August 18, 2005

Xbox 360 news

I've just read on Games Industry.biz about the Xbox 360's price and details. In, what seems to me to be a step backwards there are going to be two versions of the Xbox 360 in the stores. A fully-fledged, fantastic version with a hard disk, WI-Fi adapter, Wireless Joypad, Subscription to Xbox Live, Ethernet cable and remote control for £279. There is also going to be a cheaper console, at only £209 which will lack pretty much all the above. The joypad will have wires, the hard disk will be non-existant, it won't come with any games nor a subscription to Xbox Live. It seems to me that it'll be the enuch of the Xbox 360 packs.

What bothers me though is why provide a system without a hard-disk? The original Xbox in my living room has a hard disk and is doing quite nicely thank you, that's meant to be part of the attraction for Xboxers, you don't need to buy memory cards (though you can with the 360). So why take a step back in termms of functionality and provide a new 'top of the range' Xbox without a hard disk? I don't understand.

And at £279 I certainly won't be buying a 360. Instead, I'm hoping that the release of the 360 will cause existing Xbox games to drop in price so I can pick up Doom 3 Collecter's Ed, Halo 2, Farenheit and others all for lots cheaper than they are right now. That's how to have an Xbox Christmas! :)

Edited: As I mis-read Games Industry.biz and got prices wrong. £279 isn't so bad as I thought, still a bit pricey though.

Edited 2: It seems like Games Industry.biz has got its facts wrong. According to an interview on the offical Xbox website, whilst the full Xbox will include everything (as expected) the cheaper Xbox WILL come with an Xbox Live Silver Membership, which will allow you to create profiles and chat with other gamers, just not game. I'm actually becoming slightly tempted...bugger. :P

Edited 3 (:P): After reading Major Nelson's post on the 360 it's occured to me that not only is producing a HD less Xbox 360 a bad idea price wise, it also means that developers will have to make games where use of the HD is extra, so the games won't be able to stream graphics/sounds etc from a hard disk as standard as it's possible the gamer using the machine won't have a hard disk. So the games are going to be constrained by the mere existance of a core pack without hard drive. BIG mistake MS. Roll on PS3.