June 26, 2002
6:45 AM   Subscribe

"Microsoft's Xbox console may not be overpopular with computer game players but it is rapidly winning fans in the hardware hacking world." Get your Xbox mod chips here.
posted by aLienated (12 comments total)
Hmm. I haven't seen any stats on how many billions of dollars the hardware hacking market is worth, but I'm guessing the video game market is where it really counts.
posted by jragon at 7:59 AM on June 26, 2002

Yes, that is where Microsoft is really losing money. The problem with this X-Box hacking, for Microsoft anyway, is that they lose about $150 for every one that they sell, which they are hoping to recoup through games sales and market share. It only comes to a few billion though, since they are selling so few consoles. Obviously they have been planning on losing money on this thing in order to wheedle their way into another market. But if they are all hacked apart, then no market share has been built and no games have been bought, and they lose strategically as well as monetarily.
posted by donkeymon at 8:48 AM on June 26, 2002

i've finished Halo.

now show me more Microsoft....... i'm waiting....
posted by Frasermoo at 9:19 AM on June 26, 2002

Don't forget that the entire business model of the console market is based around selling the hardware at a loss. Ever wonder why the games all cost about £40 each? Because the licence paid to MS, Sony or whover is where they make their real money.

The X-Box being used for hacking isn't suprising because a) every console is hardware hacked to some extent b) it uses commodity PC hardware which most hackers are already quite experienced with. Not too many custom chips to figure out.

If you're interested in actual XBox hacking then check out this site, it's quite useful. via The Reg
posted by nedrichards at 9:20 AM on June 26, 2002

Note: Halo was created by Bungie and was slated to come out for the Mac first. Then Microsoft bought Bungie.

Just hope that Microsoft buys out another gaming company that has some good ideas. Otherwise, you're stuck with the next Dreamcast. I remember reading a quote from Microsoft a while back that said no gaming company has ever stayed dominant for more than one generation, and they figured it was their time to take the throne.

If they're so interested in trends, here's a question: has any gaming console ever regained the marketshare they'd need to emerge as a leader? Everyone points out that the PS2 has been out longer, but PS2 still sold better in the first 6 months than XBOX did in its first 6.
posted by jragon at 9:40 AM on June 26, 2002

Ouch 26 wires to pir-- erm hack. I always wondered how mod chips effect the overall popularity of a console. Playstation and PS2 modchips are pretty abundant and it looks like they are/were the most popular of their generation. If you have the support of the hardcore community (how many people will solder inside their $250 cnsole) will the rest follow?
posted by geoff. at 10:01 AM on June 26, 2002

: has any gaming console ever regained the marketshare they'd need to emerge as a leader?

IIRC the balance shifted from Nintendo to Sega and back again during the 16 bit era (SNES, Genesis/Megadrive). At least in europe. There certainly wasn't a single dominant console of the same magnitude as the NES in the 8 bit era until the Playstation in the 32 bit era.

Incidentally, for those of you wondering what era we're in now, it's the 128 bit era, as all three surviving consoles can natively manipulate 128 bit registers (usually in the form of 4 * 32 bit floats).
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:04 PM on June 26, 2002

jragon: say what you like about my beloved DC but it had some quality, quality games on it. And people who haven't played Shenmue, Jet Set Radio, Crazy Taxi, Phantasy Star Online, Sonic Adventure 2, Metropolis Street Racer and many, many more can now find most of them (occasionally under different names) on the other 3 main consoles today. :-)

Sega's main problem with the CD was IMHO very poor marketing, something Sony especially tends to do very right.
posted by nedrichards at 2:13 PM on June 26, 2002

Hey the DreamCast was a great console which was ahead of its time and had lots of great games for it. The X-Box is a recycled year-old PC with very few good games for it.
posted by donkeymon at 2:49 PM on June 26, 2002

Xbox sales in Australia have been so utterly minute that I would have a real concern that I'd never see a game I'd want released beyond the date I purchased a unit, if I purchased a unit. Australia already sees the short end of the stick when it comes to games and movies, it's not going to get anything approaching the full range of titles with Xbox sales as low as they've been.

I currently have no plans to get an Xbox. I've just purchased a PS2. My next console purchase will be a GameCube when some sort of GC/GBA bundle is released. I'm not in a hurry since the PAL GC doesn't support S-Video.
posted by krisjohn at 10:55 PM on June 26, 2002

krisjohn - the PAL gamecube has RGB with 60Hz support, better than s-video.
posted by jiroczech at 2:56 AM on June 27, 2002

I think the X-Box got a bum rap. The PS2 also had almost no good games when it came out. Grand Theft Auto 3, Virtua Fighter 4, Final Fantasy X, Metal Gear Solid 2, none of those came out until last fall, christmas, or later. The X-Box is capable of more than the PS2 AND plays mp3's while you play games (Tony Hawk 3 with your own music is awesome). I wish to God that I could play my own music while playing Gran Turismo 3, the built in songs are WAY old at this point.

One of the factors leading to short sales of X-Box is sheer disgust with Microsoft, which I don't really understand since Sony is a much larger company with far more influence. One evil conglomerate is a good as another.
posted by McBain at 7:17 AM on June 29, 2002

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