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XBox (Games)

Halo in September, New Xbox in 2012? 49

EGM sat down for a long talk with Microsoft's Shane Kim, Corporate Vice President. Among other things they discuss the unbuyability of the Bioware company (they asked and were rebuffed), plans for the next next-gen game console (already in the works, possibly coming in 2012), and the timing for the release of Halo 3. "We returned to discussing Microsoft's first party portfolio for 2007. With Grand Theft Auto IV due in mid-October, Microsoft has to figure out when Halo 3 and Project Gotham Racing 4 fit into the release calendar. Kim confirmed that PGR4 was due this fall, though did not specify a date. Why not? Well, because Microsoft won't ship a game in October to compete with GTA IV, and with Lost Odyssey coming in December, that means Halo 3 and Project Gotham Racing 4 have to fight over September and November. With the success Halo 2 enjoyed at retail, would Microsoft even entertain shipping the game outside of the oft-expected November timeframe?"
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Halo in September, New Xbox in 2012?

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  • 360 longevity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @11:36AM (#18362699)
    2012 for the next XBox iteration? That means the 360 would have a life of at least 7 years. Much better than the previous XBox incantation (4 years), the Gamecube (5 years), and even the PS2 (6 years).

    Obviously that's a long way in the future so I take that with huge chunks of salt, but I would definitely appreciate a slowing down of next gen arms race propagation.
    • "Obviously that's a long way in the future so I take that with huge chunks of salt, but I would definitely appreciate a slowing down of next gen arms race propagation."

      I believe it because this is the first time in... forever, that consoles are actually much faster than modern PCs.

      The Xbox360 came out May 2005 with 3 processors each clocked at 3.2 ghz []. Even today, almost 2 years later, you won't find any personal computers with three 3+ ghz processors, and remember all of these are dedicated to proce
      • Re:360 longevity (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Surt ( 22457 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @01:20PM (#18364623) Homepage Journal
        OTOH, the graphics capabilities and performance of a dual-core (not to mention quad core) pc with an 8800gtx are way beyond what either the xbox360 or the ps3 can do already. Processor clocks are not all that matters to real performance.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by @madeus ( 24818 )
        While, at over a year old, my AMD FX based PC doesn't quite have the raw CPU power to match a 360 it's got far more RAM, all the games can use the HD for caching (not something 360 games to, because it was an option at launch and so they can't depend on it being there) and two graphics cards each with as much memory as the 360 has in total (as a result the quality it can render graphics at is far improved - every title runs with FSAA and AF at 1920x1200).

        The X-Box has an advantage in that developers are abl
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by aikouka ( 932902 )
        Honestly, I don't mean to sound rude, but anyone who bases the overall speed of a processor on the "megahertz" needs to re-evaluate the inner-workings of processors and what exactly differentiates the PowerPC-based Xenon processor from your run-of-the-mill desktop x86-64 variety.

        There was actually a good article on Anandtech at one point about how these next-gen processors are not good for gaming compared to your typical desktop dual-core CPU. I mean, you could go on how Cell's SPE's have no branch predi
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      For the most part companies do not have control over when they release a console ...

      As sales drop to an unacceptable rate third party publishers remove support for a platform and the console is (essentially) dead. You're (typically) given 18 to 24 months notice (because you find out pretty early that EA isn't planning on starting development on new games for your patform long before they release their last game) so you end up having the necessary time to release another system before it becomes obvious that
    • Obviously that's a long way in the future so I take that with huge chunks of salt, but I would definitely appreciate a slowing down of next gen arms race propagation.

      I agree that not only do the consumers probably want to see the console arms race toned down a bit, but the console makers do as well. The longer a console is on the market, the more money they make.

      The exception to this rule, I believe, is Nintendo. I don't think there's any way the Wii can survive for 5 years given the hardware capabilities
      • by 7Prime ( 871679 )
        Agreed. I don't think Nintendo has ruled this out, in fact, I think it's exactly what they intend to do. Currently, Sony and MS are having to sell at a loss because the expectations of a console (sans overall creative vision) are higher than what they can make a profit on. Nintendo is stepping back, making a cheaper, more efficient console for the short term. Come 2009-10, MS or Sony will have so much invested in the 360 and PS3, that they won't be able to release a new console. But Nintendo will be easily
      • I think this might be the plan, or something similar. I don't think Sony can afford another short generation. They're banking on the PS3 lasting a long time. Because of this I can see one of two things happening:

        1) Microsoft releases a new console about 4-5 years after the 360 release, pushing the generation again. Nintendo is in a good position to react to this quickly and keep up with MS.
        2) Nintendo pushes the generation with a new console that takes their new interface, and adds some serious horse
        • Think of the Wii as a proof of concept. Now they know the Wiimote is a hit, and can dump some money into a true 'next-gen' console.

          That's exactly how I think of the Wii (which I own). It's basically the GC with just a bit of extra horsepower (but not really enough to call it next gen) and the wiimote input system. It's a stop-gap measure in terms of finance and R&D in that it allows Nintendo to avoid going head-to-head vs. Sony/MS in terms of processing power and at the same time proof-of-concept for
    • by adam31 ( 817930 )
      even the PS2 (6 years)

      The PS2 is still alive [], with sony publishing first party games, and outselling the Xbox 360 (as of January 2007). It was launched in Japan in 1999, so it's creeping up on 8 years.

      2012 for the next Xbox will mean Microsoft has done a good job. The thing is, at this point system power is not a selling point compared with system functionality. Console manufacturers have a distinct advantage in extending system lifetime because of the online upgradability built-in. Eventually they

    • I would like to comment that I agree with this guy and that this would be a SMART move by Microsoft, because they pissed a HELL of a lot of people off with the 4 year lifespan _and_ complete abandonment of the Xbox 1 like a red headed step child.

      Seriously, 7 years would go a long way to making consumers feel comfortable with buying the new model - if they can get that kind of value for money.
      (plus, normally the old model lasts at least a year after the new one is out)
  • by iainl ( 136759 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @11:37AM (#18362733)
    Umm, I don't get it. What's so bad about those of us who like racing games being allowed to buy a hot new title at the same time as the people who are into FPSes? If Sony only released 12 games a year they wouldn't ship the number of PS2s they have.

    Besides, if I remember rightly, Halo 2's release date was shared with a Rainbow 6, a Splinter Cell and a Call Of Duty all within a week or two of each other, and that didn't seem to come out too badly.
    • by MooseMuffin ( 799896 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @11:47AM (#18362909)
      I think it has more to do with marketing than actually cannibalizing sales. They would like to be able to say they have a big name title coming out this month, and a big name title coming out next month, and so on. Releasing them all in September (for example) would be great for that month, but what new stuff will they have to talk about for the rest of the holiday season?
  • If MSFT was smart, they would try to get the next XBOX out in 5 to 6 years. Get a new system that blows the PS3 away technically, and make money on 2 consoles at the same time like Sony does with the PS2 and PS3. They can do it, if they make writing a game for each similar enough. They hyped Halo3 to death. It's going to be out Holiday '07 for the prime spending season. To say otherwise is just to make it appear it's not delayed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Microsoft isn't making money on the 360, it's selling at a loss (just like the xbox 1): VeytDAqV.php []

      If they have a long lifespan for the console, that loss might eventually become a profit. If they develop a replacement console sooner, that not only adds a schwack of R&D costs but it reduces the amount of profit they could get from this generation.

      The exact same thing goes for sony; the ps3 is a loss leader, but they are probably making money from the
      • That's two-year-old data, and there's no question that MS took a hammering on the the 360 when it was first released. I *think* the GP was talking about how things are now, though: iSuppli has published an estimate -- sorry, can't find the link -- indicating the MS makes money on the premium system now, and breaks even on the cheap one.
        • Yes, thank you, my point exactly. Here is the link you mention: ory=11833 []

          Also, the above story is three months old, so MSFT is likely to have their 65nm chip done. Odds are the physical hardware costs are less than the MSRP at this point. Not bad at all for a powerful console 1.5 years old.

          If they keep their market share in this race, and are first to market with the next generation, Sony will be in a world of hurt.
    • make money on 2 consoles at the same time like Sony does with the PS2 and PS3.
      Sony does not make money on the PS3.
      • Sony does not make money on the PS3.

        Maybe not the console, but they make money on the games licensing. And they're making a killing on the PS2 right now - both the console and the games.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Floritard ( 1058660 )
      Jesus we're already talking about the next-next-gen? The term next-gen hasn't even cooled off yet. How much more clearly do you need to see Sam Fisher's buldging coin-purse, normal-mapped and specularly highlighted through his tight-fitting spy outfit? Games have been driven by graphics for years now but that trend is tapering off. What we need is innovation in gameplay (AI in particular and physics as well). I love ragdoll physics and was always anticipating it, now how about giving players total muscular
  • by ShadowsHawk ( 916454 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @11:42AM (#18362839)
    I don't own a 360, but they actually seem to be learning from their past mistakes. For now, I'll stick with my PC, Wii and DS:Lite, but kudos to Microsoft. It's nice to see a company plan a steady flow of games. I just wish that Nintendo would get its butt in gear and release some decent single player Wii games.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by blackmonday ( 607916 )
      I've never been a huge Microsoft fan, but the Xbox 360 is a home-run. Great online integration, great controllers, connect360 on the mac and I get my iTunes library streaming through! Plus direct iPod support, I can just plug it in to the USB port and play my MP3s. Good stuff. I wish everything MS made was as good as the Xbox!
      • by ad0gg ( 594412 )
        This generation of consoles have been really great for consumers. 360 is huge improvement over the regular xbox. I love the new controllers and the dashboard. Wii even though not a big hardware change over the gamecube, has a lot better functionality and innovative controllers. Not to mention warioware is one of the best party games since mario party on the N64. Don't know anything about ps3 since i don't own one.
      • The x360 is a good product for the consummer and sells reasonnably well (10M+ so far if you can trust but it's a financial pit for MS.

        So far, their gaming division has only had 1 or 2 positive quarters in its history. Sure, the product is fine and the consummer enjoy it, but the only reason they can sell it is because of windows and office. They are losing money on the hardware (R&D cost not ofset and even bill of material pretty much at cost) and not selling enough software to make up
        • Microsoft could "win" the console war simply through long term attrition. As you pointed out, Microsoft only redeeming quality is that 'they stole market share from Sony and hurt it too.' R&D costs for the Xbox 360? PENNIES! Just imagine how much was spent on Vista alone. Manufacturing costs? The Xbox was obviously a loss in that sector but for the 360, they more or less have it at break-even at this point (1 year to improve manufacturing techniques, no price drop, having "core" and "premium" models). C
  • Let me just say: Thank Fuck for that. Though, I dunno if it matters too much. After the pleasure of NWN1 on Linux and Mac, they seem pretty focused on windows only stuff now. And indeed the title they're plugging the most at the moment is an XBox only affair. :-/
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Lobo42 ( 723131 )
      If past experience shows us anything, it's that Bioware's "Xbox only" titles are in fact, not Xbox-only. Mass Effect, like Jade Empire and KOTOR before it, will almost assuredly be ported to the PC eventually. (Give it a year or two.)

      Plus, Bioware still has Dragon Age in development for PC, as well as some other projects. Fear not.

      Though it does seem that Mac/Linux support is probably out of the question...
      • by bad_fx ( 493443 )
        True that, I'm thoroughly enjoying Jade Empire and sincerely hope Mass Effect is not an Xbox only title forever. But Jade Empire took pretty much a full 2 years to get to the PC. (KOTOR was only 6 months or so IIRC.) At that rate Mass Effect will probably be something like 3 years. :p
        • by Lobo42 ( 723131 )
          KOTOR was less than a single month, I believe, because it was announced as a PC/Xbox title - not an exclusive. Jade Empire took longer because it was intended as an exclusive from the beginning. (At least, as a "timed exclusive.") So my guess would be Mass Effect shouldn't take too much longer than Jade Empire to see a PC release. Plus, as I said, there are more PC projects from Bioware coming...soon. ;)
    • I'm also pleased to hear that Bioware will remain independent, even if they do end up just releasing on one console. I wonder if they're going Xbox only due to its (supposedly) similarity to programming for Windows, with fewer "targets" to hit regarding compatibility & support.

      I also wonder if games like Jade Empire ended up making far more money than they estimated it would if it was released just for Windows (as a single player RPG wouldn't go anywhere on PC), and they figured to go where the money i
  • My predictions:
    • Xbox 360 bundle with Halo 3 in December...
    • With $50 cut in price
    • 4 player co-op
    • We see Master Chief's face []

    Actually even just one of those coming true would be pretty sweet. Except for maybe the last...

    • by Necroman ( 61604 )
      Remember boys and girls, don't direct link images to sites that don't allow it.
    • For some reason i wasnt logged in and operas autofill changed my subject.
    • I heard june, but it may be later, possibly coinsciding with the Halo 3 release, but look for a $25-75 drop on both the core and premium, as well as the release of a third version for $475 ($25 less than the now on hold 20gb PS3) with the HD-DVD drive built in as well as an HDMI out. It will also include a larger hard drive (estimates range from 60-120GB)and possibly have the wireless adapter built in. Basically a big fuck you to sony.

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost