November 2005 Archives

Xbox 360 != Dreamcast 2.0, Part 2

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In honor of the Xbox 360 launch, I'll finally finish up the last few pieces of this 1UP article which tries to compare the Xbox 360 to the Dreamcast.

16. Exclucive promotional partners leading up to the launch.
Like that never happens with any kind of product. I've gotten a bunch of free iTunes songs from Slurpee's and soda caps. (I actually forgot to redeem some of mine from the last contest...whoops.) It's not like such promotions hurt the consoles any. I don't really remember the one used with the Dreamcast, though.
17. Highly anticipated First Party racing game from Bizarre Creations (Metropolis Street Racer and Project Gotham Racing 3).
MSR may have been anticipated, but it wasn't really a launch game on the Dreamcast. In Europe it was released in November 2000, and in the United States it wasn't out until January 17, 2001. Hardly inside the launch window. PGR3 is available right now, and was out on shelves a few days before launch. Also, most consoles have "highly anticipated first party" games. That's usually something you want for a launch.
18. Unique selling point: Microphone peripheral.
When the dreamcast came out, I'm pretty sure the microphone wasn't something you could buy until other games like Seaman (including narration by Leonard Nimoy AKA Spock!) and Alien Front Online came out. And now, since the Xbox really made use of online gaming with voice communication, a microphone is hardly a "unique selling point".
19. Software medium [GD-ROM,DVD-9] criticized as having not enough capacity by some developers.
The Dreamcast had a special format disc with about 1 GB of storage, I don't really see how that was annoying developers, since that was larger than standard CD sizes of the time. Sure, it wasn't DVD, the but power of Dreamcast meant more in-game cinematics instead of pre-rendered video cutscenes which took up lots of space. Also, I don't remember buying many multi-disc games for the Dreamcast. Even now with the next-gen consoles, I can't think of many multi-disc games on DVD on the Xbox. Having a standard DVD media for Xbox 360 will also help keep costs down instead of using a newer, more expensive format - that won't be filled to capacity for the first few generations of games.
20. Promises to be an evolutionary system - to someday play [DVDs,HD-DVDs].
I remember hearing for a little while about a DVD add on for the Dreamcast, but by then, I think most people had DVD players in their computers and another one for their television. Of course, playing DVD's was a huge selling point for the PS2, making people feel better about plunking all that money down on a system that didn't have a great launch lineup. Making an Xbox 360 that later plays HD-DVD's is still a long way off, since High Def DVD players have yet to hit the market, and doesn't really make this the same as when the Dreamcast was launched, when DVD players were readily available.
21. Crazy rich bald guy spotted at several promotional events leading up to launch.
Comparing Vern Troyer to J Allard? Come on.
22. Plans to eventually offer larger storage capacity with [a Zip drive, new Hard Drives].
The Dreamcast had adequate storage with VMU's, and the Xbox 360 Premium version (which you'll get if you're thinking straight) comes with a hard drive, and should serve you fine the entire time you have it. Shouldn't be any need for larger drives, but I guess it'd be quite easy to remove and slap another one on there since it connects to the side of the machine.
23. Metal Gear Solid [2, 4] trailer stole much of its next-generation thunder.
Eh. MGS2 trailer was good and did get lots of fanboys to sit around and wait and buy a PS2 at launch, and then sit around letting it gather dust for another year or two until MGS2 came out. I didn't really care for the MGS4 trailer, since it seemed more like a long cutscene than a trailer with good music.

So there ya go, the Xbox 360 is not the next Dreamcast. However, the Dreamcast remains a great console if people bother to take a look at what it brought to the table. Online gaming, multiplayer, great graphics and sound - things that have defined the current- and next-gen consoles. 1UP even went on to give 10 reasons why Xbox 360 will succeed where the Dreamcast stumbled.

Xbox 360 != Dreamcast 2.0

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First off, "!=" is computer terminology for "does not equal." I remember some of my schooling...and I'm a nerd.

So, 1UP thought they'd be cool and run this story, basically trying to get people to compare the Xbox 360 to the Dreamcast. Did Sony pay for this, or what? Trying to undermine the launch before it even happens...that's what's familiar to the Dreamcast. And the way people say "I'll wait and see" on the Sony console offering, even if it isn't offering anything of value at launch. But hey, let's go all fanboy-on-a-forum and start picking nits: the "23 eerie parallels between the Xbox 360 and the Sega Dreamcast."

1. Launched a year before the competition.
Ok? The Genesis came out a year or two before the SNES, and I think the jury is still out on who won there in raw sales.
2. Facing a "far superior" next-generation PlayStation console that wowed gamers with fancy tech demos.
What kind of fancy tech demos? Ducks in a sink? I think the MGS2 trailer wow'd me more than the MGS4 trailer did. It didn't have the music or the storyline that drew me in with that MGS2 trailer that was very well produced. And too many of these tech demos spawn all these stories later about them being pre-rendered.
3. Sleek white console following in footsteps of bulky, black console.
Sleek, absolutely. Hopefully that makes it sell even better because people won't use size as a selling factor like back in the days of "XBOX IS HUGE LOOOL". What about Sony? How many versions of the PS2 are there now? Seems like they're taking pages from the Game Boy design timeline. And everyone's seen the images of the PS3 comparing it to a George Forman grill. If the Dreamcast were in a black case like it's predecessor, it'd lead to even more comparisions to the Saturn than there already were! Hey, rock! Hey, hard place!
4. Made its American debut on MTV.
I don't really remember the Dreamcast making its debut on MTV, I remember it being a sponsor of a few big MTV events to try and get the name out there, but I dunno if there was an infomercial like what the Xbox 360 event was.
5. Runs on a Windows-derived OS.
So do most of the computers in, oh, THE WORLD. Hopefully makes it leaps and bounds easier to program for. And/or hack for those so inclined.


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This is getting crazy. I have 3 Firefox windows open, and more than a handful of tabs open in each. Right now it's using around 232 megs of memory, but at least it's not pegging my processor at 100% utilization like it does sometimes. Let's take a stroll through some of the links so I can finally close a few. - Google will probably break 400 any day now when they announce some other new technology one of their workers did on their spare time. Crazy. It's also funny to look at Google's stock price on Yahoo's site, that's must annoy them.,17863,1122948,00.html - "Moore's War", an article about how Peter Moore wants the Xbox 360 to succeed, and how he doesn't want to be "Dreamcasted" again by Sony.

I was looking at some Apple related sites as well since I was working on someone's old iMac the other day, so I got caught up in that stuff too: - Site about the old 512K Mac with info, and also home to the Power Color Classic G4, a mod where they shoved the guts of a G4 Cube into a Color Classic all-in-one mac case. Some people have lots of time (and money) on their hands. - A site about the 20th Anniversay Mac, a very expensive piece of hardware, but revolutionary for its time. Site has some pretty cool pictures of prototype units.

Some stuff I came across on Lifehacker but haven't had the time to read:
The Best Free Fonts
Avoid Information Overflow: Organize RSS Feeds

Expensive Things

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Some things are just too expensive. Like cars. For that much money, I don't want to have to pay to fix it over and over! I have computers, and they were relatively expensive in comparison to other stuff I had bought up to that point, but I haven't had to replace parts like in a car. I've upgraded them to do more, but stuff doesn't just blow up or melt down like in cars. Of course, I've had pretty good luck with the cars in my family I can drive, so I shouldn't complain and jinx it all. You know what else is expensive? This! Two hundred and twelve DVD's worth of Star Trek. That's borderline redonkulous. I dunno how many solid days of video that is...but it has to be a ton. The unfortunate part of these kind of bundles is what happens when the high definition DVD's come out? Some movies will be able to be rescanned from original film negatives, but other stuff like tv shows that are edited on video are stuck in the low resolution world forever.

When I was at Best Buy the other night, I saw a giant plasma screen had been specially set up to show Star Wars Episode 3 on DVD since it was just released, but it honestly doesn't look that great on a big screen like that from a DVD source. Especially when I saw the Xbox 360 kiosk just behind this giant screen, since the Xbox 360 games are all in high definition, at a 720p minimum. I didn't get a chance to play it since some other kids were on it, but from what I could see, it looked nice and crisp. It'll be interesting to see how many older movies make the leap to HD-DVD, it could breathe life into some old titles if the old film reels still exist. Technology's crazy!

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