XBox ramblings

Those of you not interested in console gaming, specifically the Xbox, just skip reading.

I don’t know when the Xbox became my system of choice. Maybe it was the hard drive. Maybe it was the integrated online component and Xbox Live. Maybe it was the fact that it could kill small children under its massive weight. Regardless, I’ve found an interesting future application for the xbox–video conferencing. The nice part about Xbox video conferencing would be the fact that it supports 5 people at once. That, and the fact that you can rumble another participant’s controller remotely.

Absolutely, positively no comment whatsoever.

It looks like a great app, and I’m having a good time leaving voice mail messages for my friends on Xbox Live that never get answered.

The only thing I’m worried about so far are the rumors of an Xbox 2 release in 2005. This would mean that they have only kept their console out for 4 years. Normally, console “life” is 5 years. This is enough time for you to recoup costs of developing the console through sales and games. However, the xbox was released in 2001.

First a look at the competition. The PS3 is currently rumored at having a “sometime in 2006” release date. I’d like to note that the PS2, released in 2000, is still outselling all other consoles, and after the recent price drop, sales have doubled. There are already 30 million PlayStation 2 consoles in North America. And sales are still good. Comparatively, there are 14 million Xbox consoles in North America.

If the rumors are true, MS is planning on cutting the life of their current console short in order to hit the market before Sony brings their 1600 pound gorilla to the US Playground. However, this “first to market” approach didn’t work for SEGA’s DreamCast console. Sony’s marketing and existing grip on the American market is astounding. The DreamCast, despite good hardware and a slew of great games, failed commercially. SEGA now makes games for all of the other consoles, having pulled out of the hardware business altogether.

I’d hate to see the same thing happen to the Xbox.