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I'm stunned.

As I read the newly-released details regarding the Xbox 360's pricing and packages over and over again, I can't wrap my mind around what I'm reading.
For the first time since the original Xbox launched, I have no clue what...{br}{br}View the Entire Article{br}

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# 1 VeNOM2099 @ 08/17/05 05:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinters From The Pine
I'm stunned.

As I read the newly-released details regarding the Xbox 360's pricing and packages over and over again, I can't wrap my mind around what I'm reading.
For the first time since the original Xbox launched, I have no clue what...

View the Entire Article
Well, as I've said somehwere else, the problem is that Microsoft does NOT want to be losing money on consoles this time around. Second, not every developer was using the power of the hard-drive to stream some parts of the game onto it. Not many games needed it anyways (not sports games).

Personally, I think it's a stupid idea for the simple reason that any sane person will look at both types of consoles, and with some quick calculations will come to the only conclusion possible: it's not worth getting the "Core" system when for barely 100$ more, you get the entire enchillada which would have cost you nearly 300$ more if you bought all the extra component seperately...

In essense, I think that MS is making a marketing coup: on the one hand, they'll appeal to those casual gamers who feel that 299$ is as high as they're willing to spend on a console. Casual Gamers like those that already own a PS2 but don't own an Xbox and who don't want to wait almost half a year more for the PS3 (which may be more expensive even without a hard-drive).

On the other, MS is quite aware that EVERYONE who already owns an Xbox will be going for the Premium pack. What's that 15 Million strong? Add in maybe another 5 Million who will jump from the Sony bandwagon to the Microsoft one by purchasing the core system (and then generate some extra money by purchasing the "missing" components piecemeal) and you're looking at some interesting financial gains in the first 3-6 months after the release of the Xbox 360.
 
# 2 Graphik @ 08/17/05 05:04 PM
Removing the hard drive has got to be the dumbest move by MS. As many times I bragged to friends about my lack of memory cards and that I have never even seen the program used to arrange files on the xbox after 2 years, now its going all down the tubes.

MS is defintily trying to follow Sony by charging extra money for accessories like the Hard Drive. Thing is, it only works for Sony because they established that they were cheap bastards in the very beggining with PS1. Despite the numerous accessories you had to buy, it still outsold the competitors and devs still prefered to utilize that system over Dreamcast. Fast foward to now, MS thinks they can pull the same crap. Shame on them. My guess is they think that since they have the earlier launch, that ppl have no choice but to be suckered into buying extras. People like me, who are impatient and hate to be left behind, have no choice but to fall into MS' deadly web of accessory and add ons.
 
# 3 luv_mist @ 08/17/05 05:06 PM
Talk about right timing. Not only a great article but the reason why I might just sell my $299 XBOX 360 and sit this one out. Just not appealing anymore. The epitomy of what I adopted as gaming is being overtaken by stupidity. No logical reasoning behind it that I can see, so why buy it? I'm sure there were other people looking for an opening like this to jump ship. PS3 just picked up more momentum cause of this....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphik
People like me, who are impatient and hate to be left behind, have no choice but to fall into MS' deadly web of accessory and add ons.
You sir, are the only one I've seen so far. This upgrade in technology is not appealing to me. I have an XBOX but honestly don't play all those RTS or FPS or MMORPG or simple RPG so they're not really appealing to me anymore. Heck, if I want to spend so much, I might as well get all that other crap that Sony will be fine tuning a year or two later. Add ons are fine if the system is great. Sony had a great system with great games. They were already proven, never taking away from their proven foundation. MS on the other hand....
 
# 4 Shamrock_11 @ 08/17/05 08:47 PM
Microsoft simply know's their consumers, and the consumers they want to attract. Xbox 360 becoming the next Dreamcast??? All you have to do is look at the line-up of launch games and you can see that won't be the case. What you get for $399.99 is an incredible value, and those who are already established customers of Xbox will buy. Microsoft is a very savy, smart company and they know what they are doing. Do you think they have'nt done extensive market research on this? You can guarantee they have done their homework. The fact remains that there will be a fairly long period of time between the Xbox 360 launch and the PS3 launch, which seems to keep growing longer and longer as time passes. The PS3 is going to be insanely expensive when it launches, and we'll all be laughing about this Xbox 360 announcement when the PS3 prices are announced. During that time a ton of awesome next-gen games are going to launch on the Xbox 360, and millons of people will jump on the bandwagon. Microsoft has no worries IMHO.
 
# 5 DXZeke @ 08/18/05 02:47 AM
You've heard all the leaks that the Core system for the 360 was going to be 299, while you hear all the leaks saying the PS3 will be 399. That's still a savings....

Then the Hard Drive crisis.
MS said that their HD will support game saves, downloads, music files.
Sony has stated that their HD will only be for MMORPGs and media files. Game saves will only exsist on the memory cards.

Yes it would be nice if the HD was built in, but they are going to bring in some new gamers that will at least try the system at 299 instead of say launching the system for 399.

How many games do you really need the caching power on the Xbox? Look at how many of the PS2 games started using that Streaming trick to have virtually no load times (jax and daxter 3 as an example).

Sports games... they'll probably do the same thing that VC and Take 2 did with the PS2. If you have the Hard Drive you'll have extra replay features, ect.

I don't think the 360 will go the way of the Dreamcast. MS won't quit and thorw in the towel like Sega of Japan did.

All will be well. Like stated above, just wait until the PS3 hits with prices of 399 for the system, 99 for a Hard Drive, 40-50 for a memory card... etc. Then you'll look at what you got with the 360 bundle for 400. a system, wireless controller, media controller, XB live headset, HD cables, a 20 gig HD... you know.

But I see Shawn's point. I just don't think it will be that drastic.
 
# 6 sdrotar @ 08/18/05 02:52 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamrock_11
Microsoft simply know's their consumers, and the consumers they want to attract. Xbox 360 becoming the next Dreamcast??? All you have to do is look at the line-up of launch games and you can see that won't be the case. What you get for $399.99 is an incredible value, and those who are already established customers of Xbox will buy. Microsoft is a very savy, smart company and they know what they are doing. Do you think they have'nt done extensive market research on this? You can guarantee they have done their homework. The fact remains that there will be a fairly long period of time between the Xbox 360 launch and the PS3 launch, which seems to keep growing longer and longer as time passes. The PS3 is going to be insanely expensive when it launches, and we'll all be laughing about this Xbox 360 announcement when the PS3 prices are announced. During that time a ton of awesome next-gen games are going to launch on the Xbox 360, and millons of people will jump on the bandwagon. Microsoft has no worries IMHO.
The Dreamcast was a heck of a machine for it's time, too.
But it got hammered because of two reasons: EA didn't support them (not a problem for the 360), and the device didn't do quite enough to delineate it from it's competition (still may be a problem). As a result, it couldn't gain enough of a customer base to make a dent, and was soon relegated to the dustbin of history.

Like I said - I want the Xbox 360 to succeed. Think I'd be writing a weekly column on Xbox.com for over two years if I didn't?

But I'm not convinced that this is the right approach. Games will have to developed for the units that don't have an HD, and that means, by nature, that the HD will never be fully utilized.

The Xbox's success has been built upon technological superiority, and it doesn't seem like they're going to maintain quite the same edge with this approach. If not, I don't think it'll have enough to make a dent in Sony's armor. That's all I meant... and I hope I'm completely wrong.
 
# 7 Steelaz1966 @ 08/18/05 07:52 AM
If they wanted to have two systems, they should have put a hard drive in the core system and sold it for $349. Hard drives don't cost $100. Right now I can get a Maxtor 160 GB, 7200 rpm hd for $49.99. For $79.97, I can get a Seagate 250 GB, 7200 rpm hd. They are only putting in a 20 gb hd. As for how many ps2 games use the hd, the reason that the number is small is because developers can't count on the hd being there. I think that MS messed up on this one.
 
# 8 WilliamJHolla42 @ 08/18/05 09:42 AM
What I Believe: This is all assumption......

MS is positioning themselves to attack 2 markets: Hard-Core Gamers and Casual Gamers

But How?: As much as we pine about the lack of a HD, there is a package that offers one, and many will purchase this package. These are your hard-core gamers who have been following the XBOX360 since it's humble origins. The package that comes without is for those who just simply "want the system."

The Logic (MS's train of thought): Earlier Release=Earlier Profit. And I'm sure that producing systems without the HD standard will drive down production costs in some incremental amount, which would also help increase profit margin. No matter how we feel about the HD "differentiating" the current gen XBOX, it did not turn a profit for microsoft, and they will not make that mistake again. Removing the HD is not product suicide, it's cost cutting. If all the systems came standard with a HD, we'd probably be paying more for the system, and complaining about that, and Microsoft would still be waiting forever to turn a profit.

It's funny, no matter how much technology advances, how much it costs, we as consumers will never be pleased. A very sad truth friends....
 
# 9 Lerxt @ 08/18/05 11:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeNOM2099

On the other, MS is quite aware that EVERYONE who already owns an Xbox will be going for the Premium pack. What's that 15 Million strong? .

Minus one.
 
# 10 fossen @ 08/18/05 11:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeNOM2099
Personally, I think it's a stupid idea for the simple reason that any sane person will look at both types of consoles, and with some quick calculations will come to the only conclusion possible: it's not worth getting the "Core" system when for barely 100$ more, you get the entire enchillada which would have cost you nearly 300$ more if you bought all the extra component seperately...
Wrong.

It's not worth buying the extra $100 of hard drive when it won't be utilized well. I'm not paying $100 for what will be a big memory card. It's wasn't the hard drive that made Xbox so special ... it was the standard hard drive that made it work. An optional hard drive .... we saw how that panned out on the PS2, didn't we?
 
# 11 Steelaz1966 @ 08/18/05 01:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fossen
Wrong.

It's not worth buying the extra $100 of hard drive when it won't be utilized well. I'm not paying $100 for what will be a big memory card. It's wasn't the hard drive that made Xbox so special ... it was the standard hard drive that made it work. An optional hard drive .... we saw how that panned out on the PS2, didn't we?
Exactly. People keep saying that we are complaining about the cost and that's not true. If they would have just put out the $399 version, I don't think that it would have caused so much of an uproar.
 
# 12 sdrotar @ 08/18/05 01:34 PM
To me, it has nothing to do with cost - just the system's potential.
Hard drives do a lot more then just speed up loading times when they're utilized well.

Early adopters of any technology - including consoles - know they're going to pay more for it. C'est la vie. The price ($399) doesn't sound unreasonable to me given the package... until I realize that, like Fossen said, I'm now essentially buying a 20GB memory card instead of a integral part of a system that furthers it's potential.

If Microsoft comes in with an Xbox that's $200 cheaper than the PS3 (which is entirely possible at $299 to a likely $499), then I'm sure it'll really help their sales. But in the long run, they won't have a distinct technical edge at all - no hard drive, no next-gen DVD - and Sony's got the name recognition to outlast them.

I understand the decision, but I fear that it may be short-sighted.
 
# 13 Flawless @ 08/18/05 01:38 PM
I'm not sure if people know this or not, but the HDD in the Xbox was far under-utilized. How many games used it for caching? Not as many as people think.

Game caching and faster load times are still going to be there for those that have the HDD. If you don't take my word for it, then listen to Major Nelson's blogcast.

http://www.majornelson.com/

Download Leipzig Press Conference Blogcast in MP3 format 9:42 (3.9 Mb)
http://www.major-nelson.com/blogcast...05-141-mp3.mp3


Microsoft has implemented development standards prior to the package launch to avoid fixed focus on one or the other making fears of a development divide non existant.

Mark Rein (VP Epic Games) thinks the 512MB of RAM is more important and will make a bigger difference than the HDD would have.

Quote:
"Developers already got our big Xbox 360 gift - we got 512MB of RAM. That was a huge win for developers and customers alike and there was no way we were going to get that and a hard drive on every machine. The RAM is more important and will make a bigger difference than the hard drive would have. There will be lots of great reasons why you'd want to buy the hard drive and it will be available as an upgrade so nobody is selling themselves short if they can't afford the all-options version because they can buy those options a-la-carte (for more money mind you) if needed.
 
# 14 Flawless @ 08/18/05 02:23 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelaz1966
If they wanted to have two systems, they should have put a hard drive in the core system and sold it for $349. Hard drives don't cost $100. Right now I can get a Maxtor 160 GB, 7200 rpm hd for $49.99. For $79.97, I can get a Seagate 250 GB, 7200 rpm hd. They are only putting in a 20 gb hd. As for how many ps2 games use the hd, the reason that the number is small is because developers can't count on the hd being there. I think that MS messed up on this one.
Is this the PC market? NO

Are those HDD's portable? NO

Do those HDD's come with a pre-loaded game, trailers, and demos? NO

The reason why the PS2 HDD wasn't supported was because it CAME REALLY LATE, was very limited, was never really capitilized upon and (IIRC) required rather extensive support from the developer. The Xbox 360 HDD will be promoted at launch. The two are totally different.
 
# 15 Steelaz1966 @ 08/18/05 02:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flawless
Is this the PC market? NO
It's retail. A hard drive is a hard drive. MS is doing the formatting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flawless
Are those HDD's portable? NO
Easily made portable, plug and play. You don't have to run an OS on the drive so it's just a matter of plugging it in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flawless
Do those HDD's come with a pre-loaded game, trailers, and demos? NO
Not needed. Give the lower end system a blank drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flawless
The reason why the PS2 HDD wasn't supported was because it CAME REALLY LATE, was very limited, was never really capitilized upon and (IIRC) required rather extensive support from the developer. The Xbox 360 HDD will be promoted at launch. The two are totally different
It's still around and still not being utilized.
 
# 16 fossen @ 08/18/05 03:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flawless

The reason why the PS2 HDD wasn't supported was because it CAME REALLY LATE, was very limited, was never really capitilized upon and (IIRC) required rather extensive support from the developer. The Xbox 360 HDD will be promoted at launch. The two are totally different.
Name one non-standard add-on in the console world that's made a difference.

PS2 Hard Drive?
Sega CD?
Nintendo 64 DD?

Even the glorious ROB failed.
 
# 17 mgoblue @ 08/18/05 03:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fossen
Name one non-standard add-on in the console world that's made a difference.

PS2 Hard Drive?
Sega CD?
Nintendo 64 DD?

Even the glorious ROB failed.

maybe the nintendo 64 rom chip? but i think they almost had to give those away with games. Good point though, add-ons tend not to become "required"
 
# 18 Flawless @ 08/18/05 04:03 PM
Here's two games that will use the HDD, and i'm positive there will be more.

Quote:
"Ever since Microsoft's announcement of the Xbox 360's pricing structure, gamers everywhere have been wondering if developers will take full advantage of the hard drive since it's not a standard accessory with every system. After all, why would a developer want to risk excluding a large segment of the 360 gaming market?"
http://www.gameinformer.com/NR/exere...1538918174.htm

Quote:
"From seems to be making use of the Xbox 360 hard disk for caching purposes in order to provide, as Takeuchi states, a stress-free, seamless experience. While it's not the case that there won't ever be a "Now Loading" screen in the game, such a screen will be very rare. This, according to Takeuchi, will be true of pretty much all Xbox 360 games, as it's something that Microsoft is taking seriously."
http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/638/638323p1.html

Sounds like Microsoft has made it so that the game can detect for a HDD and hereafter enable/disable HDD caching.
 
# 19 gooberstabone @ 08/18/05 04:44 PM
These games may work without a hard drive. But c'mon. Won't people feel liked there getting a "lite" version of their games if they hear stuff like this:

"That being said, Oblivion takes full advantage of the hard drive and uses it extensively, so we'd certainly recommend that everyone gets one."

So in other words, 'go and buy the high-end version if you want the real McCoy of our game.'
 
# 20 Shamrock_11 @ 08/18/05 05:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fossen
Name one non-standard add-on in the console world that's made a difference.
That logic does'nt apply here. The fact is that the services which drive people to buy an Xbox in the first place depend heavily on a HDD. You can't say that about the typical add-on. Xbox Live is an undeniable success on the current platform, and there's no reason to believe that will change on the new platform. I think people realize they'll need the HDD to get the most out of that. The Xbox is an established brand this time around. They have an established customer base, and that customer base is more hard-core than not. They love sports games, shooters, mmorpgs, etc. Hard-core gamers will be buying the package with the HDD. Why should Microsoft waste money putting HDD's into systems where they won't be utilized? Sony sure as hell won't be. There's just no need for a casual gamer to have a HDD in their system, and there's no reason that Microsoft needs to give away anything for free this time around.
 

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