I've been debating on what game system to get. Yeah I know I can't afford one and I annouced that I would of picked up the xbox if I could but since I haven't, I still think about it.
Playstation 2 - Biggest library and likely winner of this generation. It will also play DVDs and ps1 titles. However it interest me the lest and I don't care for the controller. Also the graphics aren't better than my dreamcast.
Gamecube - has games that interest me, and the graphics look very nice, but its general library is filled with overly kiddy stuff, third party is limited and doesn't play DVDs. Better price
Xbox - Probably the best graphics of the three and plays DVDs. However its likely to be last place and a lot of the titles have "suck" written all over them but there are more titles I want to play on the Xbox and the ps2 at the moment.
By Frank Greene (Reeko) on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 09:49 am:
The great thing about the Xbox is its potential. With MS moving toward a single OS standard, and the OS on the Xbox using the Windows kernel, the POTENTIAL exists for porting a buttload of PC games (and by buttload, I mean a really big buttload). Don't think that they don't have keyboard and mouse peripherals in the works, either. Expect the next "Age of ..." and Flight Simulator games to be on the Xbox. My great hope is that some PC-style RPG's make it to the X-box. I would probably buy one, then. I was going to rant about MS's future plans for the Xbox, but that belongs on another thread.
Gamecube looks great, and is cheaper, but you're right about the kiddie fare. They will also continue to target younger audiences.
I don't know what to think about the PS2.
By Robert Mayer on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 10:55 am:
Well, Morrowind is going to be on the Xbox first, and for a while, only. That's a big budget PC RPG for ya.
By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 01:49 pm:
Morrowind is going to be XBox first? Yuck. I assume they are doing it as an exclusive?
I like my PS2 right now, GT3 and Madden 2002 are both great games. SSX and Twisted Metal Black are good as well. Plus the DVD capability while not up to DVD standards blows away VHS.
It will take a great game that will never be PC to pull me into the XBox. I don't see it out there yet.
By Desslock on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 03:41 pm:
>Well, Morrowind is going to be on the Xbox first, and for a while, only. That's a big budget PC RPG for ya.
That is absolutely not true, Rob, your understanding is incorrect. Bethesda has been planning a simultaneous release of the X-box and PC versions of Morrowind all along, and that's still the company's intention. The PC version of Morrowind should also be better than its X-box counterpart because of the more convenient interface, among other things.
By Robert Mayer on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 04:08 pm:
Um, Stefan, their PR told us yesterday Morrowind PC is March. With Morrowind Xbox being in, um, November, that leaves four months for Xbox only.... Now, either they are not having Morrowind on the Xbox for launch, or they are releasing the PC version four months afterwards...or they are telling different things to different folks. Your choice.
By Brad Grenz on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 05:58 pm:
The Xbox may have potential, but that's the thing, the 3D0 had potential too. I'd wait and see if the Xbox pans out. Right now I'd go for a PS2 first (it's graphics are too better then a Dreamcast! Maybe not in Acclaim's hack-ports, but otherwise). You got GT3, Twisted Metal, SSX, Madden (or NCAA) 2002 right now and some brilliant stuff like MGS2, FFX, Devil May Cry, Virtua Fighter/Tekken 4 and Xenosaga in the shoot.
I'd buy a Gamecube next. Rouge Squadron'll be sweet, Metroid Prime might turn out, plus you have 5 Resident Evil games coming (six if Code Veronica is being ported too), and Namco's bringing some of its flagship titles to the platform, Ridge Racer 6, Soul Calibur 2.
And wait and see for the Xbox.
By Desslock on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 07:04 pm:
>Um, Stefan, their PR told us yesterday Morrowind PC is March. With Morrowind Xbox being in, um, November, that leaves four months for Xbox only....
You drew the wrong conclusion from that statement. If you were told that the PC version is coming out in March, that was probably intended as an off-the-record comment that the game will slip until then (which shouldn't surprise anyone), not as a statement that the two versions will be released on different dates. Ask 'em again yourself to confirm - I know I'm right about this one: the intention has always been, and continues to be, to release both versions concurrently.
By Sparky on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 08:17 pm:
How is releasing one version in November and one version in March "concurrently?"
By Desslock on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 12:11 am:
>How is releasing one version in November and one version in March "concurrently?"
It's not, which is why they won't release one in November and one in March. The versions will be released concurrently.
By Anonymous on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 12:52 am:
Rouge Squadron'll be sweet, Metroid Prime might turn out,
OK, for the last time...it's ROGUE Squadron, NOT Rouge Squadron. Rouge Squadron is the drag queen game...
By Robert Mayer on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 09:17 am:
Okee dokee, Stefan, if you're sure, I'll buy it. That means, I'm betting, that Morrowind won't be an Xbox launch title, which sounds odd to me--getting a launch title out is the best way to sell games, and missing launch would be a Bad Thing. But hey, anything's possible.
By Desslock on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 01:13 pm:
>, that Morrowind won't be an Xbox launch title, which sounds odd to me--getting a launch title out is the best way to sell games, and missing launch would be a Bad Thing.
I'm sure they're on to that. Companies generally only delay the release of games when they have to, because the game isn't done. I wish all companies did that actually. Given the state Daggerfall was initially released in, I'm glad Bethesda is taking the time to polish Morrowind, even though it means missing out on a commercial opportunity.
>Okee dokee, Stefan,
Whatever. Honky tonky, I guess. I was just telling you your information was inaccurate. I thought you might want to know that before you reported it in your mag, and I didn't want anyone here to think that the Xbox had that advantage. Hee-haw!
By Robert Mayer on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 02:57 pm:
I did finally touch base with Bethesda's Pete Hines (which we'd do before we'd ever run anything in the mag--we run off at the mouth informally quite a bit, though :-0). And Stefan's correct, as usual :-); Morrowind, whenever it comes out, will be simultaneously released on the PC and the Xbox. I think I know where the confusion happened, but no matter.
Now, just when the game will be out, that's something else entirely.
By Brad Grenz on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 08:39 pm:
Oh, it's funnier as Rouge Squadron. Rogue is one of those words I always spell wrong. I always spell business wrong when I first type it too, I put the 'i' before the 's'.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 02:30 am:
>Don't think that they don't have keyboard and mouse peripherals in the works, either. Expect the next "Age of ..." and Flight Simulator games to be on the Xbox.
They don't, and the next "Age of..." game is Age of Mythology, which is still a ways out and PC only. There are also NO plans for Flight Sim on Xbox (why would console gamers want it?). Crimson Skies is another matter. If you can find ANY evidence of a keyboard/mouse in the works, or games from those series, please point it out--I keep looking, and can't find it.
Don't expect many PC ports on Xbox, now or in the future. It's a console. Saying that the OS is "based on the Windows kernel" is very deceptive: The unified memory alone makes Xbox development quite different from the PC - your memory management code would be drasitically different. Not to mention that the Xbox has a hard drive for scratch space, but no OS-controlled virtual memory. The Xbox APIs resemble Win32, but have functions that aren't on a PC, and vice versa. All program code runs at Ring 0, instead of Ring 1/2/3 on the PC. There are no GUI functions, no preemptive multitasking, etc. - it's a game box OS, not Windows with explorer ripped out.
Now, the tools are similar, so developers used to Win32 game programming don't have much of a learning curve, but from a practical standpoint it's not necessarily a good dumping ground for PC games. Not to mention that games that take advantage of PC strengths (keyboard/mouse, high-res monitor up close, ubiquitous web access) don't usually make good console games.
There are far more PC ports for the PS2 than the Xbox (count 'em!), including Age of Empires.
>that Morrowind won't be an Xbox launch title, which sounds odd to me
You would think they wouldn't have display boxes for Morrowind in stores for it if it wasn't going to be a launch title, or within a couple weeks of launch. My money is on Bethesda pulling a Summoner/Red Faction, and claiming "simultaneous release" right up until the game is a month away, when they'll spring it on the public that the PC version is gonna take a little longer, "but it'll be better." It's just a hunch, though, and is in NO WAY actually supported by facts.
>getting a launch title out is the best way to sell games
Not necessarily...launch is when you have the least competition, but also the lowest installed base. There are no major RPGs coming soon on the Xbox, so March would still give them that market almost entirely to themselves for a good stretch, and a good 2-3 million additional people to sell it to.
The best way to sell games is to be out there in year 3 or 4, when the installed base is huge, and time your release so it's not up against other big titles in the genre. I doubt Bethesda wants to wait that long, though. =)
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 02:36 am:
Oh yeah, and Rob, don't worry about "winners" and "losers" of the console wars. All that matters is that they system you choose to buy is around for a few years and has the quality and type of games you want to play. If one particular system ends up in "third place" but still sells tens of millions of units and has plenty of great games, then that's fine.
At the end of the day, it's entirely possible that the system that sells the fewest consoles (though still sells a lot) has the greatest number of "gotta have it" titles. It all depends on the quality of the development on that platform, and your taste in games. I mean, let's imagine that Gamecube "wins" the console "war" and outsells PS2 and Xbox, but the majority of the software is family-friendly stuff you have no interest in. You'd be better off with #2 or #3.
One thing to remember about the PS2 - it's a good 18 months older than the Gamecube/Xbox (launched in March of '00). It's not going to age as gracefully, and it'll bow out in favor of PS3 sooner. So, larger library, yes, but obsolete sooner.
By Desslock on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 09:12 am:
>My money is on Bethesda pulling a Summoner/Red Faction, and claiming "simultaneous release" right up until the game is a month away, when they'll spring it on the public that the PC version is gonna take a little longer, "but it'll be better." It's just a hunch, though, and is in NO WAY actually supported by facts.
I'll take your money, heh. I'll bet that the Xbox version is going to be out after the PC version, long after the console's launch. From what I've heard, the console version is lagging behind in development. Volition had indicated that Summoner was going to be out for the PS2 first almost a year before that game's release.
It's interesting that Summoner basically had a monopoly on the RPG genre when the Playstation 2 launched, and yet it didn't sell that well (although probably better than the title did on the PC). A lot of PC developers who have jumped into the console market, lured by large potential markets, are going to find that marketplace not particularly accommodating, and full of its own risks. There were PC developers who embraced the Dreamcast and weren't even able to get their titles out by the time the console died. What a waste of time. While BioWare got MDK2 out before the console died, I suspect the company's time would have been better spent releasing Neverwinter Nights (which uses an updated version of the same engine). Developers are going to make the same mistakes this year, by backing the wrong console horse.
Uh, I guess this is my way of saying I want more focus on PC game development. Dammit!
By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 12:58 am:
"Uh, I guess this is my way of saying I want more focus on PC game development. Dammit! "
Same here. That Morrowind is being developed at the same time for XboX kind of pisses me off! The time spent on the console could be spent on the pc version! If i want a console game, I'll buy a console game, not a pc game ported for console.
also i think if Summoner was intended primarily as a pc rpg (and developed with more pc rpg elements), it could hve done really well. I remember reading days from release most people saying... "its just a console rpg ported to pc" when in actuality it was a not-too-bad pc crpg with consolitis.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 02:45 am:
>The time spent on the console could be spent on the pc version!
And the time spent on the PC could be spent on the console version!
Just playing devil's advocate a bit...how arrogant are we to think we are somehow more deserving of quality entertainment software than those who game on consoles (who almost surely outnumber us)?
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 02:45 am:
I, for one, am content to go to the games instead of having them come to me.
By Brad Grenz on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 04:03 am:
I play games on my PC and I play games on my consoles. Both have strengths, both have weaknesses. If a game is released for both I go where it works best. I'm not going to buy the PC version of Final Fantasy VII for the PC, but I'm not going to buy Dues Ex on the PS2 either.
I for one think it's stupid to think of consoles and PC as competeing platforms, cause they're not. They're complimentary.
By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 05:31 am:
Hey i love some console games! i love the FF series fer instance. My point is pc and console games on initial release should, in most cases, be devoted to one system... unless its easily portable and its feasible to sell okay or sumthin.
Though the game that really got me into console games was the ff7 port for pc! so i guess i would like ALL good console games to go pc... ...and consoles dont deserve good pc game ports they are evil i tell you, the dark side! Yeah, thats right! I'm a pc elitist!
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 05:40 am:
As I see it, PC games are so vastly superior, it's a wonder that all games aren't designed as such. I mean, I can see why people (who don't have computers) buy consoles and all, but as far as I'm concerned, every game should be released on PC (or at least ported thereto), so that PC gamers shouldn't have to buy consoles. Let people have their consoles, but give me all the great games on PC!!
After all, the PC is obviously the superior gaming platfrom.
By Brian Rucker on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 08:41 pm:
Bah. I'm going to skip this generation of consoles, my Dreamcast still rocks beyond compare, and I'm very tempted to skip the XP generation of PCs. Microsoft is really, really, starting to piss me off. The more I read about XP and its megabundle of death the more I wonder if these guys realize the courts just accused them of being a monopolistic concern.
I'm going back to boardgames and face-to-face roleplaying. Dadgum it.
Wake me up in 2010 and let me know what's good. Okay? :)
Then, perhaps, we'll have PC quality games that I can play on my widescreen HDTV with full surround sound. Maybe WWII Online will even be functional.
By Denny on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 10:38 pm:
PC games are superior in many genres... Simulations, wargames, RTS, "D&D nerd" style RPGs, etc. But after playing Gran Turismo 3 on the PS2, I see the value of consoles. There's nothing that refined on the PC. The PC HARDWARE could easily do that game. But no company would spend the development time and licensing costs to reach that level of refinement for a PC game.
That said, the only "console" I own is a Game Boy Advance. There are more great PC games out there than I have time to play. There are plenty of console games I'd like to play as well, but I haven't even gotten around to going back to finish System Shock 2 yet...
By Desslock on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 01:17 am:
>PC games are superior in many genres... "D&D nerd" style RPGs, etc.
Heh, that's a bit harsh. PC RPGs more closely emulate the freedom offered by "real" RPGs.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 02:47 pm:
"I, for one, am content to go to the games instead of having them come to me."
But you're a freak with an unlimited budget for fixed-function gaming boxes. Most people aren't.
By denny on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 03:19 pm:
>>PC games are superior in many genres... "D&D
>>nerd" style RPGs, etc.
>Heh, that's a bit harsh. PC RPGs more closely
>emulate the freedom offered by "real" RPGs.
Right, real RPGs... "D&D Nerd" RPGs. :-) However, NO programmer could ever be prepared for some of the goofy techniques that players would come up with to try to solve problems when I played D&D back in high school. Wacky, fun stuff.
I enjoy computer RPGs, but they're essentially non-sequential adventure games. The freedom of "sitting around the table" RPGs is not there. Some of the tangents we'd go off on, some of the creative methods for getting out of a jam, were just fantastic. Whereas in a computer RPG, you can't "go off on a tangent" or come up with a way to win a battle/solve a puzzle the that the DM (programmer) didn't anticipate.
D&D nerd RPGs rule! :-)
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 05:21 pm:
Well, there's Roll-playing games, and Role-playing games.
Every RPG is a little bit of each, but computer-style RPGs lean more toward the roll-playing type. You have a lot more freedom to define your character(s) and solve things your way, but because of this, characters aren't as well-defined from a storytelling standpoint. Developer's can't make big dramatic scenes when they can't determine what all your character's abilities are, or what you've done to get to that point in the game.
Console games lean more toward the Role-playing side. You have a lot less freedom in how you overcome problems, and they're a lot more linear. But you have more well-defined characters and more dramatic events.
Now before you guys jump down my throat--yes, I'm generalizing. And yes, PC RPGs have characters with personality, and dramatic events. I'm just pointing out the RELATIVE points of the different RPGs, to me.
As much as I love a good computer RPG, I probably like console RPGs just as much. For every Wasteland or Ultima 7 I have fond memories of, there's a Final Fantasy 6 or Skies of Arcadia.
By Brian Rucker on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 09:06 pm:
I'll do my obligatory roleplayer quibble here:
A roleplaying game is a game in which a player can create and explore the role of a character in a reactive setting. There isn't a pure one that exists in any digital form because the complexities and dynamics of real roleplaying tends to require human interaction. Daggerfall and, I'm told, Darklands are the closest we have as they provide open-ended experiences with reactive environments.
A rollplaying game is any game that focuses more on stat and inventory development than a responsive setting. I'd put all console games and most computer RPGs into this category. But I'd break that down into subcategories of adventure and narrative. An adventure rollplaying game is the typical CRPG with some freedom to explore away from the main story and more flexibility in character/party creation. A narrative rollplaying game is one that revolves around cutscenes and boss fights - this would describe most console RPGs.
By Desslock on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 10:46 pm:
>NO programmer could ever be prepared for some of the goofy techniques that players would come up with to try to solve problems when I played D&D back in high school...Whereas in a computer RPG, you can't "go off on a tangent" or come up with a way to win a battle/solve a puzzle the that the DM (programmer) didn't anticipate
That's certainly true, but at least some computer RPGs try to give you a broad range of freedom, both in how you explore the gaming world and in how you solve tasks -- console RPGs don't even try to be anything other than linear adventures, or interactive stories.
The closer a computer RPG can come to emulating the tabletop experience, the better, in my opinion, and computer RPGs are exponentially better than console RPGs at doing so.