Customisable Xbox 2 Dreams Revealed

Per-region console options looking likely.

Posted by Staff
Customisable Xbox 2 Dreams Revealed
It is very likely that Microsoft will stun the gaming world by making different Xbox 360 options available on a per-region basis, according to a recent interview from the UK.

Speaking to leading trade publication MCV this week, Xbox frontman J Allard made an allusion that the next-generation Xbox - which SPOnG now believes will be called Xbox 360 - will come in various forms rather than a standard unit as was expected.

“We have ways. We have ideas. Look at cell phones. You can have snap-on faceplates, you can change the skin and the batteries, and you can change the ringtones. I think we need to have a global foundation, and then personalise within region.”

Going on to discuss the possibility of a hard-drive for Xbox, Allard again lent weight to escalating speculation that moving state mass storage might be an optional extra for Xbox 360, or not included at all. "My cell phone is incredibly personalized without a hard drive," he said. "One reason is because of the great connection to the service."
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Comments

Joji 24 Mar 2005 16:36
1/17
They don't sound too keen on the hard drive idea this time round because they got burned by it with Xbox. The whole irony here is that they now want you to customise your Xbox360 with via limited options like face[plates etc.

The case with Xbox proves the kind of options people want in a console from MS and that's modding from inside guts of the beast to the users needs. A hard drive you can dump old console and arcade ROM games on for easy access, not the vain facias stuff as a lame trade off.

What I'm really wondering is what kind of media Xbox 360 is gonna use to curb the piracy problem (I've been hearing whispers of HD-DVD, but what is the protection like on it?) that has thrived on PS2 and Xbox due to both being greedy in coveting a chunk of dvd player sales and dvd movies. The fact that they could play movies both aided and shot them in the foot, whereas Nintendo seem to have found a perfectly adjusted almost piracy free medium for the GC today and Revolution tomorrow.

LUPOS 24 Mar 2005 17:09
2/17
its xobx related... you know i had to say something :)

Joji: i think your missing the point of what he is alluding to... yes he they may offer customizable face plates, but the bit at the end about "because they are connected to the server" is what shoudl be considered. They have mentioned in the past the posibility of storage over live. You want to play a particular new level, yank it off of the server, specail music... play your "purchased" playlist of music, off of xbox live, without ever officially downloading it. This lets their massive server space, avoid payign for hard drives for every xbox, and force you to use there digital rights managed music service if you want a customizable sound track. Which is pretty s**tty in my opinion. It also has the added benefit of reducing peoples interest in pirating on the system. If the thing basically lives off of xbox live instead of storage it is even less apealing than there other consoles because you are far more likely to get caught messign with the system due to its conectivity (of course anyone with half a brain wouldnt try and go onlien with a moded console).

also, since he mention the possible regional variations, i dont know if all the folks over in the UK are going ot be getting the full HD work over. Since they decided to drop it on the first xbox and it is till very slow to be adopted.
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tyrion 24 Mar 2005 18:06
3/17
LUPOS wrote:
its xobx related... you know i had to say something :)

Hurah! LUPOS is back! Stick it to the man and browse in your lunch hour!!

LUPOS wrote:
Joji: i think your missing the point of what he is alluding to... yes he they may offer customizable face plates, but the bit at the end about "because they are connected to the server" is what shoudl be considered. They have mentioned in the past the posibility of storage over live. You want to play a particular new level, yank it off of the server, specail music... play your "purchased" playlist of music, off of xbox live, without ever officially downloading it. This lets their massive server space, avoid payign for hard drives for every xbox, and force you to use there digital rights managed music service if you want a customizable sound track. Which is pretty s**tty in my opinion.

I think this the most insidious plan that has arisen for the XBox360! It sounds right, I've been thinking about it myself, and it's the sort of "license stuff to you" approach that MS has recently taken with Windows.

I find it really offensive that they may require you to buy music you already own, just to play it on your XBox. If not, then they will require you to host your ripped music on the Live servers, which is almost as bad.

This also makes XBox much less of an experience for people without broadband and may lose MS hardware sales.

LUPOS wrote:
It also has the added benefit of reducing peoples interest in pirating on the system. If the thing basically lives off of xbox live instead of storage it is even less apealing than there other consoles because you are far more likely to get caught messign with the system due to its conectivity (of course anyone with half a brain wouldnt try and go onlien with a moded console).

The future of XBox seems to be all online content. XBox3 will not have an optical drive, just a network connection. You won't buy games, you'll rent them for the time you play them, your saves will be stored on the servers, your "baseball card" will be available to all, every game will have online rankings and you'll have to chip in more money for extra levels.

Makes perfect sense from MS's point of view, only need to update the code in one place, every client downloads it next time they connect, patches are sent as and when they are needed, not when people decide to download them. Console games can be patched. And the consumer owns nothing but a piece of commodity hardware and an online presence.

LUPOS wrote:
also, since he mention the possible regional variations, i dont know if all the folks over in the UK are going ot be getting the full HD work over. Since they decided to drop it on the first xbox and it is till very slow to be adopted.

Pardon? Don't know what you're getting at here, the UK XBox has a hard drive and always has had.
LUPOS 24 Mar 2005 18:26
4/17
tyrion wrote:
Pardon? Don't know what you're getting at here, the UK XBox has a hard drive and always has had.


no no no... High Def. not hard drive :)

i was reading an article the other day about how the progressive scan option in euopean xbox's is non existent because its not commonly adopted over there.

the great irony here being that when i say "HD" you blokes still think hard drive ;P

slightly more ironic is that when someone says "hard dirve" my mind cant help but go in the gutter, still makes me giggle some times.

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fluffstardx 24 Mar 2005 19:31
5/17
EDGE claim to have the exclusive on this one:

3 3GHz PowerPC processors working in tandem
500MHz ATI graphics with unpecified dedicated memory
64Mb memory cards for storage; hard disk optional
Wireless controllers as standard
and the important one: standard DVD disks still.

I agree that the idea of Microsoft watching my Xbox media as much as they try to watch it on my PC is quite scary. I also think using standard DVDs is quite frankly silly when offered so many new technologies that increase the capacity for storing extras and major content.

I also think that this is grasping at straws; sure, the Japs love stuff like lanyards and mobile phone accessories, and people love cool PC cases, but for your console? As a selling point endorsed by the company? Odd. Many eggs, one basket. I hope Microsoft know how to pray.
Alan is my first name 24 Mar 2005 20:24
6/17
Well, this is great. I'm all for customization, but this just seems like a step in the wrong direction. Am I going to have to go upgrade my X-box whenever a game comes out that "takes advantage" of a new X-box peripheral?
Joji 24 Mar 2005 23:34
7/17
Indeed, I don't need to be paying for my games over braodband, part of gaming is the crucial experience of actually purchasing you games physically, for most people this requires visiting a games shop. This is good because it gets gamers out of the house for a while.

Sounds like the way MS want it is for us to be online couch potatoes. I'll see what they have for real come E3 and whether I shall be investing in them this time or not.
claudioalex 25 Mar 2005 02:16
8/17
Is this the new innovation? The new lure?
Just because they say that diferent X-Box hardware is coming for next generations they think that i am going to believe that it is a true innovation?

PS2 comes without a hard drive, and if i want a PS2 with a hard drive, then i buy the hard drive.
PS3 will eventually do the same thing.

They saw everybody believed they hype campaign of HALO 2 (what a dissapointment incomplete game) and just cause we swallow their lies, they think that making the same hype based on a big lie, we are going to eat the lure again.
ANd what about payng for extracontent?

I know Microsoft lost money with the X-BOX but i am not going to help them to pay for their mistakes.
DoctorDee 25 Mar 2005 08:57
9/17
fluffstardx wrote:
EDGE claim to have the exclusive on this one:

edge "magazine" wrote:
3 3GHz PowerPC processors working in tandem



I used to work at Future Publishing... But in my day, with people like Damien Noonan, Gary Lord or Richard Jones at the sub desk, you would NEVER have managed to get such illiterate toss out the door.

Tandem: Having two identical components arranged one behind the other

Three processors cannot work "in tandem", and tandem specifically indicates components arranged in series, while these processors undoubtedly operate in a parallel fashion.

Please excuse the pedantry, but if we tolerate the use of words at random, without a care for their actual meaning, pretty soon it will be impossible to express ones-self clearly and precisely.
kid_77 25 Mar 2005 09:48
10/17
fluffstardx wrote:
I agree that the idea of Microsoft watching my Xbox media as much as they try to watch it on my PC is quite scary. I also think using standard DVDs is quite frankly silly when offered so many new technologies that increase the capacity for storing extras and major content.


Well, the advantage of using the DVD format over one of the newer technologies (e.g. Blu-Ray), is cost. Economies of scale dictate that both DVD media and DVD drives can be churned out, with less input cost.

One of the obvious advantages of Blu-Ray et al, is the higher data capacity. But it's not like games come on 4 DVD's at the moment (unlike the end of the CD's/Floppy's lifetime), and nor are they likely to with the next generation, since FMV (notoriously bulky) will be eradicated due to cut scenes using in-game engines.

The main advantage these newer technologies will have over DVD is transfer rate. Blu-Ray transfers approx. 5 times faster at a comparable drive speed. But this is another reason why M$ have shot themselves in the foot by removing the HD as standard. Games like Ninja Gaiden and Halo made use of it as a source for data cache, so RAM could be filled very quickly (and thus have VERY quick load times).

As for replacing locally stored software/data, with remote "accounts", accessed through Live; that definitely sucks. If my ISP screw up my connection, or an engineer drills through the BT line, I can't access MY goods, which I've already paid for. Sod that.

E3 2005 is definitely becoming one of the more eagerly anticipated Expo's in recent years (if not ever).
kid_77 25 Mar 2005 09:55
11/17
DoctorDee wrote:
fluffstardx wrote:
EDGE claim to have the exclusive on this one:

edge "magazine" wrote:
3 3GHz PowerPC processors working in tandem



I used to work at Future Publishing... But in my day, with people like Damien Noonan, Gary Lord or Richard Jones at the sub desk, you would NEVER have managed to get such illiterate toss out the door.

Tandem: Having two identical components arranged one behind the other

Three processors cannot work "in tandem", and tandem specifically indicates components arranged in series, while these processors undoubtedly operate in a parallel fashion.

Please excuse the pedantry, but if we tolerate the use of words at random, without a care for their actual meaning, pretty soon it will be impossible to express ones-self clearly and precisely.


The source quote was innacurate:

EDGE wrote:
CPU: Three 3GHz PowerPC units running in parallel


But you are still a:

;)
tyrion 25 Mar 2005 10:19
12/17
LUPOS wrote:
tyrion wrote:
Pardon? Don't know what you're getting at here, the UK XBox has a hard drive and always has had.


no no no... High Def. not hard drive :)

D'oh! Stupidest thing I ever typed!

LUPOS wrote:
i was reading an article the other day about how the progressive scan option in euopean xbox's is non existent because its not commonly adopted over there.

Yeah, this is a bugger. I've got a DVD player that only does progressive when it's playing NTSC titles! And, yes, it's the EU model.

LUPOS wrote:
the great irony here being that when i say "HD" you blokes still think hard drive ;P

Well we only got electricity last year, so you can't expect us to be up on your techno-wizzy language-speak! :-)

Personally, I thing High-Definition TV will be called Hi-Def over here, it just sounds better and it's the same number of sylables.
fluffstardx 25 Mar 2005 11:37
13/17
Yeah, i read the wrong bit while quoting. Oops.

On a more "too late, too late will be the cry" note, one of the peripherals touted for the Nextbox is a wireless camera... for Live chat at first, and then gaming. How... original.
soanso 25 Mar 2005 14:09
14/17
everybody that I know who has an xbox uses it as a "home entertainment centre" and they are transfering stuff from their PCs onto it and whatever else. But all of them had to spend a while getting their hands dirty inside the thing putting a chip in. And as far as I know, none of them are playing pirated games on the thing so instead of all this talk about what the next xbox might be able to do, so why aren't they looking at what real people are doing and then make a console that does what they really want right out of the box instead of making them forfeit their warranty and get blocked from xbox Live
y_me 27 Mar 2005 10:46
15/17
These are not xbox 2 screenshots I see spong is telling more lies, they are screen shots from XNA, XNA is a programming tool like DirectX those were screenshots from last year GDC, spong you guys are the inquirer of gaming.

tyrion 28 Mar 2005 10:27
16/17
y_me wrote:
These are not xbox 2 screenshots I see spong is telling more lies, they are screen shots from XNA, XNA is a programming tool like DirectX those were screenshots from last year GDC, spong you guys are the inquirer of gaming.

1) There are no screenshots attached to the news story.

2) XNA will be used to develop XBox2 games.

But don't let facts stand in your way, rant on.
kid_77 28 Mar 2005 16:53
17/17
So y_me really was talking gibberish. Thanks for confirming that, tyrion... I thought the transmitters between my eyes and brain must've dissolved.
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