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October 11, 2007, 02:59:57 PM
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1  Zune Boards / General Discussions / Re: Audience meets the Musician... on: Today at 12:45:36 AM
Adding to the Chorus, Madonna just dumped her label
2  Zune Boards / General Discussions / Re: Zune2 vs XBox360: Who's the better sophomore? on: October 10, 2007, 05:18:04 PM
Sorry Tras, I didn't mean to come off as doggedly argumentative, just tried to be informative. I thought Smithy's response reflected that.  Sad Overall I think the both of us like to keep a close eye on the video game industry, along with the fact we also enjoy a well known little DAP around these parts when we're out and about.

To Smithy: It'll be cool to see how things play out over the years eh? Wink
3  Zune Boards / General Discussions / Re: Zune Marketing on: October 10, 2007, 05:01:42 PM
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Jander you started something ...

Did I? I think we're just collecting some great individuals and bouncing some great ideas and thoughts off each other. If that translates into blogable stuff, cool, more load off Harv, he can just cherry pick from all the good stuff said 'round here. But then again, Harv sounds off with the best of em' Wink
4  Zune Boards / General Discussions / Re: Zune2 vs XBox360: Who's the better sophomore? on: October 10, 2007, 11:11:44 AM
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Jander, nice write up about the consoles there. I played a little GTHD and I was pretty amazed by the quality of graphics. Although it doesn't have the extensive levels of race damage that Forza has, the look and driving control appeals to me much more.

GTHD was good free sweet lookin' fun. When they added that drift update, and I saw some of those replays logged in by some of the better drivers out? Sheesh, I can't hardly do a single turn drifting. Those replays were amazing. That's what's cool about Gran Turismo, the game demands skill. I recall playing GT2 trying to beat the time trails for Grade A and one of them had me stuck for three hours, but I was determined to beat it. Got madder by the minute, and starting making it into a science, knew exactly what time I had to be at a certain turn. Finally I was just in the zone and crossed the finish line a tenth of a second ahead of the trial cut off time. I started jumping up and down and screaming all by myself. One of my favorite gaming moments. Wink

Gran Turismo 5: Prologue is out this month.  Should be pretty, and cool at the same time. Wink
5  Zune Boards / General Discussions / Re: Zune2 vs XBox360: Who's the better sophomore? on: October 10, 2007, 10:16:22 AM
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Just bring it on will ya?

Ok, I'll bite Smithy, but only this one post. Let's talk consoles in as objective manner as possible and somehow tie it back into the Zune to stay on topic. Deal?

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Is that why practically every multiplatform game looks AND plays better on the 360? Madden 08, NHL 08, COD 3 the works. They all run better on the 360 than the PS3.

True, they have looked better, and performed better than their PS3 counterparts. I've read that's due to porting from the 360 to the PS3. They rightfully start with the 360 (I would too with it's higher install base) and then work on the PS3 version.  A few Developers (for the life of me I can't remember exactly which, I think it was the Ninja Gaiden Sigma developer) have stated it's far more efficient to run it on PS3 first and then port it to the 360. I  I really doubt it's because of the PS3's technical limitations, rather it's because it's a different architecture with all those cores. Give some inventive devs some time with it and I think we'll see some impressive stuff down the years that utilizes that added multitasking.  Multi cores are new, but that's the way the industry is going. You can see it on all the new PCs these days.

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The 3 multi core 3.2 GHZ processors in the 360  smoke the gimped 7 cell "processors" on the PS3 when it comes to what they were actually designed for: playing games.

In comparing it directly to the Xbox 360, you know the Xbox 360 has three general purpose processors in it. But they’re more like the typical processors that you might see in a PC or Macintosh… With the big general purpose processors, they can write the software traditionally the way developers have done it in the past, so they don’t have to change things so much.

What Sony did was the Cell processor was embed about seven processors, one of those being the general purpose core and the other six being these real dedicated specific-use type of processors that are extremely fast. But seeing that they’re not general purpose, they’re a little bit more challenging for programmers to get under control and to write software for.

With these Cell processors and these small processors called the SPEs, developers really have to not only write software different but they have to think about how they’re solving problems in a completely different light.  Smithy it's the learning curve you're seeing that makes all those discrepancies between the two consoles so apparent. They are used to developing with one big core, and now with the PS3 they have to tackle spreading out tasks in a focused manner.   Maybe that's why that developer above said to do the PS3 first and then port to the 360...

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The PS3 has a Blue-ray drive which has a data transfer rate that is lower than the DVD drives on the 360, and was put in by Sony to help them in the hi-def DVD war, rather than for gamers.

For the sake of argument, let's say the *average* game lands around 2GB right now. This would seem to indicate that conservatively we'd want to use a media format for PS3 with a maximum capacity of at least 7 x 2GB, or 14GB. That won't fit on a dual layer DVD. The only logical choices are HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. A single layer Blu-Ray disc is 25GB. Seems like this a good choice from a historical standpoint.

So keeping with the 2GB average game example.  Relatively little of that data is game code; most of it is vertex data, texture data, audio, and video.

The number of vertices that Xbox360 and PS3 can crunch compared to the previous generation is at least 4x. 4 x 2GB is 8GB, Which would put us at a DVD-9 size if all the data were vertices. (Of course, it isn't.)

The texture resolutions have increased closer to 16x, which would push us to 32GB if all that data was texture. Yikes!

Audio on PS2 and XBOX was mostly stereo, two channels. PS3 is 5.1. That's a 3x size increase without even considering fidelity.

Default video format has moved from 480i, or roughly 640x480 at 30 frames per second (9.2 million pixels per second), to 1080p. 1080p is 1920 x 1080 at 60 frames per second (55.3 million pixels per second). That's about a 6x size increase. 6 x 2GB would again push us over the DVD-9 size.

And remember we're just doing back-of-the-napkin calculations here of an average 2GB game. We have 4x, 16x, 3x, 6x multiplied by 2GB. Perhaps an average game could squeeze onto a DVD-9. But the fact that this is an average means that many games are much larger. How can they possibly fit onto the Xbox360's DVD-9 long-term?

Do you really think you'd love to be switching out discs for another 10 years? Progressing the format is a good thing, and not just because it's on a console you don't like because of petty biasness. It goes beyond the video gaming scene. The other thing is, frankly, I love movies as much if not more so than games. Having them both offered as the latest and greatest in one package, makes me pretty happy.  I think going with the blu-ray format was big gamble for Sony, one that will bite them early on, but pay dividends in the end. And come the $400 cut this holiday, the system is a fantastic value for someone who wants HD movies as much as they like games, especially when you compare the 360's DVD drive to Sony's blu-ray, and only a $50 difference.

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XBOX Live totally blows Sony's funny PS3 online service out of the water.

You're right, right now it does. It's far easier to play with friends with Live. Sony's still building, still catching up. But I can see what they're doing, being that I have experience with both. I assume there's no way in hell you'd own a PS3? Wink Sony is slowly creating their little online world that'll incorporate many of Live's best functions, like join up with your friends and then jumping into a game. In Home, you'll do it visually at a game's lobby. Until that happens, Live still pwns Sony's service. But once they compare directly in features, and the free price tag goes up against Live's $50 a year? Then it'll be a little more interesting. Right now I've had a blast play both Warhawk and Halo 3 on both services. You're seriously missing out with Warhawk, that's a lot of fun. Plus some of the original downloadable games via PSN have been pretty good, like Stardust HD, Calling All Cars, and Warhawk. 360 has just been Geometry Wars for me, which I still love.

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The fearsome line up of AAA games for the 360 this year, make the PS3's games line up look like they just got out of kindergarten

They kinda have. It took Gears of War (360s first major hit) a year to come out between the 360's launch date of Nov 2005. Before that, their line up had been pretty lackluster.  Now the 360 is getting a nice groove. It's about a year now for the PS3 and it has yet to have it's fist major hit as well. Resistance was pretty good, Warhawk is a blast, and Heavenly Sword was fun while it lasted.  This Holiday we're both getting Assassin's Creed and Rock Band, two huge games in my eyes. I'm really looking forward to Mass Effect on the 360. Looks awesome. Ratchet and Clank will be awesome, and Uncharted is looking good.  I think those two games will be Sony's best bet for a break out hit this Holiday, but neither will hit Gears of War's status. I think Sony's first major hit will be MGS4, due early 2008. And I think LittleBigPlanet will definitely turn some heads for sheer originality. Plus massive hitters like Final Fantasy XIII, Gran Turismo 5, and Killzone 2 due in 2008, will give all sorts of gaming credibility to Sony's console. All three of those are the types of games that sell consoles, much like good ole Halo.

As for the wii, stylistically, it doesn't do much for me. But even I can admit how successful it'll be and continue to be for three or four more years. In another way it's not competing directly with the same market as the PS3/360. In about three years, the more advanced consoles will begin to really dominate. But meanwhile I just heard Sonic was going to be in Super Smash Bros Brawl. That's hilarious. I was a Sega guy back in the day, and kicking Mario's @$$ with ole Sonic is going to be crazy fun. Personally, I like all three consoles in their own way. Arguing for just one or the other is...foolish when you're missing out on so many good things across the board.

That's my thoughts. I'm bowing out now.  Oh, wait, the Zune, um, once I put a Sony themed background on my Zune and I thought it was funny. Tongue
6  Zune Boards / General Discussions / Re: Audience meets the Musician... on: October 10, 2007, 01:16:55 AM
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Again not trying to start an argument, but with out a label to promote and distribute your stuff how can the talent/production/road crew/techs/art people/groupies/suits Angry...etc.... make any money?

In the great machine that is the music *industry*, artists, if they're just beginning, make most of their money via ticket revenue, which in turn outlays into merch (revenue) revenue. In other words, they make money performing. It's the labels that take the majority helping of the CD sells, with the artists getting a fraction. Artists that are HUGE, get good money on CD sells and even more with concerts.  So what's happening is there's been a slow shift in artist taking over the CD portion of the business themselves and handling the marketing as well.  That aint easy. Artists have to work harder, but they get more. Plus that cuts out the paper thin money grubbers. Sites like Myspace and Last.fm have helped them quite a bit as people have been more networked in word of mouth.  Fans can gravitate and share around anything these days, bands and music happen to be something very communal and that has created a ton of advirtisement that generally the labels had done.  Not only that, but music distribution is trying to basically compete with free.  You can bittorrent an album in under three minutes.  And it's becoming more and more commonplace. With that kind of option going on, its no wonder CD sales have been slowing year by year, and yet along with that, concert ticket sales have picked up. It's also no wonder a band like Radiohead and now NIN have crossed the divide, bucking the labels and opened up a little hole in the damn. They don't need the labels anymore.

So to put it simply, revenue is shifting to performance, CDs/digital tracks are becoming, for lack of a better term, inexpensive business cards, and artists are gaining more freedom by shirking the labels who have historically told them how to create, limiting that creative freedom that is so important in any art. The bottom line is, under this current shift, both the music fans and the artists who create it are coming out on top, with the labels left to hold onto the dying business model as long as possible.

Digital distribution killed the label store. Wink
7  Zune Boards / General Discussions / Re: Zune Marketing on: October 09, 2007, 11:30:17 PM
Quote from: 2A Batterie on October 09, 2007, 07:34:54 PM
I think the grass roots/word of mouth approach could possibly work, especially with all of the hype surrounding the new Zunes.  I saw ads in Rolling Stone and the Village Voice for Zune during the summer, but I think MS had a great approach for the main marketing push for Zunes this summer: at concerts.  Did anyone check out how Zune partnered with Live Nation the summer to have the Zune Spots at concert venues throughout the country?  There also was the Zune Zone.  Did anyone check these out?  I think it provided the best way to market the Zune: put the product into the target market's hands.  After all, I think the product sells itself.

I agree with the grassroots technique via the music festivals, especially from the outset. It was as if the Zune was a garage band so to speak trying to make it big. The Zune was/is indie. It's no wonder why a bunch of indie rock was on the preloaded content. I think that's the way they treated it and it soured some from their vantage point because they weren't seeing the traditional stylized commercials during the superbowl.  Most of us weren't in the thick of those crowds sponsed by the Zune.

Well, now with a fresh look, that's a little more in line with the mass DAP market, I think it may be time for them to step out of the garage and passing out fliers in parking lots and get some killer posters and sign with a label.  Maybe make a music video or two with a washed up actor. Or if they really want to be chic, screw the labels, and run the whole business from the ground up, while passing out music with the five finger discount. Wink

Seriously, it's time for superbowl commercials.
8  Zune Boards / General Discussions / Re: Audience meets the Musician... on: October 09, 2007, 11:17:53 PM
Quote from: tbird on October 09, 2007, 10:21:16 PM
But what does this mean for the average cd ripper/downloader living in any town USA?


Nothing right now. But come, say, two years from now? Things will be noticeably different.

/guess
9  Zune Boards / General Discussions / Re: Audience meets the Musician... on: October 09, 2007, 09:08:17 PM
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It makes me feel all good inside

You and me both Palmer. Change is in the wind.
10  Zune Boards / General Discussions / Re: Zune2 vs XBox360: Who's the better sophomore? on: October 09, 2007, 06:19:00 PM
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The Xbox 360 is the greatest game console in history hands down.

Hmm, that's a big statement. Arguably, I'd say the 360 is the best console right now but ever? I would place far bigger hitters in the 'ever' category.  Like the NES, Super Nintendo, Genesis, and the PS who all made huge contributions to gaming, especially effecting what the industry is today, and the games you're enjoying right now on your 360. 360 is still fairly young in its life, so are all of the current gen consoles. All of them still have a ton to prove if they even want to get on the top 10.

Here's food for thought

On topic, if you go by market acceptance then we'll need to wait and see how the new Zunes do. The 360 has done pretty good over here in the U.S., decent in Europe, and terrible in Japan. The wii is generally accepted across the board, and most likely will come out on top in numbers, but taper off at the end when the far more robust consoles, PS3 and 360 really come into their own.  It'll be interesting how they compare in the global market after five years. The new Zunes brought a lot of legitimacy to the brand when they were annouced, bringing sought after features, but still skimping on the little features that are a big deal to a small vocal minority.  We'll see how they do over the next year till next November and see where the market is then. I'd say it'll be interesting on both fields.

11  Zune Boards / General Discussions / Re: My Zune Clock. on: October 08, 2007, 09:48:51 PM
Quote from: Blackie on October 08, 2007, 08:27:00 PM
Oh.My.God. A JOKE FROM PALMER!!!!!!!  Shocked
It's a sign of the Apocalypse! RUN!!!!

That's no joke, it's a parody of a complaint. Wink
12  Zune Boards / Zune Accessories / Re: Cheap man's Alternative to the Octavio on: October 08, 2007, 09:45:55 PM
So you're really getting set up nice, premium, for a little over $200? Coo, lemme know how your rig is after you get it all squared away. And take some snap shots.
13  Not Zune-Related / Off-Topic / Up + infinity on: October 08, 2007, 01:37:06 AM
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/859124/amazing_audio_illusion/
14  Zune Boards / General Discussions / Re: How do you feel about the Clock? Important, Not Important, Should it be adde on: October 08, 2007, 01:31:48 AM
Quote from: Kaiser on October 07, 2007, 10:56:29 PM
I've seen gulls do that too lol.

I find birds strangely funny, Ducks especially.
15  Zune Boards / General Discussions / Re: The New Zunes Look on: October 08, 2007, 01:30:31 AM
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That's exactly what I'm worried about; I disliked the iPod's touch wheel because of exactly that (though the Mini that I had was especially bad, methinks.) I hope it all goes well in the long run, and I can get used to using it effectively. Time will tell.

Let me dispel your worry Tras, just use it as a button. Wink  That's what's cool, if you don't like the touch, keep it real and go analog.
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