Since I wrote this entry last week, it was announced that the new Halo 2 multiplayer maps will make some XBL playlists 360-only, since the maps are only being released for the 360. In defense, we've been told that most Halo 2 players are using 360s. However, Microsoft does not release breakdowns between the two consoles. Microsoft, I find it hard to believe that so many gamers have drifted away from XBL that there are more Halo 2 players using 360s on XBL than there are on the original console, given that there are three times as many original Xboxes. Players I know that have both prefer to use the original to play online because of the lag caused by emulation.
Is it really necessary to use Halo 2 maps to try and pressure more gamers onto the new platform? Is Halo 3 really so far away that you can't wait for that to draw gamers to the 360? Is two years really too long to support an online game?
If you want us to believe that original console owners really don't count, show us the numbers!
GhaleonB, via Louis Wu at HBO, points out that Microsoft has put out a nice press release (even attributed and with a dateline, thanks guys) touting the six million user milestone reached by Xbox Live.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love Xbox Live. While not an ardent online gamer, the service as a whole is well put togther and thought out: the integrated friends list and messaging, content downloads, gamerscore achievements; the works. The idea of separate friends lists for each game (Sony) and cryptic friend codes (Nintendo) really make me wonder what anybody else is thinking as far as online console gaming goes.
However, just because I've been a subscriber since Halo 2 launched doesn't mean I'm ready to drink whatever kool aid Microsoft is going to serve up regarding the service; and this press release is at least as interesting for what it doesn't say as for what it does say and the way it says it.