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The future of the Xbox 360 + HD-DVD

Discussion in 'Xbox Forums' started by Xbox360_Junkie, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. Xbox360_Junkie

    Xbox360_Junkie
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    Hiya people...

    I've just been doing some research into the future of the Xbox 360; I came across an article written by Rob Fahey on the Games Industry website (www.GamesIndustry.biz). The article is pretty intense and discusses the intention of Microsoft’s Chairman Bill Gates. Gates is said to have confirmed that the next generation console (Xbox 360) may evolve from its original specification.

    Here is the articles opening paragraph:

    "Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has confirmed that the company is thinking about future revisions of the Xbox 360 hardware already, and may incorporate a HD-DVD drive into the console at some point down the line".

    Oh, and for those of you who are interested, Rob Fahey also touches upon the Playstations 3's intention to incorporate the Blue Ray system into their product.

    The entire article can be found at the following website URL address:

    www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?section_name=dev&aid=9804

    Have Fun!

    Regards

    Jay :clap:
     
  2. CrispyXUK

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    I get the feeling you really like the 360 :)
     
  3. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    To be honest, whether the 360 gets a HD-DVD player added at a later date isn't really important to me personally. I've never bought a console for it's non games related functionality and I don't intend to start now.

    I also feel that the 2 HD formats will only ever become niche formats and feel that the mass market will stick with DVD until the time comes when films will be downloaded and/or streamed directly over the internet as opposed to bought on optical disc.

    I really think that MS are wise to sit on the fence with this one for now. They are not closing any doors at this time, as nobody knows for certain how things will pan out, but they are also not gambling in the way Sony are.

    Even if MS did release a new 360 model in a few years time with a built in HD-DVD I can't see myself selling my DVD based one to upgrade. I will simply wait and see how these formats pan out and then buy a stand alone player if one of them does turn out to replace DVD.
     
  4. AML

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    I have a feeling we may see the HD DVD version sooner than we expect. Since MS have already said that they will launch Halo 3 when the PS3 comes out, they may well launch the revised 360 at the same time to dent sony's plans to sell the PS3 as a Blu Ray player.

    Think about it, just as sony launches the PS3, MS do a double whammy by re-launching the 360 with HD DVD and Halo 3!!

    It would be like the 360 launch day all over again. (even though it hasnt even happened yet.)
     
  5. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    I guess that's possible but I feel that it will be too soon considering that MS are still discussing with Toshiba about implementing one. I really don't see HD-DVD or Blu Ray as a big deal as I can not see either format taking off in a mass market way. Who (apart from us on here) are going to start replacing their DVD collections (which is still a new format to the mass market) with HD discs? I feel that the same will happen to the film industry as has happened to the music industry. SACD & DVD-A are both pretty niche and instead mp3 has become the new big format along side CD's. Over the coming years broadband speeds will reach some amazing speeds (30-40mbps predicted to hit the UK over the next year!) and it won't be long before HD movie downloads and streaming becomes as much of a reality as it is in the music industry. Consumer hybreds will be realeased combining DVD player along with a unit that can download, store & stream HD material. High end units would probably have HD disc storage but again most units would still be DVD.
     
  6. Tejstar

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    That could be a killer blow, especially if after all that they knocked £50 off the price! :eek:
     
  7. danvitale

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    HD-DVD wont mean squat against the BluRay drive in the PS3.. because the 360 will only use HD-DVD for storing data for games. They cant play HD-DVD movies because there isnt a HDCP compliant output for the 360 (only VGA and Component for hi def).

    The PS3 will have BluRay from the off, and will have two HDCP compliant HDMI outputs, and theyre using the console to launch the media.
     
  8. zAndy1

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    Yeah I was going to say that it's not just as simple as adding a HD-DVD drive to play HD-DVD movies, it would need a HDCP output and it hasn't got one so unless they're gonna add one of those as well it's a non starter basically
     
  9. Munkey Boy

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    I'm very sceptical that an HD-DVD option will ever be added to the 360. As pointed out already, it would mean either:

    a) you'd have to buy a new console with HDCP compliant outputs (or at the very least some kind of add-on a la MegaCD or whatever) to watch movies and then get alot of p****d off early adopters (again!) if you need this add-on for games

    or

    b) a new drive only for games content, which then creates a 2-tier market for 360 games, and a small user base of 360 HD-DVD owners, and so they won't get new games very often, plus you confuse the mass market.

    Lay your bets ladies and gentlemen, I'm going for no HD-DVD 360 drive. It's just too niche, at least until the generation after in 4-5 years!
     
  10. Pooon

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    Re-arrange these words to make a sentence. Head Nail Hit
     
  11. CAS FAN

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    MS would release a brand new version of the 360 not only with an HD-DVD drive but also HDCP compliant output. The HD-DVD drive would be used just for movies and not for games (otherwise you end up with a situation where earlier 360 owners would not be able to run all of the games).

    Whether they do release a new HD-DVD console in the future is no real concern of mine. Infact one of the reasons that I can't be bothered with the PS3 is the blu ray player. Why do I want to pay an extra £100+ for something that could quite easily flop and become useless and with probably just end up being a niche product.

    Put in this way, would you have bought a really expensive TV with built in Betamax, VHS or V2000 player before you knew with format (if any) would become successful?
     
  12. Rob20

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    I would assume an XBOX 360 with HD-DVD playback would be something akin to the Panasonic Q where you had a GC with dvd playback. The only benefit of this machine was that it played dvds as games were never to be released for this format.

    As for the PS3 and Blu-Ray playback, I'd be happy to pay just £100 to try out high definition movies up to 1080p24. Even if it was only for the 5 years or so. If you consider the number of movie rights owned by Sony and it's backers, (i.e. Disney/Fox etc), the number of manufacturers behind the format, and that it's likely 100M+ PS3's will be sold over it's life cycle, risking £100 doesn't seem like all that much to me.
     
  13. Miyazaki

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    When I upgrade to HDTV I don't believe in doing half-measures and will only buy a 1080p display, ie true HDTV, none of this hdtv ready crap.

    I certainly wouldn't want a botton-of-the-range hd-dvd player or bluray player plugged into it, so IMHO it is completely pointless to put either format in a games console, but there is of course more storage capability with these formats.

    IMHO it is best to cut prices right down to the minimum and not fart around with it.
     
  14. Colgate7110

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    Another copy of the Star Wars Trilogy on another format with another picture remastering/sound remixing/effect reworking... No bloody thanks! :) Seriously though, I'd love either HD-DVD or BD to take off but will it actually happen? While I waded right in to DVD as soon as decent players started to appear, I'm in no hurry to get into the new Betamax/VHS war, regardless of who's better and even if manufacturers go down a hybrid route, I'm still not too keen to fork out for something I actually, really, honestly don't need (I do however need a 360, PS3 and Revolution ;))

    Perhaps with Sky pushing HDTV next year that will encourage retailers to plug the high def DVD formats and if Sony (for example) can bring at least one of these formats to the average consumer price point in the way that they have with SACD then it could stand a chance, but as CAS said, the supposed future of digital music media is still niche and it's been around now for a couple of years at least. I've never even seen an SACD or DVD-A disc in the shops... Music on a DVD Video yes, DVD Audio no...

    With that being said though, Sony are a big fan of saying the PS2 massively boosted sales of DVD movies around the world with it's stealth market penetration as a consumer DVD player etc etc. Perhaps they'll do the same with BD?

    Cheers,

    Colin
     
  15. Woods C18

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    Updating an existing console is never a good idea. Just look what happened to Sega. Megadrive was a huge sucess, but by releasing the Mega-cd and 32x, they put people off buying the Dreamcast as nobody wanted to buy a console that might need to be upgraded to play the best games (like a pc). This put Sega out of the Hardwear business.
     
  16. Colgate7110

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    That's not strictly true. Sega lost ground in both their market sectors - the arcade and the home.

    Sega were the player in the coin-op market pumping vast sums of money into custom board design and bespoke cabinets. The Model 3 that powered Scud Race and VF3 was monumentally delayed and cost Sega a fortune in development costs and delayed game sales - why buy a Sega Rally unit when Sega Rally 2 is around the corner? Such problems are tolerable though when the arcade industry is bouyant and state-of-the-art coin ops are popular but when the arcade market tanked on the back of the 32 bit home consoles, Sega's profits took a nose dive.

    Arcade games went through a sort of 3D arms race which Sega kicked off with Virtua Racing on the Model 1 board and Namco knocked out the System 11 board. Over time they had the Model 2, 2B and 3 while Namco had the System 12, 22 and Super 22, each one running faster with bigger and often more custom processors each time. Meanwhile Sony was beavering away on the PlayStation which, while not up to the Model 3 board still meant you could play Ridge Racer at home as many times as you wanted for about £30 versus £1 for a few minutes in the arcade. Now we're at the point where home consoles blow arcade games out the water technically for a fraction of the hardware cost to the extent that custom hardware is out and boards based on consoles are in for those games that do come out.

    Basically, it hit the point where arcade games didn't make financial sense to develop because it didn't make for consumers to pay to play them.

    So Sega lost out on the arcade front while at the same time, Sony played a PR master stroke and all but stuck the knife in Sega by unveiling the PlayStation right around the time the Saturn was gearing up to take over the world. Nintendo weren't going to do it so it was Sega's playing field and not even sticking another SH2 processor in the Saturn was going to save it. While the Saturn was a great 2D machine - a relic of the 16bit SNES/MD generation if you like - it was never a patch on Sony's purpose built 3D-centric console. Basically that round was over before it started.

    By the time the Dreamcast came along - whether it had better graphics than the PS2 or not (and arguably, based on a PowerVR chipset it did in cases) - Sony had such a brand behind them with the PlayStation that the PS2 was going to wipe the floor with it anyway, especially with people's confidence in Sega dented so much by the death of the not-too-cheap Saturn with its dire third party support and then in 2001, Sega pulled the plug on hardware.

    The fact that they sold updates to hardware in the past never killed the Saturn or the MegaDrive. They just didn't do the MD any favours and the timing was a disaster. Sega was promoting the MegaCD as the future of gaming and the 32X addon that let you play Virtua Fighter and Racing at home but they looked appalling, weren't cheap and there were rumours of Neptunes and Saturns in the background too - again, talk of the next generation around the corner killing off the current.

    Nintendo has been the weakest player for the last few years in the home console market going back to the N64 but the stunning success of the Gameboy over the past 15 years in pretty much its own market, the Pokemon phenomenon giving them near limitless cash (in Japan at least) and their unrivalled IP such as Mario and Zelda, they don't have the same troubles that Sega found themselves in. The PSP is amazing but it's at a price point that probably won't trouble Nintendo too much in the school-age present market that the GameBoy platforms relish in.

    Add-ons and upgrades have to be very carefully considered with proper software support - some would say that the EyeToy was lunacy yet it's been very successful for Sony both in terms of cashflow and unit shipments. Likewise, the number of people who have Christmas dance mats in the cupboard is probably a worryingly high number but the price point was right to sustain these items and the sofware support was there for the market that wanted it at the price they wanted to pay for it. No EyeToy game is going to rival Mario 64 but for £15 you'll buy it for a laugh at a family get-together even if you can't get another game for it a year from now. Thinking that consumers will spend £300 on a CD-ROM drive for an aging 16-bit console which nobody is committing to delivering games for though is commercial madness. This didn't kill Sega but you can bet it did put a dent in the bank balance and that was a dent that a declining arcade market was quick to turn into an ever widening crack.

    Look at the PlayStation hard drive - very few people bought one and you actually couldn't buy it for game use in Europe yet it didn't kill the PS2 and it cost more than £100 with only one game supporting it in Japan and the US.

    If anything, since games developers won't be using the HD-DVD upgrade in the 360, the only person to gain will be new consumers looking for a cheap HD-DVD player. The software will exist in the form of HD-DVD movies - there is no onus on Microsoft or games publishers to come up with new software so from their point of view, if HD-DVD takes off, the upgrade is really a win-win situation.

    Sooooo, do hardware upgrades kill consoles? I wouldn't say so - competition, changing markets and promising the future while trying to sell today can kill a console.

    Bit of a diversion there, but sometimes I can go off on one ;)

    Cheers,

    Colin
     
  17. AML

    AML
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    Inetersting read!
    All very true. Sega did mess up big time and even though the Dreamcast should have saved them, it didnt. It was (still is for me) a great console that was totaly unrecognised.

    What really got Sega was a lack of money. In this MS have nothing to worry about.

    I mean, they lost more money on the Xbox than sega ever lost throughout the years! (they spent like 2billion dollars on the Xbox and only got back a quarter?)

    If launching a new 360 with HDCP conections is too much trouble then why not a stand alone player that sits beside the XBox and has HDCP conections?
    But I still think re-launching the machine at the same time as the PS3 with HD DVD and HDCP conections is far wiser.
    Add to that Halo 3 and you cant go wrong! (a price cut would kill sony but MS could do that.)

    Anything is possible for MS. Money is no concern for them. They will do anything if they think it will help sell XBoxes and help them dominate the games market. That is all they want anyway.
     
  18. Colgate7110

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    I think it goes further than the games market though. I read a while ago - perhaps when the Xbox was on the drawing board - that MS basically wanted to be the box in your living room. One box feeding you TV, music, games, photos, media streamed from your Windows powered-PC, all hooked into a broadband network etc etc. Looks like the 360 takes us a massive step closer to that point.

    As for MS being able to burn vast sums of cash on the back of the Windows revenue, you wonder how long it will be before Sony start talking the world's monopoly commissions much like Netscape et al did over the Internet Explorer funding debate. For the first time in the PlayStation's history, Sony don't own the manufacturing plants pumping out the all of the major components in the finished machine, they've licensed in a processor design (although how that works as part of the co-operative designing it is unknown) and a GPU design (from the less-than-generous nVidia) all meaning that there is a baseline cost to the PS3 now which is outwith Sony's hands. The PS2 bought in the RAMBUS memory and obviously the odd component but the expensive parts - the CPU and GPU - were Sony owned, Sony built. They could rapidly lower their manufacturing and logistics costs in a way that no other platform holder could. It's common practice to lose money on games hardware but MS seem to be much less worried about this than Sony and Nintendo. It's only a matter of time before the EC and US DoJ begin a series of lengthy, expensive court proceedings which don't actually achieve any end result!

    I'm still not committing to saying who will dominate the forthcoming generation. MS are going to have a massive headstart, can aggressively cut retail prices (through vast losses rather than operational efficiency!), will have Halo 3 etc but I'm not sure it's so easy to write off the PlayStation brand as easily as some people are. Yes, it is coming out later, perhaps much later, than the Xbox and it may or may not cost more, but this isn't just any old console from any old company - this is the new console from the people who've been at the top of the tree for the past 10+ years.

    That being said, Microsoft are stopping one stage of the full digital convergance appliance by not including any sort of PVR functionality unlike the PSX from Sony and it seems that anybody who's tried a convergent device - even with the mighty PlayStation logo on it - has failed because people just don't get it. Sony's production rollout failed there but the biggest disaster was the inability to market it to the people who would buy it. So Sony failed there but MS is about to release a machine offering an undoubtably spectacular gaming platform but also the multimedia functionality that people probably don't even know they'd like.

    It looks like both platforms are going to have to try and sell themselves as more than just new £300 games consoles, that the silver/white box under the TV, perhaps replacing the DVD player really is worth putting in the lounge and not the kids' bedroom.

    Cheers,

    Colin
     
  19. Corpsical

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    Some very good points there Colin, I'm also of the opinion that the Playstation brand will still be enough for Sony to suceed in this next generation.

    For Microsoft to make significant inroads they need a good launch and Christmas, with (unfortunately) lots of hype and 'buzz'. If the XBox name can be spoken of in the same way as the Playstation name then theres a chance that Sony will have to work at maintaining its hold as top console leader.

    Either way I'm just hoping for great games, on an easy to use console, with lots of potential for the future ... not asking much is it? :)
     
  20. CAS FAN

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    Interesting, it seems that most people feel that Sony have at least dropped the ball this time (releasing late and probably with a more expensive machine) as all the talk seems to be about them holding on to market share thanks to their brand, not the PS3.
     
  21. Colgate7110

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    Don't get me wrong, i do think the PS3 will still be a reason in itself to actually buy into Sony's next platform but most people seem to think that because MS are shipping at least 6 months, perhaps as much as a year before Sony that MS will be the sure-fire "winner" of the next stage. To think that is to discount the many years of brand loyalty Sony have garnered.

    Just because the PS3 will inevitably cost more than the 360 at the time of its release probably won't be too big an issue either - the PS2 has consistently sold for more than the Xbox for most of its life with Sony stubbornly refusing to lower the price and it still outsold the Xbox.

    While the Xbox network gaming platform is vastly superior (from the gamer's perspective) to the PS2 offering, I wonder if many casual gamers and non-gamers are aware of how much better Live feels than the PS2's haphazard free-for-all so I'm not convinced that MS will be able to put the 360 in the non-hardcores' hands on the back of their online gaming.

    The leadtime shouldn't be a huge issue to the PS platform either. Look at the Megadrive and Super NES. The Super NES launched 2 years after the Megadrive and, not only did Nintendo survive, but with licenses and launch titles including Street Fighter II and Super Mario World, they swept the rug out from Sega's feet. While the PS2 had perhaps the most mediocre launch line up of any console in recent memory, the first console had Ridge Racer on day one which probably shifted more PlayStations than other game that quarter. If Sony can reproduce that feet of having a truly essential game on day one, no matter how many Project Gothams or Halos MS have had on the shelf for the past year, they will shift PS3s and start clawing back at that lead. Microsoft have changed the playing field by promising tens of titles on launch day and it will be interesting to see if Sony follow a similar pattern.

    Finally, the PS3 has that real backwards compatibility card up it's sleeve. While the 360 has an as yet unconfirmed level of compatibility between "only with key titles" and "full", a PS1 game and a PS2 game can be happily played on a PS3 although it's not clear yet how memory cards and multi-taps will work - minor issues I'd think. This is a powerful advantage to parents who've bought their kids PlayStations and PlayStation 2s over the years with a collection of games built up. Of course, we all know that playing Ridge Racer 1 isn't going to have the same visual impact of say, Motor Storm but it does mean that the array of £10-30 cartoon licenses and generic kid-friendly platform games will keep on working. It offers the smooth upgrade path that the "non-hardcore gamer" can easily appreciate.

    For that matter, is the Xbox a child-friendly or even family-friendly platform? Walk into Game and the number of games aimed specifically children on the PS1 (particularly the PS1) and PS2 is obvious to the eye. Then you have the EyeToy and the dance mats. How many child/family-oriented titles are there for the Xbox though? The only one that springs to mind was Fuzion Frenzy and, despite various MS execs claims that they sit round the fire on an evening and all play it together, the reviews were generally abysmal. From the looks of the 360 lineup so far, not much has changed with each game pushing further into a hyper-realistic adult world. I can see my friend's son playing Crash Bandicoot Racing but not Project Gotham Racing 3...

    Anyway, I'm sure both platforms will do well this time round. The Xbox has some momentum now so the 360 will undoubtably sell well - there's no question of that - but Sony have a number strengths behind the PS3 even ignoring the likely advantage in power over the 360. If there is going to be a power shift, I'd guess it would come in the following generation. By then, PlayStation will be synonymous with gaming but Microsoft will have a good 8-10 years in the market too. Both will have similarly high spec hardware, both will have massive developer support, both will have solid online presence and both will have a history and brand reputation. I think that's when it will get interesting!

    Cheers,

    Colin
     
  22. Wayne Moule

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    True HDTV isn't being launched yet though is it and aren't they very expensive and not needed?
     
  23. Rob20

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    The only real problem I forsee with the XBOX 360, is it's lack of exclusive titles. How many companies are going to restrict their games to the format when they know that the PS3 will almost definitely outsell the 360, (and therefore are likely to sell more units on PS3). This time round the Playstation is the most powerful machine so Microsoft don't even have that advantage. What kid is gonna want the 360 over the PS3 when the same multi-format games look better on what will always be seen as the 'cooler' machine. I've already heard casual gamer types at work stating that they would rather wait for PS3. Assuming people here had to chose one or the other, (rather than buying both), what would you go for!? TBH, even though I've never bought a PS1/PS2, and have an XBOX, I think I'd have to wait for the PS3. Still, I'm not a big fan of FPS, and can only play so many driving games, of which 2 genres seem to be the staple on XBOX.

    On the other hand, in the past I've always waited for the latest Nintendo machine and only bought an XBOX when games dried up for it, (plus it was £100 with Outrun). Perhaps Nintendo will announce it's Revolution for £150 and games at £40!? and I'll take the cheap option and wait for either the 360/PS3 to fall in price a year or so after launch. Realistically, I don't have time for more than one machine, and both the 360/PS3 will play very similar games, so why do I want all 3!? :confused:
     
  24. Corpsical

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    Not sure we can say which is the more powerful machine neither is released yet, but the 360 specs are pretty a go now, but the PS3's are still a little woolly.

    Though if I were only in the market for one machine, then I think that I'd be playing a waiting game too ... see which machine is best once both are out , and which has the games I want to play.

    I think that 'Exclusive' titles will become less and less , only those really developed in house by eithe MS or Sony, the costs involved making the games means its vital to open as big a market as possible to the title.
     
  25. AML

    AML
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    Quote: "this is the new console from the people who've been at the top of the tree for the past 10+ years."

    Sony fluked their way into that positon. The PS was supposed to be an add on CD Rom drive for the SNES. Ninty and Sony had a falling out, and sony decided to release the PS as their own machine.

    They were lucky it did what it did, coz otherwise they wouldnt have succeded.

    Both sega and nintendo gut sucker punched by sony and the rest is history.

    The only reason the PS2 sold like it did was because of clever advertising from sony. Also there wasnt much competition at the time. Nobody trusted Sega therefore the only other option was the PS2. Xbox didnt come out till much later.

    This time the playing field is even and sony will have to fight to stay at the top. I wonder if they can handle the preassure.
    At the moment the PS brand is the only thing keeping sony afloat. They cant afford to loose to MS or nintendo. If they did, the company would go bankrupt. (they are also backing it all on Blu Ray. Again if that were to fail.... game over!)
     
  26. Wayne Moule

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    I like the look of the PS3 and it's ability to play Blu-ray.

    It's the cost of the PS3 that might let it down, as Sony said they are not going to launch it at a budget price, unlike the 360.
     
  27. Colgate7110

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    I'm not sure you can really say Sony fluked it mate. Yes, Sony and Nintendo were working on a CD-ROM unit for the SNES called the Playstation but that was all it was - a CD-ROM unit. The console Sony released had a dedicated MIPS CPU, a custom 3D graphics chip, custom sound chips, controllers designed for it (which in itself is extraordinarily expensive and time intensive), developer kits built, libraries developed,.... It stopped being an addon to the SNES a long, long time before it became the PSX. It was Nintendo's bad luck to say "no" but you can't really say that the only reason Sony are where they are is because they were doing Nintendo a favour and building them a CD drive!

    As for the PS2 selling on the back of clever advertising - you can level exactly the same statement at the dominance of PS1. The thing that Sony do exceptionally well is market and promote their video games. Take for instance the Wipeout phenomenon - when you strip it down, it's just a hover-based racer which have typically been atrociously unresponsive or garishly styled. Psygnosis came along with Wipeout, put it in a stunning cyberpunk styling, brought the Designer's Republic on for the craft design and iconography, used a big pot of Sony's money to license in a collection of tracks from top electronic and D&B artists of the day and then plugged it at clubs, music festivals, in popular culture magazines. All pure marketing and incredibly successful. Whether the Dreamcast had a better architecture than the PS2 or not didn't matter because Sony had people who's entire raison d'etre was to figure out who was buying games and persaude them to only buy Sony games and find out who wasn't buying games and get them to start buying.

    Look at the iPod - in no way is it the definitive MP3 player. It doesn't sound the best, it doesn't store the most, it doesn't give the best battery life, it's not the cheapst etc yet if I wanted to buy an MP3 player this afternoon, I'd probably get an iPod. In fact, everyone I know with an MP3 player bar one person has an iPod Mini now or a Shuffle. It's not as if there is a lack of competition in the MP3 player marketplace, far from it in fact, but Apple have established the brand as being linked to MP3 players in the same way that people talk about Xeroxing documents instead of photocopying them or FedExing a package instead of couriering it - it's brand value.

    Whether one console is especially better than the other at the end of the day isn't going to matter when it comes to Christmas and the months leading up to it when Microsoft are advertising on TV while Sony are advertising on TV, radio, in magazines we've never even heard of, on the side of buildings... You're right, Sony will have to fight, but that's what they're incredibly good at these days. That Sony will go under if PS3 isn't the surefire hit they're hoping for is little bit extreme. They're not doing well as an enterprise at the moment with the home entertainment divisions coming under increasing pressure from cheaper brands offering similar - or on paper at least, superior - functionality but they're not going to fold as a result. If anything, they'd drop the manufacturing specs slightly on their TVs and stereos and so on until margins were wider and sales were up. The computer entertainment division is bringing in vast sums of revenue but Sony isn't solely relying on it. For a company of that size and stature, there are always options.

    Another point to remember is that while Sony may have a lot of work to do in the US and European markets to put a dent in MS's lead on the next gen marketplace, Microsoft have not had a decent share in any territory in the Easter markets. Taking current sales figures, Japan represents about 20% of Sony's market for the PS platform where they outsold the Xbox by around 65 to 1 last year. Microsoft are going to have to do some serious legwork in the Asian market to gain a share but with the recent deals with Squaresoft and various Japanese producers, it sounds like they're trying!

    When all's said and done though, we'll just have to wait and see how it pans out :)
     
  28. bishman

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    All ths talk of luck, it works for everyone at some point or another. A long while back, Atari absolutely dominated the home market, at least in the US and Europe. They had it all sewn up to the point that Nintendo actually wanted them to sell the NES in the states. You could say that Nintendo were lucky that Atari turned it down and they went on to sell it themselves. Of course Atari could have kept up with their dominance were it not for some idiotic happenings but that's another story.

    Sony could be considered to have ridden their luck twice already. Firstly when they decided to go alone after falling out with Nintendo. The second time could be the PS2 where the hype was at such a level that millions ignored the Dreamcast on the grounds that the PS2 would wipe the floor with it. Clearly it didn't but it was too late, were Sony lucky again?

    I don't think with Sony that it is purely down to luck, their marketing played a huge part in the machines successes. However, they do have to be really careful with the PS3 IMO. If it's coming in at a much higher price than 360 and if it's not much more powerful, then they could be in trouble. Especially considering that 360 is coming soon and at a reasonable price.

    History has taught us that a company with a strong foothold in the video games market can go from hero to zero very quickly. Atari dominated, then Nintendo, Sega held Europe for a long while, then Sony came along. Microsoft came in late to the last generation and did a fantastic job. When Sony came, they drew in masses of casual gamers who didn't care a monkeys about Sega and their heritage, many of them probably didn't even know who sega were. Now though, I can't imagine that there aren't any casuals out there that don't know of Xbox. There can't be many, if any, that sensibly acknowledge the PS2 as superior to the Xbox.

    Now 360 is launching in a high profile way at a decent price. I believe that MS can pick up massive sales in the period leading up to PS3 and can seriously dent Sony's share of the next gen sales. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens but I've been around long enough to know that Sony can't take anything for granted.
     
  29. CrispyXUK

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    Guys, you know the 360 has DVI out don't ya?
     
  30. rob_finch

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    Does anyone think MS are perhaps rushing the console out too early, thinking that an earlier launch is paramount, regardless of later implications? If they do produce an HD-DVD version later, it'll be a kick in the nuts for early purchasers. And if games like PGR3 aren't ready by launch, or are rushed out incomplete to be updated via Live later on, won't some buyers wait, possibly long enough for PS3 launch dates to creep into their mind?

    Although I don't think they'll have a big say outside of Japan, Nintendo have shown that Sony's marketshare is up for grabs. The DS is technically inferior to the PSP, but is cheaper and probably more appealing to the younger gamers, and is selling well. The doom merchants that predicted Ninty losing shed loads of money after producing the DS and then being trounced by the PSP are currently eating their hat.

    By the way, I'm an Xbox owner and will almost certainly buy a 360 just before/after Xmas. But I was also an N64 owner, and the lure of playing all Nintendo's back catalogue of previous gen games for free combined with a possible cheap console price means I'm leaning towards a Revolution as well.
     

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