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Xbox 2 & PC Hybrid?

Microsoft studying appeal of Xbox 2-PC hybrid on CNN Money describes low-key research Microsoft has been conducting to evaluate the appeal of combining PC functionality into the next generation Xbox, which they say may be available as early as next year. The Xbox, of course, is built on PC architecture, so the issues involved are much more conceptual than technological. Here is a bit of what they learned about this scenario, currently being tested with focus groups, that is apparently just one of several possible directions Microsoft may be taking with the Xbox 2:

The B/R/S Group, a California-based market research company that lists Microsoft and the Xbox division specifically as clients, has been gathering consumer feedback on a device it refers to as Xbox Next PC "a videogame console system with a hard drive and a built-in fully functional PC." Mention of the device came on one of several slides shown to focus groups.

One slide describes the unit, which would require a PC monitor or high definition television, as being backward compatible with current and next-generation Xbox titles. It would also play PC games and include a fully functional version of Windows, CD burner, DVD player (with remote control), built-in access to Xbox Live and a hard drive. Control-wise, the system would come with both a keyboard and mouse and a standard Xbox controller. The price point this particular study tested was $599.

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67 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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67. Re: Sounds like a mistake to me... May 28, 2004, 12:22 Kobalt
 
The Game Cube price drop (and subsequent sales jump) pushed the XBOX out of the #2 spot in console sales.

Actually last month XBOX was #1 due to it's price drop.

 
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66. Sounds like a mistake to me... May 28, 2004, 12:01 STATIC3D
 
From the time of the 3DO system (if not before), there has yet to be a good "all in one" solution (in several markets) that the mass market has adopted. For example, the "idea" of a TV/VCR combo unit is a good one. However, the implimentation usually leaves a bit to be desired on one side (TV) or the other (VCR). And, by the time TV/VCR combo units became common enough that the mass market would take them seriously, a newer/better movie watching method came along (DVD).

In the same way, there has yet to be a good combo/all in one solution for console/PC gaming. Even looking at some of the up coming systems, like the APEXtreme or Phantom (tee hee, right), they just don't offer the proper combination of what both sides (console/PC users) want/"need", AND, at a price point the mass market will likely accept.

Part of the reason console games usually outsell PC games 10 to 1 is because of the ease of use and price point accepted by the mass market audience driving the sales. These "average joe" gamers are the majority, while the "hardcore" gamers are the minority (about 12% of the market in one study I saw). So, no matter how "cool" or "innovative" an idea/product may be, it has to appeal to the mass market in function/price in order to become a bigger success.

Keep in mind that the Game Cube sales quadrupled when it hit $99. Even if you figure 50% of those sales were to ppl that did have another current generation system (XBOX/PS2), that's leaves a LOT of ppl that JUST entered the current console market. This should be enough to make anyone reconsider making a higher priced system, even if it does have "more functionality" than what is out now (which the XBOX and PS2 already did have compared to the Game Cube).

It's not that I'm anti-innovation. But, MS better reconsider doing this if they wish to seriously stay in the console gaming market. The Game Cube price drop (and subsequent sales jump) pushed the XBOX out of the #2 spot in console sales. Since MS is already sitting in the #3 spot, they don't need to make a mistake if they seriously plan on staying in the game (sorry, couldn't pass up the pun).

This comment was edited on May 28, 12:04.
 
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65. I love you guys... May 28, 2004, 11:50 thwart
 


 
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64. Re: Hmm... May 28, 2004, 09:48 Isus_in_Black.
 

Check out some of the boards on emulation, maybe they can convince you why what you're asking is probably a LOT more difficult than just emulating the platform completely through software / CPU force.

I know its difficult, thats why I said 5 to 10 years from now, when PCs become powerfull enough to handle the complexities of such software.


 
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63. Re: Hmm... May 28, 2004, 09:44 Isus_in_Black.
 
Hehehehe

 
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62. Re: Hmm... May 28, 2004, 08:53 Kobalt
 
Smellfinger, your worse than Kobalt.

Coming from you, that just warms my heart

 
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61. Re: Hmm... May 28, 2004, 04:25 tetsu96
 
"there should be devices (made by Microsoft, or Sony, Nintendo etc.) that will be able to read console media and "emulate" the specific console enviroments on the PC..."


Didn't Sega try doing that with a PC card emulating their Saturn WAY back? In reality, I remember the card actually was a Saturn minus the cd drive (It's not emulation when it's the actual hardware). Somehow, I doubt it ever came to market...

Check out some of the boards on emulation, maybe they can convince you why what you're asking is probably a LOT more difficult than just emulating the platform completely through software / CPU force.

Regardless, there's room for both and will be for some time. The games are often different once you cross platform. Not just that, but consoles are easier to use as a whole and the games written for them take advantage of the hardware to it's fullest (or can at least) where PCs typically are either have a crappy FPS rate or just aren't using all the features they're capable of (the nvidia demos look so much prettier than PC games I've played).

But you get credit for the fact that their differences are becomming less pronounced, and this xbox2 would be the example of convergence that MS is pushing for. They watch the xbox scene, they know what's happening there. This is their chance to make it "official".

I find that the current xbox does a fantastic job in that capacity (with slight tweaks). The console emulators (16 bit and older at least) tend to look, sound, and play accurately. Arcade emulation can be quite good as long as you consider the limitations of emulating different resolutions / refresh rates on a 50/60Hz television. XBMC is the BEST I've seen when it comes to multimedia support (www.xboxmediacenter.de). And the best part - you can upgrade the xbox with a larger drive / cpu / memory / etc...

But to each their own. I play games on consoles and PCs, and find good and bad in both.

This comment was edited on May 28, 04:38.
 
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60. Re: Hmm... May 28, 2004, 02:52 Isus_in_Black.
 
Smellfinger, your worse than Kobalt. If thats not offending i dont know what is.
I will resist your stupid attempts to derail this thread and post ON TOPIC one of my previous posts:

I think that as PC hardware is getting more and more powerfull in the future (next 5 to 10 years) there should be devices (made by Microsoft, or Sony, Nintendo etc.) that will be able to read console media and "emulate" the specific console enviroments on the PC. This kind of solution would be a lot more attractive for people who already own a PC and dont wish to buy a whole new gaming platform. All you would need is basically a DVD player (of the sort found in the Xbox and PS2) and an emulator that would come on a disc. Even today we already have emulators but they are mostly game specific, low in performance and not to mention illegal. The increased power of the PC would make up for the slower emulation speed.
I think this is the future of the crossover PC/console. And a much better solution overall.

 
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59. Hmm... May 28, 2004, 01:55 Pumas
 
You may wish to avoid using derogatory terms such as fag when you are insinuating that someone is a bigot...it kinda makes you look like a big ole dumbass

________________________________________________
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How will I know limits from lies if I never try?
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58. Hi. May 28, 2004, 01:42 L.F. Nights
 
hi
This comment was edited on May 30, 18:13.
 
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57. Bye. May 28, 2004, 01:32 L.F. Nights
 
bye

This comment was edited on May 30, 18:14.
 
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56. Re: This thread is pontless. May 28, 2004, 00:52 Sepharo
 
Since this has devolved into a "No, you're the nerd!" "No you are!" conversation I am going to declare us all nerds. Yes, even including myself. Hell, if you clicked the comment button next to the title you my friend are a nerd. If you are reading or even in any way viewing the comment area you can safely consider yourself a nerd or whatever other name dealing with an obsession of video games you want. We're all here to read comments about an Xbox-PC hybrid... Come on people... Think about it.

 
Avatar 17249
 
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55. Peep this. May 28, 2004, 00:29 Smellfinger
 
thread derailed purposely

This comment was edited on May 28, 00:30.
 
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54. Da Gimp?! May 28, 2004, 00:24 Smellfinger
 
Da Dip?!
Da Bears?!

 
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53. Re: Why not both Gimps? May 28, 2004, 00:00 Kosumo
 
Being has I'm running for Smellfinger's gimp, I feel I should follow him in gimply fashon ^!^

This comment was edited on May 28, 00:02.
 
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52. Re: Why not both? May 27, 2004, 23:54 Smellfinger
 
They aren't capable of liking anything other than their chosen platform because their minds are too tightly shut. The world of a fanboy is depressingly black and white.

 
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51. Why not both? May 27, 2004, 23:38 Smoove
 
Am I the only one who doesn't see a reason why both consoles and PCs can't coexist? I've had a variety of consoles and different PC configurations over the years, and the games I play for each platform are different.

I tend to favor consoles for fighting games, some action/platform games, most racing games, sports games, and so on. If I want to play with a group of friends over at my house, it's easier to just plug in more controllers on a console than it is to find multiple free USB ports and set up multiple controllers both in windows and in the game itself. Would anyone really prefer crowding around their computer monitor with 3 of their friends to play a game of Madden (for example), when they could be sitting on a couch playing on a larger tv? Additionally, consoles are smaller and more portable than a PC. I can fit my PS2 carrying case (with PS2, two controllers, 4 games, power & video cables, memory cards and DVD remote inside it) inside of my computer case by itself. A SFF case isn't a viable option for me, as I can't fit 2 hard drives, a DVD drive, a CD burner and all my PCI cards into any SFF case I'm aware of.

On the other hand, I like my PC for strategy, FPS games, space shooters, many RPG games, most simulations, etc. FPS games on consoles are generally horrible to control compared to PC versions, and I probably wouldn't play a game like Doom 3 at all if it was only available for xbox. I appreciate the high resolution graphics PCs offer, as well as the ability to upgrade if you're not happy with your current rig's capabilities (as opposed to waiting for the next generation console to come out). It's also worth pointing out that PC games can often be had for cheaper than their console counterparts. It's generally a given that a new console title will be $50, but a new PC game can be found on sale for significantly less than that if you look around. Additionally, you can download PC demos off the internet for free, but you generally have to buy console demo discs, subscribe to a magazine that offers a demo disc, or rent a game if you want to try it out.

In the end I'm playing both consoles and PCs, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. If you want to pick one or the other, good for you; just don't call me stupid for not seeing it as being one or the other only.

 
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50. Um,, May 27, 2004, 22:48 Pumas
 
Anyone else seeing this as a low cost computer for those with budget in mind?

________________________________________________
Have a nice day
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How will I know limits from lies if I never try?
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49. Re: Console LAN Party May 27, 2004, 21:10 Bunko
 
You're fat *and* you play video games? Surprising x 3.
LOL. You've actually said two things that were funny in the past few days. AMAZING!

Lose it? I didn't lose it. It's not like, "Whoops! Where'd my job go?" I QUIT.
 
Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?
http://citizenb.com/ - Now at v1.1
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48. No subject May 27, 2004, 21:09 Silicon Avatar
 
<B>I remember being 12-years-old</B>

And you grew up to become Smellfinger. Your mom must be proud.


 
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