Friday, December 30, 2005

What 2006 will bring for the videogame industry - part II: Microsoft´s Xbox360

In the second installment of this trilogy, let´s turn to the Xbox360. I will add my predictions about the Nintendo Revolution in the coming days.

Launch date/price: Microsoft will reduce the console´s price by at least $50 (the core version perhaps even by $100), come christmas.

Pre-E3 press conference: At the pre-E3 press conference, there will be no significant news regarding the hardware or its price. The main focus will be on titles like ´Halo 3´, ´Gears of War´ and ´Too Human´. There will also be a strong emphasis on the online community. Most likely, there will be a number of new features added to Xbox Live, like hosted tournaments.

E3 showfloor: There will be around forty titles playable on the showfloor. None will show a significant improvement over the launch titles (the second generation games will not show before 2007). There will not be a playable version of ´Halo 3´.

Sales and reactions: The Xbox360 will continue to sell a decent amount in the US, next to none in Japan and there will be lacklustre sales in Europe. Altogether, the Xbox360 will sell around three million units, beating the PS3 by a margin of a million or so (mainly due to a reduced price near the end of the year).

Successes and setbacks: Microsoft´s biggest success with their new console will be their ability to reduce the price by christmas.

Their biggest setback will be the continued lack of games that utilize the multi-core chip architecture.

Conclusion: By the end of the year, Microsoft will be in a position to reduce their console´s price, which will enable them to top the PS3 sales by a decent margin. However, they will not be able to fully convince the majority gamers that the Xbox360 is a next-gen platform (by graphical standards, which is pretty much all the console has to offer).


Anonymous said...

Great article as usual

Carmine M. Red said...

You don't seem to have as much to say about MS as you did about Sony, lol.

Anyways, I personally predict that Halo 3 is playable at E3. Bungie had said that their next gasme is already "up and running" and Microsoft big wigs are giddy at the thought of spoiling the PS3 launch with a Halo 3 launch maybe a day or two before. For that to happen Halo 3 will need to be ready by Fall 2006, and playable by E3.

~Carmine M. Red

Stephen said...

Astute observations. We'll have to see how it all turns out.

Anonymous said...

Like you, I'm hoping that Nintendo's innovation strategy will result in a captivating and popular platform, that my mom and girlfriend will love it as much as I do, that the game industry will expand its notion of "mainstream," etc. And, out of sheer spite, I'd love to watch the mega corporations who've been catering to immature boys go down clawing at each other while third party developers flock to the open plains of freehand control input. Your predictions have gratified me.


It would be refreshing to read a sophisticated and pro-Nintendo view with a little more balance – in other words, a view that wrestles with the reality of Sony's and Microsoft's successes up to this point, the reasons why, and the possibility that winning strategies will continue to bear fruit.

I suppose what I'm saying is I like the way you reason, but I'd enjoy hearing you apply a bit more skepticism to your own arguments. I found myself agreeing, but not challenged.

HereticPB said...

You forgot problems with the hardware continuing and the lack of supply of X360's.

I know eventually MS will fix the problems of the systems and supply issues but this is going to plague them.

I know people that got an X360, it broke down, and they are still waiting for a replacement system. Some are even waiting for a box from Microsoft to ship the 360 back.

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest problems facing the gaming industry is 2nd hand game soft market. In Japan many of PS2 games sell well for the first but quickly lose their number because of the second hand market. Gamers play games quickly and sell before the value lose. This problem will come to the US.

The industry may try to solve this problem by adding online play, but this only creates a group of hardcore gamers who play only a few games. The whole industry will suffer.

Morton-jn said...

Good work. I do believe that both Sony and Microsoft will do well but so will Nintendo. If Nintendo implements their strategy well then most people with a PS3 or XBOX 360 will also have a Nintendo 'Revolution'.

nz guy said...

dont be too nice to the rev. so when it comes out will will all be surprised.

Arsenis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Arsenis said...

hey good stuff falafelkid.

but i think here in the USA people are gonna buy'em no matter what because they wanna have the latest techie stuff.

Arsenis said...

Happy NEW YEAR everyone.!!!

Niwre said...

I don't know what will happen with 360.
Sure, the early launch payed up in the short term, but what about the long term? Hype for PS3 wíll be coming around. If PS3 will sell for around $400, I think 360 is doomed.

People might buy a lot of 360s from second hand and PS3 will sell a shit load at that price.

Nintendo is the laughing third, because quite some PS3 (and maybe even 360) buyers may buy a Revolution with it. Ánd Nintendo has its fanbase.

pi said...

If ps3 + hdd really sell for around $400. Or x360 not reduce his price when ps3 come ... Yes x360 is doomed.

x360 sale good in us ... now thay sale second hand but how much ? x360 still have 3-6 month to sale ... and demand still high

Revolution is other thing it's nintendo's big gamble if it hit market like NDS even ps3 might .... doom but if not ... we still don't know last part of revolution yet.

viejodani said...

The main problem I find about Xbox360 is that it launched too soon. To be the first in line doesn't mean becomming number one. And many games could be for the first Xbox and were pushed towards 360 really fast, so they don't use the systems full power.

I remember reading about hardware problems, meaning that they didn't make the proper intensive test of the console's durability under conditions that could appear at your home. Rushing can lead to a crash.

I do believe that Xbox360 could beat PS3 in the hard-core gamer market, but it depends on the moves MS will make in the future. Games with the same formula as the current or older generation ones is not a sure victory. Zelda, Goldeneye64, even Gran Turismo cannot be beaten, no matter the graphic improvements over them.

I think Xbox360 need an original Strategy, Xbox Live is good, but not invincible forever. Sony and Nintendo learned many things.

Shoxware Games said...

in my opinion, the Revolution is still an unpredictable system, since nintendo statet, that they have some more secrets up on their sleeve, we don't know, what the system is capable of.

i also hope, this is not the "revolution is nice and shiny, X360 and PS3 are baad article. (but i don't think it will turn out like that!)

Falafelkid, i already posted this in the PS3 thingy - nintendo patented the name "Nintendo Floor Vision", but noone seems to go into that story, so what do you think could that mean?! since its an name, we have no abstract or anything that can hint something out.

I'm a little bit clueless. Well, i have something in my mind, but i don't wanna talk about that... you know?!

Anonymous said...

I also saw the Nintendo Floor Vision trademark, but it was only on a german gaming site. I wonder if this means that the trademark was reserved in Europe.

Anonymous said...

I just noticed a a small typo error, but could cause a lot of confusion. In the Sales and Reactions part you wrote that the 360 outsold the PS3, when the PS3 isn't out yet. I think you mean PS2.

Anonymous said...

The 360's strat of course is to be first out of the gate and have plenty of great titles available by the time the PS3 comes out.

They also are hoping xbox live is a big system seller. While I think xbox live is sweet, not sure most folks (average consumers) really are into the online play enough to pay for the service.

Still there's the chance that having the possibility of using this feature is enough to help sell the system.

ON the other hand I think the other consoles will do a much better job with online this time around. Maybe they won't be as good as xbox live, but they probably will be good enough and they will be free and speaking of Nintendo, it's online features will probably be simpler and easier to use.

The 360 has the start of a sweet xbox live arcade service, but paying $400 for the console and $70/yr for live and then paying $5-$10 a game to use the service seems like overkill. I think Nintendo beats them in this category because they will be priced lower not to mention the possibilites of using the controller to play differently.

I think Nintendo should really focus on the ability to play games together with friends whether competivitely or cooperatively - both new games and older games from it's download service. And combine that with using the new controller in both older and newer offerings.

The most important thing going for the 360 is of course the games. While the 360 has a pretty strong launch lineup it has no clear revolutionary type of title. There's nothing on it you haven't played before. Sure the games are in HD but you've played them before.

Compare that to Nintendo where their new controller and the fact they are one of the best game developers themselves almost guarantees games you haven't played before.

I think the weakness of the 360 is there isn't much new about it. The part that is new - hi-def - just isn't something most folks have yet.

Shoxware Games said...

no, the floor vision patent was filled in japan.

i think i know, what "Floor Vision" is... pretty cool. watch this video!

[url=]Floor Vision Nintendo[url]

Pekka said...

I remember a rumour that the Revolution would have some way of tracking where a player sits and adjust the view according to that. It's one of the earliest I've heard, and I can't find the source.

Imagine a cityscape projected on the floor. The projector adjusts the distortion so that it appears like a real 3D object, similar to those street paintings a while ago. The effect of those paintings depend on the right viewing angle, but imagine shifting your position, and the revolution would track that movement and render a new view for the new angle, retaining the illusion of a 3d object. You could walk around it, and the illusion would adjust to every single angle: back, front, above...

Or let's go back to that coke bottle painting. Imagine walking to the right, and the coke bottle would actually be rendered from a different angle. You could do this in real-time projection. You could pass that coke bottle for a real object as long as it adjusts to the current viewing angle.

Remember this? The arrow '73' could be the player's current viewing angle, and '71' the projected image on the floor. '76' would be the illusion of a 3D environment that the viewer '73' sees.

Imagine playing a projected Zelda game on the floor. You walk around it, and the ingame camera changes too. It would be like there was a hole on the ground before you, and you could see the game universe through it. When you otherwise would use the controller to change the ingame camera, now you just walk to the other side.

I hope this makes any sense.

Johnny B said...

The Xbox 360 is plagued by the PSP syndrome: it has good graphics but lacks innovative games and/or a killer app. Consumers are not willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for the exact same experience they already get from the system(s) they own. Simply put, neither the 360 nor the PSP have differentiated enough from their lineage. Though the Revolution may be weak in other areas, at least we know it will be strong in innovation.

As to Nintendo's floor vision, is it really referring to the E3 projected fish pond demo, as the rapidshare video depicts? If not, it might be worth looking into. BTW, very interesting idea Pekka.

Pekka said...

Pardon my poor photoshopping skills, but I made a quick mock-up of how this floor view might work.


I myself am a little skeptical, considering the very high prices on projectors, and how this might look on wooden floors. But it might make a neat second screen, like in the DS.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Is that "Floor Vision" thing from Nintendo's E3 booth?

It's very cool looking, but I'm wondering if it suits Nintendo's mainstream ambitions. Unlike the Revolution controller, which is small, unobstrusive, and friendly-looking, a projection system doesn't fit easily in a mass-market living room. Not only would one need a clean, light-colored floor without pattern, but the lights have to be out. The effect is definitely eye-catching, but isn't it a little inconvenient?

I could imagine some modification with real potential, though. I mean, I can't imagine it, but I bet someone can.

revolution_player said...

Hey falafelkid, what do you think about this:

And here the other e-mails:

Perhaps you can find out who this German journalist is.

Niwre said...

Revolution_player, that's obviously fake.

He's talking about Rev having like three 3.8ghz cores and stuff. It's bs.

Anonymous said...

From now on we should reffer to the new xbox as xbox180 instead oh 360 I think that fitts better!

Long live Xbox180!

falafelkid said...

I would like to say a shout out to the Gay community. As many of you know I am Gay and a Nintendo Blogger.

Happy Holidays to my friends in the Rainbow

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