Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board


I repeat here a question that I have originally asked Joel on the dedicated forum and didn't have much success in there:

Do you have any gaming console, like Xbox or PS2?

What is your view on them as living room computational devices that would (maybe) replace PCs in homes?

What do you think about Xbox as business?

Cristian Cheran
Wednesday, March 3, 2004

I have an xbox at home and see no need to browse the web on a 150" screen.....

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

A software developer is a creator, a gamer is a junk.

Hmmm... That sounds a bit more harsh than I meant it.

Jan Derk
Wednesday, March 3, 2004

There's a hell of a lot more "creating" going in game development than in that home mortgage data mining project you finished up last week.

Raul"The Sabre" Gonzalez
Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Xbox is an incredible console with some of the best games ever made for the living room.

Viewed purely stand-alone, it's a money-sucking waste of time and capital (both cash and intellectual). However, Microsoft is using Xbox (and XP MCE) to better understand how to dominate the living room, and they have the money to throw at what amounts to a giant, public, decade-long R&D process, so more power to them.

Now, shhh. You interrupted my game of Ninja Gaiden. :-p

Brad Wilson (
Wednesday, March 3, 2004

I have Microsoft's X-Box.  With Live! it blows everything else out of the water.

I like playing RPGs on the X-Box because that usually requires a lot of sitting on my ass and my couch is far more comfy than my computer chair.  However, I play first person shooters on the PC since I find the keyboard-mouse a far more responsive combination than the controller (although Halo is really fun, I like it better on the PC).

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

I am sure someone will laugh at me and make me stand with the unix-serial-console-is-31337 crowd but I really like having a mouse and keyboard to play my games. Was there I time when I could have been happy with what the xbox controllers offer? Yes, I am sure. I am however more inclined to upgrade my PC to play the latest games than buy an xbox. I just hope that PC games will someday enjoy the ease of installation the xbox made so readily available.

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Got an XBOX earlier, installed a mod-chip, a 120gig hard-drive, and XBOX Media Player (now XBOX Media Center), which is open-source.

Now THIS is entertainment; a ton of emulators with old games, all my XBOX games easily accessible on the HD, plays DVDs from any region, and AVI/MPG/OGM/MP3/OGG etc etc on CD-R(W) or DVD-R(W). A multipass DivX file on one 80min CD-R (about 1:30hr length) is as close to DVD quality as it gets, for that size.

It's the best purchase I've done yet.

Just make sure you get the model with the Samsung drive, as the other two versions have problems with CD-R(W) and DVD-R.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Now, second question: what do you think that will be more financially valuable for Xbox 2 (strictly):

a) the game market <xor>

b) the extra-gaming perks that the box is likely to contain, like: time-shifting, home media server or Video-On-Demand(?)

I said "strictly" because in the long run (version(Xbox) > 2)  the extra-gaming market will obviously beat Xbox's initial focus.

Cristian Cheran
Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Brad: You got Ninja Gaiden that quickly? Damn you ... damn you all to h*ll :)

Thursday, March 4, 2004

I own the other two popular consoles (PS2, GC) and found no need for an Xbox since most of its (few) good games are released on the PC anyway...

Chris Nahr
Thursday, March 4, 2004

If the X-Box2 includes a TiVo, it will rock.  That's the only thing I wish it had. :)

Thursday, March 4, 2004

The new PS2 will be out this year and will include a TiVO like service. MS will obviously retaliate, and in a few years the PS3 and Xbox 2.

Big picture is these guys want this to be your media center - DVD player, CD player, MP3 player, TiVO. It's going to be the brains behind your living room. One of these + TV + speaker system and you're good to go.

I wouldn't be surprised if someone announced iTunes / iPod connectivity, though I guess you'll be able to network to (can you do this now?) your console's hard drive and upload all the mp3's you want.

While this makes great fiscal sense - people are more likely to buy your product if it's ALSO a dvd/mp3/cd player because they'll consider it a wiser investment - won't need to buy more things later on, I can't help but think of the Browser Wars... What do you really get once you have market dominance? I guess with things like Xbox live and the TiVO service they'll get money from you every month, and in a few years they can extort the MPAA and RIAA for your particular brand of copy protection & DRM, or whatever proprietary stuff you put on there they may have to license.

Maybe the next big thing will be interactive movies/games that happen in a serial fashion, with updates each week based on the events of your favorite TV show... Yes it's The Apprentice, The Video Game: Compete with thousands of other players each week to see if The Donald will fire you.
Thursday, March 4, 2004

This kind of medium innovations like The Apprentice adjusted to Xbox would be certainly welcomed, but the killer-app is the good ol' media server / media center.

Video-On-Demand (VOD) will be a particularly big thing, but it has to be done in a pay-download-view_after_x_hours manner because the bandwidth is not enough yet.

Also on VOD: I read an interview with a Hollywood big-shot that was saying that al the innovations in cinema are conceptually aiming at VOD: Blockbuster, HBO, Netflix. So those guys are really keen on VOD, they are just waiting for the right guys to do that.

Although geeky early adopters are used to see movies on their PCs, this device is ergonomically improper for this usage and Xbox & PS are the best candidates for delivering VOD, especially when the sad revolutionary TiVo taught us that you can't sell only a feature.

Cristian Cheran
Thursday, March 4, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home