Thursday, May 12, 2005

XBox 360 - The Marketing

Just finished watching the XBox 'launch event' on MTV, here are a few things I took away from it:

  1. Microsoft has A LOT of money - I know this isn't exactly news, but between the airtime on MTV, the falsely enthusiastic celebrities, and the band, I think I just saw upwards of $10 million dollars being spent. Yikes!
  2. People Will Say Anything for a Buck - Yes, I know that media whoring is a celebrity's stock and trade, but this was SO transparent. Most expensive infomercial ever made.
  3. This is a GAME console, right? - Maybe I'm not the target audience here, but I wanted to see more about the actual games. The brief snippets showed some good graphics, but there was nothing that stood out from an innovation perspective (ok, the same old Madden with graphics like these might be pretty cool).
Here's a link to a much better video about the XBox 360. And while we're on the topic of next generation graphics and gameplay, check out this trailer for Myst 5. From what I've seen so far, this should be a great game. I doubt that the MTV crowd will 'get it', but the aesthetes among you will love it.


Jason said...

Wow, the Myst 5 movie got out there fast. Thats our e3 video that I saw for the first time yesterday afternoon. Didn't realize it was going to be public so soon. I'm glad though, after all of this hard work it's nice to be able to show it off.

John Hann said...

Wow, you guys sure do move fast! It's a really good video, I particularly like the montage of real time footage towards the end. Excellent editing and sound. Did you guys (Cyan) make that yourselves, or was it Ubisoft's marketing?

Jason said...

I'm honestly not sure who made it. I'll have to find out. The realtime stuff was cool. The prerendered stuff was neat, but was somewhat of a misrepresentation. It wasn't that it wasn't accurate, lets just say it has somewhat of a different feel to it.

John Hann said...

I found this post from RAWA on the Myst Obsession forums:


I think we've been down this road several times before.

And I'm reasonably sure that I've typed this precise phrase before:

I've given up trying to understand the people in marketing.

What they seem to like and what I like don't even seem to be in the
same universe.


* We (Cyan) did not make the trailer.
* If we had made it, it would have been different.
* Some of our input was disregarded.
* Our technology was not used to make the trailer.
* The footage in the trailer was not captured from the game itself.

On May 12, 2005, at 8:59 PM, Joseph Davies wrote:

> About the only complaint I have about what I see in that trailer is
> the 10-years-old CG human.

Yeah, I didn't even recognize that guy. He was loosely based on a
character in the game, but I believe that our real-time 3D characters
look better than their pre-rendered guy.

If you've kept up on the articles that have been written, you'll
already have read the comments about our characters. One article
explained: "the facial animations were filmed and superimposed on the
polygonal models. Consequently, the effect seems expressive and
lifelike, even at this early stage."

Obviously, they didn't use our technology for the CG guy in the trailer.

> It reminds me of the attempts of the late Sierra or Ultima 9 at CG
> humans. I mean, surely we've been spoiled by some awesome stuff in
> recent years, but still I think this only reinforces your assertion.
> If you can't make it look terrific in pre-rendered CG, then why not go
> live-action?

Unlike the trailer, nothing in the game is pre-rendered. The game is
completely done in real-time 3D. Live-action simply would not work

> Oh well, I'm sure it won't detract terribly from my enjoyment of the
> game, but I'm concerned that the dated CG will hinder sales.

It is very unfortunate that this trailer will give people the wrong
impression of what the characters in the game will be like.
When you see the actual character in the game itself, I think you'll
agree that he bears very little resemblance to what was shown in the

But never fear: I've been assured that 95% of people who see the
trailer are going to love it the way it is.

So there are only a few of us who don't like it, and we're just
entirely too picky, I guess.

To each his/her own.


PS - _Everyone_ knows that the Bahro have blue eyes...