A new era: The history of launch (a MUST read)

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A new era: The history of launch (a MUST read)

Post by kai666 » Monday, 21 Aug 2006, 12:50

A new era: The history of launch (November 30th, 2005)

- Just over a week ago, on November 22nd, the Xbox 360 was officially launched in USA
and Canada. What followed the launch was a storm of negativity, and this entry is going to
focus on how and why this storm came to be. To understand it though, we must go back 6

- On September 9th of 1999, Sega released the first next-generation system of the 1999-2005
generation, named the Dreamcast. The Dreamcast boasted the best launch game line-up of all
time, there was something for everyone, including the new Sonic Adventure and perfect arcade
renditions of classics like NFL Blitz Gold and Hydro Thunder, along with fighters like Soul
Calibur, which were all highly acclaimed. The Dreamcast was priced at $200, and also was the
first system to have online capabilities and virtual memory cards. Sony in its first strike against
Sega, released the sequel to one of the most popular games of all time, Final Fantasy 8, on the
same day as the Dreamcast released.

- As soon as it hit the market, Sony was out for blood. The PlayStation 2 was set to release
13 months later in October of 2000, and didn’t want Sega getting a head start. Sony began
spreading rumors of faulty hardware throughout the Internet, and like any prevalent rumor some
believed the rumors that had been spread. In October of 2000, the PlayStation 2 (PS2) was
released in a very “botched” launch. Sony only launched with around 300,000 systems, which
created a huge hysteria for the system. Systems were selling from $2,000-$5,000 on eBay.
Over 1/3 of these launch systems (100,000) broke within days, but more on that later. So with
the desperation by consumers and retailers to get the PS2, Sony dealt Dreamcast a deathblow.
Sony was staggering the launch, creating the shortage, and part of the strategy was to tell
retailers to remove all Dreamcast advertising, and move their section to the back of the store, and
if they didn’t, PS2s would not be going to their store. Sony could afford to dish out this threat,
because they knew the retailers needed the systems to fulfill pre-orders that people had placed,
and because they had so few to release, that if some stores didn’t get any, it wouldn’t matter to

- Within a month or so, the Dreamcast was dead. It was announced that Dreamcast would
have no more games coming out for it, and no more units would be manufactured. Sony had
effectively killed one of the most innovative systems in video game history with its disgusting
business tactics. Dreamcast were still flying off the shelves in Japan and USA, and they had to
start up the manufacturing line for the Dreamcast for a short while a bit later down the road, but
still, no game developers were bothering to make any games for it.

- Meanwhile, Sony continued to deny its launch systems had any trouble, and were forcing
people to either buy a new system, or pay them to repair the issues. In a Class Auction Lawsuit
(filed against Sony due to their faulty launch systems) recently settled, Sony admitted to know of
the problem all along, I’m not sure how this doesn’t get mainstream press, but if any other
company did this, there would be Congressional hearings about it. Sega was having money
troubles and they were counting on the Dreamcast to succeed, sadly, it didn’t, and the developer
of some of the most original games of all time was done when it came to consoles.

- Due to all the replacements systems being sent back to upset customers, and people having
to buy 2 or 3 PS2s, the Sony PlayStation 2 sales numbers were off the scale. To this day, PS2
boasts a 90+ million sales number, a number that is insanely inflated, the actual number of
working PS2s in homes is closer to 50-60 million.

- In mid-November of 2001, the Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox were released,
and have both done moderately well, especially the Xbox. The size of Microsoft’s user base on
the Xbox, and their online network Xbox Live is very impressive for its first try. Xbox was the
second console to ever take on online gaming, something that was not profitable to console
makers. Microsoft had the money though, and created a unified online service that they have
built upon since November 15, 2002. Xbox Live now has over 2 million users, and operates on
both the Xbox and Xbox 360 flawlessly.

- Now, Sony has claimed many false things about their system, and other systems, and I
could go on and on about the countless debates that have raged on since 2001 between fans of
each console, but I’m mostly concentrating what has happened during launch time of systems.
Now in mid-2005, Microsoft revealed its new system, which would now be the system to kick
off the next-generation (much like the Dreamcast did), which we just entered. The President of
PlayStation immediately began slamming the system publicly calling it the Xbox 1.5, etc. At each
of the games shows throughout the summer and fall, Microsoft would show game play of
upcoming games, while Sony would show exaggerated CGI videos of their games coming in 1-2
years. Of course, just like the developers and the inflated sales numbers of the PS2, the media
and public saw the CGI videos and were amazed, Sony always stole the show with false
representations of the PS3. The casual gamer doesn’t even think about the difference between
game play and CGI, they think (and they should be able to think this way) that if a company
shows you something, that is what you expect to get.

- I always thought it was funny, because I knew the Xbox 360 would come out well before
the PS3, and people would see that the Xbox 360 is not what Sony would like you to believe, and
it would speak for itself, so I never got too riled up about all the crap Sony and it’s fans would
spew day after day.

- Now that we have gone through that little history lesson, let me bring you to where we are
now. On November 22nd, 2005, just over a week ago, Microsoft launched the highly anticipated
console in USA and Canada. They shipped an estimated 400,000-500,000 units. Now this is not
enough to meet demand of course, but Xbox 360 is doing an unprecedented worldwide launch.
On December 2nd, they will launch in Europe another estimated 300,000 consoles, and then on
December 10th, an estimated 150,000 consoles in Japan.

- No system has ever done anything even close to this. With Sega, Nintendo, and Sony
consoles, USA usually has to wait about 6 months, and Europe waiting as long as a year
sometimes. Microsoft could have boasted the biggest one day sales of any console in history,
but instead they wanted to try and make all the territories happy all at once, instead of neglecting
fans just because of where they live. The Xbox 360 also launched with what is basically the
undisputed best launch line-up, just behind the Sega Dreamcast, I won’t go into the specifics of
that, as you can find the list anywhere on the Internet these days, but it has a game for
everybody, and some very anticipated titles.

- The same day the Xbox 360 came out though, Internet message boards, blogs, news
boards, etc. were slammed with anti-Xbox 360 articles and posts. FoxNews.com and the New
York Post posted articles entitled, “Don’t Buy the Xbox 360” and contained in the article was
very uninformed hatred of the system, while praising the Sony PS2. Upon further investigation,
it was found that Fox News, who owns the NY Post, is owned by NEWS CORP, who is tied in
with, guess who, Sony.

- Complaints of “defects” and rumors of recalls were flooded onto the Internet, and news
station like Fox News ran anti-Xbox 360 articles. It almost seems silly, but when you’re talking
about a multi-billion dollar industry, that is becoming bigger than music and movies, you can see
why Sony is desperate to stomp any competition. This is no different than a political campaign
to Sony, anything goes. I haven’t seen Microsoft attacks or slander Sony once, but this is how
Sony operates and how they sell their systems, by hype and misinformation.

- Larry Hryb, the Xbox Live Director of Programming, who runs a weekly audio blog and
website has even noticed and commented on how all these people with “defective” consoles
almost always have no evidence of even owning a console. Xbox Live has gone through a huge
upgrade just recently, which allows anybody to see what you’re doing on your Xbox 360, and
what you’ve done on Live, etc, so when someone says they have the console, but has no Xbox
Live activity, or even an account, it starts to become obvious. Once again, this may seem
insane, but there are thousands of people out there who have an intense hatred of Microsoft
and/or the Xbox brand, and a passionate love for the PlayStation, and will spread anything true or
false, if it’ll help take out the competition. Also, we all know how negative news, whether it’s
true or not, spreads, which is like wildfire. All the casual gamers and just general public hears a
quick thing on the news about the Xbox 360 “melting disks” and soon, it’s a fact to anybody not
in the know.

- I’ve mentioned the Xbox 360 to people who don’t even play video games, and the first
thing they say is, “Oh, I heard they are having a recall” or something along those lines. Of
course with any system launch there will be a small number of defective consoles, which is less
than 3% with the Xbox 360, but if you looked online, you’d believe it’s somewhere around
30%. You can even experiment with this in real life. Go to the electronics section of any retail
store and ask people browsing about the system, ask a kid about it, or ask the clerk there even,
and I guarantee you, 70% of the time you will get a negative response, and this is why.

- Sony knew they couldn’t pull the same thing on Microsoft and the Xbox 360 as they did
with Dreamcast. Sony already knows Microsoft is going to throw out the most anticipated game
of all-time, Halo 3, right around the launch of the PS3 if they can, and there’s no way retailers
are going to turn down all the sales that will garner, just to appease Sony, this is why I was very
pleased with how everything was working out, but I never expected this to happen.

- Sony’s new business tactic seems to be to just smear the competition’s name through the
mud, using all their resources, which are massive. They own several news stations and
newspapers, and it’s a very small task to just throw out a few articles about how the Xbox 360
is faulty, etc. and it’ll spread like crazy when it’s about the hottest item for Christmas.
Coinciding with the news of Xbox 360’s launch, and how they were selling for $1,000 on eBay
and everybody wanted one for Christmas, was the smear campaign by Sony, telling everyone
that they wouldn’t work.

- Microsoft has come out and said that the defective systems are very few in numbers, and
that if you have any problems, call 1-800-4MYXBOX, and they will overnight you a box to send
them your Xbox 360, and they will either replace or repair the system, and you will have it back
within 5 business days, free of charge. They’re not denying there are some defects, and they are
fixing anything swiftly, much unlike Sony and the PS2, as we went over before, where they
were charging people $100 for a problem they knew about when shipping. Sony also shipped
their portable gaming device, the “PSP” with known defects with the screen, but due to them
wanting to keep the same small size of the system, they shipped them anyway…style over
stability it seems.

- Microsoft has also said, as the “defective” systems come in, they have noticed it’s due to
internal failure, and it’s due to very poor handling at shipping centers. I think we all know how
poor some equipment can be handled, and when we’re talking about the most advanced
technology on the market, contained in a console not meant to be slammed around, chips and
other fragile equipment is sure to be affected. A lot of the other defective stories come from
people not using their system properly (moving the system around while it’s on, placing it on
carpet up against walls so it cannot breathe, etc.) and it also comes from people who cannot find
or afford the system, and like a little kid who can’t see that R-rated movie they want to go see,
will instantly make themselves believe they hate the system, or that it’s defective, so they don’t
want it anyway. The stories coming from those 2 sources pale in comparison though compared
to the negative press Sony is pushing out there.

- It’s hard to tell how the negative press is going to affect the Xbox 360, as it’s completely
sold out, and will be for months, but if eBay is any indication, the amount of systems and the
prices of them have not fallen since November 23rd. It’ll be impossible to tell how all this is
going to end until the PS3 comes out in either 2006 or 2007, and how well that is received and
sells. It also depends on how big of a lead Microsoft can achieve with the Xbox 360.

- This site will obviously continue with Xbox 360 news and news on the games coming out
for it, but I will also be commenting any major Sony news that comes out, which I haven’t really
done since I began this site back in May since the actions of Sony can affect what happens with
the Xbox 360 in some ways. This past week was just the first altercation in what will be a
several year long war, hopefully this time; innovation is not killed in the midst of greed.

SOURCE: unscleric.com/ANewEra.html
Last edited by kai666 on Wednesday, 21 Feb 2007, 15:02, edited 8 times in total.

Posts: 190
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Location: Europe: Essen, Belgium

Post by loek555 » Wednesday, 23 Aug 2006, 1:00

Never thought Big companies nowadays would still do such things as backstabbing, blackmailing retailers and spreading rumors...hmmm Sounds like the mob man!
How naive I was...
Loek555 AKA Blazin_tical2
TECHNOLOGY is the only Progress I know about Modern Civilisation.And I'm addicted to Modern Technology!
Nintendo RULES!!!!!
Arigato Shigeru Miyamoto San!

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Location: Victorian Britain

Post by Crow » Wednesday, 23 Aug 2006, 2:33

Good read, even if it did fellate the 360 a little. Sony are ****ing terrible.

Posts: 190
Joined: Wednesday, 15 Sep 2004, 22:19
Location: Europe: Essen, Belgium

Post by loek555 » Thursday, 31 Aug 2006, 10:56

This IS indeed a bad omen!
Why does companies like Microsoft and Sony want to force us into using their overpriced home products? (because they think we don't have a choice?)
This will teach Sony! 8)
Loek555 AKA Blazin_tical2
TECHNOLOGY is the only Progress I know about Modern Civilisation.And I'm addicted to Modern Technology!
Nintendo RULES!!!!!
Arigato Shigeru Miyamoto San!

Posts: 1542
Joined: Thursday, 20 Nov 2003, 12:09
Location: Thisted, Denmark

Post by kai666 » Monday, 01 Jan 2007, 18:56

Everytime you buy from $ony... God kills a kitten!!!

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