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On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment

MCV has the latest mea culpa from Microsoft Games Studio on their failure to live up to past promises to support the PC as a gaming platform. "There’s been a fair bit of criticism aimed at Microsoft that we were spending a lot of our focus on console, and we need to be putting resources behind PC as well," MGS GM Dave Luehmann tells them. "Other companies should look to Microsoft for leadership, but I’m not sure they do. It is our job to lead the way on PC. And in some ways we are doing that and in other ways we are not. So we need to step up." He repeats their recent announcements of PC initiatives, and promises further progress going forward: "We are putting some real investment and big IPs behind the Windows platform. We’ve spoken of the first three, Fable III, Age of Empires Online and Microsoft Flight. However we are not going to stop there."

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73. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 26, 2010, 05:47 Prez
 
Verno wrote on Sep 25, 2010, 11:31:
The trouble with Microsoft is that it has an aging employee base who is largely out of touch with the newer generation and that the Microsoft culture is very much like a cult. I don't know if you've ever been to Redmond but if you don't drink the Koolaid there then you won't be staying long. It's fine to have your own corporate culture and identity but they do not seem to understand what's going on outside of their little bubble. A glance at any of their initiatives in the past five years will reveal this, so many failed projects that it boggles the mind. Their mobile efforts alone are on what....reboot number four or five? Now Microsoft has always been an iterative company but consumers aren't always so forgiving, particularly in markets where a consumer device can cost $500 like smartphones.

Anyways tl;dr - they're in deeper shit than people realize, things change in a hurry. Just look at Blockbuster which was a profitable powerhouse just five years ago.

As much as I loathe Microsoft for the damage they have done to gaming, I don't think PC gaming could handle their demise. They are IT in the gaming OS world. What would be our alternative then? Google's OS is not a gaming platform that I know of, and Linux and Mac are non-starters for gaming.
 
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72. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 26, 2010, 05:41 Prez
 
PHJF wrote on Sep 25, 2010, 08:56:

Five years ago a Dell motherboard didn't have an AGP or PCIE slot to even host a GPU. And of course there is the matter of whether such a robust unit as a Dell PSU can in fact power anything more than a keyboard and mouse. Prepackaged desktops have never exactly been keen on being extensible. The PC world would be a lot nicer if everyone just bought an ibuypower or something, a system where EVERYTHING is a known quantity.

Definitely agree with the last part. I personally hate Dell. But I did some checking on the model PC he was asking me about - I don't remember now but what I found made me feel confident that the included P/S could handle a PCI-e 8800GT, which to my mind, is an awesome card still even today, especially for the price.
 
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71. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 25, 2010, 11:31 Verno
 
ASeven wrote on Sep 25, 2010, 10:58:
How ironic wouldn't it be if the consoles would spell the doom for MS? I've always said the biggest mistake MS ever made was dumping on PC gaming, the vast majority of profits comes from Windows and Office sales for MS, by shitting on PC gaming MS is now losing in both fronts, console and PCs. As you've said it, Windows is not the powerhouse it once was and I have to wonder if some people at MS are kicking themselves on the head for having ignored and still ignoring PC gaming and PCs in general.

Consoles are just one piece of the puzzle. On the surface Microsoft has been successful in the console world, they've monetized the shit out of things people used to get for free and turned one major competitor into the third place runner but the problem is when you look below the surface. Despite having a huge installed base of over 40 million consoles, they still are not profitable. Any given quarter could swing one way or another. The RROD debacle was incredibly costly, that's almost like throwing away 3 billion in profit and it's not like the support costs are going away any time soon. It will take another 2-3 years to fully remove those old consoles from the market entirely. To attract customers they had to make significant costly investments into exclusive contracts and IP that they don't even own and won't necessarily see ongoing benefit from. Despite all of that, the PS3 is still catching up.

The trouble with Microsoft is that it has an aging employee base who is largely out of touch with the newer generation and that the Microsoft culture is very much like a cult. I don't know if you've ever been to Redmond but if you don't drink the Koolaid there then you won't be staying long. It's fine to have your own corporate culture and identity but they do not seem to understand what's going on outside of their little bubble. A glance at any of their initiatives in the past five years will reveal this, so many failed projects that it boggles the mind. Their mobile efforts alone are on what....reboot number four or five? Now Microsoft has always been an iterative company but consumers aren't always so forgiving, particularly in markets where a consumer device can cost $500 like smartphones.

Anyways tl;dr - they're in deeper shit than people realize, things change in a hurry. Just look at Blockbuster which was a profitable powerhouse just five years ago.
 
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70. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 25, 2010, 11:31 PHJF
 
"windows is not a powerhouse"?

lol
 
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69. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 25, 2010, 10:58 ASeven
 
Verno wrote on Sep 25, 2010, 09:43:
Dev wrote on Sep 25, 2010, 05:05:
I forget when they started making a profit on 360, I think it was the release of one of the halo games.

They've had a handful of barely profitable quarters in the EDD division of the company which includes the Xbox 360.

How ironic wouldn't it be if the consoles would spell the doom for MS? I've always said the biggest mistake MS ever made was dumping on PC gaming, the vast majority of profits comes from Windows and Office sales for MS, by shitting on PC gaming MS is now losing in both fronts, console and PCs. As you've said it, Windows is not the powerhouse it once was and I have to wonder if some people at MS are kicking themselves on the head for having ignored and still ignoring PC gaming and PCs in general.
 
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68. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 25, 2010, 10:56 ASeven
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Sep 25, 2010, 07:47:
They're making a profit now, but they haven't come anywhere close to revovering losses yet. If they launch a new console in a couple years that will incur huge losses again, making it likely they will never see profit from the Xbox venture overall. That's what I have read anyway, it's not like I'm in their boardroom.

This does make a lot of sense when you also regard that MS has been publicly stating that the lifespan of the 360 still has at least 3 or 4 more years left. They may know that if they launch another console they perhaps won't be able to support the recurring costs.
 
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67. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 25, 2010, 09:43 Verno
 
Dev wrote on Sep 25, 2010, 05:05:
After all, they make that much in pure cash profit almost every quarter in the entire company. Even counting the writedowns on xbox 360 (such as the RRoD $3 billion) they still are making a good profit in the console divison now.

Not really, taking a look at the past year of financial statements doesn't reflect this. "Good profit" doesn't mean "any profit at all", the few profitable quarters I've seen have been quite small. Shareholders haven't been happy with the Xbox 360's continued losses and its few tiny profits, there's been a fair amount of reshuffling going on over there in the past year in case you hadn't noticed. The rest of the company is no longer the sure thing cash cow it was ten years ago thanks to many competitors on multiple platform fronts. The Windows hegemony is actually in danger now and a part of it is due to this costly dalliance with the console world. They are just lucky the corporate world is like an old, fat dinosaur. The trouble is that once it does gets moving it's like a freight train.

They aren't going to continue dumping billions into it as the investment doesn't look like it's going to pay off in the way they imagined. Microsoft envisioned taking over the living room with the Xbox360 and using it as a gateway to the family's wallet. Instead the family is primarily focused on Facebook, mobile devices and good old television and largely doesn't care about the Xbox 360. Microsoft had a plan at one point but now it's playing catch up yet again.

I forget when they started making a profit on 360, I think it was the release of one of the halo games.

They've had a handful of barely profitable quarters in the EDD division of the company which includes the Xbox 360.
 
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66. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 25, 2010, 08:56 PHJF
 
A lot of college-age kids get desktops when they go away to school. The Dells and Compaqs that they get are one $150-200 videocard away (at most) from a respectable gaming machine that can run pretty much anything. One of my neighbor's kids going away to UT Martin asked me how hard would it be to put a new videocard into a PC he hadn't even opened the box for yet. Whether or not anyone that age will actually BUY any of their games is more of a concern for me.

Five years ago a Dell motherboard didn't have an AGP or PCIE slot to even host a GPU. And of course there is the matter of whether such a robust unit as a Dell PSU can in fact power anything more than a keyboard and mouse. Prepackaged desktops have never exactly been keen on being extensible. The PC world would be a lot nicer if everyone just bought an ibuypower or something, a system where EVERYTHING is a known quantity.
 
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65. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 25, 2010, 07:47 StingingVelvet
 
Dev wrote on Sep 25, 2010, 05:05:
Actually, although they lost $4 billion on xbox 1 (thats all sales combined including hardware, software and licensing, up until release of xbox 360), they probably just considered it the price of entering the console market.
After all, they make that much in pure cash profit almost every quarter in the entire company. Even counting the writedowns on xbox 360 (such as the RRoD $3 billion) they still are making a good profit in the console divison now. I forget when they started making a profit on 360, I think it was the release of one of the halo games.

They're making a profit now, but they haven't come anywhere close to revovering losses yet. If they launch a new console in a couple years that will incur huge losses again, making it likely they will never see profit from the Xbox venture overall. That's what I have read anyway, it's not like I'm in their boardroom.
 
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64. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 25, 2010, 05:05 Dev
 
Verno wrote on Sep 24, 2010, 11:01:
Their own console efforts have generated massive losses with little profit in sight thanks to stiff competition from two established competitors. In the end I'm not sure what they gained from this entire goal, I suspect nothing at all.
Actually, although they lost $4 billion on xbox 1 (thats all sales combined including hardware, software and licensing, up until release of xbox 360), they probably just considered it the price of entering the console market.
After all, they make that much in pure cash profit almost every quarter in the entire company. Even counting the writedowns on xbox 360 (such as the RRoD $3 billion) they still are making a good profit in the console divison now. I forget when they started making a profit on 360, I think it was the release of one of the halo games.

Drezden wrote on Sep 24, 2010, 11:49:
Personally I like GFWL, But thats probably because I also own a 360. And like to know what my friends are on playing, and like them to know when I'm playing Dirt 2 or Dawn of War 2 (As those are the only games I have that work with GFWL on PC) And I like that it ties in the achievements for the PC games with my Live account. I realize though that for people who don't own or want a 360 it's probably a hassle.
No it doesn't. Not if you created the GFWL account first since you are primarily a PC gamer, then later made a live account when you bought an xbox 360. There's no way to tie them together.
Same thing if you made an offline xbox profile, and didn't follow a precise set of instructions when you made the online profile (instructions that it never told you were nessasary). Now you are stuck with 2 xbox profiles and can never join them together. Now I'm stuck with 3 profiles and 3 differant sets of achivements thanks to MS and stupid GfWL.

Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Sep 24, 2010, 17:00:
Kajetan wrote on Sep 24, 2010, 12:07:
It's not "dead". It's just a nine year old OS, which is still used all over the world. Just look at the Steam Survey results.
Steam survey's are kinda moot.
Since a good case can be made that steam covers average gamers, I don't think its moot at all. But its never going to happen (dx11 on xp) and its not worth wasting energy asking for it, or the energy of MS doing it.

This comment was edited on Sep 25, 2010, 05:21.
 
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63. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 25, 2010, 04:08 theyarecomingforyou
 
The sad thing about Halo 2 was that it was actually a good port. The graphics were better (all details at minimum and 640x480 equaled the Xbox version) and the mouse control felt like real mouse control instead of the handicapped "your face is stuck in the mud" input from Halo 1 and Shadowrun. If they hadn't ruined the entire thing with BS unneeded Vista exclusivity, it probably would've been better-received.
No, it really wouldn't have. The graphics were horribly dated (we're talking about a port of a 3yr old console game that didn't even hold up to current PC standards on release) and the controls were terrible.

If Microsoft was serious about it's re-commitment to PC gaming then they'd give us a PC release of Halo: Reach and Gears Of War 3. Unfortunately it's all talk.
 
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62. removed Sep 25, 2010, 01:01 space captain
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Sep 25, 2010, 11:37.
 
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61. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 25, 2010, 00:26 Prez
 
Hump wrote on Sep 24, 2010, 23:53:

Not saying its dead per-se but if you take the long view, there aren't any new fans of the platform (for gaming) coming up. If manufacturers can start making the cheapest laptops capable of running AAA games even at low graphical settings then things will get better. As it is now, 10-15 yr old kids aren't going out and buying desktops. Thats really all I'm saying.

A lot of college-age kids get desktops when they go away to school. The Dells and Compaqs that they get are one $150-200 videocard away (at most) from a respectable gaming machine that can run pretty much anything. One of my neighbor's kids going away to UT Martin asked me how hard would it be to put a new videocard into a PC he hadn't even opened the box for yet. Whether or not anyone that age will actually BUY any of their games is more of a concern for me.
 
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60. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 24, 2010, 23:56 Hellcinder
 
"Hi my name is Kudos, not the chocolate granola bar, the designer."
"Kinect rules! Kinect will outsell white bread this x-mas season!"

"* Really, do I have to say the next line?"

"Are you serious? We commited to the PC? Are you crazy? What about the kick backs to say pc gaming was dead? "

"shit, ok."

"PC gaming is here to stay and I am behind this inititive 1000%"

 
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59. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 24, 2010, 23:53 Hump
 
Prez wrote on Sep 24, 2010, 23:36:
Hump wrote on Sep 24, 2010, 20:55:
as much as I love my PC and prefer all my games to be played on it, the writing is on the wall. No one uses a desktop anymore and the laptops graphics chips are, for the most part, woefully underpowered for AAA games. Most people under 20 use Android/Iphone cellphones to meet their needs.

Yes, theres still a good sized market that is worth pursuing (ie; STEAM sales) but how long is it going to last? This isn't about losing ground to consoles, its just the way computing is headed.

Completely disagree. PC will always play second fiddle to consoles, but as a game platform it's going nowhere. How many registered users are on Steam? How many copies did Starcraft 2 sell?

Not saying its dead per-se but if you take the long view, there aren't any new fans of the platform (for gaming) coming up. If manufacturers can start making the cheapest laptops capable of running AAA games even at low graphical settings then things will get better. As it is now, 10-15 yr old kids aren't going out and buying desktops. Thats really all I'm saying.
 
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58. removed Sep 24, 2010, 23:48 Hump
 
* REMOVED *
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- Jim Goad
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57. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 24, 2010, 23:36 Prez
 
Hump wrote on Sep 24, 2010, 20:55:
as much as I love my PC and prefer all my games to be played on it, the writing is on the wall. No one uses a desktop anymore and the laptops graphics chips are, for the most part, woefully underpowered for AAA games. Most people under 20 use Android/Iphone cellphones to meet their needs.

Yes, theres still a good sized market that is worth pursuing (ie; STEAM sales) but how long is it going to last? This isn't about losing ground to consoles, its just the way computing is headed.

Completely disagree. PC will always play second fiddle to consoles, but as a game platform it's going nowhere. How many registered users are on Steam? How many copies did Starcraft 2 sell?
 
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56. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 24, 2010, 23:35 Kedyn
 
Anyone else kinda getting that "abusive relationship" vibe from Microsoft?  
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55. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 24, 2010, 22:11 space captain
 
Hump wrote on Sep 24, 2010, 20:55:
as much as I love my PC and prefer all my games to be played on it, the writing is on the wall. No one uses a desktop anymore

keep on dreaming
 
Go forth, and kill!
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54. Re: On Microsoft Games Studio's PC Recommitment Sep 24, 2010, 22:02 Overon
 
Well I can say I would not be using windows if I didn't play games on it. I would be using Linux. I also would not be spending the money on hardware that I do if I was on Linux.  
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