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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Xbox 360 revealed tonight; E3 games lists; Sony's historical miss-steps

  1. Xbox 360 to be revealed tonight!
  2. EBGames goes Live
  3. Same controller for Xbox 360 and Windows?
  4. E3 Line-ups
  5. Sony's historical miss-steps


  1. Xbox 360 to be revealed tonight!

  2. EBGames goes Live

    • In a smart co-marketing move, Microsoft is partnering with EBGames to put Xbox Live-enabled kiosks in 25 EBGames stores across the country. Store visitors will be able to go head-to-head against EBgames visitors from other stores.
    • Playable games will likely be of the "E for Everyone" rating (initially, the newly release Forza Motorsport), and the Xbox Live headset won't be in use at the kiosks (thanks to the foul-mouthed putzes who frequent online games, and the need to protect underage video game shoppers).
    • You can find a list of supported stores here, and no, Austin, TX isn't on the map. Nice, Microsoft -- Don't put a kiosk in the town that houses the guys that do Red vs Blue for the Halo faithful ...
    • The partnership with EBGames is interesting to me, given GameStop's recent announcement they are purchasing EBGames. Then again, negotations with EBGames probably started will before the aquisition announcement, and GameStop has said they'll be keeping the EBGames brand around for sometime, both online and brick-and-mortar.

  3. Same controller for Xbox 360 and Windows?

    • Microsoft announced they'll be showing a prototype "universal gaming controller" next week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The controller will work on both Xbox 360 and Windows, and, according to MS, "Gamers will have more playing options with a familiar, versatile and well-designed gamepad-style controller."
    • I don't know if the controller is going to work on the current Windows XP OS, or whether it's targeted for Longhorn, MS's next-gen Windows OS.

  4. E3 Line-ups

    • There'll be more of these, but the announcements to date for next week's industry boondogle are pretty nifty:
    • Electronic Arts

      • NCAA Football 06
      • Madden NFL 06
      • NASCAR 06
      • Batman Begins
      • Battlefield 2
      • BLACK
      • Burnout Revenge
      • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
      • From Russia With Love
      • Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects
      • Medal of Honor European Assault
      • Need for Speed Most Wanted
      • The Godfather
      • The Sims 2

    • Activision (not all games will appear on Xbox)

      • Call of Duty 2
      • Call of Duty 2: Big Red One
      • Fantastic 4
      • The Movies
      • QUAKE 4
      • Shrek SuperSlam
      • Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland
      • Ultimate Spider-Man
      • X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse

    • Hip Interactive

      • George A Romero presents City of the Dead
      • Call of Cthulhu: Destiny's End
      • Fear Factor: Unleashed
      • Rugby Challenge 2006

    • Majesco Games

      • Demonik
      • The Darkness
      • Aeon Flux
      • Taxi Driver
      • Jaws Unleashed
      • Advent Rising

    • KOEI Games

      • An unannounced title for Xbox
      • An unannounced title for a "next generation console"
      • Dynasty Warriors 5

    • THQ

      • MotoGP 3
      • Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers
      • Juiced
      • Destroy All Humans!
      • SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants!
      • Tak: The Great Juju Challenge
      • The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer

    • Webzen

      • Huxley
      • APB

  5. Sony's historical miss-steps

    • Caveat Emptor: I really like and admire Sony as an industry innovator and powerhouse. I just shake my head and them not learning in the console space, or getting lazy while owning the console space. I am so gonna get nasty-grams about this ...
    • Following my summary a few weeks ago and (I hope professional) digs at Sony's miss-steps in the console space, has released an editorial, "Sony and The Hype Machine", which is a good historical look at Sony's hyp-versus-reality in the console space including "The Emotion Engine", Sony's online initiative, the non-PlayStation 3 unveiling, and unanswered questions on the future.
    • I also forgot one key miss-step in my last article -- Sony's penchant for proprietary media. Beta? MiniDisc? MemoryStick? Blu-Ray? And the PlayStation Portable (PSP) Universal Media Disc (UMD). UMD is Sony's proprietary game and movie medium for the PSP, and has been causing heartburn (and increased cost) for game developers, publishers, and movie studios. Let's look briefly at the UMD versus mini-DVD specification, and ponder why Sony would have gone this route. Just to punctuate it a bit, Sony already uses mini-DVD recordables and mini-DVD-RW in some of their video cameras, which would seem to make re-use a no-brainer. Which flags another Sony miss-step: The historical inability of the different Sony companies and divisions to work with each other. And think how easy it would be for the studios to reduce content for existing DVDs to fit mini-DVDs (i.e., reduce 5.1 audio to 2.1 audio, reduce special content and/or put it on the flip side of a dual-sided DVD, etc.).

Physical size:
1.4GB (2.8GB dual sided)
1.8 GB
Industry Acceptance
Support for streaming content
Support for multiple content
(i.e., video/audio at same time)

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SOURCES:,,,, IGN, GameInformer, Official XBox Magazine, CNN,, and others.


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