Friday, September 23, 2005

Friday FUN!


Leave It To Bush

Bush's linguistics

Running up walls!

A little ninja



And (from Needle's site) The X-Box 3-shtiii...60 selling scammmidea. I pretty much agree with everything here.

Xbox 360 Core System - $299
•Xbox 360 console
•Wired controller
•Detachable faceplate
•Xbox Live Silver membership
•Standard AV cables

Xbox 360 - $399
•Xbox 360 console
•20GB detachable hard drive
•Wireless controller
•Wireless Xbox Live headset
•High-definition AV cables
•Ethernet cable
•Xbox 360 Media Remote Control (limited time)
•Detachable faceplate
•Xbox Live Silver membership
Three things immediately jump to mind from this:

A) How is the $299 package a feasible deal at all? First off, with no hard drive you have no way to save your games. This basically forces you to buy a $39 memory unit with the system. If you are going to spend $339 then, might as well go the whole hog. The deluxe kit has a lot of nice features that Microsoft promised would be part of the experience anyway. Things like a wireless controller, the hard drive, an Xbox Live headset, high-def AV cables (for the "HD-Era") are all things which really have to be in the system.

So, if it's a given that the $399 is really the only way to play, then think about your cost on launch day. $399 + $59 (one game) + whatever your state's sales tax is. I figure it's a safe assumption that you are looking at $500 easy, without considerng a second controller or even a second game!

$500+ for a system that looks marginally better then the Xbox you have now? Ehhhh...

B) Microsoft has now gone ahead and told Sony that it's ok to release the PS3 at $399. There's no hiding the fact that Sony's new system is going to be an expensive beast to make. Basically, MS has now let them off the hook and made public perception of their price point better. Had Microsoft instead gone with a HD-included $349, or really a $299 price point... then Sony would have been in a ton of consumer pressure to release their system at a cheaper price and take a bigger loss on selling the system.

As it stands though, it looks like $400 is the new standard price point for systems. Blame Microsoft for that one.

C) Microsoft is fracturing the user base around the Hard Drive. By releasing two different packages, it is now not guaranteed that the user will have one. This means that developers can no longer go about putting in features such as streaming (a method of storing and reading data off the hard drive, which drastically reduced load times in a lot of Xbox games), without having a secondary method of handling the situation if the gamer doesn't have the hard drive. This is a bad situation which will unfortunately result in developers all but ignoring the hard drive.

It also (again) opens the door for Sony to make a hard drive standard in the PS3. This would entice developers of larger, more detailed games that wanted to utilize the features of a hard drive over to their camp. Bottom line though is, the hard drive is one of the things that made the Xbox has (relatively) big as it is today. It's really strange that they would turn their back on that.

All in all... not sure what Microsoft is thinking. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out with the consumers, but on paper it doesn't look good. For me, personally, they haven't shown me $500 worth of potential.