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Monday, 18 March, 2002, 13:30 GMT
Xbox: Your views
Halo
Can the Xbox win the game console battle?
Microsoft's Xbox has finally arrived in Europe, having already launched in the US and Japan.

Accompanied by a clutch of new games, including Halo, Dead or Alive 3, and Amped, the Xbox will rival Sony's PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo GameCube, which hits European shores in May.

"Developers have been able to get to grips with the Xbox technology quickly and the first generation of releases are as good as the current crop of PS2 games," wrote BBC News Online's Darren Waters.

He added: "The level of realism in Halo is astonishing, as is the sound element which adds a new dimension to the game play."

But what do you think?

Is this the cream of the console market? What do you think of the new games?

HAVE YOUR SAY

I was one of those who visited their local software store at midnight to pick up my Xbox, it's 09:45 in the morning now and I think I had best go to bed. I have been playing it constantly since I bought it, a wonderful piece of hardware.
Mark Simms, England

I must say that the demo Xboxs that have been in our local shops are always unoccupied which I found odd until I played the snowboarding demo. The quality and graphics/gameplay did not seem that much better than the PS2 - so why should I pay a premium for the Xbox? In my opinion the cheaper and more fun Gamecube is going to be the biggest seller. Right now it seems the Xbox is appealing to hardcore fans but this alone won't make it a success for Microsoft.
Justin Berkovi, Hove, UK

Overall - I don't think there will be one winner of the "console battle", there is space for all three - down to personal preference and what you want out of your gaming. I already own a PlayStation 2 and I know which of the new two I will be getting as a gamer and it's not because it's the cheaper option.
David Smethurst, England


Technically it looks good but that counts for little in this market where image and branding count for a lot

David Thomas, UK
Ultimately games sell consoles, and at the moment nothing on the Xbox makes me want to buy one. As for developers getting to grips with the technology - that's what happens when you simply rebrand a PC and stick the innards in a black case instead of a beige one.

Technologically the Xbox is superior in some ways (raw processor clock speed doesn't count) - however it faces an uphill struggle to overcome the sheer market presence of the big 2 (Sony and Nintendo).
Kev, UK

Technically it looks good but that counts for little in this market where image and branding count for a lot. Look at the demise of the Dreamcast.
David Thomas, UK

My local import shop had a supply of Gamecubes and a supply of Xboxes in a few months back. All the Gamecubes went in about a week, but there were still a few Xboxes left last Saturday. And as for Microsoft claiming that Xbox will sell millions because of its network capabilities, just look at the Dreamcast - that was a great little console which was internet ready out of the box, and could be linked to an ethernet with a single inexpensive add-on, and now it's going for under 100 in your local bargain bin. Call me cynical, but I think Microsoft should leave the games industry to the professionals who know what they're talking about.
Ash, UK

With all the money behind it the Xbox will probably be a success, but will it be value for money? At the moment, certainly not and it will take repeated significant price reductions to make it so. Perhaps Microsoft themselves are trying to throttle demand due to production difficulties/delays by having such a laughable price tag. The excuses for the UK price they use are questionable, especially when the unit sells for about 280 in Japan, famously an expensive country itself, but that's much less than the unit is in the UK.
Trevor Hart, England


The graphical and sonic power of the Xbox is easily the best of the current machines

Ross, England
The hardware spec does not matter that much in a console and that has been proven many times in the past. So I am not rushing out to buy one as the games I played so far on it are nothing special.

I worried more that it is produced by Microsoft. They have the ability to destroy the console market rather than the "more competition is better" myth.
Steve Chalmers, UK

I have had an import Xbox and Hamecube for about three months now and I have to say both are great machines. The graphical and sonic power of the Xbox is easily the best of the current machines. At the end of the day it's all down to the games, it's irrelevent who makes the machine as long as people want to play the games.
Ross, England

It is effectively a PC (a year-old PC at that), so anyone that has a PC would be wasting their cash buying one. A console with a hard drive might seem like a great idea, but you only really need a hard drive if you're playing strategy games, and that kind of game looks awful on a low res TV screen. It'll be a success though, as Joe Public will get sucked in by the hype and doesn't know any better. Sigh.
Robin Whyte, UK


I don't care how good the Xbox is - in the UK we're being asked to pay 50 to 100% more than in the rest of the world

Ray, UK
I have a PS2, and I would love to have an Xbox. The hard drive and adaptor is very interesting
Gareth Qually, England

The X-Box is undeniably a powerful piece of kit, but to me the games seem a bit uninspiring. Also, I've seen more than a few demo consoles that have "frozen", like Microsoft's other product, Windows. If this keeps on going, they will have no chance against Nintendo's GameCube and Sony's PlayStation 1 and 2.

I've always said that there is only room in the market for two consoles so it remains to be seen if Xbox will last among three other very popular consoles.
Cecil Ashitey, England

Even though in terms of raw power the Xbox is the most powerful console available the problem is that to Joe Bloggs the word "PlayStation" is synonymous with games consoles the same way that "Hoover" is with vacuum cleaners.
Dan, England

I don't care how good the Xbox is - in the UK we're being asked to pay 50 to 100% more than in the rest of the world. It is clearly aimed at the MUG market, and no, that isn't an acronym.
Ray, UK

What is technically superior to its contemporaries in this market means nothing - look at what happened to the Dreamcast. It's the marketing and the games that count and I think at the moment the Xbox hasn't got a chance against the variety and quality of software on offer for the PS2. The fact that it is a re-boxed PC won't do its image any favours either. The PS2 now has a very large foothold in the market, I can see nothing about the Xbox or its games (at launch at least) that will make console owners ditch their PS2s in droves and get Xboxes, and how many of us can justify the cost of two consoles? It will be interesting to see the sales figures in a few months nonetheless.
Daniel Urwin, UK


It's big, ugly, cumbersome, and sports possibly the most unintuitive controllers ever designed

Ali, England
I've had an import Xbox since mid-December. I've played the PS2, and I had a go on the Gamecube, and I decided that the Xbox was far better than either - much newer technology than either, with a hard disc and ethernet access out of the box, as well as high-definition TV and Dolby Digital support.

Halo is the best first-person shooter I have ever played. Better than Half-Life. Better than Quake. It is that good. Project Gotham Racing (PGR) is the Xbox's answer to GT3 - it's the sequel to Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast.
Eion Murdock, UK

I've been a gamer for as long as I can remember on a variety of platforms and I believe it is games the decide a console's fate. Graphical ability is a major factor but it doesn't make a bad game any better. I own a PS2, and remember the poor initial line up just like the Xbox has now, but I knew the likes of MGS2, GTA3 and GT3 were on their way.

What does the Xbox have to offer in the near future? The price tag isn't the biggest issue as the PS2 was more expensive (at 299) when it was launched but it does make a big difference when its main competetors have a lower price tag and have more established game developers working for them.

If Microsoft's intention is to add variety to the console market then good for them, but if they think the Xbox will be a realistic competitor to Sony they would have been better off releasing another OS.
Barry, Scotland

It's big, ugly, cumbersome, and sports possibly the most unintuitive controllers ever designed. It crashes, slows down, and in my mind has no place in the "plug in and play" world of modern consoles. Some of the games are great but they're very PC orientated and would be better served by a desktop machine anyway. I'll take a Gamecube please and I'll be keeping the change too.
Ali, England


Why is it that the X-box costs 300 here, when in Japan it costs nearly half that at 185?

Ian Jordan, England
The XBox controller is poor, Microsoft themselves don't know what to do with it - the Japanese version has the buttons in different places. Why's that? Hands are hands, big or small. It's all about the games and right now the Xbox does not have the range and calibre of exclusive titles to woo people away from PS2. The launch line-up is good but Nintendo's games look far stronger with an impressive flow of triple A titles to follow.
Lee, England

I think there's enough room for three consoles, the question is whether the PC can survive as a games platform. As the Xbox is technically very similar to DirectX technologies on the PC, games publishers are likely to publish first for Xbox (for the higher margins), and it's that reason I'll probably shift to the XBox, and at 300 it is a lot less than upgrading my PC every 6 months.
Ray Brush, UK

The XBox is not the only console making use of broadband capabilities. The PS2 allows users to play Tony Hawkes over a modem or a broadband connection.

I have practically every console made but I will be waiting sometime before I look at buying an XBox. In 6 months they may have better addressed the problems with games being scratched and they may have a controller that does not demand hands the size of an ape in order to be comfortably used. I think there is a place in the games marketplace for a number of competitiors but I too worry that Microsoft will do to the games industry what they have done to the software industry and where is the real competition then?
Nerys Edwards, UK

Why is it that the X-box costs 300 here, when in Japan it costs nearly half that at 185? (As reported by BBC News Online just last week). Rip Off Britain is alive, well and doing very nicely, so it would seem....
Ian Jordan, England

The Xbox has come into the market well after the PS2 finally managed to get some greats games released for it. The console I played on in the job did not fill me with any great hope. The controller is too big for my average hands (the Dreamcast's was far more ergonomic) and manages to ruin Halo for me. The rolling vistas of Halo demand two dimensional aiming, which the controller is unable to provide effectively. A keyboard and mouse is a must. The other release games are definitely not the killer app Halo is. Couple this with Microsoft pricing themselves out of the market at a pricepoint of 300 compared to the better supported PS2 and the cheaper Gamecube (which is shaping up to be the true gamer's console), I doubt there will be any room for the Xbox.
Chris Lewis, UK


I have had an Xbox for a few weeks and after playing with it for 20 minutes, decided the best use for it was as a fruit bowl

David Compression, UK
I have played one and the actual game play was good and easy to use the controller. My reservation is that the machine is just soooo ugly! It's revolting. When most TV makers are going silver why have MS made their machine so big and black?!
Simon Woodcock, UK

My 12 year-old son played on an Xbox yesterday. His views? In short, graphics are excellent, better than the PS2, but the gameplay is poorer. On that basis serious gamers will either stick with the PS2 or at least consider Gamecube when it arrives.
Dave Wallace, England

It is frankly irrelevant how similar the Xbox is to a PC; it is the games that matter. Can you play Halo, Project Gotham Racing and Jet Set Radio Future on a PC? No. Are specialist games companies such as Sega producing games for the PC? No. Can you run The Sims, Civilisation and similar games on an Xbox? No. For good or bad, consoles and PCs have individual (and sometimes overlapping) lists of games, and people should choose their gaming console - or PC - using the criteria of which games they want to play.
John Kirriemuir, Glasgow, Scotland

Ultimately, success for the Xbox will be decided in Japan, which has become the largest market for gaming. Games franchises such as Mario, Tomb Raider, Zelda and now Metal Gear Solid have tied consumers to Sony's and Nintendo's consoles, resulting in the huge brand loyalty both companies have. We will have to wait and see whether Microsoft can also pull this off, but I have not seen any games yet that look likely to pull gamers away from the established platforms.
John Ozimek, UK

I have had an Xbox for a few weeks and after playing with it for 20 minutes, decided the best use for it was as a fruit bowl, so I scrapped out the inards, and filled it with grapes, apples and some peaches. It makes a fantasic conversation piece and I plan to do the same with the upcoming gamecube if that sucks too.
David Compression, UK


The most powerful games console in the world with enough quality games available from day one to satisfy hardcore fans of any genre

Justice Covert, UK
All this griping about the price by supposed experts makes you wonder just how expert they are. When PS2 was launched it had a pretty much identical price tag, and a lot more serious defects...

As soon as I can afford it, I'll be getting one, the PS2 has had very little to even begin to tempt me until recently, and those games will be coming out on Xbox too...
M L Normington, Holland

I have been required to look at the Xbox for work and quite frankly it's a very overpriced disappointment. Comparing the games to recent PS2 titles, there really isn't a big difference. The price will be the big killer though. In the US where PS2 and X-Box have the same price, the PS2 outsold the X-Box in the pre-Christmas rush by a considerable margin - what does that say for Europe where X-Box is 100 more expensive? Oh, and don't get me started on the stupidly large Xbox controllers!
Andrew, UK

Robin Whyte's comments about the Xbox are misplaced. It may appear to the average PC user to be a year-old PC in a consumer friendly box, it isn't. The components are used at maximum efficiency and would equate to a top of the range high street PC in terms of power. In fact it makes a mockery of the current power required by modern PCs to run software.
Paul Field, UK

I've had access to an Xbox for some time now and am really impressed with Microsoft's approach to the console market. As a company they really appear to have listened to developers and gamers alike and delivered exactly what they always said they would - the most powerful games console in the world with enough quality games available from day one to satisfy hardcore fans of any genre.
Justice Covert, UK

Every industry expert is forecasting the blend of the television and the PC to be the household computing system. Bill already controls the PC, and now he's desperate to control the television. He will refuse to let the Xbox fail, and he certainly has the money, the technology, and the people power to ensure its success. That's why I bought one. I believe it will be a powerhouse. Besides, it's fab. Gamecube is cute, my nephew loves his. But the Xbox is a powerful machine, and the first real competitor for Sony Playstation.
E, London


Halo is absolutely awesome, truly it is. Blood Wake and Dead or Alive 3 are OK, but nothing special. Buy it for Halo!

Matt Cumberlidge, UK
The aquisition of Bungie by Microsoft will likely be one of the deciding factors of the Xbox's success. Bungie have a history of producing innovative games, and they will definitely make their presence felt if the Xbox survives its infancy. The company made dramatic impact on the world of Mac gaming, and now they are under Microsoft's wing and have a budget worthy of their talent, I for one expect them to go far.
Ed, UK

I've been waiting for the Xbox to be released in order to compare it to PS2. I've played on both of them now and can say that there isn't really a lot of difference between the two. I've made my mind up and will go for PS2 - the money saved being put to good use in buying extra games!
Reg Disylva, UK

I just got my XBox from Amazon this morning - it's not as massive and clunky as people say, it just looks and feels solid. Halo is absolutely awesome, truly it is. Blood Wake and Dead or Alive 3 are OK, but nothing special. Buy it for Halo!
Matt Cumberlidge, UK

It's a big ugly box, with lumpy uncomfortable controller buttons. That said, it's also the most powerful and exciting thing to happen to gaming for some years. I'm no Microsoft fan, but I like it when inexperienced people (in the games console business) come along and shake things up. Much like Sony did the first time around with the PSOne. It's good for the industry and when the XBox gets (a lot) cheaper, I'll get one. For now, I'll look on enviously, and play my Dreamcast to death...
Steve Gardiner, UK


There is space for three consoles to co-exist, the PlayStation 1, the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 3

Julian, UK
Xbox will improve, but I wouldn't buy one at present. There are no standout titles (Halo isn't much better than Half-Life or Deus Ex and will come to the PC soon). The controller is very badly designed, and the console itself looks a mess.

Currently the PS2 offers the much better deal, being much cheaper - along with AAA titles like GTA3, Pro Evolution Soccer and Metal Gear Solid 2. And the Gamecube is going to be half the price of the Xbox, I see a lot of gamers going for that machine when it comes out too.

I think the Xbox will have to drop in price, and start bringing out some real AAA exclusive titles before it can "crack" the market. Also a lot depends on whether the much vaunted broadband actually becomes the standard that Microsoft claim it will.

The final hurdle that Microsoft have to climb is that in gaming circle they are just not "cool". Instead they are often linked to a lot that is wrong with the money making side of the computer industry.

Xbox should succeed, but it could very easily follow the route of the Dreamcast and 3do unless it improves before Christmas. I look forward to seeing what happens....
David Howlett, London, England

The only Xbox I've seen so far was one in a demo display in my local Currys store a few weeks back. Wandering over to have a look and a play I was greeted with a green screen reading "This console has developed a fault, please call Microsoft support". (Or words to that effect). Not exactly encouraging for my first look.
Chris Adams, UK

There is space for three consoles to co-exist, the PlayStation 1, the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 3.
Julian, United Kingdom


Here in Tokyo, Xbox was quite a hit but soon the malfunctioning of the game set had been found. So there were recalls

Kousuke Minami, Japan
I must say I am very disappointed about the cynical attitude of people towards the Xbox, all right, so its Microsoft, but ignoring that for a minute. It is clear that a great deal of effort has gone into making the Xbox console not just better than its rivals, but to raise the bar in terms of innovation, quality and what we can expect from a console. C

Coupled with this is the most impressive set of launch titles ever released. Yet the majority of people are happy to complain and moan about the Xbox. If people reject quality products and software and instead seem content to purchase lesser products (the PS2) and software that is for the most of a low standard then we are doomed to end up with a games industry which is happy to keep regurgitating well known but ultimately flawed products and shuns creativity and originality.
Steve King, England

So Darren Waters says that the first generation of releases are as good as the current crop of PS2 games, does he? I can't see anything in the Xbox lineup to compare with Grand Theft Auto 3, Jak and Daxter or Metal Gear Solid 2, to name just three. It just looks like a very boring lineup of racing and sports games with a couple of PC crossover titles to me. I'm not tempted - I'll wait for a Cube.
Chris, Netherlands

The Xbox is a great machine to work on, very powerful, lots of features, easy to develop on and great tools. However it has been launched at a price point that only hard core early adopters will take it up. Its competition are both significantly cheaper which will have a massive impact on mass market take up, whatever the titles that have been launched on it.

Much has been made of Microsoft losing money on each unit sold, but this is common in an industry where 99% of profits are made on software sales. Every time we make a game for one of the consoles we have to pay a per unit licensing fee to the manufacture, with Nintendo traditionally charging the most.

I have been designing games for the last six years on a variety of platforms, including PC, and the Xbox is the most powerful and accessible to work on thus far. Microsoft just has to make sure that they throw enough money at it for the Xbox to become an industry stalwart.

One of the points no one has made about the Xbox is that it is the thin end of the wedge of a battle that will eventually see Murdoch deposed as the world's entertainment access provider.
James Glanville, UK


It will be at least a year before we get to see the real power of the Xbox, as it will take game developers a while before they get to grips with what they're working with

Robert Swan, UK
I am am a guy who lives in Tokyo, Japan. Here, Xbox was quite a hit but soon the malfunctioning of the game set had been found. So there were recalls (they refused at first, blaming it on the software but they eventually admitted the problem). Now, nobody cares about Xbox. I am a MS user, but one thing I don't like about MS is that they always make something and there's a problem afterwards. All the MS Windows had the same routine. The Xbox is going through the same procedure. They make, sell, problem breaks out, they blame it on someone else.
Kousuke Minami, Japan

I have been playing PS2, XBox and GameCube for a few months now and I see it like this; the PS2 has a large user base and wide variety of games to support it as well as being compatible with the older PSX games. Nintendo have always prided themselves on producing highly playable games, let's face it they constantly produce the "Manic Miner" games of the 21st Century. The XBox on the other hand is a PC in a box without the need for installing any software i.e. games, however good it is, the games do not have the playability or variety of the other two and let's face it, if other Microsoft products are anything to go by, we should all be saving our money for XBox v1.1 !!!
Olly, England

I am very impressed by both the machine's power and the software support many developers are giving to the Xbox. Although I own a PS2, I am off to try and buy an Xbox and the explosive Halo at lunch. After extensive article research, I have chosen the Xbox over the GameCube as my next gen console choice.
Krish, UK

It will be at least a year before we get to see the real power of the Xbox, as it will take game developers a while before they get to grips with what they're working with.

Ok, it's obvious that the PS2 has a wider (and probably better) range of games than the Xbox at the minute, but it's had a huge head start. The release games with the PS2 were good, but they're nothing compared to what is available for it now.

So I say give it a year and then we will be able to compare the two consoles. You never know, this time next year we may be prasing the Xbox and slating the PS3.
Robert Swan, UK


All of those saying that Microsoft should stay out and leave it to those who know how are forgetting that ten years ago we had Sega and Nintendo - perhaps Sony should have stayed out of the market and left it to those who knew so we would not have the PS2

Andrew, UK
XBox? EX-Box, more like. Why waste your money on last year's PC technology? If you want a games PC then buy a games PC, not some brick that scratches your CDs and gives you a different-coloured crash screen.
Al, UK

It's rubbish. The controller is rubbish. Since this is your main point of contact with the system you would think they would have come up with something that fitted the human hand. Hopefully someone will release a device to connect PSX or GameCube pads to it...
Chris Preston, UK

Black Black Black... When are console designers going to listen. It never sells.. Master System vs NES, Megadrive vs SNES, Playstation vs Sega Saturn... etc. Parents are the buyers and are not going to put something that looks evil in the living room!
James Matthews, UK

All you seem to hear about the Xbox is that the games are so realistic and playable. OK, I admit that Halo is good but I have three words and a number in response....Metal Gear Solid 2. This game and others like it are why Sony will lead the games market.
Chris Thomas, England

All of those saying that Microsoft should stay out and leave it to those who know how are forgetting that ten years ago we had Sega and Nintendo - perhaps Sony should have stayed out of the market and left it to those who knew so we would not have the PS2. As for Nintendo, I think their time in the box market has passed, Sony and Microsoft are much bigger media figures so it will only be time before they are the two dominant players and Nintendo are left with the hand-held market
Andrew, UK


Over-Priced? Not at all. MS is losing money on each XBox (to the tune of around 200)

David Piggott, UK
Presumably the hard drive in the Xbox is there so that we can cope with Microsoft's endless patches that will no doubt be released. Does the controller have Ctrl, Alt and Del keys for when it crashes just at the crucial point in the game?
Paul Coleman, UK

Currently, I see the only reason to get an XBox is Halo and 330 for one game is a lot even for a AAA title. If you wanted a DVD player you've almost certainly already got one (and it'll be smaller, cheaper and better quality, and no-doubt won't scratch the disc). We have already seen from Japan that Microsoft are willing to subsidise the retail price further if necessary. I can see a hefty price drop coming up when the significantly cheaper Gamecube arrives in May, so if you're planning to buy an XBox I'd hold on for a few months.
Phil Symonds, UK

The XBox is a powerful piece of kit and will be successful, although probably not overtake PS2. However to compare it purely on specification with a PC ignores the fact that it isn't running all the additional software you get with a PC and doesn't operate different programmes concurrently. It is quick and has enough raw processing power to keep everyone happy.

Also, in comparing its games with current PS2 ones is forgetting that it's just launched. Just remember what the first few PS2 ones were like. Well done Microsoft.
John B, United Kingdom

Over-Priced? Not at all. MS is losing money on each XBox (to the tune of around 200). Similar to a PC it may be, but I get less performance out of my Athlon 1800+ with a GF3 Ti500. And that is a seriously fast machine. The HyperTransport and custom nVidia graphics work wonders in this machine.

And don't forget that pre-PS1, Sony weren't anywhere near the console market and everyone thought they had to be mad to go against Sega and Nintendo. But we all know what happened there...

Big, black , bold and with a big X on it. You can't go wrong!
David Piggott, UK


Bad design, scratching CDs, surely not another Microsoft product full of "bugs"

Kris Harris, UK
The Xbox is an impressive piece of kit, but it's way too expensive. I'll give it six months at least too see how well it does against the other consoles and then decide whether or not to buy one. The price will probably have dropped by about a hundred quid too.
N.J. Fleming, UK

Not sure if its a sign....but I picked my son's Xbox up at midnight last night, and when I gave it him this morning, although he was pleased, he said he would wait till he got home from school.

Me....I would have blagged the day off sick, had I been a kid. And YES, the controllers look huge, I was comparing hand sizes with my son, and was at the very least, a little chuffed at his immediate ability to beat me with his small hands, so on that score, I'm glad the controllers are so big !
Jacko, UK

Bad design, scratching CDs, surely not another Microsoft product full of "bugs". Bill's latest attempt to take over the world is just an over priced old PC with some of the functionality removed, and a poor line up of games.
Kris Harris, UK

The Xbox is not a glorified PC as many people believe. They assume that because of the brand "Microsoft" and the built in hard-drive. But when sony launched the PS1 in 1994, the critics thought it was a glorified CD player, now look how successful it is. I think this console will clearly win as the game developers have many more options with the familiar hardware and software, and if MS keep bringing out titles like Halo, I see no reason for them to eclipse Nintendo and Sony.
Tom M, Devon, England


The Xbox leaves every other console playing catch-up in terms of graphics. The controller is fine once you get used to it. I also use it to watch DVDs

Paul Smith, USA
A lot of people who point out that the PS2 is cheaper seem to be forgetting that you need to buy memory cards (27.99) to save games and that while it may be internet ready you'll be paying for the modem or broadband addaptor as well, the Xbox isn't such a bad price once this is factored in.
Jonathan, UK

Looking at the XBox objectively, it manages to pack a lot of hardware in - I defy anyone to produce all the SAME specs in an ordinary PC for 300! It is a lot of money compared to the PS2 and Gamecube but don't forget the PS2 was 300 on its launch too! Microsoft have done a lot of things right already and I think Sony will be quite worried that MS will just steamroller the PS2 out of the market. Price drops will inevitably follow which will make XBox more competitive from a cost perspective. However, nothing's certain, remember the Sega Dreamcast anyone?
Rory Solley, UK

I've owned the Xbox for about two months now. I bought Halo with the Xbox, and it represents the best first-person shooter I've played on any machine. It's simply outstanding, with little or no graphic slowdown, even when things get very hectic. The Xbox leaves every other console playing catch-up in terms of graphics. The controller is fine once you get used to it. I also use it to watch DVDs on (playback is very good), so it saves buying yet another box for movies. Plus there will be online gameplay soon.

The only limitation at the moment is that there are just not enough great games available, but it was the same way with the first Playstation.
Paul Smith, USA

Hmm, let me think... Metal Gear Solid 2 or the Xbox? Metal Gear or the Xbox...? Metal Gear Solid 2 is the future of gaming, not the Xbox. You can market something to death, but it will never disrupt the established and succesful software developers. Is this Xbox merely another Dreamcast? Sneak over to your nearest shop and get a PS2 with Metal Gear Solid 2 and then you will all see the light.
Mark, UK


Oversized, overpriced, and over here

Charles E Hardwidge, UK
We have had three Xboxes in our office for the last month (we're the customer service) and have them all networked and played with three teams of four. Excellent fun that you can do with others, this alone makes it stand out.
Bill, Australia

The Xbox is an excellent console. I'm quite disappointed that a lot of the criticism here is not actually aimed at the console - and besides, if you want a PS2 or GameCube (which is looking good, but third party support seems thin on the ground... again), just buy them!
Dan Redican, UK

I sense a lot of resentment towards the Xbox...some justified some not. One thing I think we can all thank Microsoft for is that Sony and Nintendo cannot afford to take their foot off the gas....competition propagates progress. Roll on the next generation....!!
Iain, London

Unlike The Sega Dreamcast and Sony Playstation 2, the Microsoft Xbox is the only console ever to have put an on-line gaming infrastructure in place. Sega promised this and all they provided was an email address. Sony also promised this but it has only been until now that they have mentioned any on-line gaming facility. So it looks to me that Xbox has a clear advantage.
Simon, London, UK

Well I'm not buying an Xbox (I'm waiting for the GameCube) but I don't think it's a terrible piece of kit. It has a few unique features that make it stand out.

What's interesting is the fact that people keep mentioning Metal Gear Solid 2 and GTA3 on the PS2. Don't they know that enchanced versions of these games are coming out on the Xbox?

I think that all three consoles are pretty much identical both spec and games wise. I don't think it matters which console you buy, you won't be missing out.
Lewis, United Kingdom


I have seen all three next gen consoles and to be honest, the Xbox has not only a technological edge, but also longer lastability

Robert, UK
Oversized, overpriced, and over here.
Charles E Hardwidge, United Kingdom

Once the inital hype has died down, it might be quite tough to keep people using the Xbox, as it does ear a little too much resemblance to PCs... which of course are famous for crashing, and inconsistant speeds... and how long will it me before X Box II comes out, with a familiar looking OS? Everyone WILL use windows - it has been decided!!
Sean Murricane, Leeds, UK

I have seen all three next gen consoles and to be honest, the Xbox has not only a technological edge, but also longer lastability. The PS2 is already old technology that needs too many add ones to make it internet and network compatible. The Gamecube may suffer the same fate as the N64 in Europe: Nintendo did not seem to care about when games made it to Europe. Most people seem to be biased one way or another. Either they see Microsoft as a large monopoly company (as if Sony is not) or the PS2 being great as they cannot see the trees for the wood. In my opignion the Xbox and the PS2 are too expensive. I just hope the Gamecube is fully supported!
Robert, UK

Games look good for a console, but the spec lags behind a decent modern PC.
Dom, UK

I think a lot of people are saying the same thing. How can Microsoft battle the dominance of Sony and Nintendo. But Sony came from nowhere with the PS1 which sold well and the PS2 virtually killed of the old giant Sega and did a lot of damage to Nintendo's rather poor N64 (no matter how cheap they sold it).

I say good luck to Microsoft. I just hope the titles it needs arrive. After all, the success of the PS2 is largely due to some fantastic titles.
Martin, UK

Hmmm, technically better, unusual look, arguments about software availability, a hard-core of enthusiasts, grumbles about the price... The XBox is the iMac of the games world and will probably end up in much the same niche market!
Bob, UK


The fact is that it's such a powerful machine being manufactured by such a powerful company that it stands very little chance of failure

Dave C, UK
I have been disappointed with all the so-called next gen consoles so far. Sure MGS2 is great and Halo looks stunning, but hardly any other top class games have been mentioned on this page. One flagship game each is not what I expected from the latest efforts. Hopefully the Gamecube will bring something new to the market as Nintendo have always been responsible for some of the greatest games (not consoles, GAMES).
Andy K, UK

I think the Xbox is simply stunning graphically and sounds great. The only problem is the games, which apart from Halo, which is a classic, and DOA3, are not as good as those on the PS2. I think that in time though, the Xbox will become a great console as the titles released continue to increase.
Ben Ingram, England

Great machine, some promising games... Shame about the price. Microsoft really had a chance to shake the industry up with an aggressive price point. Looks to me like UK consumers are being ripped off once again, and expected to foot the bill for the discounts in the other regions...
Matt, UK

There seem to be a lot of people confounding how successful they wish the Xbox to be and how well it really is going to turn out. The fact is that it's such a powerful machine being manufactured by such a powerful company that it stands very little chance of failure. Although many talk about the great titles that are/will be available on the PS2 and the Gamecube it's all too obvious that they can be easily converted to Microsoft's machine simply because it is the advanced system and easier to develop games for. This means Nintendo and Sony will have to make exclusive deals (which are expensive) with game developers and even then we might get masked conversions such as MGS X. Last but not least people saying that the games market should be left to experts like Nintendo and Sony make me laugh since Sony was a newbie when it realeased the PSX and it squished everyone else in the market only because at the time its console was by far the best..
Dave C, UK

Working as a network engineer in Bristol, I am always maintaining Microsoft's products which invariably don't work how they are supposed too (Blue Screen of Death being an example). I hope the Xbox does not follow the traits of the software that made Microsoft what they are today. I also think that anything that bears Microsoft logo on it will always have some form of stigma attached to it because of the general bad feeling against Microsoft's products and their aggressive business tactics.

In regard to the post further up the list about the box "crashing". Nothing more annoying then getting through a level and it messing up. What are they gonna do - release a service pack?!
Banny Whey, Bristol, England


The controller was very difficult to use (too big). I have had a Gamecube for the last four months and have no complaints at all

Matt, England
Sony very effectively countered the then superiority of the Dreamcast by announcing the PlayStation2. You watch Microsoft pull this stunt on themselves when they announce Xbox2!
William Waghorn, UK

I think people need to stop looking at the fact that the Xbox is Microsoft and look at it for what it is - a games console!! It has the same price tag that the PS2 had when it came out 299 and also about the same range of games. I think we just need to give it a bit of time and see what happens, I'll probably be getting my Xbox in about four months, when games like Halo, DOA3, Max Payne, GTA3 and MOHAA are established. Games make consoles a success or failure, not companies, so don't throw your Xbox out yet.....
Alan Linger, England

I can't believe people are actually saying the quality of software on the PS2 is superior to that on the Xbox. I've played Halo and was completely blown away (and yes I've been playing video games for 20 years). People should brush off their gigantic grudges against Microsoft and appreciate the games. Only time will tell whether the Xbox can maintain such a high concentration of AAA titles of course........
Jonathan, UK

To Robert in the UK, Sony may be a corporate behemoth, but I defy you to find a market where they have a monopoly.
Dave Sneddon, UK

I was going to buy an imported Xbox but then I saw the footage for Mario Sunshine on Gamecube and read about the upcoming Mario Kart game, and bought a Cube instead. Anyone else who sees Mario Sunshine in action will do the same.
Ian, UK

Easily the best platform on the market. Technically superior to any of the alternatives and as developers become more familiar with it as a platfrom we can expect some truly awesome games.
Eric, UK

I have played the Xbox several times, although the games look good they do not stand out from the crowd. The controller was very difficult to use (too big). I have had a Gamecube for the last four months and have no complaints at all. It also has a fantastic contoller. There is no way that either the Xbox or the Gamecube will catch up with PS2 having sold millions. The Gamecube will sell very well as it is all about gameplay not fancy graphics.
Matt, England

XBox looks like a kid's toy when you compare it to the standard PC spec for gamers these days. Microsoft need games exclusives to make this console work and with their monopoly whats to stop bribing the producers for XBox only versions to sell more consoles.
Paul Turner, Scotland

I've read an awful lot about the Xbox, we have EVERY major console including the Gamecube on import. We picked up our Xbox at midnight.

My opinion, totally amazing. Halo is far and away the most absorbing game I have ever played. No other console could produce this.

Rallisport Challenge is better than any Rally game I have previously played and DOA 3 is a solid fighting title (remarkable only in the graphical sense).

As for the controller I don't have large hands and I find it excellent. It was a real concern of mine and it hasn't been borne out.

It is all about the games and so far they are wonderful. Compare this to the PS2 that took six months to get a game worth playing and made me feel like a MUG for buying one on launch day.
Ian, UK

Xbox is cheaper than a PC, more powerful than a PS2. Happy gaming everybody and good luck Microsoft.
Mark K, UK

Ignoring games consoles, think of a word which describes Sony products. Now think of one which describes Microsoft products.

So if you think on the same lines as I do, is it not surprising that Sony made such a successful move into the console market, and how Microsoft have a battle to convince people that they are spending their money on a reliable piece of kit.
Graeme, UK

I don't have enough money to buy the PS2 or the XBOX, but I have played both. Gamecube is geared toward kids ages 14 and less, so it's not even in the equation. PS2 is cool, but it wasn't as WOW like PS1 compared to Genesis. Xbox is similiar to PS2. Halo is a must have, but after that the other games (DOA3) have a replay value of one day. The Xbox controller is good for Halo, but for fighting and games where your hands move in different locations rapidly, it is terrible. Broadband play and Sega produced games will make the difference for the Xbox.
Floyd, USA

Most of the true gamers out there will already have bought a PS2 so the question is will they want to dump this for the new Xbox or have both? At the moment I would say no. A lot has been said about the games and at the moment the PS2 has the clear advantage. My big concern is reliability. I have heard lots of stories about games crashing on the Xbox (ring a bell Windows users?). I have never seen a game crash on PS2.
Chris Blanchard, England

I have a PS2 at the moment and have played the demo Xbox at HMV. How do Microsoft think that those controllers are comfortable? I may get an Xbox as well as the PS2 but I will wait at least 6 months and for a few "Service packs" that will probably be needed before I do.
Rob, UK

I don't want to be downcast, but the demo of Halo I played had nothing to offer me that my PC and decent graphics card already can - I am tempted to get one though because better titles will surely be available in the future, but maybe........just maybe........I'll wait until the Gamecube is launched. The N64 was and is a cracking machine (gameplay is still good )and the graphics are (relatively) poor compared to the Xbox so check out the hype before you part with your cash.
Ian Grace, UK

I am so disappointed with my Xbox, mainly because the controller is so unwieldy. I tried my Gamecube import after I played a view hours on Halo, and my hands just melted into its controller. Also, the Xbox has terrible jumping and slowdown between certain levels and save points. The graphics and sound seem ok, but the Gamecube easily matched anything I have seen on Xbox, and after all, it's the gameplay that makes the difference. Halo is not a patch on Perfect Dark. Maybe I need to play it a bit more ...
Dave Morris, UK

Pro Evolution Soccer - until the Xbox or GameCube creates a better football game the PS2 will be the champion of Europe.
Neil Ferguson, Scotland

The hard drive is for quicker game loads. The controllers break easily. After eight or so game purchases only Halo stands out the rest are cookie cutter versions of other platform titles. Fancier graphics and better sound is all Xbox really offers.
SP, USA

I was the first to buy my console on the stroke of midnight. It is hugely impressive and Halo is the best game I've ever played. I've always considered myself to be more a PC person but if Microsoft can keep this up then I don't foresee the use of the PC very much for quite a long time.
Paul Goldstraw, England

Stayed up half the night with my new xbox...conclusion...bitter disappointment. the controller is awful and difficult to grasp, and the games, although at first impressive, quickly lose their appeal!
Matt , UK

Well I really am happy with the quality of games but I'm not happy with the quality of the console. I've noticed scratches appearing on my CDs which is down to the Xbox. Just what I wanted!?!?
Dave Harvey, United Kingdom

I picked mine up at midnight, had the day off work. Nothing has kept me in my seat for so long since I got my hands on my Spectrum however long ago that was! I've got next week off work, I don't think I'll be seeing daylight for a while.
Paul Smith, UK

Xbox stinks. The Gamecube and even the PS2 surpass it easily. Their controller sucks, their system is slow, and their graphics aren't even that good. You can see points on their games. And there are no good games out right now, Halo and Max Payne would have been good if their control didn't suck. I mean, you use the right stick to move and the left stick to choose your direction? That makes it so you can't change weapons and move at the same time. Microsoft made a piece of junk
Joe Smith, USA

Unlike most of the people in this discussion I bought an Xbox this morning, along with Halo and Oddworld. Having played computer and video games for over twenty years, it has been a long time since I have been so impressed by a game - Halo is just the best piece of entertainment software I have seen in years.

From what I have seen so far, the Xbox runs rings around my PS2 and my GeForce 3 equipped PC. The controller is easy and comfortable to use and I love the fact that I don't have to have a stupid bit of plastic sticking out of the front of the machine to save my games.

There are comments here about the Xbox crashing - well that makes it no different from the PS1, PS2, Megadrive or virtually any other console that I have played with.

As for the price - 299 is what I paid for my PS1 on release day, over 6 years ago - obviously this would be worth more now.

If you're thinking about buying one, just do it, just make sure you pick up a copy of Halo with it!
Andy, England

The problem with the console market as it stands is the quality of the games, as has already been agreed. The fact that there are only a handful (if that) of must own titles for these consoles speaks volumes, when you consider how many titles are released each year and how many you get home and wish you hadn't bothered. Please, please, please can someone design a game which can hold the attention span of someone older than 15 for more than 30 seconds.
Paul, UK

I have played the Xbox in America whilst staying with a friend and all I can say that the controllers are the most uncomfortable things that I have ever used for gaming. After 20 minutes, my hands were aching. I have a PS2 and the controller is such a joy to the hands and they don't ache at all after hours playing.
Helen, UK

The X-box is a great console but it will have to bring out some top quality games to rival the PS2 and Gamecube. With the Gamecube going to be half the price of the X-box, people might be tempted to go for the cheaper one
Richard Thompson, UK

I took a day off work on Thursday, so I could help my pal play his new games console. I'm still at his house today (Friday) and I just cant stop playing!!! The design of the machine is enchanting. The controller is divine.

My mind becomes addled contemplating the potential offerings, once the games developers have truly mastered the full majesty of the Xbox. If there were ANY reason why you should buy the Xbox, it would simply be for the most superb game ever created - Halo. The Gods have been kind to us. We have reached sanctuary.
Roger, England

I have an Xbox and I am very impressed but also sick of people putting it down for trivia reasons. Firstly it is not a year old PC. After all the GeForce chip in the box is comparable to Geforce4 cards which sell for over 250! I've had no problems with the controller at all. OK, it's a little bit bigger, but it's just different to what we are used to. Halo is a great game which is very innovative. It is expensive but no more than PS2 at release. People need to open their mind more.

I think they are all good machines, however PS2 is now old technology. In around two years I doubt the Xbox will be able to compete with PS3 so it's pointless to compare. Just buy what you want! Your choice. I like bump mapped graphics, good gameplay and surround sound. It may not have a thousand games or whatever yet but give it time!
Paul Doyle, England

Someone commented on being worried that Microsoft could destroy the console market. It won't make it any worse, another well known company did that a long time ago with all its rehashes CB1, CB2, CB3, TR1, TR2, TR3, TR4. Need I say more...
Matthew Bennion, England

All those who say Microsoft has no experience with consoles and will never break into the market are the same people who said the same thing about Sony and the Playstation a few years back. Sony was new and now look at them.

I've got an Xbox, and five games. They are all excellent. A couple are games that were first introduced on the PS2. This time round they are a hell of a lot better. My girlfriend is addicted to the Xbox. I can't get a look in.
Omar, England

I've had an Xbox for three days now and it may just be me but I can't get enough. Halo, Rallisport Challenge, and Jet Set Radio Future seem to be just as good or better than PS2's best efforts right now. The price is very steep and if MS wants to succeed in this market it will need to lower its price. I'm extremely impressed with Microsoft's launch here.
Phil T. Rombola, England

My credit card is melted after I bought an Xbox extra controller and a couple of games. But had some PS2 owners over and they were blown away by Doa3 and Halo. There was some mutterings about the controller from those used to Sonys. I'm more accustomed to the N64s and have no bother with the Xbox version. Very happy with my purchase.
Martin, Ireland

I brought the Xbox in one of the first weeks that it was released in the U.S. The system really amazed me with games like Halo and Dead Or Alive 3, the graphics and gameplay were excellant. But that's it. Since November 2001 there has not been one decent game. Xbox will go under if they do not start produceing better games.
Ian, United States

I walked into the communal lounge and my reaction to the game on the screen was "Wow". I don't play games and had never really noticed the Playstation 2 by the television. Having complimented the graphics of this new Playstation II game I was corrected - "It's an X Box". Maybe I'll have a go if I can get near it. Then again I still have my Atari VCS....
Dom Masters, UK

The controllers, god please save us from the controllers. They are truely awful. The games are, in general, nothing on PS2 games. Halo is great, but it goes down from there. DAO3 is just DAO2 with prettier graphics. PGR doesn't impress me much. etc.

People keep on going on about how Xbox gets updated ports of PS2 games, but neglect to mention a few points. While XB gets updates of Starwars Starfighter and Onimusha, PS2 gets the sequels exclusively - Onimusha 2 and Starwars Jedi Starfighter.

Personally, I'm waiting for GC (to go with my PS2). GC can easily compete with Xbox and the games on GC are so much better. Bear in mind that if you get a PS2/GC over Xbox you can get lots of games with the money left over - 2 with PS2, 3 with GC.
Tom, England

I see so many more negative comments than positive ones. It appears the trend may be those who don't own an Xbox are mad and making comments acoordingly. Those who do are far too involved to consider leaving it even long enough to tell you how great it is.

When you find yourself bored of uninspired sequals, and the same games rehashed again and again. Try the X. It is not only stronger in hardware. It has more innovation in the launch games than the whole library of playstation 2 games. I was tired of playing the same old stuff until I picked up my box. It has reminded me of the great NES, a whole new world of gaming goodness to discover. Breaking the mould of genres.

Calling Halo simply an FPS for instance is a understatement. Halo is an Epic adventure that is part role playing, part strategy, part adventure.

Fuzion frenzy is American Gladiators meets smash TV, simple yet complusive.

The games are breaking the standard formulas, and the world will be a better place for it.
Robert, USA

I bought my X-Box on the 14th at 12:40AM. It's Xcellent. This is what the Playstation 2 should have been, and what the Playstation 3 can only hope to match.
John Sim, UK

I would like to comment on all the immature statements that are made about any of the consoles that are available on the market. I would think that the British people would be a little more classy about the launch and to tell you the truth the gaming industry is nothing more than a breeding ground for idiots who really have nothing constructive to say about anything. There are some people who post things on this board just for the fun of it when they probably never played Xbox.

I own all three systems and here in the States the Xbox has the best innovative games right now like JSRF the now exclusive Star Wars RPG project ego and Morrowmind and to many people that think the Xbox is a PC also has to consider that Gamecube graphics chip is by ATI. Sony is dressing up the PS2 as PC plus you will not have to buy add-ons for the xSox. I just wanted to have my say. Thank you very much.
Miko7, USA

While people tend to think Xbox did well over in Japan. The fact is, it's not. Selling 130K units at launch isn't that good. Now it's selling roughly 10,000 per week, while the PS2 with a year headstart still selling 50,000 weekly. If this keep on going, do we see the next fate of DC?
Suzuki, Japan

Xbox isn't what people expect and I'm not saying that negatively. Microsoft have this image of Windows and crashing but Xbox really isn't like that. It doesn't crash like people say it does and the quality of software available rightware available right now is infinitely better than that of the PS2. If the console war was down to quality and not imagery then Xbox would easily win. It has the best graphics, the best games and offers a far better deal than anything else. 300 is nothing for this wonderful piece of hardware.
Mark Page, England

Well, I bought an Xbox on Thursday and have been playing it for most of the w/end (much to the chagrin of my girlfriend). Now I've played with a PS, N64, Super NES, PC and others and must say that all these controllers made my hands ache after extended play. Strangely my hands feel fine (and I do have small hands - ashamed as I am to admit it). Plus Halo, what a game, the best First Person Shooter I have ever played (due to the gameplay, sound etc NOT just the graphics). I think we have a few PS2 owners on this board trying to put down the competition and reassure themselves that the PS2 is still relevant.
Jonny, London, UK

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See also:

13 Mar 02 | New Media
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