Kotaku: Analysis Alleges Microsoft Gimped Third-Party Video in the New Xbox Dashboard


"Shortly after the new "Metro" dashboard for the Xbox 360 was released to the public, Eurogamer's Digital Foundry noticed that in-dash video was of a poorer quality than the same video played elsewhere. Investigating further—as Microsoft remained totally silent on the matter—it's discovered why: They say the software development kit given to third parties is limited to lower-quality video."

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Godmars2903547d ago

This doesn't make any real sense. Why effectively gimp the quality of your own service? Just leaving the door wide open for someone else to support 3rd party VOD vendors which in turn will earn them the more active support of those vendors.

Overall you're just shooting yourself in the foot while trying to make your own service look better.

delosisland3547d ago

Why do people even care. Just go play the fucking games u like for gods sake. I clicked on this article ONLY because I saw a comment and I had to know what negative thing u had to say. Listen, use N4g for gaming news about games u like because everything comes here first. Let's not click these article types. Let's use that extra effort to go outside, exercise, study, watch sports, drink beer, etc. U feel sucked into this stupid drama of "will this system fail or which game sold more???" Who gives a fuck.

MariaHelFutura3547d ago

You sound like the one who needs to relax.

WrAiTh Sp3cTr33547d ago

It's really not hard to believe. Netflix is limited to 720p also on the 360, but Zune streaming is 1080p. I figured this would be because MS had planned on bringing their own monthly fee based Zune streaming service to compete with Netflix. I'm actually all for that, seeing as though Zune gets new releases way faster than than Netflix and I'm disappointed they haven't brought something like that out yet.

gamingdroid3547d ago (Edited 3547d ago )

MS has always been very friendly towards their partners, so this is likely just a bug or a new video encoder that doesn't have all it's features yet.

It doesn't make business sense to gimp 3rd party services, while that is one of your selling point now. Especially something so rarely noticeable to the general public.

That said, this is a duplicate and should be marked as such.

RememberThe3573547d ago

OK I'm confused. What exactly is going on here? Did MS gimp their own service or the likes of Netflix? Who the hell are the third parties that would be affected? And how the hell does this help fight off the smart tvs? I'm completely lost and feeling kind of stupid ATM.

Oldman1003547d ago (Edited 3547d ago )

Microsoft is essentially being anti-competitive by gimping third party video services (such as Netflix and Vudu) and users custom media files to 720p. Which leaves their 1080p first party video service as the highest quality service. Pretty shady if you ask me.

Oldman1003547d ago

Quotes from the Eurogamer article:

"the fact that Xbox 360 owners can no longer play back their 1080p videos at native resolution via the dashboard player is bit of a blow, and is clearly a real problem for a console that is looking to beef up its media credentials. The issue appears to impact the dashboard player and all of the "apps" you can download to stream video"

"Other services appear to be artificially limited in the new video marketplace apps. For example, streaming service Vudu offers 1080p24 movies via its "HDX" service but in its FAQ it mentions that "Xbox 360 is limited to HD only (720p)."

"Once again, the 720p limitation was reported during the dashboard preview programme and in common with the video levels issue we have reports that Microsoft deleted threads that referenced it."

"Ah yes, Zune. The service offers 1080p streaming downloads - something that is emphasised in the front-end of the 113MB downloadable app - and does indeed appear to resolve full resolution, so as Jeremy Anderson says it does appear to be the only outlet offering full HD movie streaming...something Microsoft is denying users with their own movie files, and seemingly its video partners too."

"Incorrect video levels are obviously a bug, but blatantly downgrading resolution looks very much like part of a strategy. As it is, the new dashboard's preview programme ensured that the issues were brought to Microsoft's attention. Now we wait to see whether anything will actually be fixed. "

"So, what's going on? The obvious conclusion is that the SDK Microsoft is believed to have supplied to third-party video partners is limited to 720p only, leaving Microsoft's host service with a clear quality advantage. The message we draw from this is that the platform holder wants to expand the take-up of the Xbox 360 as a media-streaming device, but very much on its own terms with its own content getting the best quality, and the user's "homebrew" media not being given much importance at all."

"They marked the threads we had on this as fixed shortly before closing the Connect bug report site for the preview programme, though the problem is hardly fixed," Jeremy Anderson says. "I'm hoping that this means a fix is on the way, but considering they deleted or marked as fixed all of the threads on this without comment, I'm not holding my breath. Seems low on the priority list for them."

"Microsoft has since acknowledged "the community's feedback" in a very short message on the website, suggesting somewhat obliquely that the points put forward will be taken under "consideration for future releases" - a somewhat half-hearted response bearing in mind that in some cases the quality of service is being significantly impacted by bugs and resolution downgrades."

"While the support for more media outlets on the Xbox 360 can only be a good thing, the apparent downgrade for homegrown video is a disappointment. In this respect the PS3 is more utilitarian, allowing for AVCHD content from HD camcorders to be burned to DVD and run with no issue on the console - something Xbox 360 could readily emulate but doesn't."

SweatyFlorida3547d ago (Edited 3547d ago )

Yah, this is all I got out of the article/headline:

Bundi3547d ago ShowReplies(2)
Raider693547d ago (Edited 3547d ago )

Lame m$!The evidances are shown an they keep in denied and no comments on the subject!Just lame!

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