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XBox (Games)

Xbox 360 Details and NYC Store 47

Gamasutra is reporting on some new Xbox 360 details, released today by Microsoft at the Game Developer's Conference Europe (GDCE). From the article:"Quick voice chat with Xbox Live friends will be available at any time on Xbox 360, even if the player is currently using another game. The game will simply pause and the voice conversation will be carried out - the game automatically mutes any other in-game voice." Additionally, the Seattle Times has piece up indicating that Microsoft is planning on battling Nintendo in the streets of New York City, with a possible Times Square store of their own. From that piece: "A retail store would dovetail with Microsoft's recent efforts to raise its profile in New York, an area that generates more than $1 billion a year in business-software sales for the company. New York is also home to the media giants Microsoft is courting with its software for distributing and protecting music, movies, games and television."
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Xbox 360 Details and NYC Store

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  • What about Live? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Datamonstar ( 845886 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @02:45PM (#13447815)
    How do you pause in an online multiplayer game?
    • So some random idiot got mod points and decided to mod down the first five posts in this duiscussion? Great, after the metamodding is done he won't get any additional modpoints.
    • Re:What about Live? (Score:3, Informative)

      by hollismb ( 817357 )

      Um, you press the pause button. Just because you pause doesn't mean everyone else has to. You can pause in Halo 2 (while still getting killed) and change your settings, check your friends list, send messages, etc. without a problem. The ideal situation is to simply find a halfway safe corner, and be really quick about it.

      Same thing happens in most other games as well, like Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell, and even in racing games. For example in ToCA Race Driver, pausing the games relinquishes control of your

  • Confusion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Trusty Penfold ( 615679 ) * <jon_edwards@spanners4us.com> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @02:47PM (#13447838) Journal
    "The game will simply pause and the voice conversation will be carried out "

    What's the point of that then? Being able to chat at the same time as you're playing would be a marvelous feature. Surely the XBox360 hardware is up to the task.

    And as for New York, either Microsoft or the reporter are seriously confused about the benefits.

    "showcase consumer-oriented products such as the new Xbox." vs. "... New York, an area that generates more than $1 billion a year in business-software sales."

    Are MS hoping for an Xbox in every office? Or every home?
    • What's the point of that then? Being able to chat at the same time as you're playing would be a marvelous feature. Surely the XBox360 hardware is up to the task.

      This is a game console, not a general purpose PC. Pre-emptive multitasking isn't used. In other words, the hardware has to be "shared".

      If what you propose is done, how will the game react when you "take" one of it's hardware threads away from it? Depends on the game.

      Now, if a game is written to support chat during the game, pausing wouldn't be ne
  • Just marketing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 )
    Wow, it's pretty impressive when the suspected plans of a marketing department are news in and of themselves.

    Is MS working on brand image? Of course, any big player in any retail industry is.

    The real interesting tidbits from the article are:

    The President of China is going to the compound of Bill Gates to meet with him.

    A huge Chinese real estate company might purchase WTC7 to attract Chinese businesses.

    Seems to me like the article about MS was just an excuse to drop a juicy tidbit or two about C
    • Flamebait? How is pointing out that one of the articles linked to in the summary is simply speculation about the fact that MS is one of at least three companies interested in leasing a billboard space in Times Square?

      News would be: Microsoft leases billboard space in Times Square.

      Or: Microsoft leases retail space in Manhattan for shop.

      Or even: Microsoft enters negotiations for retail space.

      The bits about Chinese business are news. I'm not sure why they are in that particular article, but they are

  • That's handy! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OK PC ( 857190 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @02:53PM (#13447886)
    - Default, game independent 'gamer profiles' on Xbox 360 will include some extremely broad, optional settings which all games will check, including difficulty levels, Y-axis inversion setting, preferred car transmission type (automatic or manual), and a handful of other extremely common game settings. There is then a requirement that game, on its first boot, checks those optional settings, so if the player always uses FPSes with inverted controls, he will never have to reset it in individual game cases.
    This is really useful and innovative. I don't know why they don't talk about it more!
    • I proposed this idea to a few PC games company a few years ago, and none of them were interested at all. It really bothers me to have to change my key mappings on EVERY GODDAMN GAME when I always change it to the exact same thing. Anyway, I'm glad somebody's finally implementing the idea, even if I'm not making any money with it.
      • Your mistake was proposing it to the game companies. Any configuration option that is supposed to be common among multiple applications from different vendors should be handled by the OS. You really can't expect the game companies to spend all that effort on a common API and handle all the issue involved with maintaining it.
        • Somebody has to, and I doubt Microsoft would have listened to me any more than the game companies did. Who should I have talked to?
          • Even if a game company wanted to do this, it wouldn't help much, because a game company can only mandate the feature for their games, Microsoft can do it with for the entire Xbox platform. Even EA, if they wanted to, could only do so much because even the biggest company only makes a minority of the games. Even if other companies agreed to do it, there would be squabbles over the details, inconsistent implementations, etc.

            And unless everyone does it, it doesn't benefit the people who do, so why bother?

            • I thought of that. My plan was to write a DLL, or library of some sort, that any game developer could plug into the game really cheaply and easily, and one good enough that they'd have no reason to build their own keyboard sensing code. And, of course, it would read the keyboard config from the central location by default. If you made the developer's job *easier* and added a feature at the same time, it would be easy to get a lot of studios to adopt it.

              Even if it only worked for games from a single compa
      • Woah, that is cool. I wonder if that extends as far as button configurations and sensitivity settings as well. Maybe I always like my E-brake on the 'A' button, and always like my sensitivity set around 5, which it slightly above average (using the Halo scale anyway). I wonder, would that carry over to other games as well...
  • Heh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @02:54PM (#13447896) Journal
    Microsoft is planning on battling Nintendo in the streets of New York City...

    I can't shake the mental picture of a 200 foot tall Donkey Kong slugging it out with a giant Clippy. Whoops, there goes the Apple Store!

  • ... a big Microsoft blimp constantly cutting in front of the Goodyear blimp at football games?
  • Quota (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Palshife ( 60519 )
    Uh oh, Zonk's behind. I mean, we've got a Nintendo post, a pointless hobby post and an XBox360 post. Still missing the one about Halo, the one that talks about some console dying, and another lame hobbyist article.

    Hurry Zonk! Only 9 hours left!
    • Yeah that dude has got to be one of the worst scourges of /. in all my years. Having run two news sites in my past I know the job, and 'ol Zonk wouldn't have lasted two days with me.

      I hope his children are born with one testicle, including the females.
  • MS is definitely most famous for software, which I am sure would be prominently displayed, but I would love to go check out the latest version of their keyboards and mice. MS does make some pretty fine hardware (software is certainly up to a more heated debate here).

    Of course this is all really just marketing, and I don't forsee myself going to the store, even if in NY, so what do I really care....
  • Store? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gogo0 ( 877020 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @03:48PM (#13448279)
    What would the Xbox store even have in it??

    Nintendo has over twenty years worth of games, consoles, handhelds, toys, characters, and history.
    Microsoft has two consoles, one recognizable character, and no history.

    I wonder how microsoft will spin that to have something that rival's Nintendo's "store" (it is more like an exciting museum that you can buy stuff in than just a store).
    • An Xbox store isn't about sales, it's about marketing the Xbox to tourists. The Xbox store will probably be a lot like Sony's Playstation store in the Metreon - a room full of crappy games, with most of the people inside just truant schoolkids playing games for free.
  • old school (Score:2, Funny)

    by llamaxing ( 895844 )
    Microsoft is planning on battling Nintendo in the streets of New York City

    Why not duke it out old-school style and breakdance? I mean, even the non-gamer is gonna wonder why Master Chief and Mario are bustin' out sick moves in the middle of Time Square. I know I would! =)
    (marketing at its finest, folks)
    • Why not duke it out old-school style and breakdance? Why not... take a game of duke nukem forever instead and see who wins? Oh? ...nevermind.

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