This is the first game I’ve found myself really wanting to play for the Xbox. But I’m either going to wait until the Xbox gets a remodeling so it’s smaller, or see if I can borrow my friend’s Xbox for a few weeks.(0)
Archive for the 'Microsoft: Xbox' Category
Even at $199, I have no desire to buy an Xbox. There isn’t a single game out for the Xbox that I want to play.
On the other hand, if I didn’t already own a PS2, I’d be all over the $199 PS2, which has dozens of great games that the Xbox doesn’t.
Meanwhile, I still love my Gamecube, and the first thing I’m going to do after finals is play Resident Evil.
Just skimming the news for the week, here’s what catches my eye:
- Crazy Taxi 3 is coming first, and possibly exclusively, to the Xbox. D’oh. But then again, I haven’t particularly cared for what I’ve played of Crazy Taxi 2, so perhaps it’s for the best. (See Benjy rationalize away Xbox’s every advantage).
- Here are some pictures of Pokemon Advance. While I’m interested in this game, there’s absolutely no getting around the fact that the graphics are very disappointing. There better be some rockin’ GameCube/Game Boy Advance interaction to make up for the graphics.
- Oh, Mario Tennis (And Mario Golf, but that’s less exciting) is coming to the GameCube. Mario Tennis for the N64 was a blast. Now where’s Mario Party 4?
- The notoriously harsh Famitsu gave the GameCube exclusive remake of Resident Evil (known as Biohazard in Japan) a 39/40. Wowie. I might have to give this game a try, though I’ve never played any of the Resident Evil games to date.
- Finally, some Sony guy has some interesting ideas about where he thinks video game consoles will go. Here’s my favorite imaginary scenario involving this idea: The PS2 becomes even more popular, to the point that it’s considered to have a monopoly on video game hardware. Then, Sony gets in trouble for trying to sell TVs with its Video Game monopoly. Heh, one unlikely scenario amongst hundreds.
One year ago, the death of the Dreamcast was announced. I was very fond of that little white box, and that was a very sad day. At the time, I said that there were still a number of upcoming Dreamcast games that I was looking forward to playing. I was looking forward to Crazy Taxi 2, and Sonic Adventure 2, and Shenmue 2, and Phantasy Star Online.
But I never bought Crazy Taxi 2, because they removed the two player mode. (Though admittedly, my roommate picked up Crazy Taxi 2 on clearance from Toys R Us last week, but more on that some other time.)
I never bought Sonic Adventure 2, because it was announced as Gamecube bound.
I never bought Shenmue 2, because sadly it became an Xbox exclusive in North America, and I didn’t get a chance.
And I never bought Phantasy Star Online, because I kind of lost interest in it.
In fact, I didn’t buy a single Dreamcast game once its death was announced. I actually feel kind of guilty about abandoning the poor little fellow. It’s not that I ever stopped liking it, it’s just that the circumstances changed. Though I didn’t buy any new Dreamcast games, my little white box got at least as much play as my even-deader N64.
So it goes.
And what blows my mind is that those two articles both cite the same data. To summarize, as of that report the Xbox (with a four day head start) had sold more consoles (in the US) total, but since the GameCube’s release, it has been selling better.
My interpretation? They’re both selling well, and often selling out completely. And it’s kind of silly to shout “Look at me, I’m winning!” after the first 100 meters of a 10 k marathon, especially when the runners have to drag along a lead weight called “limited supply”. Meanwhile another million copies of Metal Gear Solid 2 have probably been sold, and Final Fantasy X comes out in less than a month…
Oh, in other news, apparently 2.4 games have been sold for each Xbox sold, which puts it ahead of the 1.9 games/console Nintendo and Sony managed. But I’m sure that has nothing to do with most buyers being required to buy a bundle with 2-3 games.
So here in the first few minutes of round two, Nintendo is claiming the Gamecube is the fastest selling next generation console, and they’re sticking to their guns when interviewed about the claim. Microsoft has stayed quiet on the issue, probably because they just didn’t have enough consoles available to compete, thus making claims that the Xbox has been selling out moot as a basis of comparison. And though Sony was quick to toot their own horn last year when the shit hit the fan with PS2 sales, they probably won’t respond to Nintendo’s press release, and they’ll end up seeming mature in the face of what looks like bragging from Nintendo.
Never mind the fact that Metal Gear Solid 2 has already 1.8 million copies just in North America, and it’s not even Christmas yet. And it was just released in Japan today.
The point is that the PS2 has a huge head start, and it’s way too soon to start cheering for any of the challengers to the belt which Sony’s currently wearing.
And while Nintendo claims to have sold 510,000 Gamecubes in the first week, way back at the very beginning of round one Sega sold 410,000 Dreamcasts in the first week, and look where they ended up.
Last Friday when I was in Bakersfield, Pi bought a Gamecube and a DVD player from WalMart for less than the cost of a PS2 or an Xbox. Admittedly, the DVD player was on sale for $75, but his total with sales tax was still only $294.22.
Let’s do a quick comparison of each of the three contenders for equivalent configurations, shall we? We’ll assume a non-sale price of $100 for an external DVD player, and I’ll be nice to the PS2 and allow the Gran Turismo 3 bundle to be its entry, and we’ll assume 7.5% sales tax as a compromise between Bakersfield’s 7% and the Bay Area’s BART subsidizing 8ish%.
- Gamecube console: $199
- Extra controller: $34.99
- Game: $49.99
- Memory Card 59: $14.99
- External DVD Player: $99.99
- Total: $398.96 ($428.88 with tax)
- PS2 Gran Turismo 3 bundle: $329.99
- Extra Controller: $34.99
- Memory Card: $34.99
- DVD Remote: $19.99
- Total: $419.96 ($451.457 with tax)
- Xbox console: $299.99
- Extra Controller: $39.99
- Game: $49.99
- DVD Remote: $29.99
- Total: $419.96 ($451.457 with tax)
Um, other fudge work in these numbers: Admittedly, the Xbox has a hard drive and network adapter, but at the moment all the Hard Drive is good for is storing custom music sound tracks and I’m assuming that it can store saved games. And on the assumption that the Xbox’s hard drive can store saved games, I didn’t add in the price of a memory card on the Xbox.
The Gamecube memory card is smaller than the PS2 memory card, so I probably should have added two Memory Card 59′s to my Gamecube total to be more equitable.
I think I recall seeing that the Sony Hard Drive/Network Adapter Bundle will be $150 when it comes out this spring, so that puts the final price of the PS2 (even with the bundled GT3) way up above the Xbox.
I expect that the Gamecube Modem and Ethernet adapters will be $50 each when they come out. And a nice portable removable Gamecube Hard Drive is also a possibility.
But, for now, I’d argue that games aren’t really taking advantage of the Xbox’s network and hard drive features enough to really count them into the overall equation.
Oh, and as long as I’m on the subject, you can get a Dreamcast for $50, and find most of the games and accessories for $10 to $20. If you’re really cheap.
If you bought every possible accessory for the Gamecube as they come out, you’d probably end up spending more on the Gamecube than the Xbox in the long run. But most people won’t buy all the Gamecube accessories, and most probably already have a DVD player, and most people with an Xbox probably won’t ever use the Hard Drive or Network Adapter, so I still say the Gamecube wins the price game.
Besides which, I think being able to pick and choose with the Gamecube is better than Microsoft’s Model-
So the Xbox has now technically been released on the East Coast, but I don’t have time to say anything, because I’ve got a midterm tomorrow. For now, I just wanted to quickly say two things about the Xbox commercials I’ve seen:
- They contain such an incredible amount of gameplay that it blows my mind. Unfortunately, the Halo commercial made the game look really fake. Oh well.
- The noise that X makes when it opens up really makes my skin crawl. ::shudder::
Also, I’m curious who the hell Nintendo is marketing the Gamecube towards, because I’ve only seen one Gamecube commercial (compared to 4 Xbox commercials). And worse, my roommate (who tutors a Berkeley High student) tells me that no one at Berkeley High School has even heard of the Gamecube, but that everyone is talking about the Xbox.
Nevermind that there’s only one game I want to play coming out for the Xbox this year; I think this is a better reason than any not to buy one right away.
Tonight while browsing Yahoo!, I came across an ad which told me “Taco Bell is giving away 6,755 Xbox™ systems.”
“6,755?” I mused. “Isn’t that something like… half of the Xbox launch numbers?” ;-)
Well, maybe they’re just trying to create a shortage, so they can repeat the success of Sony’s PS2 over-hype under-deliver machine. Eh, we’ll see.
My anticipation for the Gamecube is building, and being the list monger I am, I felt like breaking down my anticipation. And I think these are some rather revealing lists, really.
- Super Smash Brothers Melee – This is my number 1 most anticipated game, and that’s all there is to say about that. *
- Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron 2 – This game looks fantastic, and though I don’t like generic shooters, Star Wars shooters are a completely different story. *
- Wave Race: Blue Storm – The original Wave Race was the first game I played on the N64, and I played it quite a lot. Basically, I’m a sucker for quality racing games. *
- Pikmin – So cute, and so original! *
- Luigi’s Mansion – This game looks to have good graphics and original gameplay, and besides, I’m like Luigi way more than I like Mario. *
- Game Boy Advance
- Golden Sun – This is looking to be a fantastic little GBA RPG. *
- Street Fighter Alpha 3 – Holy Hell! How did they fit this game onto the GBA?? As long as the reviewers confirm that it lives up to the legacy, I’m so there.
- Sonic the Hedgehog Advance – I like Sonic, and I like the Game Boy Advance.
- Super Mario Advance 2 – Wowie, a remake of the SNES’s Super Mario World for the GBA? I can’t believe how much the GBA is capable of.
- Halo – This is a Bungiegame, damnit. Oh, the anguish! **
- Final Fantasy X – This game looks to have great graphics, and good god, it’s got some of the hottest final fantasy chicks yet!
- Metal Gear Solid 2 – Tactical Espionage Action! Based on the demo, this game can’t possibly go wrong. *
- Soul Calibur 2 – You know, this is a cross platform game, and I fully intend to buy it for the Gamecube when the time comes. I just put it here because my PS2 release calendar is a little bleak, and I didn’t want to bump any of the GCN games coming out in the first two weeks for something that might be coming out before my birthday.
- Xenosaga – So this might be out before next Christmas, but whenever the time comes, I want to play it.
- Myth 3: The Wolf Age – It doesn’t look like the non-bungie developers broke the game, so I’m looking forward to it. All the same, I’ll read the reviews before I buy, just to make sure. *
- Uhh… ***
Now, admittedly, I could have filled in five games for the xbox, but Halo is the only xbox game I really feel a burning desire to play at the moment. I tried to limit the lists to be the games that I really want to play. Of course, the Gamecube list is much longer, so I limited it to the top five (I’m also anticipating Super Monkey Ball, among a few others) games coming out before Christmas (otherwise Zelda would have bumped Luigi off the list, for example).
Now what’s the point here? First of all, I’m obviously a little more interested in one console than the others. But second, check out IGN’s top 10 year 1 PS2 games. All of the games I’d include in my top 10 list are in their list, except several of the games in their list are so obviously a stretch (having to include that many sports/racing games in such a list is just a bad sign), and my top 10 list would have been a top five list instead. What’s interesting, though, is if I make a retroactive PS2 anticipation list:
- Zone of Enders/MGS2 Demo – Z.O.E. turned out to have been a huge disappointment, and the MGS 2 demo was way too short.
- Gran Turismo 3 – Good game, but I found it frustrating.
- Star Wars Episode 1: Starfighter – This is the game that got me to buy my PS2. It wasn’t bad, but I haven’t played it since I beat it.
- Devil May Cry – I only really started anticipating this game about a week before it came out, after reading some advance reviews. For some reason, the early previews didn’t do it for me.
- ICO – I didn’t want to play it until I’d read some reviews. However, it’s a game I would have only rented if I weren’t borrowing it from my co-worker. Not something I’d want to buy.
- Onimusha – Another one I didn’t want to play until I read the reviews, and once again, I only plan to rent it.
- Silent Hill 2 – And another one I didn’t even know about before it was out.
The moral here is: There are almost as many games I’m anticipating for the Gamecube that come out in the Gamecube’s first month as I wanted to play in the whole first year of the PS2′s existence. (Though I fully acknowledge that SSX is a great game, I didn’t actually desire to play it. It came as part of my bundle, and so it was only an accident that I discovered its greatness) For that matter, if you only count the games I anticipated ahead of time, the GCN wins over the PS2 hands down. Of course, we’ll see how these GCN games live up to my anticipation, because my PS2 anticipation was pretty misplaced. Just check out my top 5 year 1 PS2 games:
- Gran Turismo 3
- Devil May Cry
- Oh, wait, I’ve only played 4 good PS2 games so far… =) (I haven’t played Onimusha or Silent Hill 2 yet. Gotta deal with ICO and Devil May Cry first.)
Hm, I wonder what’s going to suffer more: My bank account or my final grades. Hm. This so isn’t good.
* – due to be released by Christmas. Holy hell there are a lot of them. I have no clue how I’m going to make time for all of these.
** – due to be released by Christmas, but there’s no way I’ll be playing it any time soon. Damn you Microsoft. You go to hell and you die. You stole Halo and now I have to wait for a Mac port, if it ever happens.
*** – Mac games? Haha, yeah right… There’s a reason I’m such; console whore: Mac games don’t exist.
So, here is the first American Gamecube commercial, and here are the first five print ads. The ads are significantly better than the Game Boy Advance ads, and on the whole, they’re rather a new direction for Nintendo.
The print ads are rather clever, doing amazing things with such a limiting device. The commercial follows in the cubed theme of the print ads, but is rather edgy. Not that that’s a bad thing. I would have liked it if the commercial had shown about 3 times more game play, but overall, I think it will be getting people’s attention and setting up (hopefully) more gameplay heavy commercials in the future.
I’ve now seen the Gamecube commercial three or four times on actual TV, but the only Xbox commercials I’ve seen are the 7-up ones. And scouring the web, all I could find were some Canadian Xbox commercials. If you happen to know where I can see a full american xbox commercial (or if you’ve seen it and want to describe it), please post a comment. I’m curious to see how Microsoft, who as far as I know was planning on playing the “edgy” angle, is going to stack up against Nintendo, who just raised the ante…