Xbox One, the good the bad and the ugly. Mostly ugly.

To me the Xbox One so smells of corporate and a marketing think tank (I use the work think lightly)that don’t ‘get’ gamers.  It seems to be all about number gathering to sell to publishers than doing what the console was made for.  Games.

if Microsoft can prove that 80% of gamers play Call of Duty (HA! I said duty) then another CoD is made because that must be what gamers want!  

image

Marketing TOTALLY misses the fact that games sell because they are good, then because it’s a part of a series and then because we’re told to.  It seems this time around Microsoft is relaying so much on the numbers. 

“Numbers are the path to Management.  Numbers lead to misinformation.  Misinformation leads to bad games.  Bad games lead to broken controllers.”

You can tell that marketing has taken over the Xbox IP.  Someone that understands gamers and the culture would know that this form of DRM will backfire and not be looked in a good light.  But, there will always be the fan boys and there will always be some demand, even for crap. 

Personally, I believe the Xbox One will bomb like the PS3 did in the American markets and Microsoft’s marketing team will be left wondering what happened.  But because they are management, they will never understand why because the ‘numbers’ back them up.

It’s good to know that Sony seems to have learned from their mistakes with the PS3.  They are coming out swinging this time around and using the Xbox One backlash to their advantage.  It’s too late for MS to change their marketing strategy for the Xbox One, all they can do is push forward as hard as possible and pray the numbers work for them.

Granted, to me, the ‘issues’ with the Xbox One doesn’t really matter.   Currently I pretty much use mine to play Netflix.  it is always online, even if I don’t use it daily.   I don’t tend to go over to a friend’s house to play games so not being able to share my game is a moot point. 

At this point, I might as well just buy a Roku streaming internet appliance and save like $300 dollars.

 

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The Graphics of ‘Avatar’ at home!

Report: The Next Xbox Can Render Avatar Graphics

Brian Ashcraft  No, it won’t be wall-to-wall digital blue people. Well, I hope it won’t, because, man, I did not like Avatar.

However, AMD, the tech company responsible for Xbox 360 graphics tech, said the next Xbox will be able to render graphical detail on par with James Cameron’s sci-fi opus.

AMD won’t confirm it’s working on the new Xbox, but, according to the Official Xbox Magazine, AMD said the new Xbox will launch with that level of graphics.

What’s more, AMD’s Neal Robison added that the upcoming A.I. will enable every pedestrian in, say,Grand Theft Auto have their own personality and react to situations differently.

This sounds like AMD talking up whatever they’re working on. Fingers crossed it actually pans out, because words like these can come back to haunt you.

Kotaku is following up with Microsoft and will update this post should the company comment.

Source: Report: The Next Xbox Can Render Avatar Graphics

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I’ve got to call BS on this one.   Real time rendering of Avatar graphics with enough horsepower
to give everyone in GTA a personality?    Don’t think so.. not at the price point Microsoft is going to
need to be at.  

Of course.. Sony said the same thing.. and it was true..  if you watched it as a movie. 

Microsoft Ditches XBLA Size Cap

via 1UP RSS feed by Steve Watts on 9/24/09

Shadow Complex

Though it’s been a non-issue for the last several months, Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade has still ostensibly had a file size cap, until now. IGN reports that the company has finally done away with arbitrary file size rules. This is no surprise, since several games have broken the size cap, most recently with a stand-alone Red Alert 3 pack that came it at a whopping 2GB. We seemed to see a slow scaling back of the limits on XBLA titles. After Symphony of the Night broke the 50 MB limit, Microsoft moved it to 150 MB. Then Portal: Still Alive broke that at a full gig, and since then the size restrictions haven’t seemed to be in play.That doesn’t mean developers can make a game any size they want, however. Microsoft’s Scott Austin says that the file structure of XBLA games only allows them to go up to 2 GB. That’s the new limit, and there doesn’t seem to be any room for expansion beyond it. It does bring up the question, though: if 2 GB was always the technical ceiling for file sizes, why create file caps in the first place?

Microsoft in Second Life…

World of WarcraftWorld of Warcraft

Xbox out, Nintendo in

Filed under: News items, Second Life, Virtual worlds

http://www.massively.com/2008/04/30/xbox-out-nintendo-in/

Close to one year ago, we stumbled onto a new Microsoft island in Second Life, called Microsoft Xbox. The island was brand-new, and was still closed to the public, and there was a lot of speculation as to what it was for. This was fueled by talk of Microsoft having explored the idea of Second Life running on the Xbox platform, but the facilities specification for the system isn’t adequate for running the virtual world, as-is.

Microsoft stayed mum on both topics, declining to comment on either the island or its Xbox investigations, and time dragged on. While the island eventually vanished without fanfare, it appears that Nintendo Island has just appeared on the Second Life grid. Still closed to the public, and with nothing built there yet, but with the likes of Atlus getting into the act, and an increasingly strong representation of Japanese industries in the virtual world, a Nintendo presence in Second Life makes a lot of sense.

What happened to gaming in general?

Has anyone noticed how games are getting boring?  It’s the same damn game play with a new coat of paint and some tweaks.  ALL MMO’s want to be WoW, all FSP’s can trace there game play back to Half-life or Doom.  Puzzle games? Hell 1/2 of them are clones of some other puzzle game.    You pay hundreds of dollars to play a remake of pac-man!?

It’s kind of the same thing as the movie industry, the MPAA bitches that they aren’t making any money from movies. Then you get movies like the new Batman.
It comes down to, if you make a GOOD movie people will go see it.   The RIAA complains they aren’t making any money, yet there are a number of artists that have platinum records.
at least with the Internet we don’t have only a few songs shoved down our throat.

Is this was is beginning to happen in the gaming industry?  A bunch of clones and whiners with a couple gems released every couple of years? A few games released to LIVE and PSN because that’s what Microsoft/Sony want us to make popular?   is there anything new an interesting coming down the pipe?  

Are the major players in the field just getting too big so the whole ‘Corporate’ mentality is starting to take hold?  Will they force us into another time where all gamers just said screw this, gaming is stupid and cause another gaming crash?      Can indy developers games save the face of gaming?

 

What’s your thoughts/ideas on the subject?

Want 10 grand?

Sure you do, know a little programming? Well then here’s a contest for you!

Dr. Dobb’s (apart of Gamasutra and Microsoft) is holding a contest for would be game programmers to modify a specially created Windows and/or Windows Mobil game and compete for 10 grand.

Step 1) Download a specially created ‘Dr. Dobb’s Challenge Game

Step 2) Modify the game using a trail version of Visual Studio 2008

Step 3) Upload the game for judging.

 

So it’s free to get into, free trail software and perhaps 10 grand!

 

[check it out!]

Xbox 360 Spring update rumor list…

QJ.NET has a [nice post] about the possible updates to the Xbox 360 and LIVE for the spring update.

The rumor list includes (Remember this is only a RUMOR list)

 

Xbox LIVE

  1. Option to delay sign-in to Xbox LIVE upon booting console (to allow user to set Online Status).
  2. Option to promote Child Account from Family Settings.
  3. Disallow Child Accounts (over 18) to override Family Settings by launching Privacy Settings through a title.
  4. Option in Family Settings for Child Accounts to enable child-oriented/non-mature advertisements.
  5. Introduce a group chat (4) for Private Chat and conferences through Video Chat.
  6. Support to indicate media being watched to gamercard status (video content from Marketplace only).
  7. Extend height for Bio field in Personal Profile, easier navigation through text.
  8. More fields present in Personal Profile – recent achievements, interests, games, movies, links, custom section.
  9. Compact Personal Profile for new fields (navigating to field will open it up).
  10. Mandatory option to delete duplicate titles from gamercard (excludes Games for Windows – LIVE). User disconnected from Xbox LIVE when booting any title until action complete.
  11. Option to remove payment information from gamertag.
  12. New payment methods for international users.
  13. Download History on Account Management better organized – games, genre, type, download date, miscellaneous.
  14. Long descriptions of items on Marketplace can be scrolled using right stick.
  15. Better organization of free content on Marketplace.
  16. Option to ‘ping’ when testing connection.
  17. Allow re-connection to Xbox LIVE if Ethernet cable is re-inserted whilst powered on.
  18. New strip colors available to developers, staff gamercards.
  19. New corner icon available to ambassadors.
  20. Re-introduce Messages button for Inside Xbox updates only.
  21. Option to store up to 10 messages permanently on server (excludes invites, status messages).
  22. Increase character limit for text messages between friends only.
  23. Option to disable invites from non-friends or all players.
  24. Option to disable invites from titles not on gamercard (excludes demos).
  25. Option to have smaller items moved up in Active Downloads.
  26. Automatically re-connect to Xbox LIVE if disconnected unexpectedly (set intervals).
  27. Option to download gamer picture (if available) from a gamercard being viewed.
  28. Display random tips to replace static text on Xbox LIVE and Games blades.
  29. New button on Marketplace for optional dashboard features – uses Storage Device memory.
  30. Option to donate Microsoft Points to anybody with a Windows Live ID.
  31. Option to purchase Membership for charities (includes benefits).
  32. Integrate file-sharing for selected titles on Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows – LIVE.
  33. Disable notifications to friends of user repeatedly signing into service (set period).
  34. Option to see ‘snippet’ of text message in notification.
  35. Windows Live Mail integration – includes support for Xbox LIVE Vision.
  36. Web feeds integration – text, images, audio. Includes support for specific item codes on Marketplace.
  37. Option to display gamer picture or standard picture as display picture in Windows Live Messenger.
  38. Support for headset, Xbox LIVE Vision in Windows Live Messenger.
  39. Support for limited ‘winks’ that display on dashboard interface. Option to disable ‘winks’ and ‘nudges’ added.
  40. Notifications separate from Windows Live Messenger to Xbox 360 notifications.
  41. Disable multiple languages from being used in any Xbox LIVE editable fields.

Games

  1. Option to delete titles from gamercard with 0 gamerscore and 0 achievements (excludes some titles that will be re-added to launch another title).
  2. Organize My Games at the Games Library section better (includes disc-based titles) – sort by genre, platform (Games for Windows – LIVE), percentage completion.
  3. Support to display friends leaderboards for disc-based titles.
  4. Show dates of an achievement unlocked when comparing.
  5. Preload Games Library upon dashboard bootup for faster access.
  6. Game updates now shown as items in Memory, increased amount of updates on Storage Device.
  7. Option to delete game updates, removed ‘cheat code’ as no longer needed.
  8. Support for more titles to display banner when accessing guide in-game.
  9. Option to re-introduce awarded gamer pictures from titles that do not have their own re-introduce feature (requires saved game).
  10. Disable gamer pictures from being awarded from trials.
  11. Support for titles to store installation data on Storage Device for faster loading.
  12. Synchronization to achievements offline/online that were deleted and then re-added from developers.

Media

  1. Option to hold LT and RT for rewinding/fast-forwarding video content.
  2. Option to delete individual music tracks from storage device.
  3. Option to rip music CD at different quality.
  4. Copy non-protected files (pictures, music, videos) from USB storage devices, CDs and computers to proprietary storage devices.
  5. Support for menu, top-menu features on video content downloaded from Marketplace.
  6. Section added for audio delivered through feeds (podcasts). Option to stream, download to Storage Device.
  7. Support added for video titles/description to gamercard status.

Dashboard/Miscellaneous

  1. Option to navigate quickly out of several menus back to respective blade home (applies to Games, Media, System).
  2. New blade trim styles added.
  3. Introduce expanded Inside Xbox as a portal to news, weather, entertainment, help and community features.
  4. New sounds for various functions (notifications, blades, navigation).
  5. Calibration options for display/sound.
  6. Calibration options for motion sensor devices.
  7. New effects for Xbox LIVE Vision and dashboard background.
  8. Disable changing of Theme when on Memory to prevent ‘hanging’.
  9. Preload recent, limited items upon dashboard bootup on Memory.
  10. Faster loading of Themes section on guide.
  11. Option to see what items will not work offline due to DRM license changing from Memory.
  12. Option to automatically associate new DRM to items downloaded for free.
  13. Indicate ‘charging’ status on guide when Play & Charge kit is connected.
  14. Option to change text colors on guide to better contrast some backgrounds.
  15. Language improvements.
  16. Word censor updated for fields.
  17. Privacy Settings/Family Settings updated for new features.
  18. Voice, picture messages can be read at Xbox.com (Gold accounts).