Fing brilliant move if you ask me. Have your standard bigass press conference and party at E3, let Sony try to jump you by having theirs earlier in the day. Then pull out the deal you’ve had going all along: a special global TV program the week before.
It also takes advantage of Microsoft’s primary strength this time around: they kept it all under wraps until they’ve got a lot of stuff to show. Instead of the typical unveiling that involves a list of specs and a non-game tech demo that is barely interactive (if at all), they’ve got games in development for many months. And you really need that to do something like a half hour or hour TV special that doesn’t just piss everyone off.
Now, the show itself might suck. Who knows. It’s produced by MTV, which doesn’t bode well. But hey, that thing they did on the development of Crimson Skies and stuff awhile back was surprisingly decent.
Was it? I could have sworn MTV, but now you got me thinking it was DC.
Probably so, given the relative quality. So um… nevermind. It’s MTV, it’s gonna blow. But it’ll still show the general public some next-gen games and everyone will ooh and aah and get hyped up about Xbox 360.
This is Microsoft we’re talking about. They probably have enough money to back higher production values for the launch of their console. It’s more of a 30 minute advertisement than any actual sort of show (at least I think).
Anyways, I’m just hoping it’ll be good. But I do have my doubts.
Since Sony is likely to announce PS3 in Japan and not at E3 thanks to angering Japanese folks by announcing PSP here, it’s very possible you’ll see a full blown PS3 unveiling before May 12.
That’s if Sony considers Microsoft real competition for next gen. Sony are still so far ahead it’s not even funny. Any whispering of PS3 will certainly make more than a few people keep their money in their pocket this Christmas. That and the fact a lot of people are simply running out of money for this stuff. Microsoft is killing the original box far too soon IMO and with backwards compatibility tied to an add-on or not there at all, they could really end up with a huge debacle on their hands this fall.
I’ve been talking to retailers I know and they’re not very happy with a new Xbox coming so soon, especially since the first one is doing well right now and people are still buying games in very good numbers.
Microsoft is prematurely ending this console generation for themselves and anyone who watched Sega do similar things knows it’s very risky. Microsoft obviously has more money but money doesn’t = sales.
Five years isn’t realy that premature. Hell, it’s been longer if you count the Dreamcast as the start of the current generation.
Dave, didn’t you say you were going to never again post in these types of forum topics? I’m not saying you’re unwelcome, just curious if you gave up on that?
I don’t think Sony is that far “ahead”… unless you mean they have a much bigger global isntalled base, which is of course true. And is also no indication that they will continue to in the next generation, as we have witnessed several times already.
Sales of the next generation are going to come down to buzz (and nebulous things that feed into that like “momentum”), the hardware design (ie… is it internationally friendly), marketing (traditional and goofy stuff like ourcolony.net), and quality/quantity of games. Microsoft seems to be doing quite well on all fronts, so far. As they reveal more, we’ll se how it goes.
Um… it’s four years Jason. Xbox shipped in November of 2001. This will only be its fourth anniversary THIS November. It’s not even four years as of right now!
I post because some folks share my opinion on these topics even if they don’t post that publically. I’ve been encouraged before NOT to stop posting because I don’t just follow the forum line.
Worldwide, Sony has the most mind and marketshare in console gaming. They have maintained it from one generation to the next unlike anyone before them. I would not bet against them at all in the next gen.
I think you put too much faith in “buzz” and “marketing” and even game quality. Sony are still the “in” console to own and the one that is ubiquitous among gamers and non-gamers alike. That won’t change unless they somehow screw up, which I just don’t see happening.
People are not ready for next generation consoles yet, especially those that bought a current gen console by the millions in the last year and will continue to do so (or wish they could but can’t thanks to constrained supply) through 2005 and into 2006. The current gen is BARELY affordable to many people now at $200 including a game and second controller. We haven’t even hit the truly mass market $99.99 price with all current gen systems.
That may be true, but I agree with Jason’s initial point that it’s a very smart move on Microsoft’s part to do an unveiling of this type. Obviously, E3 caters to the industry, the press, and the hardcore. Such an assault on the more casual PS2-Legions of which you speak–those who are much more likely to watch MTV, than show up in L.A. on May 18–could make a major difference on how the console is received later in the year.
But these people are not normally targeted at launch anyway, right? Those who would wait for the mass market price are generally those who don’t need the latest and greatest and don’t care about the “cool” factor. That doesn’t seem to be who MS is going after with this campaign.
I agree this is a smart move on MS’s part but does it really matter?
Sony isn’t launching until a year after MS. Its a forgone conclusion that MS will have tons of launch games fairly far along to show off, demo units on the floor, etc while Sony willl likely still be in the tech demo stage. I fully expect MS to “win” E3 just on that basis. The buzz will likely be heavily oriented to MS from E3 until at least the PS3 launch in Japan.
Of course next E3, Sony will have a platform that may have already be on the market in Japan (or close to) and could potentially 1-Up MS on the technology and potentially games. That will actually be close to real race.
And I’m not convinced that the majority of Xbox 2’s launch lineup is really going to show off what the platform can do. Most of the rumors have EA’s and Ubi’s annual round of releases getting a next-gen version along with versions for all three current consoles, the PSP, DS, etc. Will the Xbox 2 versions of these be entirely seperate games built to take advantage of the platform or will they just be the same engines with boosts to framerate, polygons, and texture detail? Undeniably impressive but not close to what a system with a game built around for it is capable of. I expect that we won’t see true next-gen versions of these titles until PS3 hardware is more readily available. I’m sure the MS first part stuff should be much more of a boost visually though.
MS might as well launch now, there’s no way they can match the inevitable $99 price point that the PS2 will be hitting very soon now. Xbox 360 is as much about making a platform that won’t be a money sink as much as it is to push the envelope for system power.
Or restated: no free hard drive this time, buddy. MS lost out on mem-card revenue AND locked themselves into a hardware design that just won’t scale down to the $99 price point. By the time the PSOne came out, CD drives were cheap and the chipset was cheap and shrinkable (didn’t I hear somewhere that the PSOne chip was actually used as part of the PS2 motherboard?). Meanwhile, hard drive electronics/casings are not scaling down, their business model is to expand capacity. There’s no way in hell that Intel and especially Nvidia are going to allow their chips to be integrated into a VLSI chip to shrink the Xbox form factor. MS won’t make that mistake again.
If MS and Sony are smart, they will allow us to save stuff over a network to a partition on our PC’s. But they won’t.
Maybe not during gameplay but the PSP already lets you back up your game saves onto your hard-drive. If PS3 also uses the Memory Stick Duo for saves then it should be able to be backed-up to the harddrive to.
My Xbox HD is full of various league and team saves from assorted Madden, ESPN Baseball, NCAA Football, NCAA Hoops, and NHL Hockey Leagues. Those files are huge, and unless things have changed dramatically, one leagues save will generally push most memory cards right to their limit.
That’s why I love the storage capacity of the Xbox HD.
What if Microsoft really is losing as much on the current gen XBoxes as people posit? Mightn’t they be able to release Next Box at a price point very near the current gen? How mad would retailers stay if MS actually threw out a next gen box for Christmas at a $50 or so premium, with the game backup to draw people into the stores?
(Will it happen? Who knows. I’m still holding out for the miraculous “And if you add in a USB hard drive, you can have backwards compatibility with all your old XBox games too, personally.” But if the reason really is because MS takes a beating on last gen’s hardware due to stupid licensing/outsourcing of parts, and they’ve licked that problem, there might be the possibility for some truly funky next-gen shenanigans this time.)
I realize you’re not nessecarily defending the hassle and added expense with memory cards, but boy does that sentence irk me. Gouging consumers for a always-too-small propriety storage format that can’t be backed up to PC is great for shareholders, absolutely awful for gamers. After dismissing the value of HD myself, after a week or so with the Xbox, I became a huge believer in it. Were I to be a one console gamer next gen, the one with a HD would get my money.
Sports games alone make the answer to that question obvious. Add in the fact that I never have to rack my brain trying to remember if my Halo save is on the gray card or the black one, and even if the HD didn’t get used to it’s full potential, it still performed remarkably well.
Hard drive or not, however, I’d still like a way to backup my saves to PC.
Sure, the Xbox has been out for 4 years (well, as you said, 4 this fall). But you didn’t say they’re replacing the Xbox too quickly. You said they’re “prematurely ending this console generation” The current generation started with the Dreamcast in on Nov 27 1998 (Japanese release). That’s over six years ago, and will be closer to seven years when the Xbox 360 launches.
If you don’t want to count the Dreamcast because it died and was discontinued, you can say this generation began on March 4, 2000 with the launch of the PS2 in Japan. If that’s the case, this generation is five years old, and will be more than 5 and a half when the Xbox 360 launches.
So you can say that the Xbox is launching “early” because it’s only 4 years after its debut, but everyone has already acknowledged over and over that the company arrived late to the game in this generation. What, are they supposed to wait until a year and a half after the next Playstation launches, just so they don’t “start this generation early” by coming out with a system after having their previous on the shelves for a shorter span of time?
It’s time for the next generation. The hardware is there, the software will be there, and it will be a true generational leap.
By your logic (Sony will win unless they screw up because they’re the “in” thing), nobody else should even try to make a console system. Not until Sony screws up, right? I mean, Sony is automatically going to win, right? I say bullshit. The Xbox has been selling awesome lately in US and Europe - it’s every bit as much the “in” system to own now as the PS2 is (not in Japan of course). And Microsoft is certainly capable of building enough enthusiasm around the Xbox 360 that it will be the “in” thing to get this Christmas, for casual and hardcore alike.
I don’t think it’s the design that makes the cost of the Xbox hard to scale. It’s more the economics of how they get the parts to make them. They buy chips from nVidia and IBM, and build the boxes. The Nintendo model (which Sony presumably uses) is to own the chip design and have someone else fab it, or to buy chips at at extremely reduced rate but give the chip makers a cut of the royalties on the back end. This is the tack Microsoft is taking this next time around - the up-front costs will be greatly reduced, with all the parts suppliers seeing a taste of the eventual software success (or software and services, I should say).
Having said that, a hard drive definitely adds cost, and makes it harder to crank out more units faster. By seperating out the HDD, they can keep costs lower (or take less of a loss on hardware), drive costs down more agressively, and more easily manufacture vast numbers of units at the beginning when it’s hard to scale up production.