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The Power of Xbox Next -- Are You Worried?


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It?s no secret that Microsoft plans to launch its successor to the Xbox later this year. In fact, it?s pretty much a given fact, and all we really need at this point is the confirmation from Microsoft along with pricing, specs, and a date.

 

It?s also no secret that the membership at LCVG favors Xbox over the PS2 or the GameCube. In the past, discussion concerning its games and Xbox Live has far outpaced any discussion for Sony and Nintendo?s platform. Given the history of this forum, it?s easy to understand why. Many of us met one another at the video game boards at Home Theater Forum, a place that attracts people interested in good audio video equipment (among other things). Among the big three, the Xbox does the most to exploit the capabilities of a good home theater system with its in-game Dolby Digital sound and nearly universal support of progressive scan in games. Generally speaking the Xbox is considered the most powerful of the big three consoles, and multi-platform titles look and sound better on Microsoft?s console because of this.

 

This puts Xbox 2 in an interesting position. Along with what we know about its release, we also know that Sony and Nintendo are planning on releasing their new systems in 2006, making Xbox 2 the first of the new consoles to market. At this point, we don?t know exactly when Sony and Nintendo plan to launch their machines, but it might be safe to assume that neither will arrive in the US until sometime late next year, giving both systems a chance to incorporate a full year?s worth of technological advancements into their consoles. If that is the case, then Xbox 2 might not end up being the most powerful system.

 

If the above scenario proves to be true, do you think your buying habits might change? Do you foresee yourself losing interest in Xbox titles because they don?t look or sound as good as their PS3 or Revolution counterparts? Do you think the early release of Xbox 2 is even a good idea to begin with?

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Your valid points about why the Xbox is the console of choice here at LCVG will be negated in the next generation. I think it's very safe to assume all the next consoles will support Dolby Digital, HDTV, and feature some sort of prominant online component -a la Xbox Live. (alright, Nintendo might be a wildcard so I'll leave them out of my post ;) )

 

I cannot foresee a hardware component that will make PS3 significantly more enticing than Xbox 2. Even if the extra year really helps Sony put out a better console on paper I serously doubt the real world performance would be an easily measurable leap beyond Microsoft's design.

 

Consider the current generation; if the PS2 and Xbox both launched on the same day and both supported Dolby Digital, HDTV (as limited as the current Xbox is), and an online component as competent as Live -would you really see much difference?

 

The Xbox is still the technically superior system but give the PS2 the HT-related features (DD, HD, online) and suddenly it's much tougher to tell the two systems apart.

 

That line is going to be even more blurred in the next generation when both systems will offer HD resolutions and fairly similarly spec'd hardware. As with all hardware arguements it always goes back to quality games. Come November we're all going to be Xbox 2 fanboys but if Sony delivers God Of War 2 when Microsoft is having a slow month... well, I'll be playing my PS3 that day.

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I think the only reason anyone would be worried is if they had a special loyalty to Microsoft (ie: fanboys). I don't really care who ends up on top next time, although the Xbox 2 would be a convenient winner since the Live infrastructure is already in place and its pretty good. I would assume most people on this forum are past playing favorites and will go with whatever happens to be best.

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Do you think the early release of Xbox 2 is even a good idea to begin with?

 

Not at all. There are a lot of customers, myself included, who feel that this current generation still has plenty of life in it. I can't imagine that everyone's had a chance to plow through all the hidden gems in the current library.

 

If it's not the most powerful console next generation, I'll have to think long and hard about whether it'll be my first console. I'm already not planning on buying a next gen console at launch (a first when I was wanting to own a new console.) It's too early, in my opinion. Mid-late 2006 is more when I think I'd be ready.

 

Unfortunately, I'm so hooked on the Halo franchise, I can't see myself passing up Halo 3. Bungie and Bioware do very good work, so Microsoft already has that leg up on the competition as far as I'm concerned. If Sega were to go XBox-exclusive, that'd seal the deal for me. XBox Live's system would be hard to walk away from, as well. I'm not liking the rumor of the hard drive disappearing for this reason (content download as well as custom soundtracks.)

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I cannot foresee a hardware component that will make PS3 significantly more enticing than Xbox 2

If rumors pan out, a blu ray drive compared to a non HD dvd type drive could make a nice difference.

 

Until all of consoles true specs are released, i can't give you an honest answer if it will change my opinion on which console I'll buy if I buy another at this rate.

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Never owned a PS1 or PS2; bought the 'cube on launch day and skipped the Xbox. I later got it after rave reviews from friends and haven't looked back. MS has done an excellent job with Live and I don't forsee myself canceling it or paying for a different service. So Xbox 2, whether it's the most powerful system or not, will find a place in my home.

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Quote:

I cannot foresee a hardware component that will make PS3 significantly more enticing than Xbox 2

 

If rumors pan out, a blu ray drive compared to a non HD dvd type drive could make a nice difference.

 

The addition of a blu-ray drive to the PS3 will not give the machine a gaming advantage. It may be of great interest to HT fans but won't add anything to gameplay.

I think it's a significant addition but not nearly as significant as the Xbox's support for Dolby Digital, HD, and Live.

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The addition of a blu-ray drive to the PS3 will not give the machine a gaming advantage. It may be of great interest to HT fans but won't add anything to gameplay.

I think it's a significant addition but not nearly as significant as the Xbox's support for Dolby Digital' date=' HD, and Live.[/quote']

 

Given the ability to stream higher-resolution textures, maps, and all that from a drive, it could make a huge difference, especially if the Xbox 2 doesn't have a hard drive or mass storage device.

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I have never bought a Sony console because of timing. It just turned out that the N64, Dreamcast, Xbox, and Gamecube were more attractive at the time.

 

But now, there is no sega or Nintendo console for the next-gen on my "Must Buy" list. That leaves me with Xbox Next and the PS3. Though the adult in me says I don't even need one more console at this point, how can I justify TWO? We'll see what E3 brings. God help me if "Revolution" sports some virtual reality Zelda game where I can actually sleep with Princess Zelda.

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Who are we kidding? Based on how many of the gamers on this forum own most or all the systems and to see how quickly we adopt new systems (DS, PSP), most of us will own multiple next generation systems. Eventually, software will drive our purchases. But at first it will probably just be driven by the want to have the latest system and to play the latest games.

 

I am not saying we are all mindless consumers. It is just that video games is obviously something we care a great deal about so when a huge event such as a new system being launched comes along, we are on board.

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I'm not expecting huge differences between the next-gen systems, performance wise. I'd say 60fps at 720p (or 1080i) with 5.1 sound will be standard for all three, and beyond that I'm not terribly interested in the hardware differences.

 

The day a kick-ass Live title I want is released for Xbox Next is the day I buy one :)

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If Microsoft continues to put out a new console every 3 to 4 years, then a couple of years after PS3 and Revoulution, there'll be an Xbox 720 with better capabilities.

 

Microsoft is going to have a good jump on the compition this time around, and I think that will be an advantage. They already have a good name, and if the Xbox 360 does good things and is afordable, they might actually make money this time around.

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