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Xbox: Its Fatal Flaw

Old 07-10-03, 01:50 PM
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Xbox: Its Fatal Flaw

I enjoy my Xbox. Itís a great console with a lot of potential. However, I know that itís not doing as well as Microsoft would like it to be, and I also know Iím not doing my part. I havenít bought many titles for it, and this month the reason finally struck me.

There are two games coming out this month for Xbox that Iím very interested in: Pirates of the Caribbean and Knights of the Old Republic. They look like great, fun games, from developers I respect. But I will not be picking them up. Why? Because they are coming on PC.

I donít want to get into a PC vs. Console debate. It is immaterial for this thread. My point is that the Xbox needs more exclusivesÖnot just within the console world, but within the PC realm as well. True exclusives, if you will. Think about it. Halo is coming on PC later this year. Just imagine if it was released simultaneously with the Xbox version. Would it be the killer app for that console it is now? I know I wouldnít own it, thatís for sure.

One of the goals of the Xbox was to create a console that is friendly to PC gamers. Which it is. However, if you have a number of PC gamers as your core users, you need to have AAA titles that arenít available on PCÖotherwise theyíll just get that version. Just because somebody bought an Xbox doesnít mean theyíre going to flush their tripped-out Alienware rig down the crapper.

So, whatís the solution? Halo 2 will be great, providing they put another long hold on the PC version. Fable is also very promising, although Iíve heard rumors of a PC version of that game as well. If Dino Crisis 3 delivers, itíll be dynamite. Other exclusives (again, I mean true exclusives) are hit and miss at this point. Purchasing Rare was an excellent move, but they donít pump out titles quickly enough to support the entire console on their own.

One suggestion I have is to make Dungeon Siege 2 Xbox-only. The sales of the first game were disappointing considering Microsoftís high-hopes of creating a Diablo-killer. And itís perfect as a console game, especially with Live support. But it wonít happen. The first game hasnít even been ported to Xbox, even though it would be a natural choice.

Microsoft has gone after Sega, Nintendo, and several third-party companies. But they wanted to buy these companies outright and stifle their freedom and creativity. Itís time for a different tactÖwe have two current console makers, and one former console maker struggling against the Sony powerhouse. Microsoft should team up with Nintendo and Sega (as opposed to buying them out). Imagine: Xbox 2: featuring Mario, Sonic, and Master Chief each in their own launch game. Why not get real aggressive and bring some more third-parties in the mix? Capcom, even Rockstar.

The bottom line is this: there needs to be a reason to not only buy the Xbox console, but to continually buy games for it. Itís the only way that Microsoft can truly compete in this console war, especially if they are intent on winning the next generation.
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Old 07-10-03, 02:05 PM
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I agree. I buy consoles based soley on exclusive games. I don't care if a system has better sound or graphics on ports, I only care about being able to play the games I want to play.

I don't own one because there are only 2 exclusives that are personal must have type games for me (Halo and PDO) that are out now, and only 2 more coming in the future (Star Wars: KoTR and Halo 2).

That's not enough for me to buy the console, and I don't even play PC games.

I'll probaby pick one up when it drops to $99 and Halo and PDO are $20.
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Old 07-10-03, 02:08 PM
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How many games do you own for the Xbox - if it's more than 4, then MS is probably already fine with that tie-in. I own like 30 or so... there's about 15 or 20 more that I wanna get this year. I'm a PC gamer first and foremost. Half-Life 2 comes to Xbox and PC - I'm getting the PC version. Same with Doom 3 and any other FPS coming down the pike. Then there's games like Splinter Cell 2 that I'll get on Xbox. The controller is perfect for that game. You need analog control for such a game - keyboards don't have it and the mousewheel doesn't really make for a good substitute. Plus - Xbox has tons of great racing games. They also dominate the PC in fighting and sports games. But I do kinda agree with you on some points.

Microsoft's problem is that they are cheap... yes, they are cheap. They don't throw around money like it's going out of style like everyone thinks. They can't afford to buy every developer out there. They are also very very stubborn. They don't know how to be flexible with key developers. They don't know how to localize games in other markets. They don't know how to localize advertising. They're just stupid in so many ways - the fact that they're doing as well as they are is a damn miracle. I'm confident that they'll learn eventually and they'll become a dominant player in the future. Some upper management is gonna have to leave in order for any big changes to take place though... (not gonna name names)
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Old 07-10-03, 02:35 PM
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I think the troubles with X-box is that with all the hype of a compatible platform with the PC there haven't been many ports. There are a ton of games that should have been ported. Diablo, Dungeon Siege are just a few.
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Old 07-10-03, 02:39 PM
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MS is smart in converting some of their own PC franchises to the Xbox market. MechAssault, Crimson Skies, Midtown Madness are a few successful conversions. MS knows how to take that tried and true formula and convert it to the console market. Saying that, making Dungeon Siege II an Xbox-exclusive would be a great idea. Same with the Starlancer/Freelancer series - especially for XBL, as Starlancer proved with the DC it can be done on the console.

Xbox is making some ground on their maiden console voyage. Buying Bungie was a great move, securing Halo for the Xbox launch. They need to revolutionize the RTS genre on the console, and release Myth for the Xbox. Having XBL is a great complement to the RTS genre. Anyway , just like Blizzard was smart to bring the Starcraft and Baldur's Gate franchises to the console market, MS should really emphasis this.

I think buying Rare won't prove to be a worthwile investment until the next Perfect Dark game is released, otherwise their releases will undoubtedly be filler that's not worth the millions they paid for them.

If MS wants to get in good with developers, have them bring their franchises on board as second-party exclusives. I think Freedom Force would make a great console game. So would System Shock. So would American McGee's Alice (Oz is being released on the PC and Xbox, but no publisher as of yet). Incidentally, all those titles were distributed by EA, although I don't think it retains the rights to the franchises.

There are plenty of good franchises that for some reason didn't reach stratosphere status with the mainstream PC gamer, but were well received with hard-core gamers and critics alike. MS should secure these developers and invite them to continue their franchises on the Xbox. Coupled with their own first-party franchises, I think they would make some serious competition for Sony.

Jeremy
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Old 07-10-03, 02:50 PM
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Porting more PC games isnít exactly something I want, but it couldnít hurt. Some games would even be preferable on the Xbox. Imagine, for instance, Microsoft Flight Simulator on a bigscreen HDTV. Whoa!

Even better than ports would be exclusive Xbox-only versions of old franchises. Roller Coaster Tycoon was a missed opportunity. They should have created an all-new all-3d game for the console where you could actually ride the coasters you designed! There are games like this on the PC, but they all suck and a small monitor isnít exactly ideal for this situation. Myth would be a another great franchise to recreate on the XboxÖnot a port but a whole new game (call it Myth X or something). Capitalize on name recognition from the PC games, but give it a unique twist.
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Old 07-10-03, 02:51 PM
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I'll simply speak up as a representative of the group that owns both an Xbox and PC but is not willing to constantly upgrade my PC for gaming, so therefore I will only buy these games on Xbox. I have no idea how many people there are like me, but I know I'm not the only one.

However, it is an interesting issue, and one that may become increasingly important if MS truly continues its plans to have the Xbox also be a media hub and TIVO type box. At some point, won't it make sense just to release a PC with all the PC and Xbox specs and just make it able to connect to a home theater system?

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Old 07-10-03, 03:07 PM
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personally, sometimes I prefer getting an xbox version of a game over a pc version. why? mainly because installation, patching and configuring everything on a pc is a pita that I dont always wanna deal with. Sometimes I wanna just flop by butt down and PLAY. No patching, no blue screen of death, no downloading of new drivers, just gaming. just my opinion. Some games work better on a keyboard/mouse (online fps for example) and some are better with a xbox controller.... thats a deciding factor for me too. I own all the systems and a PC, so exclusivity is irrelevant.

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Old 07-10-03, 03:10 PM
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I am an Xbox owner that has never been into PC gaming. I tried back around '96/'97 and found that I couldn't keep up with the constant upgrading necessary to completely enjoy games. I am also not tech-savvy so I always seemed to run into various difficulties trying to install properly, get the game pad to work, get bugs/patches done, etc. I hated the frustration, quit playing on my PC and never looked back.

I know I have missed on some good games but I have never regretted my decision. So my point is...I am quite happy that the Xbox is getting alot of these PC ports. If there is a good game among them, I now get to play it without the frustration.

I do agree that Xbox needs to get some better exclusives but to be honest, I have enough on my plate as it is. If they come out with just 2 games I am interested in a month, that is plenty for me. I know that is not the best way to sell consoles but I am still happy.

I currently own 17 Xbox games and have traded/sold at least a dozen others. My friends (the ones who game) only own Xboxes and a PC but most still play with their Xbox. So there are some people like me out there. Now if I could only convert one of my buddies to the Xbox off of Everquest. I think he is going to play that game until he is 75!
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Old 07-10-03, 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by Stoolie
I'll simply speak up as a representative of the group that owns both an Xbox and PC but is not willing to constantly upgrade my PC for gaming, so therefore I will only buy these games on Xbox. I have no idea how many people there are like me, but I know I'm not the only one.
Same here. I'm tired of trying to keep my hardware up to date to play the latest PC games. I find it funny when people complain about having to own 2 $180 consoles to play a particular game, but don't mind plunking down $200 on a new video card every couple years.
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Old 07-10-03, 03:12 PM
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Basically, I use my PC to play FPS games (except for Halo) and my Xbox to play everything else.

So I'm fine with their PC/console releases. I wouldn't buy Knights of the Old Republic for the PC, simply because it seems like an obvious choice to me as a console gamer.

Vice City is another one. I know it's a PS2 game, but I had no desire to play that game on the PC. None whatsoever. I own it on PS2 and that's where I will play it.

Sure the graphics are better, the load times are better, aiming guns is better, etc. But I love playing that kind of game on my widescreen TV.

Now, that being said, if something is ported to all three consoles I will most likely get the Xbox version, even though I own all three consoles. But my PC exists in it's own little world and never the twain shall meet.
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Old 07-10-03, 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by Trigger
Microsoft's problem is that they are cheap... yes, they are cheap. They don't throw around money like it's going out of style like everyone thinks. They can't afford to buy every developer out there. They are also very very stubborn. They don't know how to be flexible with key developers. They don't know how to localize games in other markets. They don't know how to localize advertising. They're just stupid in so many ways - the fact that they're doing as well as they are is a damn miracle. I'm confident that they'll learn eventually and they'll become a dominant player in the future. Some upper management is gonna have to leave in order for any big changes to take place though... (not gonna name names)
WOw...nice post Trigger. I can't agree more. Sony is the front runner because they know how to deliver what the people want...MS doesn't
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Old 07-10-03, 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by lordzeppelin
WOw...nice post Trigger. I can't agree more. Sony is the front runner because they know how to deliver what the people want...MS doesn't
If by "people" you mean "key 3rd party developers" and "the asian market" then you got what I was saying. I think MS is delivering a great product for America... of course there's room for improvement, but I've been really happy with my Xbox.
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Old 07-10-03, 03:51 PM
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Originally posted by jekbrown
personally, sometimes I prefer getting an xbox version of a game over a pc version. why? mainly because installation, patching and configuring everything on a pc is a pita that I dont always wanna deal with. Sometimes I wanna just flop by butt down and PLAY. No patching, no blue screen of death, no downloading of new drivers, just gaming. just my opinion. Some games work better on a keyboard/mouse (online fps for example) and some are better with a xbox controller.... thats a deciding factor for me too. I own all the systems and a PC, so exclusivity is irrelevant.

j
Amen brotha'


I like PC gaming. I really do, but I refuse to pay a couple hundred dollars for a new video card. I usually play catch up and get last years (or a few years ago) great hits. Or less taxing games such as Command & C or Zoo tycoon. Only within the past year have I been able to get the latest games due to a new computer. but unfortunately I don't think that I will be able to play Half Life 2 or Doom 3 when they come out. and that's the point where console gaming takes over for me.

okay I know this isn't a debate about PC vs. Console gaming. As far as the original subject I don't know if that has hurt MS or not. It seems like the people who really like the XBox like it simply because it is the best there is. Not neccessarily for exclusive titles.

And I agree with the statement the MS is stubborn. They don't seem to go out of their way. On the other hand Nintendo doesn't either but most of their decisions is based on increasing their bottom line which is why they are making more profit.

It seems like Sony is the only one who is trully catering to the diverse mass of gamers. The other two are basically "here is what we have you can take it or leave it" It just so happens that my tastes are more in line with Nintendo games.
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Old 07-10-03, 03:56 PM
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One thing that really gave Sony a boost this generation was GTA3. It was a surprise, runaway hit...and it came right as Microsoft and Nintendo were launching their consoles. Everybody was talking about it...even outside of normal gaming circles (talk shows, etc). Imagine if Microsoft launched with that game as an exclusive...what a different discussion this might be!
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Old 07-10-03, 04:08 PM
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One other fatal flaw is that Xbox games are also on PC, but PC games are NOT on the Xbox. I mean look at MS, Age of Mythology, Rise of Nations, why not put games like those on the Xbox. Yet another massive flaw is that the Xbox has no good strategy or RPG titles, why not try to get some ported over. Turn based games like Neverwinter Nights would work great on Xbox.

Look at the PS2, tons and tons of RPG's where most are exclusive so they sell consoles like hotcakes! Their next big hit : http://championsofnorrath.station.sony.com/ - If the game has anywhere near the features they list, it'll be bigger than Diablo.
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Old 07-10-03, 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by Stoolie
I'll simply speak up as a representative of the group that owns both an Xbox and PC but is not willing to constantly upgrade my PC for gaming, so therefore I will only buy these games on Xbox. I have no idea how many people there are like me, but I know I'm not the only one.

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me too
I hate PC gaming, which is why I own an Xbox. Though I hate on-line games. go figure.
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Old 07-10-03, 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by Groucho
One thing that really gave Sony a boost this generation was GTA3. It was a surprise, runaway hit...and it came right as Microsoft and Nintendo were launching their consoles. Everybody was talking about it...even outside of normal gaming circles (talk shows, etc). Imagine if Microsoft launched with that game as an exclusive...what a different discussion this might be!
I mentioned this in another thread, but Rockstar pitched this game to MS first before the Xbox launched and MS turned it down because they didn't think it would make a good game. Oops.
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Old 07-10-03, 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by Stoolie
I'll simply speak up as a representative of the group that owns both an Xbox and PC but is not willing to constantly upgrade my PC for gaming, so therefore I will only buy these games on Xbox. I have no idea how many people there are like me, but I know I'm not the only one.
I also own a PC, Xbox and a PS2. I used to upgrade my PC whenever the next big hit I really wanted to play came out, about once a year-18 months. Now I have not upgraded in over 2 years(running AMD 1Gbz/256mb/32mb Voodoo 4500) and I have no interest in doing so(maybe upgrading to a 64mb Geforce3 for under $60), as there are no games coming out I want to spend $150-300 to upgrade for. Plus now I have more things that require my money opposed to my computer.

MS just needs to get on the damn ball with some RPG and some that are XBL. I want some strats too, some XBL strats at that as well.
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Old 07-10-03, 05:44 PM
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I have the GC, GBA, PS2, XBOX, and a 3.06 GHZ P4 with 128 megs of video. Right now the PS2 and GBA are getting the most loving because I love RPGs. The clear winner on RPGs is not PS2, it's the GBA. But the XBOX has Fable, KOTR coming out and now has Morrowind - $15 for over 100 hours of play. That is RPG heaven. So right now the GBA has the edge followed by the PS2, but the XBOX will rule in the end (in my opinion). The GC is a good second or third console to have for Mario, Zelda, etc, but I wouldn't have it as a primary.

I never got into the whole mouse and keyboard thing so I don't the computer for gaming, but I'm thinking of getting into it with the Ultima Collection (~$15 for 8 Ultima games ) For me a great game precedes great graphics.
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Old 07-10-03, 05:47 PM
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Actually, the clear winner on RPG's is the PC. More RPG's than all other systems COMBINED, and some of the best ones as well.
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Old 07-10-03, 06:09 PM
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yup, another vote for pc not getting updated b/c of the xbox. most games i want to play are on the xbox now (or ps2).

2 exceptions: strategy games (real or turn) and FPS games (b/c i like mouse/keyboard controls).

still, the convenience of a console has far outweighed the advantages of a pc:
1. basically instant turn on AND off
2. no patches (which sucks if it needs it) or driver upgrades, etc.
3. bigger screen tv w/ dolby digital 5.1 sound
4. sit at sofa instead of desk chair
5. xbox live

probably a few more reasons.

an example would be Moto GP2. it's available for pc and xbox. while the online xbox community is flourishing, the pc version isn't (well, at least that i know of).

any sports game, i'd rather have on a console.
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Old 07-10-03, 06:59 PM
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Thats one of the reasons I don't own an X-Box. Too many games that are PC ports It seems to me like Microsoft's real target is the PC gamer and they are trying to move them onto the X-Box , especially when most of the newly annoucned games are FPS and PC ports, and from the posts in this thread it seems to be working. Thats another reason why I haven't been sold on LIVE yet either. I'm waiting for some exclusive console games to get online that couldn't have been before, not games that have already been online on the PC.

They get cool stuff like Ninja Gaiden and JSRF, but then more stuff like counterstrike gets announced, which is cool and all, but I happen to like console style games better. They need more good 3rd party exclusives. I think this is one of the reasons that the X-Box has been continuously outsold week after week by the PSOne (you read correctly, the PSOne) since February. They've got a lot going for system, I'm still waiting for that must have game.

Last edited by Outlaw; 07-10-03 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 07-10-03, 07:24 PM
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How much do you think it will be to renew Live? $50?
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Old 07-10-03, 07:31 PM
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Have to agree with Groucho. I own all three major systems, and I have the least number of games for the XBox because given a choice between the PC or console version, the only time I choose console is for sports games.

Last edited by Duran; 07-11-03 at 09:34 AM.
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