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MISSING: Playstation 3 exclusives

Have you been wondering why our Playstation 3 friends have lost so many exclusive games? Think about it, Grand Theft Auto and Assassin's Creed are both shinning examples. Also, why has the Xbox 360 wrapped up exclusives from third party developers like Bioshock and Winning Eleven? It's quite simple actually, Sony's lead man Ken Kutaragi dragged his feet for far to long. Mr. Kutaragi couldn't give developers the thumbs up for exclusivity and Microsoft played the roll of annoying best friend, constantly bugging developers to flock to their console. And look at the result, we've got great games coming. Good job Microsoft, third party exclusive titles are butter and cream and we're all anticipating Assassin's Creed. Oh the joy.

[Via, Digg]

Xbox 360 finally in the black (PS3? No.)


In an article detailing the overall parts cost for the PS3, iSupply reveals that Microsoft is no longer losing money on the Xbox 360. Last year, the company reported that Microsoft lost $126 dollars on every 360 sold. Due to a reduction in overall component costs, iSupply estimates that it now costs Microsoft $323.30 per Premium Xbox 360 manufactured. Thus, Microsoft actually earns $75.70 on each unit sold.

On the other end of the spectrum, Sony loses a lot of cash on each PS3. The high end PS3 costs $840.35 to build, losing Sony $241.35 per console. The cheaper PS3 actually costs nearly the same to produce, so Sony takes a hit of $306.85. According to the article, the primary pricing differences between the 360 and PS3 are the processors, and of course, Blu-ray. The PS3's motherboard and Blu-ray drive cost Sony $500, whereas the 360's motherboard and DVD drive cost Microsoft $200 -- down from $370 when the 360 launched. Naturally, Sony's costs will decline over time -- especially if Blu-ray is adopted.

At any rate, we're happy that Microsoft is finally making money on the 360, because that means we get a price drop, right? Right?

[Via Joystiq]

COD3 is best on 360, in more ways than one


If you're a 360 fanboy who's curious about the PS3, there is always one question on your mind: "what's the online like?" If you've been paying attention to Resistance, you'll know that it can be great. However, Call of Duty 3 paints a different picture. Gamespot's review of COD3 for the PS3 cites a couple of noticeable differences between the PS3 version and its 360 cousin. The first difference: the PS3 has a choppy frame rate that makes the game a chore occasionally. We'll chalk that up to Treyarch being unfamiliar with the PS3. The differences in online play, on the other hand, are more fundamental. The PS3 version offers 24 players online, just like the 360 version. Unfortunately, only one person per PS3 can go online versus the 360 version's four. Also, there is no ranked play available, a feature that is standard on 360 thanks to TrueSkill.

If Sony continues to put the onus on developers to create online features, we can only assume that online options will always be superior on the 360, at least when it comes to cross-platform titles. What do you think? Does the fact that Sony's service is free outweigh the depth of features available through Xbox Live?

PS3 not all that upscale after all

I hated to have to break this disappointing news to the shivering PS3 fanboys camped out in the cold and wet at my local Best Buy, but somebody had to do it:

As it turns out, gamers who own older HD sets that feature only 480i, 480p, and 1080i resolution input capabilities will have to settle for the display quality being downsized as the game boots in its 480p mode rather than upscaling the image from its more desirable 720p mode to the TV's 1080i. We tested this development on older HDTV sets with games designed for 720p but not 1080i -- Resistance: Fall of Man, NHL 2K7, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, and Need for Speed Carbon. Sure enough, the system downshifted all four titles to 480p rather than moving up to 1080i.

The PlayStation 3's competitor, Microsoft's Xbox 360, does upscale 720p games to 1080i if the HD set supports the latter resolution but not the in-between and commonly-employed 720p resolution.


One guy countered (illogically) that he didn't care because 360 controllers are too big for Japanese hands. Apparently he still thinks we're wrasslin' with the Duke, although it might have been the hypothermia talking.

[Thanks Nathan]

A note of welcome to PS3 and Wii

So, I took a break from Gears of War yesterday to read up on the latest gaming news, and I discovered that there are actually two other video game consoles launching this week. Apparently, there's another Playstation coming out as well as a Nintendo ... what is it ... Wii? That can't be right .... Yup, that's what it says.

In all seriousness, 360 Fanboy would like to put aside the chainsaw bayonet for a moment and extend the olive branch to our sister blogs, Wii Fanboy and PS3 Fanboy. This week, they both enter a new phase in their lives. Welcome to the week that your hardware ceases to be an unobtainable dream and becomes a tangible, expensive reality. Will the PS3 live up to its god-like graphical hype? Will the Wii's motion sensing prove to be more that a gimmick? Being a blogger for 360 Fanboy, perhaps it's best that I don't disclose my preference between the two (apart from my beloved 360, of course). Let's just say that my Halo 2 Spartan has a Triforce on his shoulder.

Welcome aboard fellow fanboys. The hyperbole is over, let the games begin.

MS wants EU to see 360 next to PS3

In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Microsoft's Neil Thompson said he wishes gamers in Europe could see a 360 right next to the PS3 this Christmas. That is, he wants consumers to finally be able to make direct comparisons, so that they can decide what they really want. According to Thompson, "Sometimes it's worse when you're fighting a myth, than when you're fighting reality." He's speaking to the much publicized capabilities of the PS3, including the Blu-ray drive. He seems confident that when consumers compare the consoles side by side, paying a premium for Blu-ray out of the box won't seem like such a rosy proposition -- of course he says this while noting that consumers can upgrade the 360 to HD DVD should they choose to do so. Thompson also takes time to throw a few unexpected jabs at Nintendo's upcoming Wii, claiming that it's not a competitor to the 360 and is in fact "a kids toy" -- innovative, but still a toy.

While Europeans won't be making any direct comparisons this holiday (and maybe not next March either), American consumers can start as early as next Friday. Will any of our 360 Fanboys be gunning for a PS3 next week? (It's okay, we won't judge you.)

[Via Xbox-Scene]

Atari founder praises 360. PS3? Not so much

In a short interview with Red Herring, Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, speaks his mind about the next generation of gaming. He makes the comment that he likes Xbox Live because it may become the "platform for the living room." With Live gaining more and more functionality, we're hard-pressed to argue. He further praises the Xbox 360 while simultaneously denigrating the PS3. When asked about Sony's strategy, he replies that "Sony shot themselves in the foot," and that "the price point is probably unsustainable."

Bushnell believes that Microsoft's easy to use development tools and the extra money to be made on Live will ultimately be what separates the 360 from the PS3.

"For years and years Sony has been a very difficult company to deal with from a developer standpoint. They could get away with their arrogance and capriciousness because they had an installed base. They have also historically had horrible software tools. You compare that to the Xbox 360 with really great authoring tools [and] additional revenue streams from Xbox live... a first party developer would be an idiot to develop for Sony first and not the 360. People don't buy hardware, they buy software."

While we agree with many of Bushnell's points -- we are fanboys, after all -- we're not as eager to agree that the PS3 will outright fail. According to Bushnell:

"It would not surprise me if a year from now they'll be struggling to sell 1 million units. I think in the U.S. the number of early adopters you have is actually around 300,000."

Bold claims to make about a company with one of the largest brands on the planet. Then again, there may not even be 300,000 PS3s to be had.

[Thanks, Vic]

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Video: Video Marketplace demonstration

GameTrailers has posted a nice video rundown of the upcoming Video Marketplace (embedded after the break). While we're as excited as the next person about downloading TV shows and movies, we do have one concern. The rep in this video assures us that the prices are not set, and that the prices used on the demo are just placeholders. Still, the prices listed, if accurate, seem a little high. 320 points ($4) for a high definition TV episode is fairly steep considering iTunes episodes usually run for $1.99. Granted, those episodes run in the tiny, tiny window of a video iPod, but we still hope that the Video Marketplace is similarly priced. The video is fuzzy, but the high definition downloads shown looked to take up about 2 gigs of space, whereas standard definition episodes were 0.5 gigs. An hour long TV episode is trimmed down to about 42 minutes when commercials are removed, so that should give us an idea of the amount of space we'll be consuming with TV and movies.

The video Marketplace is visually much more interesting than the regular one we're used to. Each show has a themed storefront, highlighting some aspect of the show. Another neat feature is that users will be able to watch a short sample clip of potential downloads. There clips have no sound, but at least you'll have an idea of what you're purchasing (and maybe we're one step closer to video streaming?). Overall, the Video Marketplace should be an interesting addition to the Xbox 360, and possibly the console wars as a whole. Do you plan on using the Video Marketplace, or are you content just playing games?

Continue reading Video: Video Marketplace demonstration

Takahashi talks console wars

Xbox scribe Dean Takahashi posted a nice summary of the current console war outlook based on the recent round of financial reports. Excerpt:

On the bright side. Microsoft has more than 4 million Xbox Live subscribers worldwide and it plans on hitting 6 million by June 30. It will have 160 games out by the end of the year. In the U.S., Microsoft has sold 2.9 accessories per console and software sales are at 5.1 games per console. Those numbers probably don't hold up worldwide. But I'm told that the attach rates and Xbox Live subscription numbers are ahead of plan. There is even some good news in Japan, since the limited edition run of Hironobu Sakaguchi's Blue Dragon game – bundled with the Xbox 360 – sold out.

Follow the link for Dean's take on Sony and Nintendo's respective situations.

MS reports Q1 earnings, shrugs off 360 doubters

Microsoft released its first fiscal quarter earnings report earlier this week, beating Wall Street estimates to the tune of $10.81 billion in revenue. That's an 11% increase over the same period last year. The Entertainment & Device division, which includes our favorite next-gen console, reported year-to-year growth of 70%, with 6 million next-gen consoles sold worldwide so far. In other positive news, the company boasts of record cumulative attach rates for software and peripherals, with Xbox Live surpassing 4 million members. Shrugging off skepticism from egghead analysts, MS Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said the software giant remains confident it will meet its target of 10 million Xbox 360s shipped by the end of 2006.

Since this is a fanboy site, we won't quibble with the difference between "shipped" and actually sitting in somebody's living room. Of course, if you're eager to help MS reach the 10 million milestone, you can always buy Xbox 360s for your extended family this Christmas, plus an extra one for the place in Tahoe.

Yoko Jaffe pops off about XBLA

Whilst extolling the superiority of Kutaragi's oh-so original Electronic Delivery Initiative to a sycophantic Newsweek reporter, Sony-loving developer David Jaffe embarks on an extended musical metaphor that should win him a Grammy for pretentious assitude:

The way I was describing it to somebody yesterday who'd never heard of EDI, I said, 'God of War, Twisted Metal, Resistance and Gran Turismo, those are like operas. These are like pop songs.' For me, it's been a lot more fun to write pop songs than operas. And in the future, because I think these services are going to be really successful, I think it's actually going to end up being more lucrative to write pop songs, just like in the real world, than operas.

...I would say that there are pop songs by Ashlee Simpson and pop songs by the Beatles. My goal is to write pop songs like the Beatles, not like Ashlee Simpson. If you want Ashlee Simpson pop songs, go to Xbox Live Arcade. Actually, they're the oldies station, because all you're getting is Scramble and Pac-Man.

Yeah, and Geometry Wars: Evolved and Small Arms and Space Giraffe and Mad Tracks and Cloning Clyde. Let's put it this way, if XBLA is an Ashlee Simpson (post-nose job hopefully) top 40 single, then Sony's rip-off is the poorly translated J-pop karaoke version produced by Simon Cowell and performed by William Hung.

Do you suppose all the sphincter-love Mr. Jaffe received for God of War went to his head just a little? The dude thinks he's John Lennon, but he comes off like Yoko, right down to the "I'm an artist" ego-slobber. You'd think he invented the concept of casual games. Mastering this level of operatic bullsh-t is a real achievement -- or in Sony's retarded nomenclature, a real "entitlement."

360 is fastest selling Aussie console ever

Hot on the heels of reports of lackluster 360 sales, Gamasutra is reporting that the Xbox 360 has officially become the fastest selling console in Australia. In its first seven months -- the 360 was released down under in March -- the 360 has gone to sell 100,000 units. This handily beats the PS2 total of 78,000 units in its first seven months. Also, Australians have purchased 400,000 games for their 360s since launch, trouncing the PS2 total of 198,000 during the same period after its launch. The regional director for Xbox Australia and New Zealand, David McLean, had this to say,

"Xbox 360 has taken off in Australia demonstrating that the game has changed and consumers are ready for the next-generation of gaming now. Xbox 360 provides amazing value for the whole family and with the biggest line-up of next-generation games and accessories, we are confident that there will be lots of Xbox 360s sitting under Christmas trees this year."

Of course, it's pretty easy to be confident when your largest competitor won't be launching in Australia until next year. So, do we have any happy Australian 360 owners out there? What do you think of all this?

New 360 ad says, "It's the games stupid"

Some of you may have seen the latest Xbox 360 ad -- we saw it during Adult Swim. The commercial depicts thousands of Xbox 360 game cases flying around to assemble the 360 console itself, like a puzzle. The commercial closes, saying that, "The next generation is over 100 high-def games. The next generation is now." It's a very slick way of reminding consumers that the 360 has more games to offer this holiday than its other next gen competitors, and also that you won't have to wait in line to get one. See the commercial after the break.

Continue reading New 360 ad says, "It's the games stupid"

Analysts put 360 on top by 2010


It seems like some market research firm has a new prediction for the game industry every day. One day, the PS3 is on top. The next, it's Wii, Wii, Wii (all the way home). Today's chart is all about the 360. IDG estimates that the Xbox 360 will sell 23.9 million units in North America by 2010, followed by the PS3 at 23.5 million, with the Wii in a distant third at 13.6 million units sold. Okay, so for the 360's sake, it's really more of a tie. Granted, these numbers are only for North America, so we have no idea where this puts 360 in a global perspective. Still, most predictions we've seen put the PS3 on top. That makes this chart special. Take off your Fanboy hat for a minute and answer this question: could the 360 really outsell the entrenched juggernaut that is the Playstation?

[Via Joystiq]

Greenburg talks PS3 online versus Xbox Live

Gamespot sat down with Xbox Live's Aaron Greenburg to talk about Sony's PS3 online service. As expected, he trashes the service, claiming that it's a "knockoff."

"... we're flattered that we've created a service that is breeding yet another knockoff. That said, it's still hard to comment in much depth around their online announcement since there are still a lot of details that haven't been made clear and there are a lot of unanswered questions. Is this a fully connected service with one identity across your entire gameplay experience? Is every game online with voice chat integration? Do they have Achievements and Gamerscore? How are they handling safety, security, hacking, viruses, and parental controls?"

Also on par with most executive interviews, Greenburg manages to answer questions without really answering them, but that's expected. When asked about whether or not Xbox Live Arcade will reach 50 titles this year, as planned, he sounds a little uncertain,

"We have 33 titles on the service today with many more great games to come. I don't have the final projection for how many Arcade titles will be available by December 30, but I know each and every one will offer a great gaming experience for all kinds of gamers."

Other topics touched on included web browsing and a possible Marketplace overhaul for the fall update. On the subject of web browsing, Greenburg picks up Microsoft's new party line: reminding us how much WebTV sucked.

"There have been a lot of different product offerings like this over the years--even our own WebTV, which we brought out 10 years ago--and none of these products have had much consumer appeal and adoption."

Of course, he fails to mention that Microsoft didn't actually create WebTV -- they bought it -- but we digress. When asked about the fall update and whether or not Marketplace would be cleaned up, Greenburg responded,

"As you know, we continually listen to customers and work to evolve the service in response. There are some changes planned for Marketplace this fall, but at this point we are not able to talk about any details. Stay tuned."

So there you have it, expect definite changes coming to Marketplace this fall. What upgrades would you like to see on Marketplace? What changes would you make?

[Via Eurogamer]

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