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The Next-Generation Xbox Format Problem

It’s no secret that the Xbox 360 chose the wrong video format when they sided with the HD-DVD. Blu-Ray and HD-DVD gave each other some good competition at the beginning of their lifespan, but Blu-ray quickly showed its dominance and the HD-DVD is now enjoying it’s time next to the beta max and 8-track formats on the “thanks for trying” table. Meanwhile, the PS3 is currently enjoying some serious sales due to the included Blu-ray player inside of the device. It’s currently the #1 reason people buy the console (at around 60% of all total sales) and the most popular Blu-ray player used by consumers. Both Microsoft and Sony gambled on the new format and Sony certainly chose right. So where does that leave Microsoft?

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Godmars2903119d ago

But they still put a standard - and apparently very cheap and hungry - DVD player in the 360.instead of waiting the few months that still would have given them a lead against the PS3 if not the Wii.

Says something about their ability to make choices, don't it...

N4GAddict3119d ago

They got a nice head start from Sony. Too bad for them it is quickly dwindling.

ATLGAMER3119d ago

But ps3 at its current price point and even with natal...ps3 is the system to own right now

FarEastOrient3119d ago

Xbox 1080 can handle the licensing fee for BD since they already pay royalty fees to the DVD Association which Sony is a member of. For every single Xbox 360 and game sold a few cents goes into Sony's coffers.

Money is going both ways in this industry, every Final Fantasy XIII sold on X360 has money going to Sony since they own 10 percent of Square Enix. Where as every Sony Vaio sold, money is being passed to Microsoft for Windows 7 and so on.

Don't believe these companies are in a bind when they really are already integrated into each others' businesses.

FarEastOrient3119d ago

Just one more thing, when is Nintendo going to allow the Wii to even be able to play DVD movies, without hacking of course.

HolyOrangeCows3119d ago (Edited 3119d ago )

Unless they seriously go all DD (Like they're always going on about, claiming it's the future), and they had better not since not everyone has internet access and they price their HDDs RIDICULOUSLY HIGH, then they had better have a new format for the next xbox.

Rockstar and even capcom regarding LOST PLANET 2 have complained about having to cut back on content. Capcom even admitted they were going to just go ahead and turn it into DLC.

RedDevils3119d ago

"when is Nintendo going to allow the Wii to even be able to play DVD movies" well you don't need a wii for watching dvd just grab 10-30 buck and get a brand new dvd player

XxMajeSteRxX3119d ago

you couldn't have sad it any better,and i think M$ needs to kiss sony's feed for the blueray licenced palyer,because it's all about bissness baby,in the end it will be a beast of a system,plus money money money

bakasora3118d ago

Red Dead could have been bigger

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3118d ago
Strange_Evil3119d ago

Well to be fair, they needed more time alone in the market. The 360 was a successor to a console which didn't really have a good market and they needed a product which was well priced and at least a year out before the PS3. Any more delay and it would have been deja vu with again the 360 faltering last. So they found a cheapest option and patched it up.

360 lacked direction early on... They didn't even have HD to start off, but after seeing that the HD market was expanding and PS3 supporting it, they opted for it. Same with HD-DVD, just so that they could counter Sony and look big, they adopted a format to go against them. MS may be big, but Sony in terms of movie studios and especially the media industry is far more integrated and that really hurt MS (in terms of reputation) with HD-DVD when it lost. And now banking all the chips on Natal.

If you look at it, MS never intended the 360 to last long. But now, since it's really unreasonable to ask consumers to buy a new console, the companies are just beginning out peripherals to just cover up the losses and lengthen the gen.

Godmars2903119d ago

The thing there is that Sony regarded all aspects of the HD market when they designed the PS3. MS was only looking - considering to the intent a willingness to sabotage disc formats? - at DD while ignoring they weren't really the first go-to consumer choice what with on demand video services from dozens of other sources.

Its the same basic mistake they made with the DVD drive on the Xbox1 during the PS2 era.

outrageous3119d ago (Edited 3119d ago )

The 360 was launched knowing that the HD-DVD or Blu-ray tech was not ready. That had nothing to do with lack of direction. That has been explained many times. Old news and time to move on. M$ said that coming out first against the Playstation was critical to the success of Xbox against the MASSIVE selling ( 100 million ) PS2. Five years later, they still have a 6 million console lead. The largest installed subcibition PAYING on line community of any console and are about to embark on a huge marketing campaign, starting at E3, with the most advanced gaming add-on ever, naysayers aside. Don't forget, 360 was making $75 profit on EVERY 360 sold one year after launch. PS3 only making $15-18 with the introduction of the slim. The Wii-65++ million and SD and no blu-ray. The guys with Blu-ray are in last.

Now, The whole DVD space thing is a fraud. It's an excuse from poor developers who look to explain their bad/poor games on space constraints. Great developers make great games. Bad developers make bad games. This is proven over and over again.

Alan Wake has 2.4 GB of actual game data. Add 3.74 GB that is " ALLOCATED " for all the full motion video sequences that also include audio support for SEVEN languages, for a total of 6.15 GB. The game will take 10-16 hrs to complete. Of course this depends on a players game play tendencies. Regardless many HUGE games have been created this gen, games like GTA, RDR and many others. Why are blu-ray games no longer in length, some being very short. How do these developers offer so much content but others struggle?

The recent departures at M$ has in part to do with the " NEW " Xbox that will be coming in 2012. The current entertainment group wanted to extend the 360 4-5 years. Not gonna happen. M$ wants to be first again. This gen of gaming has been HUGE for M$. E3 will be big. They have 2 of there top selling IP's coming out in Halo Reach and Fable plus whatever else is announced at E3.

Godmars2903119d ago (Edited 3119d ago )

All your points are weak/empty. Making comparisons between the 80+ million gap the PS2 had against the Xbox1, and the once 9 million sales gap between the 360 and PS3 which is now 5. Does it only matter to you that there are gaps and not their size?

And so what if Alan Wake is around 6GB, 4 of which you seem to dismiss because video and audio are unnecessary components in your opinion, the game's 5 years of work that isn't what it was when first shown and no PC version. Is a good enough title with a number of decent reviews, but its hardly being called a benchmark of the current generation in any regards. No ones even talking about how its selling.

Also, so what if the 360 has the largest paid subscription base among consoles, its also the ONLY current subscription based console.

commodore643118d ago (Edited 3118d ago )

@ outrageous

You make some very valid and logical points.
I have noticed that when people make such valid posts, the number of hardcore ps3 fans that disagree is simply a good indication that you are right on the money.

Don't ask me how that works - it just does!
;)

With regard to DVD capacity, RdR is a game that fits easily on one DVD and does not require a mandatory install (on the 360).

When it comes down to it, more storage is nice for FMV and CGI sequences, while the graphics and gameplay experience are easily contained in a dvd format, in most cases.
If we are all honest, we will come to the same conclusion.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3118d ago
Cold 20003119d ago ShowReplies(5)
SaiyanFury3119d ago (Edited 3119d ago )

The way I analyze the MS decision to incorporate DVD into their console, and only making an HD DVD movie player, is ultimately they want digital distribution, which they have constantly favoured over BD. To this day MS repeatedly denies that BD is the answer to HD gaming. They knew HD DVD would falter compared to Sony's BD format which was the next logical physical step with this gen. Each generation of consoles in history has seen a physical increase in storage media. From the era of the 16-bit consoles, we moved into the 32-bit era. They needed high capacity and low cost CDs. The PS and Saturn used this very well as a few consoles before them in the SEGA CD and 3DO. Moving beyond the original PS and Saturn, the PS2 used single and dual layered DVDs. Again, an increase in capacity in physical medium. Now, with the current generation of consoles, Sony is the only one to employ a physical medium with higher capacity, which developers have repeatedly lauded. Combined with a standardized HDD, the PS3 is the best designed HD console to date. It's been a dream of developers to offload capacity onto a physical HDD as well as a high capacity medium for game performance. God knows the Uncharted games make use of those features and we can see the quality that stems from use of both. BD is the near future as HD games with increased polygons and higher texture resolutions take up more space. Shyte, it wasn't even enough for legendary game developer Hideo Kojima. You'd think 50GB was enough for anybody. MGS4 uncompresses it's chapters onto the HDD every time you finish one as it uninstalls the previous one.

MS strongly favours digital download, a form not favoured by the majority of gamers. I'm not trying to trumpet Sony here as a fanboy, merely a person trying to analyze the market. BD is the standard for the near future (maybe 5 or so years until it expands beyond 50GB per disc), and MS won't follow suit.

Hell, maybe I'm wrong and DD will ultimately be the form of the future. But until everyone can access internet speeds up to 100mbps and such, I don't think it'll happen. I'm happy buying physical copies of games, as do the majority. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But I don't think I am. :)

klado3119d ago

What a good read you have pulled there, +B.

giovonni3119d ago

Some of your comments. However, if we truly open our eyes DD has already been accepted. Every time we go into the Sony store, apple store, android store, or market place and buy a movie, game, or download content for our favorite game we are slowing moving into the realm of DD.
In the past year and a half alone Digital distribution has been a major player with movies and cell phones. Sony has started to release some of there ps3 games as download content.
We also have new medias such as clear that allow us faster speeds so now we can download movies, and games in public places faster.
The majority of gamers dont give a care how they get there gaming fix. Ask those millions who downloaded episode content of Grand Theft auto IV. There is a reason places like Blockbuster have gone belly up
I see DD taking over in less then five years I give it by 2012 the majority of our content will be downloaded whether we like it or not.

thehitman3119d ago

I disagree MS was not prepared on any front. Saying they wanted DD is just an excuse for them not supporting a physical media better than DVD from the start. None of MS actions support DD. No HD SKUS and the 1s that did have HD were very small and couldnt fit much. It wasnt until the elite launched that they started to show some interest in that market which was really late in the game.

Everything else was on point though.

MechaGear3119d ago

Just where would I store my 40+ games if they were all dd? I'd have to delete them once in a while only to redownload them if I wanted to play. I'm lucky to be on a 100Mbit line already, but hell, no thanks to dd only.

DigitalHorror813119d ago

You just earned a bubble. Well said.

SkyGamer3119d ago

@thehitman

MS never wanted a physical medium ever. Back then internet bandwith was pitiful so they couldn't make everything dd. Now average internet speed is 8 mbps. With that you can dl an entire game (compressed about 4 gb) in an evening. Bump that up to the 54 to 50 mbps for the high end and you could dl in a matter of hours, 2-3. When MS released the X360, they thought it as a business model and much like the uber-successive ps2. They wanted to charge extra for stuff probably to recoup some of the losses from the Xbox. I really don't care about wifi, but I had wished they put a standard hdd in every model.

I'll say it again, the next physical medium wil be USB. With USB 3.0 with 3gbps transfer rate and a higher voltage, you can have 128 gb Flash drives, which is UNSKIPPABLE, much more sturdy and you don't have to worry about operating a laser or have a mechanism for "spinning a disc" which in all reality is "OLD TECH". Heck now even hdd's are becoming old tech with SSD. That is where the future is. Oh and without a disc drive, you can make a console "SO SMALL". Besides DD is on the rise and with redbox and Netflix, Hollywood Video and Game Crazy are "going out of business" with Blockbuster to soon follow. When you can "stream" 1080p movies, what's the point of going down to your local store?

SaiyanFury3119d ago (Edited 3119d ago )

Thank you for the support, all. I merely tried to analyze the market from a logical point of view based on the goings-on in game industry history. I noticed a few people disagreed with me about Microsoft and the digital distribution thing. That's just fine, but as a couple of people mentioned, until people can all access extremely fast download speeds with reasonable monthly rates with huge HDD capacities in consoles (which is only reasonable on the PS3), DD won't likely become a reliable distribution medium for games. It's easy to download an HD movie that's a couple of gigabytes, but how about a game like Metal Gear Solid 4? My maximum internet speed is only 3mbps. The *most* I've ever been able to download in a day is about 5GB. If I were to attempt to download MGS4 via a DD model, it would take me 10 days. Of course, a lot of people who live in cities have a faster internet connection, but I, and a lot of other people do not. Until many more people can access speeds above 10mbps, DD won't be a viable delivery method of games. Especially for people who want to play that newly released game NOW. On a slightly different argument, many ISPs now throttle bandwidth, meaning they cap internet usage after a certain amount of bandwidth has been consumed. They usually do it after a certain amount of GB have gone by. Think they'd allow MGS4 or another huge game to be downloaded? Not likely. Beyond that, most gamers like owning a physical copy of a game they can bring to a friend's place. Just last night I showed my best friend Assassin's Creed 2 for the first time. He's not exactly in the know about the newest games and he loved it. I wouldn't be able to do that if DD was the main model of distribution. BD is here to stay, if at least for a while. And for that I thank Sony's forward thinking business model. :)

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3119d ago
mookins3119d ago (Edited 3119d ago )

Where does it leave Microsoft?

The short end of the stick, that's for sure. They should have chosen a better format. We wouldn't have seen stupid comparison of games if they had chosen right or games that should have been multiplatform suffer from a lack of quality.

I expect they'll be much smarter with the next console.

kneon3119d ago

Actually it wasn't a bad plan if you keep in mind that the 360 was only supposed to have a 5 year life span. Launching early gave them a big lead and going with DVD kept the cost down. HDTV adoption was still low at the time and the format war was yet to be decided. So it didn't make sense for them to pick sides as either choice would have delayed launch and increased the price to the same level as the PS3 launch price. So they went DVD and after 5 years the HD format would have been decided and HDTVs would be mass market.

The problem is they lost a huge amount of money due to the RROD and need to keep selling the 360 as long as possible. If they launched a new console today it would certainly be blu-ray based, but the cost would go up significantly as they aren't just going to slap a blu-ray drive into a 360, it would be a redesign with everything upgraded.

Xbox.next and PS4 will be blu-ray based with at least an 4x drive supporting at least 100gb.

Mo0eY3119d ago Show
cliffbo3119d ago

everything in the 360 is cheap thats why i bought a ps3 well made quality product as all sony products are

theonlylolking3119d ago

PS2 had disc read errors but all other sony products I have work fine.

Obama3119d ago

except the ps2 doesn't have a 54.2% failure rate.

sikbeta3119d ago (Edited 3119d ago )

Well, by the Next Gen I wanna see what MS is going to do, Sony is Smart and will put Pressure With Big-ass BRD (320GB BRD, maybe?) in the PS4 from Day One and Make their First Party Devs Show How They Can FILL a BRD with Huge Games, so MS will have 3 Choices:

1·Keep DVD, but how many DVDs when you know Games keep expanding
2·DD, This one can't be applied, yeah maybe in the US (some places), Europe (some places) and Japan (where the brand don't have any success), DD will only Limit the Userbase, knowing that for example, people in South America have internet connections but those are Lame or Overpriced for the Best Broadband, I know cos I have Pals in Brazil and Argentina
3·Accept Blu-Ray and paying royalties to the BDA including Sony...

DeadlyFire3119d ago

Next Xbox is very likely to side with HVD. It Plays Blu-Ray movies and has more storage than standard DVD format. HVD starts at 100 GB disc. A 500 GB disc has been made as well. I believe 100 GB disc is most likely to be picked though.

kneon3119d ago

we're at least 10 years away from HVD being commercially viable in a consumer electronics product. Consumer Blu-ray will do 500gb by the time the next gen consoles launch and the drives will be dirt cheap. And a few years after that up to 5tb given yesterdays announcement. If that's true then hvd could be a stillborn technology.

OpenGL3119d ago

HVD will likely never see the light of day, but if it does it'll be close to 10 years from now.

Denethor_II3118d ago (Edited 3118d ago )

lol, you get bubbles just because you're a silly billy:)

DeadlyFire3118d ago

I disagree. 2011/2012 I believe we will see. I am doubtful next-generation consoles will need games with more than 100 GBs of space though and if any format is chosen for next X360 its likely to match or surpass Blu-Ray along the lines of storage. Only a few formats coming do that within the next 5 years. Blu-Ray and HVD both aiming to have commercial versions of 100 GB discs and on up. Its likely they will start around there. I know not cheap to invest in new tech. Microsoft is big enough to take a hit if they wanted to do so. We all know that.

500 GB discs possible by time next generation consoles are out maybe. It would be very expensive though. Not likely it will be aimed at your games for next generation. I don't wanna see another price hike on video games. $60 a game is enough. 100 GB or so will be more likely. 200-300 GB possible.

HVD isn't the only one coming. I know that. Microsoft isn't likely to just jump at Blu-Ray though. They have shown no signs of shifting their position to promote Blu-Ray. Maybe one or two rumors. They are just rumors. HVD is only other format that I know of that plays Blu-Ray so far. Right now its Microsoft's only other option if they want to keep Movie playability in the console without Blu-Ray. Microsoft could always throw an add on Blu-Ray player for Blu-Ray for X360, but I still say they are more likly to side with HVD than anything else for next generation if possible.

There is still HD VMD, 5D DVD, 3D DVD, PCD. All aiming at or above Blu-Ray and HVD formats. Unless something new pops up.

@Den_UK
ha. I know I throw alot of random claims out there.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3118d ago
scofios3119d ago (Edited 3119d ago )

That the next xbox is will have hd dvd / blu ray is not the most important thing to me , what matters is it to have its own identity and not trying to be a playstation . More first party studios that means more original games for your system and not having to go to e3 to anounce that you have give loads of cash to a studio to have a game that was befor on a playstation to impress .

Denethor_II3118d ago

Ineloquently put, but point well noted.

niceguywii603119d ago

I'm actually surprised there are so little of these damage control articles before E3

beardpapa3118d ago

by the time next gen consoles come out, we'll be having possibly 6 tb drives or more. 4 tb drives are coming out in the market shortly next year and new consoles aren't expected until 2012 right?

With that in mind, by that time most of the "next-gen" console owners probably also have fios or something suitably fast enough for digital downloads. Of course, I'm not a really big fan of digital download. Some games are okay, but it would be clearly a ripoff if we don't get to demo anything first before we buy.

And what's with digital downloads costing the same amount as their physical counterparts? That's just kinda wrong imo.

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 3118d ago
dizzleK3119d ago

we already know this. are there any NEW stories?

MechaGear3119d ago

Did you even bother to actually read the article?

Nathan Drake23119d ago

".... x360 is the leader in the number of exclusive hit games and is usually getting the popular vote when giving the choice between the big three." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

DVD on x360's hold 6.8GB data.

i think some ps3 games has no loading screens so i can't see how solid state could be better in that department.

if the next xbox will have blu ray-probably no piracy-the biggest reason to buy xbox over ps will gone forever. don't do it microsoft.

Spydr073119d ago

All PS3 games have of loading time. It generally takes longer to load than the 360 because BD drives just aren't as fast as DVD drives as the tech is not as developed. SSDs have incredibly fast read times and would be better "in that department" if not for their high price (2$ per gig on average).

n4gn4gn4gn4g3119d ago

4 years on and STILL people do not get it.

The DATA THROUGHPUT of a 2x BD players is LARGER than the throughput of DVD 9 at 12x.

If the PS3 has 'slow load times' it is ONLY due to a dev that didn't optimize the laying down of the code on the BD disc in the first place. They put it on the BD disc as if it were a DVD disc. It is lazy and sloppy programing and has NOTHING to do with the 'speed' of the BD drive.

4 years now and people still don't understand this.

Spydr073119d ago (Edited 3119d ago )

Touche.

From your statement tho, you are talking about location of information. A BD has a constant linear velocity, meaning data is essentially streamed at the same speed from anywhere on the disk. A DVD has a constant angular velocity, meaning the data is streamed faster on the outer edge than the inner areas of the disk.

So, as a dev, a DVD has an easy way out: data that's heavily accessed is stored on the outer area of the disk where the throughput is faster than a BD. I'm not a dev, so I don't know how that is countered on a BD. Do you?

Either way, the PS3 still has generally longer load times. I'm surprised more devs don't mask them the way ND did in Uncharted 2 or Sony Santa Monica did with GoW3.

Sidenote-
Has anyone run into the glitch in GoW3 where you can't progress after the three statues early on in the game? Kill the statues, move on a little bit to where you're supposed to jump down to a new area and it's just not there. The screen looks like the game is on an acid trip with a blur of colors and you fall to your death. Has there been a patch released for this? If I restart from the beginning will that fix it? Reloading the game doesn't fix anything.

beardpapa3118d ago

SSDs are not viable for a console. The price would turn any head away. Now the hybrid drives coming out are interesting though - ssd performance at the price of a regular drive. Anyway SSDs aren't all that entirely fast. It's just fast for specific things. Also, it's a little unfair comparing a 2x bd drive to a 12x dvd. You can put in a fast dvd drive and still say "oh bd sucks cuz dvd is faster." How many "fast" bd drives are available anyway?

N4GAddict3119d ago

Microsoft will use a proprietary disc format

dirthurts3119d ago

Maybe not. It will depend on what they feel the customers want at the time. If blu ray is kicking hard and customers demand it in a console, they may go that way.

mrv3213119d ago

'It’s currently the #1 reason people buy the console (at around 60% of all total sales) and the most popular Blu-ray player used by consumers.'

Really because if only $40 of people buy PS3 for blu-ray... isn't it funny how 4.17 MILLION people bought the MW2 on the PS3. Isn't it funny then that 10 million PS3 are currently in America. SO EVERY (100%) of people who bought the PS3 for games bought MW2 right? Or is it possible your figure is incorrect?

'This is a problem, as I’m sure you can see. While it’s not been too big of a concern this generation'

SO your telling me that the fact loads of games are coming out multidisk or suffering huge compression isn't evidence of a problem of DVD being too small?

'60 gigabyte flash card or a 300 gigabyte solid state drive could be about equal to that of a Blu-Ray disk now. ;

I must have missed that article? SSD are currently running at $128 PER 64GIG, or $2 a GIG. NOw even if that's cut to 1/4 in 4 years that's still $32 for 64gig... I don't think that leaves much for the developer wouldn't you agree... seeing as that's HALF of the current price of a game.

'but we all saw how well that worked for Sony and the PSP Go'

Or Sony with the PSP which sold 50 million, I don't think they are complaining too much about the PSP.

'-Nintendo- They still haven’t quite figured out the DVD yet…' Your WHOLE article is about size.... who use a custom disk which I believe loads quicker and is equal in size to a DVD... infact I believe it's LARGER than the disk used in the 360.