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People & Profiles
September 5th marked a day of change. No I’m not talking political, I’m talking about Microsoft dominating the video game market. No Microsoft won’t out sell Nintendo’s Wii this year. Which is the fastest selling game console in history, and for what it’s worth a damn good business model. The Wii honestly is in a class by itself and fun too boot. No what Microsoft did was drop the price of all their Xbox 360 SKU’s. Which makes them the most attractive “next-gen” system out of the three on shelves. Getting an “Arcade” model Xbox 360 today is cheaper than picking up a Wii. At $199 dollars everyone can jump into the next generation. Of course there are some chinks in that armor, but for the more than the most part anyone purchasing an Xbox 360 just bought the best console overall.
New price points
360 Arcade: $199 (512 memory card)
60GB 360 Pro:$299 (HDD)
120GB Elite: $399 (HDD)
It’s like the three bears, one has more of this, the other has a little bit of this. In Microsoft’s case with the Xbox 360 they are just right. The best library, the best online, free downloads, movie rentals in HD, support from every developer, and a growing fan base.
In it’s second generation, Microsoft has said hey with this price drop we are in the gaming business. Period. Now does that mean the Wii and PS3 are lackluster? No not in the least. Except the way this economy is, and the want to have a great holiday gaming is one of the hottest consumer sectors of entertainment. So a price drop does two things for everyone it makes retailers happy to move product, and consumers get to keep some change. Everyone wins
This move by Microsoft was smart because the Wii phenomenon was starting to run thin, and I believe that even though people still want the system. It’s uniqueness would start to wane. As for Sony? Well Sony is a smart company, they will eat this for a bit and do something to counter. The PS3 for this year has become a really good console alternative, add to the fact that it has been beating the Xbox 360 in worldwide sales for 8 months out of this year. Yet Sony has to make a solid consistent play to gain momentum. With this move by Microsoft it’s going to be a bit hard for the PS3 from now and into the holiday buying season. In luscious irony the PS2 is still a seller for Sony, although going down by 32% this year versus last year this time.
As Microsoft prepares to release major exclusives, arguably the hottest game “Gears of War 2” is going to do more than repeat it’s first iterations success. The sequel i no doubt be the flag bearer for the hardcore gamer. Yet Microsoft wants to cour that Wii crowd, and they have the titles along with a new online interface that mimics the Nintendo Mii character customization. Offering families some familiarity as they graduate from the Nintendo Wii craze. Oh did I mention they “will” be getting motion control? That’s right so the Xbox 360 officially becomes the nexus point for hardcore and casual gaming this generation. You get meat and potatoes with your snacks. Mmmmmmm good gaming.
September 5th 2008 marks the day that Microsoft changed the gaming industry landscape forever. The real winners in the end are the gamers, because Sony and Nintendo will respond, and competition is grand. Next year will be the year to own all three systems.
Xbox 360 on sale in Japan with price drops September 11th.
I’m upset for the simple fact that I don’t play enough to win. If there were a definition of a casual gamer who wants to play hardcore it would be me. I have friends who only play a couple of games and master them. Not me. I like to own the best games.Except, I don’t play my games enough to be considered good; it bothers me, and there is an easy solution for me. Play more. My dilemma comes in the form of not playing in the setting that is comfortable for me to learn, and grow.Add not having enough time, or more often the inclination to do so. Granted I’m busy. I could do better. Yet in my mind, I figure if I play well, applying the knowledge that I have gleamed from the manual or a couple of play troughs, then everything will be fine winning should be frequent. Why should I have to play every day all day, 6-9 hours a day? It’s crazy to think I should, but the problem with that logic is the fact that there are nuisances in games that can only be overcome by consistent play through, or exploitation (cheating).
For instance ever since my brother purchased Halo 3 last fall, I have yet to fully sit down with the game and play it for a significant time. It’s just been sitting there, and before that Halo2 was the same way. Seriously, never really got into them. What’s even more horrible is I borrowed it from a friend. Should have given it back right? It could also be said about the sports games we own, except those games are purely based on exploitation as opposed to sure skill. Although I play them more I might add. In them, you can become nice, but up to a point. Guaranteed the computer limitations will kick in at some period, and it all becomes a see saw battle of what you can and won’t give away to another player. Although there are many sports players who obliterate the computer, but still are way too many exploits. Basically A.I. is horrible. Don’t get me started on two players. There are other titles we have that fit the same bill. Point is I’m a noob (a gamer with little to no experience…or just plain wack), with no excuse to be one. I figured the only way for me to stop being pissed about losing is to just get better. That is my plan. From now on l’ll be getting better. No excuses, even with the flaws in many games I should gleam some kind of enjoyment or satisfaction. Not in just mastering a game, but exploiting it and being good enough to have more victories than losses. I’d be satisfied with a legacy encouraged by my own pure progression. I refuse to lose based on a player missing basic open shots in NBA 2k8, and then have my brother turn around to tell me that being at the backboard is a hard shot then Bonzi Wells draining a long distance three pointer with ease. Sorry that does not compute as a good sportsmanship on his part.Instead of it being some computer bullshit. There are some serious issues with today’s sports games. Add to the fact that you have a company like EA that wants all the rights to major sports leagues, yet they can’t make quality products of the ones they currently have. NBA Live comes to mind immediately, along with the annual un-updated Madden franchise. Sports gaming is in a major decline, despite robust sales. But I digress, because at the same time I can’t complain if Im going to play the game and not find a consistent way to score in the game or be good. Why sit there with a controller in hand? Torture I guess…
Many of today’s games come with tons of options. You can create an experience that feels comfortable for your liking. At the same time, it really doesn’t matter if you can “tweak” the settings to your liking. Most people will have a problem with that. You may like your settings a certain way, while others will be indifferent and complain about the advantage. No shortcuts, out the box games should be balanced to a fine enough point where they can just be better experiences. It should not compensate for me learning and mastering the games enough to be good. That should be the reward of discovery that I not only get better with my experiences, but the game becomes an ever seeking challenge to enjoy.
I don’t play enough fine. Except from my reading, and relating to other gamers even if I did many of my gripes and points would still be valid. So what is the skinny of my conversation? Game companies need to do a better job of bringing quality gaming out, and I should play more. Furthermore, it’s not like gamers don’t want the opportunity to help out in the process. There should be more game testers out there. Publishers and developers should be seeking them in abundance, while they help them craft titles better. At the end of the day it helps with meeting expectations as well as surpassing them. There are tons of kids dying to get into gaming, and with the stakes becoming high every day for game companies to perform. This should be a non complicated thing to happen. Bottom line though, nothing in the world is perfect, especially games. Complaining and playing pisses me off when people do it, and it bothers me when I do it. Until games get better, I’m just going to do what I love to do with more gusto…I am off to go get better.
Be a gamer…Not a hater