Archive for November, 2010

Rabid Criticism: 1UP’s Xbox 360 “Innovations”

I’ve never particularly cared for 1UP, but an article top 10 list they published today in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Xbox 360 is chock full of errors and subsequently, hilarity. You see, they’ve come up with a list of ten innovations established by the Xbox 360. Problem is, they were all done before the Xbox 360 launched. Let’s run through the list.

High Definition Graphics
PC games were playable in 1280×1024 long before the Xbox 360 was a twinkle in Microsoft’s eye. If you discount the PC, then you just have to look at the original Xbox, which featured a number of games that supported 720p or 1080i. It’s also worth noting that a few PlayStation 2 games, notably Gran Turismo 4, also supported 1080i.

Achievements
Achievements are just unlockables, usually without any sort of tangible reward attached. Many games have used badges of honour to show off your accomplishments long before 360 Achievements came – think about GoldenEye’s cheats or Mario Kart 64’s changing title screen.

Microsoft Points
Arcade tokens. Casino Chips. Theme park money.

Trial Games
They even admit here that the PC did this already. They handwave it, talking about previous console demos only coming with magazines. Except that they also came with games as well.

Gamerscore
Two bullet points wasted on the same point. Stat tracking for games, even across multiple titles, has been around for ages. Sure, there was never a mandated system before that, but that’s only brought us “Press Start” achievements.

A True Entertainment Hub
It’s called a PC.

Multitasking
PC again.

Digital Distribution
PC!!! Also, there was paid DLC on the original Xbox.

Matchmaking
Again they admit it’s lifted from the PC. Didn’t Halo 2 also have matchmaking on the Xbox?

Kinect
Controller-less gaming? EyeToy and a number of arcade machines.

You want to know some stuff the Xbox 360 introduced that was actually meaningful? Wireless gamepad as standard; a wired version was available for a while, but was not pushed as heavily. The Wavebird popularised RF wireless controllers, but lacked features the Xbox 360 pad has, like force feedback.

There is also a console interface that can be accessed in game without leaving said game. The PS2 variant PSX had the XMB interface popularised by the PSP and PS3, but it was not accessible in-game.

The Xbox 360 also mandated widescreen modes for all games – many of the HD games on the original Xbox still ran in 4:3 windows.

If you’re going to do a fluff piece, do it right.

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