Over on 1-up.com, there’s a great rundown of the similarities between the DreamCast and Xbox 360. Of course, the fact is that even with these similarities, the Xbox 360 will be at least as successful as the Xbox, if not more so, simply because of Microsoft’s underlying strategy: If there’s a problem, throw money at it to make it go away. Where it gets interesting are some of the points the 1-up article brought up.
For example, the new Sony console is far superior on paper, but more difficult to write optimized code for. The Xbox 360 on the other hand is relatively easy to write for. This is going to be a major factor in the system’s growth as games written for the Xbox are ported over to the PS3 without optimizations. This happens all the time, with classic examples being the Amstrad CPC series and MSX range of 8-bit systems (both of which received many a spectrum game port), the Atari ST (with straight ports to the Amiga eariler, then straight ports from the Amiga later on) and even the Dreamcast, which received straight ports of Playstation games – Spiderman being a notable example.
Point #17, MSR versus Project Gotham 3 – this just makes me laugh. As a former Dreamcast owner (and current Xbox owner) I can honestly say that when I played PGR2 I realised that whilst it had moved on since MSR, it was only as big a jump as an older FIFA game to a newer one. PGR3 I imagine will have plenty of whizzy graphics, but will probably add little to the gameplay.
Several points in the article bring up the selling points of the Xbox 360 and its online gaming functionality. As I modded my Xbox some time ago to use it as an Xbox Media Center, I never bothered with Xbox live. I can’t imagine on-line gaming in my living room, as my wife would most likely kill me. (She doesn’t like me playing GTA SA with her in the room, I get about 2 hours a week of Xbox gaming if I’m lucky.) – The PSP on the other hand gets used almost, if not daily on my commute. I wouldn’t use the online gaming feature of Xbox 360 – I didn’t use the features on the Dreamcast either. I would use media functions though, but probably not until we replace our TV with a HDTV equivalent – and that’s a good few years off.
Herein lies the problem. My Xbox provides me with the Media capabilities I want, a good selection of games for the rare occasion I get to sit down and play on them and the emulation functionality I want so I can play old games – in fact the same old games I’m playing on my PSP. I don’t ‘do’ online gaming (for fear of divorce, or worse!) so I have no reason to buy and Xbox 360 or PS3.
Now for some questions:
- What do you think, is the Xbox 360 the next Dreamcast?
- Would you use the ‘live’ functionality of the Xbox 360?
- What does the Xbox 360 need to do/have to get you to upgrade?