Xbox Creator: New Consoles Need Apple Experiences

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Xbox Creator: New Consoles Need Apple Experiences

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According to Xbox co-creator Ed Fries, gaming's future will owe a lot to Apple.

It's no secret that videogame consoles have changed drastically since their inception. In terms of physical media alone, we've moved from tape-based cartridges, to ROM cartridges, to CDs, and most recently to digital distribution for delivering content. Our technological capability is increasing at a rapid pace, but according to Xbox co-creator Ed Fries, the services provided by console manufacturers are still stuck in the past. Fries believes that the upcoming game generation could finally be the tipping point that changes everything, and in the end, it's going to look a lot like Apple.

"It's getting harder and harder for the traditional consoles to ignore the Apple kind of experience," Fries told Game Informer. "Anybody can develop for the platform, certification is a relatively cheap and painless thing, and in the old days of consoles there are all sorts of myths and legends that say that's a bad thing to do. That's why the game business melted down in '84, there was too much junk on the market, but now you've got guys who make games like Fez who can't do an update to their game because it costs too much, if that game was on iOS that wouldn't be a problem, but because it's on XBLA it's a problem."

While console manufacturers have been slowly catching up with new technologies and distribution methods, Fries notes that in many ways they're still inflexible to change. That's why Fries believes that the Ouya, for which he is currently acting as an advisor, might succeed in the coming generation. Fries even suggests that an Apple console would inevitably spark another gaming revolution. "Those kinds of ideas have to go away in the next generation," he says. "They'll go away in Ouya, they'll go away if Apple brings some kind of product into this space, the console makers like Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, they have to respond to that, it's just the future."

While it's difficult to say exactly how things will shake out, it's not wrong to note that Apple's practices have impacted the industry. The iPhone practically changed the way we think about handheld gaming overnight, and its influence is credited to everything from declining console sales to Microsoft's certification policies for Windows 8. Manufacturers would likely love to emulate some of Apple's practices, and more importantly its successes, in a console market that is looking a little rough around the edges despite its strengths.

Source: Game Informer, via Eurogamer

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yes, they need to sue everyone for trivial things with flimsy excuses..
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/8858333/Apple-takes-on-German-cafe-over-logo.html

"Anybody can develop for the platform, certification is a relatively cheap and painless thing, and in the old days of consoles there are all sorts of myths and legends that say that's a bad thing to do. That's why the game business melted down in '84, there was too much junk on the market, but now you've got guys who make games like Fez who can't do an update to their game because it costs too much, if that game was on iOS that wouldn't be a problem, but because it's on XBLA it's a problem."

Fanghawk:

While console manufacturers have been slowly catching up with new technologies and distribution methods, Fries notes that in many ways they're still inflexible to change. That's why Fries believes that the Ouya, for which he is currently acting as an advisor, might succeed in the coming generation. Fries even suggests that an Apple console would inevitably spark another gaming revolution. "Those kinds of ideas have to go away in the next generation," he says. "They'll go away in Ouya, they'll go away if Apple brings some kind of product into this space, the console makers like Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, they have to respond to that, it's just the future."

Do I need to break out the Pippin avatar again?

Apple already released a console and it was terrible.

As for the rest of it, that's already bloody well what they're doing, and have been doing for years now. Has Mr. Fries even looked at the "treasure trove" that is XBLIG? It's like the App Store but worse.

"Anybody can develop for the platform, certification is a relatively cheap and painless thing, and in the old days of consoles there are all sorts of myths and legends that say that's a bad thing to do. That's why the game business melted down in '84, there was too much junk on the market, but now you've got guys who make games like Fez who can't do an update to their game because it costs too much, if that game was on iOS that wouldn't be a problem, but because it's on XBLA it's a problem."

And once that happens, consoles will take one more step along the road of being just shitty PCs.

but now you've got guys who make games like Fez who can't do an update to their game because it costs too much, if that game was on iOS that wouldn't be a problem, but because it's on XBLA it's a problem.

isnt all this is saying is that microsofts tactic with publishing are batshit insane? how does microsoft being a d**k mean we must need apple experience/

If other apple experiences are at least half as bad as mine, trust me, NOONE needs apple experience. i wouldnt wish apple on my worst enemy. well ok, maybe them.

I know that the current console cycle has gone on a bit long but I think having them be outdated every six months would be a step backward in my opinion.

Knee-jerk reaction: The apple experience... I sure hope not.
So we'll be seeing a new $600 console every year?

If that's the case, I can understand why they're pushing for such a strategy...

I was all ready to break out the doom and gloom, but he's actually suggesting a pretty good thing: relatively open platforms with minimal licensing fees. That's what they mean by "Apple experience." You could just as easily call it the PC experience, or the Android experience, but I guess that doesn't make for as good of a headline.

I think this guys really, really loves his iPhone, like in an unhealthy way.

Basically what he's saying is - Don't be this kind of dick. Be that kind of dick.

Raiyan 1.0:
Basically what he's saying is - Don't be this kind of dick. Be that kind of dick.

Were all of Wil Wheaton's words for naught D:?

Also wait, they pretty much already did that with WINDOWS 8.

"Fries believes that the upcoming game generation could finally be the tipping point that changes everything, and in the end, it's going to look a lot like Apple."

Ittttttssss beginning to look alot like Apple! Useless apps to cash in quick. Take a look at that voice changer app, and angry birds rip off, with aging and expensive crap galore!

I tried >_>

But yeah, I kinda do and kinda dont support this. Yes, Microsoft needs to pull back the reigns on XBLA fees, but eliminating them where any kid can release a $15 dollar game that does nothing, is bad(Thats an extremist look... sad that I have to specify that).

The article linked within this article to talk about how the Xbox isn't doing as hot as it once was, blames sagging console sales.
The thing is, once everyone owns the console, they have no reason to buy another. It's just peak market saturation.

Thank you, Microsoft, for giving me a reason not to buy your next console every time you open your mouth. I am firmly rooted in my belief that cconsoles are for AAA titles and a rare indie gem like Braid or LIMBO. But yeah, go ahead and flood the market with shitty casual games, see how far that gets you with your core customers.

By "Owe a lot to" I presume that he actually means: "Have a lot to blame for"

Owyn_Merrilin:
I was all ready to break out the doom and gloom, but he's actually suggesting a pretty good thing: relatively open platforms with minimal licensing fees. That's what they mean by "Apple experience." You could just as easily call it the PC experience, or the Android experience, but I guess that doesn't make for as good of a headline.

Thing is, Xbox Live already has that. The licensing fee is even the same - $99 a year.

The problem is, of course, that the quality is generally terrible. There are only a handful of XBLIG options that are worth the couple bucks they generally charge. Finding them is ridiculously difficult.

JEBWrench:

Owyn_Merrilin:
I was all ready to break out the doom and gloom, but he's actually suggesting a pretty good thing: relatively open platforms with minimal licensing fees. That's what they mean by "Apple experience." You could just as easily call it the PC experience, or the Android experience, but I guess that doesn't make for as good of a headline.

Thing is, Xbox Live already has that. The licensing fee is even the same - $99 a year.

The problem is, of course, that the quality is generally terrible. There are only a handful of XBLIG options that are worth the couple bucks they generally charge. Finding them is ridiculously difficult.

Part of that's because of the way the market is set up -- it's got a terrible interface. Plus, more to the point, Apple lets devs send out patches without paying a fortune. Microsoft doesn't. Besides, we're talking the main store, not the indie ghetto.

I agree, they need to look good, be easy to use and last a long time. Also apple marketing is amazing.

I had my fill of Apple experiences when I bought an iPod. Big mistake, no thanks.

Well, as expected Apple haters are out in force...

Look, the 'Apple experience' isn't about suing other companies (which every company does these days, by the way), re-releasing new products every year (again, every company does that), etc etc; thats what the Apple corporation side of things. By 'Apple experience' it means user experience: the ridiculously easy-to-use style where even your grandmother can use it with very little learning.

I personally think the gaming market could certainly learn a lot from Apple; having a platform which is easy for content creators to make things on is never a bad thing. Look at how many iOS games there are compared to XBLA/PSN; its no competition in terms of sheer numbers. Sure, a lot of those games may be crap to people like us, but Apple has a MUCH broader market because of that, and for people like us there are also 'hardcore' gems like Infinity Blade. Not to mention the prices, even for DLC titles, are significantly cheaper on the Apple system.

Owyn_Merrilin:

Part of that's because of the way the market is set up -- it's got a terrible interface. Plus, more to the point, Apple lets devs send out patches without paying a fortune. Microsoft doesn't. Besides, we're talking the main store, not the indie ghetto.

The Indie Ghetto is set up almost identically to the App Store; that's the point I'm getting at. The only major difference is that the interface is terribad, and even that I can't say for certain if it's a difference, because I don't use the App Store. I assume its interface is good, because it's a pretty big deal from what I gather.

As far as the updates go:

XBox Live Indie Games Membership FAQ:

You can submit updates to your apps/games at no cost.

I think I agree with a point I think you're making, in that there being two different layers of the XBox Live Marketplace, the XBLIG is lost in the shuffle.

JEBWrench:

Owyn_Merrilin:

Part of that's because of the way the market is set up -- it's got a terrible interface. Plus, more to the point, Apple lets devs send out patches without paying a fortune. Microsoft doesn't. Besides, we're talking the main store, not the indie ghetto.

The Indie Ghetto is set up almost identically to the App Store; that's the point I'm getting at. The only major difference is that the interface is terribad, and even that I can't say for certain if it's a difference, because I don't use the App Store. I assume its interface is good, because it's a pretty big deal from what I gather.

As far as the updates go:

XBox Live Indie Games Membership FAQ:

You can submit updates to your apps/games at no cost.

I think I agree with a point I think you're making, in that there being two different layers of the XBox Live Marketplace, the XBLIG is lost in the shuffle.

So then we actually agree: XBLIG should /be/ the main store, or rather, the main store should have those policies (low barrier to entry, patches and updates at no cost to the developer.) That's what the article is saying will, or at least should happen -- no indie ghetto, just a store with better, more open policies.

Apple experience? You mean 1000$ console, 80$ games, 10$ for every patch and new console with 1 new feature every year? Count me in as long as its shiny. Also no competition since apple invented consoles so one else could use them.

Although captcha says not yet.

JEBWrench:

Owyn_Merrilin:
I was all ready to break out the doom and gloom, but he's actually suggesting a pretty good thing: relatively open platforms with minimal licensing fees. That's what they mean by "Apple experience." You could just as easily call it the PC experience, or the Android experience, but I guess that doesn't make for as good of a headline.

Thing is, Xbox Live already has that. The licensing fee is even the same - $99 a year.

The problem is, of course, that the quality is generally terrible. There are only a handful of XBLIG options that are worth the couple bucks they generally charge. Finding them is ridiculously difficult.

The XBLA Indie game membership comes also with a lot of restrictions. And those restrictions let indie devs choose the other way - the way where they have to pay 40k$ to patch their games.
And those restrictions are rather harsh - most of the indie games on Steam could not qualify through those - "Games must be less than 500 MB." is just one example that makes me cringe.

No, the XBLA is not that. It has stupid limitations while the other option is not feeable for most developers.

Jeez another one of these 'Apple is the future' bits. Such a load of crap. Of course the creator of the Xbox says the price is too high otherwise, making a game for the XBLA is obscenely overpriced because of Microsoft. Plus, while making a game for the iOS may be cost efficient to a general extent, consider what actually becomes popular on the iOS. If the iOS is the future of gaming, it's a pretty bleak future for quality in general.

Simalacrum:
Well, as expected Apple haters are out in force...

Look, the 'Apple experience' isn't about suing other companies (which every company does these days, by the way), re-releasing new products every year (again, every company does that), etc etc; thats what the Apple corporation side of things. By 'Apple experience' it means user experience: the ridiculously easy-to-use style where even your grandmother can use it with very little learning.

I personally think the gaming market could certainly learn a lot from Apple; having a platform which is easy for content creators to make things on is never a bad thing. Look at how many iOS games there are compared to XBLA/PSN; its no competition in terms of sheer numbers. Sure, a lot of those games may be crap to people like us, but Apple has a MUCH broader market because of that, and for people like us there are also 'hardcore' gems like Infinity Blade. Not to mention the prices, even for DLC titles, are significantly cheaper on the Apple system.

1) 41 litigation incidents on Apple's record. That's more than any current Fortune 500 company, and just slightly more than Lindsey Lohan and Charlie Sheen put together.

2) Apple releases products every year with intentionally handicapped specs so that a slightly better can be released for a higher price the following year. Shown by the iPhone having worse specs than an HG Smartphone... 6 years older.

Ugh please no. I don't like touchscreens and I don't like apple's business structure. I really want Ouya to be independent.

Evil Smurf:
I agree, they need to look good, be easy to use and last a long time. Also apple marketing is amazing.

Lasting long is how you treat it.

It won't last long If I piss on its processor while its running and hit it with a hammer, now would it?

If you have a computer longevity problem, 99.99% its your fault.

grigjd3:
I think this guys really, really loves his iPhone, like in an unhealthy way.

Not his iphone...

...That's why Fries believes that the Ouya, for which he is currently acting as an advisor...

He's heavily involved in creating a console that does exactly what he claims is holding back the current generation of consoles.

I'll wager this is more marketing's opinion than his own, after all, not only is it bringing publicity for his lesser known console, but a justification for why it does things differently than the current consoles we have, and an explanation of why this is, like, totally better than the consoles that are going to be released man!

I think it certainly has it's positives, of course it has negatives as well: I like having a physical manifestation of my product, it's why I am able to load Red Alert 2 onto this laptop and I'll be able to effortlessly load it onto my next laptop despite the dozen or so computers I've already had to load it on to play it.
But I don't think that moving exclusively to an Apple style app store would be the best thing: A huge portion of the videogame market are underage and therefore not likely to have access to personal online transactions. A lot of my teenage games were bought by myself in a store, in fact up till now I have never bought a single fully digital game.

JEBWrench:

Fanghawk:

While console manufacturers have been slowly catching up with new technologies and distribution methods, Fries notes that in many ways they're still inflexible to change. That's why Fries believes that the Ouya, for which he is currently acting as an advisor, might succeed in the coming generation. Fries even suggests that an Apple console would inevitably spark another gaming revolution. "Those kinds of ideas have to go away in the next generation," he says. "They'll go away in Ouya, they'll go away if Apple brings some kind of product into this space, the console makers like Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, they have to respond to that, it's just the future."

Do I need to break out the Pippin avatar again?

Apple already released a console and it was terrible.

As for the rest of it, that's already bloody well what they're doing, and have been doing for years now. Has Mr. Fries even looked at the "treasure trove" that is XBLIG? It's like the App Store but worse.

Holy shit somebody actually ninja'd me on the Pippin! :O
You sir win the thread.

Seriously. That's it [/thread]

Oh right. I see how that works. Microsoft is a cunt, so it costs a lot of money to release a patch for a game on XBLA. But if that game was on some other system on the Xbox, Microsoft...wait, no, I must be missing something because my calculations still say Microsoft's a cunt. That can't be right, can it...?

Owyn_Merrilin:
I was all ready to break out the doom and gloom, but he's actually suggesting a pretty good thing: relatively open platforms with minimal licensing fees. That's what they mean by "Apple experience." You could just as easily call it the PC experience, or the Android experience, but I guess that doesn't make for as good of a headline.

That was the issue I had with this article too; it's misleading.

For one thing: Apple is NOT "open-platform".
They have a "walled garden" environment (read: proprietary) system that isn't unlike the current PS3 and Xbox 360 licensed development environments.

-The development kit is pretty cheap, but not free. It's also a controlled program architecture, for obvious reasons, and the ONLY architecture that you can submit software as. Apple also requires registration for a license, so this is legally, the same as registering licensing with Sony or Microsoft.

-Distribution is "free" only as long as you don't charge anything for your software, otherwise it's 30% of your revenue.

-Finally, Apple still retains full authority to deny you distribution/publishing rights.
Simply put: they control the gates to the garden. It's still firmly proprietary, they just aren't being as big of dicks as Sony and Microsoft are.

Further comparing experiences, I'd say it's Apple who is copying consoles.
The main reason people use Apple is because of streamlined functionality and ease of use; especially compared to a more open "DIY" system.
Sound familiar, anyone?

The only salient point made in the article to differentiate the two models (Apple vs Console) is the fact that XBLA charges *massive* premiums for hosting new content and updates. Point to Apple.

So really, Ed Fries is just sucking Apple's cock to make his upcoming product look favorable/comparable to a currently popular brand.

TheKasp:

The XBLA Indie game membership comes also with a lot of restrictions. And those restrictions let indie devs choose the other way - the way where they have to pay 40k$ to patch their games.
And those restrictions are rather harsh - most of the indie games on Steam could not qualify through those - "Games must be less than 500 MB." is just one example that makes me cringe.

Fair enough. I just think that Microsoft is already in the process of doing what Mr. Fries thinks they should do. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Microsoft App Hub restrictions change even more towards what Apple's App Store is like, as they seem to be focusing pretty hard on trying to get a bite out of that.

SkarKrow:

Holy shit somebody actually ninja'd me on the Pippin! :O
You sir win the thread.

Seriously. That's it [/thread]

Aw, shucks. I just remember all the "Apple should try making a console!" rhetoric from right around when I first got here. Until the tragic death of Lance; I had a Pippin as my avatar.

Simalacrum:
I personally think the gaming market could certainly learn a lot from Apple; having a platform which is easy for content creators to make things on is never a bad thing. Look at how many iOS games there are compared to XBLA/PSN; its no competition in terms of sheer numbers. Sure, a lot of those games may be crap to people like us, but Apple has a MUCH broader market because of that, and for people like us there are also 'hardcore' gems like Infinity Blade. Not to mention the prices, even for DLC titles, are significantly cheaper on the Apple system.

As was said earlier in the thread, you could just as easily call that the PC or Android experience, Apple just makes a better headline.

Honestly, if this is all they want to copy off Apple, and they took this long to realise something that the PC has been doing since its inception - yeah.
The main thing they should be focusing on from the "Apple Experience" is the speed and usability side of things, and the simplicity. Those were the strengths of consoles that have become diluted over time. Making consoles load quickly, with no crashing or FPS problems, short loading times and a simple and very usable interface that your grandma could understand on booting it up is what consoles need to head towards - they're strengths as a platform. In doing this prices of consoles would probably also drop, playing to another of their strengths.
It is, to be honest, something I liked about the Wii. Going over to a friends house and using their Xbox/Playstation I had little idea what was going on on the main menu, or if it just booted straight to the game how to access the main menu. I just had to trust them to get things done, or take a guess at what things did and learn. With the Wii, there were big, labelled icons for everything, and the background was simple and white so as not to distract from the icons. There was no way you could go wrong in doing what you wanted to. That, IMO, is the core of what should be copied from the "Apple Experience" - simplicity and ease of use. Making a big deal out of a market with 'No restrictions' that is still far more restricted than the PC market is... eh. You should be focusing on something else.

Ugh! Am I the only one who misses the good ol' days when a console was just a console and not a PC/Mac/random Apple product hybrid? No updates or any of that? Yeah, online gaming was a great addition and it was bound to happen but aside from that, I just miss turning on my console, popping in the disc and find myself playing a game less than 5 seconds later.

But that aside, I admit I don't think I quite got the grasp of the article. I might be misunderstanding something; I have to go back and check. At any rate, I would hate for them to release a new console every couple of months. I'm pretty sure a lot of people would lose interest.

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