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Next Gen Console Commentary 55

Today has seen a bit of commentary on each of the three next-gen consoles, all relatively positive. The PlayStation 3 has seen users for the PSN community crack the 1.3 million mark, according to Next Generation. If you enjoy the Wii's Virtual Console feature, Chris Kohler has you set up today with a rundown on every VC title rumored or released to date. Nintendo's consoles are selling pretty well, too. Microsoft has had something of a mixed day. On the one hand gamers can look forward to Beautiful Katamri coming to XBLA in the states. On the other, an investment adviser has called Microsoft's entire gaming business a 'disastrous endeavor'.
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Next Gen Console Commentary

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  • I guess I'm probably the only nerd out there holding out to see which console (or consoles) ends up with the continuing Final Fantasy lineup... or am I?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by networkBoy ( 774728 )

      Though I'm holding out for Halo3 (and playing it at least a couple times one someone else's dime).
    • The next FF installment will actually be a series of 6+ games. The spinoffs will be on a number of consoles, but the main game will be PS3 exclusive.
      • by DarkJC ( 810888 )
        Yeah, they tend to do "universes" of games now. I believe the one coming up is the Fabula Nova Chrysalis(sp?) series, and so far yeah, the main game is PS3 exclusive with other games moving to other platforms (like FFagito13 for mobile phones)
        • by 7Prime ( 871679 )
          Yes, except that the exclusivity is completely up for grabs. The only thing we know is that FF13 will be released for the PS3... whether its exclusive or not is not known anymore. CEO of SCE France has indicated that there is trouble in this area. It should be noted that he was only talking about the "Final Fantasy XIII" game, in particular, not Versus XIII or the rest of the series. Currently FFvXIII is still slated to be a PS3 exclusive, agito is for cellphones, and Square has strongly hinted that there w
          • Well, if one considers that the 360 is a total failure in Japan, where RPG's are a lot more popular, it may not be so.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Square-Enix will either port the main FF13 to the Wii or simply say that the PS3 FF13 has no greater significance than the others and cut some of its funding. Japanese PS3 sales are abysmal (although not quite as bad as the Xbox 360) and releasing something that costs that much to develop on just the PS3 would be suicide. We've already seen that Square-Enix is moving Dragon Quest to the DS since DS titles are dominating the Japanese charts and total DS hardware sales are expected to pass PS2 sales in Japan.
        • by 7Prime ( 871679 )
          Your guess is probably just as good as anyone elses. Mine goes something like this:

          Square has pulled the exclusivity for FF13 (proper) and will port it to 360, Wii, and PC (this is very ecconomical for an RPG developer, since RPG developement is about 95% in design, which will be identical across the board). The game will be held back until all four versions are complete, and quite possibly Versus 13, 13 Agito, and maybe one of the other ones will come out first, as teasers.

          Some of this will be announced in
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Pluvius ( 734915 )
            Anyone who seriously thinks that FF13 will be ported to the Wii is high. Since FF7, top-shelf graphical quality has been a hallmark of the series, and the Wii simply can't handle that. I'm pretty sure Square is releasing a spinoff on the Wii, but that's all that system's going to get.

            As for the XBox 360, that's a bit more likely, but still doubtful because of that system's horrendous performance in Japan. Simply porting FF13 to the 360 would not be that beneficial to Square in the West either, since most
            • by 7Prime ( 871679 )
              Well, what do you suggest then? Since Sony has already let on that S-E is seriously considering pulling its exclusivity. This is not anyone's imagination or dream, this is real. It doesn't mean it IS going to happen, but that there's a real, and documented possibility of it happening.

              So what's it going to be? 360, Wii, or PC?

              You're wrong about the graphics, btw. FF12 was just released on the PS2, a system with about 1/5 of the graphical power of the Wii, and it did really well. FF7 had terrible graphics for
              • by Pluvius ( 734915 )
                Since Sony has already let on that S-E is seriously considering pulling its exclusivity.

                Sony hasn't let on anything; that's just wishful interpretation by the anti-Sony zealots. All Sony said is that it hadn't secured exclusivity yet, which doesn't mean anything in and of itself. If there were any real fire in this, you'd expect Square to say something.

                FF12 was just released on the PS2, a system with about 1/5 of the graphical power of the Wii, and it did really well.

                FF12's situation has nothing to do wit
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by 7Prime ( 871679 )
                  I'll still stand by the fact that FF12 had pretty crappy graphics. I'd take Tales of Symphonia, a cellshaded, mid-gen GameCube title, over FF12 any day in terms of cleanliness and polish. There's a difference between "great graphics" and "polished graphics", and FF12s is less than polished. When objects suddenly pop into view at about 50ft, and textures suddenly shift resolution intermitantly, you know you've got an ugly game... FF12 may have been a great game, but it was ugly as sin. My problem with the PS
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by thanatos_x ( 1086171 )
      I believe its been stated that FF XIII isn't going to be PS3 exclusive. The issue is at least open to debate, as mentioned here s.html?sid=6167864&om_act=convert&om_clk=mostpop&t ag=mostpop;title;1/ []
    • No, you're not.
    • And I just read that it will be both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
    • 1.3 million? Thats nothing compared to the number of WoW players... and thats just one PC game.
  • by richdun ( 672214 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:53PM (#18817825)

    On the other, an investment adviser has called Microsoft's entire gaming business a 'disastrous endeavor'.

    Most investment advisors (the ones with an "o", not the ones with an "e") are mad at Microsoft because they have little to no debt, a ton of cash, and a healthy but not spectacular dividend. Yet they remain a viable company, making money and what-not. It kills me how little room for innovation is allowed in what most financial people use to define a "success." Whether the gaming division has made money to date or not, and I'm no Microsoft fan, you have to admit that branching out into something other than purely software and gaining a market-leading position is a Good Thing in the long-term for the shareholders (like myself).

    • by Maxwell ( 13985 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @07:42PM (#18819005) Homepage
      Microsoft making game hardware is like Ford making refrigerators. Branching out is one thing, straying so far from your core competencies (i.e. what you are good at) in an industry plagued with losses is not smart for shareholders, yourself included. Microsoft is sitting on piles of your money, and they keep throwing it away on game consoles with no end in site. Sony lost $1B so far on the PS3. Microsoft loses that every year, year after year (approaching six years now)! I don't own any shares, but if I did I would want my share of Microsoft's profits in a dividend, not thrown away on a lost cause like Xbox. The cries to bail out will only get stronger as PS3 creeps up on Xbox360 in global sales...

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)


        core competencies
        ...never mind
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Actually, during their last quarter, the Xbox 360 by itself was profitable. The problem is that the 360's numbers are mixed in with their other "entertainment" projects like the Zune and whatever tablet internet appliance thingy they are putting on the market any particular year. Had the Zune not launched- and launching a whole new product line usually cost at least $500 million in advertising and startup costs- their entertainment division would have shown a profit. As it was, they showed a much smaller
      • I could go on about how Microsoft isn't *really* making gaming hardware or how they've always made hardware (mice and keyboards), but that would miss the real point completely. The point is simply that:

        XBox fits perfectly into Microsofts CORE business strategy: Everything should run Windows.

        For consoles, this requires owning the ecosystem; having your own console. It's as simple as that.

        Microsoft wants ATMs to run Windows (just as they want EVERYTHING to run Windows) and if that required actually ma

        • I hate to mention this, but the Xbox isn't Microsoft's first foray into gaming. The Dreamcast ran Windows CE without a problem and if it had a DVD player in it, it might still be around today.
        • The elevators in my office building run Windows 95. How do I know? You walk into the Elevator and the screen has a giant BSOD on it. Then they reboot with the Win 95 logo showing up. However, everytime it shakes a little bit as it descends, I can't help but wonder whether it's Microsoft or the elevator that's causing it....
      • by OK PC ( 857190 )
        I'm sorry but that analogy is just stupid. Microsoft had far more experience with gaming than Sony ever did when they started out. Microsoft had developed their own gaming API, made their own peripherals and had vast experience with the platform the XBox was based on (namely a PC). Sony on the other hand made an unfinished CD drive for the SNES. People don't question Sony's decision to enter the video game market do they?
        • People don't question Sony's decision to enter the video game market do they?

          Of course they don't - Sony dominated the market for two generations. They didn't need to question Sony's decision. Microsoft got obliterated by a late start last generation and this generation they're only ahead because 1) they underpriced their main competitor, who only are losing due to massive PR fuckups and 2) they released earlier than anyone else. But I think there isn't a person who doubts that the Wii will catch Microso
          • But I think there isn't a person who doubts that the Wii will catch Microsoft by year's end. Worldwide? That'll probably happen, but I do have doubts (if 360 sold exactly like last year, which it has so far, it'll hit 17 million; the Wii's currently selling a million a month, which would only put them at 15 million). In North America? No chance in hell. (The Wii would need to outsell the 360 by an average of 400,000 units per month for the rest of the year, whereas it has yet to beat the 360 by more tha
    • Just because one makes tons of money in one sector doesn't mean you have a viable business model in the other. Sony making money off of TVs doesen't excuse the PS3 problems, for example. Even IBM makes tons of money but they still lost relevance (which appears what Microsoft is losing).

      Also, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft can succeed in a market defined by consumer choice. Most people do not choose Windows; they are tethered into a user end agreement for buying any PC.

      Anyone who believes losing bil
  • Beautiful Katamari (Score:2, Informative)

    by xantho ( 14741 )
    It's going to be a regular game with expansion content available for download on Xbox Live (presumably in exchange for money). It's not going to be a Live Arcade game in its entirety.
  • Katamari on XBLA? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Osty ( 16825 )

    Where in the article did it say anything about Katamari shipping on XBLA rather than as a retail game? Given the importance of the funky J-pop music to the Katamari titles, it would seem disastrous to me to ship it in a state where it can only be as large as 250MB.

    The article did speculate that online multiplayer would be an additional future download, but that doesn't have anything to do with XBLA. The speculation is written in a confusing way as to imply that users would have to pay for that download,

    • by Wordplay ( 54438 )
      I don't think any of the releases have suggested online multiplayer would be a downloadable content item. I think the article was just trollishly and confusingly referring to the Xbox Live fee.
  • All of these consoles have been out for months now...when do they cease being "next gen"?
  • by Mattsson ( 105422 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:39PM (#18818337) Journal
    Wouldn't that be the Playstation 4, Xbox 720 and Nintendo Whoop? (or whatever the next generation consoles will be called)
    PS3, XB360 and Wii are now current generation consoles, with PS2, XB and GC being last generation.

    • by PhoenixOne ( 674466 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @07:02PM (#18818619)

      With normal technology, next means next. But in the hype-fueled world of computer games, you are living in tomorrow today!

      The PS3 is next generation, the PS2 is the current generation (you can tell by the sales ;)), and the PS4 is the next-next generation.

      I've been living in the game industry so long that I eat my lunch at 8am, dinner is at noon, and I have tomorrow's breakfast at 7pm.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      No man, Sony learned the consequences of having a lame-numbered console (PS3) go up against a much higher number console (the 360), and Microsoft knows they need to keep upping the ante. So Next Generation consoles are gonna be the Playstation 4,000,000, the Microsoft Xbox (int sum = 0; int i; for (i = 0; i = 1,000,000,000; i++)sum += x[i];), and the Nintendo Infinity+1.
  • Considering the amount of Americans who registered a 2nd account to get Gran Turismo HD which Sony ended up releasing worldwide...
  • I don't know if you noticed but the Xbox 360 has been out for well over a year now, and the PS3 and Wii are 6 months into their lifespan.

    I propose you stop calling them "Next Gen".
  • Of course.

    But forget that; didn't Namco say that We Love Katamari was going to be the last game in the series?

  • Cowboy Niil

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.