Tag: microsoft

Re: Re: Zune or iPod Touch?

by on Aug.07, 2009, under thoughts

Brian (@jotkeybrian) has responded to my post, and I have a couple comments after reading his response… This seems like a good place to do it!

Actually, Microsoft has been pretty cool lately with formats.  Take a look at the Xbox 360, before you could only play wmv, wma, mp3, and wav.  Now you can play xvid, divx, wmv, mp4 (h.264/mpeg), mp3, and mp4/m4a (unprotected aac).

That’s very interesting, actually!  I don’t own a 360 personally, so this is the kind of thing I’m not personally aware of.  I made some assumptions for the sake of my argument.  That’s good to hear, and you’re right, it sounds like Microsoft’s being pretty good about this.  I’ll talk more about Microsoft codecs vs. Apple codecs later.

You also have to realize no-one-uses FLAC from Microsoft’s perspective.

And why is this?  Because nothing supports it!  Why would I use FLAC instead of WMA lossless if nothing I want to play my media files on supports FLAC?

Now Apple on the other hand… They are fucking bastards, they don’t support SHIT. No divx, no xvid – the only formats/codecs they really support are AAC and mp3 for audio and H.264 for video.

You’re absolutely right.  After going over my post again, and thinking about it more, Microsoft is much better with codecs and library organization for letting you keep your music.  Media players that support Microsoft’s “Plays for Sure” often support quite a few codecs.  (Note: I don’t have Windows running currently, so I can’t double-check this!)  When you import music into Media Player, it can move it to the My Music folder, and keep it organized, or leave it where it is.  Apple on the other hand… supports very few codecs on its media players.  When you import music into iTunes, it can move it to My Music/iTunes Library/iTunes Music, and keep it organized there (a strange path for people who want their music files), or leave it where it is. (continue reading…)

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BREAKING: Microsoft’s New Controller Lacks Rumble

by on Jun.04, 2009, under thoughts

Rumble is a pretty hot topic among game controllers.  When the Sony announced that the PS3 controller wouldn’t have rumble, gamers and bloggers got angry.  Joystiq gives a perfect example of this, summarizing the opinions of others.  And while the general consensus was that rumble wouldn’t hurt Sony, it would just help them if they had it, it’s still a shame to see a company remove such a nice gaming feature.

Three years later, in walks Microsoft.  Perhaps you’ve heard of Project Natal.  It’s an interesting concept.  Instead of forcing you to hold a control, sit down and play your video games, we’ll FORCE you to stand up and fight your opponents like a man.  Microsoft looked at the success of the Wii, and basically said, “We can take this one step farther…”  If it works well, and Microsoft can keep the price point low, then I have a feeling it will go over big.  If not, then it’ll flop and be part of gaming history, much like the Power Glove and Sega Activator.

However, there’s a strange point that all the articles I’ve read have been missing.  Without a controller to hold, there will be no rumble, no force feedback.  And while, for the most part, this is really just a novelty… There are some games that might be lacking without this crucial detail.  Yet, the blogosphere hasn’t exploded.  In just three years, the Internet has gotten over the joy of having rumble in a controller.

Maybe we never really needed it to begin with, and Sony just showed us this by removing it.  Personally, I’ve never used a PS3, but if the consesus was that it wasn’t a critical point, then that’s not what’s hurting its sales.  Or, maybe, Microsoft just can’t do any evil in the gaming world.  Sure, Microsoft is evil in the computing world… but they seem to be a god in the gaming world, much like Apple is a do-no-evil god in the computing world.

So, what will come out of this?  Maybe we’ll start to see more controllers without rumble.  Rumble hit it big, but maybe the novelty is dying off now, and we realize that we don’t really need rumble to play a good video game.  Or, perhaps Microsoft’s “controller” will flop, and systems will still keep rumble in their controllers.  Of course, Natal could always flop AND we lose rumble in controllers.  Only time will tell.

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