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  1. #1
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    Microsoft seeks more control with Xbox 360

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The first time around, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) wanted to establish a beachhead in the video game business. Now, with its much anticipated
    Xbox 360 console, it wants to rule that $25 billion global market.

    The world's largest software company aims to break even in the first year or two after it starts selling the Xbox 360, the successor to the first-generation Xbox, as it tries to knock rival Sony Corp. (6758.T)(NYSE:SNE - news) from its position of market leadership.

    Analysts have estimated that Microsoft had operating losses of more than $4 billion from the first Xbox, which it introduced nearly four years ago.

    In an interview with Reuters in Tokyo on the eve of one of the industry's biggest trade shows, Microsoft Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach said the advanced console and the lineup of games for it would give the company an edge over Sony.

    As of June, Microsoft had sold nearly 22 million of its original Xbox consoles -- fewer than one-fourth the number of
    PlayStation 2 units sold by Sony. Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s (7974.OS) GameCube is the third biggest seller in the console market.

    Now Microsoft wants to get many more of its next-generation consoles to market faster, buoyed by a wider selection of titles and an improved ability to keep costs in check.

    "We will wind up cost-reducing the product every year," Todd Holmdahl, corporate vice president of the Xbox product group, said in a recent interview.

    Microsoft is working to break-even on the Xbox 360 hardware in the first year or two -- roughly the first third in its expected six to seven-year console cycle.

    Lifting a page from Sony's PS2 launch, Microsoft plans to have the Xbox 360 on U.S. store shelves on November 22 -- months before the upcoming PS3 -- giving it a leg-up in market share and an edge with hard-core gamers willing to pay top dollar for the latest technology. Last time around, Sony beat Microsoft to market by slightly more than a year.

    Like Sony and Nintendo, Microsoft will own the intellectual property inside the console -- buying performance and pricing flexibility because it can shop around for chip manufacturers and reduce costs as technology advances.

    The first Xbox was built with off-the-shelf components, including an Intel processor and an Nvidia (Nasdaq:NVDA - news) graphics chip. That configuration got Microsoft to market relatively quickly, but limited its ability to control performance and cost.

    Chips account for 60 percent to 70 percent of a console's cost, Holmdahl said.

    Microsoft co-designed the processors for the Xbox 360 with International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM - news), based on IBM's PowerPC architecture.

    Sony, Toshiba Corp. (6502.T) and IBM jointly designed the PlayStation 3 "Cell" chip, which includes a PowerPC processor.

    On the content side, Microsoft has worked with publishers to have as many as 40 Xbox 360 titles on the market by year end, roughly twice the number for the first Xbox launch. It is also investing in Xbox Live -- a service that allows Xbox 360 owners to compete head-to-head online.

    Microsoft, which is aiming to double its market share to up to 40 percent, is less willing than before to subsidize console sales with more lucrative video game software, Piper Jaffray analyst Anthony Gikas said, citing management discussions.

    The high-end Xbox 360 package, priced at around $400 in the United States, includes a detachable hard drive needed to play very sophisticated games and those written for the first Xbox.

    Microsoft could cut consumer prices on that hard drive -- an area where prices have been dropping rapidly -- if Sony's PS3 price comes in lower than $400.

    IDC video game analyst Schelley Olhava expects Microsoft to see results from its new strategy. By 2009, she's forecasting an Xbox 360 installed base of about 40 million units, vs. 49 million for the PS3.
    Source: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...soft_xbox_dc_1

    Please add atleast a 5 word comment relevant to your post. Thanks ~Damnit

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    Although it's too early to compare it to PS3, I beleive the 360 will be bigger and better then the original Xbox in every single way. So for those that enjoyed the original they will like 360 even more. And those that liked some of the Xbox features but not the system in total will have a much greater chance to buy and fully enjoy the system. As far as game go alone, there are at least 10 really good looking games I want, and roughly another 10 that I am really interested in seeing that will all come out before the end of 2005! Huge improvement...

  3. #3
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    I don't know, if Sony exclusives keep dishing out CGI quality in-game graphics, than MS is going to have trouble if it can't keep up in the graphics department.

    And another thing is Online, if Sony actually makes a free online service and is comparable to XBL, then MS is going to struggle even further.

    lol the gameplay is going to have to extra special than playstation games in order to get ahead in the no. of sales department.

    It's a huge mountain MS have to climb, that has so many potholes.
    Big Boss Emblem FTW!

  4. #4
    c r i t x
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    Quote Originally Posted by GatecrasheR
    Although it's too early to compare it to PS3, I beleive the 360 will be bigger and better then the original Xbox in every single way. So for those that enjoyed the original they will like 360 even more. And those that liked some of the Xbox features but not the system in total will have a much greater chance to buy and fully enjoy the system. As far as game go alone, there are at least 10 really good looking games I want, and roughly another 10 that I am really interested in seeing that will all come out before the end of 2005! Huge improvement...
    I agree. I think that if you also currently have Xbox Live, then your definately gonna get the 360 just for that...or at least most people would I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steroyd
    I don't know, if Sony exclusives keep dishing out CGI quality in-game graphics, than MS is going to have trouble if it can't keep up in the graphics department.

    And another thing is Online, if Sony actually makes a free online service and is comparable to XBL, then MS is going to struggle even further.

    lol the gameplay is going to have to extra special than playstation games in order to get ahead in the no. of sales department.

    It's a huge mountain MS have to climb, that has so many potholes.
    i agree but we will have to wait and see
    SONY CAN F*** themself for this DELAY.

  6. #6
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    If PS3 online is free, ms is in serious trouble. But I doubt it will be. In time, we will see, in time my good friends.

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    IDC video game analyst Schelley Olhava expects Microsoft to see results from its new strategy. By 2009, she's forecasting an Xbox 360 installed base of about 40 million units, vs. 49 million for the PS3.

    Where did she get those figures from? Approx 3years into the product life, and Msoft has managed to nearly double its user base from the original (granted, them stopping making xbox games swiftly will help sales) on an all "bells and whistles" expensive new generation console. And the Sony releasing world wide a year later, sells well over half its user base on an expensive "tech-laden" future machine, when it looks like they'll be producing ps2 games into the start of the ps3 life.

    My personal opinion these numbers are plucked out of thin air!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steroyd
    I don't know, if Sony exclusives keep dishing out CGI quality in-game graphics, than MS is going to have trouble if it can't keep up in the graphics department.

    And another thing is Online, if Sony actually makes a free online service and is comparable to XBL, then MS is going to struggle even further.

    lol the gameplay is going to have to extra special than playstation games in order to get ahead in the no. of sales department.

    It's a huge mountain MS have to climb, that has so many potholes.
    kinda like ps2 could not keep up?
    what cgi quality games exactly?
    has xbox360 not shown to be atleast as good as ps3 already yet its first?
    xbox struggleing online is the most far fetched thing you said i think thats not going to happen and if ps3 does comeup with online there best bet is to do like they did with KZ and try to be as much like it as possible to attract 1player gamers to be online gamers. its not going to happen and they have said little for people to think that sony would.
    as far as gameplay sofar almost every xbox360 game has not only shown an inovative aspect to playing a sertain genera but most of them have been genera braking titles. not just repolished old titles and sequels.

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    But you know King, it's those repolsihed old titles and sequels that sell the best. i wouldn't be so quick to downplay them. There are plenty of new titles coming out if you check that new 110 game list.

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    Achievements IT'S OVER 9000!
    Which genre would that be? The one you're not allowed to fully use keyboard and mouse on? Or is there some other genre that the 360 is expected to excel at?


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefein
    Which genre would that be? The one you're not allowed to fully use keyboard and mouse on? Or is there some other genre that the 360 is expected to excel at?
    Just because you can connect a keyboard and mouse to a console doesn't also mean that it can be used in all games.

    Let us not forget that games are still made for the PS3 "game console". For gamers that will mostly being playing games with a controller.

    Thus I would be surprised if any reasonable developer even put in optional controls for the keyboard on mouse. Believe it or not, developing for both a controller and a keyboard and mouse would increase the development cost substantially. In addition, it would create more code bloat and potentially slow down the game. All this for something that doesn't come with the system and a lot of users are not likely to use.

    Seriously, who is going to hookup a keyboard and mouse to the PS3 to play games from their sofa. Not many.

    Look at the EyeToy. It was an officially supported add-on that Sony worked to get support for, yet few games ever supported it. Even less made great use of it.
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. This is a personal communication and in no way represents the official or unofficial views or opinions of my employer.

    Anthony Hanses - Owner - Colloquy LLC

  12. #12
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    Achievements IT'S OVER 9000!
    It really depends on the OS usage of inactive device drivers whether or not it would create bloat. You do have a valid point, however. I think that the PC devs will opt to put the support in there. PC devs wouldn't just gut something out for a console version when they would get a lot of kudos (and extra sales) for leaving it in or incorporating it.

    All that would need to happen is to have one or two AAA titles with keyboard and mouse support and the rest would follow suit. Eye-Toy isnt exactly an attachment with precedent. Although, the PS2 hardwares lack in power could have as much to do with its poor performance in market penetration than anything we can think of. Who am I to say, my degree isn't in marketing. I do know, that if the EyeToy sold like crazy that there would have been more eye toy games. Just like the crud support for the PS2s Hard Drive ultimately led to it's failure.


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacman326
    But you know King, it's those repolsihed old titles and sequels that sell the best. i wouldn't be so quick to downplay them. There are plenty of new titles coming out if you check that new 110 game list.
    sorry i was refering to exclusives.im not saying there going to be bad either im justsaying with sequels it lacks imovation not all but most things like mgs are close nit storys and game systems best to hope for is a new jumpshot or something. its just not going to give the feeling of newness heck the color in mgs alone bores me to tears.

  14. #14
    BustenRhymes7790
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    [LIVE] Ratchet and Clank Future: ToD "un-delayed"

    Remember that pesky one week delay for Insomniac's Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction we informed you about earlier this month? Forget about it.

    After several retailers began switching their dates from the expected date of October 30th to a week earlier on the 23rd, Gaming-Age (link to http://www.gaming-age.com/news/2007/10/18-54) got curious and contacted SCEA.

    These dates are apparently no farse, as an SCEA representative confirmed that the title will indeed be shipping early to several retailers. It's also confirmed that the advertising campaign will kick off to coincide with the title's launch on October 23rd.

    So in conclusion, make sure to call your local retailer before heading out at the crack of dawn to buy this game (which we expect you all to do). Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction will be seeing the light of day on October 23rd.

    Update: This is now confirmed on the PlayStation.Blog (link to http://blog.us.playstation.com/2007/10/ ... ng-sooner/)

  15. #15
    BustenRhymes7790
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    Forget it, it is untrue (or rather the "early" launch will be very limited)

  16. #16
    BustenRhymes7790
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    Woops, re-ready...

    It appears PS3Fanboy's "rumor control" was wrong

    +new source

  17. #17
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    Edited & Live.

    Good job.

    I will be off until Sunday evening now, so if anyone has any articles needing putting up, you will have to contact another editor, sorry (saturday evening - sunday evening is my "off day")
    *Kiss My X Box Flavoured Ass*

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