Microsoft: “We Don’t Need a New Xbox Model!”

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Microsoft has scoffed at the notion of re-releasing the Xbox 360, saying the console is a long-term product due to be bolstered by the release of Project Natal.

Microsoft’s senior director of Xbox product management is bullish on the future of the Xbox 360:

“I think it’s important to say that the Xbox 360 is the console of the long future for us. There is no need to launch a new console, because we’re able to give this console new life either with software upgrades or hardware upgrades like Project Natal.

The Xbox 360 was designed for a long life, and I don’t even know if we’re at the midpoint yet.”

Sony had previously employed similar rhetoric when trying to excuse flagging sales of the PS3 prior to its successful relaunch – Microsoft is evidently hoping for a similar fillip.

Microsoft abjectly refused to comment on the prospect of new chip features, a Blu-ray drive, or even a simple modernisation of the existing hardware, insisting all is well with the console:

“We love our prices right now. I don’t want to say that technology stops, but we believe we have a high quality console, and we stand by that quality with an unprecedented warranty, so we think we’re in a good place now heading into the Natal era.”

Previously Microsoft has asserted the Xbox 360 will remain a viable platform until 2015, though sadly it may be unlikely the same can be said of any of the individual consoles.

Microsoft is apparently planning to ensure this viability exclusively through Project Natal, apparently set to become either a groundbreaking next generation controller or else the means by which Microsoft can finally unleash a horde of mediocre party games onto the Xbox:

However, recent news that Microsoft has opted to slash the cost of Natal units by dumping a specialised processor in favour of having the Xbox itself do the work, which is naturally said to have no adverse performance impact, may yet prove an unwelcome reminder of the kind of quality the initial Xbox 360 models were notorious for.

Sony for its part plans its own markedly inferior Wii motion controller knock-off in the spring, which unsurprisingly also promises to offload its processing requirements onto the PS3 with no adverse performance impact.

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142 Comments

  • Sure is biased opinion around here.
    I know you guys have a hardon PS3 and everything but damn if you can’t make anything Microsoft says look like sacrilege.

    This place is starting to seem like the FOX news of the Anime culture.

  • In all likelihood, Microsoft is already working on their next console. We’d probably have a date already if there hadn’t been a fuss about the PS3’s “lifespan”. Microsoft will probably announce it as soon as it looks like Sony might be getting ready for the PS4.

  • HAHAHAHA! MICROSOFT SUCKS! ANYONE THAT LIKES MICROSOFT SUCKS!

    (Maybe if I act like a big enough Microsoft Hater, Mysterious Voice will leave me alone.)

    Mysterious Voice: “You don’t have the particular bite of a professional troll like myself. But then again, considering you’re trying to be polite in the one place where politeness is obsolete, that makes sense.

    Now then, what good is a 360 anyway? Anyone who purchases them comes at risk of their system dying. You can buy most of the good games for it on the PS3 or PC, and their exclusives fail as well. Not to mention their draconian online policy to stop modders but do nothing about kids is a gigantic question mark. Xbox 360 is comepletely dead. I can’t believe people still buy it?”

    Yeah, well just remember, people are idiots. Exploiting those idiots can help bring profit, and that’s what companies are all about.

    Mysterious Voice: *gun fires* “And that, my friends, is why the world is so screwed up.”

  • Project Natal is just a Web cam,Microphone, and motion sensor controller all in one. Sony trying to do something similar to a Wii Controller (looks like a Sex Toy) and Nintendo just has the Wii Fit.

    I guess everyone can bash the hell out of Gaming systems.

  • We don’t know if Natal will fail. It isn’t released yet so we should just wait and see.

    Just like the Wii when it is not released yet. I thought that it will fail(because it is so weak hardware-wise against the competition) but look after 5 years. Combine the X360 and the PS3 sales and you almost get the total sales of the Wii.

    I’m not saying that MS will be successful as Nintendo but it is too early to tell that it will fail. Unless you’re fortune tellers, we don’t know what will happen.

    IMO, MS should make a slim version of their machine bundled with Natal. That might make them a lot of sales.

    • Mysterious Voice: “A 360 slim will only work if they correct their biggest error (the RRoD). And since Microsoft won’t, then it’ll still fail.

      And your usage of Nintendo is a bad example. Nintendo sold out the hardcore a long time ago, and now they’ve forgotten who they are as a gaming company. E3 was a gigantic dissapointment, and now Microsoft looks to go the same way. If Microsoft wants to go the way of Pretendo, then they’ll fail. The true gamers are hardcore.”

      You’re a pessimist, Voice.

      Mysterious Voice: “Would you rather be shocked when Project Needlemouse fails? Or be unimpressed? Because I’d rather be unimpressed.”

      • I think they’ve corrected the RROD problem with the Jasper chipset revision of the X360.

        True gamers will play everything, the fun factor for them is the most important thing. Those people are the true “hardcore”, not some people say that graphics are “teh beztezt!”.

  • I’ve heard people talking about the PS3 as soon as the PS2 came out and I thought that was sad. Knowing though when the next system is coming out and having a firm date gives people the chance to plan and save up for it.

    With that said however, I have to not forget how crappy the Xbox 360 was when it first came out, by that I mean it got so hot you could fry an egg on it, literally, youtube-it. It also makes me wonder who the hell would be stupid enough to continue to spend money on a piece of shit that only lasted about a year before heat death/fatal failures or whatever the hell happened to result it into it failing. The amount of costs for just two xbox 360s would’ve easily cost one PS3, though I suppose if you have a huge stockpile of games that’re xbox you’d be less likely to bother to exchange them and get a new one.

    That doesn’t mean that I hate xbox, i have one myself and still buy games for it and it hasn’t died on me yet. But it’s not like I play games, fall asleep, wake up and keep playing them. What I’m saying is basically, they think NATAL is going to save them.. look what happened when the first put out their own system.

    Something tells me by microsoft’s track records it’s going to have a LOT of problems. I know I for one won’t be first in line to buy it, much like most things microsoft puts out I rather wait until all the bugs are worked out within 6 months, then go out and purchase it. And I’m sure you all have programs like internet explorer and people complained when the new version of that came out, so just keep that in mind..

  • The “NeXT” computer system used the sytem’s CPU to do the rasterization for its laser printer, rather give the printer its own CPU, to save costs … FAILED.

    Intel tried to kill off the sound card/sound chip market with its “Native Signal Processing” … FAILED.

    And now MS is headed down the same road.

    I’ve seen successful camera-input face-tracking software working… running on high-end PC. If MS’ software works at all, it *will* affect performance if they run it on CPU/GPUs in the Xbox360, but MS will just blame the game coders.

    The best MS could have done for themselves with this project would have been to:

    * Use a dedicated processor for motion/object recognition; and

    * Revise their libraries to make the Natal outputs “look” just like the output from a standard controller, as well as providing a new library with extended Natal functionality; thus, all your old games would work with Natal without any changes, and new games can take advantage of the extended Natal capabilities.

  • ChaosAngelZero says:

    “Previously Microsoft has asserted the Xbox 360 will remain a viable platform until 2015 (…)”

    lol

    “(…) which is naturally said to have no adverse performance impact (…)”

    lolol

    In any case, they’ll at the very least announce the console’s successor by 2012, as most probably will Sony, too. This Natal piece of crap will probably be their excuse for yet another useless SKU.

    In the meantime, they should hurry and move their Arcade SKU to $150 and the Elite one to $250 as fast as they can. Then, by the time they announce the successor, they should bring it lower, to $100 and $200, respectively.

  • I'm just glad I am NOT a gamer actually.

    After years sitting on the sidelines hearing both the Sony fans and the MS fans battle it out, the real truth is the X-Box 360 was and still is a serious risk of cash.

    You can talk about the games till hell freezes over, but for me, it's all about will the machine be running the next time you go to use it?

    If MS made cars, well they'd have likely killed millions of people by now.
    Their assurances of 'oh we have a great warrantee' just don't make up for the lousy reliability factor.

    The X-Box 360 isn't the equal of the PS3 and that's just an absolute.
    Adding Natal won't make a damned bit of difference.

  • Project Natal will be great for hentai games. Just imagine yourself interact with the girls in the game with your body instead of using the icy controller. Many will willing to shake their hip until it break just to impress the girl on the screen!

  • The only thing that bothers me is that these motion control features are pretty much being shoved down our throats, if all these companies get their way we’ll all be dancing around dodging objects and punching everything in sight while playing games.

  • AzureXuchilbara says:

    Who bloody cares about the console..? I want them to start releasing all the good sh*t games from Japan…

    And more pantsu while they’re at it…I’m tired of all the crap party games anyway…

    Unless said party games are full of lolis killing each other…

    • All the good shit games from japan you say? What like all the beta games they release on crapbox or pee? How about ff13? That isn’t even a game it’s an interactive movie, it’s like saying hey let’s make a movie but add some running and boss fights to make it a game so we can jack the price up. Meh, pretty soon the ff series will probably be made in the usa cause it’s cheaper, you know like what konami did with the silent hill franchise, and look at what happened there.

  • Eh, I’m not totally sure about what Project Natal is but if it’s an add-on upgrade, it’s going to flop. Just like a previous user said, it’s not going to have the gaming library to support it because developers won’t be able to develop for something that only a fraction of the install base actually owns. It’s why hard-drives should’ve been a default and mandatory component in release Xbox 360s (though who knows how many of those are left) rather than an option. Now, once DVD storage becomes obsolete (and it’s getting there fast), they’re pretty much screwed.

    They can’t release a Blu-ray add-on because it will get 32x’d / SegaCD’d just like Natal will and developers can’t develop with the assumption that everyone will have a HD because they don’t. They just won’t put out a product that requires you to buy / install an add-on to play. Disk Swapping works for linear games but such limitations will obviously limit the 360’s gaming library.

    For all the talk of longevity, the 360 is getting backed into a corner pretty quickly.

      • ChaosAngelZero says:

        I don’t quite see how optional controllers (in this case, bundled with games) have anything to do with system add-ons that are mandatory in order to play said add-ons’ games.

        The former has been done forever and never proved to be much of a failure (think of Samba de Amigo’s maracas, or even retail arcade sticks), the latter did prove to be, most of the time, a dead end approach to extending a given system’s life.

      • Obviously not, but it’s akin to asking other developers to develop games for the guitar controller.

        First, only people with the system can buy your game (assuming that Natal remains unique to the 360). Then, only certain people will buy the guitar controller (for whichever game they want to play). Lastly, only a certain portion of those people will buy your game.

        See how your potential market shrinks down very quickly?

        Factor in the added development costs to learn how to program for a different set-up and lowered sales and if you’re a game developer, why bother?

        A multi-platform game just simply needs to leap one hurdle for them to cash out… not 3 hurdles.

        • anon 2:09

          You said the shit I been saying for years. The console companies forget seriously that the developers have to stop and or slow production of other games to teach their team to code with new software. This is why the Wii is full of shovelware and the real good games are very short its hard to code properly and make it play like a full game. PS3 and 360 games really only need a button map swap and its good to go really. IMO to get a bigger abundance of users you need to make it so EVERY can play it no matter what which is why the controller beats gimmicks all the time. Everybody can pick up and use one it just takes a bit of practice but in the minds of casual gamers they just want them to feel like the done something without really putting effort into it.

  • i know project natal is gonna fail. I know that cause when i play the wii, and that’s rare, just moving the controller around for an hr already makes my arm hellla tired, let alone my whole body.

  • Why launch another new model when they’re making money through software sales instead of hardware sales? There are no reason for them to release another FailBox if the current model is apparently fixed…

    But I doubt it will last until 2015, the size of games have increased quite a bit in this generation. It would be really funny to see when most xBox games will be release in multiple DVDs in year 2015.

    • The problem is, each consoles(PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) has already found its own niche. And from the look of things they are pretty comfortable with their market positions. So, unless a newcomer try to stir things up and threaten their market dominance, or either one of the big three trying to outdo the other two. It’s going to be a stalemate for a LONG time.

      • PS3 and Xbox 360 are still running for the second place, you mean.
        And no, Microsoft isn’t comfortable with Japan sales. Sony isn’t comfortable with worldwide sales. We’ll wait and see, but the battle sure’ll be bloody.

  • “Project Natal” By hearing it you think that it’s some secret project of some amazing future technology and then you hear that is about a silly motion controller.
    It’s funny how they say the future is in “Project Natal” like it’s anything really impressive or new. It’s like me marketing my new GRCode9 Battle suit that is nothing more that a new T-shirt i bought.

    If we cared about those silly things we will have bought a Wii.

    • ChaosAngelZero says:

      Well, following that logic and in Microsoft’s eyes, about 65.15 million people do care about it.

      And to me, “Project Natal” sounds like an outer space expedition and planet colonization program or something. Or a new way of helping pregnant women to deliver their children. :/

  • Palmtop Tiger says:

    Taken out of context. They are reffering to lengthening the console’s generational lifespan and not replacing it with a successor. Sony is also planning this and delaying development of a PS4.

    Although a hardware redesign on the 360 wouldn’t hurt.

      • PC gaming is usually pretty poor in my experience, to many incompatibility issues, system requirements, crappy OS. Consoles are made for gaming and do it well, PC is more of a multifunctional tool that can do gaming as well.

        Consoles will always be better.

        • But then that actually means you want to potentially screw with your multi-functional tool to skew itself into a single function tool. That’s why people buy consoles and will continue to do so. Even if a Console is pretty much a crappy computer. Cause it’s optimized and ready to play games. Your computer on the other hand doesn’t like to do that out of the box. You gotta fiddle with it. And quite frankly, I view a computer as a working tool, not a toy. It’s much simpler to hook up a console to a tv and play.

  • so true, sony is a joke for that…instead of discontinuing their systems like the 60s/20s/80s/etc. why dont you just make a god damn barebone ps3 with the EMOTION ENGINE, With media slots, with 4 usb ports without the harddrive…heck, im sure thousands if not millions of people wished their shitty slims/40s/80s had Media readers and more than 2 USB ports and could play ps2 games with the option of able to upgrade their harddive space…

    Sony already uses a Seagate Momentus HDD, its not hard for an average joe to go buy another Seagate hdd with larger capacity and read a FAQ thats less than a page long and takes like 5mins to do.

    • Unlike the Xbox 360, PS3 doesn’t have a dedicated memory unit. A lot of PS3 games requires HDD installation and others have painfully long load time without the optional install. PS3 pretty much needs to come with a hard drive. Just think of it as a more expensive memory card but also does so much more(movies, games, etc). PS3 also works with aftermarket USB Hub and card reader, which aren’t that expensive if you can already afford a PS3. Consider Sony still losing money on each PS3 sold, they aren’t trying to rip you off with the hardware, just the software 😀

  • “The Xbox 360 was designed for a long life, and I don’t even know if we’re at the midpoint yet.”

    Hilarious. The console’s life in terms of marketability is not [i]at all[/i] what I’m worried about.

    As much as I would like to have quite a good bit of the Xbox 360 exclusives like Dead Rising, Earth Defense Force 2017, and all those Japanese-exclusive Shmups, I can’t justify any of that knowing that the system is a ticking time-bomb that could go at any second.

  • i kinda agree with that, i mean come’n, ppl are tired of changing new consoles or devices everytime companies tend to release new one, like SONY Playstation series (include psp series), or iphone and other stuff, they should consider making parts or upgrades such like making newer and faster version of processor, ram just like what most Desktop or Laptop PC’s do…

    • Then honestly, they should just make a really really good console in the first place, to where its quality wouldn’t be questioned. Technology always runs head first then diving into a new quarter/year. While impossible at this point, maybe if there was a few months of new stuff coming to a halt, and telling all the hungry mouths to actually wait till the next meal, that the stuff that DOES come out wouldn’t even NEED to be replaced or patched or upgraded or updated…. at least not until a good solid amount of time went by 😛

  • What are they on thinking NATAL is god and can increase the lifespan of a console.

    Shit it’s a gimmick a lasergun a wiggle wiggle wand it will have 1/2 okay games and bunch of party shit and that’s it.

    I AM NOT going to play bayonetta as some epilectic breakdancer in front of an xbox camera

  • The Wiimote is just an input device. You can emulate Wii games(online play also) at twice the normal speed with a decent computer, similar to last generation game systems. All you need is a cheap dongle(or not) and a IR source, then you can use the Wiimote for any program/game. You can also use a 360/PS3 “controller”(DDR/etc) as well.

    • Well, in my Console rack the PS3 Slim occupies the same space as the Xbox, so your point is rather moot.

      Of course, the Xbox has an external power supply (HUGE brick), so that’s a plus for the PS3.

      Nevertheless, the difference in space occupation is miniscule.

    • Xbox portable? They only know how to build PCs, the Xbox basically is one.

      I can imagine them [s]stealing[/s] buying technology, though. The development of a portable Xbox based on a highend WinMobile smartphone like the HTC topmodels should not be too hard.

      Alas, they would compete against Sony and Nintendo. The new device sure won’t bring easy profit.

    • Maybe when they say “long life” they mean “We’re going to keep the crappy quality for as long as possible so you can further empty your wallets into our bank accounts each time it breaks!”

      Or something like that anyway…

    • The statement was referring to the console specs. This is ofc also absolute bullshit. My $500 laptop outperforms my 360 and my PS3 (Minus Blu-ray) and it’s, well, ya know, portable and whatnot, and it has an actual OS. I personally will be rather unsatisfied if gaming (which seems to be all about consoles for some reason) manages to exist on our current gen consoles for 5 more years.

      *Raises Glass* Here’s to hoping that Steam continues to provide great games at good deals to all of us lazy/sheltered gaming nerds who can’t be bothered to leave the house for our product. Continue to forge into the future of online distribution for the sake of Gamerkind!

      • I can see $500 desktops outperforming the 360 and PS3, since I built one for myself recently. But a $500 LAPTOP? Unless if you got one on sale only the $900+ laptops have any kind of a serious gaming video card on them that outperforms the consoles. Sorry but I smell BS.

        • @03:37

          Yes you can compare the performance of a console and PC. In case you haven’t been paying attention, consoles are computers. Just closed and severely crippled ones.
          They may have a bunch of parallel CPUs, but they are rapidly loosing that advantage to Intel’s future i9 line which comes with 6 cores that run circles around current-gen consoles.

          Let’s not negate the fact that console gamers use PCs too (you aren’t posting from your PS3 are you?). When you add the cost of a low-end PC and a console, it’s not that different from a decent gaming PC.

        • I am not an 360 fanboy. You just can’t compare a console in terms of performance to a pc. That goes for ports too, they are totally independent on system performance and dependent on developer competence (look at the COD4:MW2).

          $500 laptops haven’t been around for that long, yet 360s were created 5 years ago. If you were really to benchmark the CPUs and graphics against something of later years, no shit it would out perform.

          Let’s also negate the fact that a 360 is $270 and a $500 laptop is… $500.

          Honestly, all systems have their perks and it would not be right to bash any of them, but to say a current year laptop ‘outperforms’ a 5 year old console is mimicking a mac ad.

          noobs.

        • PC port on a high-end computer most certainly beat Xbox 360 port of the same game in terms of graphics. How is it not outperforming? Don’t go calling people noob just because you are an Xbox 360 fanboy.

        • Anonymous says:

          The chip _must_ be outdated.
          The process of engineering, manufacturing and releasing a console is a long one, specially if you want it to have a sane development experience, and bleeding edge hardware is a quickly “outdated” by if-only-so-slightly superior versions, incremental updates that amass considerably during the engineering process.

        • Computer clearly wins in the graphics department. Most console are only 720p in game mode with 1080p FMV. Computer games resolution has gone way beyond that. The so-called “Reality Synthesizer” in the all-powerful PS3 is basically a custom GeForce 7800 GT, which itself is a really dated card. Any PC with decent spec can outperform PS3 and Xbox 360, maybe just not at a competitive price point.

    • I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw this comment from Microsoft, “we believe we have a high quality console, and we stand by that quality with an unprecedented warranty”. That is nothing but an utter failure.

      54% failure rate is not considered “high quality”, and they had no choice but to extend the warranty because of those failures, otherwise they would’ve lost more customers ages ago.

      This is how great their “high quality” product performed yesterday in a high profile competition:
      http://kotaku.com/5445667/mlg-win-ruined-by-faulty-xbox-360

    • Typical Microsoft. Say what you have to keep customers pouring in with updates then, BAM! hit us a few months later with news of a “better” console that rivals other platforms…

      Can u imagine if a new console is in the making already? No one get updates or buys games but waits for the the first-look at the latest console.

      Mark this day; Microsoft will eat their own words.

      Cause in the end, all we have is the word of a man named David…