Exclusive - Xbox 360: Downloadable Demos From Day One, Wireless and more

Revealed – massive 'try before you buy' program readied in Redmond.

Posted by Staff
SPOnG can reveal today that the Xbox 360 will see an unprecedented downloadable demo offering from day one, with Xbox Live being shaped to deliver massive levels of on-demand content.

Microsoft is expected to announce plans for the system at its pre-E3 event in Los Angeles next month, highlighting what was described to SPOnG as way of highlighting “key titles” to users, as well as offering further added value to the groundbreaking Live service.

“It will mean more work for developers,” our source told us, “though it will offer what is essentially hype-free evaluation options to the consumer.”

Microsoft’s decision to include demo software in downloadable form is far from good news for the magazine sector, which to date has seen Official Xbox Magazine sales propped up on the back of the demo discs included on their covers.

This news could also be seen as a shot across the bows of traditional retail, with console gamers being further conditioned to look for gaming kicks online through Live rather than in-store. Currently around half of the price paid for any game goes straight into the retailer's pocket. Offering direct sales to gamers would cut out this expense and may be seen as a way of combatting escalating development costs which will inevitably have to be passed on to the consumer. Some estimates have talked of next-generation software titles hitting £70 or more at retail. Downloadable content would enable Microsoft to offer next-gen gaming without the hefty price tag.

Should the demo program prove successful, it would make sense for Microsoft to offer full game downloads in time, though the viability of this still rests with the as-yet unknown possibility of hard disc inclusion for 360.

However, Xbox lead J Allard recently hinted that the new Xbox may well come in different forms to suit preferences on a per-region basis, saying “I think we need to have a global foundation, and then personalise within region.”

Interestingly, SPOnG has had it confirmed by several senior sources that the Xbox 360 will feature wireless connectivity out of the box. Furthermore, data storage via PC will be featured, though information seen to date makes reference to this being used solely for media storage. However, downloadable Xbox content could, in theory, be stored too, though we should make it clear that the possibility of such content being stored in this way is mere speculation at this point.


Showing the 20 most recent comments. Read all 29.
NecroDancer 31 Mar 2005 23:25
neocarrillo wrote:
OH my god your a fool. Xbox live's success is one word HALO. Without it xbox is nothing. Come on I have half-life 2, farcry and many other games, I don't pay for those on pc so why should I pay microsoft for live on xbox. You can shell out your 40 a year for live but I would be pissed if I was paying that yearly. Microsoft is ripping you off and you love, lol.
Seems to me that you don't even have an Xbox, so your complaints about the service aren't really very valid.

Also, Xbox Live was certainly successful long before Halo 2 was released. Halo 2's release added to an already successful product.

The Xbox Live experience is completely different from most online gaming. I don't have to look for a server that won't bog down because it is too busy and looking for a game is very easy. It doesn't hardly compare to anything else that is out there. Xbox Live is worth the money Microsoft is charging.
neocarrillo 31 Mar 2005 23:43
Funny if xbox is so good why are'nt they on top in the console sales. Don't give me the excuse about well sony had a head start cause dreamcast came out before ps 2 and we all know what happend to sega. Anyway I have an xbox and I know alot of xbox owners and they all tell me they bought it for halo only. I'd hate to see what happens when the last halo comes out, most likely xbox will go the way of atari, panasonic, phillips, etc. you get the point.
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NecroDancer 1 Apr 2005 00:12
neocarrillo wrote:
Funny if xbox is so good why are'nt they on top in the console sales. Don't give me the excuse about well sony had a head start cause dreamcast came out before ps 2 and we all know what happend to sega. Anyway I have an xbox and I know alot of xbox owners and they all tell me they bought it for halo only. I'd hate to see what happens when the last halo comes out, most likely xbox will go the way of atari, panasonic, phillips, etc. you get the point.
Originally, I purchased the Xbox because of Halo. A lot has changed over the past few years, though. Arguing that Xbox Live owes its survival to Halo, however, is a fallacy because Halo wasn’t Xbox Live capable. If you wanted to have the multiplayer experience, it was either split screen or LAN. Those experiences were excellent by the way. Halo 2's Xbox Live experience is arguably the best Xbox Live has to offer but there are plenty of other reasons I've subscribed to Xbox Live - other games.

More to the point of XBL: is the service worth the cost? Most people paying for it believe it is. I’ve talked with people that don’t think it is; they don’t have it. Online gaming is changing and Xbox Live will be a part of that whether you like it or not.

You’ve posited a quandary suggesting that Xbox isn’t the best because it doesn’t hold the top sales position. Suggesting that top sales automatically crowns top product relies on false logic. There are plenty of products out there that aren’t the best but have outsold the competition. GM sells more automobiles than any other automobile manufacturer in the world. Do they have the best product? The Windows operating system runs on 90% of the worlds computers. Is Windows the best operating system? VHS totally dominated the video tape industry but Beta was a far better product. The list could go on forever.

If you want to compare the hardware, the Xbox stands out far above its competition. None of the other console makers has a service that can even compare to the Xbox Live service. There isn’t anything in the PC world that compares to it either. I can, if I choose, play Xbox online without Xbox Live, for free. This would be more comparable to most online PC gaming.
neocarrillo 1 Apr 2005 01:02
Im not saying xbox is a bad system. It's just that for what the system has to offer it never reached it's full potential. Halo 2 came out last year but have'nt you noticed all the glitches on the game, texture pop ups, etc. I mean it was a rushed product because microsoft forced bungie into a deadline they had to make.
Sony don't force any game company to make products. That's why sony is on top in both sales and with developers. Also it is not fair to say xbox has the better product because their hardware is better, I mean when the ps2 was being made, the only competition for sony was sega dreamcast.
They crushed dreamcast and then 1 year later xbox and gamecube come out with systems superior then ps2 and yet also got pounded. The fact is NecroDancer no one will top sony anytime soon. You can have a powerful console and fillied with great features but if you don't have support and great games you will tank. Why do think in that Spong article they say microsoft stopped xbox manufacturing, cause they can't win. Sony when they made ps2 made the ps one and kept the system alive for more years, they didn't quit on the old ps one.
Yeah sony had ps2 shortages when they came but what happened 32 million americans and many more around the world bought ps2's. I mean xbox has halo but look what ps2 has.
gta - true xbox got it but got it late, too late.
jak 1-3 - a true platformer
rachet and clank - another platformer
devil may cry 1-3 - xbox owners wish capcom would give them this.
The list goes on and on.
Ditto 1 Apr 2005 09:00
Nintendo have it right. I won't pay for any online game service, especially when it's a vital part of the game.

However, a free service, yeah, sounds good...

I wouldn't mind paying Nintendo £30 directly for a game if it includes a free online facility.
NecroDancer 1 Apr 2005 18:22
neocarrillo wrote:
I mean xbox has halo but look what ps2 has.
gta - true xbox got it but got it late, too late.
jak 1-3 - a true platformer
rachet and clank - another platformer
devil may cry 1-3 - xbox owners wish capcom would give them this.
The list goes on and on.

Certainly a wonderful list of games. Games that I care so little about. Xbox has a pretty good list of Xbox only games as well. Just like computer platforms, a console is only as good as the software available to it. For me that means Xbox. What with Fable, Knights of the Old Republic (I and II), Ninja Gaiden, Doom 3 and many others available now and a few awesome titles on their way (i.e. Jade Empire, Sid Meier's Pirates!) I am not missing these other titles of which you seem so proud.

neocarrillo wrote:
Why do think in that Spong article they say microsoft stopped xbox manufacturing, cause they can't win.

Spong is the Electronic Entertainment industry's equivalent to the Weekly World News. The only fact on which this claim can lay is that Microsoft sold more Xboxes over the past few months than they anticipated. Larry Hryb, Xbox Live Director, has, today, announced that the claims in that article were patently false.
neocarrillo 1 Apr 2005 18:41
Yo, you live in the uk cause that website is uk. What the hell does a uk gamer know about xbox an american system anyway. As for the games you mentioned, Fable, Knights of the Old Republic (I and II), Ninja Gaiden, Doom 3. Fable was a 10 hours rpg (10 hours) nothing compared to ps2's dark clouds, final fantasies, shadow hearts and star ocean's, which give 60 or more hours, those are worth 50 bucks. Fable was xbox's first real rpg since the system came out, that's sad. Knights of the old republic was good (at least the first anyway) the second was made by a different company and sucked when compared to the first. Doom 3 came out last august on pc, you xbox owners are just getting a watered down version of an old game.
NecroDancer 1 Apr 2005 19:18
A UK gamer can know as much about the American Xbox as an American can know about the Japanese playstation. Some Americans are idiots. You quote Spong (a UK magazine) and then knock other sources because they are UK?

Doom 3 won't even be available on the other consoles because they cannot handle it. Doom 3 was developed with the Xbox in mind. I don't think it will be as watered down as you suggest.
neocarrillo 1 Apr 2005 19:38
Oooh so mister uk know's more about xbox than the source. "Some Americans are idiots" and yet you use our products, lol lol. The only way you can find the latest info on xbox is to go to an american site. USA gets everything first you know, even japan news. As for doom 3 it will be watered down, you know why because unless the xbox is running on a geforce 6800 ultra (which was recommended for doom 3 http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_14696.html) you will not get the same visuals as a pc owner. Anyway if you look at reviews you would see that doom 3 is just a remake of doom 1 with updated visuals, no new gameplay. Anyway I was refered to spong by a friend didn't know it was uk (no wonder this site has so much bs on it) this site is like the national enquirer, not that I hate uk gamers just NecroDancer.
NecroDancer 1 Apr 2005 20:41
You're a sad little man; a sad, sad, little man.

From it's conception, Doom 3 was slated for the Xbox and the developers were determined to make sure the game played well and true to the PC game. We’ll have to wait and see how successful they were as the game doesn’t ship until Monday. Sadly, you still won’t be able to play it on your precious PlayStation.

As for your ethnocentric misconceptions, I'll try to ignore them.
neocarrillo 1 Apr 2005 21:00
Im the sad man. Ha doom 3 will never be a halo 2 so only a few people will buy it on xbox. Anyway playstation doesn't need a non innovative game like doom 3 anyway. We have god of war for killing demons anyway, which by the way was made by sony and is getiing rave reviews, tell me what microsoft has made, s**t that's what. I feel sorry for the NecroDancer and his big black xbox.
kid_77 1 Apr 2005 21:17
Where am I? I'm sure I didn't type Gamespot's URL into the address bar...

EDIT: Sorry Ninja-Edit.
neocarrillo 1 Apr 2005 21:18
lol. How about gamespy.
claudioalex 2 Apr 2005 17:41
There are diferent interests in this forums, if you like Halo 2 or any X box live game as much that you would pay $50-60 , then pay it, but I dare to say that Microsoft ambitions of squeezing videogame players wallet is against Microsoft future in Next generation console.
Sony Next console will improve its Live service and it will be if not for free, at least $25 below X-BOX live price.
Nintendo already offered a free service for their DS system helped by GameSpy.
And for Revolution I bet it will be an exellent WiFi Live Service and a for a very low price (lower than Sony) but i woudnt be surprised if Nintendo offer it for Free. Nintendo will say that they were waiting for a favorable conditions for Live gamplay, that would be their excuse and apology why they took so long to start with this service .
Microsoft will have to deliver almost adictive games to support that high X-BOX Live prices when the other console live service come.
neocarrillo 2 Apr 2005 17:47
yeah man you hit the nail on the head. These people and there xbox live crap, if microsoft gets online competition from sony and nintendo you will see xbox lives price fall and even might be free. Live sucks and so does xbox.
CrmsnAngelus 7 Apr 2005 08:52
Neo why is it that you feel the need to bash something you must know little or nothing about? I own Xbox, PS2, Gamecube, Dreamcast, Saturn, N64, Genesis, SNES, NES.....I love games. And Dreamcast had online functionality before all of the current offerings, not only did they have it, but it was great to play too(and free, imagine that!!). I would personally rather play any game on Gamecube or Xbox than the PS2...they do have the best RPG library on the market, hence I own one, but beyond that field they have a lot of nothing to satisfy me. And for the recond Fable can't really be labeled an RPG, it was more of an Action Adventure game meets a choose your own ending book(also note that Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind was a great Xbox RPG that came out less than a year into it's lifecycle). So I have to ask you, have you ever actually played a game on Xbox Live(a good one....and don't say something stupid like Madden), or are you just smack talking something because you know nothing about it? Because I've personally played games on all four online services and even Dreamcast's system is better than the Gamecube and PS2 set-up. Just plug and play. I even bought the hdd package with FFXI, which was the biggest waste of money ever. If anyone is rapping people of money it would be Sony right there, they stopped support of the hdd and even the new slim PS2 can't have the hdd in it, so the PS2 FFXI users just got shafted out of $100, so you payed Sony for nothing. I payed a one time charge of $200.00 for my Xbox and pay $50.00 a year to play ANY Live game I want online. I don't mind paying that to play the library of 100+ online enabled games, even just for a rental play I can get online. Now I even got Monster Hunter because it reminded me of Phantasy Star Online...and the game was so damned horrid on the PS2 online service that I haven't played it in nearly six months...all because of the difficulty of use online. Microsoft has something going for it with Live and if anything Sony will be copying them in the next generation of hardware. And while on that topic I'd like to state that if Sony had the idea for a service so much like Xbox Live then why the hell did they release something as half assed as they did instead of a mock-up of the service Live put out? I'll give you a hint: because Sony made a blank promise and they thought there would be no competition...but you know what, Xbox had an online service up and running before either Nintendo or Sony did. So keep bashing what's clearly the best online console offering, and I can prove it in numbers as a matter of fact. As of last checked numbers, Sony was just reaching the base of 1 million online users through their broadband adapters(not that many can be dial up anymore with the new games anyways), where-as you have Live with more than 1.5 million Live subscribers. Now if Sony's online offerings are so much better why is it that they have nearly eight times the number of consoles shipped but 50% less user base for their console than Live does?! See know you're flabberghasted and you're going to use some stupid rebutle about how Sony is so great and you don't hate Xbox, but you think ***---insert some stupid complaint about something neo doesn't like about Xbox here---*** and then you should just continue into your post by calling me a newb/noob/n00b or something else jusr as childish, because really you're just a niave fanboy that has no idea of what the next generation holds. In my eyes Microsoft would be in a much better place if they hadn't launched their console eighteen months after Sony...as a FIRST time console manufacturer. I think given the situation they've been in they're at a winning position...besides, they're doing good enough to be beating Nintendo. So in closing just shut your trap about stuff in the next generation until we get more news and as for current consoles...go ahead and gloat all you want, but it does you no good because then no one that reads your post likes you and they all think that you're an ugly fat kid that has no friends and is horribly unclean and that wishes his Playstation 2 could talk to him because he loves it so much that he wishes he could marry it. So there you go, I got mad enough to actually post something here, congrats on being the biggest douche ever.
3r1k 1 Apr 2008 01:26
PreciousRoi 1 Apr 2008 07:35



Oh Lord, I feel like one of those disgusting jocks, running into the geek whose hairy asscheeks he duct-taped together in High School...I used to google my screenname just so I could see comments on other websites about how bad I beat you...

You know I had a really awful weekend, I had responsibilities imposed upon me, I buried a friend, my families busness had problems, but seeing you show your face back in here just brings a warmth to the cockles auf mein Hertz...


OK you can f**k right off again...we already have a Fanboy in Residence and somehow I think you two would get along like oil and gasoline...actually thats not such a bad idea...mebbe we could quarantine them in some part of the site so we could watch them fight...if we wanted to...frankly I can't be bothered with you at the moment, not that you're any less significant than you ever were, not sure thats possible...
PreciousRoi 1 Apr 2008 08:10
Damn my lack of temporal awareness...

You must be the April Fool...showed up a bit early did we? Well, thats all right as long as you leave early as well...don't let the door hit you where the Flying Spaghetti Monster split you...
beastmode 4 Jul 2009 19:37
-Xbox 360
-Nintendo 64
-Gameboy sp
-Gameboy Color
people screw freankin nintendo, other than Nintendo 64, nintendo is a piece of crap, what do people see in that peice of trash
----SONY---Microsoft freakin all day!!!
We beast mode
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