AfterDawn: Tech news

Microsoft has faith in digital distribution for Xbox 360

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 07 Apr 2008 20:09 User comments (25)

Microsoft has faith in digital distribution for Xbox 360 Following the fall of the HD DVD disc format, all eyes turned to Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, expecting a response to the news that could come in the form of a Blu-ray-equipped Xbox 360 unit or optional peripheral. It wasn't long until the rumors started circulating about deals and orders from Microsoft that indicated such a move, but again, Microsoft firmly denied any plans to physically support the Blu-ray format.
Sony Corp. on the other hand embraces the inclusion of a Blu-ray drive in the PlayStation 3 (PS3) console, providing full HD video from BD media to owners, as a key advantage over the Xbox 360 console and a win-win package for consumers. Microsoft does take the need for HD-video capabilities seriously it seems, but instead of back the format of its rival (yet), the company has put its money on digital distribution.

"We have always said online is the way to go," Microsoft's Neil Thompson said, predicting that physical media would give way to downloads within the next three years. He declined to accept the view that Microsoft has abandoned owners of the HD DVD add-on drive. "We said to people they had the choice; we didn't force it on them as we didn't put it in the box," he said.

More than 300,000 HD DVD add-on drives are believed to have been sold to owners of the console, due to its relatively cheap price from release compared to the stand-alone prices throughout its short life-cycle. Thompson says however that the focus for the Xbox 360 was always on digital content, and not relying on a physical disc format.

"Our belief was that in the lifetime of the Xbox 360 we were going to move to this online world and online distribution for content outside gaming," he said. "If we didn't believe that we would have put a hi-def player in the console." He believes Microsoft is now better off putting its focus on the development of services in the digital domain, as opposed to offering a Blu-ray drive.

"More and more people are consuming more and more hi-def and standard-def content online. The expansion and growth of consumption of digital content is exponential," he commented. The Xbox Live video download service in the United Kingdom has faced criticism however from all angles due to its lack of variety. In response to the criticism, Thompson said that the company will be announcing new partners and offering more content throughout the year.


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25 user comments

17.4.2008 20:46

..... Wow. I can't believe nobody has started the obligitory "hate post" against either Microsoft or Sony yet.


... weird ;-)

27.4.2008 20:55

I would really like if xbox360 has free online live than Blu Ray DVD players or HD...



37.4.2008 20:59

"Thompson says however that the focus for the Xbox 360 was always on digital content, and not relying on a physical disc format."

Why such a small HDD then and no option to upgrade? Surley it cant just be New Zealand where im from that this is not going to work, the price of bandwidth and slow speeds is a joke compared to the US.

47.4.2008 21:02

TH1S 1S WHY PS3 1S S000 MUCH B3TTA!
PS3 4 THA W1N ! L33T !

No i'm just kidding, haha.

The one thing I do not like about this whole "digital distribution" is that I cannot imagine the download times for 1 HD content =\. Not everyone can afford super-fast internet. My internet downloads are on an average of 110KB/S. If I owned a 360, I would not even BOTHER on downloading these HD content, only because:

1. The download times.
2. HD is not small in capacity at all, we're talking about expanding our HDD's.
3. Security on the internet. Even though, Security gets better and better, you can never be 100% safe.
4. We are STILL going to have to pay for it! Nothing in life is free!

I'd rather have the physical item, such as the Blu-Ray or the HD-DVD disk because:

1. I have the actual HD content on a disk.
2. I do not have to worry about my consoles HDD size, it will read any GB size Blu Ray or HD DVD disk
3. Security? I am purchasing my copy from a retailer, with cash, how badly can you really get ripped off? (Not including those ridiculous prices FOX tags ;) )

I'm not siding on sides, only because I own 360 & PS3, but I do love what PS3 did, including the Blu Ray Drive in their console. It is really much less worry for us consumers when it comes to choosing 'Blu Ray or Digital Content? Just like it did when it came to Blu Ray & HD DVD"

57.4.2008 23:29

I kinda feel that sumwhere in the back of my head that digital distribution is there only choice left. Especially with games since its clear that dual-layer dvd just wont be able to fit enough. It'd be awkward to buy an xbox360 game then you have to dload the rest of the full game via XBL cuz they couldnt fit it on the dvd lol. And ya if they have so much faith in digital distribution why dont they provid a more affordable and larger HDD. Playstation knew what it was doing when they built the PS3 allowing you to put in any HDD you want. Regardless XBL is massive so im sure sumthing will pull thru for MS.

68.4.2008 2:40

Yet they refuse to fix the 360.....funny that.....

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Apr 2008 @ 2:40

78.4.2008 7:52
kinetic10
Inactive

This is exactly why i didn't go for Microsofts HD DVD support. yes digital downloads will get better but people will always want a physical item. microsoft are also saying they never pushed people to buy into HD DVD as they wanted people to have the choice. If that were true then why no blu ray add on. The fact they used their own cumstomers as cannon fodder to try to combat Blu ray just shows how loyal they are and now the excuses. at least with sony they would still have supported the drive no matter what. Just shows why Microsoft cannot be left to dominate anything else.

seems a bit like what they did to the origional Xbox owners when the left them hanging.

88.4.2008 8:10

They should just focus on quality games...since it is a video game console.

98.4.2008 8:13

Originally posted by drgonzo:
They should just focus on quality games...since it is a video game console.

their stealing PC titles they need to focus on better hardware.....
LULZ *lick*

108.4.2008 9:59

ya it would take 30 minutes to an hour for the download.. i would come back later to find my xbox overheated and got RROD
it a good idea its just the xbox hardware isnt good enough for it

118.4.2008 10:09

I prefer to have the physical media. Not only are download times an issue but it is the main reason why i do not buy ps3 games off of the psn network. I can't trade the game in when I'm finished with it. Also it may be like itunes and even though you buy the content from the store you cant burn it to a blank dvd. which to me makes what Microsoft say pure bullshit. and also sony is getting downloadable media also face it xbox sux and ps3 is better.

128.4.2008 10:12

also physical media is better when you want to play it at a friends house just push eject pit it in the box and your done. No transferring files and all that. its much easier and no security risks.

138.4.2008 10:22
CrakaBak
Inactive

I read these posts and the funniest thing is the way people portray Microsoft to be so evil and not consumer friendly. I must've missed the memo where Sony is so in love with its foreign neighbors and they won't do everything they possibly can to suck the populace dry. They're rainbows and clovers over there. Sony has everything in place with the PS3 except their sorry azz library of games they have for the U.S. Microsoft has pc ported games, so they're still better than Sony's non existent library. I am a gamer, blu-ray equipped gaming consoles doesn't mean a freakin thing to me. As long as I can play the best games on my gaming console online is all that matters. I was a beta tester and down with Microsoft for XBL from the beginnig, if the $49.99/yr membership is too much for me or anyone else they might not need to be worried about that fee and worry about other things going on in their life. Sony's network is free...and? XBL seems to still be dominant in this area from what I've seen. Also, I'm not the most technical person but I have the regular optimum online package and I don't ever seem to have a problem downloading anything, quickly. I also like the fact that I can watch things in hi-def from a download. Its all about convieniency in the U.S. and downloading is way more convienient than going to Best Buy and standing in line. The obesity rate in the U.S. tells me this is true, if you can do more with less effort than that is the winner.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Apr 2008 @ 10:28

148.4.2008 10:25

Unless you are planning on purchasing an elite system, how is microsoft focusing on making their console desirable in the media downloading market? If one were to do their research, one could get a good mini PC with HDMI output and a larger HDD to hook up to their TV for the same price of the Xbox 360 Elite.
Plus there are dozens of better alternatives to streaming/downloading video content to watch on one's TV.

I will agree that digital distribution will take off before Blu-ray takes market share over standard DVD; however, I dont see the Xbox 360 being one of the big players in the digital distribution era.

Plus Microsoft knew before even launching their console that Sony was going to be their major competitor. Currently the PS3 has Blu-ray (the high def format winner) and the ability for digital distribution and larger hard drives and wireless capablity built in. If someone were just going down to BestBuy, Circuit City, or where ever to get a device for digital distribution and saw the two consoles sitting next to each other, which would be the one they would buy?

Before I get flamed, I would like to say that I support neither system. I currently do not own either, and I dislike Microsoft and Sony equally but for different reasons.

158.4.2008 13:25

I love how MS said that they did not make a choice for you. By not putting a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drive in the 360, they made a choice for you. They chose that you will have a Last Generation drive. They have chosen for you to use digital downloads. Chose to give you a small hard drive. Chose for you to buy their larger hard drive. Chose for you that you can not buy a 3rd party hard drive. This is what MS is all about. Im not dogging the 360 but MS as they always want to be the Puppet Master.

To DRM guy. If this is not worse than DRM, where MS controls the digital and physical, I dont know what is.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Apr 2008 @ 13:34

168.4.2008 16:56

Quote:
Sony has everything in place with the PS3 except their sorry azz library of games they have for the U.S. Microsoft has pc ported games, so they're still better than Sony's non existent library. I am a gamer, blu-ray equipped gaming consoles doesn't mean a freakin thing to me.
Sony's development is still advancing and evolving every day. This is because the system wasn't rushed and any RROD statistic will show you this data so I don't need to go into it. Every cross-platform title for the PS3 is inherantly stunted due to the fact that developers have to make the game based on the weaker conslole. Still, dispite this setback the PS3 titles have far less compression and larger file sizes with more info for the gamer. Don't agree? Then explain how Uncharted: Drake's Fortune would have been playable on the Xbox 360 at all???.. its impossible. Even if you wanted to "Lost Odyssey" the game onto 4 or 5 DVD 9 discs (which by the way negates your apathy toward a blu-ray drive via space alone) you still wouldn't have the power to run the game. Every day developers are leaning toward the PS3 for development as it offers them more options to create the game they want to make. Not only with the space of the discs, but with the processing power/dependancy that the 360 lacks. Gears of war was a great title.. still is. Bioshock was great. Now imagine what they could have been if they were put on a system that could handle them on a level closer to what developers had in mind before they had to compress the shit out of them for a DVD 9. Just because the developers were more comfortable in making a DVD 9 copy of the game and tailoring it to the specs of the 360 doesn't negate that the PS3 is the better gaming rig by far. This year we will watch 360 titles struggle for space and new compression schemes as the PS3 titles go above and beyond what was considered "par" for console titles in 2007.

All of the issues that you have with the PS3 can be fixed with software alone, try fixing the 360's proprietary hard drive and lack of optical space with a firmware update.

I owned a 360 too man, I just feel ripped off after my multiple phone calls to 1 800 4MY XBOX.

178.4.2008 17:53
CrakaBak
Inactive

1-800-4my-xbox--funny. We've all been there.

Seeing as I won't do any research I'm going to have to take your word on it with the DVD 9. The thing is I have Lost Odyssey and I never said to myself one time,"I wish I had more space on my 360 so I can play this on one disc." I don't know, maybe I'm in the minority on this. You spoke of Unchartered, that game made no noise at all, of the PS3 owners I know, which is about twelve, only one bought the game. I have two 360's the original and the Elite, neither one has ever the the rrod problem. Sony is good at marketing products as one thing but being used as another. PSP-no games but great for web surfing and watching movies. PS3 great for movies but no games. Can I have a videogaming console dedicated to Vidoegames?

188.4.2008 18:48

Originally posted by CrakaBak:
1-800-4my-xbox--funny. We've all been there.

Seeing as I won't do any research I'm going to have to take your word on it with the DVD 9. The thing is I have Lost Odyssey and I never said to myself one time,"I wish I had more space on my 360 so I can play this on one disc." I don't know, maybe I'm in the minority on this. You spoke of Unchartered, that game made no noise at all, of the PS3 owners I know, which is about twelve, only one bought the game. I have two 360's the original and the Elite, neither one has ever the the rrod problem. Sony is good at marketing products as one thing but being used as another. PSP-no games but great for web surfing and watching movies. PS3 great for movies but no games. Can I have a videogaming console dedicated to Vidoegames?

Face IT XBOX IS TRASH. And They Had A Year HeaD Start To Make Games. And I Did Have An Xbox When It First came Out It Too Didn't Have Many Good Games. I Got Rid Of It Because Microsoft LIked To nickle and dime you deaTH. rumble controller you have to put batteries in. come on no game format any more, scratching games. no hard drive space. pay for online service. faulty machines, no six person video chat like ps3, no built in wireless, bluetooth compatible and no refund for those who bought that bullshit hd-dvd player. face microsoft always second best. consoles second to Playstation, PC's second to apple, Zune Second To the iPod, and explorer second to Firefox. Vista full of bugs. now their coming out with a new operating system. more nickel and diming.

198.4.2008 19:06
CrakaBak
Inactive

Quote:
Originally posted by CrakaBak:
1-800-4my-xbox--funny. We've all been there.

Seeing as I won't do any research I'm going to have to take your word on it with the DVD 9. The thing is I have Lost Odyssey and I never said to myself one time,"I wish I had more space on my 360 so I can play this on one disc." I don't know, maybe I'm in the minority on this. You spoke of Unchartered, that game made no noise at all, of the PS3 owners I know, which is about twelve, only one bought the game. I have two 360's the original and the Elite, neither one has ever the the rrod problem. Sony is good at marketing products as one thing but being used as another. PSP-no games but great for web surfing and watching movies. PS3 great for movies but no games. Can I have a videogaming console dedicated to Vidoegames?

Face IT XBOX IS TRASH. And They Had A Year HeaD Start To Make Games. And I Did Have An Xbox When It First came Out It Too Didn't Have Many Good Games. I Got Rid Of It Because Microsoft LIked To nickle and dime you deaTH. rumble controller you have to put batteries in. come on no game format any more, scratching games. no hard drive space. pay for online service. faulty machines, no six person video chat like ps3, no built in wireless, bluetooth compatible and no refund for those who bought that bullshit hd-dvd player. face microsoft always second best. consoles second to Playstation, PC's second to apple, Zune Second To the iPod, and explorer second to Firefox. Vista full of bugs. now their coming out with a new operating system. more nickel and diming.
One of those posts I wrote I said that PS3 is more advanced, I agree but it has no games. I wrote that PS3 has everything in place except their sorry azz library of games. This isn't speculation on my part. As inferior as you claim the 360 they have games to play on a videogaming console. You gave me a lot of specs but where it counts, games and online gaming, Microsoft is still boss. Look at the top selling games and the systems the gaming consoles they're being played on. Did you really say they didn't have a six person chat? That's not gameplay. I keep hearing this no hard drive space but please tell me which game on the 360 that was stopped, recalled, or not made for the system because of the hard drive space. If $49.99/yr is too much for an elite online gaming experience then maybe you should play for free. Whats wrong with their online service by the way? I have a wireless mic and wireless controller, what else needs to be wireless? My controllers like most are rechargeable, didn't you know? Tell me about the games that are second best?
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Apr 2008 @ 19:09

208.4.2008 21:01

Quote:
If $49.99/yr is too much for an elite online gaming experience then maybe you should play for free. Whats wrong with their online service by the way?
.... Yeah, about that one:

The last time I fired up "LIVE" was during December when the damn thing failed on me for about 2 weeks straight... I thought "ok, I've been F**Ked on this console's hardware already 3 times.. now the online service I am asked..no sorry FORCED to shell 50 bucks a year for won't work? WTF!! I mean if this service is so "elite" it should be able to handle an easily foreseeable spike due to Xmas console sales... and to add insult to injury I get Undertow as a consolation prize!??.. I mean, I understand I can't get that two weeks of my youth back, but why push a title at me that I didn't even ask for to smooth things over? I've had my PS3 since August and the PS3 network had a considerable spike in December... yet no issues. Home is about to mop the floor with Live and all Microsoft will be able to say is that they "got there first"... just like the console; first... not BETTER. A little patience has paid off considerably for me with the PS3 and this is coming from an ex-fan of the 360.

... and I can't say I miss the drunken halo fratboys on Live at all either.

218.4.2008 21:54

*Powers on PC, opens Firefox 3*
*Goes to homepages, one of which is afterdawn*
*Sees article with "Microsoft has faith in" as part of the title, after "Windows 7 coming in 2009" article*

-pause-

Laughs hysterically HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

*Skips article, types this comment.*

Lol ;-)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Apr 2008 @ 22:12

228.4.2008 22:55

I'm a 360 owner and I gotta say, microsoft dream on, are you serious? This opens the door wide open to promote piracy and the widespread of content (isn't this the subject matter every console manufacter is trying to prevent and the possibility of being sued by movie studios?). It cannot be guaranteed that the original content will not be transferred onto other storage devices. Who cares, steamed video is watered down quality heavy compression in terms of picture. Unless the service they provide is presented in its uncompressed format then they could be up to something but that would require even higher capacity hard drives around the terabyte range. I prefer disc recorded pressed films, HD will be the universal standard real soon and this service that microsoft is trying to push will not be up to par in time before the transition occurs and consumers like myself will prefer the disc recorded format instead. I don't want to kill my console by giving it heavy usage, the creation of DVD I guess now blu-ray is to use those to view content only.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Apr 2008 @ 22:57

239.4.2008 10:08
CrakaBak
Inactive

Quote:
Quote:
If $49.99/yr is too much for an elite online gaming experience then maybe you should play for free. Whats wrong with their online service by the way?
.... Yeah, about that one:

The last time I fired up "LIVE" was during December when the damn thing failed on me for about 2 weeks straight... I thought "ok, I've been F**Ked on this console's hardware already 3 times.. now the online service I am asked..no sorry FORCED to shell 50 bucks a year for won't work? WTF!! I mean if this service is so "elite" it should be able to handle an easily foreseeable spike due to Xmas console sales... and to add insult to injury I get Undertow as a consolation prize!??.. I mean, I understand I can't get that two weeks of my youth back, but why push a title at me that I didn't even ask for to smooth things over? I've had my PS3 since August and the PS3 network had a considerable spike in December... yet no issues. Home is about to mop the floor with Live and all Microsoft will be able to say is that they "got there first"... just like the console; first... not BETTER. A little patience has paid off considerably for me with the PS3 and this is coming from an ex-fan of the 360.

... and I can't say I miss the drunken halo fratboys on Live at all either.
I've been XBL since day one, you're lying. Never has it been down for two weeks, maybe it was down where you live but two weeks? You're kidding. I can't even recall it being down for 24hrs, two weeks!? To each his own.

249.4.2008 10:39

Quote:
I've been XBL since day one, you're lying. Never has it been down for two weeks, maybe it was down where you live but two weeks? You're kidding. I can't even recall it being down for 24hrs, two weeks!? To each his own.
If you google the issue you'll notice that there were very different effects for many people. Maybe you got lucky and had 24hrs of no service, but for many people the average was 3-5 days. I was able to log in a bunch of times... but I kept getting kicked/dropped everytime I tried to play online... this lasted about 2 weeks for me and many others.

... I don't think Microsoft gave away Undertow for 24hrs of shitty service dude.

259.4.2008 12:34

Yeah this will Never Fly, One of my best freinds doesnt even have a decent computer and his internet is still dial-up.

Long and behold he's got a 56inch plasma an Xbox360 and almost every game you can think of for it.

i think ill go get another PS3.

ill wait 6 months MS to get your stuff together.

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