Matthew Preston | March 19, 2002
I was in a GameStop store the other day (They used to be FunCoLand) and picked up a small magazine entitled "70 Reasons You HAVE to get an Xbox." Their form of advertising in this really reminds me of the crap that Sega pulled back in the day against Nintendo.


This was put out by Microsoft as part of what they mention in the magazine as reason #6 - Massive Marketing Budget - Spending $500 million on marketing alone to make sure that plenty of friends own one.
Here are some examples of the crap they are pulling:
#70 - It's Easy To Spell
Playstasion? Playstation Too? GameQube? Let's just stick with four easy letters.
Who are they marketing this towards? Eight year olds?
#56 - The Super-Creepy Mumblings and Rumblings
Why It's Important - If you leave the Xbox Dashboard alone long enough, it won't exactly sit quietly. Before long, the uber-console will start to utter unintelligble bits of dialogue. We have no idea what it's saying, and it's downright creepy at times. But at least the unintelligble, idle rumblings will keep you company during the holidays.
The competition - The only thing that emanates from an idle Playstation2 or GameCube are lethal gamma rays.. we're serious, they'll give you spleen cancer, really.. we know this guy named Bruce that it happened to.
PS2 and GameCube give you cancer... man the possibilities Sega missed.
#48 - Remote Control
Why it's important - Although some will complain about the need to purchase a remote control to play DVD movies on the Xbox, this may actually be the best possible arrangement.
The "Date Factor" - It's your choice, but if you invite a date over to watch a romantic DVD, would you rather have an actual remote at your disposal or a PS2 pad? "Ooh, that was a killer scene, let's see it again... um press square, then circle, then triangle while holding L2.... no, that's L1, Uh, did I mention I was captain of the backgammon club?"
Okay, I just about ripped up the magazine when I read this. First off, there is no need to buy anything extra to play DVD movies on the PS2. Secondly, there is a remote control that you can buy for the PS2.... actually there are quite a few differen't varieties ranging in price of $10 - $30. Third and the most important, the on screen menu that is involved with using the PS2 pad is really quite simple... something any captain of backgammon club could master... not to mention the sauve player type that should own an Xbox. Sheesh
#42 - The Jewel
Why It's Important - Don't laugh: every console has its distinguising characteristc, and as far as those go, the jewel isn't half-bad. Sure, it doesn't light up, make sounds, or emit radiation in a remarkable fashion, but it's impossible to miss and you'll never forget what console you're playing when it's nearby.
The Competition - The PS2's blue LED is mesmerizing, but it's old news, and let's not even talk about the GameCube's Barney purse handle.
So, a green symbol in the center of the console, that doesn't do anything, with the word XBOX on it is a reason to spend $300. I got it now. Let us not forget that ease of mobility of a smaller console now makes it a purse. On a side note, the Xbox is not doing so well in Japan because the Japanese prefer stackable electronics. The Xbox has an akward shape to it and does not allow things to be stacked on top of it.
#26 - No Horizontal Stand Necessary
Our PS2 keeps tipping over unless we use its horizontal stand. Umm, we mean our "friend's" PS2. We certainly wouldn't own a PS2 - would we?
The PS2 is designed to be either laid flat or standing up. Again this was in the design to compensate a Japanese friendly market. At my old place in WI, my roomate had his PS2 standing up all the time without a stand and it never once fell over. If you have any common sense here, I am sure you can come up with something to keep the system from tipping.
#15 - Bump-Mapping
Why It's Important - Until now, there has been no real mass-market area for bump-mapping to be fully utilized. The technique gives the appearance of depth and texture grain to otherwise flat surfaces by playing with shadows. When used properly, it can add a sense of reality to a game environment that's beyond anything you'll see anywhere.
Where You'll See It - When you zoom in on a bumb-mapped character, you may see the fine texturing on their clothing. It's amazing, and it could become one of the defining visual effects of the Xbox.
Is this like Sega's "Blast Processing"?
#2 - Booster Seat for Grandma
In recent scientific tests, researchers discovered that the Xbox has many uses beyond playing video games. In this case, they discovered that the Xbox can help solve one of the most dangerous traffic problems in the world - old ladies who can't see over the steering wheel.
There are four pictures involved that shows a little old lady in a car. One, she is too low and can't see over the steering wheel. Two, she is sitting on the PS2 and is still too small. Three, she is sitting on the Xbox and can see fine. Four, she is sitting on the GameCube and her head is turned sideways from being crammed into the ceiling. After reading this magazine you can be damn sure that I would like to sit on an Xbox.
Anyways, I was actually planning on purchasing an Xbox because it seemed like a decent long living game system... but after reading this I am not. I hate Microsoft for all the same reasons I hated Sega as a child. Quit ragging the good systems and making stuff up. It is the main reason why the XFL failed, stop telling my how much the NFL sucks... I love the NFL and if you keep it up, I am going to change the channel. Well that and the fact that it sucked....

Scott Hardie | March 19, 2002
Heh. This stuff got my blood boiling ten years ago. You're right, all of Sega's advertising was geared towards Nintendo sucking. I never really believed the PlayStation was a major system until I noticed Sega started attacking it and ignoring Nintendo.

While Kelly was on the computer at her parents' house this past weekend and I was waiting, I picked up a copy of Andy's "PlayStation Magazine." I didn't check to see if it was published by a Sony affiliate, but I'll bet it was. I put it down within ten seconds because the first thing I saw was a slam at the Xbox. There was a photo of some guy, probably a friend of the staff, with his fingers curled up, and a caption saying that this is what happens to Xbox gamers. There was another slam right next to it, but I forget the nature of it. What a waste of time.

And the kids eat it up, too. They should ideally have all systems, but most can only afford one, so the magazines push the systems like politicians trying to get elected. And the kids believe it, so they become very brand-loyal and argue about it with each other till they're blue in the face, as though there's really that much difference between the systems. I know because I used to be one of those kids.

I did hear those creepy rumblings when we left Brenda's machine running on Saturday night. Kelly got freaked out. They're neat, but minor sound effects are hardly a reason why I'd HAVE to get an Xbox.

I don't suppose any of those 70 reasons were a good game library? The Gamecube's library is pretty weak, but it's still good enough for me to get one later this week. I can't say that about the Xbox.

Matthew Preston | March 19, 2002
Actually, a good game library is the #1 reason you HAVE to get an Xbox.

In all seriousness, having all the systems is really what I want. It was always the unatainable dream when I was a kid. Reading this just brought back so many memories. I remember when Sega CD first came out and I was starting to be swayed towards getting one (Or at least asking for one) and then I saw the commercial of this guy yelling at the screen, "YOU STILL HAVEN'T GOT A SEGA CD YET? WHAT, ARE YOU WAITING FOR NINTENTDO TO MAKE ONE!?!" I lost all faith right there because Nintendo had given me so many great times.

Ah well, only time will see if I get one or not. I was just thinking of going and getting a Best Buy credit card and buying a whole shitload of game systems and games. That would be fun.


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