ever gets done at all.)
  • Store "take overs"?? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pyrosz ( 469177 )
    I noticed the other day that [Lazy Link []] has had their site taken over by MS for the XBox. Now I dont mind advertising, but, having something pushed in my face like that when I could be shopping for something like the GC kinda upsets me. I know major retail stores do tend to play favorites with certain companies but this is over the edge I think. So, do you think stores should be monopolised (heh) like this?

  • by Lizard_King ( 149713 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:26AM (#2568807) Journal
    They are really cheap on on eBay. []
    • by fobbman ( 131816 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:46AM (#2568938) Homepage
      A couple auctions of interest. This one [] sold a link to where you can preorder the Xbox for a final bid of $407. Funny, considering the link is in the description and the seller says "If you decide to place a bid, then I will only resend you this website. So if you bid, you will not receive the xbox system, just a link to where you can purchase a x-box".

      The other auction of note is here [], where the winner gets the box that the Xbox came in. The seller is very clear about the person only getting the box that it came in, yet the winning bid was still $366.

      Was a crime committed here? Nope. They were just helping the fool part from his money sooner.

  • When linux has been successfully ported to these machines, I will buy one.
  • X-Box Linux Contest. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smack_attack ( 171144 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:41AM (#2568907) Homepage
    I am giving the domain [] to the first person to successfully port/install Linux to the X-Box. No cost, no strings except you must be willing to continue work on it and release it to the public in some form.
  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:42AM (#2568917) Homepage Journal

    Slashdot editors are really scraping the bottom of the barrel in their overt attempts to bash Microsoft. They do so at any cost, and by that I mean regardless if it makes them look like biased buffoons or not.

    Salon is the last place I go for anything remotely to unbiased reporting. Seems Slashdot wants to follow suit.

    The X-Box should be judged for what it is, and that is an attempt to offer flexibility to developers to make the games they could only wish to create for the PC. Microsoft or not, I would love to see some real creativity in the market that didn't involve a regular game company.

    Can Ms provide that? I don't know, but I won't slight them based upon a Salon review, in fact if Salon bashes them at all I see it as more of a reason to look at the product.
  • by 2Flower ( 216318 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @11:44AM (#2568927) Homepage

    Salon is overlooking something very critical. They run down the list of X-Box titles and call them boring and pedestrian, then detail FUTURE Sony titles that will be innovative...

    But they don't mention any future X-Box titles which will innovate, other than a dismissive mention of the 2002 lineup which claims to have 'nothing ambitious'.

    Are they forgetting that Sega has close ties with Microsoft? Jet Set Radio Future, the first franchise to effectively work cel shading into the game's stylistic approach, is due out for X-Box. In addition, Shenmue, the series which redefined how adventure games and peristent worlds work on Dreamcast, will be an X-box franchise from now on. US gamers will be getting Shenmue 2 on X-box alone.

    If you're going to hold one console above another, at least consider all aspects of both, rather than forgetting a key area. That's just good journalism, whatever your preference for gaming platforms or your like/dislike of Microsoft may be.

  • When is someone going to come out with Linux for XBox. Seriously, the equivalent PC to an XBox costs oh so much more. If I could get Linux on there I've got cheap cheap servers. Tribes 2, Counterstrike, and Apache ahoy!
  • X-mas (Score:2, Funny)

    by Scurf ( 443884 )
    Nomatter how good or bad, it will still be a great alternative for parents with no technical expertise to give to their children come X-mas.

    After all, who didn't get their first kick on computers on a VIC-20 or simular boxes...
  • Other reviews (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rushuru ( 135939 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @12:06PM (#2569066)
    Here's a few links to other and may be more objective reviews

    Zdnet []
    Gamespy []
    Gamespot []
    FiringSquad []
    TeamXBox []
    Yahoo [] 2 [] 3 []

    "Can I run a linux cluster of those?"
  • by kemster ( 532022 ) <kem327&msn,com> on Thursday November 15, 2001 @12:07PM (#2569075) Homepage
    This may be a stupid question, but how does it play DVD movies? I mean, obviously it has a DVD-ROM, but where does the software to play it come from? Do you need a boot CD to load up the OS/player, then you swap in the DVD? Or is there a small Windows OS on the hard disk itself that contains a player? If there's a Windows OS on the HD, what's stopping the natural corruption of some DLL's and the player breaking?
    • by FatRatBastard ( 7583 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @12:20PM (#2569160) Homepage
      From what I understand you have to buy an extra DVD remote control to unlock the DVD feature. I think all the firmware is built into the base unit, but it needs the IR dongle to be plugged into a controler port to make it function. I guess the Remote is only $30 so its not that bad. Kinda crappy to make you buy one thought (admittedly the DVD on the PS2 is better with a remote.. no wires hanging around. But at least you can use it without one)
  • by jeffc128ca ( 449295 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @12:13PM (#2569104)
    I have always liked the editors at Salon and this time is no exception.

    What Xbox has going for it...
    1 - PS2 is known as a more adult gaming platform. I just bought a PS2 and finding games for my 9 year old daughter is interesting. Maby MS can capitalize it if they are smart.

    2 - Should be easy to port PC games to it. Something lacking in PS2/Nintindo worlds.

    What Xbox has going against it....
    1 - Sony rules the console market right now. Hands down. Nintendo has some a good new platform and more kiddy friendly games. Xbox has to compete with this

    2 - Microsoft is used to being able to do what they want because they have a Monopoly. How will management react to situations when they are the small guy. It's like General Moters starting to offer blenders. They are not experts and the people the people who have been making them know a lot more about it and actually listen to there customers.

    3 - Lack of vision. Ties into #2. Where's the killer app? Do you really think Gates and Balmer can envision great new games.

    4 - Game makers won't produce for a console that hasn't got a proven track record. Why spend millions developing a game for a potential 50 people when I can do it for tens of millions across the world (PS2).

    5 - Blue/Green screen of death will put off gamers. I bought a PS2 so I could get away from computer gaming and costant error messages and rebooting. When has anyone ever seen an error message on a Playstation or a Nintendo? I want drop in a game and play it never seeing an error message. PC users are use to getting them and can live with it. Console games don't and won't tolerate it. I gave up PC gaming because I got sick of upgrading video cards, getting more hard drive space, better processors. I just want to drop that disc in and play the game.

    6 - The goofy Balmer/Monkey/music crap that the Salon article talked about. If you have to dance around on stage and talk like a motivational speaker your not selling stuff in the console market. When Grand Theft III is released or the next version of Final Fantasy they don't even need to air a commercial. They could send it to the stores and put it on the shelf without a word and it will sell out. Microsoft ain't cool. Sony is, Nintendo is some what.

    I could go on and on. I can't see Xbox being anything but a niche market. Microsoft bit off more than they can chew with this one.
  • by jea6 ( 117959 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @12:16PM (#2569126)
    "Just six weeks after receiving a resuscitation investment worth $2.5 million from Bill Hambrecht and Adobe Systems founder John Warnock, Salon secured an additional $750,000 from a group of investors led by former HBO head Michael Fuchs." ( rticleID=68) Fuchs is the former head of HBO, part of the AOL Time Warner conglomerate, and is now a Salon Board Member.

    Also part of that investor group was Wasserstein Perella Group, Inc., which has done M&A transactions for AOL ( ons.htm).

    It's a stretch, but not a BIG stretch. AND this is off 10 minutes of research.

  • by mttlg ( 174815 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @12:26PM (#2569196) Homepage Journal
    ...when it comes to error messages. That green-on-black look alone is "hip" and "trendy," but the attention to detail shows that Microsoft has put a lot of effort into making the user's error message experience an enjoyable one. In the future, I'm sure we can look forward to more "dynamic" and "interactive" error message paradigms from this "innovative" company.
  • by osgeek ( 239988 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @12:30PM (#2569225) Homepage Journal
    I think this line from the article says it best:

    So for the first time, I actually dared to entertain warm thoughts toward Microsoft.

    Yeah, no kidding that he doesn't normally like Microsoft. I would never have guessed it from the consistently cynical tone of his article.

    I'm no big fan of MS either, but jeez. Would a little unbiased journalistic integrity be appropriate? Hmm.

    As it is, I don't think that I know anything more about how good the XBox is after reading the article than I did beforehand -- because I don't even begin to trust the opinions of the journalist with his obvious baggage of preconceptions.
  • XBox in Canada (Score:3, Informative)

    by frank249 ( 100528 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @01:43PM (#2569723)
    I had a look at the Xbox at a Future Shop []. They are charging $600Cdn($377US). One of the store clerks was trying to set up a demo machine but it was too big to fit in the kiosk case they had for it. I asked him about playing DVDs on it and he said you could but you had to spend another $50 for the DVD controler and $25 for the cable to connect it to the TV. It comes with one game controler and to add extras would be another $50 each. So now I'm looking at shelling out $825 + $120 in taxes. I said no thanks and walked on which is what I suspect is most Canadians will say.
  • Xbox crashes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by llzackll ( 68018 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @05:51PM (#2571152)
    I work at a Best Buy, and our Xbox display unit freezes at least once every two hours, and we have to reset it. ( I usually leave it froze until a customer asks me to reset it, so more people can see that this thing freezes, heh heh). So far our gamecube has not froze once, we can leave it on all day with no problems. The only difference between the display units and the consumer ones is the demo units don't have the hard drive.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein