Often overlooked is what OTHER nifty little things consoles can do apart from play games. This takes a look at all the promising little features each next-gen console will incorporate.
i think the launch features will be amature compared to the things that could come in the future. one dissapointing aspect from all consoles is that no ones announced downloadable applications/programs. just games and media. its hard to bet against microsoft on this one but if there was one feature that could stand out more than the rest its a browser. if all three systems get a browser, i'd be very suprised if the system that "won" the features award for next gen console didnt have the best browser of the 3.
It's a gaming console, a console's ability to play games should be its biggest and best feature. All of that other crap like, movies, music, etc. Are secondary for most people, if not useless. I listen to music, watch movies, and use the internet on my MediaCenter PC. I PLAY GAMES ON MY GAMING CONSOLE.
Highest priorities should go to gaming both online and offline.
I'm definetely getting the wii. I just like its freshness and intuitive new way of playing videogames. :) :D :O :P
its a new way of playing simple games with simple tasks. i appreciate what nintendo is tryin to do, but how anyone can have confidence in a stubborn, self glorifying, retrospective company baffles me. people say they are "changing the way you play games", how about actually changing the games themselves. i dont want a new controller to play old games i've played before. why not look ahead rather looking back? why not ditch the played out heros of 2 decades ago? why not make the games interesting as opposed to making the way you play them temporarily interesting?
i dont mean to insult your comments #2, i just wish someone would explain all this hype to me.
Instead of playing the same games with a different controller you want to just play the same games with the same controller which the other consoles are letting us do...
I can't believe the guy left out a huge feature for the 360. 20 Gigs and even 60 gigs is too small to store all of your music, pictures, tv shows, home movies etc. The hard drive should be used exclusively for downloadable marketplace content and game saves. That fills up 20 or 60 gigs easy. The home of the future is a networked home with a media server in your closet or office streaming your media to an extender such as an xbox 360. I already stream all of my tv shows both standard def and high def to my 360 as well as music, pictures, home video and web sites. I don't have to worry about viruses or spyware on the 360 or a browser cache hogging all of my consoles hard drive because it is just doing a screen capture from the pc. Web surfing with tradional web pages on a tv is tedious. Who wants to sit that close to their tv to read the text or zoom in on various portions of a web page. Web pages will look very funny anyways on a big screen. The scale is all wrong. There are websites that are specifically designed for viewing on a tv. Heavy on video and large text. They all work through the media center interface with just a remote and not a clumsy keyboard that you keep on your lap while sitting on the couch. Sony and Nintendo should partner with MS and get more content providers to provide these tv type interfaces as well as the traditional pc interfaces.
There are lots of freely downloadable apps such as rss readers, weather programs, games, IM clients, calendars, pim software etc. All of it is already integrated with what you already have. A pc. No need to have your media and data on two separate machines. All you need to do is access it from your 360 remote or controller. Currently non-media center users can only stream music and I believe pictures from their pc. I think MS should allow users to stream video and really all media from any networked device such as a tivo box. I hear there is a direct tv blade coming so who knows. Easier said than done, but certainly it's possible to stream videos from a non media center pc with a tv capture card.
a Browser is nice idea for a console but I question how fully featured those browsers are. Will they render pages correctly. Will they support flash and allow you to download or stream video. Will they have all the video codecs such as quicktime, wmv, real, mpeg and any new codec that comes along. Will they let you install active x controls or applets? I seriously question whether these browser will let you look at anything beyond text and pictures and how future proof they are.
Do you really want linux taking up a couple of gigabytes of space on a 20 gigabyte harddrive? If sony provides the kinda of downloads that Ms provides for marketplace than hard drive space is at a premium.
Once the price of a 360 comes down to $200 or less people will be able to have multiple 360s to view or listen to their media anywhere a tv or stereo is in their home. Not to mention if they buy the hd-dvd add on they will be able to attach the add on to any of those 360 and watch hd movies anywhere in the house. A nice arguement for having a non integrated hd movie player. :-) Although I would just rather download the hd-dvd movies to my pc and stream them to the 360.
The media extender cabilities represents the best next generation accessory out of all the next gen consoles to me.
But who would want to invest another $800 in a MediaCenter? And run into the office, turn it on, wait for it to boot, wait for it to boot, wait for it to boot, back into the livingroom, get the x360 up and running... just to enjoy a couple of family photos. Not very elegant...
I would go for the PS3 way of doing things. I was actually hooked on buying a Mac mini for that exact purpose -- now I don't have to.
60GB is enough space for most people. If it isn't, you can buy a standard 2.5" HD and install it instead. 160GB for $120... That should definitely be enough for most people and sure beats the price of a mediacenter PC.
The browser is a nice addon that will look great on my HDTV (I know my computers browser looks great on it -- I have tested it), but is probably not something I would use every day.
And by the way, just because you don't have a browser on your console, it doesn't mean you can't get virusses/worms on it. It is probably very unlikely, since it is sort of a "closed" environment (the same goes for Wii and PS3). But you never know -- think about the pedigree of MS in that regard.
Who would want to buy a media center PC?
First off you can get it cheaper than $800.
Second, Most people who have consoles also have a pc and buy new ones every few years. A media center pc is actually cheaper than a windows xp professional pc due to the cheaper cost of the OS,and has all of the same functionality and than some. Check dell if you don't believe me. So it's more about increasing your return on an investment you are already making than buying a pc to hook up to your 360. There are alot of possibilites to futher extend your ROI such as home automation, video surveliance, video conferencing etc.
Boot time is irrelevant. Media center pcs are not meant to be turned on and off. They are on all the time. At the most you only suspend them. Once they get a network ping they are on in a matter of seconds. They also come out of suspend mode for recording tv shows. Having a pc on all the time lets you do things such as home automation and hosting a web site as well.
Actually, MS uses military grade encryption for xbox live so it is hard to break in over the network and it is a closed environment which does not allowed unapproved content or uploaded user content (someday it might). I agree it's still not impossible and possibly you could see something in the future. However, this will not be true for the wii or ps3 which allow browsing on public net where all matter of spyware and viruses exist. Do you think console users want to patch their browsers and linux OS monthly. Unpatched browsers and Os's are a hackers wet dream. The cell processor makes for a powerful zombie machine for hackers. Are Sony and Nintendo up to patching their browsers (and linux OS for sony). This is why I question how functional those browsers will be.
Actually, 60 gigabytes is not enough to store all of your media plus downloaded content. People have alot of cd's and family photos. My collection is already more than 60 gigabytes. An external usb harddrive is too slow to stream multiple hd tv shows through out the house. Not to mention how do you get those shows on your drive in the first place? Does the ps3 have a tv tuner card? No way am I paying money for a tv show through itunes. I have 2 360's. If I stop watching a show in one room and go to the other room I can resume watching my tv show right where I left off. Your media follows you which is awesome. You can even take all of your tv shows and media and put them on a gigabeat s or Ipod for when your not at home.
If you want to talk about MS's pedigree fine. They have been running the xbox live service since 2002 and there has not been any serious problems such as virus attacks even though the xbox was easy to hack.
Having said all that. This functionality is possible on the PS3 as well. Networking the linux OS on the ps3 with your pc should be possible so you could use the ps3 as an extender which is very cool. This would take some effort and know how, and it still would be no where as seemless or elegant as the MS solution.
We don't disagree on most of the issues... just the details.
I haven't got a MediaCenter PC and neither does most people. So far sales for MediaCenter PCs have been very very small. The fact is, I don't care for a further $600 investment or whatever, just to be able to show familyphotos on my HDTV.
I don't want to have my equipment turned on every single minute of the day. It's not good for the environment, the equipment and it's not good for my economy.
I do have computers and I do have a lot of CDs and family photos. I've got approx. 400 CDs (out of my 700 CD collection) and 8,000 photos on my harddisk and it takes up 32 GB of space. The average person does not have that many CDs and photos take up even less space. But again, should the need arise, just put in a 160 GB standard HD instead. Still a lot cheaper than a MediaCenter PC.
You seem to think most people would want to record their TV shows on their MediaCenter PC. But infact a lot more, by a wide margin, people have harddisk recorders or VHS already making the MediaCenter PC a "nice to have" but not an absolute necessity of any kind. And who knows what kind of extensions Sony has got planned for the PS3 -- maybe a USB tunercard?
Regarding security, that was my exact point. Both the PS3, Wii and X360 uses proprietary operating systems with proprietary CPUs in a closed environment, making it very difficult for hackers and viruswriters to write anything bad for them. The inclusion of a browser doesn't much change that as developers still have to have inside knowledge of the operating system and access to devkits.
Regarding "pedigree", my point was, that if there is one company with big virus problems out there, it is Microsoft. Zero viruses exist for the Mac while more than 160,000 are registered for Windows -- even taking marketshare into consideration that is remarkable. So if the one company with most virus problems doesn't really have trouble with XBL, then Sony and Nintendo shouldn't run into problems either.
Thanks for your response. You have some good points.
Couple of points I disagree with.
Media center sales last time I checked were 6 million plus. Media Center will come standard on most flavors of vista, so it will eventually gain mass market penetration. Second, The mac has viruses. True, it does not have that many.
Good point on the security, they would need some understanding of the browser and the OS to write viruses (except for the ps3 which will have a distro of linux, but it all depends on whether or not people actually boot to it). As for the cpus they are pretty much standard IBM power pc processors so no problems there. I would argue that the incentive to learn those things for a hacker or virus writer just went up a thousand fold. Especially with the possibility of having a 100 million extremely powerful consoles (with or without fire walls?) connected to the internet.
For your pocket book, I generally leave my media center pc on all the time and do not notice a significant increase in my electric bill. Again with power saving options on pc's the cost would not be much more than a vcr or tivo (which is a pc anyway). Like I said in my previous post MS should allow streaming from any network device including tivos. It's possible to do it now, but you would still need a media center pc to put the tivo files on.
Your right if you have no interest in recording tv shows than a media center pc is overkill, but if you have a 360 and are in the market for a new PC than a media center pc is the way to go.
Let me just give you my morning ritual. I turn on my 360 and tv with my remote. I switch on a news show either live or pre-recorded from last night. Check the forecast and satellite images through my media center weather app powered by weather.com. The tv is windowed and playing in the lower left hand corner of the screen and you can still hear it. Switch over to the msn media center interace to check for headlines news and stock quotes and market indexes. I stream any interesting videos I find to the 360 from the internet. Tv goes away if I do this. Than I check rss feeds for anything interesting. I can listen to internet music or download music from my 360 and it gets stored on my pc. I do this all while sitting at the table eating breakfast with my remote sitting 15 feet away from the tv. Any media (tv,mp3's,pictures, videos) that has been added to the pc is automatically synced to my mp3 player. Unfortunately, not wirelessly, so I have to make sure it is plugged in to the pc. The 10 foot interface for the media center pc that ms designed is crucial for this to happen. A web browser simply does not cut it from that distance. I eventually plan on getting the voice recognition software for this, so I don't need the remote and can do home automation.
I like this vision of the future, and it is here today and is just going to get better. Even my wife who is at best technology neutral uses it.
I totally agree, I think the wii is cute, however, I beleive that the biggest accessory sales for the will be gamepads. Sorry, don't want to try and play linebacker on madden with a numbchuck or wiimote, give me a gamepad/controller.
i think windows vista will bring us a lot of new things. like live everywhere. i am maybe able to connect to xbox live with my laptop and talk with friends from my vacation and check on things. videoconference or store content on my laptop harddrive. no more need fore 60gig harddrive in xbox360 can store all content on desktop harddrive wireless. wait and let me surprise from microsoft
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