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Author Topic: Microsoft's new strageties (and they love Nintendo, too!)  (Read 1688 times)
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Destructor
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« on: February 26, 2007, 09:25:22 PM »

Curious as to how Microsoft will be going into 2007? C&VG has some interesting details via Game Informer:

Quote
Xbox Microsoft boss Peter Moore has hinted at a change in strategy for Xbox 360 going into 2007, to compete with the mainstream appeal of Nintendo's fun-focused Wii.

"From a first-party point of view, it's not just about E-rated games, it's going to be about the experience that, quite frankly, Nintendo has done a tremendous job in capturing, in bringing back fun - if you will - to the gaming platforms", said Moore in an interview with Game Informer.

"But we've got a few tricks up our sleeve as well to be able to do that. It's not something that we're going to be shy about, and it's not something that we're not painfully aware of that needs to be changed by this holiday. That has been the strategy all along, and we'll be making some more announcements in the coming month or two."

Interesting. Very interesting. And a very positive nod towards Nintendo, IMHO.
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2007, 09:45:42 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on February 26, 2007, 09:25:22 PM

Interesting. Very interesting. And a very positive nod towards Nintendo, IMHO.

You know, the state of things between Microsoft and Nintendo is starting to remind me more and more of Microsoft vs Apple around the mid 80's. The Nintendo Wii has obviously earned the respect of Microsoft as did the Apple Mac.

I see this as a good and bad thing. Anyone who knows the history, knows Microsoft countered by becoming 1 of the best 3rd parties for the Mac and kept working to improve Windows until it could finally compete.

So the negative of this is that Microsoft could just steal all of Nintendos' best ideas and implement them. The good is that if Microsoft manages to pull an Apple on Nintendo it will more or less guarantee the continued existence of Nintendo. Even financially bailing them out investing in them if necessary to keep them solvent and alive.

Of course Apple never really did have a Miyamoto....
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2007, 09:46:29 PM »

It's interesting how less than a year ago people (myself included) were beating up Nintendo for their choice of name.  It's still a stupid name if I really think about it but I have never heard a non-gamer mention it in a derogatory manner.  General people just seem to "get" Nintendo.

But this statement:
Quote
...it's not something that we're not painfully aware of that needs to be changed by this holiday.

Wow.  I know sales haven't been as strong as they'd hoped but "painfully aware"? 
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2007, 11:35:41 PM »

Microsoft's main problem is that they lack any real heavyweight first party gaming franchises outside of Halo. They really need to nurture Fable, maintain Halo, and create a few other games that can become franchises- preferably one or two geared toward a younger audience.

Sony and Nintendo are in a position to hammer MS with their internal exclusive content, especially since third parties are increasingly going multi-console to dilute their risk and increase their profit potential.
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2007, 02:25:23 AM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on February 26, 2007, 11:35:41 PM

Microsoft's main problem is that they lack any real heavyweight first party gaming franchises outside of Halo. They really need to nurture Fable, maintain Halo, and create a few other games that can become franchises- preferably one or two geared toward a younger audience.

Sony and Nintendo are in a position to hammer MS with their internal exclusive content, especially since third parties are increasingly going multi-console to dilute their risk and increase their profit potential.

Isn't it traditional to bash the console manufacturer for lack of third party support?  Wasn't that what killed the Gamecube?  The phrase "Nintendo's first party stuff is great, but a console can't get by on it, it's all about the third parties" has been around for a long time.  Well, MS has got the third parties now.  They have one super-heavyweight guaranteed system exclusive, and their other first party titles aren't blockbusters, but they're solid (which can also be said about most of Sony's first party stuff).  They're stealing system exclusives from Sony.  I think MS is in pretty good shape right about now.
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2007, 03:33:28 AM »

Yeah, you would think the key to defeating the Wii would be to develop your own motion-sensing peripheral.
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2007, 06:49:56 AM »

I think this is a step in the wrong direction. People WANT the slightly more "hardcore" games on the Xbox 360.

I mean no offense, but I am really looking forward to Gears of War 2, Halo 3, Fable 2, Mass Effect, etc. I think they need to dig deeper into that lineup, and focus to the more hardcore crowd. Get some more lovin' from Square Enix, however they pulled that off in the first place. Work on Blizzard, try to get the next World of Warcraft on the 360. Maybe a Ninja Gaiden or a new Tom Clancy exclusive. Focus on the games, not the technology. We've got a great product that just needs to dig deeper on the games, with some of the titles I've listed above...

Oh well, that's where I'm coming from. I'd much rather see Fable 2 or a Final Fantasy exclusive than I would so more "for fun technology for casual gamers!"

Who knows...
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2007, 12:35:52 PM »

The best thing I think MS can do is continue to diversify the lineup. If they want to maintain their hardware lead they have got to be able to attract families to the system, and with the way the Wii is doing, that's going to be very hard right now. Supply on Wii systems is not looking to get better any time soon from what I can tell.
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2007, 12:36:53 PM »

Quote from: Mattc0m on February 27, 2007, 06:49:56 AM

I think this is a step in the wrong direction. People WANT the slightly more "hardcore" games on the Xbox 360.

I mean no offense, but I am really looking forward to Gears of War 2, Halo 3, Fable 2, Mass Effect, etc. I think they need to dig deeper into that lineup, and focus to the more hardcore crowd. Get some more lovin' from Square Enix, however they pulled that off in the first place. Work on Blizzard, try to get the next World of Warcraft on the 360. Maybe a Ninja Gaiden or a new Tom Clancy exclusive. Focus on the games, not the technology. We've got a great product that just needs to dig deeper on the games, with some of the titles I've listed above...

Oh well, that's where I'm coming from. I'd much rather see Fable 2 or a Final Fantasy exclusive than I would so more "for fun technology for casual gamers!"

Who knows...
Well said Mattcom, my feelings exactly.
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2007, 04:13:13 PM »

Quote from: Mattc0m on February 27, 2007, 06:49:56 AM

I think this is a step in the wrong direction. People WANT the slightly more "hardcore" games on the Xbox 360.

I mean no offense, but I am really looking forward to Gears of War 2, Halo 3, Fable 2, Mass Effect, etc. I think they need to dig deeper into that lineup, and focus to the more hardcore crowd. Get some more lovin' from Square Enix, however they pulled that off in the first place. Work on Blizzard, try to get the next World of Warcraft on the 360. Maybe a Ninja Gaiden or a new Tom Clancy exclusive. Focus on the games, not the technology. We've got a great product that just needs to dig deeper on the games, with some of the titles I've listed above...

Oh well, that's where I'm coming from. I'd much rather see Fable 2 or a Final Fantasy exclusive than I would so more "for fun technology for casual gamers!"

Who knows...

But MS already has you and, based on the games you listed, you were likely an Xbox owner as well.  They are already banking on carrying that audience over but a 20+ million install base (and 4 Billion in losses) does not a successful console make from MS's perspective.  If the 360 sees only a marginal increase in market share and overall sales as what MS saw with Xbox 1 then I think they will have failed this time out.  They got the hardcore gamer last time around and all of those franchises are continuing so now it's time to diversify that lineup.
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2007, 05:57:04 PM »

Microsoft wants to rule all, no question about it. This is a war about who controls your living room, but where Microsoft badly miscalculated compared to what Nintendo stumbled on to is about Joe Schmo in Boise who thinks the 360 is for "gamers" and that the Wii is for "everyone else." That "everyone else" demographic is frickin' huge and Nintendo figured out how to strike it just right.

I still maintain that Nintendo could very well win this generation but only if they crank out fun software at a faster clip than they have in generations past. I think Microsoft is also in this boat and that for all the flack Sony gets they at least know how to crank titles out. Love 'em or hate 'em, the one thing you can't say about the PS2 was that it lacked software. If both Microsoft and Nintendo manage to achieve Sony levels of software production then this generation war will get a hell of a lot more interesting.
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2007, 06:27:46 PM »

Quote from: whiteboyskim on February 27, 2007, 05:57:04 PM

I still maintain that Nintendo could very well win this generation but only if they crank out fun software at a faster clip than they have in generations past.

I really think we are going to see a divergence between what the casual Wii audience buys and what the more conventional gamer audience buys.  I think we're already seeing it when you see people on message boards saying "Wow, Wii FINALLY gets a major new exclusive in April with Super Paper Mario" while in reality Wii Play is likely to be pretty huge and even Warioware in January posted 200k in sales. 

So I expect that if Nintendo is successful in putting on the Wii Sports/Wii Play and other minigame collections that have neat uses of the controller along with the inevitable Nintendogs/Brain Training/Animal Crossing variants specially designed for Wii controls, all of those titles will do quite well but there will still be lots and lots of posts along the lines of "yeah, Nintendo where are the games?  We're in a major drought here just like with the Cube!". 
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2007, 06:48:03 PM »

I understand Nintendo's desire to appeal to the nongamers out there.  I hope they don't do that at the expense of the hard core gamers.  In many ways I do not want gaming to get to the masses.  I fear that the game industry could get watered down with sims/warioware/wii play clones.  I know it is selfish on my part, but I prefer gaming to be a niche hobby. 
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2007, 06:57:08 PM »

Quote from: denoginizer on February 27, 2007, 06:48:03 PM

I understand Nintendo's desire to appeal to the nongamers out there.  I hope they don't do that at the expense of the hard core gamers.  In many ways I do not want gaming to get to the masses.  I fear that the game industry could get watered down with sims/warioware/wii play clones.  I know it is selfish on my part, but I prefer gaming to be a niche hobby. 

Can you define what you mean by hard core games? Sure, Nintendo make some very accessible games like Warioware, but they've always had an incredibly diverse lineup, including some very niche games that appeal to hard core gamers.  For example, the last Pokemon game they released was a roguelike. If that's not hard core, I don't know what is.

If by hard core, you mean multiplayer FPS with space marines, then yeah, you're out of luck with Nintendo. But please don't try to argue that they're only catering to the masses with the Wii. I'd hardly describe Fire Emblem and Super Paper Mario as games designed for the non-gamer.
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2007, 07:40:18 PM »

Quote from: whiteboyskim on February 27, 2007, 05:57:04 PM

I still maintain that Nintendo could very well win this generation but only if they crank out fun software at a faster clip than they have in generations past. I think Microsoft is also in this boat and that for all the flack Sony gets they at least know how to crank titles out. Love 'em or hate 'em, the one thing you can't say about the PS2 was that it lacked software. If both Microsoft and Nintendo manage to achieve Sony levels of software production then this generation war will get a hell of a lot more interesting.

I agree that the PS2 had the larger library last gen by a large margin, but I wouldn't necessarily agree that it was due to Sony's own efforts. Most of the PS2's library was comprised of 3rd party games and more importantly a significant majority of the AAA titles. I also agree that strong 1st party support isn't enough as it's impossible for 1 company to deliver enough titles.

Based on the easier development experience game dev's had with the XBox and GameCube, I see some of Sony's 3rd party support possibly dissappearing. I've never been convinced that 3rd party support for Sony has been anything other than soft. I just don't see Sony holding on to all their top 3rd party titles this gen, with both Microsoft and Nintendo benefitting as a result.
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« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2007, 07:54:25 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on February 27, 2007, 07:40:18 PM

I agree that the PS2 had the larger library last gen by a large margin, but I wouldn't necessarily agree that it was due to Sony's own efforts. Most of the PS2's library was comprised of 3rd party games and more importantly a significant majority of the AAA titles. I also agree that strong 1st party support isn't enough as it's impossible for 1 company to deliver enough titles.

Sony kicked ass with their first party titles last gen. They had a huge blockbuster franchise with Gran Turismo, and they had a stable of properties that sold consistently well year in and year out. The Jak series, Ratchet and Clank, SOCOM, Sly Cooper, Twisted Metal, God of War all put up excellent sales. I think all of these franchises were a big contributor to the PS2's success.
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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2007, 08:29:08 PM »

Yeah, one thing Sony is good at is sort of "willing" their titles to long term success, which is something that I think MS struggles with.  Sony has a lot of titles that consistently sell between a million to two million copies that aren't even necessarilly very high profile.  A lot of Sony franchises, including all three of their platformers and even God of War, got off to sort of slow starts but they really managed to somehow keep them in the public consciousness long enough to get sustained sales and, more importantly, even better sales for each sequel.  With MS it seemed like they put out a lot of first party stuff that didn't quite catch on initially even if it was quality and just sort of died on the vine afterward. 

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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2007, 08:32:19 PM »

Quote from: Andrew Mallon on February 27, 2007, 06:57:08 PM


Can you define what you mean by hard core games? Sure, Nintendo make some very accessible games like Warioware, but they've always had an incredibly diverse lineup, including some very niche games that appeal to hard core gamers.  For example, the last Pokemon game they released was a roguelike. If that's not hard core, I don't know what is.
If by hard core, you mean multiplayer FPS with space marines, then yeah, you're out of luck with Nintendo. But please don't try to argue that they're only catering to the masses with the Wii. I'd hardly describe Fire Emblem and Super Paper Mario as games designed for the non-gamer.

I believe Paper Mario and FE were originally developed for the Cube.  So of course they are going to release them on the Wii.  I am afraid that if light on content but cheap and easy to develop games sell well on the Wii, publishers will jump on that bandwagon at the expense of creating deeper games that are more costly to develop.  I don't really worry about Nintendo doing that with their first party titles.  But third party games for the Wii concern me.  Not that there will not be many (ala the Cube), but that they may be aimed at the "casual gamer" who will be identified as the main Wii audience. 
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« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2007, 06:26:36 AM »

I've always felt this is more about wooing the Japanese market (as well as the fact that MS considers a Nintendo buyout as "the one that got away").

Who knows?  Maybe MS would like to team up with Nintendo to develop a next-gen console.  It would certainly have positives for both of them.
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« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2007, 07:31:01 AM »

Quote from: unbreakable on February 28, 2007, 06:26:36 AM

I've always felt this is more about wooing the Japanese market (as well as the fact that MS considers a Nintendo buyout as "the one that got away").

Who knows?  Maybe MS would like to team up with Nintendo to develop a next-gen console.  It would certainly have positives for both of them.

wasnt that the way with sony and nintendo...for a CD games player back in early 90's,but nintendo decided to go with Phillips?(and i think theirs flopped)...so sony went it alone and  brought out the ps1?.and the rest,as they say is history
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« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2007, 04:28:29 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 27, 2007, 04:13:13 PM


But MS already has you and, based on the games you listed, you were likely an Xbox owner as well.  They are already banking on carrying that audience over but a 20+ million install base (and 4 Billion in losses) does not a successful console make from MS's perspective.  If the 360 sees only a marginal increase in market share and overall sales as what MS saw with Xbox 1 then I think they will have failed this time out.  They got the hardcore gamer last time around and all of those franchises are continuing so now it's time to diversify that lineup.

Its already well documented that MS has fixed their cost problems they had last time around. They aren't going to loose anywhere close to 4 billion on the 360 even if it never went past the first Xbox's install base(which it will). Saying unless MS totally "blows up" this generation or its a failure is pretty ridiculous.
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« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2007, 04:45:39 PM »

Quote from: Jumangi on February 28, 2007, 04:28:29 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 27, 2007, 04:13:13 PM


But MS already has you and, based on the games you listed, you were likely an Xbox owner as well.  They are already banking on carrying that audience over but a 20+ million install base (and 4 Billion in losses) does not a successful console make from MS's perspective.  If the 360 sees only a marginal increase in market share and overall sales as what MS saw with Xbox 1 then I think they will have failed this time out.  They got the hardcore gamer last time around and all of those franchises are continuing so now it's time to diversify that lineup.

Its already well documented that MS has fixed their cost problems they had last time around. They aren't going to loose anywhere close to 4 billion on the 360 even if it never went past the first Xbox's install base(which it will). Saying unless MS totally "blows up" this generation or its a failure is pretty ridiculous.

So you don't think a marginal increase in market share this time out would constitute a failure for the 360?
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« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2007, 04:53:33 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 28, 2007, 04:45:39 PM

Quote from: Jumangi on February 28, 2007, 04:28:29 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 27, 2007, 04:13:13 PM


But MS already has you and, based on the games you listed, you were likely an Xbox owner as well.  They are already banking on carrying that audience over but a 20+ million install base (and 4 Billion in losses) does not a successful console make from MS's perspective.  If the 360 sees only a marginal increase in market share and overall sales as what MS saw with Xbox 1 then I think they will have failed this time out.  They got the hardcore gamer last time around and all of those franchises are continuing so now it's time to diversify that lineup.

Its already well documented that MS has fixed their cost problems they had last time around. They aren't going to loose anywhere close to 4 billion on the 360 even if it never went past the first Xbox's install base(which it will). Saying unless MS totally "blows up" this generation or its a failure is pretty ridiculous.

So you don't think a marginal increase in market share this time out would constitute a failure for the 360?

I think it would be a failure especially considering the 360's current position vs the PS3.  I think if the 360 can get even 33% market share vs Nintendo and Sony then Microsoft will be happy.  If I were Microsoft I would have a 360 price drop in October to coincide with the release of GTA4 and a month before Halo 3 comes out.  If Sony is unwilling or unable to drop the PS3 price at that time and GTA4 looks similar on both systems, the 360 could be in a very good position vs the PS3 at the end of 2007.
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« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2007, 07:35:40 PM »

Quote from: denoginizer on February 28, 2007, 04:53:33 PM

If I were Microsoft I would have a 360 price drop in October to coincide with the release of GTA4 and a month before Halo 3 comes out.

Based on this quote from the original news article that someone else already pointed out in a earlier post, I'd say Microsoft needs to issue a price drop sooner than that.

Quote
"But we've got a few tricks up our sleeve as well to be able to do that. It's not something that we're going to be shy about, and it's not something that we're not painfully aware of that needs to be changed by this holiday. That has been the strategy all along, and we'll be making some more announcements in the coming month or two."

I for one aren't going to be purchasing a 360 before a price drop. As it stands, due to the unreliability of the finished product, I'm going to have to purchase an additional 3 year replacement warranty. And based on what the current price point is for the Pro that means an extra $89!  mad
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« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2007, 08:13:04 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on February 28, 2007, 07:35:40 PM

Based on this quote from the original news article that someone else already pointed out in a earlier post, I'd say Microsoft needs to issue a price drop sooner than that.

Why?  The 360 has outsold the PS3 in each of the last 2 months. I don't see any need for a price drop right now.  I don't think the Wii factors into Microsoft's decision making at all.  They are primarily concerned with Sony.
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« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2007, 08:39:20 PM »

Quote from: denoginizer on February 28, 2007, 08:13:04 PM

Quote from: kronovan on February 28, 2007, 07:35:40 PM

Based on this quote from the original news article that someone else already pointed out in a earlier post, I'd say Microsoft needs to issue a price drop sooner than that.

Why?  The 360 has outsold the PS3 in each of the last 2 months. I don't see any need for a price drop right now.  I don't think the Wii factors into Microsoft's decision making at all.  They are primarily concerned with Sony.

Huh...didn't you read the 1st paragraph from the article that initially started this thread?

Quote
Xbox Microsoft boss Peter Moore has hinted at a change in strategy for Xbox 360 going into 2007, to compete with the mainstream appeal of Nintendo's fun-focused Wii.

Bill Gates made similar comments last month in a Japanese  interview, stating that Microsoft now saw Nintendo as their main competition.
I agree that the roughly 300K sales that the 360 did last month in NA was by no means bad. But when you consider that sales have been reported as sluggish in Europe and almost nonexistent in Japan the 360 isn't exactly pulling away from the competition. They may not even be keeping pace.
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« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2007, 08:47:23 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on February 28, 2007, 08:39:20 PM


Bill Gates made similar comments last month in a Japanese  interview, stating that Microsoft now saw Nintendo as their main competition.
I agree that the roughly 300K sales that the 360 did last month in NA was by no means bad. But when you consider that sales have been reported as sluggish in Europe and almost nonexistent in Japan the 360 isn't exactly pulling away from the competition. They may not even be keeping pace.

I consider that more of a very cleverly worded dig at Sony.  By not even naming or addressing them, they are stating they consider Sony and the PS3 irrelevant this generation.  And if they can get gamers to believe that too, that means MS wins.

The enemy of my enemy...
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« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2007, 08:54:57 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on February 28, 2007, 08:39:20 PM

Huh...didn't you read the 1st paragraph from the article that initially started this thread?
When Moore says "by this holliday" I take that to mean Christmas of 2007.  I think Microsoft is perfectly happy to promote the "Wii60" as an alternative to the PS3.  Also there is no way in hell that the 360 will even get a stiff of the Japaneese market against the Wii.  I'm pretty sure Microsoft is aware of that.
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« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2007, 09:56:26 PM »

Well I guess how you read the initial article in this thread very much depends on your personal bent. For the converted, current owners of 360's it's just Microsoft being clever at praising Nintendo at the expense of Sony. Whereas I read it as an omission from Mirosoft that they're not reaching the casual gamer and they better do something about it fast.

I seem to be at odds with a number of forum members with the state of the 360.

Where I say; hardware backward compatibility for the 360 is nonexistent.
Others say; What...you actually liked your XBox S-Controller and that hideous looking component cable?

Where I say; software backward compatibility for the 360 is lacking.
Others say; get over it and move on to newer games and doesn't that European BC for the PS3 suck!
NOTE: The minute someone says my XBox games will make nice coasters and those green cases are terrific for storing PC games, I'll freak.

Where I say; the the 360 price is too high.
Others say; Yeah but the PS3 costs way more!

Where I say; the manufacturing and reliability of the 360 is an issue.
Others say; What's your problem, do you or don't you want to play the games?

Where I say; I'm holding out for the next 360 SKU because it will benefit from better manufacturing.
Others say; Naah...there'll probably be just as many issues with it cause it'll be  new,  but I hear the red lights on it will be brighter and of a much nicer hue.

Sorry...just had to interject some humor into all of this; admittedly sarcastic humor.  biggrin
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« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2007, 02:27:21 AM »

Quote from: kronovan on February 28, 2007, 09:56:26 PM

Well I guess how you read the initial article in this thread very much depends on your personal bent. For the converted, current owners of 360's it's just Microsoft being clever at praising Nintendo at the expense of Sony. Whereas I read it as an omission from Mirosoft that they're not reaching the casual gamer and they better do something about it fast.

I agree with how you read that, meaning they aren't reaching the casual gamer, are fully aware of it and are trying to address it.  I don't think he was pointing at a price reduction but was addressing the software that is available to appeal to those consumers.    The problem is that dealing with a specific deficiency like that is not something that can be overcome immediately given the 12-18 months of development those games have to go though. 
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Sandwiches do fix everything.
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