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Microsoft fires the first shot in the "NEXT" generation.... - Page 167  

post #4981 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbexperience View Post

Hold onto yourself 'cause you're not going to believe this, but there are a lot of people that choose not to connect their Xbox. A bunch of them that I know are parents that just don't want their (young) kids involved in the "online community". Others are people in the opposite demo that simply could care less about being online. My father-in-law likes to play Tiger Woods golf games on his orginial box that still has the old dash on it. rolleyes.gif And that doesn't count people that have internet, but not "broadband" (remember the FCC definition is 4/1).

Does Microsoft or game publishers give two craps about these people? No, but they're out there so don't make it sound like it's some ridiculous concept that people choose to not be connected.

If they're going through with this, they'd be crazy not to have parental controls where you could validate your connection and serve you patches without connecting to the broader services of friends/purchases/etc.

Now Im sure a lot of those people aren't going to know how to use those controls, or even be aware they're there, and will just hear the words "always online" and tune out. But it at least placates some of them....it's up to their marketing to get that message out.
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This is exactly the problem with all those analogies. In the US electricity and water (and telephone service) are considered public utilities so that everyone has access to those services.

I agree completely. Broadband access should be a right. I swear I heard the FCC talking about this recently, maybe its just a soft goal instead of hard line they're drawing though?
post #4982 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post


I agree completely. Broadband access should be a right. I swear I heard the FCC talking about this recently, maybe its just a soft goal instead of hard line they're drawing though?

LOL. Kind of cheapens the meaning of rights.
post #4983 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

...........
The rest that have access and choose not to subscribe....those that do so because they can't afford it certainly can't afford a nextbox............

I understand your point, but I feel like there is a subset of that population that we would generally say "can't afford a nextbox" that have one anyway. Having grown up in a county where 33% of the average person's income comes form entitlement programs, rest assured that I see plenty of people that would fall in this category that most definitely have an Xbox, as well as an iPhone, and a $30-$40k car (where's my soapbox rolleyes.gif ).

This line of discussion is probably veering a bit off topic, but my point was that between the 19 million that can't get broadband, and the 100 million that can, but don't have broadband, I think the number of Xbox owners would fall in the middle there somewhere. Maybe rather than trying to put a number on it, I'll just say I believe it's a lot of potential consoles, and leave it at that. MS probably has a good idea of what that number is and (hopefully) made a decision in part based on it.

And to your other point, I think bbexperience is on to something. There are a lot of kids out there who's parents won't let them play online. I certainly know some parents that fall into that category, and when my kids get old enough, I'd certainly have to give it some thought (although, with my pitiful connection, the decision is probably already made for me biggrin.gif).

EDIT: Looks like this had gone to the next page and missed it. You are correct about parental controls.
Edited by J_P_A - 4/6/13 at 12:03pm
post #4984 of 7006
Another thing to consider: the nextbox might be heavily subsidized and sold below cost, in an effort to undercut Sony. Part of that strategy could entail limiting the potential market to those that will turn a profit for them. People that aren't buying multiple games, subscribing to live....they can turn out to be a net loss under that model. Requiring online connectivity can filter a lot of those people out.

At least if that were true, it'd be one way it would benefit consumers - lower initial cost.
post #4985 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

........ Of course, I think you mentioned earlier that people not connected aren't spending those extra dollars that MS wants, so they may be willing to write those off. I suppose with no connected dollars, MS may just lose money on those sales anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

Another thing to consider: the nextbox might be heavily subsidized and sold below cost, in an effort to undercut Sony. Part of that strategy could entail limiting the potential market to those that will turn a profit for them. People that aren't buying multiple games, subscribing to live....they can turn out to be a net loss under that model. Requiring online connectivity can filter a lot of those people out.

At least if that were true, it'd be one way it would benefit consumers - lower initial cost.

Agreed.
post #4986 of 7006
What makes people think consumers not connected to the internet spend so much less on games? I know that because I can get so much playtime on multiplayer games that I buy fewer games than I would if all I did was play single player games.
post #4987 of 7006
I don't have any figures, but from what I've read over the years Microsoft and Sony take a loss on each console they sale (at least in the beginning) in order to make them more attractive. Granted, they make money on games (single player or multiplayer), but game sales are dropping, at least console games (arcade not included). Developers and MS are making more and more money on the online content. The subscriptions, the microtransactions, the buying of electronic clothes with real dollars. That seems to be where more and more of their profit is coming from.
post #4988 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post


And to your other point, I think bbexperience is on to something. There are a lot of kids out there who's parents won't let them play online. I certainly know some parents that fall into that category, and when my kids get old enough, I'd certainly have to give it some thought (although, with my pitiful connection, the decision is probably already made for me biggrin.gif).

EDIT: Looks like this had gone to the next page and missed it. You are correct about parental controls.

there's a heck of a lot more kids that parents do let play online than vice versa. rampant kids running around BF3 and BLOPs/MW.

the parents that restrict online play also are among the least likely to get consoles in general. they'd rather get tablets which are viewed as more conducive to education than consoles. this bears out under statistical analysis. but even going anecdotally, i know a good number of parents that give their toddlers and young children tablets and leap frogs but don't allow television and game systems. the demographics for a leap frog device is relatively small, but it's the demographic that will not get a console. and it's the demographic that Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo is trying to lure to expand the business beyond the traditional gamer. the closest things that have swayed this demographic toward getting a TV and/or console were things like the Wii and the Kinect. a colleague was going to get a Kinect system because he read that it was going to support video conference with Skype. But it never came out (rumors are that it's for the next Xbox) so he ended up buying multiple tablets instead.

parental controls is another feature that was implemented to try to lure in parents that would not get a game system. but do they really work? V Chip was invented and pushed so that parents could have control over what their children watch. But actual usage was terrible and virtually no one uses it. what ends up happening with parental controls is the kids keep pestering their parents constantly so the parents end up disabling it altogether rather than micromanaging. You can always point out the exceptional anecdotal cases, but when you look at it statistically, it doesn't show the same behaviors.
post #4989 of 7006
^^^ Fair enough. I'll buy that.
post #4990 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

Well, you cant blame a company for seeking profit and growth, thats what they do. If the primary motivation here is to raise revenue by stopping piracy and limiting used games, I find that preferable to the alternative of higher priced games and/or the further corruption of games via microtransactions.

Not that they won't attempt all three, but always online isn't going to make me choose not to play a game. Higher priced games will, and microtransactions that screw up the game design *definitely* will.

We sure can if we feel they are overstepping.

EA, who we all know as the last bastion of consumer rights recently had this to say:
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DRM is a failed dead-end strategy; it's not a viable strategy for the gaming business.

Then we have Diablo III coming to the PS3 and 4. We know how well online only went over on the pc:
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“What really motivated that was, when we started talking about doing our own research in terms of the eco systems between PC and console, and when we talked to Sony, there is a significant amount of consoles that are not connected to the internet. Because of that we felt the best way to bring the Diablo experience to all the console players was to offer an offline mode.”

He continued: “A lot of console players will move the console around from the living room to the bedroom and they’re not always connected, so we felt it was important for them to be able to play on their couch and have fun.”.

Let's not forget Ubisoft, they had their go at this:
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"The truth of it, they're more inconvenient to our paying customers, so in listening to our players, we removed them.

"We've gone more the route of reward, as opposed to the stick, when it comes to DRM. That's the biggest shift," he said.
post #4991 of 7006
IMO, no way do they not allow you to play your game that you bought...on your system that you bought...if you don't have a internet connection. That is ridiculous.

My brother in law lives in a rural area, too rural to get a solid internet connection to game online, but apparently he is always playing single player mode games. I don't see them denying sales of hardware and software to him.

As for me, the only reason I game is for online multiplayer.

I would be completely stumped if they did not allow you to play unless you had a connection. I don't see that happening anytime soon.
Edited by mphfrom77 - 4/6/13 at 11:50pm
post #4992 of 7006
Based on the conversation so far, I suppose it would make sense if a sale to an unconnected home will result in a net loss for MS. Meaning, they don't expect to recoup the costs of the console through game sales since they can't make money from the connected content. It would be interesting to know what the return on investment is for a connected vs unconnected console sale.
post #4993 of 7006
That's pretty much pure conjecture. Unless something radical has changed over the last few years, there is no way Microsoft is relying on DLC to make money on a game.
post #4994 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post

IMO, no way do they not allow you to play your game that you bought...on your system that you bought...if you don't have a internet connection. That is ridiculous.

But, it does follow more of a recent trend where companies are now trying to convince us that we do not own the hardware, but just the license for the hardware. Look at the laws around unlock your cell phone.
post #4995 of 7006
Not the game, the console. And as I said, it would be interesting to see the data. We all know they lose money on the consoles and rely on the games to make money. But how much more money do they make on connected games and consoles vs unconnected.
post #4996 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post

That's pretty much pure conjecture. Unless something radical has changed over the last few years, there is no way Microsoft is relying on DLC to make money on a game.

It wouldnt be just DLC. I think it's a pretty safe bet that connected households would buy more. They're conscientious enough to connect it, so they're probably that much more into gaming....unlike the dad who just plays tiger woods or the mom who just plays Wii fit. They def can't advertise and sell you anything if you can't connect. And offline pirates are going to do the opposite of buying,

Say they took a $50 hit on each console - they only pull in like a 10 dollar license fee on each game sold. Anyone that buys less than 5 games is a net loss.....the proportion of connected consoles that would pull in $50 profit is probably much higher than the unconnected ones.

I still don't think I like the idea, and I'm not buying a nextbox for other reasons.....but the more I think about it, the more I see why they'd really want to do it. More revenue, less losses, tighter control....vs slightly smaller potential market.
post #4997 of 7006
At some point you have to design your game/console for the people who can do something instead of the people who can not do something.
post #4998 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by spid View Post

At some point you have to design your game/console for the people who can do something instead of the people who can not do something.

Not when your business model is based on selling your hardware for a loss, and licensing games and accessories for a profit.

wink.gif

Now, if they go with Nintendos or Apples model of profit from day 1, sure.
post #4999 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by TyrantII View Post

Not when your business model is based on selling your hardware for a loss, and licensing games and accessories for a profit.

wink.gif

Now, if they go with Nintendos or Applesof profit from day 1, sure.

I am not sure what this has to do with what I said. There is no proof that aren't designing their console to be profitable from the start.
post #5000 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by spid View Post

I am not sure what this has to do with what I said. There is no proof that aren't designing their console to be profitable from the start.

I guess that's a valid point. However, we could also say there's no proof that they are designing these consoles to be profitable either. We do have some historical data, though. In the past, MS and Sony both based their business model on taking a lose on the consoles and banking on making a profit on the games, licensing, and accessories as TyrantII mentioned. All of this is speculation, and will continue to be until the consoles are released.
post #5001 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

I guess that's a valid point. However, we could also say there's no proof that they are designing these consoles to be profitable either. We do have some historical data, though. In the past, MS and Sony both based their business model on taking a lose on the consoles and banking on making a profit on the games, licensing, and accessories as TyrantII mentioned. All of this is speculation, and will continue to be until the consoles are released.

Yes, but banking on making a profit on games, licensing and accessories has a nothing to do with my point.
post #5002 of 7006
I think I follow what you're getting at, but I don't think that Sony and MS are making consoles for people to "do something." Sony and MS are making consoles to make a profit. I think what you're saying comes into play in the decision making process. How much extra will it cost us to make this thing serve that last 10% that can't or won't connect, and how much money can we expect to get back from that group. If it costs more than they project to make back, they don't support that last 10%.
post #5003 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mphfrom77 View Post

IMO, no way do they not allow you to play your game that you bought...on your system that you bought...if you don't have a internet connection. That is ridiculous.

My brother in law lives in a rural area, too rural to get a solid internet connection to game online, but apparently he is always playing single player mode games. I don't see them denying sales of hardware and software to him.

As for me, the only reason I game is for online multiplayer.

I would be completely stumped if they did not allow you to play unless you had a connection. I don't see that happening anytime soon.

In the 4 years I have owned my Xbox, it came with 2 games and I have purchased 4 games. Though for BF3 I purchased a large amount of DLC and rented servers, and I have had and Xbox live account the entire 4 years. I just play the games I know I like and just don't venture into others, plain and simple. If they offered good multiplayer games for free for a weekend or a week long trial and a place like AVS gave this process good reviews I would likely try other games out possibly leading to purchases.

Now I don't know for sure how many games but I would guesstimate my brother in law ( the one without an xbox live account due to being too rural) has probably gone through at least 20 games in that same time frame.

Basically, there is no gaurantee that connected devices would sell more games than non connected. IMO it quite possibly could end the other way around. Unconnected device users may need more games to keep things interesting? Of course they are not adding dlc to games, or purchasing Xbox live, which I am sure they will want to eventually raise through the roof if they could.
post #5004 of 7006
I wonder how much microsoft makes off of each game compared to what they make off of the DLC?

I've been in both boats over the years. When I had a great connection (and before I had kids), I would play the same game online for months and months and months. Now that I can't do that, I tend to buy more games. Now, those tend to be used games since I have such a backlog of games that looked good, but I never got around to playing. At some point, I'll start playing the new ones smile.gif
post #5005 of 7006
Microsoft potentially lost as much as $126 for each Xbox at launch, not even counting R&D, labor, shipping and support:

http://m.gamespot.com/news/microsoft-taking-126-hit-per-xbox-360-6140383

Reality is probably less, lets round it to $100.

They get roughly $3-10 per retail game:

http://m.ign.com/articles/2006/05/06/the-economics-of-game-publishing

Lets go with the high range of $10 for everything.

Apple and valve take 25-30% off the top of each sale, Microsoft is probably in the same range. Most DLC are $10-15, so lets say $3-5 each DLC.

And they make a profit off XBL gold, after the costs of running it, maybe $20ish bucks a year.

So they've got to sell a LOT of games, DLC and XBL subs to fill that gap. At least 5 *new* $60 games (used games make them $0), 2 DLCs and 2 years of XBL just to break even on a launch box, using the most conservative figures as possible in their favor.

I think its fair to say they want to avoid selling at as large a loss as last time, but Sony has to do the same math. They both need to rebuild their platforms, and lower price/subsidation is one way to undercut the other guy and build initial momentum, which can snowball and pay off later, when they can eventually break even on the hardware and sell that much more content. The Wii might have given them the idea to sell at a profit since it flew off the shelves anyway, but the Wii U is a cautionary tale where sales have basically ground to a halt, high price being one factor. The conservative thing to do is what theyve always done - initially subsidize it, at least a little bit. ($50ish)

So they've got a very serious interest in hooking you into their online ecosystem and getting you to subscribe and buy as much as possible, otherwise the math just doesn't work.

They're probably going to give always online a shot, see how it works, and walk it back if its a disaster. It'll probably be a similar story to microtransactions - a vocal minority will endlessly cry foul, but the math will work out way in their favor and they won't regret a thing.
Edited by bd2003 - 4/7/13 at 1:37pm
post #5006 of 7006
I think you guys are nailing it on the head. They have very accurate numbers with everyone who is connected. Doing some math they probably have a very good idea of what a connected system makes them and what the unconnected system brings in. They aren't concerned with the few people who break the rule, the have the averages and it must be a huge difference for them to do this (If they do). I am sure they have a way to track new games vs used games on their system. If they do release an online only system they have already done their homework and checked it multiple times. Jobs will be on the line over something this big.

I am sure others here are like me, Microsoft's dream customer. I buy 95% of my games brand new right at release. I have been a Live member since it launched. I have spent over $100 on COD downloads through Live alone,lol. If I had to guess I think I own about 30 games, with 28 or so I bought brand new. I am sure they have tracked me and many others like me. The money must be with people on Live.

I personally do not care whether it is or isn't a requirement. I haven't been anywhere the past 10-11 years where I didn't have my Xbox connected to the internet. I play online games most of the time. I would love for Microsoft to find a way to make more money off of each customer. The more they make the more they should spend investing in the console. I am hoping this system is comparable to the PS4. I don't want to own every console next gen again, I mainly game on the 360 because of the controller and Live.
post #5007 of 7006
There's definitely a lot of fear of the unknown going around. But it's really not that unknown....PCs have shifted to essentially the same model long ago.

Steam had a pretty terrible start. The outcry over having to install steam and activate HL2 was just as loud, if not louder. Nowadays its almost universally loved. And it's laden with as strict a DRM as anything. But the convenience factor is so high that few want to go back to the old way of doing things. Get a new PC, download away, no hassle at all, no discs required. Your saves are all in the cloud....its fantastic. When's the last time steam went down? Same with battle.net. I have no idea what happened to my starcraft 1 discs, but I just went to the site downloaded it, and started playing, didnt even have to find my cd key....for a 15 year old game.

There's nothing stopping them from putting in an offline mode like steam, but you'll still need a net connection to activate games. Read between the lines from what's Sony and MS have been saying, and they might actually be doing the exact same thing. Just cause Sony days you can take it offline, doesn't mean it'll work just like a PS3.

There's a smart way for them to do this, and a dumb way. There's no guarantee they start off doing it the smart way....but if valve can figure it out, so can Sony and MS.
post #5008 of 7006
I agree with you on that post bd. I am just ready for the next box to be out already. I want it in my living room.
post #5009 of 7006
Well said bd2003. I daresay if MS implements this like they could with the Steam model in mind they have a good chance of pulling it off pretty well. After all they have seen what Steam had to go through from when it first came out to where it is now. I would be curious to see though if MS did this and let's say Halo 5 comes out. I have to wonder if even their system could handle a few million people activating the game at the same time. If MS does go the digital route I would like to see it emulate steam as much as possible and have the pre-loading of games, so when they do come out we can just fire up the system and start playing. Heck I wouldn't even mind if they made each midnight launch base on timezones since this would help separate some of the activation of the games. As it is I do like the fact that with Steam I can start playing new games on Monday Night at 9PM (West coast here) on a Midnight launch in stores.
post #5010 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arutha_conDoin View Post

Well said bd2003. I daresay if MS implements this like they could with the Steam model in mind they have a good chance of pulling it off pretty well. After all they have seen what Steam had to go through from when it first came out to where it is now. I would be curious to see though if MS did this and let's say Halo 5 comes out. I have to wonder if even their system could handle a few million people activating the game at the same time. If MS does go the digital route I would like to see it emulate steam as much as possible and have the pre-loading of games, so when they do come out we can just fire up the system and start playing. Heck I wouldn't even mind if they made each midnight launch base on timezones since this would help separate some of the activation of the games. As it is I do like the fact that with Steam I can start playing new games on Monday Night at 9PM (West coast here) on a Midnight launch in stores.

Activation shouldn't be that stressful on a server. Most people already go online with Halo as it is on the first night, I don't think they've had an issue with it in a while. Live probably has like 20 million users a day anyway. If their activation servers crash just a single time, they'll learn real quick, its just a matter of not skimping on them. I'm sure it's a problem they'd love to have. If Netflix can handle 20% of total Internet traffic every night, I'm sure Microsoft can handle far less than that. The systems that tend to crash are new ones - once they've been through it the initial screwup, it tends to do fine - simcity and D3 were new = crash. Wow and SC never had a crash for their expansions. The great Xmas XBL crash was what...2007? 2008? A couple months ago the cloud saves were shaky for a few days....that was one of the newest parts of the system, but the problem was isolated to just that one feature, and I never lost any data over it.

I expect it to have some initial hiccups, but it won't be a persistent issue. All I know is, the more I use steam, the more I find myself wishing my consoles worked the same way. All they need to do is ask themselves....WWVD?
Edited by bd2003 - 4/8/13 at 5:13am
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