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Friday, May 27, 2005

What's the deal with the Xbox 360?

What's the deal with the Xbox 360?
Some people are convinced the Xbox 360 will be better then PS3. If you are going to buy 1 gaming system in the next year, it should be the PlayStation 3, here is why...

By: Richard Allen


When the PlayStation 3 ships, it will have at least 2 more years of Research and Development, and that is assuming that Microsoft started work on the Xbox 360 the moment the Xbox was released. Sony / Toshiba / IBM were already hard at work on the Cell processor and the PS3 when the Xbox wasn't even in stores. Microsoft is loosing money on the Xbox, so the best way to keep the Xbox afloat is by creating a next generation system. Unfortunately for Microsoft the PS3 will be a newer generation then the Xbox 360. Sure the ATI graphics chip is custom made for Xbox, but I am quite certain it's not much different then something on the market right now. Microsoft has not had the benefit of over 6 years for research and development like Sony, so they are forced to use technology that is already proven.

I believe they are rushing the Xbox 360. Not just due to capabilities and spec but because no Hi-Def disc format has been ratified. The Xbox 360 will be shipping with a Dual Layer DVD ROM giving you a whopping 17GB per disc. The only thing worse then load times is changing a disc out. This would be the equivalent of shipping the PS2 with a CDROM. Couple that with the fact the Xbox 360 only supports half the Hi-Def video output standards, it becomes obvious that they are releasing this system too soon.

Hi definition entertainment content will require more then 17GB. I would expect many of the Xbox 360 release titles to be very short, repetitive or not true high definition. No matter what way you slice it, at best the system will be released in a gimped format which will require an upgrade (Xbox 360 v2) just to compete with the capabilities of the PS3. The PS3 will ship with a drive that will be able to read about 50GB of data.

Also consider the fact that Microsoft is not known for putting out the best products. Microsoft was founded when they bought the rights to DOS from another vendor. The very backbone of Microsoft was a happenstance of a financial transaction. I use Microsoft software and 9 times out of 10 another company in the marketplace does it better, cheaper or both. The fact that their flagship product, Windows requires updates on a weekly basis to maintain security is both appalling and irresponsible. If we actually had some options on what operating systems we could use, these issues would not exist since MS would have to clean up their act or whither on the vine.

On the subjects of heavy weight financing. Microsoft would have never been in the console market if they hadn't thrown a bunch of money at Bungie. To this day, I still can't figure out why everyone gushes about Bungie or Halo. Its a good game if you like slow pace first person shooters. Maybe the graphics on Halo 3 will be so good, they will have to make it a Role Playing Game.

I am sticking with a company who has had 3 gaming platforms all with resounding or strong success.

Have fun with your dual layer DVD-ROM Xbox 1.5. It will be a doorstop when the HD drives are available.


Anonymous Gadget Blog Directory
Although, I would agree with some of this, it is obviously a biased opinion. The original Xbox was proof that Microsoft could make a better console in less time than Sony and as this Article points out, Sony had a lot more experience in gaming consoles before Microsoft's decision to develope the Xbox. I don't know of anybody that would disagree with Xbox being a better system than PS2. The only thing Sony had was a customer base already and more games.

I don't know how many times I heard one of my friends say that they had to return their PS2's because of malfunction. After that Sony came out with the slimmer version which was built like a crackerjack prize.

I did see a few Xbox gliches but not half as many as PS2. The biggest problem Xbox had was with their controllers being too big.

As for the Xbox 360 I would say that maybe it's not quite as good as the PS3 is going to be, but Microsoft is still going to be ahead of the pack for awhile, and now they can concentrate on yet another Xbox which will be one step ahead when it's released.

I know some of my friends say that they will just wait for the PS3, but most of the serious gamers I know say that they don't want to wait for the PS3 to come out, and that they will probably buy an Xbox 360.

All in all If I have the money I think I'll buy both!  

Anonymous Gadget Blog Directory
Oh, one more thing: How could you say that about Halo! It's one of the greatest games of all time! The guy who wrote this is obviously a PS Lover. Me, I will play any system you put in front of me even one of the old "toes" (Nintendo)!  

Blogger D.Vader
The Xbox was released with off the shelf technology. Without that proven technology the Xbox would have been a buggy mess.

I have never encountered an error on my PS2. I think I have seen mine freeze once.

Of course my opinion is biased. It wouldn't be much of an opinion if it wasn't. You can't argue that I don't point out some short-comings in the Xbox 360 that you can't argue with.

I won't deny that Xbox is superior to PS2. Since it came out 20 months later I would only expect it to. It wasn't the machine they promised.

I think the sales of the systems speaks volumes with nearly 85 million PS2s out there (nearly 1 in every 4 homes) and only 20 million Xbox's.

I don't like Halo because it doesn't deliver the performance of Unreal or Quake engine. For me, I prefer gameplay, control and mechanics over a pretty face. Also, I haven't played a console FPS that didn't play 10 times better on the PC. I have not played Halo 2, I will check it out. Probably on the PC.  

Anonymous GBD
Yah, I'll agree. I think that every game console since "Pong" and "Atari" has used off the shelf technology to build off of though. PlayStation had Nintendo to build off of.  

Anonymous Shadow
People like you should really read up on their facts before they post utter crap... on the Hi-Def "opinion"... 360 will support most Hi-Def signals 720p and 1080i the reason for not supporting 1080p is because tv's that support this resolution are not commonplace in the us at the moment and probably won't become mainstream until these systems lives are almost over. On to the controller issue... have you seen the new controllers? anything is better than the boomarang Sony is throwing at us... what is that?

As for Microsoft being new to the console industry... yes they are quite new to this industry, but I think you forget one major factor.. how long have they been in the technology field? Microsoft has been in the gaming industry far longer than Sony ever conceived.

Also something that the last comment pointed out and most Sony fanboys don't acknowledge is the fact the Sony got it's start with stolen hardware... do a little research on the Sony/Nintendo project concerning creating a gaming machine that used a cd format...

My conclusion: Sony is in for one hell of a fight from Microsoft and if anyone can take their bloated ego's down, it's Microsoft.  

Blogger D.Vader
The facts you speak of are from Sony and Microsoft's press releases. You should check your facts, before your mouth gathers your foot.

MS is not new to the tech industry, but if you want to call MS Flight Simulator "experience" for the game industry, then I feel your view of this is quite naive. Sony built the modern day industry as we know it. Once upon a time the new game systems and software were relegated to the back of the CES show (at that time the VG industry was a side show).

When Tomb Raider was released for the PlayStation 1 that is when the modern gaming industry was started as we know it today.

Now is this round going to be easy for Sony? Hell no, but I don't think there is much dispute that Sony will have the superior hardware this round. As long as they can deliver the games (like they always have), I do not see it being dethroned as the king of Consoles.  

Anonymous Si
I can just add to your post that you really don't know anything about a production cycle, when a product version is realeased (we can say Version 1 for Xbox) there are already months or sometimes years of work on the next version, at least on companies that take innovation seriously. So, unless you know exactly when the product cycle of the Xbox 360 started, please don't talk about its time on production.  

Blogger D.Vader
That portion of the article was speculation and I don't think it was completely out of the realm of possibilities.  

Anonymous Anonymous
Everyone expects the cell to be this amazing cpu since its been in development for so long and by toshiba, sony, and ibm.

But what does toshiba care about the PS3? They don't. They only care about the cell because they are putting it in TV, just like Sony.

The cell isn't designed to be a gaming CPU. Its designed for steaming floating point, essentially what you need for TVs.

So the Cell has years of research, years of money put into it, but not focused on games.

The 360 on the other had has a custom CPU and GPU designed for nothing but games from the ground up.

Even with the extra development time, i'd be suprised if the cell is as good as the 360 cpu for gaming purposes.  

Blogger D.Vader
You brave anonymous commenters!

If you go through this site, you will see the Xbox 360 CPU is refered to as a "general purpose" CPU, at it's core it's not much different then the PowerPC processors. The Cell on the other hand was built with the PS3 in mind. Sony was a major player in the development of the product, so of course they are going to make sure it meets their needs.

Any way you slice it, 2 teraflops are better then 1.  

Anonymous Kiri
Does anyone here even know what a teraflop is? The Playstation has always been about RPGs, since those don't need good AI. Any non-RPG on PS2 has weak AI. Action titles like God of War and DMC (excellent though they may be) just throw waves of stupid enemies at you.

The Xbox focuses on making a worthy adversary for the player, since it has many shooters. Halo 2 has the best AI I've seen, the Marines being much improved over its predecessor. Enemies will actually hide when in danger and I've seen the Covenant adjust to my strategy of hit-and-run in many levels and surround me. For racing, take Forza as an example. It's hard because of the opponents that are always cutting you off in corners or driving you off the road by crowding because of their intelligence. I haven't seen another racer that is so fiercely competitive, almost as if you were playing with humans who try to slow you down as well as pass you.

All that to say, both consoles are good and I will buy both PS3 and Xbox 360 for their diversity in gaming genres, one for story-driven, beautiful games and the other for intense shooters and great racing games.  

Blogger D.Vader
Teraflop = 1 Trillion Floating Point Opertations per second.

GoW's AI isn't that bad at all, but you have to consider most of the enemies (with the exception of bosses) are blade fodder. I mean you are talking about an Action Adventure game. I certainly hope Halo2, MS's flagship FPS would have better AI.

You must not have played any of the Splinter Cell's on PS2. The AI is about the same as Xbox.

Have you played Cold Winter for PS2? The enemies in that game will knock over tables to creat cover and come find you if you hide.  

Blogger JLC
the ps3 isnt that much stronger than the xbox 360 and what makes the systems is thegraphics card. what ppl tend to forget also is how hard sony always makes it for developers. and how they always screw us in america over were are always last finally we have something to call our own and every body wants to kiss sonys ass dont get me wrong im getting all three systems but i will support the xbox 360 this time around as for sony they did bite off of nintendo and we all know this they have only one system up on microsoft and well sony does develope there own as does microsoft. and theyre both going to be great systems so why fight just make piece and get the one you prefer but dont bad nouth microsoft cause your a sony fanboy.  

Blogger D.Vader
However hard the PS3 will be developers will flock to it. Will they cry, piss and moan? Yes, but in the end it don't matter because we will be playing excellent games.

How did Sony bite off Nintendo? If it wasn't for Nintendo's bad business dealings Sony may not even be in the Console market. They were developing a CD-ROM drive for the SNES that Nintendo abandoned. So they more or less built the console around the CD-ROM.


To me, MS is nothing but a Hype Machine in the console market. I prefer Sony because I like the large library of games. Also Sony knows the meaning of "Exclusive".

You can't get God of War anyplace but PS2. Halo I have for my PC. If a preference and an opinion makes me a fan-boy sobeit. You can't deny I am an educated one!

So far you haven't given me any reasons my you support MS, just reasons why you don't suppor Sony.  

Blogger JLC
Its (support) not suppor and by the way Sony does have a good library for the PS2 and well it is because they have one system on microsoft thats the main reason and yes they are flocking to the ps3 and they are also flocking to the xbox 360. Now like i said before since xbox will have exclusive titles just like sony i will have both systems so while i dont like sony to much i do like some of the exclusive games. Now i am not saying not to get a ps3 by all means go ahead they are both great systems and mr kutagari is a genius and so is j allard i have to admit that i am quite happy that i have a choice of systems and well they are both great systems. the only problem is that i'm affraid to throw the boomerang controller and get hit when it comes back........lol  

Blogger D.Vader
My point is, right now MS has titles which they call "Exclusive", but many of them are available on the PC, which to me doesn't mean it's so exclusive.

Now that MS is making the development platform that makes it very easy to port to PC, what's the point of getting an Xbox 360 when I have a PC that I can upgrade at will to meet or exceed the 360's horsepower?

The fact is MS doesn't have too many truly exclusive titles since their marketshare is so much smaller then Sony. If you want to make money on games in this business you better be putting software out for PS2. Larget market means more bucks.  

Blogger JLC
While your are right about there pc xbox port whic is kind of foolish if you ask me xbox market share will be somewhat larger this time around, I am hoping that they will have truly exclusive titles...
while i do enjoy titles that are exclusive like god of war which i found much to short and i did wait for years for the game to drop.. and come the ps3 launch i am looking forward to alan wake.. and a few other titles but vader you cannot say that gears of war doesnt look great and that pgr3 isnt a good game you have to admint that the not so exclusive titles that xbox 360 will have arent going to be a great play....  

Blogger D.Vader
God Of War was a nearly perfect game. It could have been longer, if it would have been any shorter I would have been miffed.

Xbox 360 titles will have that same "exclusiveness" meaning most will be ported to PC via the new dev platform. Since games developed XNA will be so easy to port to PC then it would only make sense that MS will do that.

Gears of War looks good the animations I have seen look 30FPS.
PGR3 looks fabulous, no argument there.
99 Nights looks great.

BUT so does...

Killzone PS3
Alan Wake
The Getaway PS3
Heavenly Sword

I thought Sony had alot more to show then MS at E3. Honestly some of Sony's stuff seemed to be further along then MS. IMHO!  

Blogger JLC
Yeah I really like that Alan wake, the thing is that a lot of the ps3 stuff was rendered it wasn’t real game play at e3, so I don’t think there that much further than ms but one thing is for sure. The games will look great I hope that they play great, God of war was pretty much perfect I concur.  

Blogger toms
I must say that who ever has written this has no business writing on this topic. You obviously lack a basic understanding of the technology upon which you write.  

Anonymous Anonymous
u need to understand the TWO graphics card companies involved here if you are going to have this discussion since that is the base platform of any game system .

ATI isnt half the 3D/Gaming company that nvidia is. (i say 3D and gaming because ATI certainly has as much and maybe more experience in 2D rasterizing and theyre old Apple OEM accounts going back to the late 80s

you go to the GameDevelopersConference and you will see ATI advertising there...while nvidia is inside TEACHING THE CLASS.  

Anonymous Anonymous
(PS3 has 256 megs) umm...Microsoft has 512 megs plus 10 megs of graphics power at a higher bandwidth with free ani-aliasing...they will be out first with what appears to be a wicked line up. Even when PS3 does come up, it's question for debate whethere it's even as powerful as 360...??? Even with the 2 Teraflops, its been shown that its graphically inferior. Sony is the reigning champ though, this is going to be an interesting race.  

Anonymous Anonymous
Mercedes and Ford are over 100 years old.
Toyota is only a couple decades old, but Toyota is BY FAR the RICHEST car company in the world. (more than GM + Ford + Chrysler combined)

Many years of research doesn't mean shit if ppl don't wanna play your games. (look at Black and White on the PC and some of the other games that took forever to develop)  

Anonymous Anonymous
All the hi-def output in the world is useless unless you have that 1080P TV!

and I doubt the author will have such a TV when the PS3 is out.  

Anonymous Anonymous
I started off writing a well reasoned response to the original blog. 10 mins in it dawned on me it was a pointless exercise.

The original blog was made up of so many twisted half truthes, speculation eith no basis in any fact whatso ever and outright un truthes that any kind of attempt at a factual discussion would have been pointless.

So instead, in the spirit of the original blog I give you this....

Xbox 360 will kill PS2. What experience do Sony have in the gaming / computer industry, almost non apart from one rane of consoles, the current version of which by the blog authors own admission has been technically overtaken by Xbox for years now.

More PS2s have been returned faulty world wide than Xboxs...

Xbox 360 unified trans warp doohicky infrastructure means the PS3 will loose out on sound
Nvidias biggest market is for PCs, which rely on Microsoft OS. Nvidia will not want to upset MS so they have made sure the PS3 graphics aren't as l33t as 360 no matter what the spec says...

PS3 will be around $100 more expensive on release and games are expected to cost $60.

PS3 will finally have a online service although speculation is it's run on two tin cans and a piece of string

Sonys focus for the PS3 is the far east and will be customised and primarily designed for that market - USA and Europe versions will be poor cousins with their needs and preferences not taken into consideration....


There, see, anyone can write poorly thought out FUD based on half truthes and cloud lala land :D  

Blogger D.Vader
toms said...
"I must say that who ever has written this has no business writing on this topic. You obviously lack a basic understanding of the technology upon which you write."

Please point out where I am wrong. So far I have used evidence to back up my opinion while you merely state yours as fact without bothering to back it up.


Anonymous said...
"you go to the GameDevelopersConference and you will see ATI advertising there...while nvidia is inside TEACHING THE CLASS."

Someone that can back it up!


Anonymous said...
"(PS3 has 256 megs) umm...Microsoft has 512 megs plus 10 megs of graphics power at a higher bandwidth with free ani-aliasing...they will be out first with what appears to be a wicked line up. Even when PS3 does come up, it's question for debate whethere it's even as powerful as 360...??? Even with the 2 Teraflops, its been shown that its graphically inferior. Sony is the reigning champ though, this is going to be an interesting race."

PS3 has 2 x 256MB. One faster for system and one for graphics. Both the Cell & the GPU can access both memory areas so there will be no need for caching or copying things to system memory for the CPU to work on or Vice Versa.


Anonymous said...
"Mercedes and Ford are over 100 years old.
Toyota is only a couple decades old, but Toyota is BY FAR the RICHEST car company in the world. (more than GM + Ford + Chrysler combined)

Many years of research doesn't mean shit if ppl don't wanna play your games. (look at Black and White on the PC and some of the other games that took forever to develop)"

Well if you are creating the next-gen game system I think R&D have alot to do with it. PS3 will take a departure from the standard development environment and introduce things that consoles will become anyway. Xbox 360 is just more of the same. Xbox 1.5!


Anonymous said...
"All the hi-def output in the world is useless unless you have that 1080P TV!

and I doubt the author will have such a TV when the PS3 is out."

Well I wasn't born with a silverspoon in my mouth. I am looking now for at least a 720p TV. PS3 will have adjustable setups so you can tweak your game to run faster in Standard Def.  

Blogger D.Vader
This one I must speak to Line by Line:

Anonymous (coward) said...
"I started off writing a well reasoned response to the original blog. 10 mins in it dawned on me it was a pointless exercise.

The original blog was made up of so many twisted half truthes, speculation eith no basis in any fact whatso ever and outright un truthes that any kind of attempt at a factual discussion would have been pointless."

Please provide some facts to your argument.

1 for me, 0 for you.

"So instead, in the spirit of the original blog I give you this....

Xbox 360 will kill PS2. What experience do Sony have in the gaming / computer industry, almost non apart from one rane of consoles, the current version of which by the blog authors own admission has been technically overtaken by Xbox for years now."

You mean people will want a Next-Gen Xbox over a current-gen PS2? That is some incredible insight you have there. Did you find thin an an Analyst report (hehehe I know Blunt will like that). I never admitted that the Xbox has overtaken PS2. Please learn to read, then re-read what I said. I said the Xbox is superior to PS2, by means of hardware. There really isn't a huge leap either. PS2's CPU may be half the speed of Xbox, but it's a 128-bit processor. Which affords it more speed then a 64-bit CPU (like the Xbox has).

When it comes to games, the PS2 plays a library of over 5,000 PS2 games and 7,000 PS1 games. When it comes to software, PS2 takes the cake hands down.

2 for me, 0 for you.

"More PS2s have been returned faulty world wide than Xboxs..."

Well did you ever consider that is because PS2 have outsold the Xbox by a rate of 4.5 times? Xbox has about 15-20 Million boxes out there. PS2 has over 90 Million. Just pure metrics will tell you that PS2 will have many more returns then Xbox. At least by a factor of 4.5.

3 for me, 0 for you.

"Xbox 360 unified trans warp doohicky infrastructure means the PS3 will loose out on sound"

Are you speaking of the Unified Pipline by ATI? It seems you are an expert on this!

The unified pipeline sounds like a great idea. Luckily, there is still time for Nvidia to impliment similar technology if it is superior.

4 for me, 0 for you.

"Nvidias biggest market is for PCs, which rely on Microsoft OS. Nvidia will not want to upset MS so they have made sure the PS3 graphics aren't as l33t as 360 no matter what the spec says..."

And where did you get this scoop of insider information? MS has no say in how Nvidia runs their business. This is America. MS will do nothing to make life any harder for Nvidia on the PC front. So far Xbox has been a money loser from Day 1. Windows and MS Software is the big money maker for MS. The only backlash that would exist if MS did something to make Nvidia's drivers screwy would be the backlash at MS from the PC Gamers.

5 for me, 0 for you.

"PS3 will be around $100 more expensive on release and games are expected to cost $60."

Xbox 360, $299 & $399
PS3 reports indicate $399

Most next gen games will cost $60, Xbox 360, PS3 and Revo.

6 for me, 0 for you.

"PS3 will finally have a online service although speculation is it's run on two tin cans and a piece of string"

Man you are just a clever one, how's that working out for you? Being clever?

Wrong again. Sony has SOE, they are no slouch when it comes to online gaming. Lets see, the piooneered MMO gaming with MMORPG and MMOFPS.

7 for me, 0 for you.

"Sonys focus for the PS3 is the far east and will be customised and primarily designed for that market - USA and Europe versions will be poor cousins with their needs and preferences not taken into consideration...."

Sony has proven themselves to be able to supply for the gaming needs of all international gamers. They have dev-houses setup world wide. Some of their best talent comes from Europe and America.

8 for me, 0 for you.

"There, see, anyone can write poorly thought out FUD based on half truthes and cloud lala land :D"

Well so far you have only proclaimed things to be half-truths. You really didn't back up any argument which I could not immediately tear down.

Please come back and post more! ;)  

Anonymous Anonymous
As far as HD support goes, there is no such thing as a 1080 progressive TV in the united states at this time. Please let me know when you see a 1080p television on the market anywhere in the USA ok? And don't screw with me, it better have a resolution of 1080 by 1920 and be able to support it with progressive scanning, otherwise there is NO POINT to 1080p. Once this television comes out, I would be willing to give Sony PS3 points for supporting 1080p. Until then it's a useless feature.  

Anonymous Anonymous
All you folks out there who believe that PS3 will be awsome because it supports 1080p, you better read this artical BELOW and get a reality check. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS 1080P !!!

http://www.hdtvexpert.com/pages/reality.htm  

Anonymous Anonymous
lol since when is a dual layer disc 17 gigs? Maybe if you put two layers on both sides, which I doubt is going to happen.

I think PS3 is going to dominate xbox, but their marketing strategy right now is to release early and spread out "free" systems across the entire north american continent in order to impress the general population about the system. I quote free because it's an obvious marketing strategy in order to profit.  

Anonymous Anonymous
many of you don't know that infact most all of the ps3s release titles will be remakes of older games also they had to delay the ps3 in the east due to marketing issues and i have also seen the specs on the ps3 there is little difference in graphics power to the 360. The ps2 also had a lowsy online system and it was proven that less then 5% of ps2 owners played online so what is it gonna be like on ps3, personally i dont think anything can match 360s onlie capabilities even a pc.  

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