Xbox Live

By Pete | @kingpetey | 22 Aug 2002

For those that don?t know the Xbox is a major games console produced by Microsoft, so far the Xbox has been very successful and has sold many games including the very popular Halo. On November 15th 2002 Microsoft will start to offer a new service for Xbox called Xbox Live, this is basically a complete world of online gaming for the Xbox meaning you can play games with other people around the world. However Xbox live will only be available for broadband/cable users because of the large amount of bandwidth such games take up to play online. A starting kit will be available for the Xbox that will include the necessary kit needed to be able to play games online. It also contains a microphone as all games will have voice chat enabled this is mainly because as the Xbox does not come with a keyboard as default it can get hard to chat to fellow gamers with a game pad.

Microsoft is taking a different view into online gaming for its console compared to its rivals which include Sony who produce the Playstation series. Microsoft are providing all the online software needed to get a game online while Sony rely on the games developers themselves to produce all the necessary software for getting their game online. The smaller games producers like the approach from Microsoft as it saves them a lot of work for little extra money, while the big companies such as Electronic Arts, who produce such games as Red Alert 2 and Medal of Honour, find the approach annoying as they have already invested heavily in online games markets.

Either way Microsoft looks to once again being at the forefront of the console online gaming revolution and will be a major contender in many years to come in the console market. Its system will certainly make it easier for the end user to play games online with its simple interface making all online games easy to access. Games producers for Sony intend to have games coming online to the Playstation 2 early next year.

The face of console gaming is going to change a lot in the coming months as it did when people started getting into online gaming on the PC. I personally think that games sales will continue to increase and the number of people taking up broadband will also increase.