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Author Topic: Can MS topple Sony in the next generation?  (Read 4677 times)
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RamPanther
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« on: November 16, 2004, 08:43:07 AM »

I know in some ways this topic has been covered before, but I wanted to touch on it again in a friendly environment free of fanboy sparring. I was having a conversation with a friend today, and the topic turned to the next generation of consoles. He truly believes that MS can supercede, or at the very least, reach parity with Sony in the next generation.

Now, I love my Xbox, and I think MS has done a marvelous job for their first time in the console arena, especially with their online feature set. However, I don't think MS or Nintendo have a chance in hell of catching Sony in 2006. Why? In my opinion, its all about the games- exclusive games.  In this arena, nobody comes close to Sony. And I'm not just talking about the large number of heavy-hitters like Final Fantasy and Ratchet and Clank. There are a multitude of exceptional, modest games like Romance of the 3 Kingdoms, Ico, Front Mission and Disgaea that force you to buy Sony. Without FULL support of the Japanese developers, I don't think MS can keep up with Sony. It looks like the next set of consoles will have very similar processing power and abilities.  This means the games become paramount. Differentiation by exclusives becomes the key to preeminence.

So, I'm just curious what strategy those of you here would use to overcome Sony if you were in charge of the Xbox 2 or the next offering by Nintendo. Do you think it is even possible?


Here would be my approach:

Launch before Sony.

1) On the day the Xbox 2 goes on sale, have the following games available on/near Day One:
-Halo 3
-Knights of the Old Republic 3
-Fable 2

A few very high profile games available at launch is mandatory IMHO.

2) I'd also take some of the MS war chest and lock down exclusives of Romance of the 3 Kingdoms and Dynasty Tactics (create a strategy niche) and at least one exclusive Japanese RPG.  Square-Enix would be a lost cause, but perhaps a franchise like Suikoden, Shadow Hearts, Wild ARMS...
Basically, make the Xbox 2 friendly to RPG and strategy game fanatics.

3) Make Morrowind:Oblivion an Xbox exclusive.  With a stable consisting of Knights of the Old Republic, Fable, Morrowind and a solid Japanese RPG or two, the Xbox would go a long way to shedding their image of being an RPG desert. I'd also recommend getting a Gothic/Gothic 2 combo released.

4) Purchasing Bungie=smart. Purchasing Rare=stupid. Increase the batting average. Acquire Bioware.  They are easily the finest developers in North America today. Yes, I'm a PC Gamer. No, I don't think the consequences would be THAT bad. Use Bioware to offset Square-Enix.

5) Try to get games like Resident Evil, Metal Gear, and Grand Theft Auto released to the system, AND on the same day as Sony. I'm not about to wait 6 months for an Xbox release if their hardware offers little or no performance over Sony. In this generation that excuse works. I'm willing to wait for a smooth playing San Andreas because practically everything looks and plays better on the Xbox. This probably won't be the case in 2006.

6) Aggressively investigate and pursue new development houses for the next killer franchises.  

7) Continue pushing the envelope with Live.



Hardware:

1) Backwards compatability
2) Flash cards for storage. No hard drive.
3) er...smaller
4) Dump the black and green. Move to black and red or titanium.
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EddieA
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2004, 10:58:48 AM »

Unless Sony makes some big mistake (like Nintendo did with using cartridges for the N64), Sony will win the next round of console wars by a big margin.  They have the edge in exclusives, amount of games, variety of games, supportive fans, and they're fast becoming the "Nintendo" of this generation, where their name is almost synonymous with video games.  Microsoft did a great job getting the XBox to where it is in only one generation, but they have no hope of toppling Sony any time soon.

The thing that will help XBox 2 the most is a strong launch.  Right now, it looks like Oblivion will probably be a launch title, and I'd bet either Bioware's unannounced console project or their presumed FPS/RPG using the Unreal 3.0 engine will be as well.  Also, I think they need to just forget about Japan and concentrate on the American market and developers.  Japan is pretty much a lost cause as far as XBox is concerned.  Their only chance would be getting FF13 or Dragon Quest 9 exclusive to the XBox, and I can't see any way that would ever happen.
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2004, 02:33:35 PM »

Exclusive titles is the key.  Good exclusive titles, that is.  
Even MORE co-op games!  Many people dont agree, but pcs are traditionally solitary machines, while consoles are not.  The more people that can jump in and enjoy, the better!
We need more american/european game developers.  There is still a stigma about video/pc games, comic books, etc. as being 'childish'.  When you mention console games, americans still probably think of pac man.  I think this is slowly changing, but until its obvious that video game developement can be profitable, there will still be a kind of stigma related to it here in america.
Make the xbox2 smaller!  It is the 'boss hog' of the console world!  True, it may actually be more like a cadillac escalade, but the thing is HUGE.
I think the console hard drive was an innovative but also obvious next step that needed to be made.  The 'next-box' doesnt need quite such a large hard drive, but even if it is, say, 40 gig, it really doesnt have to take up THAT much room.
The color scheme isnt so bad.  You can never go wrong with black.  But maybe the green should be back-lit on the unit or something.  Maybe give it a 'custom' look, kinda like how many pc tower cases are being 'tricked out'.  Maybe like a halo edition, or gotham racing edition.
whew!   :wink:
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2004, 03:20:24 PM »

Quote from: "ebane67"
Exclusive titles is the key.  Good exclusive titles, that is.  


If that were the case, Nintendo wouldn't be languishing in third place.  Exclusives simply aren't the big deal that some folks make them out to be.  Do they help sell consoles?  Of course.  But they don't make or break a console's success.
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RamPanther
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2004, 03:52:42 PM »

I've got to disagree with you, Laner. I think exclusives are a very big deal. If the next round of hardware specs are all relatively similar, I believe their importance will be further magnified.  Nintendo's mistake this time around was not having enough 3rd party developers and going with a format that didn't support DVDs or online play. In my opinion, exclusives are the ONLY thing that kept Nintendo alive during this generation.

In reference to Japan, I don't think MS can forsake that battleground. First, it is the 2nd largest purchaser of video games in the world. Their market is too huge to abandon. Second, if MS does abandon Japan, I doubt they'll win any points in trying to convert Japanese developers to their side.

Isn't MS trying to make a 20-30 Billion dollar payout to the shareholders? Put 1 Billion of that into Xbox developer or title acquisitions.
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2004, 03:52:51 PM »

Purchasing Rare wasn't stupid.


They haven't done much yet I know.

Conker:  Live and Reloaded is going to light up Xbox Live though and I'm certain you'll see a new Killer Instinct game on the next Xbox.

Also, I have heard a rumor that they are working with Bungie on developing Halo 3 smile


I think MS will narrow the gap the next generation.  

As for exclusives,  I think the Xbox has the better exclusives this time around so what do I know.  The only games on the ps2 that I would like are R&C & Jak.
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2004, 04:11:23 PM »

I would say 'no chance' but then again I wouldn't have imagined Sony could have stomped on Sega and Nintendo either.

Besides the obvious lead that Sony has, the problem is that there is a built-in hatred for MS here that hurts them and they have nothing going on in Japan, which kills them.

I think it's, overall, the best system of this generation, they might close the gap but not come close to equalling Sony.
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2004, 04:17:31 PM »

Sony will win... they arent making the nintendo mistakes. BUT we shall see eh?
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2004, 04:19:09 PM »

Quote from: "RamPanther"

Here would be my approach:

Launch before Sony.

1) On the day the Xbox 2 goes on sale, have the following games available on/near Day One:
-Halo 3
-Knights of the Old Republic 3
-Fable 2
Probably none of those will be available for launch.  Halo 3 is rumored to be slated for PS3 launch day.  KOTOR3 team was disbanded at Lucasarts.  I highly doubt there will be a Fable 2.  It sold well but the setting is just not compelling enough to warrant a sequel IMO.  But hey, there's a Black and White 2 so you never know.

Quote
Square-Enix would be a lost cause
Squenix has expressed possible interest in Xbox 2 development, and the head of Xbox Japan is a former Squenix exec.

Quote
Acquire Bioware.  They are easily the finest developers in North America today.
You can't do a hostile takeover of a privately held company.  I don't see any incentive for Bioware to submit to being purchased and made into a single platform developer when they can pretty much write their own ticket on any platform they want.  Just look how gleefully they bandy about the fact that Dragon Age doesn't have a publisher.  They know they are both consummate developers and consummate salespeople with an in-demand product.
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2004, 04:23:58 PM »

Quote from: "kathode"
Quote
Acquire Bioware.  They are easily the finest developers in North America today.
You can't do a hostile takeover of a privately held company.  I don't see any incentive for Bioware to submit to being purchased and made into a single platform developer when they can pretty much write their own ticket on any platform they want.  Just look how gleefully they bandy about the fact that Dragon Age doesn't have a publisher.  They know they are both consummate developers and consummate salespeople with an in-demand product.


MS is pretty good at creating incentives though.  smile
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EddieA
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2004, 07:43:45 PM »

"I highly doubt there will be a Fable 2. It sold well but the setting is just not compelling enough to warrant a sequel IMO."
Fable may have disappointed a lot of people, but it sold really well.  When BC was cancelled, the speculation was that they wanted to focus on Fable 2.  I wouldn't be surprised to see it next year even.
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2004, 07:48:25 PM »

According to Sponge.com, the Xbox 2 will be released before the Christmas next year and the launch list looks great.
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2004, 08:01:54 PM »

Quote from: "EddieA"
When BC was cancelled, the speculation was that they wanted to focus on Fable 2.  I wouldn't be surprised to see it next year even.


Well, crap. I never even heard that BC was cancelled. I was more excited about that game than I ever would be for Fable 2 (which I doubt we will ever see, and certainly not as a launch title).

... and then I see an announcement that Kameo has been shelved as well. I was looking forward to getting that one for my daughter. Rare sure does have quite the xbox track record.
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2004, 08:08:07 PM »

I don't think the X-Box will be able to beat the Playstation in the next round but if I was Sony I would be a little worried.  

The X-Box has really finished strong and has had a great year.  One of the biggest challenges Microsoft faced was getting the top developers interested and I think they've proven they are a serious contender.  

You just don't hear much about the PS2 lately, except for GTA of course.  I think we'll see Sony work a little harder next generation and of course thats good for us.
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RamPanther
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2004, 08:49:23 PM »

My friend told me that Kameo was shelved also, but I have not seen any info on that.  I'm sorry, but paying over 300 million for a studio giving you Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Conker and Kameo (which only looked slightly interesting) gives me slight indigestion.


Since we'll never see the Chronicles of Riddick universe expanded in the theaters, I would love to see it become a series on the xbox.


I do believe that Fable 2 could be quite interesting. All the pieces are in place. Now they can focus on a deeper/longer storyline and play mechanics refinement. I really wouldn't even spend too much time on improving the graphics, as they are already excellent. Adjust the character models and for an initial Xbox 2 release that would be more than acceptable.
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2004, 09:53:42 PM »

See, now the fable graphics are ALIRGHT... but on a new platform, they butter blow the doors off... Simple enough... Yougot that much better a chance to do good graphics, if you want ot make the world go OOhhhh ... it better look that way...

I think Fable has a high potential for upswing into the top spots.. but they better not think handing in something like they have now will work..

Are the Consoles already designed,.. do the Designers have on in thier hands they can start coding for?
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« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2004, 12:13:38 AM »

Quote from: "kathode"

KOTOR3 team was disbanded at Lucasarts.  


What??? We won't see KoTOR3? When/why did this happen?
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EddieA
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« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2004, 08:35:30 AM »

I think Lucasarts has pretty much abandoned their internal development, and will probably become just publishers.  I'm sure there will be a KOTOR 3, but Lucasarts will hire some other developer to do it.
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2004, 03:25:37 PM »

Quote from: "malichai11"
Quote from: "kathode"

KOTOR3 team was disbanded at Lucasarts.  


What??? We won't see KoTOR3? When/why did this happen?


It wasn't developed by Lucasarts, so I don't see how this could be possible.  ???
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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2004, 03:52:37 PM »

I believe that next gen Microsoft consoles will close the gap on Sony but I don't think that any console will pass Sony.  Just as others have said, it comes down to exclusives and Sony has the corner on that market for the foreseeable future.  I know that there are several games that interest me that is exclusive only to Sony.  That's a pretty strong thing to have in the console world because it will make people cross over and purchase, just for those games.  (Not me, I am a cheap bastard!)  smile    

Keep in mind that this is the opinion of one who owns a Gamecube who has never ever played an X-Box or a PS2.  smile  So i'm thinking a gigantic grain of salt should be lodged in with this opinion of mine.
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« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2004, 04:18:57 PM »

Quote from: "leo8877"
Quote from: "malichai11"
Quote from: "kathode"

KOTOR3 team was disbanded at Lucasarts.  


What??? We won't see KoTOR3? When/why did this happen?


It wasn't developed by Lucasarts, so I don't see how this could be possible.  ???

It could even be true, but it doesn't matter.  KOTOR 1 & 2 were designed by different teams, so it stands to reason that KOTOR 3 will still be forthcoming regardless.

As far as consoles go, I think XBox has made large inroads, and while it is my console of choice at the moment, it's still only that for one main reason: graphics.  While it's done well, it's the fact that, all other things being equal between two games, I get better graphics on the XBox, so I go with that one.

I still think PS2 has a better selection of games and a better stable of developers (although the gap on that has lessened considerably), and a PS3 with improved graphics and better online support could turn things over yet again.

Bottom line to me though, is that as long as Sony holds on to Asia by such a huge margin, it will be hard for XBox to put a dent in Sony.  Although when mega corperations fight... it's always fun for us little guys. Tongue

s
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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2004, 05:00:10 PM »

Been out of town for a few days so I'm replying to a bunch of different people...

Quote from: "leo8877"
It wasn't developed by Lucasarts, so I don't see how this could be possible. ???


In late August/early September Lucasarts killed all internal development with the exception of Republic Commando, I believe.  Mentioned with this was KOTOR 3, which looked like it was being developed internally.  Now it will likely be outsourced.  I could see Bioware taking it up for Xbox 2.  Obsidian might be less likely- they're already working on NWN 2 and want to move into titles with their own IP so they might be reticent to jump on another sequel.  

Quote from: "RamPanther"
My friend told me that Kameo was shelved also, but I have not seen any info on that. I'm sorry, but paying over 300 million for a studio giving you Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Conker and Kameo (which only looked slightly interesting) gives me slight indigestion.


Yeah, about two weeks ago MS issued a press release saying that Kameo had been delayed indefinitely so that the game could undergo a major overhaul.  

Quote from: "EddieA"
Fable may have disappointed a lot of people, but it sold really well. When BC was cancelled, the speculation was that they wanted to focus on Fable 2. I wouldn't be surprised to see it next year even.


Fable's sales plummeted by 81% in its second month.  It will still end up being a huge seller but word of mouth doesn't look good.   I agree that we'll see a sequel though.
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« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2004, 05:28:48 PM »

What?!?!?!?

Kameo and BC are gone?

Kameo wasnt a big deal to me, but what the hell is Rare doing? They have done nothing on the xbox yet. Talk about an odd investment. I hope it pays off for MS, but it doesnt look like it is going to be anytime soon. At least bungie offered a smash hit. What was MS thinking with Rare? The next big hit I could see coming from them is Perfect Dark Zero, and honestly, with Halo (2) firmly in the XBox FPS position, thats going to be hard to sell in mass numbers.

And BC was cancelled?!? That game was looking to be awsome. Of course so was Fable. So, I guess im not surprised actually. Someone should sue lionhead for getting me excited so much and then letting me down all the time. Fable was a fun game, but it was pretty run of the mill. In fact, there was very little if anything revolutionary about it. I guess I should be glad BC was cut, because if it wasnt I would simply have been dissapointed when I could have a clan, but it didnt matter what happened to them, and when the "wide open areas" they promised ended up being just load screens every two steps. Plus my clan would probably just always be saying "we need more (insert need here)".

As to the next generation, Im going to make a statement here which is going to come off as odd to many: I could care less if japanese developers get behind the xbox. The xbox is my haven, because it seems to cater more to american gaming tastes. Im not being fanboyish here, its just that for years consoles have been covered by japanese themes: spikey haired teens with huge eyes, and 13 year old girls with double Ds. This is why for years I was a PC gamer only. I like shooters and I like a lot more realism. The first console to woo me to the console market was the xbox because it wasnt controlled by the japanese  :shock: .

Now yes, since the Xbox I have ventured into other areas. I owned a GCN for a time, but sold it because i didnt do anythign for me, and now I am looking at a PS2. But I still avoid the japanese style games like death.

In the next generation what does MS need to do? Nothing different in my book. I could care less who is on top. As long as they are fighting it out I am happy. As long as I continue to get my more american themed games I am happy. I dont care who it is from. But as soon as those leave again, im back to PC gaming only.
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« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2004, 05:54:33 PM »

Quote
And BC was cancelled?!? That game was looking to be awsome. Of course so was Fable. So, I guess im not surprised actually. Someone should sue lionhead for getting me excited so much and then letting me down all the time. Fable was a fun game, but it was pretty run of the mill. In fact, there was very little if anything revolutionary about it. I guess I should be glad BC was cut, because if it wasnt I would simply have been dissapointed when I could have a clan, but it didnt matter what happened to them, and when the "wide open areas" they promised ended up being just load screens every two steps. Plus my clan would probably just always be saying "we need more (insert need here)".  


BC looked kind of interesting, but there had to be problems with it that we're not privvy to. It's one of the few games where I've read a preview from a major magazine (XBN I think it was) that just completely trashed the game. I remember thinking that the game must be really, really, bad for the magazine to openly mock the developers. I wasn't surprised when the game was cancelled.

Quote
Now yes, since the Xbox I have ventured into other areas. I owned a GCN for a time, but sold it because i didnt do anythign for me, and now I am looking at a PS2. But I still avoid the japanese style games like death.


Honestly, I'll never understand how someone could pass up a great game simply because of the art style. Good games are good games.
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« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2004, 06:04:53 PM »

Well, its not just style, its the whole feel of the game. Call me crazy, but they feel much the same way they play.

Anywho this thread isnt about that, so I will stop derailing it.
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« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2004, 07:43:01 AM »

The last solid number I saw for Fable was when it reached the 500,000 sales mark. There will definitely be a Fable 2. I really enjoyed the game, so I'll be in line for that one.

Regarding Rare, they can still redeem themselves with Perfect Dark Zero, but I wouldn't hold my breath.  Their 5 year track record is far from stellar. Star Fox Adventures was mediocre, Grabbed by the Ghoulies went nowhere, and Kameo is shelved.

If the opportunity existed, Microsoft would have been better negotiating with performing developers like these:

Starbreeze
Raven
Stormfront
Relic
Bioware
Silicon Knights
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« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2004, 11:21:25 AM »

It won't happen, especially launching at the end of next year. I just don't see it happening.
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« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2004, 04:03:44 PM »

I am sure Microsoft will be able to hold their own in the next generation just as they have in this one.

I think the number 1 thing Microsoft could do to improve their position is to do a better job of courting Japanese developers and find a better way to penetrate the Japanese consumer market. This would give the xbox2 the only thing the xbox is lacking right now, a much more diverse library of titles.

However, the shortcomings the ps2 has in relation to the xbox are purely technological limitations. The xbox excells in graphics and online play. I feel it will be much easier for Sony to put out a more powerful console that includes an online network than it will be for Microsoft to capture more of the market in Japan.
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« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2004, 05:09:36 PM »

Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"

Quote
Now yes, since the Xbox I have ventured into other areas. I owned a GCN for a time, but sold it because i didnt do anythign for me, and now I am looking at a PS2. But I still avoid the japanese style games like death.


Honestly, I'll never understand how someone could pass up a great game simply because of the art style. Good games are good games.

And a large part of the gaming experience are the visuals.  Considering how much emphasis both developers and gamers put on graphics, it's obviously an important part of the whole package.  And the more stylized the graphics get, the more polarizing they're going to be.  I don't want to spend 40 hours looking at art that I find unattractive, no matter how good the underlying game mechanics are.
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« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2004, 11:25:22 PM »

Quote from: "RamPanther"
Here would be my approach:

Launch before Sony.

1) On the day the Xbox 2 goes on sale, have the following games available on/near Day One:
-Halo 3
-Knights of the Old Republic 3
-Fable<<<<

Everything you say is either a no-brainer like just get all the best games or is impossible like timing all the great games for your launch time. I don't think the launch before or after really matters that much but I think we will see MS launch a few months after Sony on purpose. Primarily to insure that the XBOX-2 will continue having superior hardware to whatever sony puts out.  If they have good intel and can tie that down early, they can launch whenever. But keeping that superiority is crucial. They have the advantage because the pressure is on sony to upgrade sooner because they are already losing ground because of the antiquity of the platform. I think most gamers like myself will buy both and play games on both and it doesn't really matter all that much.
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Chrisoc13
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« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2004, 11:40:05 PM »

I doubt most gamers will. Most hard core gamers will yes, but "most gamers" are not hard core, they are casual. They will buy one. And MS should keep the superior machine in technical terms. If anything get it burned into peoples minds that the MS system will always be techincally superior.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2004, 12:08:26 AM »

Quote from: "Vagabond"
They have the advantage because the pressure is on sony to upgrade sooner because they are already losing ground because of the antiquity of the platform.


Its the industry's worst kept secret that Xbox 2 will be launching in North America at the end of 2005.  Right now its almost certain that PS3 won't launch until 2006 with the US release maybe as late as Holidays 2006.  Depending on what Sony has up their sleeve tech-wise MS isn't assured technological superiorty next round.  Hell all Sony has to do is create the impression that their tech blows MS's away (remember the Emotion Engine stuff around the time of Dreamcast's launch?).
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« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2004, 01:04:49 AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Quote from: "Vagabond"
They have the advantage because the pressure is on sony to upgrade sooner because they are already losing ground because of the antiquity of the platform.


Its the industry's worst kept secret that Xbox 2 will be launching in North America at the end of 2005.  Right now its almost certain that PS3 won't launch until 2006 with the US release maybe as late as Holidays 2006.  Depending on what Sony has up their sleeve tech-wise MS isn't assured technological superiorty next round.  Hell all Sony has to do is create the impression that their tech blows MS's away (remember the Emotion Engine stuff around the time of Dreamcast's launch?).


Well a lot of the reason Microsoft is Microsoft is because they employ the greatest minds in computers, software design, hardware, etc down the line. It is not a given that just because sony wants to be technically superior that they will have the ability to do so.  It is almost impossible to keep the technical aspects of a system a secret. They aren't building these things in the backroom with 3 guys. There are probably hundreds of subcontractors and outsourcers creating all the parts for assembly and doing various stages of the assembly work.
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« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2004, 10:04:04 PM »

That is a good point Vagabond. However, by the same argument isn't it possible that MS knows the Sony hardware is more powerful than theirs, so they are "pulling a Sega" and trying to get out the door before Sony arrives on the scene?

Or perhaps they are following the trends they use in the software market, as seen when they wiped out the Netscape Navigator--more frequent updates (refreshes) so your competitor is always playing catch up. A reduced cycle time works in favor of Microsoft, but I'm not sure how developers would repond to that.
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whiteboyskim
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« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2004, 03:41:43 PM »

It's all about the games except when you have cross-platform titles. Then it becomes about the hardware. This gen, Sony won the install-base fight but XBox hardware kicks its ass. Consider you have almost a 4 to 1 ratio of PS2 to XBox in North America alone and Microsoft still has a long way to go. I own both, so I'm a happy camper, however I never buy a new title unless it has been out for at least a year and has MINIMUM five titles that I cannot go on living without playing. Hell, I bought a new PlayStation the day the DreamCast launched because I needed a new one, and because there was no better day to do so. biggrin

Microsoft will make great strides in the next generation, better than a lot of people expect them to do. But I think Sony will still take it, even though their margin of victory will be considerably shortened. However, should Sony actually have the better hardware this time, and a software core that's easy to develop for, then Sony is going to drop-kick Microsoft right out the door.

We'll see once the trade shows start up in 2005 because both sides are going to fire their salvos in a big way then. I think the big reveals will hold off until E3, but you can bet some leaks and hints will hit long before May.
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« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2004, 02:17:08 AM »

Whichever one turns out to be more powerful hardware wise, I don't think the differences will be as big as they are this gen. I think what'll be important is which is easier to develope for. For instance, even if the PS3 turns out to be more buff spec wise, will it really matter if developers have to perform magic tricks just to benefit from any of it?
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« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2004, 05:34:21 AM »

Quote from: "whiteboyskim"
Microsoft will make great strides in the next generation, better than a lot of people expect them to do. But I think Sony will still take it, even though their margin of victory will be considerably shortened. However, should Sony actually have the better hardware this time, and a software core that's easy to develop for, then Sony is going to drop-kick Microsoft right out the door.


I think the Sony "victory" will be regional. If MS is pulling with the japanese developers, I can see a much bigger installbase in japan, which means a wider selection of titles.

As for Sony making their programming easier... I think I blew my kidney out laughing...they've stated they're sticking with their programming model, and due to backwards compatibility, I don't expect to see that change.

This is where XNA is big news. Since MS is offering devs to be able to cross-platform their games over XBox2 and PC, this means that we could potentially see the PC rig invaded with the Xbox hardware (controllers, ease of use for gaming, etc). If the dev cycle is (and lets use 25%) shorter for xbox (as there is less middleware and fiddling involved), we could be seeing a second sequel on the same platform while Sony is a year or more away from the same spot. <shrug> If all of your tools work well together, I think the dev's will respond well to it.

That's not to say I hate Sony's products, I really hope the PS3 is worthwhile enough for me to buy it. That being said, I love my Live, and as long as MS doesn't royally eff up the launch lineup, I'll be getting Xb2 for sure.

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« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2004, 11:41:48 PM »

Quote from: "RamPanther"
That is a good point Vagabond. However, by the same argument isn't it possible that MS knows the Sony hardware is more powerful than theirs, so they are "pulling a Sega" and trying to get out the door before Sony arrives on the scene?

Or perhaps they are following the trends they use in the software market, as seen when they wiped out the Netscape Navigator--more frequent updates (refreshes) so your competitor is always playing catch up. A reduced cycle time works in favor of Microsoft, but I'm not sure how developers would repond to that.


Well, I know a lot about computers but I am far from an expert. However, I would think backwards compatability would be necessary for both systems. This might limit the amount of upgrade the system can have in "power" which is a subjective term anyway.  Just running at a higher speed in megahertz doesn't necessarily mean the games will run smoother, there is more to it than that.  I would think that microsoft would delay their launch and make changes to the system before they would allow Sony to have some kind of advantage with their system However, Sony might feel they have some kind of advantage that microsoft doesn't care about or feels will decline over the systems life. Or they might have something completely different they feel is better.  I doubt Microsoft really cares much about making in-roads in the japanese market, while Sony probably finds it vital they maintain dominance of that market.  Neither is gonna to knock the other off in the next cycle, but there is little doubt microsoft will continue to gain market share and expand on what they have already achieved regardless of what Sony does.
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« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2004, 03:14:50 PM »

I certainly hope that Elder Scrolls 4 isn't a XBox exclusive, lets face it, the best thing about Morrowind was all the mods that enhanced the original game, and I can't see that on a console. As a recent XBox purchaser, I can safely say that my next console will be the Playstation 3, and not just because of backward compatabilty. Most of the big XBox releases have been disappointing (Sudaki, Fable, Halo, ), and it's selection of RPGs is laughable. So much hype, complete with total fan boys, has made me wonder if I'm playing the same games they are. I'm pretty sure that Jade Empire will be amazing, but there is a lot of talk of a PC version. I love Burnout 3, and the fighting games are good fun. But the only advantage the XBox has over the P2 is it's graphics, and I'm sure that will not be the case in the next gen. For the XBox 2 to be a huge success, maybe they should start releasing more console games and less PC ports or PC style games.

Plus with a P3, I get access to a huge collection of Japanise RPGs that I've never played before, and they will be cheap.
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« Reply #39 on: November 30, 2004, 03:30:52 PM »

Unless things change (ie MS ponying up some extra dough) PS3 was mentioned as one of the platforms in the initial round of Elder Scrolls 4 previews.
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