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Author Topic: I think this console generation will be exceptional.  (Read 1678 times)
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Dante Rising
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« on: December 01, 2006, 03:03:52 AM »

I think this console generation will be absolutely exceptional, and gamers will win across the board. There is a huge surge of downloadable content, much more gratifying online play capabilities, and the spread of HDTV. But then we also have Nintendo moving off in a different direction, and Sony and MS escalating their technological arms race.

-Everyone knows the Wii has some severe technical shortcomings, but the system is just plain fun to toy around with, and it is a nice change from the direction in which Sony and MS are moving. Gamers really didn't need a third horse in the graphics superpower struggle, and one less version of Need for Speed will probably not cause the Apocalypse. It would be nice to see Zelda in 1080P, but I'll trade high-def Zelda for creative games like Trauma Center that take advantage of the new Wii controller. I'm certain that developers will bring us some wonderfully creative games.

And yes, maybe the design decisions by Nintendo will push it further away from the hardcore gaming crowd and deeper into the hands of casual gamers and kids. I'm okay with that. I already have two other consoles to satisfy my adrenaline junkie, high-def, Mach 5 graphics cravings. But sometimes I want to slow down, turn on cruise control, and be reminded why I took up gaming in the first place. Or I want to relax with my girlfriend and play a game she can enjoy without me needing to explain the nuances of suppression fire, enemy respawns, and experience point distribution. The Wii will be a great console for pure fun. It will be great at parties. It will give men an excuse to buy their new dream TV once they loosen that dubious Wii strap and get thier wive's to shatter the screen on their current set.


-Back in the "hardcore" camp, there are two superpowers that are going to have a bloodbath trying to win the hearts and minds of the same audience. MS and Sony have substantial 3rd party support, so I expect to see some wonderful first party titles to help each company differentiate itself from the competition. Rare finally delivered a product that didn't suck, Fable 2 looks impressive, and Halo 3 and Halo Wars will be monsters. Sony will continue to have the finest number of first party developers in the game. Of course, we'll have previous titans like Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto and Halo walking the landscape, but the new technology and horsepower under the hoods of these systems will probably create a whole new generation of formidable games. Gears of War and Resistance are just opening shots across the bow. White Knight, Mass Effect, Bioshock, Blue Dragon, Lair, Heavenly Sword, The Eye of Judgement and many other games look incredible.

In this generation Sony will treat Microsoft like a true threat. For much of the life of the original xbox, Sony considered it to be a console dead on arrival. Now MS has a 6-7 million unit lead, a lower price point, a larger library, and Bill's Demon Horde managed to grab GTA, Assassin's Creed, Bladestorm, Fatal Inertia and other games out of the Sony exclusive realm. And I'm certain Sony is less than enthusiastic about rumors of an Xbox 360 version of MGS4. Expect SCEA to punch out some huge titles in response. Increased desperation by Sony=good for gamers.

Back in the Evil Empire, Microsoft knows they are getting hammered in Japan. I wouldn't be surprised to see them to do a full court press for increased Japanese support. More Japanese development on the 360 in Japan will lead to more of those games arriving stateside. Increased desperation by MS=good for gamers.

Three great consoles. A new television landscape. A new type of controller.
This may end up being the best console generation yet.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2006, 03:06:39 AM by Dante Rising » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2006, 03:18:34 AM »

Well I'd certainly HOPE so!  It would be a shame to take a step backwards.  Your summary makes me want to read an animated cartoon involving the three consoles.  It would be fun to watch the PS3 plotting and scheming against his hated enemy the Xbox 360 in the land of Microsofistan.
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2006, 03:25:49 AM »

I think the first post is too long for me to bother reading, but I'll agree that new games are good. 
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2006, 03:28:40 AM »

I actually don't share this optimism.  I see several worrying trends:

1) Microtransactions. I really think we are on a very slippery slope here and I'm very scared that we are going to see a push to withhold more content from the shipping versions of games so they can be used as pay content later.  Considering that game prices have already gone up $10 as it is, this feels like a way for publishers to effectively push game prices up to $80 or more.  Right now it hasn't been overly abused by anybody but perhaps EA.  However, I've heard numerous reports of how successful a lot of content has been (even the controversial Horse Armor) and I can't help but think that once that filters through corporate decision makers, mandates will be handed down that won't be good for the end user. 

2)  Overextending the hardware. I've been very unhappy with the number of games that have hit the 360 with crappy framerates and without visuals to justify those chunky framerates and it looks like PS3 may not be very different.  I wonder if the hardware this time around is powerful enough to push the visual quality itself expected of next gen while simultaneously bumping resolution in the process.  The fact that Gears of War manages to be so fluid while still putting out best in class visuals has alleviated this concern a bit, but the flip side is that Epic is clearly one of the best coding houses in the business so I'm still waiting to see  if future games from less technically talented devs, whether they use Unreal 3 or not, will be able reach that standard. 

3)  Buggier games.  CoD 2 last year had a major game stopping bug in the campaign.  Rainbow Six Vegas just shipped with a bug that effectively kills Realistic Difficulty.  Numerous games have had major issues with online that have required extensive patching.  PS3 requires a firmware upgrade to be functional out of the box.  I'm very afraid that the ease of patching online services provide is starting to allow console developers, previously held to a much higher standard than PC devs, the use of "ship it now, patch it later."

4) Lack of exclusives. I'm funny on this one but I wish there were less multi-platform titles.  The majority of my favorite titles last gen were system exclusive.  I really feel like only having to code for one platform really lets devs maximize the potential of the hardware.  I know that most people prefer more mulit-platform titles but since I know that I will own all three systems (indeed I already have 2 and I expect I'll have a PS3 by this time next year), I'll be selfish and wish that dev effort was focused on maximizing it for a single platform, whether it be for the 360, PS3, or Wii. 
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2006, 03:30:37 AM »

aside from the microtransactions that kevin also points out - im pretty excited / optimistic too
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2006, 06:51:37 AM »

I agree that microtransactions are worrisome. When Call of Duty 2 hit 1 million dollars in microtransaction sales, I knew Pandora's box had been opened. I think developers will use this to eat into the used game market. If they leave more of the game off the actual disc, they will gain revenue from the used disc market as many of those customers will need to go online and purchase the remaining quests/tracks/levels not included on the disc.

Another reservation I have with that is the long-term availability of content. I still go back and play much older games in my library, such as Suikoden 2. In 5-10 years will all this downloadable content still be available if my hard drive goes south?
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2006, 07:26:38 AM »

I think it will be exceptional but share KMG's reservations. POW! All the impact, none of the work.
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2006, 03:21:06 PM »

Quote
PS3 and the Wii requires a firmware upgrade to be functional out of the box. 

Fixed that for you.
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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2006, 03:27:25 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 01, 2006, 03:21:06 PM

Quote
PS3 and the Wii requires a firmware upgrade to be functional out of the box. 

Fixed that for you.

Wii doesn't for basic functionality does it?  My understanding is that you can play games just fine out of the box while the firmware upgrade is for online stuff.  So someone who is planning on never hooking his or her Wii to internet can still play store bought games just fine.  However, from what I understand about the PS3 firmware, basic non-internet related functionality like backwards compatibility requires the 1.10 firmware so the person who may not have planned on connecting his PS3 to the internet still has to find a way to do it anyway.

Though of course the whole Wii-online update bug certainly plays into the increased trends in bugginess we are seeing as well. 
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2006, 03:33:10 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 01, 2006, 03:27:25 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 01, 2006, 03:21:06 PM

Quote
PS3 and the Wii requires a firmware upgrade to be functional out of the box. 

Fixed that for you.

Wii doesn't for basic functionality does it?  My understanding is that you can play games just fine out of the box while the firmware upgrade is for online stuff.  So someone who is planning on never hooking his or her Wii to internet can still play store bought games just fine.  However, from what I understand about the PS3 firmware, basic non-internet related functionality like backwards compatibility requires the 1.10 firmware so the person who may not have planned on connecting his PS3 to the internet still has to find a way to do it anyway.

Though of course the whole Wii-online update bug certainly plays into the increased trends in bugginess we are seeing as well. 

Given the fact that it can brick your system, I'd think the first thing anyone would do, regardless of whether they plan to use online functions, is update their Wii to make sure they won't get screwed down the road. 
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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2006, 03:50:10 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 01, 2006, 03:33:10 PM

Given the fact that it can brick your system, I'd think the first thing anyone would do, regardless of whether they plan to use online functions, is update their Wii to make sure they won't get screwed down the road. 

Agreed on the severity of the bug. However, you don't have to update the system if you never plan on using online functionality.  Non-online functions work fine out of the box.  A family can buy a Wii, hook it up in the living room and enjoy all of the games out right now, as well as the Gamecube library, without updating the system or going online at all.  That is not the case with the PS3.  I just think it's an exceptionally stupid and limited design move to require a console be hooked to the internet for basic functionality.  The Wii doesn't require it but the PS3 does. 
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HankRaptor
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2006, 04:08:28 PM »

This is a tough discussion.

Love the xbox live online components to be sure. And I thank god microsoft entered the gaming arena as the other two are at least no trying to be online and have some real content.

The move to HD has been nothign short of AMAZING.

I dont like micro-transactions... not while the games are 60.00 give me a crippled 20$ game then i can add what I want.. thats ok...

As with everything good, along comes some bad.
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2006, 04:11:48 PM »

Quote from: HankRaptor on December 01, 2006, 04:08:28 PM

I dont like micro-transactions... not while the games are 60.00 give me a crippled 20$ game then i can add what I want.. thats ok...

Now, that I could almost get behind.  It's sort of like shareware- if someone wants to give me a large chunk of their game for $20 and then I could decided if I need or want more content for it then I really wouldn't have an issue. 
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2006, 10:44:39 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 01, 2006, 03:50:10 PM

I just think it's an exceptionally stupid and limited design move to require a console be hooked to the internet for basic functionality.  The Wii doesn't require it but the PS3 does

Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?

Are you saying the PS3 won't work without an internet connection?
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2006, 04:16:02 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on December 02, 2006, 10:44:39 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 01, 2006, 03:50:10 PM

I just think it's an exceptionally stupid and limited design move to require a console be hooked to the internet for basic functionality.  The Wii doesn't require it but the PS3 does

Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?

Are you saying the PS3 won't work without an internet connection?

Maybe Hetz and KD can correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding is that the 1.10 firmware (system ships with 1.0) fixes many of the initial issues with backwards compatbility and perhap a few other issues as well.  So even if you don't care about mp and can't/won't take your PS3 online, some of the basic offline functionality like backwards compatability won't work without the firmware update (ie connecting your PS3 to the internet). 
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« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2006, 04:44:27 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 02, 2006, 04:16:02 PM

Quote from: Misguided on December 02, 2006, 10:44:39 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 01, 2006, 03:50:10 PM

I just think it's an exceptionally stupid and limited design move to require a console be hooked to the internet for basic functionality.  The Wii doesn't require it but the PS3 does

Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?

Are you saying the PS3 won't work without an internet connection?

Maybe Hetz and KD can correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding is that the 1.10 firmware (system ships with 1.0) fixes many of the initial issues with backwards compatbility and perhap a few other issues as well.  So even if you don't care about mp and can't/won't take your PS3 online, some of the basic offline functionality like backwards compatability won't work without the firmware update (ie connecting your PS3 to the internet). 

It fixes some backwords compatibility issues...but that is it. You don't NEED it to play PS3 games or PS2/PS1 games. It works just fine out of the box for most PS1/PS2 games and all PS3 games. So, it needs the update just as much as the Wii needs it.
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« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2006, 04:59:17 PM »

Quote from: Hetz on December 02, 2006, 04:44:27 PM

It fixes some backwords compatibility issues...but that is it. You don't NEED it to play PS3 games or PS2/PS1 games. It works just fine out of the box for most PS1/PS2 games and all PS3 games. So, it needs the update just as much as the Wii needs it.

I haven't heard of problems with BC on the Wii.  The Wii needs the online update to do online things like purchase Virtual Console titles, trade Miis, News and Weather when they hit, and online gameplay when that hits.  But the person who just wants offline functionality- ie playing retail Wii games and BC Cube games never needs to go online for an update and everything works fine.

Everything I've read indicates that BC for PS1/PS2 was pretty crappy for PS3 on the 1.0 firmware with many notable releases having issues.  Considering Sony promised 99% compatability or something like that then it shouldn't be expected that you have to take your console online to fix basic offline functionality like BC.  The same will apply to the ridiculous scaling issues the PS3 is currently having if they ever fix those via firmwre- it's basic offline functionality that will require you to take your console online to fix.  That is poor design IMO.

I have no issues with online updates for online functionality- it's to be expected.  That Nintendo's online update can kill that functionality is also inexcusable but that's a separate issue from what I'm discussing here.   I'm sure it's gone up since then, but the last numbers for 360 and Live I saw were that 60% of purchasers had some form of Live.  That's a lot.  But consider that 40% of consumers have 360s and haven't hooked them up online and that's also sizable.  I expect the numbers to be more skewed towared offline than online for PS3 because Live is a big selling point for the 360 userbase compared to what the PS3 offers.  By that measure, all offline functionality should work perfectly out of the box IMO. 

Has Sony offered other means (downloading updates and burning them to CD, ordering a CD for the price of shipping) to get these updates the same way MS has for their BC updates?  Not a rhetorical question- I genuinely don't know. 
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2006, 05:09:31 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 02, 2006, 04:59:17 PM

Quote from: Hetz on December 02, 2006, 04:44:27 PM

It fixes some backwords compatibility issues...but that is it. You don't NEED it to play PS3 games or PS2/PS1 games. It works just fine out of the box for most PS1/PS2 games and all PS3 games. So, it needs the update just as much as the Wii needs it.

I haven't heard of problems with BC on the Wii.  The Wii needs the online update to do online things like purchase Virtual Console titles, trade Miis, News and Weather when they hit, and online gameplay when that hits.  But the person who just wants offline functionality- ie playing retail Wii games and BC Cube games never needs to go online for an update and everything works fine.

Everything I've read indicates that BC for PS1/PS2 was pretty crappy for PS3 on the 1.0 firmware with many notable releases having issues.  Considering Sony promised 99% compatability or something like that then it shouldn't be expected that you have to take your console online to fix basic offline functionality like BC.  The same will apply to the ridiculous scaling issues the PS3 is currently having if they ever fix those via firmwre- it's basic offline functionality that will require you to take your console online to fix.  That is poor design IMO.

I have no issues with online updates for online functionality- it's to be expected.  That Nintendo's online update can kill that functionality is also inexcusable but that's a separate issue from what I'm discussing here.   I'm sure it's gone up since then, but the last numbers for 360 and Live I saw were that 60% of purchasers had some form of Live.  That's a lot.  But consider that 40% of consumers have 360s and haven't hooked them up online and that's also sizable.  I expect the numbers to be more skewed towared offline than online for PS3 because Live is a big selling point for the 360 userbase compared to what the PS3 offers.  By that measure, all offline functionality should work perfectly out of the box IMO. 

Has Sony offered other means (downloading updates and burning them to CD, ordering a CD for the price of shipping) to get these updates the same way MS has for their BC updates?  Not a rhetorical question- I genuinely don't know. 

I tried out several of my PS2 games before updating the firmware and they all worked fine. Granted, I didn't play them all the way through....but they seemed to work fine. If you take a look at the PS3 website and go through their list of backwords compatible titles, you will see which ones had issues that were fixed with the 1.1 update. There are not all that many.

Anyway, my point is, the PS3 is perfectly playable out of the box. It plays all Blu-Ray movies and PS3 games perfectly. It also plays 90% of the PS2 games perfectly as well....so you don't NEED the firmware update to use the system. It would be different if you had to get the update to play PS3 games or if only a couple games worked for the PS2 (ie. the 360 only worked with Halo/Halo2 with the shipping version, you HAD to download an update to get any other Xbox games working). Also, for those 40% that didn't have live....how many of them even knew about the CD option....I bet a lot didn't and could only play those two Xbox games. That is a bad design decision.
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2006, 05:26:06 PM »

90% isn't what they promised- they promised essentially full BC and didn't deliver on that in the shipping version.  If I sold my PS2 assuming I could play everything flawlessly, I'd probably be pretty pissed since even with the updates out now there are still issues like the 480i scaling issues that will hopefully be fixed in a later update. 

I'm not going to defend MS BC either other than to say that they didn't promise full BC out of the box like Sony did.  MS's BC is worse than Sony's but, just like with the launches themselves, having one company do something better than the other doesn't make one good and one bad.  It's not zero sum. 
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2006, 07:01:56 PM »

I dont know, all this technology is making me nervous.   I know if I get the choice im taking the blue pill.   
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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2006, 09:36:03 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 02, 2006, 05:26:06 PM

90% isn't what they promised- they promised essentially full BC and didn't deliver on that in the shipping version.  If I sold my PS2 assuming I could play everything flawlessly, I'd probably be pretty pissed since even with the updates out now there are still issues like the 480i scaling issues that will hopefully be fixed in a later update. 

I'm not going to defend MS BC either other than to say that they didn't promise full BC out of the box like Sony did.  MS's BC is worse than Sony's but, just like with the launches themselves, having one company do something better than the other doesn't make one good and one bad.  It's not zero sum. 

I dunno, Kevin. I think most people expect updates on console systems these days. Heck, I think it's a GOOD thing that they are making improvements.
Think of it like a recall notice....should you be upset the product isn't perfect, or glad they are doing something about it rather than hide the issue.

If it really was 90% ootb, I think that's pretty darned good, especially considering how many PSX/PS2 games there are.
If a simple update fixes most of the rest, they should be commended, IMO.

I wish 360 BC was 90% Tongue
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« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2006, 09:37:19 PM »

Quote from: soulbringer on December 02, 2006, 07:01:56 PM

I dont know, all this technology is making me nervous.   I know if I get the choice im taking the blue pill.   

Well, Sony did clain that the PS3 would bring us the 4th dimension of gaming.  :icon_eek:  It may be the console that finally tears a hole in the fabric of time-space, unleashing the Chaos Hordes into our dimension.  Thanks alot, Sony.
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« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2006, 09:53:52 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on December 02, 2006, 09:36:03 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 02, 2006, 05:26:06 PM

90% isn't what they promised- they promised essentially full BC and didn't deliver on that in the shipping version.  If I sold my PS2 assuming I could play everything flawlessly, I'd probably be pretty pissed since even with the updates out now there are still issues like the 480i scaling issues that will hopefully be fixed in a later update. 

I'm not going to defend MS BC either other than to say that they didn't promise full BC out of the box like Sony did.  MS's BC is worse than Sony's but, just like with the launches themselves, having one company do something better than the other doesn't make one good and one bad.  It's not zero sum. 

I dunno, Kevin. I think most people expect updates on console systems these days. Heck, I think it's a GOOD thing that they are making improvements.
Think of it like a recall notice....should you be upset the product isn't perfect, or glad they are doing something about it rather than hide the issue.

If it really was 90% ootb, I think that's pretty darned good, especially considering how many PSX/PS2 games there are.
If a simple update fixes most of the rest, they should be commended, IMO.

I wish 360 BC was 90% Tongue

I think updates fall in two areas:

Feature upgrades or bonuses- this is great stuff and serves as *incentive* for going online.  Any manufacturer doing this absolutely should be commended.  MS never promised 1080p movies and videogames so it doesn't bother me that someone has to take their 360 online to get this offline functionality.  It's the easiest way to distribute the change though it would also be nice to see these changes promulagated via download from their webstie, through CDs, or perhaps included on the disc in future games the same way that PSP games come with new firmware. 

Bug fixing- making people go online to "fix" stuff that shouldn't have been broken in the first place.  This is where I think things have changed from previous generations.  Since console makers and publishers assume that people will have their stuff online their is a tendency of "ship now, patch later" that I don't care for at all.  And in the case of all of these "day one" errors- I think Sony knew damn well that they had issues with BC, 1080i scaling, 480i scaling, and (through a few reports) scaling of 1080p Bluray movies on 720p sets.  But they had a ship date they had to make and hoped they could fix this stuff later via patches.  I'm not going to commend that attitude.     

And I don't think you can take it for granted that people will put their console online.  I know it may seem weird to us, who participate heavily in an internet gaming discussion community, but not everyone cares bout online functionality yet.  Again, about 40% of people aren't using their 360 online.  Some people are going to hook consoles up in rooms that don't have internet connectivity, they may not have a wireless router, and even if they do, may not want to shell out the additional money for the wireless adapter if they have a $500 PS3 or a 360.

Console makers want their product in as many homes as possible and I think any strategy that makes people feel like the product isn't for them is a poor one.  If you put out the perception that online is required for enjoyment of a console then I think you automatically turn off people who may not be interested in it.  Same applies to HD gaming- I think Sony and MS have made grave mistakes in their marketing since they have created this perception that you need not apply if you don't already have an HDTV.  That's not necessarilly correct- plenty of people will say how great these systems look on SDTVs, but I still see plenty of posts along the lines of "is a 360/PS3 worth it if I don't already have HDTV?"  That kind of confusion shouldn't be there IMO.
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« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2006, 10:18:00 PM »

I know previous 360 BC updates and such have been available on the disc that comes with the Official XBox Magazine and you can also download and burn them yourself or order them from xbox.com. 
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« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2006, 05:02:06 AM »

360 updates come on more than OXM discs.

My brother's 360 has never touched an internet connection. As far as I know, the BIOS was the same as the day of purchase when we rented Viva Pinata! and the game proceeded to tell us it needed an update in order to play and install said update for us.
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« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2006, 07:20:23 PM »

Haven't weighed in yet, but basically here's my thought: who honestly can say that they don't see some awesome, must-play stuff coming out for all three consoles this generation? I probably won't buy a PS3, but cost is a major factor there for me. All three systems are great, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what awesome new gaming experiences we see on them. icon_biggrin
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