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Pointon's & Duncan's big debate....

Discussion in 'General Video Gaming Chat' started by pointon, Nov 29, 2001.

  1. pointon

    pointon
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    .... unfortunately isn't a debate.

    Believe it or not Duncan, I agree with (almost) every point you've made. Nintendo is games-God. People aren't going to find this out because they're too shallow to look past the outside appearances of Nintendo games. That is criminal.

    But give Microsoft and the XBox chance to prove itself before writing them off. It's not looking too good so far. I'd say it was 'strike one' for the machine's launch, due to such a ridiculous price and lack of almost any decent games. They have two more swings.

    I don't have favourites. I want all to succeed and reach their full potential.
     
  2. museumsteve

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  3. Duncan

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    Steve Ive played on an XBox- my best mate has got one- my arguement is that Xbox is overhyped. Simple as that- its is certainly not the most powerful console there is, which is my beef. Many people see it as being all powerful but compared to your average PC its very underpowered, and compared to the GameCube that has been specifically designed to run the type of games prevelant on consoles and is more than a match for XBox- 2 minutes with Rogue Squadron or Wave Race will show you that.

    True Halo is a very good game, but after spending about 5 hours playing it last weekend my want to play the game was spent. Im perplexed that Edge gave it ten out of ten, as the AI is no more impressive than Half Life or even Star Trek:Elite Force and the graphics are inferior to games I run on my PC using a supposedly inferior GeForce2 card- but this is possibly because we played it on a TV. But after getting through 4 chapters we never got the impression that Halo was anything other than a good FPS- its certainly not special in the way Deus Ex is or even Goldeneye- the latter winning out just because its just feels so right.

    I do apologise if I have misinterpreted Pointons arguements- but I do stick with my premise that Microsoft have been lazy and have basically stucky a PC compatible in a console box, because all of the XBoxs components can be bought off the shelf- even the memory is just standard DIMMS (whereas Nintendo realised quickly that if their storage medium was ultra fast then a smaller area of custom designed 10ns spash RAM would enable more effecient use of memory,and thus bring the price down). True loads of household gadgets can be now classed as computers, as are consoles but the difference is that GameCube, Dreamcast and PS2's components can not be found anywhere else because they have only been designed for one specific task- games. Xbox is not- its a 32 bit, 6 year old monolith that so far has not produced the sums of its parts- probably because the Intel PC like architecture is incredibly ineffecient when compared to similar AMD and IBM Power PC (which the GC uses a unique varient of)- this shows a very conservative and unimaginative attitude from Microsoft, which in the light of Nintendo and Segas innovations pales in comparison.

    Now all of this we would forgive if the games were superb, but they are not, the old arguement that you cant expect great games on launch is rolled out- hmmm Nintendo managed to bring out one of the best games ever on day one of N64: Mario 64- so why cant other companies manage this?

    Maybe Im wrong and Im missing something with Halo, it couldve been that FPS' are not suited to joypads, and the XBox one is absolutely joyless-Halo is expected on PC next year- so I will buy it and see whether more time with the game moves me more and I might be a little more impressed when I can run it at higher resolutions and without the frame rate suffering.

    Finally- as for being biased against Microsoft this is simply another excuse XBox devotees rollout when we criticise the console that on paper should be the best thing since sliced bread. Im an MCSE, I work on Windows NT, Windows 2000, Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000 servers daily, as well as being a Novell Certified Enginneer- but I prefer to work on Microsoft platforms because I enjoy it. I love Windows XP and hate Linux fans who havent used Linux in anger who slag of Windows- so please imagine how disappointed I have been with XBox- ever since the SNES and Megadrive Ive owned at one stage every major console since- Im ruing the sale of my PS2 after playing PES I can tell you!!!!- and odds on I will buy an Xbox if there is a game I must simply have, but Xbox doesnt distinguise itself from the competition, and if I can get most titles on PC then there is little point- and I know many people who feel this way.

    Maybe Ive just been spoilt but if a wonderful console with brilliant games such as Dreamcast can be shunned by the public- then you have to fear for a half hearted console design with games that are nothing special.

    There is room for 3 major consoles- but my heart wishes 3rd place was taken up by a console that delivered pure console gaming- Dreamcast, rather than Microsofts lazily built behometh.

    Lets also hope that Nintendo dont go the same way of Sega- a console market dominated by Sony and Microsoft is too dispressing to even imagine.
     
  4. museumsteve

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  5. rigman

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    My advice is to just wait for them to have been out a year and then buy them all
    Two reasons, one you dont pay the inflated launch price adn B there are lots of second hand extremely cheap games for sale.

    I have a playstation, Dreamcast, Gameboy colour, Nintendo 64.

    I have paid as low as a pound for games for the Nintendo 64 from a second hand shops old cardboard box collection. No box or instructions but they worked perfect and the three games original price's was in excess of £40 each. I got doom 64 for 5 pound with box and instructions. Great for a quick go and for peanuts. Okay not the latest thing but most people would agree there are some rubbish games out there that have excellent graphics and vice versa. Its the game play that counts, the urge for having just another go. Playstation games are the same, you can pay peanuts for secondhand games. You tend to pay a little more for Dreamcast but the quality of the games are excellent most of the time.

    I intend to get a playstation 2 in the new year after the price drops even further once the X-box and Gamecube comes out. Even at £199 its a good buy. Hey I have spent more on a good night out :D :D

    The downside in having a lot of consoles is the potential clutter but they only take 5 minutes to set up so what the heck.

    Food for thought
     
  6. Duncan

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    Absolute rubbish- Xbox only runs on a 32 bit Pentium CELERON processor. Numbers do not a console make and as Ive said before the technology behind XBox is dated (bar the 5.1 inclusion which is brilliant, but then again the DSP in GC handles DTS according to Factor 5)- this is compared to Gamecube that uses a faster processor, faster memory, a faster secondary storage device (how many Xbox games load in 5 seconds, uh none- so much for power, lol!!!!) and can render faster with FULL effects ON. Gamecube couldnt support progressive scan if this wasnt the case.

    But technical issues aside- as Ive already gone throught this in detail in another thread- its what you get on screen and nothing on XBox even Halo comes close to producing the Pyrotechnics seen in Rogue Leader and Wave Race. Halo doesnt come close, Quake III and UT are more graphically impressive.

    Rogue Leader does not suffer from ANY slowdown- on the Endor level the engine manages to chuck around HUUUUGE Star Destroyers, the Falcon, the full rebel fleet from ROTJ plus 50 plus Imperieal Tie Interceptors, Tie Bombers and normal ties. Does it slowdown one jot- does it ****!!!!!

    Steve please tell me which level you experienced it on.

    And yes Wave Races water effects and physics do put anything on XBox to shame- I look forward to seeing whether XBox can produce such impressive FX.

    Oh and finally have you seen that Star Wars Starfighter on Xbox- does it look (well ignore gameplay for once) as good as Rogue Leader II- I think not.

    All that supposed power and such average graphics in the games- these developers have had years to learn the PC platform (after all one of the plus points for developers was that if you knew PC programming XBox was easy), so even the excuse that its a new console is irrelevent, the graphics technology is nearly 2 and half years old!!!!!

    I am truly, truly disappointed in XBox- I love my PC and think the games are fantastic, but for Arcade gaming and sheer graphical trickery Xbox does not rule.

    Take this diatribe as from a very disappointed person- one who WAS looking forward to getting 2 new consoles, but has only found something special with one.
     
  7. Duncan

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    Sorry the rubbish bit was to Steve!

    Oh and Steve- why keep going on about people needing to forget that its made by MS?!

    Did you actually read my post- I LOVE MY PC, I LOVE WINDOWS, AGE OF EMPIRES IS BRILLIANT, I WORK WITH MICROSOFT PRODUCTS FOR A LIVING, I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST MICROSOFT!!!!

    Fact is XBox is made from PC components- is it not? Therefore it is a PC in a box- only difference is the OS. Which is a shame as Windows CE or suchlike would have been nice to manage the HD, rather than treat it like an oversize memory card.

    Oh one thing- why does XBox need memory cards if its got a HD?
     
  8. annefromuk

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    So you can take you saves to your friends house, but if you dont wan't to there is no need to buy the memory card, as the HDD is used as default.

    I don't know where you get your info from, but that is wrong, The CPU that powers the Xbox is a Coppermine based Pentium III with 128KB L2 cache. While this would make many think that the processor is indeed a Celeron, one of the key performance factors of the Pentium III that is lost in the Celeron core was left intact for this core.

    The Xbox has 733Mhz and the Gamecube 485 MHz, so I would suggest you go and retake Maths lessons.

    Aslo The Xbox has a 8GB DVD and the Gamecube 1.5GB DVD, so it's no wonder the GC could be faster as it has less to load (I have not seen transfer comparisons)

    BTW: All Consoles have an operating system, the Dreamcast even used MS Windows CE, the Xbox uses a custom version of Win 2000, and uses a custome Kernal so there is no DLL files to load.

    Anne
     
  9. Duncan

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    "The Xbox has 733Mhz and the Gamecube 485 MHz, so I would suggest you go and retake Maths lessons. "

    Anne you dont know much about processor do you? Even if the 733 PIII isnt a Celeron (I will need to check this, as Im happy to be corrected!)- anyone knows that RISC and more specifically 128 bit IBM Power PC (which the Gekko incidentally IS) processors FAR outperform 32 bit Intel processors running at faster speeds. Same goes for AMD processors the difference being that the Power PC ones (as also seen in Apple Mac G4s) outperform Intel by a factor of nearly 4-6 depending on application, whereas AMD "only" outperform Intel by about a third.

    Therefore a 500mhz Power PC processor is equivilent to an 2Ghz P4 and then some because of the 128bit nature of the system.

    I hope this makes sense!

    Secondly:

    "Aslo The Xbox has a 8GB DVD and the Gamecube 1.5GB DVD, so it's no wonder the GC could be faster as it has less to load (I have not seen transfer comparisons) "

    For a start DVDs hold 4.5 gb per side, per layer- thats 9gb a side and 18gb a disc.

    Also no X-Box games currently come on DVD, as do PS2 games- they still come on CD. Console games traditionally are never huge, unless they are flabbed out by movies ala PSone- GC doesnt need to do this as Rogue Leader proves that the game engines alone can produce cut scenes that rival the scenes actually in the films- although I would imagine doing it with just ships is quite easy.

    Finally the DVD in Xbox is only 4x (8megabits/s) whereas the GameCubes propreitry system is 8xRegardless (16mb/s), Source:IGN.com. Proved by what was on my mates XBox games take around 30 seconds on average to hit the main menu- compared to around 5 seconds on GC. As with most things we have found with both consoles the real world performance of the units does not reflect some of the numbers being handies around- exhibited by the near 6 times speed difference.

    I know Im lucky to own one and have spent 10 hours plus on the other- but you guys should take time to experience both before arguing from a purely theoretical perspective.

    As Ive stated before I have worked in IT for 9 years now in many capacities (I am now a NT and Novell Server analyst)- have specced up and built systems costing hundreds of thousands- so believe me when I say that Intel processors are some of the worst performing on the market, so poor that we choose to run our NT servers on Alpha and RISCos hardware platforms.

    I'll take a gander on some Xbox sites to see about the Coppermine- as I know that since the initial Celeron outcry over poor specification that the Celeron spec was upgraded to include a L2 cache.

    So far all Ive seen on the web inc the Official Xbox site is 733 Pentium III- which could be either. Id love to know your source, mine was a BB on IGN.com- and Ive yet to see any statement other than its a 733 PIII- which could even mean a Xeon?!!!! Any links, Anne?

    Oh one other thing I cant understand- if developers have been developing (sic) for PC like architectures for years and the hardware is so wonderful- why do GameCube games look far more advanced graphically?
     
  10. lechacal

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    Anne, if you think that CPU clock frequency is the be-all and end-all when it comes to the performance of the machine as a whole then you are misinformed. In terms of bang for buck the GC architecture is second to none as a games platform (note the caveat - but this is about games hardware, right?). Not to mention it absolutely outperforms the XBox under realistic conditions.

    Why do you think the capacity of the storage media will influence load time in games?? If you think that either the XBox or the GC is pulling 1.5 Gb (never mind 8!) off the disc in 5 seconds then someone's been telling you porkies. (For the record though the XBox ought to be quicker mid-game cause it should be caching to its HD). To be honest I can't see the difference in disk size mattering a toss. Remember that for years we've been seeing CD-ROM games that offer nothing in terms of gameplay over what you would find on a couple of floppies - just loads of cut-scenes and flannel. And thats 640 megs. If you can't fit a decent game in 1.5 gigs you should just go home.

    Both consoles look impressive and both have games that I'm dying to play, but I don't for one minute believe that the XBox is superior, just because people can spout tech-specs with bigger numbers in them without actually knowing enough to interpret what they mean.

    PS I think I'm right in saying that the XBox uses a custom version of XP.
     
  11. Duncan

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    Oops just read the bit about the OS at the bottom of Annes post- now doesnt the ammended version of Win 2000 make the XBox sound even more like a PC in a box? I am quite aware that Dreamcast uses Win CE, but no consoles use full blown OS' which was my point.

    Loading without dll's is a red herring- as Xbox games carry their own library files which are installed when needed, this may include updates versions of DirectX- what does dll stand for? dynamic link libary?

    I hope these are not permanently loaded- or we could be in for some fun, has Xbox got a green screen of death???????

    The above sounds suspiciously like many PC installs- I hope we dont see game patches on Xbox- although Microsoft have promised this wouldnt happen but can they stop developers doing this?
     
  12. Duncan

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    Lech- that makes sense about XP- its designed to give gamers the security and stability of NT/2000 and contains Direct X 9.0a within the NTKernel. Strip a lot of the crap out such as Dynamic disk support etc and you could get it down to a nice size, Microsoft expressed that they thought it could be as small as 500k.

    Oh and Anne I nearly forgot- the NT Kernel IS A DLL itself!!! Its called Kernel32.dll.

    On the subject of the HD- as you have the option of installing parts of the game to disk and saving stuff, what happens when the disk gets fragmented?! Could be fun!!!! Definitely something to consider, unless the block management system rearranges files into order?
     
  13. lechacal

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    I think that there aren't any files as such, just the block structure, so defragging shouldn't be an issue. Of course developers can make their own file structure within a block (I think there are standard libraries that take care of this), but as far as the gamer is concerned it just looks like a huuuuuuuge memnory card with some blocks reserved for game data.


    Question (maybe for another thread): Using HDs in conjunction with memory cards, is an XBox virus a theoretical possibility?
     
  14. Duncan

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    Definitely! In theory you could on any console, as you can get readers for PSone and PS2 mem cards for PCs- but when you switch most consoles off they have volatile secondary storage but on Xbox you might have a problem.

    I never thought of this- crikey- and with the penchant for aiming viruses at Microsoft products like Outlook Xbox would be perfect.

    Id reckon that McAfee and Norton probably have anti-virus products in the pipeline already. If they havent Ive gotta learn to program!!!!

    Back to fragmentation- Im sure that this would affect performance, as a normal disk is split into blocks but it transparent to the user. Plus on hard disk that have large block sizes there is a lot of wastage on old operating systems- the XBox HD is split into 4000 blocks (if I remember right)- can different games and data share blocks? Or will Xbox users be left with a lot of wastage ala Netware?!
     
  15. lechacal

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    I think a 'block' is an indivisible unit permanently mapped to a given physical area of the drive - but I could be wrong. Definitely not what you'd normally think of as disk blocks though.

    On the virus subject, I think it might be theortically possible but the dev kits aren't exactly readily available. They are v expensive and almost exclusively in the hands of responsible developers (who are probably using them round the clock to make money right now!). It's possbile that could change though, and MS haven't got the greatest rep for security - and it will be tricky to apply service packs to an XBox!
     
  16. Duncan

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    Service Pack X anyone?!

    One thing makes me laugh- it was on an Xbox v Gamecube forum and this XB owner was going on about how the Xbox wont need patches, but game manufacturers were going to provide updates to games.

    So er thats a patch then? He got slaughtered.

    I just hope the PC games market isnt destroyed by XBox ports- as Microsoft are pushing Xbox by making games Xbox first exclusives (that doesnt actually mean they wont appear on other consoles btw). Does that mean all of us with Ghz pcs have to put up with poor lowest common denominator Xbox ports- hope not.

    Halo on PC will be the benchmark for that- as I expect it too at least look as good as Unreal 2.
     
  17. annefromuk

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    Microsoft have a strict QA procedure on the Xbox so that there is litte reason for bug fixes.
    But you live in cuckoo land if you think any console is imune from bugs, I have seen PS2 and N64 games with errors in (also can anyone remember the TombRaider bug on PS1 where if you did something in a certain order, it would make the game impossible to continue).

    Anyway the main reason for the updates is new characters and levels (Tecmo are desigining more characters for the Jap version, but are letting US users download them, good or what)

    Anne
     
  18. Duncan

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    Very true- but as a rule Console games tend to be bug free because they have to be- whereas as PC owners found with the advent of the Internet and Cover CD's that games designers get lazy because they can fix things later. The intention may not be there but will it creep in because they can release patches? Time will tell.


    Updates seem like a good thing, but why not put em in the game in the first place?

    After all weve been going on about the size of the media console owners have to play with nowadays- so why dont they use it?

    This smacks to me off rushed software- and its unfair for users who do not have Broadband (i dunno if Xbox has a modem planned). Or its a way of making people go online?

    Its the appeal of consoles- they are simple, you get everything in one box, the whole game- I would think Xbox owners without Internet connections to their Xbox will feel a little shortchanged from being excluded from having these features.

    Remember nobody gets anything for nothing with Microsoft- spent too long going through their licensing policies to know that!!!!
     
  19. lechacal

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    Now you're just trying to be funny. Aren't you? Say you are!
    If it's the same 'strict QA procedure' they apply to their 'industrial strength' operating systems then XBox owners will be in for an interesting time. And in any case security updates aren't the same as bugfixes. If they'd spotted all the holes in Outlook and the webserver they wouldn't have released them. They didn't spot them.
    You're right in saying that not very much is bug free, Microsoft or not, but Microsoft don't inspire confidence. Time will tell.

    Well, kind of...
    Better if they'd included them in the original game though. That way you wouldn't have to have a broadband connection to enjoy them, when you've payed the same as anyone else.
    I wouldn't mind betting that it won't be long before they start charging for extra levels/characters. And when that happens won't the developers be tempted to release half a game and then charge more for the rest later on? Bound to happen.
     
  20. lechacal

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    Wow!
    We really are two different people y'know.
     
  21. Duncan

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    LMFAO!!!!

    Ideas like Annes are why I fear Xbox- people with little or no IT knowledge are swallowing everything Microsoft are saying, which is scary as Xbox isnt even remotely the best of the three- even on terms of quality software, let alone hardware performance.

    All the Xbox talk seems to consist of neat little buzzword: Dolby 5.1, Broadband, 733mhz etc etc without any real meaning behind whether these benefit the user, are going to be unfulfilled promises (the lack of 5.1 support in current Xbox games is a good example) or are simply a marketing tool to make a poor console look good in the face of some SERIOUS competition- Nintendo are untouchable and Sonys marketing is where Microsoft want to be.

    The broadband stuff is interesting- how many of you guys actually have Broadband or pl;ay games online? What an antisocial pastime!!!! Consoles are for the living room where you play with your mates (thats why there are four console ports)- not for lonely sessions with people you cannot identify with.

    I say give Consoles back to the kids!!!! They are toys- fine if us adults want to play them- but lets not let manufacturers add bells and whistles that many of us wont ever use, thats why I believe Nintendo will get a sales kick- everything is in the box all you need is software and a tv.

    Its all well and good saying it hasnt got broadband or needs an adaptor for 5.1 sound but hey you dont get broadband internet access free with an xbox do you, and you dont get a free 5.1 sound system with it!

    Rather add these options WHEN you want em and pay for them- than pay for extras that 75% of Xbox owners will never use. This applies mainly to the UK- as obviously American owners have cheaper broadband and 5.1 is more adopted in the US.
     
  22. annefromuk

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    Why do you need IT experience to choose a console?

    I am using my gaming experience, I have been on a lot of game machines, some I cant even remember there name anymore.

    Acorn Electron, Atari 2600, Mega System, Mega Drive, Mega CD, Gameboy, Atari Lynx, Comodore 1200 and CD32, Saturn, Playstation, N64, Dreamcast (all of them were my brothers or friends but I played on them a lot).

    And I also kept upto date by watching Gamesmaster and Bad Influence (and a crap Sky One game programme, that I was even invited onto by the Production Company, but I declined to go)

    Anne
     
  23. Duncan

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    Anne if you used gaming experience you would wait before buying an Xbox. I will at some stage buy one when/if the software improves.

    But if you really want quality software now then either PS2 or Gamecube or even a cheap Dreamcast is the best option.

    Im happy to just talk about the games, but everyone who seems to like Xbox keeps chucking tech specs around willy nilly assuming that XBox is the be all and end all of console gaming.

    All Im doing is fighting fire with fire as they say!

    Id love to be convinced to buy another new toy- but from what I have seen (and I have played on Xbox remember?) the lineup is average to be kind- Halo is a good FPS that is it, its not the groundbreaking game we expected. Good yeah, brilliant no.

    Id recommend going to an import shop and having a play on both, technical considerations aside and ignoring that initial GameCube titles are more impressive so far- see what console has the games you want to play. Then buy that. But so far you havent exactly inundated us with a list of stunning games and why they are soooo good.

    Is it worth risking £300 plus on something you havent tried? You asked for opinions and from a gamer since my first rubber keyed speccy in 82 im happy as a pig in muck at the £650 odd ive spent on my GameCube. Whereas my mate who spent about the same on Xbox wants a Gamecube.

    BTW what kinda games do you like Anne?
     
  24. annefromuk

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    Also I forgot to mention that I have been going to ECTS since 1998, and only missed this year as Sony and Nintendo were not there.

    I have played a lot of games on diferent consoles, the only two I have not played on are Xbox and Gamecube

    I would like both, but can only afford one, so I will be buying an Xbox, the first time I have ever used my own money for a console :D

    Anne
     
  25. Duncan

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    What games do you aim to get first?
     
  26. annefromuk

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    I like all kinds of games.

    The games I like the most are the ones that challenge your mind.
    I also like multiplayer games.

    Games I recently played -

    *Dreamcast*
    Crazy Taxi, Tonyhawk, ChuChu Rocket

    *PC*
    Counterstrike, Age of Empires 2, Max Payne, Sims House Party, Rollercoaster Tycoon

    Games I want to buy -
    Stuntman (please release on Xbox, I have wanted a game like this since Disney's Stunt Island game on the Amiga), Project Gotham, DOA3 and Simpsons Road Rage.

    Anne
     
  27. pointon

    pointon
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,381
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    0
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    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Right behind you!!!
    Ratings:
    +3
    What did I start?

    XBox looks less and less inviting as a launch gets closer... the hype all seems to be revolving around the console specs, there's very little mention of games after 'Halo' and 'Project Gotham'. I'm not buying a console for just two games, or at that price. Like the PS2, I can see me having to wait at least a year before the machine becomes a worthwhile purchase.

    The Gamecube I always planned to buy on launch (perhaps before if I can pluck up the courage to buy an imported one). Sensible pricing, and some 'classic' games already out there.

    I wanted both, but only the latter seems worth it at this time.

    As for the XBox downloaded game updates... Nice idea in theory. In practice, bound to be another matter. It wouldn't work properly, would just cause more problems than it's worth, and probably demand silly sums of money or a subscription. It's a really 'PC' idea, unsimplifying and polluting the idea of a games console. And to think I was disgusted at the thought of a keyboard for a console! No thanks.

    Just give it games to play, and concentrate on making them good. That's all I want.
     
  28. museumsteve

    museumsteve
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
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    Location:
    Nth Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +1,070
  29. museumsteve

    museumsteve
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Nth Hampshire
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    +1,070
  30. lechacal

    lechacal
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2001
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    707
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    Ratings:
    +66
    Errr, most expensive? Most overrated? Most Microsoftest?

    I don't think you're going to get much fodder for your PS2 HDD. Whether add-on downloads for games are a good idea or not, the fact is the PS2 unit is an add-on. NO console add-on ever released has sold in significant numbers. And if it don't sell they won't develop for it (it's only available in Japan anywaye for chrissake!). That unit is going the same way as the Mega-CD and 32X. Guaranteed.
     

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