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Author Topic: Microsoft is playing a dangerous game.  (Read 16382 times)
Shockeye
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Reply #35 on: May 17, 2005, 05:07:58 PM

Quote from: A Press Release
Mountain Dew and Microsoft to Give Away an Xbox 360 System Every 10 Minutes This Fall

Promotion to win it before you can buy it kicks off Aug. 28.

LOS ANGELES -- May 17, 2005 -- Today at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2005, Microsoft Corp. and Pepsi-Cola North America announced a U.S. promotion to put the Xbox 360 (TM) next-generation video game and entertainment system from Microsoft into the hands of thousands of lucky people before the console hits store shelves. Beginning Aug. 28, Mountain Dew, Pepsi's intense citrus soft drink, and Xbox® will select a winner of an Xbox 360 console every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for nine weeks straight in the "Every 10 Minutes" promotion.

To play, consumers will collect codes found under the caps of Mountain Dew and other participating Pepsi products, and enter codes in a personal online account at http://www.every10minutes.com. Participants will be able to choose which 10-minute drawing to enter, and can spread codes across different drawings or stockpile codes and put them all toward one drawing. In addition, codes entered will automatically earn the participants points toward obtaining collectible merchandise and gear.

Gaming industry executives attending this year's E3 in Los Angeles will get an exclusive opportunity to be among the first 10 people with a chance to win an Xbox 360 console through a special Peel-to-Play contest. Free 20-oz. bottles of Mountain Dew containing game pieces produced exclusively for the event will be distributed to expo attendees on Wednesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 19. In addition to the 10 Xbox 360 consoles, winning game pieces will be good for a chance to win Xbox games, Mountain Dew T-shirts, hats and other prizes.

"The launch of the Xbox 360 system is the most anticipated event that will happen in gaming this year," said Dave Burwick, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Pepsi-Cola North America. "We are thrilled to partner with Microsoft and reward our loyal Mountain Dew consumers with the hottest new gaming technology before anyone can buy it in stores, in a way that only Dew can do it."

"We are excited about teaming up with Pepsi-Cola to turn up the volume on the Xbox 360 excitement," said Mitch Koch, corporate vice president of Worldwide Retail Sales for Xbox. "Our co-marketing relationship is based on our commitment to deliver entertaining, top-of-the-line promotions to our customers."

About Pepsi

Mountain Dew is a product of Purchase, N.Y.-based Pepsi-Cola North America (www.pepsi.com), the refreshment beverage unit of PepsiCo Inc. in the United States and Canada. In addition to Mountain Dew, its U.S. brands include Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Edge, Pepsi ONE, Pepsi Wild Cherry, Pepsi Twist, Pepsi Vanilla, Diet Mountain Dew, Mountain Dew Code Red, Mountain Dew LiveWire, Sierra Mist, Sierra Mist Free, Mug, Slice, Aquafina, Dole single-serve juices, Tropicana Juice Drinks and SoBe. The company also makes and markets North America's best-selling ready-to-drink iced teas and coffees, respectively, via joint ventures with Lipton and Starbucks.

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is the next-generation video game and entertainment system that places gamers at the center of the experience. Available this holiday season in North America, Europe and Japan, Xbox 360 will ignite a new era of digital entertainment that is always connected, always personalized and always in high definition.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
MrHat
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Reply #36 on: May 17, 2005, 05:16:01 PM

Holy shit.

If that is in-game play (like a beginning scene, normandy style), I'm mighty mighty impressed.

I may have to invest in a 61" just for these next gen systems.  I think I heard Circuit City is giving away a 15" LCD with purchase of TV > 3k.

I'm assuming (hoping) it's actual gameplay footage.  It'd be a huge letdown to find out otherwise.

I think this will be the time when "cutscenes" finally become the "game". At least I hope.

Well, there's lots of games currently where the cutscenes are done using the in game engine.  Examples escape me.
schild
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Reply #37 on: May 17, 2005, 05:17:49 PM

Ok. Once you get off the car in killzone 2 (just watched the trailer), it's definately ingame. The guy shoots his teammate and gets called a sonofabitch. You don't do that in trailers. It's simply not slick. Needless to say, Halo what? Please got let the PS3 support bluetooth keyboard and mice natively. I want to hang up my PC for good.

Edit: I think I heard Joe slobbing knob at the end. I may be wrong.
stray
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Reply #38 on: May 17, 2005, 05:26:33 PM

Well, there's lots of games currently where the cutscenes are done using the in game engine.  Examples escape me.

Actually, yeah, I guess you're right. FFX would be one, right?
schild
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Reply #39 on: May 17, 2005, 05:30:01 PM

Well, there's lots of games currently where the cutscenes are done using the in game engine.  Examples escape me.

Actually, yeah, I guess you're right. FFX would be one, right?

...no need to be a wiseass. Many games are. But we're not quite there yet. This next gen, prerendered is going to be useful for things that the characters normally wouldn't do and for that it's easier to prerender a movement once than animate the whole thing out to reuse it. But we're definately at the point with the 360 and ps3 that It's going to merely be used to add cinematic feel to some parts. For example - God of War didn't need to be prerendered (probably), but some of the things just worked better that way - like falling off a cliff. But much of the shit was done with ingame graphics and looked stunning. With Killzone, I really don't think any of that was pre-rendered except a few of the camera changes to highlight explosions. But even then, we can't be sure til we get the demo disc put in a ps3, now can we?
MrHat
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Out of the frying pan, into the fire.


Reply #40 on: May 17, 2005, 05:30:29 PM

Ok. Once you get off the car in killzone 2 (just watched the trailer), it's definately ingame. The guy shoots his teammate and gets called a sonofabitch. You don't do that in trailers. It's simply not slick. Needless to say, Halo what? Please got let the PS3 support bluetooth keyboard and mice natively. I want to hang up my PC for good.

Edit: I think I heard Joe slobbing knob at the end. I may be wrong.

I saw that too.  Needless to say, very very exciting.  I would cream if they let us use random blue tooth keyboards.
Trippy
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Reply #41 on: May 17, 2005, 07:32:45 PM

Well, there's lots of games currently where the cutscenes are done using the in game engine.  Examples escape me.
Actually, yeah, I guess you're right. FFX would be one, right?
FF X (and X-2) had both prerendered cutscenes (usually the big cinematic moments) and in-game engine on-the-fly rendered cutscenes (like virtually all of the dialog cutscenes). As a sidenote, I actually found some of the FF X prerendered cutscenes jarring cause the Tidus in those was the Japanese-looking version rather than the more Caucasian-looking version rendered by the game engine.
sidereal
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Reply #42 on: May 17, 2005, 09:25:09 PM

Ok. Once you get off the car in killzone 2 (just watched the trailer), it's definately ingame.

I agree, and I very much doubt it can swap between in-game and cutscene that smoothly, so I'm guessing the whole thing is in-game, with some camera tricks.

Quote
I want to hang up my PC for good.

I agree.  I know this has been said before, but not by me.  I think this generation of consoles is going to start the slide to putting the PC to bed for games.  It won't die out this generation, but it's starting here.  Most of the developers and publishers want it.  Lots of players haven't wanted it, because the PC has a hard drive, has better peripherals, and has online play.  All 3 of those are being taken care of now.  If you can play Civ4 online on a console with a keyboard, your PC is done.

THIS IS THE MOST I HAVE EVERY WANTED TO GET IN TO A BETA
Trippy
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Reply #43 on: May 17, 2005, 10:13:41 PM

Ok. Once you get off the car in killzone 2 (just watched the trailer), it's definately ingame.
I agree, and I very much doubt it can swap between in-game and cutscene that smoothly, so I'm guessing the whole thing is in-game, with some camera tricks.
But it's a video so they easily could've chopped out any pauses there might have been in the original capture. On the other hand the rendering quality is too consistent between the in-the-air scenes and the ground so to me it's either all real-time in-game engine (which would be incredible if it was) or all pre-rendered (my opinion).
Evil Elvis
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Reply #44 on: May 18, 2005, 12:47:53 AM

With todays graphics, and the ability to recreate physics as well as they can, there's really no reason to pre-render that scene.  If that's the best cgi they could come up with, it was a waste of time and disk space.  Especially when they're trying to tout the power of the new machines.  The only reason would be to deliberately trick people into thinking it was engine-rendered, which I don't find likely.

Besides, it wasn't just the graphics that made that clip so spectacular.  It was the whole package; the level of immersion its selling.  The transition from the interactive parts to the non, the intricately scripted events, the sounds, the interaction, the intensity.  The way it all flowed together without taking you out of the moment.

Whether that's a true representation of what the game will be like is anyones guess.  The amount of time it would take to make an entire game as engrossing as that short clip seems restrictively long, but even to do it small amounts would be amazing.   However, it is where we're all hoping games will evolve into.  Breaking past the bar games likfe Half-life and System Shock have set, into a higher level of interaction and immersion.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2005, 12:50:50 AM by Evil Elvis »
Margalis
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Reply #45 on: May 18, 2005, 12:57:22 AM

I think this generation of consoles is going to start the slide to putting the PC to bed for games.  It won't die out this generation, but it's starting here.  Most of the developers and publishers want it.  Lots of players haven't wanted it, because the PC has a hard drive, has better peripherals, and has online play.  All 3 of those are being taken care of now.  If you can play Civ4 online on a console with a keyboard, your PC is done.

It started a long time ago, it's just been slower than a lot of people thought it would be. The PC market has been losing entire genres for years without replacing them. PC Racing Games - slowly dying. PC adventure games - pretty much dead. PC Fantasy Strategy Games (a la Heroes of M&M, those Westwood games I can't remember the names of) - basically dead. Tactical war games (like the old SSI series) - slowly dying. RPGs - dying. (Subtract out BioWare and the PC RPG landscape is awful. In the old days you had Ultima, Bards Tale, Eye of the Beholder type dungeon crawler games, Wizardry, etc)

PC games now are basically MMORPG, FPS and RTS games wth a Diablo clone or two thrown in for flavor, along with some Sims/Civ/Zoo Tycoon type games. (Simulations or whatever you call them) Even the old "4x" genre is basically dead, Civ is really the only one left. RTS and FPS are still big solely because of keyboard + mouse control. And because many PC games are built to be ported, you have to put up with pain in the ass bugs and hardware problems without much of the traditional upside.

Anyone who thinks PC gaming hasn't been dying for a while needs to remember back in time 10-15 years ago when a place like EB was almost exclusively PC games. If you don't give a shit about FPS and RTS games the sad state today is probably a lot more apparent. The golden days of PC gaming passed away a long time ago.

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Jeff Kelly
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Reply #46 on: May 18, 2005, 04:24:21 AM

Warning: Long rant follows


It started a long time ago, it's just been slower than a lot of people thought it would be. The PC market has been losing entire genres for years without replacing them. PC Racing Games - slowly dying. PC adventure games - pretty much dead. PC Fantasy Strategy Games (a la Heroes of M&M, those Westwood games I can't remember the names of) - basically dead. Tactical war games (like the old SSI series) - slowly dying. RPGs - dying. (Subtract out BioWare and the PC RPG landscape is awful. In the old days you had Ultima, Bards Tale, Eye of the Beholder type dungeon crawler games, Wizardry, etc)

I blame EA and Vivendi for this. Those two are the only major publishers left and they killed off most of the smaller studios which made those games in the first place. There are only a few independant studios left which actually have the power (as in: we do what we want and not what EA tells us) to make such games. Most of the other development houses, which live under the umbrella of EA or Vivendi, are forced to do sequels of their most successful games time and time again.

This is sadly also the case when you look at the console market. Sequels, clones and the occasional new idea thrown in for good measure. The only thing going for the console market is that it's much bigger than the PC market. You can sell ten million copies of GTA: San Andreas on the PS2 while significantly reducing development costs (single platform, hardware doesn't change) thus increasing profits.

PC gaming will die because developing for three different console-platforms simultaneously is still far more profitable than development for the pc rather than because of the dieing (sp?) out of genres.

Quote
PC games now are basically MMORPG, FPS and RTS games wth a Diablo clone or two thrown in for flavor, along with some Sims/Civ/Zoo Tycoon type games. (Simulations or whatever you call them) Even the old "4x" genre is basically dead, Civ is really the only one left. RTS and FPS are still big solely because of keyboard + mouse control. And because many PC games are built to be ported, you have to put up with pain in the ass bugs and hardware problems without much of the traditional upside.

We all mourn the loss of classic game genres on the PC but there are no adventure games made for consoles either. I have yet to see a decent RTS or Non-Asian-themed RPG (something not blatantly "inspired" by Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda) and something like Civilisation would be entirely unlikely on the PS2 or the X-Box. Well you get racing games and beat-them-ups, but apart from that the gaming landscape is essentially the same on both the PC and the major consoles.

On consoles you have beat-them-ups, racing games, asian-themed RPGs, and platformers. Occasionally you get something truly awe-inspiring like Katamari, but you have to go to great lengths to actually get that one over here in europe. The rest, as stated above, is just a sequel or a clone of a successful franchise with more shiney. Every time some develpment studio does the carebear and announces "succesful gaming franchise Part 99", the gamer inside me dies a little more.

The second thing going against PC gaming is the vicious upgrade cycle necessary to play the newest games. I gave up PC gaming not because consoles are the better platform (they are not) but because I realized that for the price of upgrading my computer to play doom 3 or X2 the Threat I could afford all three major consoles and 10 Games to go with them, without the hassle of drivers, patches and copy prevention schemes fucking with my OS.

Quote
Anyone who thinks PC gaming hasn't been dying for a while needs to remember back in time 10-15 years ago when a place like EB was almost exclusively PC games. If you don't give a shit about FPS and RTS games the sad state today is probably a lot more apparent. The golden days of PC gaming passed away a long time ago.

If PC gaming is dying then console gaming is already dead and has risen from the grave to haunt the neighborhood. I essentially gave up long ago and just buy the three titles a year which are really worth playing, either because they try something slightly new and are fun (like Katamari) or because they are sequels who really innovate their gameplay experience beyond more shiney (unlike Final Fantasy).

Games like GTA: San Andreas or any other game in its tenth installment are essentially just more of the same. You get more cars, more missions, more music, better graphics, but apart from that the gameplay is essentially the same as that of their ancestors. On the one hand because the big publishers are lazy and like to play it safe, Hell Nintendo and EA founded their whole business model on sequels to successful franchises, on the other hand because that is what most players actually want. Most people don't want a new game experience, they just want more of the same, that is why Metal Gear, GTA, Final Fantasy and the like are so successful because they deliver something people know and like, while making it only slightly better

The odd cool new game might just be statistical noise compared to the output of all the Maddens, and NBAs 200X.

But PC gaming isn't dying because of lack of innovation (hell then console gaming has to die out as well) but because of the neglect of the big publishing houses which profit more from console releases than from PC releases. The economies of scale clearly favour consoles over the PC as a gaming platform. All the PC has got going for itself is the cutting edge technology (which becomes more and more insignificant as cpu technology stagnates further), the superior display (which becomes more and more insignificant due to the advent of HDTV)  and the superior controls (keyboard and mouse) for some genres like RTS or Shooters because so far no console maker has bothered to include such things with their product.

Jeff
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Reply #47 on: May 18, 2005, 04:42:27 AM

Well, there's lots of games currently where the cutscenes are done using the in game engine.  Examples escape me.

Actually, yeah, I guess you're right. FFX would be one, right?

...no need to be a wiseass. Many games are. But we're not quite there yet. This next gen, prerendered is going to be useful for things that the characters normally wouldn't do and for that it's easier to prerender a movement once than animate the whole thing out to reuse it. But we're definately at the point with the 360 and ps3 that It's going to merely be used to add cinematic feel to some parts. For example - God of War didn't need to be prerendered (probably), but some of the things just worked better that way - like falling off a cliff. But much of the shit was done with ingame graphics and looked stunning. With Killzone, I really don't think any of that was pre-rendered except a few of the camera changes to highlight explosions. But even then, we can't be sure til we get the demo disc put in a ps3, now can we?

I really wish that they would've said if the Killzone vid was ingame or not, but it certainly looked like a sexed up demo of someone playing, since I was spotting slightly sloppy ragdolls, some clipping, and the odd misaligned texture. I hope the camera isn't that fucking swingy in the real thing.

It pisses me off that they didn't just outright say if it was prerendered or ingame. I mean, if that WAS ingame, wouldn't you want to put that in GIGANTIC FUCKING LETTERS on the trailer?

"The world is populated in the main by people who should not exist." - George Bernard Shaw
Trippy
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Reply #48 on: May 18, 2005, 05:16:42 AM

I really wish that they would've said if the Killzone vid was ingame or not, but it certainly looked like a sexed up demo of someone playing, since I was spotting slightly sloppy ragdolls, some clipping, and the odd misaligned texture. I hope the camera isn't that fucking swingy in the real thing.

It pisses me off that they didn't just outright say if it was prerendered or ingame. I mean, if that WAS ingame, wouldn't you want to put that in GIGANTIC FUCKING LETTERS on the trailer?
You would think. The more I watch it the more I think it's all prerendered. The frame rate is just too silky smooth to be rendering in real-time. For example, at around 26 seconds the camera is still on the men flying around and then it swings down and pans across the cityscape. There's no way even with incredible LOD technology that you aren't going to get a frame rate hit doing that. And then if you look at the models and objects they are just too damn rounded and smooth. There's not a single polygon/triangle face visible *anywhere*.

Edit: I've just been studying the FFVII PS3 Tech Demo and I take back what I said about the frame rate/LOD of detail stuff -- the technology has advanced beyond what I thought was possible. On the other hand the FFVII demo, which was definitely rendered on-the-fly, clearly has visible polygons on the large curved surfaces and is overall nowhere near the quality of the Killzone 2 video and so I'm even more convinced the KZ2 video is prerendered.

« Last Edit: May 18, 2005, 06:43:20 AM by Trippy »
Yegolev
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Reply #49 on: May 18, 2005, 06:39:08 AM

Well, there's lots of games currently where the cutscenes are done using the in game engine.  Examples escape me.

Actually, yeah, I guess you're right. FFX would be one, right?

The three Ratchet & Clank games are examples of gratuitous use of engine cutscenes.  I forgot to mention these in the "great games found only on the PlayStation[2]" section.  Voodoo Vince is a good Xbox example.

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MrHat
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Reply #50 on: May 18, 2005, 08:18:03 AM

There's a halfway decent article in Time re: xbox 360. 

The more I read, the more I feel like I will have to own both.
schild
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Reply #51 on: May 18, 2005, 08:26:24 AM

RE: Killzone 2 Vid.

Quote
Of course that meant that the darling of the presentation, Killzone 2, was CG. It also meant that the hardware might not be light-years beyond the competition. After all, that left the Unreal tech demo as the best looking game running real time; more or less the same as the very Gears of War Microsoft used to show off the Xbox 360. That kicked off a cascade of people reviewing what they'd seen with a more critical eye.

The consensus coming out is that the scenes are in fact pre-rendered material. Some of the signs that point to that are the extreme particle effects and tightly choreographed shots. On the other hand, our own John Davidson has it direct from Sony contacts that "just about all of it" was "real".

As our friend Fox used to be prone to saying, "the truth is out there." What we're wondering is how much it really matters at this point. Hardware is still a long way off and developers will be making the usual enormous strides in quality over the final few months -- Sony, Microsoft and when the time comes Nintendo. For now the one thing certain is they served their purpose. Sony has put the contenders on notice; it isn't coming to this generation resting on its laurels.

The "Just about all of it" was "Real" comment would back up my assumption that the explosions and a few other things were prerendered. And I still stand by the opinion. The action starts when they leave the car, stops, then starts again a few times.
HaemishM
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Reply #52 on: May 18, 2005, 08:37:39 AM

I think the Killzone video was using the in-game engine, but relied on some heavy scripting. It reminded me of Medal of Honor, in that for some parts, you are watching cutscenes rendered in the game engine (when you're in the flier, and right up until you land and get out), then it switches to manual control and that's the game. It looked fucking awesome. But it would be triple plus aw3s0m3 gud if you could just use a USB version of the Phantom mouse/keyboard tray thingie. I want that motherfucker to be sold separately and be USB so I can use it on the PC, 360 and PS3. The person that makes that happen will get more dollars than the person who manages to release and sell the fucking Phantom.

PC Games aren't dying, they are just losing all their retail, brick-n-mortar share. They are becoming more of what they've always been, niche games in a set of niche markets. There is almost no reason to develop a PC game for the retail market now, because you're either going to have to: 1) suck big publisher dick just to get one copy on the shelf, a copy which will disappear in 2 months time unless it sells like Diablo, and be forced to forego much-needed patching just to work on the game said publisher forces you to work on next; 2) be lost in the shuffle, as the retail market tries to make shelf space for 6 fucking consoles and 2 handhelds, all of which have better margins than the PC games.

Embrace the niche, douchebags.

EB Games has already cut down the percentage of their shelf space on PC games. It used to be at least half the store when I worked there in the early 90's. Now, you're lucky if it's 15%.


schild
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Reply #53 on: May 18, 2005, 08:41:13 AM

But it would be triple plus aw3s0m3 gud if you could just use a USB version of the Phantom mouse/keyboard tray thingie. I want that motherfucker to be sold separately and be USB so I can use it on the PC, 360 and PS3. The person that makes that happen will get more dollars than the person who manages to release and sell the fucking Phantom.

Yes plz. I almost want to make one myself with a Microsoft Bluetooth board.

Quote
PC Games aren't dying

If I can use the above mentioned keyboards with next gen systems - they're dead to me. There's simply no reason to release or play games on the PC.

Quote
EB Games has already cut down the percentage of their shelf space on PC games. It used to be at least half the store when I worked there in the early 90's. Now, you're lucky if it's 15%.

More like of the playstation stock alone taking up about 1% of the store. The most PC I've seen in one location is roughly 5% shelf-space.
AOFanboi
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Reply #54 on: May 18, 2005, 09:09:53 AM

Ok. Once you get off the car in killzone 2 (just watched the trailer), it's definately ingame. The guy shoots his teammate and gets called a sonofabitch.
That is the major difference between the X360 and PS3 in my book: The PS3 videos - Killzone, Mobile Suit Gundam and Killing Day in particular - make me want to buy the system. The X360 videos however... Kameo looks like a run-of-the-mill current-gen adventure, and DOA4 looks like DOA3 plus more landscaping (I also noticed the hair of that first girl slide through her shoulder - not good). Plus that Microsoft press conference bullshit about "Zen of gaming", and the MTV debacle means that they come off as less about the games than Sony. And that is bad at an industry conference - they are still trying to sell to non-gamers? Hello, wrong audience.

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schild
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Reply #55 on: May 18, 2005, 09:11:38 AM

The PS3 press conference shit was missing hard evidence of online support. I don't play much on XBL these days, and won't be until this fall (not for the 360, but rather moving out west). Until Sony can pony up zee goods for online gaming, the 360 will be a huge competitor.
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Reply #56 on: May 18, 2005, 10:03:52 AM

You are on track.  If I may...

Embrace the niche Steam, douchebags.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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MrHat
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Reply #57 on: May 18, 2005, 04:57:15 PM

The PS3 press conference shit was missing hard evidence of online support. I don't play much on XBL these days, and won't be until this fall (not for the 360, but rather moving out west). Until Sony can pony up zee goods for online gaming, the 360 will be a huge competitor.

/agree

However, there's something that's been bugging me.  There are a slew of coop games coming out on XB360 that look like delicious fun.  You can play coop in the house with 4 players, or take them online and play coop there (as you should).  The nagging question is can you play with 2 players in the room and 2 from XBL, or 3 in the room and 1 on XBL, or 2 in the room 1 from XBL in area A and 1 from XBL in area B.  For the 2/2, 3/1 examples, why can't everyone in the room with you be able to use voice chat with who ever else is in the game? Why must there only be 1 person who can chat.  Multiple accounts nonewithstanding.
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