back to article Can Microsoft's U-turn stop the Xbox 360 becoming another XP?

It's shaping up to be a summer of U-turns for Microsoft. In May Redmond revealed big changes to Windows 8 that increasingly look like a step-away from the all-or-nothing march into the Metro touch UI. Microsoft's now retreating on Xbox One as Don Mattrick, president of the company's interactive entertainment business, was …

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  1. Spearchucker Jones
    WTF?

    No.

    That, at least, is what Betteridge's law of headlines tells us. The reality is yes. Because no publisher will create new games for an old console. Duh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No.

      Publishers will create games if the market is there and they are permitted to. Sega were releasing Dreamcast games for 6 years after they pulled the plug on console production in 2001. However Sega had no need to kill off the Dreamcast as they had no newer model to push.

      1. TheVogon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: No.

        Another XP? What - as in a massive success and cash cow, with a lifetime of 13 years+ ?

        1. lawl
          Thumb Up

          I think you missed the point.

          The point the headline is making is that so many people are still using XP even after Vista, 7 & 8. It's suggesting that the XBone will be a flop and everyone will stick with the 360.

          1. kb
            FAIL

            Re: I think you missed the point.

            But that is missing a big factor in why that comparison doesn't work. With XP? You honestly don't NEED to get MSFT to "bless" you to make it a usable OS, whereas with consoles MSFT can simply refuse to license new games and that is that.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. kb
        Windows

        Re: No.

        Win 8 is a corpse because it is NOT intuitive, NOT discoverable, and most tasks (if you can even figure out how to do what you want, I've seen geeks that have been using windows since 3.1 not figure out basic tasks with that turkey) take MORE work and are MORE of a PITB and not less.

        To me a perfect example is when i posted to a site filled to the brim with OS guys, the kind that will download offbeat OSes like Haiku just because "hey I've never tried that!", and I posted how stupid it was that Win 8 put shutdown under settings, that this made ZERO sense and didn't follow conventions, know what I got? "So THAT is how you shut it down!" because the majority had NOT figured out the standard procedure to accomplish this basic task, some were hitting the power button, some were logging off to get to it that way, after weeks of fiddling most couldn't even find the shutdown button in the OS.

        I'm sorry but if your design is so convoluted that geeks can't figure the damned thing out? You are in BAD shape. win 8 is what you get when you let artists that no zipola about OS design "make something pretty for tablets". ironically what do most defenders of Win 8 tell you? Use keyboard commands LOL! Yeah, a tablet design that isn't usable without going back to memorizing keyboard shortcuts like Windows 2, smooth. I don't know how links work here, or if they do at all, but this animated evaluation says it better than I could..

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTYet-qf1jo

    3. SuccessCase

      Re: No.

      Betteridge's Law of Headlines is broken in this case because the headline contains too many clauses and negatives to parse easily. If the reg had actual newspaper hacks writing the headlines, they would likely have simplified the headline to the point where Betteridge's Law would apply, so his law remains a good one I think.

      I'm not a hack, but I would think something like the following would have been more likely for the Mail or the Sun:

      Is XBox still on the Road to Vista?

    4. Dr. Bobalicous
      Facepalm

      Re: No.

      So Fifa 14 isn't being released for the PS2 then? A brand new game on a 13 year old console which has a successor already released....

      Source:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_14

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_2

      and

      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-06-10-fifa-14-confirmed-for-pc-ps2-wii-ios-android-everything-but-wii-u

      1. Ramiro

        Re: No.

        Playstation 2 are still big sellers in Brazil. Only very recently PS 3 became reasonably affordable to a normal middle class family, and these are a minority here. The market for PS 2 is still huge, if they know how to handle it.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: No.

          The PS2 I believe is still the biggest selling console in history though I think the DS was very close.

        2. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: No.

          Brazil, and or India do NOT, the First World make. And do less to propagate a Ten Year plan that was promised to the "First World"! I could care less about these Developing nations and more so about my own. This holds just as true above the Board be-it for Video Games, or Homelessness. Television and Popstars like to make a big to-do about whats going on 'round the World all the while not bothering to look further down their own Road.

          So while the PS2 may ~just maybe~ enjoying life in some for off Tropical Paradise. ITS BEEN STONE COLD DEAD EVERYWHERE ELSE!

      2. Greg J Preece

        Re: No.

        So Fifa 14 isn't being released for the PS2 then? A brand new game on a 13 year old console which has a successor already released....

        It certainly is. I happen to know one of the guys making it. I was as surprised as anyone else.

      3. Michael Habel Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: No.

        There was another Clown that mentioned FIFA14 by name, as an upcoming Title for the PlayStation2.

        So I'll propose the same question to you, as I did him... Just where the Hell would One pick-up a FIFA14 for the PS2 when PS2 IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE AT RETAIL?

        Does this mean I should pay the full price for a badly manhandled copy at Gamestop? Freakin' Conartists think they can pass such Crap off as new! Or do I wait a month for the Post do deliver it from Amazon?

        Nice argument, but I'd rather assume not trust everything I read on a Wiki Page.

      4. kb
        Windows

        Re: No.

        You can't compare Sony and MSFT, two totally different corporate cultures. Look at how quickly they pulled the plug on the original Xbox when X360 came out, while promising them backwards compatibility (that never came for the majority of games) while Sony kept putting out games for a couple of years.

        With MSFT once the new one comes out that is it, you won't hear a peep about the previous product because as far as they are concerned it doesn't exist. How much do you hear from them about Win 7? Zune? Winphone 7? as far as MSFT is concerned they just don't matter. Japanese corporate culture isn't quite as "quarterly" focused as the US corporate culture so as long as people are willing to buy a product they are willing to sell.

        I'm sure the OEMs stuck with all those copies of Win 8 would have liked MSFT to have a similar culture but alas it doesn't.

    5. asdf Silver badge

      Re: No.

      You knew this was coming when EA threw Microsoft under the bus (smartly as EA can't afford to burn the tiny amount of goodwill they have left with anyone). You just knew EA and Ubisoft were pushing Microsoft to do this and when the poop hit the fan they were like well we have no plans to use Microsoft's built in limitations and to limit customer choice in the future. LMAO.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        EA threw Microsoft under the bus?

        "You knew this was coming when EA threw Microsoft under the bus .. You just knew EA and Ubisoft were pushing Microsoft to do this and when the poop hit the fan they were like well we have no plans to use Microsoft's built in limitations and to limit customer choice in the future. LMAO".

        I don't understand:

        Where does it say EA and Ubisoft were pushing Microsoft?

        Why would EA and Ubisoft be pushing for this if they didn't have a post-poop plan?

        What is your post-poop plan?

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: EA threw Microsoft under the bus?

          >Where does it say EA and Ubisoft were pushing Microsoft?

          Those were the rumors going on behind the scenes. Microsoft looks even dumber if they were putting those restrictions in place without prompting from their 3rd party buddies.

          >Why would EA and Ubisoft be pushing for this if they didn't have a post-poop plan?

          Their post poop plan was to release a statement saying they didn't plan on restricting their games using Microsoft's DRM tools at this time (before U-turn) If Microsoft went ahead and took all the flack I am sure by release they would have been tightening the DRM on their titles as much as possible. They hate the resale market.

          >What is your post-poop plan?

          I am indifferent as hell to all the console makers. They are all going to be a big bag of hurt in their own ways.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    The 360 cannot live like XP did

    The 360 cannot live like XP has as Microsoft control the flow of games onto the console and they can kill it by switching off the Live service if they wish.

    Yes old games would still work but the flow of new titles would dry up and there would be no online capability.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: The 360 cannot live like XP did

      it would be commercial suicide to do that though.

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: The 360 cannot live like XP did

        And this has stopped Microsoft when?

        Various MS departments have committed commercial suicide so many times they're on first name terms with Simon de Belleme.

        The bit I don't get is how they manage to survive their regular attempts at car park stuka-ing..

    2. Daniel B.

      Re: The 360 cannot live like XP did

      Yes, they could do that. But if the problem were that people aren't just buying the XBone, that might just piss those 360 owners enough to send 'em to the PS4. Hell, maybe even used PS3s just to give MS the finger!

      PS2 games were still being released years after the PS3 came out, and it is pretty possible they were being released because the PS2 had a larger install base than the new gen consoles for quite some time.

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: The 360 cannot live like XP did

      It wouldn't be the first time the did that either! *cough* April 15, 2010... *cough*

      Last I heard the 360 should be up till 2017 at the latest...

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: The 360 cannot live like XP did

        MS could have killed XP by ceasing support/updates for that, too.

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    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: No - Kill The XBOX ONE with FIRE - don't reward DRM + Spying

      "The U-turn raises more questions than it answers."

      Which are?

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. cjtcook

          Re: No - Kill The XBOX ONE with FIRE - don't reward DRM + Spying

          You know it's funny, I used to feel the exact same way about Sony and the Sony BMG CD copy protection rootkit scandal of 2005-2007. Sony released these DRM CDs, with harmful software, without any foreknowledge to their customer base. So to look at MS's history without acknowledging Sony's is disingenuous.

        2. h3

          Re: No - Kill The XBOX ONE with FIRE - don't reward DRM + Spying

          Those specific publishers (EA / Ubisoft) will have DRM either way. But their own DRM is likely to be more broken than the one Microsoft would have had. They have shown with the PC they cannot even get it working right most of the time.

          Sony alters their minds all the time as well they are very similar to Microsoft in that they are ok when they are not the leader but start screwing the customer over whenever they can.

          Thing about MS is they won't change something fundamental after a product is released whereas Sony will do anything at any time.

        3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: No - Kill The XBOX ONE with FIRE - don't reward DRM + Spying

          "So many questions are raised. Is the U-Turn just PR smoke and mirrors? A sleight of hand after all the scandals? Is it there to distract from the Spying / NSA scandals which MS are entrenched in?"

          Ok, fair points, though really it's just one (albeit major) point :-)

          Wouldn't such a major policy shift mean the console could be described "not fit for purpose", and thus returnable? Do you think maybe MS are banking on once people buy the console, they won't even attempt to return it if MS move the goalposts back?

          1. Down not across Silver badge
            Black Helicopters

            Re: No - Kill The XBOX ONE with FIRE - don't reward DRM + Spying

            Well looking at the history no such thing happened with Xbox 360. However can the same be said about PS3?

            Didn't think so.

        4. Kunari

          Re: No - Kill The XBOX ONE with FIRE - don't reward DRM + Spying

          I'm sure once MS has convinced you to buy the console they'll begin to turn on the DRM again one piece at a time.

          1. Rob Moir

            Re: No - Kill The XBOX ONE with FIRE - don't reward DRM + Spying

            And Sony couldn't change their minds about DRM too?

            If you're going to worry and refuse to buy a modern console over what might happen then the only logical outcome is to keep your money in your pocket. Actually not a bad thing.

            1. JDX Gold badge

              Re: No - Kill The XBOX ONE with FIRE - don't reward DRM + Spying

              Yeah, the PS4 was rumoured to do the same things as the One, absolutely no reason they won't introduce similar stuff if it becomes seen as OK with the masses.

    2. andy mcandy
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: No - Kill The XBOX ONE with FIRE - don't reward DRM + Spying

      BOOBIES

  4. Tchou
    Coat

    Does failing to fail make it a success?

    1. wowfood

      No, it's just failception.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Nonsense, Microsoft has a very successful history of failure.

      And they are once again failing brilliantly.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fuck them.

    They shot themselves in the cock and they know it; their greed deserves punishing.

    Shame, I preferred xbox controllers and wasn't mightily keen on Sony's practises prior to this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fuck them.

      Sony have screwed up big time in the past too. PS3's scratching discs, PSN being taken offline due to hacking and poor security.

      Personally neither PS4 or an XBox One is a compelling choice.

      1. Babbit55

        Re: Fuck them.

        Don't forget this weeks PS3 patch that bricked machines! oh and you want Sony to fix it? thats £80 please!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fuck them.

        Yes, that's why I said I wasn't keen on Sony's practices prior to this.

        Learning from your mistakes is somewhat different to chancing your mitt and doing a u-turn when you start shitting bricks.

    2. dogged
      WTF?

      Re: Fuck them.

      " their greed deserves punishing"

      Even the most rabid of Sony shills - hi Barry! - couldn't possibly argue Xbox One's phonehome and limitations were about Microsoft's greed.

      Nope, those were for Mr EA Games esquire and nobody else. It made no sense for MS - they want to sell consoles. It made all the sense for EA - they want to stop you from owning your games.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Fuck them.

        So called Mr EA could disable games even in the existing 360 / PS3 infrastructure e.g. by packing a registration code in the box which is needed to play the full game. This is precisely what the onerous "Project Ten Dollar" was about - screwing second hand disc owners for another $10 to unhobble the game they just bought, e.g. by unlocking multiplayer or to obtain the maps or expansions everyone else was playing.

        The difference here was Microsoft were building the infrastructure to support that model - unique serial codes embedded onto the disc, some way of reading them, an infrastructure for validating the code, presumably a payment system to "reactivate" the disc and so on.

        Maybe it was EA et al pushing this model but it's naive to think Microsoft were facilitating it from the goodness of their hearts. Somewhere along the line they'd be lining their wallets, skimming a % of the transaction required to reactivate the disk.

        Anyway, just because they've backed down doesn't mean EA or Ubisoft or Activision have. It's quite likely they'll carry on doing what they did with the 360 and PS3 - selling reactivation codes. Of course if the XBox One and / or PS4 does embed serial # on the disc, it practically invites this practice regardless of the words coming out of each console maker's mouths. When it starts up again Sony and MS will say they were just referring to their own games, not other publishers.

        1. dogged

          Re: Fuck them.

          Maybe it was EA et al pushing this model but it's naive to think Microsoft were facilitating it from the goodness of their hearts. Somewhere along the line they'd be lining their wallets, skimming a % of the transaction required to reactivate the disk.

          More likely something along the lines of "if you lock down our games from those filthy gamers, we'll give you longer exclusives".

          If MS were taking a commission it'd basically be becoming a digital Gamestation.

        2. Down not across Silver badge

          Re: Fuck them.

          Quite.

          Now, if they had the option of the online verification falling back to checking for physical disc (ie. if you have several games installed on HDD you wouldn't need to play disc roulette when switching between games if you had internet connectivity) in the absence of internet connectivity or because you had opted to do that in the settings they would have been able to get best of both worlds so to speak.

          Bottom line is that for Microsoft as a hardware manufacturer the DRM makes no odds, in fact it is more of a hindrance to have to bother with it. For Microsoft as software/games publisher it is a different story, and I agree that it is more than likely that EA (and possibly some other publishers) had their influence in pushing it and will no doubt continue to do so and try to extract every last penny out of each product.

      2. Daniel B.
        Facepalm

        Re: Fuck them.

        Even the most rabid of Sony shills - hi Barry! - couldn't possibly argue Xbox One's phonehome and limitations were about Microsoft's greed. ... sez the MS shill.

        Ironically, EA are dropping their own retarded attempt at screwing the second-hand games market: Online Pass is being phased out. Yes, publishers probably had a hand on MS trying to pull off this, but for it to work it would have to be implemented on all platforms. Anyone who isn't stupid would know that DRMing the shit out of a console will send people fleeing to the competition unless they are also locked down. By the time MS went on to go full retarded offering their horrible games lockdown, Sony had already stated that the "NFC chip disc lockdown" FUD wasn't true and that there would be no secondhand games lockdown.

        It would have been interesting though if the devs pushing for this DRM scheme were actually offering the X1 more exclusives. If it had gone through, those publishing houses would've had their exclusives crash & burn, as the thing would have not sold. Which is why I'm sad that MS did do a U-turn: all of those who pushed for this braindead, greedy scheme should have been punished by economic failure and bankruptcy. That would send a pretty strong message to anyone even trying to pull this off that its just not worth it.

        1. Kunari

          Re: Fuck them.

          I believe EA decided to drop the their program because the XBOne DRM system was coming. EA wanted some good PR to distance from all the bad PR over the last few years. Then comes XBOne with it's DRM, now that MS has pulled a u-turn it'll be interesting to see if EA doesn't pull one of their own.

        2. Wilseus

          Re: Fuck them.

          all of those who pushed for this braindead, greedy scheme should have been punished by economic failure and bankruptcy. That would send a pretty strong message to anyone even trying to pull this off that its just not worth it.

          I agree with everything you have said, except for this last bit. Having worked in the games industry in the past for a number of years, it's the devs and independent studios that would suffer here, not the directors in EA's boardroom.

          1. kb
            Unhappy

            Re: Fuck them.

            And whose fault is that? Moral of the story, don't work for scumbags. Plenty of room in the indie market, just ask runic who have been enjoying success with the torchlight series. Make a good product, treat the customers right, and you can just sell to use directly.

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