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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard dominique's Avatar
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    I was reading an article in the newspaper last week about the upcoming "Gaming Wars" between the Xbox, GameCube and PS2. I didn't care much for the article except the last paragraph really caught my attention:
    Within three years, more people will be using their consoles than their PCs to reach the Internet, according to a new report by New York-based research firm Data-monitor.

    The News&Observer, Wednesday, May 16, 2001, Page 3D
    Somehow I have a hard time beleiving this, but assuming it's true, do you think the surge in game console surfing will alter the way in which we will have to design our websites?

    Television picture quality pales in comparison to a monitor (I don't think that many people will have HDTVs) and I'm assuming that most will surf without a console keyboard and console mouse. Do you think this will have a serious detrimental effect to the quality of web sites?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    if you've ever surfed on a webtv then you will KNOW what it will do to the web.

    WEBTV is the worst product in the histopry of electronics. It dumbs the internet down to the point where you could be a vegetable and still operate it. Plus the fact the it looks terrible, bleeds the color of images (ok this is the TV itself) and allows only about 520 horizontal pixels of space.

    CRAP!
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  3. #3
    I believe you have my stapler. scrubz's Avatar
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    Agreed. WebTV...just say no. Game consoles Internet connectivity should be aimed at one purpose - finding and connecting gamers to play network games. If Data-monitors projections are correct, I feel sorry for your average Joe whose only experience with the internet is through a game controller and a TV ("Now let's see, how do I access my Favorites again? Oh yeah...'a' button, 'b' button, a, a, b, foward, trigger, right, b button.")

    Until gaming consoles even come close to outnumbering the amount of PCs accessing the web (is this possible?!), I don't think we have anything to worry about, and I seriously question Data-monitors reasoning behind this.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard dominique's Avatar
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    Ok, we all agree that surfing the Net with a television set is horrible, but do will all agree that the surge of console surfing (whether exagerated or not) will have little or no effect on the Net?

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    I sure hope it doesn't. It was bad enough having to only design for IE 5 and NS 4. Then they added Opera and WebTV, then they added IE 6 and NS 6. Now they want to add a gaming console?

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  6. #6
    Blissed off
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    It's obvious that people using webTV have never tried browsing on a pc. If they had, why would they use webtv which offers such a poor user experience. Dont say price, because the cost of a basic internet pc has fallen to be affordable to just about anyone.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    I completely agree. Now I know that this will probablly rile some feathers, but I think that WebTV is for "white trash". The people who live in trailers and swill domestic beer and chain smoke while their kids run around barefoot in their nappies with dirty feet.

    Don't believe me? My Dad's sister is exactly like this (except for the trailer) and Yes she has a WebTV.
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  8. #8
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    Hmm..I dunno about that. My son, who never was too interested in the web, moved into an apartment with friends and all they had for web access was webtv which was inherited from someone's grandfather. He loved it. Said it wasn't like using a computer - which he thought of as work. It was more like playing a video game. None of them are particularly trashy or dumb - just not all that interested in computers.
    Of course, it didn't take long before he found out that it's inconvenient not to be able to download things, save files, etc., so he stops by our house often to use the real computer. However, it's worth noting that neither he nor his friends care much about the display limitations of webtv one way or another.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    I know I know...I was just being totally stereotypical, although my Aunt actually IS like the description above.
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  10. #10
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    I know..I'm just saying that apparently there could be an appeal there. I don't know anything about game consoles or how they work. I do know that my son only started checking his e-mail with any regularity when he got webtv. Unfortunately, he's a musician and I do his band's web site. Everything has to work for webtv.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot nflicanada's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be suprised if internet on consoles actually does become a moderate success. With AOL, Realnetworks and Macromedia in Sony's corner and MS hyping their MSN services I'd bet quite a few people who have little to no computer experience or who wish to surf from their living rooms will buy into the notion.

    After all look how many people said they bought a PS2 for DVD playback and as everyone knows the PS2 doesn't have the best quality DVD player on the market or in it's price range.

  12. #12
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    My television is 1 year old and not a HDTV television but when it gets a digital signal (DVD, DSS, Playstation, Computer Output) the quality is just a good as as on my 17 inch monitor.

    The television is 32 inches. The colors are crisp and clear and the picture great. It uses the same high quality of a computer monitor. They even have the same shadow-mask picture tube technology. The digital picture is so good, that I don't really like watching video tapes anymore and will never let Cable TV into my house again.

    The difference? I have a multi-sync television that can display the higher scan rates digital video requires.

    Now I pose another question to you...

    I have 3 children. I would like to surf the 'Net with them and encourage them to explore. With a 17 inch monitor on a desk, this is cumbersome and uncomfortable with 2 people, let alone 4. Inevitably, someone feels left out. Usually using a computer is a one-person at a time operation.

    With my 35 inch television it is easy, comfortable and every feels included. Through my Satellite sysem we have Interactive TV. Once I upgrade my receiver we will have digital recording and Internet access as well. These features cost me nothing more per month and will allow me to spend more time with my family.

    If you use modern web-design techniques such as XHTML, CSS and dynamic content, I don't see why the device should worry you. WebTV displays look a lot better than those of PDA's and Cellphones. However you think that WebTV cheapens the experience while scrambling to service the other two.

    Everyone should be able to access the Internet not just those with $50,000 a year jobs and willing to spend thousands on equipment that is obsolete in 6 months. The ones buying WebTV and other durable Consumer devices, which last 3-5 years, are the ones who will become more loyal customers in the long term.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  13. #13
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Originally posted by creole
    I completely agree. Now I know that this will probablly rile some feathers, but I think that WebTV is for "white trash". The people who live in trailers and swill domestic beer and chain smoke while their kids run around barefoot in their nappies with dirty feet.

    Don't believe me? My Dad's sister is exactly like this (except for the trailer) and Yes she has a WebTV.
    My Grandmother has WebTV. She doesn't drink, she doesn't smoke. She is 86 years old. When she was a kid, car's were luxuries, airplanes almost non-existant. She lived through 2 world wars, the great depresssion and sending 5 of her children to Viet Nam.

    Our family averages $75K in annual income. My grandmother has no wants or needs and is well taken care of. She buys ice cream and cookies for every child in her neighborhood. She lives in a very nice place in Suburban California and we bought her WebTV.

    Why?

    At 86, her eyes are failing a lot. She couldn't get the hang of the computer because it was hard for her to see and she didn't like the speech synthesis. With WebTV she can view it on her TV from a small distance which allows her eyes to focus. She now has email contact with family all over the country so that family news travels faster.

    She likes it. We purchased it outright and paid up front for a 5 year subscription so she wouldn't have to worry about it.

    I am sorry that you feel pity for your aunt but I respect my grandmother and a lot of other people out there like her that choose WebTV.
    Wayne Luke
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    I REGULARLY surf with my Dreamcast. If I'm gonna be online for hours - it's the pc, but to check web based mail, look at holiday destinations with my wife, show friends websites etc etc (basically when something needs doing quickly or communally), it's a great medium. Ignore and spurn the internet through your TV at your peril, it's not either gonna happen or not, it is very much already happening

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  15. #15
    SitePoint Guru
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    Do you have any idea how such things are likely to turn up on stats programs? The webtv unit my son has shows up as something along the lines of IE2 or something, although actually that's not an accurate picture of how it will display or what it does or doesn't support.

  16. #16
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    WebTV should show up as WebTV in your webstats. If it doesn't you should get a better program. I know Hitbox recognizes it properly.
    Wayne Luke
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Guru
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    You're right - the address shows up as webtv. The browser stats say that it's IE 2.0. I was wondering how the game console showed up, too. I wouldn't have thought to look for them.

  18. #18
    Procrastinator Extraordinaire lucas's Avatar
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    Originally posted by creole
    I sure hope it doesn't. It was bad enough having to only design for IE 5 and NS 4. Then they added Opera and WebTV, then they added IE 6 and NS 6. Now they want to add a gaming console?

    you forgot about pda's and cellphones

    luckily, my surfers are business people who don't play video games

  19. #19
    SitePoint Evangelist thewitt's Avatar
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    Game consoles will definately impact the Internet.

    If you choose to create a website that's only visible in IE 5.n or higher, your site will look like crap on the game consoles - if it's usable at all.

    Make it valid HTML.

    Concentrate on content over presentation.

    Your site will work fine for many years, on many different technologies.

    -t

  20. #20
    SitePoint Guru
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    Could someone clarify this for me? I mean..it seems to me that lots and lots of valid HTML does just work on IE 5 and higher. A lot of what works on older browsers (as well as webtv) is no longer considered valid. A lot of what's said about it sounds like double-speak. People talk about cross-browser compatibilty with standards compliant browsers, but in fact, no browsers seem to be entirely standards compliant. I've never seen the web with a games console, but I do work with the webtv viewer and can make a site which works well going back to Netscape three, up through 6, all IE versions that are remotely likely to come up and with webtv. However, when I try to do that with more current HTML, I get much more widly varying results, even between IE 5.5 and Netscape 6.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Zealot
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    They have been talking about Internet appliances taking over the Internet since 1998 and earlier, and that still hasn't happened. I'm guessing it won't until the user experience begins to approximate a PC. I just sold my parent's WebTV, which they hated (not having a mouse is a MAJOR hindrance), and they will be getting a PC shortly.

    WebTV and other appliance users are more likely to be very light websurfers, not engaging in ecommerce. The user experience is too junky to do anything approximating work. I remember trying to buy something online with WebTV, and what a tedious process it was. If I recall, the JCPenny's site didn't even support WebTV when it got down to really trying to buy something. Later on my PC, the process that took minutes was finished in seconds.


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