Microsoft Delays X-Box Release
September 22, 2001 2:25 PM   Subscribe

Microsoft Delays X-Box Release Sure it's only by a week, but the article also hints at anticipated availability problems. Why does this seem so familiar?
posted by ttrendel (21 comments total)
Wait.... why exactly DOES this seem so familiar?

There were rumors about manufacturing problems before this article.

Meh, well I'll still be the one to say Nintendo's goose is cooked as MS uses their dirty tactics on game stores across the country...
posted by Aikido at 4:29 PM on September 22, 2001

why exactly DOES this seem so familiar?

Maybe because it's the same thing that happened to Sony? The availability problems, at least.
posted by kindall at 5:42 PM on September 22, 2001

<rant>There's no way I'm buying an X-box until Halo comes out for it, and, you know what, I'm not gonna buy one then either. The supposed advantage of the X-box is just Microsoft marketing muscle and a similar programming interface to DirectX. So, since I already have a PC, why in hell should I waste $400, almost as much as a PC, to buy a console that's not gonna run anything but Windows ports. I buy a GameCube, I get to play Zelda; I buy a PS2, I get to play Final Fantasy X; I buy a X-box and I get to play diddley-squat that I won't already be able to play on my PC.</rant>

and don't even get me started on trying to play FPS's with a gamepad....
posted by boaz at 6:06 PM on September 22, 2001

re: FPS on a gamepad == Goldeneye (N64) or Red Faction (PS2.) Pretty good games. of course, any PC to console conversion rarely works well.

This is definitely good news for Nintendo since: the XBox launch is once again much closer to the GameCube (which was pushed back 2 weeks a while back), and especially since GameCube sales in japan have been good, but not spectacular. This news, and a possible XBox shortage, might definitely help GC sales in the US (where it was pretty much expected to be the weakest of the three consoles - sales wise.)

and I agree with Boaz. Rather than spending hundreds on a pseudo-PC game-system, I'm just going to buy a full fledged PC, and get a GameCube - a pure game machine, and nothing else (besides, Rogue Squadron 2 is GC exclusive!)
posted by mkn at 6:22 PM on September 22, 2001

re: FPS on a gamepad == Goldeneye (N64) or Red Faction (PS2.) Pretty good games. of course, any PC to console conversion rarely works well.

I wasn't talking about availability so much as difficulty to control. Goldeneye is the only one I've really played on the console, and I never seemed to be able to get very fluid with it. Mouse and keyboard just seem more natural to me for this kind of game.

Rogue Squadron 2 is GC exclusive!

Now I'm afraid to get a Game Cube; I wasted way too much of my life on the original Rogue Squadron.
posted by boaz at 6:46 PM on September 22, 2001

I kinda think that this is some sort of MS marketing strategy. By creating this anticipation of a shortage, they can make people feel lucky when they see one in the store and less likely to pass up the chance to buy one. Maybe I am a little too conspiracy-minded, especially when it comes to Microsoft, but marketing is basically a conspiracy against unsuspecting potential consumers.

And I agree with boaz completely about GoldenEye. Maybe I was already spoiled by thousands of quake-hours, but I had the hardest time getting even marginally proficient at GoldenEye, and I never really did. I need to be able to whip the mouse around to turn quickly. And there are so many controls that I really need to be able to use more fingers on both hands. But I imagine that they will sell keyboards and mice for the X-Box. In fact, I bet PC keyboards and mice will work with it since it is basically a PC. Although it is a Windows PC and not a Mac, so maybe not.
posted by donkeymon at 6:57 PM on September 22, 2001

mkn: where it was pretty much expected to be the weakest of the three consoles

Oop- I'm not a hardcore gamer, so what is the third console that's coming out? I know MS's X-Box (which doesn't seem to have much of a game list yet) and the Nintendo GameCube (which I read today will have a new version of Soul Calibur- I rented a Dreamcast back when it first came out and was blown away by Soul Calibur), but what's the third one- is it some Sega console I haven't heard of, since didn't they all but drop the Dreamcast?

Truth be told, I haven't owned a console personally since way back in the early Nintendo days (I'm talking the original Super Mario and Mike Tyson's Punchout). However, the stills and gameplay videos I've been seeing of the X-Box and Gamecube make me think I might finally buy a new console because they're looking pretty spiffy. For a novice/newbie, what are the consoles, what's the scuttlebutt as to which is the "better" one? Thx... :)
posted by hincandenza at 7:04 PM on September 22, 2001

I think the third mkn's referring to is the Playstation 2. Sega's dropped all console plans and will stick to producing games.
posted by boaz at 7:23 PM on September 22, 2001

Hincadenza, I think that he was talking about the PlayStation 2, which is generally considered to be of the same "generation" as the GameCube and X-Box, even though it has been out for most of a year by this point. And if there was some consensus as to which one was best, everyone's life would be a lot easier. I think that the GameCube may be a little bit oriented towards a younger audience, focusing on games like Mario and Zelda. The PS2 is seemingly trying to fill about the same niche as the original PlayStation, while the X-Box seems a little more pointed towards people who like PC games. Personally, I don't see the point in having them all, and at least one of them is bound to fail because of it. My advice is to wait until there are enough games that you really want for a platform to justify buying it, because then you don't have to worry about it failing, or if it is better than another platform, or any of that crap. That is why I won't get a PS2 until Metal Gear Whatever comes out, I won't get a GameCube unless Zelda looks really good, and I probably won't ever get an X-Box.
posted by donkeymon at 7:24 PM on September 22, 2001

I'd say that Jet Set Radio Future (an X-Box exclusive) is reason enough to get that particular system, but I suppose that counts as a niche game.

Personally, though, I'll be buying a GameCube to complement my Dreamcast. I believe in the hardware, I believe in the second-party support (Rare, Factor 5, et al), but most importantly, I believe in Myamoto and his ability to completely alter my perception of reality. The world never looked quite the same after I laid eyes on Mario 64.

More centrist: there really isn't any reason not to buy a given system. Even Dreamcast, with its prematurely truncated library, offers up more AAA titles than most people have in their personal collections. I've been quite happy with only Power Stone, Jet Grind Radio (I should probably mention this one twice, just to make sure no one missed it: Jet Grind Radio), Metropolis Street Racer, and Crazy Taxi on mine. I'm sure that all four systems currently have enough games to satisfy just about anyone, as long as you are willing to go without the games your friends are raving about (who died and made them arbiters of all things good in videogames?).

Taking a different slant: is anyone else as pissed as I am at the repeated misreporting of performance figures, particularly the PS2's poly figures? They basically lined up all of the components of their chips and added them together, ignoring the actual available bandwidth for transfering data between them. Its not even "lab" results; the finished hardware configuration is incapable of numbers approaching those stated in the article. Not to mention comparing MHz values between chips, while ignoring more important and usable indicators such as VRAM and memory bandwidth.
posted by Ptrin at 7:52 PM on September 22, 2001

The supposed advantage of the X-box is just Microsoft marketing muscle and a similar programming interface to DirectX.

Not quite. The HDTV support (a first for a game console) has me pretty interested.
posted by Dirjy at 7:57 PM on September 22, 2001

This is to be taken only for what it is. I overheard it while at EBX in Seattle. Someone claiming know a guy doing X-box development played on the system and said that there were still quite a few bugs. Who knows if he was just bsing. It didn't seem like there was a need to. He did say he was going to wait and see before buying it.
posted by john at 9:13 PM on September 22, 2001

Good point, Ptrin; my Dreamcast was more than worth it and I only have three games, Jet Grind Radio, Shenmue and Crazy Taxi, and they are all great games. And there are more great games that I don't have yet, such as the other ones you mentioned, as well as Crazy Taxi 2 and the forthcoming Shenmue 2. I am really dissappointed that Jet Set Radio Future is only coming out on the X-Box, because I have something against that platform for some reason. But as long as there are good games available for what I already have, I don't feel compelled to get any new platforms. That is one area where I think that PS2 will have a distinct strategic advantage. All that only matters if you are interested in the competition of the whole thing; you really can't go too badly wrong with any of them in my opinion.
posted by donkeymon at 9:24 PM on September 22, 2001

The Microsoft delay won't have nearly the effect of the PS2 delay. The anticipation and preorder numbers for the PS2 were through the roof - it simply hasn't been the same for XBox and Gamecube. In Japan, Nintendo launched last week and didn't even sell a quarter of what Sony did their first week. As far as software goes, very few things are exclusive - Jet Set Radio Future is only a time-limited exclusivity with XBox, and Soul Caliber 2 will be on all 3 systems. As for what system I'm going to get: One of them has DDR, Gran Turismo, Madden and Fifa. 2 of them do not.
posted by Kevs at 11:28 PM on September 22, 2001

Just FYI, I think Jet Grind is planned for the Cube as well. Which makes me deliriously happy, because now I have no need for a coffee table shaped like an X made by Microsoft
posted by kevspace at 11:38 PM on September 22, 2001

Rogue Squadron 2 is GC exclusive!

the resident evil series is now gc exclusive as well!

i work at a video game store, and we imported a gamecube from japan this week and i can't wait to play it at work tomorrow!

microsoft is screwing itself over with how it's making retailers sell it. retailers are supposed to sell it in bundles of the xbox itself, one controller, one memory card, and two games (i think that's everything in the package) and that totals to almost $600. and if you don't sell it that way, your store doesn't get any to sell.

not a smart move i don't think
posted by mabelcolby at 11:40 PM on September 22, 2001

mabel, make sure to check back in and let us know how it goes.

I for one, have never liked anything about the Xbox. For some reason I just have a feeling it's going to be a big screw-up. I don't know why though.
posted by chaz at 11:45 PM on September 22, 2001

I was reffering to the PS2 in the original post. Although immediate sales were hurt, I doubt Sony's encountered lowered sales. The worst thing about these shortages is that the large electronic gaming retailers (Electronics Boutique,etc.) use these shortages to limit buyers to those only willing to buy large packages, ie console and 3 games.

The Dreamcast has tought me one thing- the games make the system, not the other way around. IMHO, most Sega games have a short shelf-life. I agree that the X-Box will most likely be a smaller version of a computer with degraded graphics, but the games may be more plentiful. The one thing that really annoys me about some PC games is the controls. They are usually awkward and provide little support. Consoles solve these problems.

Although I admire the X-Box's benchmarks, I'm thinking the Gamecube might surpass it. Nintendo makes the best games of any console manufacturer.
posted by ttrendel at 12:48 AM on September 23, 2001

Not quite. The HDTV support (a first for a game console) has me pretty interested.

I believe the PS2 supports resolutions higher than pal or ntsc too, certainly up to 768 lines, but whether they have an adaptor for HDTV sets remains to be seen.
posted by mook at 7:42 AM on September 23, 2001

while HDTV support is indeed interesting, that's a really niche market and won't really add much in terms of sales, I don't think. The best feature of XBox right now is the built-in broadband support, something that the PS2 and GC don't have yet, although it's on the way. And if they don't get soon, it might hurt them. I'm waiting for Twisted Metal: Black Online myself.

It seems to me that more third party developers are going full out in supporting all the consoles. As the systems move more towards online multiplayer, this is great as it creates a bigger user base. FFXI will be an online RPG available on all the three consoles (and a PC, I think), and everyone will be able to interract with everyone else - dependent of system.

Whatever system you support, you have to agree - it seems like a good time to be a gamer :)

A note: Metal Gear Solid is not PS2 exclusive.

And insider information:
Apparently, if you have 6 TVs, 6 PS2s, and 6 Gran Turismo 3s - you can link them all through a firewire hub, and have a 6 man race! I've never seen it done as the resources required are rather large, but this seems cool and I wonder why I have never seen it mentioned anywhere? Even by Sony? I never even knew you can link PS2s using a firewire - I thought it was exclusive to the i-Link cable? ?
posted by mkn at 11:33 AM on September 23, 2001

i-link is firewire. I have heard that you can link two PS2s together through firewire and race head-to-head through firewire, but I hadn't heard about using 6. I guess it is a prertty unlikely situation to run into, 6 PS2s. But if you have two you can link them directly, without a hub.

My question is, will Jet Set Radio Future come to the Dreamcast, or the PS2?
posted by donkeymon at 8:53 PM on September 23, 2001

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