Xbox Live Beta: Impressions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sol_N, Aug 24, 2002.

  1. Sol_N

    Sol_N Extra

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    I decided to make a new thread of this because the other Xbox Live Thread seems to be focusing on a different subject. I thought some of you would like to read about my limited experience with Xbox Live...

    Packaging:

    The kit came with the headset, an orange memory card, the headset connector (to the controller), live setup CD, and nfl fever online CD all packaged in a nice Xbox live carrying case. The package arrived on Friday. The headset is light and looks cool, but I personally didn't like the way it fits on my head. I prefer headsets that rest on ones ears, instead of having to be squeezed onto the ear like the Xbox headsets are.

    Set Up:

    After hooking up an ethernet wire from my Router to my Xbox, I turned on the system with the Live CD inside. Microsoft really thought of all types of broadband connections when they set this up because they let you connect with DSL, Cable, ISDN even if they require special settings (PPPOE, DNS, etc.). After that was configured, I next had to enter my personal information and credit card, which they initially said wouldn't be charged anything unless I ordered "premium content". However, I was surprised to see that after the initial notice of the CC not being charged, they didn't remind the user again, and that might cause some potential customers to think twice about it.

    Gameplay:

    Next up was setting up my gamertag and my password (which has to be set as a 4-button combination using the controller keys). After that, I was able to sign in with ease to play Re-Volt or NFL Fever. Re-Volt is a pretty bad game and it looks like it belongs on the PSOne, to be honest with you. The controls were craptacular and it wasn't that much fun. I played with 2 other people and there was no lag at all and the voice chat didn't lag in this game either.

    After the game of Re-Volt, I added one of the players to my friends list with relative ease. The friends list works alot like MSN Messenger or ICQ and will come in handy for sure. I had mixed experiences with NFL Fever. The first game I played was laggy between plays, but not during actual gameplay. The voice chat in the game was delayed a few seconds as well. Overall, not a very pleasant experience the first time through. At this point, I thought the live service had some serious issues, but I found out later, upon playing with another player whose connection was better than the first player, that it wasn't the service at all, but the first player's lousy connection. The first game was fun, regardless of lag, and the second, lag-free game, was even better. Online play added alot of replay value to NFL Fever, and, imo, it adds to most competitive games. The voice chat in the second game wasn't delayed very much and it sounded very good in fact. I liked talking to my opponent and complimenting each other on good plays.

    Extras:

    Online ranking for Fever was already set up and I could already see people with flawless 5-0 records leading the pack. Around noon on Friday, there were already about 400 people signed up or "ranked" in NFL Fever, which was a pretty decent number considering.

    Setting up a game in fever or revolt was very easy as was finding games. You can join the first available open game or set it so you only join games that meet your specific requirements. You can create games based on your preferences, too. And you can create games that only allow your "freinds" to join or games that allow your friends and a set # of opponents to join. All very easy to do and very useful.

    Final Words:

    I'm both impressed and dissapointed in Xbox live at this point. I'm impressed by the infrastructure, the easy set-up, the nice interface, the extra content, the useful features, and the longevity and fun it adds to games.

    I'm a bit dissapointed because I expected the live service to be available alot earlier (Late 2001) than it is going to be (Late 2002) and I want more games than just Fever and NFL 2k3 to play. Yeah, it's better late than never, but still, it's a bit dissaointing. I would have also liked there to have been an online racing game and an online fighting game available for launch, but we don't always get what we want.

    All in all, I'm happy with Xbox Live and I'm sure most of you will be too. Is it the next evolution of gaming? I don't think it is at this point, but it's not exactly easy to predict these kind of things.
     
  2. KevinRB

    KevinRB Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the post.

    Just curious, were you using cable or DSL? Do you know what type of connection your laggy NFL Fever opponent had?
     
  3. Sol_N

    Sol_N Extra

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    I'm using DSL (1.5/140k up) and it's been very good for me in every day use, so I'm pretty sure it was him. When someone connects to your game or you connecto to theirs, there's a connection speed meter that's not so obvious, but it's there. I should've known to bail on that game because his meter was pretty low.
     
  4. Adam Nixon

    Adam Nixon Second Unit

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    I thought the whole point of "broadband only" was lag-free gaming. This is disheartening, to say the least -- why charge a fee and limit your potential subscribers if you can't deliver what you've promised?

    I have to admit, I was ready to jump on a $10 per month all-inclusive fee, but it seems like this is only a gateway for MS as they've already threatened to charge for new downloadable content with Unreal Championship. I think Live is headed for a colossal failure.
     
  5. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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  6. Adam Nixon

    Adam Nixon Second Unit

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    After I made my first post, I remembered that it was a beta test. I hope they're able to smooth it out, but charging for new, downloadable content just plain bites, PERIOD.

    I was all set to jump on Unreal Championship until I read in a Gamespy article that MS was comtemplating extra fees for new maps. This just reeks of corporate greed and the general public will feel the same way. All of these extra fees have done nothing to convince me that a monthly charge is any type of value -- it's pretty obvious that they wanted a universal billing system, NOT a gamer's utopia.
     
  7. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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  8. Sol_N

    Sol_N Extra

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    Update:

    Last night I was able to play a few more games. First, I played, along with a friend of mine, a game of NFL Fever against an opponent online. We only had one headset between the two of us, but we were both still able to play as a team against our opponent. Fever allows for up to 4 players to play against another 4 players. It turned out to be a very fun, lag free game. The voice was only delayed slightly, but the banter between us and our opponent added alot to the fun factor.

    Next up, we played a game of NFL 2K3 online against 1 opponent. It took us a few tries to get a game going because, apparently, the game doesn't like it when your Xbox is behind a firewall. About half the beta users seem to be using routers that have built in firewalls, so I found out that the port that the Xbox is using has to be "opened up" using the DMZ setting (very easy to do). This actually worked and we were able to play a game that didn't have much lag. Our opponent did the same DMZ setting trick, which is why the game probably worked the way its supposed to. Anyway, the chat in this game was as real-time as I've ever experienced so far in "Live" play. Sega seems to have the most experience with online games and it shows in NFL 2k3 (can't wait for NHL 2k3 and NBA 2k3). The game was fun and close, but it took me a few quarters to learn all the controls. I'm not at a position to fully rate 2k3 from my limited experience, but judging from other peoples' reactions on the beta newsgroups, the people who were able to get games going absolutely loved it. Note- 2k3 allows a maximum of 4 players in a game (2v2).

    As for the worries about being charged alot for premium content, I don't think you should worry too much because anything they want to charge for will be above and beyond what the actual game gives you (more than just roster updates). Roster updates and other downloads will be freely available on probably all sports games. Stuff that will be charged for will be things like extra missions, characters, etc. Sure, you wouldn't want them to skimp on the regular game just so they could add alot of stuff for download, but I dont' see that happening all that much. Just think, if you like a game a whole lot, wouldn't you want them to be able to add hours of more content to it for just a few dollars? I'm hearing that downloads will probably be very cheap (I'm talking cents here). And you don't have to get any "premium" content that you don't want, so you'd never be charged more than the initial $50 for the first year. Not a bad deal. It's worth the experience, imo.
     
  9. KevinRB

    KevinRB Stunt Coordinator

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    Not to bring up the old PS2 vs. Xbox debate but...

    Playing other people is the key reason for having online games, adding additional content is icing on the cake.

    If you compare how online Unreal would probably be released between PS2 and Xbox:

    Xbox - Free online gaming (minus the initial setup). Premium content available for an extra.

    PS2 - Free online gaming (minus the initial setup). Premium content not available since PS2 doesn't have a hard drive.

    I'm not trying to say one is better then the other, just that it's not worth getting all worked up for premium content being charged.
     
  10. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the informative post. I'm really looking forward to getting this going. Unreal Championship and Halo 2 next year have me drooling.[​IMG]
     
  11. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    My question, why are you sweating over Unreal? Just buy the PC version and download a voice chat program
     
  12. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    Real Name:
    Carl III

    My cpu tends to crash if I try to play anything more taxing than Pong so I do all of my gaming on the X Box.
     
  13. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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  14. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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  15. joshiajay

    joshiajay Auditioning

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    What are everyone's IDs? Mine is "Footsteps". I'm going to mostly be playing NFL 2K3.
    Ajay
     
  16. ChristopherS

    ChristopherS Second Unit

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    For a XBOX Live impressions thread, there sure seems to be a lot of other garbage being discussed. I was hoping to read about people's experiences with XBOX Live, not about trading memory cards with my PS2. [​IMG]
    Chris
     
  17. joshiajay

    joshiajay Auditioning

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    My Impressions:
    I had a difficult time getting online initally. It took a couple of calls to my ISP and then Microsoft to get the kinks worked out. I couldn't get the XBOX to pick up an IP address through my hub but once I plugged it into the modem directly it worked fine. I have since plugged the XBOX online through the hub and it now works through the hub with no problems.

    So far the gameplay have been very impressive. I've played 3 games of NFL 2k3 and I had trouble connecting for the 2nd game but other than that it has been a very good experience. Only one game had a short bout of lag. The other games have been lag free. The voice chat was excellent. I've gone 0-3 so far with my beloved Skins. I may have to switch teams soon or get better. I'm playing in Augusta GA and I played someone in Topeka, KS, Panama City, FL and San Diego, CA and all three games played equally well. The only part that really needs work is the lobby as so far it doesn't seem like you can really search for someone you want to play, I've only had luck connecting through the quick match. Hopefully they can make a lobby and ranking system so that similar players can get matched up.

    I also tried a little bit of Re-volt and it was pretty good as well. The games seems like it might be a fun diversion right now while we are waiting for the other online games to be released. It seemed to play fine and the voice chat worked well.

    Any questions post them and I'll try and answer.
    Ajay
     
  18. BorisM

    BorisM Stunt Coordinator

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    Does XBOX live support both DHCP and fixed IP addressing? I prefer to use static IP addressing on my network at home, and I was just wondering if the network setup screens in XBOX live allow you to enter IP/DNS info directly?
    I have not yet read about this on any sites. Thanks.
     
  19. Sol_N

    Sol_N Extra

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    Yes, there are all sorts of settings you can adjust to have your Xbox connected to your internet connection (static IP, DNS, PPPOE user/pass, etc.). They've seemed to have thought of everything.
     
  20. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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