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XBox: Monday Morning Quarterbacking
May 2nd 2002, 18:22 CEST by Ed

Dean Takahasi's new book Opening the Xbox reveals lots of interesting tidbits to debate.  Some examples:

1) MS initially was shooting for a Fall 2000 release of a system that would be about as powerful as the PS2.  Assuming they could actually have gotten it out the door in time, would this have put MS in a dramatically better position (esp considering Sony's distribution problems at the time)?
2) MS was in talks to buy Sega, Square, and Nintendo, among others.  Which of these, if any, would have been a good fit?
3) Seamus Blackley repeatedly states that gamers wouldn't accept anything but Nvidia graphics technology in the XBox.  Is that really accurrate?  It seems like most gamers, even HC ones, aren't generally aware of the GPU manufacturer in a console.

Thoughts?
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#1 by Ed
2002-05-02 18:26:28
coj@funkatron.com http://www.funkatron.com
Is first posting in my own topic as tacky as it seems?

i need assertion devils inside my eye won't let up any motion
i need a surgeon devils inside won't cut me any slack
#2 by Post-It
2002-05-02 18:30:53
keithlee@speakeasy.net
yes

Bad game designs are the new crates
-Greg
#3 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-02 18:32:22
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Not as tacky as making a topic out of a bit that has already been thoroughly discussed in the X-Box topic that's still on the front page. Or voting for it.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#4 by Tom Cleghorn
2002-05-02 18:34:05
Well I voted {vote_type} for this topic. I think it is {opinion_string}.

-Posted by the TomC AutoCrap bot beta 4

Hit me - I'm wasting valuable time.
#5 by jjohnsen
2002-05-02 18:35:12
http://www.johnsenclan.com
1)I feel like this would have made a huge difference.  I don't have any facts but with the amount of software available for the PS2 must be putting a dent in the amount of Xbox's sold.  For a console that costs the same amount, would you choose the console with very few games, or the console with hundreds of games?
2)MS should have bought all three.  Think of a console that had all of Sega, Nintendoand Square's games.  Of course any of them would probably have made a huge difference for their sales in Japan.  I said in the last Xbox thread, if Xbox had some rally big games that were Xbox only, it would be a huge selling point.  All their big games except Halo are available on other machines.
3)He's full of crap.  The majority of console players probably don't know what is running their Gamecubes or PS2s.

We haven't had a warez thread forever
#6 by Gabe
2002-05-02 18:36:16
http://www.dartpublishing.com
I got the impression that they felt it was the developers they were courting who would only accept NVIDIA parts, not so much the end users.

HONK!
#7 by Ed
2002-05-02 18:42:31
coj@funkatron.com http://www.funkatron.com
Not as tacky as making a topic out of a bit that has already been thoroughly discussed in the X-Box topic that's still on the front page. Or voting for it.


I felt the book, and many of the revelations therein, hadn't been discussed thoroughly, and that it would make for some interesting conversation.  Sorry if that miffed you, muffy.

i need assertion devils inside my eye won't let up any motion
i need a surgeon devils inside won't cut me any slack
#8 by Ed
2002-05-02 18:43:30
coj@funkatron.com http://www.funkatron.com
I got the impression that they felt it was the developers they were courting who would only accept NVIDIA parts, not so much the end users.


Blackley said "gamers," though.  At least that's how he was quoted in the book.

i need assertion devils inside my eye won't let up any motion
i need a surgeon devils inside won't cut me any slack
#9 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-02 18:47:38
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
I don't think he meant that people were looking for the nVidia name, but more along the lines of what the nVidia chips are capable of producing graphics-wise.

There, I'm participating.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#10 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-02 19:01:25
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Oh and:

Developers, developers, developers, developers!

I love this company!

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#11 by BobJustBob
2002-05-02 19:03:35
If MS had bought Sega I would have an XBox right now. Once a few more Sega exclusives are out for the system, I will buy one. So there.
#12 by jjohnsen
2002-05-02 19:04:19
http://www.johnsenclan.com
I'll take exclusives from just about anyone with a good reputation.

We haven't had a warez thread forever
#13 by Hugin
2002-05-02 19:08:04
lmccain@nber.org
I agree with BJB.  If MS were simply agressively porting as much of the Dreamcast library over as they could, I'd buy one. I thought that was thier plan at first, what with Jet Grind Radio and such..but then that all seemed to peter out.
#14 by Filthy Animal
2002-05-02 19:19:10
MS was in talks to buy Sega, Square, and Nintendo, among others.  Which of these, if any, would have been a good fit?


Any of them.  

The XBox's biggest problem is its lack of exclusive titles, which is something a console needs to be successful.  I bought a PS/2 and a GameCube because they each have a handful of exclusive titles that I won't be able to play unless I own the console.

The XBox has a few games I'm interested in, but they're all slated for a PC release in the near future, so why bother?

If MS had bought Square or Sega like they were considering and made the games XBox-only, I might have bought an XBox instead of a PS/2.

The similarities between the XBox and a regular PC might be a major pro for developers, but from the perspective of a gamer with a PC, it's the system's biggest weakness.  Since it's so easy to port games between the two platforms, any title worth buying will eventually make its way to the PC, and I already have one of those.

Get some exclusive, XBOX ONLY titles that won't be available on any other platform -- like Sony and Nintendo have done -- and I'll probably buy one.
#15 by "hoodoo"
2002-05-02 19:27:01
"The XBox's biggest problem is its lack of exclusive titles"

Yep. Microsoft made a mistake in not buying more developers. Bungie's good, but they make one game every two years. Square probably puts out 5-10 titles a year.

The second biggest weakness (so far) is that the hard drive isn't used. Microsoft has failed to make that a selling point.
#16 by Gabe
2002-05-02 19:27:23
http://www.dartpublishing.com
Blackley said "gamers," though.  At least that's how he was quoted in the book.

He has a lot of quotes in the book. There are whole sections with the back and forth with people like Tim Sweeney trying to convince him to go with NVIDIA.

HONK!
#17 by Gabe
2002-05-02 19:28:10
http://www.dartpublishing.com
The second biggest weakness (so far) is that the hard drive isn't used.

Well, at the very least, I didn't have to buy a separate memory card.

HONK!
#18 by Charles
2002-05-02 19:35:42
www.bluh.org
If the harddrive isn't used, how do you explain the DOA3 addon?

Bailey:  Beep beep, motherfucker.
#19 by Bailey
2002-05-02 19:40:31
How indeed?! (wiggling eyebrows, twirling fake waxed mustache in a villianous fashion)

I'm DoS'ing Jesus. What did you do today?
#20 by Matt Perkins
2002-05-02 19:42:21
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Bailey...

take a deep breath and say, "Jesus loves me"...  then cry, get all the anger out of the way and let the love flow in!

:D

everyday is no pants day for me.
#21 by "hoodoo"
2002-05-02 19:43:03
Oops, didn't even know there was a DOA3 add-on. How does it work? Does DOA3 install first, or is the add-on a standalone? Microsoft needs more stuff like this.

I've played Simpsons Road Rage on both a PS2 and an Xbox and the level load times are identical. You'd think the Xbox version would take advantage of the hard drive and do an install to it to reduce load times.
#22 by jjohnsen
2002-05-02 19:49:11
http://www.johnsenclan.com
I've played Simpsons Road Rage on both a PS2 and an Xbox and the level load times are identical. You'd think the Xbox version would take advantage of the hard drive and do an install to it to reduce load times.


How much (if any) of an Xbox game is loaded to the hard drive?

We haven't had a warez thread forever
#23 by crash
2002-05-02 19:52:24
re: the topic.

1. no.

2. difficult to believe they could have bought Square; Sony owns them pretty much title and deed. Sega, most definitely. then again, putting all your eggs in a basket that's had the bottom fall out not once but three times is pushing the limits of cred, and with a new system coming out...

3. bullshit. only hardcore know or care, and they're numerically insignificant in terms of sales. then again, perhaps it was a one-step-removed word-of-mouth campaign... because the hardcore know and care and would recommend it to joe sixpack friends based on solid tech. on the other side of the coin, hardcore know and care more about games than tech, and the xbox ain't got all that. so yeah, it kinda worked after a fashion, but the focus shoulda been on the more important stuff--the games.

just... weary.
#24 by Ed
2002-05-02 19:54:24
coj@funkatron.com http://www.funkatron.com
#16:
He has a lot of quotes in the book. There are whole sections with the back and forth with people like Tim Sweeney trying to convince him to go with NVIDIA.


Yep.  I probably misspoke... I'm not saying he wasn't influenced by developers to make that decision (it's clear he was); rather that gamers were aware of the GPU manufacturer, and that would have a significant impact on their purchasing decisions.

#9:
I don't think he meant that people were looking for the nVidia name, but more along the lines of what the nVidia chips are capable of producing graphics-wise.


I can see that.  Personally I felt the emphasis was on branding, but I'd have to pick the book up and examine the context again.

i need assertion devils inside my eye won't let up any motion
i need a surgeon devils inside won't cut me any slack
#25 by Bailey
2002-05-02 20:02:40
wizard

take a deep breath and say, "Jesus loves me"...  then cry, get all the anger out of the way and let the love flow in!

Okay... alright, lemme try this. (deep breath) Been a long time, you know? Gotta work up to this. (bracing) Okay. Here goes. I can do this. This one's for the Gipper. Any minute now...

Hail Satan! Drowning puppies! Putting cyanide pills in the mix at the juice-box factory! Stealing from blind men and old people! Poppin' babies heads like daisies!

(laboured breathing) Whoo! Man, you were right! I feel a lot better! And full of love! Or possibly bile, which is better than love.

I'm DoS'ing Jesus. What did you do today?
#26 by Matt Perkins
2002-05-02 20:04:09
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
I'm glad I could help ya out.  :(  (I think I've just become beholden to Satan, even though I don't believe it...odd)

everyday is no pants day for me.
#27 by Jove
2002-05-02 20:06:07
clan_dsq@hotmail.com
I'm not sure even ms could have swung buying Nintendo, Squaresoft, AND Sega. Especially given the fact that they were about to commit themselves to a very expensive console launch. This isn't to say that they wouldn't have the cash, god knows if anyone has it ms does. Just that as a large corporation they have a lot of shareholders to answer to and I'm not sure they see the X-box as something that ms should commit themselves to that deeply. On a side note though its unlikely they'd actually NEED to buy them, seems to me they could more or less get Sega and Square's games as exclusives just by greasing ($$$) a few wheels. I suspect that if they had bought either company and proceeded to release a dog under one of those names it would be perceived as all being the fault of "Teh evil M$ ruined the peace-loving and great squaresoft.". Whereas, if ms merely buys the rights to the series and it bombs the blame would be more foccused, rightly so, on the producer of the game.
Another point, which I never considered until I began this, I'm not sure how ms is viewed in Japan with the so-called "gaming hardcore". Here at least, public opinion of them is... mixed, to be polite. But in Japan, I suspect that an attempt to buy the revered Nintendo would be seen VERY badly. In fact, I see no way it could have been done; if the deal had been unsuccessful they would almost certainly face a great deal of hostility from the buying public for even trying to kill the beloved Nintendo. And if the deal had been successfull I can't help but think that:
A) They'd still get no respect as a gaming company in Japan, and futher I think there would be a great deal of hostility directed towards an American OS company buying gamings golden goose.
B) Gonna go out on a limb here and say that buying Nintendo would be biting off a bit more than ms is willing to chew, Asian markets are VERY different from what I've heard, and I would debate ms's ability to work both fronts, successfully, for any length of time. Nintendo's holding are pretty vast, especially with the younger set, ie pokemon, GB, GBA, etc... and I'm not sure thats a market ms has any interest in. At least for now.

Upshot? I doubt that outright buying any of these companys would really have helped them, certainly not in the case of Nintendo. But more to the point I doubt they'd think there's any point to buying them when, for substantially less money they could procure exclusives from both Squaresoft and Sega. Both of them are/were pretty cash-strapped and probably would have jumped at the opportunity. That would also let ms distance themselves from any failure from either company to produce a good game.

My, to sense!

-Jove
#28 by Bailey
2002-05-02 20:06:53
It becomes easier if you just remember that Satan is only a personification of humanity's base nature, not a deity. The practice of self-worship, not a bunch of twits in cloaks gathered in a basement somewhere and killing a goat.

I'm DoS'ing Jesus. What did you do today?
#29 by Matt Perkins
2002-05-02 20:08:15
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Along those same lines that would make god the same theory...  oddly interesting.  :)

everyday is no pants day for me.
#30 by Greg
2002-05-02 20:10:10
jjohnsen:

How much (if any) of an Xbox game is loaded to the hard drive?

For certain games at least some of it is. I've noticed either Dave Mirra 2 or THPS2X (I forget which) was accessing the harddrive. Though it may have been because both support user-supplied music.

Greg

-Swallow it all and be glad, for a shilling I've paid and a shilling's worth I'll be having!
#31 by Bailey
2002-05-02 20:39:49
wizard

Yep, pretty much. Mind you, I'd give the whole god thing a shot before I'd start wearing a pentacle around my neck. Even though I'd still opt for agnosticism before organized religion.

I'm DoS'ing Jesus. What did you do today?
#32 by Matt Perkins
2002-05-02 20:43:47
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
I'm of the opinion I see proof all the time, but that's beside the point.  I do agree that organized religion is plain wrong.  I don't know of any western religion that works...  I do some eastern religions that highly interesting, but not of them seem to quite fit with me.  I'm of the opinion find what works for you, don't quit questioning it and all will be well with you.

everyday is no pants day for me.
#33 by "rizzuh"
2002-05-02 20:56:53
rze@counter-strike.net http://csnation.counter-strike.net
Is this book worth reading. I really enjoy the guy from Gameslice.com (and his articles @ gamespot); is this book any thing like that?

f---k that, let's just talk about MGSX at E3 or something that has nothing to to with the article. Bye.
#34 by Ed
2002-05-02 21:41:43
coj@funkatron.com http://www.funkatron.com
Is this book worth reading. I really enjoy the guy from Gameslice.com (and his articles @ gamespot); is this book any thing like that?


If you like the gameslice pieces, you'll like this book, yes.

f---k that, let's just talk about MGSX at E3 or something that has nothing to to with the article. Bye.


Is that still coming out?

i need assertion devils inside my eye won't let up any motion
i need a surgeon devils inside won't cut me any slack
#35 by Bailey
2002-05-02 23:09:15
wizard

Zen buddhism is the show. No deities, and you practice it dutifully by eating and sleeping.

I'm DoS'ing Jesus. What did you do today?
#36 by rizzuh
2002-05-03 00:39:40
rze@counter-strike.net http://csnation.counter-strike.net/
If you like the gameslice pieces, you'll like this book, yes.
Thanks, I'll buy it.

Your weekend starts here!
#37 by Shadarr
2002-05-03 02:07:42
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
Is religion the new cross-thread discussion?  If so, I guess someone will turn it into a topic once we're finished.
#38 by Ed
2002-05-03 02:13:15
coj@funkatron.com http://www.funkatron.com
Is religion the new cross-thread discussion?  If so, I guess someone will turn it into a topic once we're finished.


I'll get right on that.

i need assertion devils inside my eye won't let up any motion
i need a surgeon devils inside won't cut me any slack
#39 by Max
2002-05-03 02:43:15
http://massivebraincase.org/
I'm a big proponent of Tao, as long as it's The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet.

"Any game you play features a big penis. Nuff said." -Neale
#40 by LPMiller
2002-05-03 02:49:30
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
As long as we aren't even close to being on topic - jafd, to answer a question a few weeks back, Morrowind hit eDonkey day and date. As did, oddly enough, Atari's Warlords.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#41 by Bailey
2002-05-03 02:56:09
Max

Fucking Christopher Robins sellout.

I'm DoS'ing Jesus. What did you do today?
#42 by bago
2002-05-03 03:08:18
manga_Rando@hotmail.com
need harddrive for online play.

iamelectro
#43 by Ed
2002-05-03 03:32:06
coj@funkatron.com http://www.funkatron.com
As long as we aren't even close to being on topic - jafd, to answer a question a few weeks back, Morrowind hit eDonkey day and date. As did, oddly enough, Atari's Warlords.


Is that an update to the original?  That was a dope VCS game.

i need assertion devils inside my eye won't let up any motion
i need a surgeon devils inside won't cut me any slack
#44 by LPMiller
2002-05-03 03:37:01
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
yeah it is...apparently they released an update to Warlords, missle command and...something. Um, combat I think.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#45 by Tom Cleghorn
2002-05-03 05:59:11
Religion sucks.

And I'll defend that comment to the best of my abilities should anyone so desire.

Hit me - I'm wasting valuable time.
#46 by JMCDaveL
2002-05-03 06:01:07
Xbox threads are the new warez threads!

--jmc
ICQ-121684 AIM-jmcdavel U=FAG0T
#47 by Max
2002-05-03 06:20:07
http://massivebraincase.org/
Actually, I lied. The Tao of Pooh is for kids. I'll take The Tao of Boobs and The Te of Buttocks.  Now THAT's some old-time religion, yo!

"Any game you play features a big penis. Nuff said." -Neale
#48 by godZero
2002-05-03 10:53:33
godzero@gmx.de
XBOXXX!!!
DNF!!!
WAREZ!!!

Chop Suey-cide!!!
#49 by deadlock
2002-05-03 11:11:04
http://www.deadlocked.org/
Didn't we already have that list ?

HONK!

Jafd! Warren! Stop bickering or I'll be forced to change your opinions manually!
#50 by Martin
2002-05-03 12:06:40
http://www.mocol.nu
The Tao of Steve. A really good movie, actually.

"that fatty crocodile! what a glutton!"
- Kayin
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