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Old 07-29-2003, 02:01 PM   #1
DBJAY
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New Forbes article about Xbox

"Microsoft's underdog Xbox is looking like a leader online. Sony had better look alive.

Microsoft's videogames have had more fits than starts. Its console, the two-year-old Xbox, loses something like $100 per unit sold, or a billion dollars a year. Xbox had a disastrous launch in Japan and still runs far behind Sony's PlayStation 2 in worldwide sales. But the game's not over. Witness the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, the gaming industry's annual confab in May.

For the goateed and backpack-toting attendees, E3 is a big, honking sneak peek at the next killer games, and Microsoft had the best of them all: Halo 2, the sequel to its 2001 sci-fi action masterpiece. People waited hours in line just to see the eight-minute demonstration. "It's one of our most ambitious projects," says Robert (Robbie) Bach, the Microsoft senior vice president in charge of Xbox. "It's a title that will sell anytime, anyplace."

But it will play only on Xbox. And if you want to blast away online with far-flung friends you have to pay $50 a year to subscribe to Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people )'s new gaming network, Xbox Live. Halo is just the first of several new Xbox and Xbox Live exclusives, including sure hits such as Doom 3, Project Gotham Racing 2 and Counter-Strike. All of them, Bach says, play better online.

More than anyone predicted, online gaming is driving the all-important software sales that are the profit engine of the $10 billion videogame industry. Dwarfed by Sony, which claims 60% of the North American market, Microsoft has bet far bigger and bolder to grab the online advantage as both feverishly race to get their next-generation consoles into stores by 2006.

"This generation we were statistically out of the playoffs before we even laced up our shoes," concedes J Allard, vice president in charge of Xbox Live. "Next season, there won't be an 18-month head start. We'll be neck and neck right out of the gate, and Xbox Live will give us a huge online head start."

The Xbox Live network launched in November and passed the 500,000 subscriber mark in seven months, beating, by 80,000, the number of people registered to play PlayStation 2 games online, despite the fact that Microsoft has sold only 9.4 million Xboxes to Sony's 51 million PlayStations. Nintendo, with 9.6 million GameCubes sold, has limited online ambitions.

Consider the case of Ghost Recon. This military-style shooting game was released on both Xbox and PlayStation 2 in November. The Xbox version was online-enabled, and the PlayStation version wasn't. Despite the enormous differences in installed base, more copies of the game have sold on Xbox, (650,000) than on PS2 (550,000)."

http://forbes.com/home/free_forbes/2003/0811/086.html

Intersting factoid about Ghost Recon! I guess having the installed base advantage isn't always a guarantee of higher software sales. Good to know.
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Old 07-29-2003, 06:01 PM   #2
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just got my new issue of Forbes (don't ask me why) and I was happy to see the article... this was the perfect generation of systems for online gaming, and Xbox is by far the best wit in terms of service and games. It's only gonna get better wit games like Counter-Strike, Dead Or Alive Online, Halo 2, Tenchu: Return from Darkness, True Fantasy Live Online, and Project Gotham Racing 2!
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Old 07-29-2003, 06:06 PM   #3
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I agree with the article. Although I am a PS2 fan, I think Sony better look out because PS2's online games are really lacking while XBOX's online titles (both current and near future) look very impressive. Probably the day when Halo2 release is the day I become an XBOX owner. MS is on the right track.
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Old 07-29-2003, 07:02 PM   #4
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Hmm, you know, I never thought about Xbox2 and PS3 being released head to head.... Xbox's LIVE service may be a good thing to have, especially if it has the games.. and HALO has already proven to be a big name for the 'box...

I wonder....
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Old 07-29-2003, 07:05 PM   #5
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Speaking of online play, anyone know what the DL Content of Knights of the Old Republic is?
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Old 07-30-2003, 12:18 AM   #6
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the assumptions made are that they are additional weapons and items, and if it is possible, more side quests or quests that continue the story a bit... should be available before Christmas.
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Old 08-01-2003, 03:02 AM   #7
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OT:

i really like the name Tenchu Eternal better, than Return to Darkness, hmm oh well (though IGN mentioned that there are two Tenchu games with XBL listed by MS E3 press releases)

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Old 08-01-2003, 03:58 AM   #8
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KillZone will give PS2 online the boost it needs.....hopefully:big smile
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Old 08-01-2003, 04:03 AM   #9
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hmm maybe killzone and halo2 will be released at the same time.8)
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Old 08-01-2003, 04:23 AM   #10
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Oh, and one other little nugget you may not have heard until now... Killzone is scheduled for release in March 2004 and is also rumored to be featured at Sony's upcoming Playstation Experience taking place from August 28-31 in London.
Isn't Halo2 being released in March 2004 :yikes: 8)
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Old 08-01-2003, 08:47 AM   #11
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Stupid Nintendo needs to figure out a way to make online work for them sooner rather than later. While the majority of players will not be online- the number is only going to keep on growing. It's important for the company to have some sort of infrastucture they can build on...
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Old 08-01-2003, 04:11 PM   #12
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I like XBox. In fact I'm a big booster for the system, but I believe in the truth also. The fact is PS2 probably has closed that 80,000 gap and has just as many people using its online games as MS does. This coming year Sony also has the EA sports games online wrapped up which will increase the user bases yet again. While XBox has some FANTASTIC online games Sony is also doing very well supply some great stuff.

I'm actually glad XBox is doing so well online....I hope it translates into increased sales for the XBox now not just when XBox 2 comes out.
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Old 08-01-2003, 04:25 PM   #13
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So Killzone is Sony's "Halo killer" huh? It looks good, honestly, but HALO 2??? That's a toughie...
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Old 08-01-2003, 04:28 PM   #14
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I dont think it matters which one is better, Killzone or Halo 2, Killzone probably is gonna sell twice as much. Those crazy ps2 owners...
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Old 08-01-2003, 04:35 PM   #15
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PS2 may have EA Sports online as well as Final Fantasy XI (may cost $100+ cuz of the hardrive) and SOCOM II... but Xbox has XSN Sports, CounterStrike (which will be huge), Rainbow Six 3, and Dead Or Alive Online... wit more ambitious online games like Halo 2, Tenchu, and more... plus online gaming wit Xbox is alot less hassle free than Xbox...

as for GC, if Nintendo was online... they would be better off cuz if they made amassive online Pokemon RPG like the GB games but MMO, made Mario Kart online, and even their new game Giest online... more people would be gettin GCs...
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