The Master .Plan
November 21, 2000 - Microsoft X-Box: Gotta get me some more money
<RANT>I'm gonna go off here on Microsoft. If you like M$, leave now. I'm mad, and I'm not going to take this any more.</RANT>
I read the recent story A.T. put up on LucasArts cancelling Obi-Wan for PC systems. It irritated me. Why? I think LucasArts is looking at doing an X-Box exclusive with their newest title. I don't KNOW that Obi-Wan is going to be X-Box only, but I've got a pretty solid hunch. LucasArts is not going to announce their platform for Obi-Wan until next year. The best platforms for moving their assets are either X-Box, DreamCast (hardly "next-gen"), or Dolphin (which little is known about). I've ruled the PS2 out here, since it sounds like the PS2's code and graphics subsystems aren't nearly PC compatible enough to make asset porting worthwile, and the graphics engine isn't as incredible as Sony has hyped. I may be overstepping here, but the BEST platform for moving assets and current development to that I know of in the console market is X-Box. It's got an incredible industry standard video system, and an API that LucasArts has already been writing to.
There's been plenty of other announced games that are now X-Box exclusives, including Munch's Oddysee and Final Fantasy XI, and a ton of developers are doing exclusive X-Box only games.
All of this has brought me to my need to air a grievance I have with Microsoft. Corporate Greed. As I saw today in a post on FireTower (an online list for firewall administrators), "Microsoft is merely an abstraction layer for the ego of a geek bent on levying retribution on the entire world for all the times he got beat up and his lunch money stolen". What Microsoft has and always will be is a corporate juggernaught that's only goal is to get incredibly powerful through exploiting their 90% market share. Domination is their game, and even a court-ordered breakup won't stop them.
The X-Box, and the resulting waves it's generating in the industry are yet more proof of Microsoft's greed. They've created a commodity system, bought the people to make it work, played ALL the hardware people off each other for the lowest prices to build it. Now, they're buying or paying off the companies that make the games so they'll release their new cool games "exclusively on X-Box".
Now, all other things aside X-Box is a great idea. A system with a lot of power, the same interfaces as your PC, and Windows (well-okay, maybe that isn't such a wonderful idea :-) as the OS means Microsoft has an incredibly simple system for game companies to port to. But that's NEVER good enough for Microsoft. No. Now they're gonna make sure that the software companies only write to X-Box, and force a whole load of gamers who want this years great games to buy X-Box, or miss out. Let me point you to an alternative view on this point, courtesy of Penny Arcade.
I can't stand it when a company with Microsoft's power does what it does, in order to inflate coffers that are already so bloody deep that NOBODY can possibly fathom their bottoms. I bet the lawyers and the accountants at Microsoft are a-quiver every day they open up the bank statements, and see all those zeros, but I refuse to be impressed. If id exclusives DooM 2000 for X-Box, I won't buy it. I will not line Bill's pockets with that kind of money. I may be forced to live with Microsoft on my PC, but I refuse to attach that garbage to my TV. No way.