Xbox, PS2 and network add-ons. . .

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brandon_H, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. Brandon_H

    Brandon_H Stunt Coordinator

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    So, I received a notice in my inbox from EBgames.com stating that the Xbox Live Communicator I ordered will be released on Nov. 5. And it got me thinking. . . what is this "communicator" -- and by extension, the Xbox Live service -- but a hardware add-on?

    From the beginning, Microsoft has trumpeted that online-gaming hardware was "built-in" to the Xbox, unlike the PS2. Sony's detractors have endlessly pointed out that a PS2 owner must buy a network adapter, which doesn't bode well for Sony's online service when so many console owners don't even buy a second controller.

    Except . . . Microsoft seems to have missed its own point. This "communicator" retails for $50 -- $10 more than Sony's adapter -- and is scheduled to street more than two months after Sony's online solution. Plus, the Xbox doesn't support narrowband connections. Once again, Microsoft seems to be aiming its revolver squarely at its foot.

    Yes, I know one doesn't need the communicator to play online, if they're willing to forgo voice communication and pay the $10 per month or so. But Microsoft has trumpeted voice-com as integral to the XBox gaming experience, so it's likely that many people will feel obligated to shell out the dough IF they want to go online.

    Also, I expect Microsoft to put a huge push behind the communicator, to the point where it could lead to consumer confusion. Many people might erroneously believe that the Communicator is necessary to go online. What's worse, many people with narrowband connections might buy the Communicator thinking it will allow them to go online, only to discover otherwise later.

    So, as you can see, I'm now having some doubts about the viability of Microsoft's marketing plan behind Xbox Live. That's not to say I want it to fail -- my Xbox will be online within minutes of my Communicator's delivery. I just wonder how many other people will be. . .

    (I note that Sony's PS2 network adapter is a best-seller at EBgames.com, but the Xbox Live communicator is nowhere to be found on the Xbox best-seller list. Decidedly unscientific and probably means nothing, but I note it nonetheless.)
     
  2. Edan W

    Edan W Stunt Coordinator

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  3. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    The buzz is that some other game may take the place of ReVolt.
     
  4. Brandon_H

    Brandon_H Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think "Re-Volt" would be much of a selling point, seeing as it's at least a half-generation old (first released for PS One, N64 and Dreamcast.) And Sony's network adapter also includes demos, a mail-in coupon for "Twisted Metal: Black Online," and the opportunity to play all of "Frequency" online if you already own that game.

    As for 12 months of access to Xbox Live. . . none of Sony's online games have a monthly access fee as of yet, so Sony's access is essentially "free" after you buy the network adapter.

    Either you pay $40 for Sony's online adapter -- or you pay $50 (or $10 per month) for Microsoft's service. Whatever your choice, it adds up to an add-on.

    Just playing devil's advocate here. It seems to me that Xbox is not as "plug and play" as Microsoft led us to think. . . and that bothers me. (Not enough to keep me from paying and playing, though.)

    Adam, out of curiosity, any idea what that "other game" might be? I love Re-Volt, but I already own it, so. . .
     
  5. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    I've just seen posts here and on various XBox sites that there's a strong chance it'll be "something else". Nothing was specifically named.

    However, this might have been misinterpreted information in reference to the next wave of beta testers, who are receiving an online-only NFL Fever.

    Neither of those sound particularly compelling to me.

    Edit: whoops...spelling error.
     
  6. Scott Bourden

    Scott Bourden Second Unit

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  7. ChristopherS

    ChristopherS Second Unit

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  8. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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  9. Andrew Grall

    Andrew Grall Supporting Actor

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  10. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  11. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Actually, the THPS3 thing has been around since I believe last October. All you need is a USB modem.
     
  12. Brandon_H

    Brandon_H Stunt Coordinator

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    "Sony and Microsoft have chosen two different approaches to online play. Both approaches are valid for different reasons and each are marketed to different groups."

    My entire point is that their approaches, in the end, don't seem so different. Either you pay for the hardware or you pay for the privilege. Either way, you pay.

    And I hardly think Xbox is being marketed to a different group than PS2. They are both chiefly targeted at mainstream, predominantly male, game players between ages 13-34. Xbox might have, for the moment, been forced into a position of courting a more hardcore audience, but given the opportunity to become the "mass-market" machine, I hardly think Microsoft would pass it up.

    "You enjoy your online play and I'll enjoy mine."

    Hey, I'm not taking sides here. As I've already said, I own an Xbox and I've already pre-ordered the Communicator. I'm just bringing up a topic for discussion.
     
  13. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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  14. JamesH

    JamesH Supporting Actor

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    "(I note that Sony's PS2 network adapter is a best-seller at EBgames.com, but the Xbox Live communicator is nowhere to be found on the Xbox best-seller list. Decidedly unscientific and probably means nothing, but I note it nonetheless.) "


    Try doing the math detective, Sony has an install base many times larger, so of course they're going to be selling more online kits.
     
  15. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    That's not really fair, James. After all, the post you quoted mentions individual best seller lists for each system.
     
  16. ChristopherS

    ChristopherS Second Unit

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    I completely forgot about THPS. Sorry :b

    I still maintain XBOX owners do not have to buy any accessories nor do they have to buy into XBOX Live to play online. It works right now. It may be a "hack" but who really cares. Thousands of people are using it. And it is an option for anyone who has broad-band (if you do not have broad-band XBOX Live is not an option either). I am playing Halo online right now, free of charge. I expect this "hack" will work for NFL Fever which is being released this week and it will also work for NFL 2k3 being released the following week. (I personally only have one game that I can play online but I could also play MotoGP and THPS2 online if I owned them. It works with any game which has System Link).

    Will XBOX Live be better? Yes, I am sure it will be and I will sign up for the first year at a whole $10 more than the PS2 modem/NIC. If I do not like it I do not have to continue paying the second year and can return to playing using a "hack".

    This thread was started by Brandon who inferred you need "accessories" for both the XBOX and the PS2 for them to work online. That is completely incorrect.

    Chris
     
  17. Brandon_H

    Brandon_H Stunt Coordinator

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    I never inferred that. Infact, I explicitly stated that one DIDN'T need the Xbox Communicator to go online.

    I merely raised the point that for either solution, you're paying. I don't see how that makes a PS2 hardware add-on any different from an Xbox Live subscription, especially if the Communicator turns out to be crucial to gameplay -- as Microsoft has intimated.

    As I've pointed out, I'm an Xbox owner and a future Live subscriber. All I wanted was an intelligent discussion on the issue. Some people (thanks Adam and Scott) have been willing and able to participate in one. But I've also gotten -- and I guess I should have expected this -- snide attacks from people who apparently have no ability to think critically about their beloved box.

    I'd like to request that the moderator close this thread before it goes even further downhill. I'm tired of trying to discuss issues like this in the forum.
     
  18. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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  19. ChrisV

    ChrisV Second Unit

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  20. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Indeed, Chris. I never said it wasn't!
     

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