Are Microsoft Doing The Home Media Center Thing Right?

I just saw an article on Edge saying the Microsoft are testing a build of IE9 for the Xbox 360. This lead me to think, maybe Microsoft’s home media hub strategy is working quite well. The infiltrated our homes as a pure gaming device, not having spent much on making the console a media centre apart from video playback from (DVD and DivX) and music playback.

Keeping things simple at the start meant that the X-Box 360 was (and still is) substantially cheaper than it’s Rival the PS3, which meant it got higher market saturation. Now that they have built up a large install base they have started adding features like Streaming Video and now a browser.

Compare and contrast this with Sony’s strategy of releasing a super expensive console  with everything built into it, by gradually adding features Microsoft have sneakily put a media hub into the homes of gamers, and can now negotiate better deals with content providers as they have a large install base.

I own both a 360 and a PS3 and I’ll admit that the only thing I use the PS3 for it media playback (And playing Final Fantasy XIII, but that’s a different story, I initially bought the console because FF13 wasn’t going to coming out on the 360).

Now the X-Box Costs so little and Microsoft are even talking about releasing it as a subscription service ($99 for the console with a 24 month contract), it will probably live on past the release of the next version of the X-Box and continue making them money as a media hub for people who use it to consume media rather than just play games. Then when people upgrade they can take whatever media features they want with them, I doubt MS will reduce the feature set with the Next-Box 360 they’ve already got the licensing agreements, and a revenue stream.

I think it’s possible that Microsoft and Sony had a Tortoise/Hare race going with this generation of the console war, and it’s looking like Microsoft’s Tortoise strategy has has beaten Sony’s Hare brained plans…

Oh please no…. Square Are Probably Working on Final Fantasy XIII-3

I’m going to cut to the chase, Final Fantasy XIII was rubbish, that isn’t just my opinion but everyone I have spoken to about the game thinks that it was rubbish. I was a little aghast when I found out that Square were making a FFXIII-2 but I saw the business sense in it, they spent a lot of money on the IP for the first game so why not reuse them.

Apparently “Corporation Service Company” who handle domain registration for Square have registered the domain finalfantasyxiii-3.com. This doesn’t mean anything, it could just be a case of them registering it in case they need it or to stop anyone else from buying it, but still the implication is that they want to protect that trademark.

Also I’d not seen this, but there is a trailer for Final Fantasy XIII-2 with commentary from the dev team, I quote from the subtitles:

“In the most exiting of battle moments we have introduced the new element of cinematic action events that require interaction from the player rather than just showing cut scenes”

This is around 2:40 in the video below and guess what form this amazing innovation takes?

QUICK TIME EVENTS!

Seriously Square? I have lost all faith in you

Why can’t Square release a good game based on it’s solid RPG principles, or at least revisit old IP and bring the graphics up to date, I’d pay good money to play this if it were brought up to date:

Or even a version of the fan-boy sweetheart Final Fantasy VII with the graphics from the advent children movie?

Or continue what they started with the Tech Demo for Final Fantasy VIII when they announced the PS2…

But instead they seem to continue to work on mediocre sequels to mediocre games, saving the interesting game ideas like Crisis Core (The Final Fantasy VII prequel, on the PSP) for platforms on which no one is going to play them…

I’m getting sick of ranting about this, it boils down to Square losing touch with their core audience chasing after some mythical casual RPG gamer audience…

Via Geek Native

Dear Square-Enix: Please Move On…

When Hammer of Games of State asked on twitter if anyone he knew had completed FFXIII and would play FFXIII-2 I thought he was referring to Final Fantasy XIII Versus which is AFAIK yet to be released, but no, Squeenix have decided that Final Fantasy XIII wasn’t bad enough they are making a sequel… Seriously…

The internet is already teeming with whiny fanboys asking why they didn’t do a sequel of one of the good Final Fantasies so I’m not going to go there. I guess it makes sense, you spend millions developing the IP and Models for a game these days why not write a sequel to the game and recycle the characters and 3D models? Meh… I actually care so little about this I can’t be bothered ranting about it, that is saying something…

On a completely unrelated note is the music at the end of that video not from Bleach?

Via YouTube – Final Fantasy XIII-2 Debut Trailer.