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Games Entertainment

Xbox Price Drops to $200 672

Posted by timothy
from the 100-clams-100-smackeroonies dept.
ProfBooty writes: "Just two days after rival Sony Corp. cut prices on the PlayStation 2, Microsoft has announced they are cutting Xbox pricing by 33% to $200. Nintendo still has no plans to cut pricing on the Gamecube. Now is definitely a good time to be a gamer with all 3 next-gen systems at $200. Too bad i just bought a Playstation 2 yesterday." I'd like to know if anyone has succeeded in porting a Free operating system to the Xbox.
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Xbox Price Drops to $200

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  • Cost Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Carbonite (183181) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:18AM (#3523775)
    What are the current production costs for the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube?

    Which companies will be making money ate the reduced prices and which will be losing on each sale?
    • Re:Cost Question (Score:2, Insightful)

      by morhoj (573833)
      The most definately lose on the price of the actual system, but all of that money is re-couped in game licensing. Or, in the case of M$FT, the chance for monopolizing your TV too :)
    • Re:Cost Question (Score:3, Informative)

      by scott1853 (194884)
      I can't remember what site I read it on, but it sounds like Sony can now make a profit on their boxes due to better manufacturing processes.
      • Re:Cost Question (Score:3, Interesting)

        by denshi (173594)
        You probably read it here:

        http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/04/06/133725 0&mode=thread&tid=127 [slashdot.org]

        And to develop your argument, I point out that 'better manufacturing processes' here means "fit everything onto a single chip". The importance of that cannot be understated -- moving from a multi-chip board to a single-chip design means you no longer have to design, build, and test all the wire traces between chips, which is the large repeatable cost per unit (chips are essentially free once designed). And the single-chip integration means the yield comes way up, as you have only one point of fab failure, as opposed to n chips and a connecting board....and yield is *everything* in electronics.

        A basic history of electronics demonstrates, repeatedly, how process changes like the above makes and breaks market share. For example, C&T, after IBM released the PC, figured out how to condense the 13 chips that ran the motherboard into 1 (the 'chipset'). As a result, C&T could build IBM PC boards cheaper than even IBM, and lo and behold, the PC clone market was born.

        The only funny thing here is that Sony didn't drop the price sooner. They can probably make PS2s for $40 now; the DVD Consortium licensing might be one of the largest costs in the machine.

    • Re:Cost Question (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sammy baby (14909)
      The X-Box is definitely losing money on each sale. I don't have any hard numbers, but I'd be very surprised if they were even breaking even under the original pricing scheme.

      I read an article somewhere that said that Michael Dell, upon hearing Microsoft's offer to build X-Boxes for them, essentially laughed it off. "So, let me get this straight: you want me to build these boxes and sell them at a loss? And make up the difference in software - which I don't sell?" Does anyone else have a reference for this?
    • Re:Cost Question (Score:5, Informative)

      by deft (253558) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:26AM (#3523856) Homepage
      at the initial retail price of $299, Microsoft has been losing anywhere between $76 and $105 on every Xbox sold.

      thus, they are now loosing from $176 to $205 bucks each box!
      • Best reason to get one yet! Add linux development/support, convert $200 to £'s properly (ie dont just switch the symbols) and maybe i`ll take it a bit more seriously!
        • by donnacha (161610)
          The difference isn't that great, you're forgetting that Americans have to pay an additional sales tax, varying depending on which state they make the purchase.

          The British VAT (Value Added Tax) of 17.5% is built into the British price.

          American Price: $200 = £138

          True British Price: £199 - £35 VAT = £164

          The Price Difference: £164 (British) - £138 (US) = £26

          That extra £26 is necessary for two reasons:

          1. As a buffer for the downwards adjustment that the British Pound will have to make before joining the Euro.

          2. To compensate for the lower number of expected games sales per unit sold in the UK as opposed to the US; Americans find happiness and personal worth by buying things they don't need and are less discerning about the quality of the games they buy.

          So, not such a bad deal after all.

      • Re:Cost Question (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ryanr (30917) <ryan@thievco.com> on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:51AM (#3524028) Homepage Journal
        There's no reason to think that they would be losing the same amount of money of each box now. Production costs will drop as they improve the process, parts get cheaper, etc..

        It's common for clone makers when doing a school contract for a couple of years to price the machines at a loss up front. The first several months that they sell them will be at a loss. However, they know that the prices will quickly catch up by then, and they'll be making a nice profit.
      • That's assuming that productions costs are the same now as they were in September/October.

        I doubt it. With both Intel and Nvidia moving well beyond the technology in the XBox (and I forgot to mention the hard drive manufacturer) I'm sure the cost of materials and the production cost have gone down.

        Don't get me wrong. I'm sure they are still losing money.
        • Re:Cost Question (Score:3, Insightful)

          by binaryDigit (557647)
          Keep in mind that while other component prices have decreased, memory has sharply increased in this time frame (and keep in mind that all the xbox's sold at launch were obviously produced before the launch, some even months before, so memory was even cheaper). So while I'm sure it's cheaper, it's probably not as cheap as you might think. Good thing for M$ that they didn't put an lcd in the thing, then they'd really be hosed.
          • Re:Cost Question (Score:3, Insightful)

            by clontzman (325677)
            Memory costs have increased somewhat, but the Xbox only has 64MB of RAM. 64MB RAM chips are still less than $10 [pricewatch.com], so I doubt that's hurt them at all.

            Bottom line is, in the quantities they're buying, costs of manufacture should be substantially less than eight months ago.

        • Re:Cost Question (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Hoser McMoose (202552) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @12:34PM (#3524410)
          I don't know that Microsoft's costs would have changed all that much.

          Both Intel and nVidia sold MS some fairly low-production-cost chips. In the case of nVidia, they don't even make these chips, so they've got to pay whatever TSMC or UMC charge, and given that these were relatively low cost chips to begin with, the cost that TSMC/UMC charges isn't going to decrease too much. Even if the price does decrease, nVidia may decide to keep the extra profits for themselves, and keep charging MS the same amount. MS is pretty much locked in to using nVidia chips for the lifetime of the X-Box, so nVidia isn't really forced to lower their prices.

          As for Intel, they were producing a dirt-cheap chip (a low speed Celeron processors built on a .18um fab line). They could (and possibly already have) decreased costs easily by switching to a .13um fab line, but that's only going to be a marginal decrease in costs given that it was a pretty cheap chip to produce in the first place. Further cost cutting measures are going to help less and less. To top it off, while the original chip was a run-of-the-mill Celeron die, which Intel was making in HUGE quantities, soon this chip will be a low-volume specialty part as Intel moves all it's Celerons first to a .13um fab process (they may or may not be able to use a standard .13um Celeron die for the X-Box, I dunno), and now they're moving to a completely different architecture (Celeron's will become semi-castrated P4s).

          Same thing pretty much goes for the hard drive and DVD drive. These producets were all fairly low-cost models ot begin with, and cost cutting just isn't going to trim too much off the bottom line. What's more, in all of these cases MS is outsourcing production of each part to different OEMs, each of whom are going to look for a piece of the pie. I'd even hazard a guess that many of these OEMs took the contract with virtually no margins in the hope that this would turn into a very large volume deal, which it hasn't.

          The one area that they can probably really cut costs down is memory. The memory that they're using is DDR400 memory, which used to be a pretty rare specialty part only for graphics cards, but now is becoming a LOT more commonplace and would probably have decreased in price significantly.

          So, long story short, production costs probably have decreased somewhat since the initial release, but I doubt that they've dropped very significantly. My guess is that the drop in production cost is quite a bit less then this new drop in retail price.
      • This may not be the case. What is the price of the xbox that stores pay vs the markup MSRP of $200 or $300. Does Wallmart pay $150 for an xbox and sell it for $300?

        If MS drops the msrp price $100 why should they absorb the $100 and not a part of that only?
        • Re:Cost Question (Score:5, Insightful)

          by binaryDigit (557647) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @12:12PM (#3524220)
          Keep in mind that M$ needs the retailers way more than they need M$. Retailers don't make a lot on the consoles themselves, and if M$ tries to eat into their already slim margins by foisting part of the price cut on to them, then they could balk and simply use the shelf space for PS2, which they know will sell. The absolute last thing that M$ needs now (since sales are under estimates and there is a perception that they are on their heels) is to have any of the major retailers drop the xbox. This would hugely undermine confidence in the platform, and in this market, perception is everything!

          M$ will absorb the loss, because they must. They have more than enough in the warchest to fund the thing for as long as they want to. That's the "beauty" of M$, with such huge resources behind them, they have play in the sandbox until _they_ decide it's time to get out (anyone here old enough to remember the early days of cdrom and who championed the format for years until everyone else caught up?)
          • Re:Cost Question (Score:3, Insightful)

            by symbolic (11752)
            What's the difference between what M$$$ is doing and a non-US company that dumps their products at below cost? The legislators scream when non-US companies do this, but seem to offer nothing more than a wink and a handshake when a company like M$ does it. Granted, Sony and Nintendo are both non-US companies, but they provide competition, and with respect to M$$$, short of any real punitive action for its monopolistic practices, competition is the next best thing.

            In the short run, consumers are getting a good deal when MS sells the Xbox for less than it costs to produce. In the long run, however, if it leads to the demise of competitive alternatives, everyone loses (except M$$$ of course).
    • The Gord Knows... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by oGMo (379) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:29AM (#3523874)

      Or at least has a very reasonable guess. [actsofgord.com] It's funny that everytime prices are brought up people claim that everyone sells at a loss and that's standard operating procedure. I think this article refutes it quite nicely as well as calculating some pretty decent figures for the cost of consoles.

      • If you look at the artcle he talks about how Sony, which did everything in house, actually makes a profit, while Sega, which outsources everything had to run a loss to keep up. Sony and Nintendo are still doing everything inhouse are making a profit on the GC and the PS2, while Microsoft outsources everything and is taking a hit on each and every XBox sold. Both Nvidia and Microsoft have both admitted as to it in fillings to SEC.
    • Re:Cost Question (Score:4, Informative)

      by Mr. Sketch (111112) <mister DOT sketch AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:29AM (#3523878)
      From a Nov 15, 2001 news.com.com [com.com] article:
      Microsoft is set to launch the Xbox on Nov. 15 at a retail price of $299. Estimates of Microsoft's cost to build each unit have ranged from $320 to $400. Microsoft representatives would not comment on manufacturing costs.

      I'm sure now they've been able to reduce their production costs but are probably still taking a loss after the price cut. But with $43 billion in cash reserves, it's not that significant.
  • Did Sony drop prices due to the Xbox rumor (which has been out for a few weeks now) or vica versa?

    (Oh yeah, and let the bitching about crummy games, ugly console, and hamfisted controllers commence!)

  • by dbretton (242493) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:20AM (#3523796) Homepage
    Now is definatly a good time to be a ...

    Spellchecker?


  • its also worth noting that sony did drop their prices first, but only in response to information that microsoft would be announcing a price drop at E3 later this week.

    microsoft dropped their price this week to match sony's pre-emptive drop, to minimize the advantage they would have through this press and buying cycle.

  • by WillSeattle (239206) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:23AM (#3523827) Homepage
    While all three box manufacturers are stuck at $199 USD (while Japan, the EU, and Canada sell them for less) - one wonders when the game price competition will start?

    My son said that two kids at school are waiting to buy xBox games when the price drops below $40 USD, since they have to use their own allowance money.

    By my calculations, MSFT has to sell 10 games at $50 USD to break even on the price subsidy of the xBox. Nintendo still has a profit on both box and games, and Sony is just at breakeven due to manufacturing efficiencies on the 2.5 yo PS2 with clear profit on the games.

    -
    • While all three box manufacturers are stuck at $199 USD (while Japan, the EU, and Canada sell them for less) - one wonders when the game price competition will start?

      yes, sony is considering an price drop, while microsoft is relying on the strength of its game library to allow it to sell games at the current price.

      From an msnbc report:
      While Sony Computer Entertainment of America President Kaz Hirai said his company would consider lowering prices on the games it publishes from $49.99, O'Rourke said Microsoft has no plans in that regard.
      "Great games are what gamers want and they're willing to pay for those," he said.
  • Xbox Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:25AM (#3523836) Homepage
    The Xbox Linux Project [h07.org] is currently working to port Linux to the Xbox. It appears that the primary hurdle is getting past the hardware based authorization system, which does not allow unapproved software to run.
  • I'd like to know if anyone has succeeded in porting a Free operating system to the Xbox.

    Someone has to break the encryption on the DVDs first or make a mod chip that lets you boot unencrypted CDs. Hasn't happened yet, but it's only a matter of time.

    Then you have the problem of adding a keyboard and mouse to the Xbox. But that should be too hard.

    But aside from the bragging rights, who cares.
  • by Donut (128871) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:27AM (#3523860)
    Amidst all of the discussions about how much money MS will lose on this, y'all might want to remember this discussion [slashdot.org] and ponder whether or not they can afford it.

    Donut
    • Ok, let's do a little bit of education...

      Microsoft has 40 billion in the bank not because they make good products, not because people love throwing money at them, and NOT because they will fund non-money-making projects.

      you get big $$$ by making good investments, and sound business decisions like cutting the cord on ultimate TV because it doesnt sell, Webtv because it doesnt sell, and if the Xbox doesn't make them $$$ in a hurry... it also will die. It's sound business to make dead and bury anything that is a drain on your companies bottom line. The companies that doent use their heads to control expenses and profits?? They end up as the rest of the dot-bombs... horrible failures because they were poorly run. (YES PEOPLE, 99.997% of all business failure is due to the moron at the steering wheel of it... dont believe me? then you're one of those morons that drove a company into the ground.)

      Yes microsoft will throw the Xbox overboard if it doesnt meet the required projection models. the price drop is an attempt to adjust the projection model.
  • by FortKnox (169099) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:27AM (#3523865) Homepage Journal
    Quick FYI - Toys 'r' us is giving the consumer back their $100 if they bought an XBox (or PS2) within 30 days of the price drop.

    Also, when do you expect Nintendo to drop their prices? If the N-Cube was $100-$150, I'd pick one up in a heartbeat...
    • Ha, and if they didnt let you do this you would have angry customers returning their $300 xboxes and playstations. Most retail stores do have at least a 30 day return policy and most employees will be fairly lenient out to 45 days, at least where I work at a large nationwide retail store.

      So not only would you have people returning out of the box merchandise they would continue to walk into the store and purchase a brand new console at the discounted cost. Nothing better than having a dozen opened consoles that you'll have to take the hassle to send back to the manufacture.
      Overall it is just good business practice, if you're shopping at a place that wont just give you the money within 30 days you ought to be shopping somewhere else.

  • by Wind_Walker (83965) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:29AM (#3523880) Homepage Journal
    Too bad i just bought a Playstation 2 yesterday

    If you bought it at Toys 'R Us, you can get back $100 [planetgamecube.com] if you kept your receipt and bought it within 30 days.

    I think it's a great move by Toys 'R Us to keep people happy.

    As for Nintendo, they're going to drop their prices at E3, I guarantee it. They stated back in April that if Sony dropped their price, Nintendo would follow suit and drop their price as well. I'm predicting a price drop down to $150 or $125. But, if they really wanted to make a splash, Nintendo would release a combo package of the Gameboy Advance, Gamecube, and the link cable that goes between them for $200 (a feasable price).

    It won't matter, though. Nintendo is going to 0wn this E3, and this whole year. With new games coming out for all these franchises...

    • Super Mario Sunshine
    • Legend of Zelda
    • Metroid Prime
    • Star Fox Adventures
    ...as well as newcomers like Resident Evil 0 and Eternal Darkness for the "mature" ones out there, this will be the year of Nintendo.
    • Gee. Read Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] much?

      And I quote:

      It was said that we'd see [Nintendo GameCubes] at around the one-fifty mark, but who knows if they'll be satisfied with a fifty dollar difference between themselves and their competitors, which cuts their prior advantage in half. You know what I'd like to see? I'd like to see 'Cubes sell at one-fifty or one-seventy-five, and include a GameBoy Advance with that little cable thingy that hooks them together. I mean, I'm just talking. I have no idea if something like that would even be feasible, but it seems like a fantastic way to differentiate themselves.


      Perhaps it was just a good idea that multiple people came up with simultaniously. Perhaps "Tycho" stole your idea. Who am I to say?
  • I'd like to know if anyone has succeeded in porting a Free operating system to the Xbox"

    No. Life's short, play more.

  • by nherc (530930) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:30AM (#3523892) Journal
    I submitted this info days ago... but there are at least 3 mod chip makers who have just released chips to open up the xbox. The mod chips allow unsigned code to run off of any media dvd-r,dvd-rw,cd-r,cd-rw.

    More xbox mod chip info. [copyxbox.com]

    This will (very) soon lead to a xbox linux distro.

  • by b.foster (543648) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:31AM (#3523899)
    It is a testament to the arrogance and sheer power of the Microsoft Corporation that lowering the X-Box price (and thus, losing any semblance of profit they would ever make on the device) will hardly make a dent in their bottom line.

    Let's take a trip down memory lane and think about all of the other money-losing ventures that the pundits thought would be the death of Microsoft:

    • Microsoft Bob. An absolutely horrible idea with an even worse execution. M$ spent millions developing and promoting it, and didn't sell more than a handful of copies.
    • Internet Exploder. Originally intended to be sold at a profit, the IE group has cost Microsoft tens of millions of dollars in development and support costs. What they have created is a money pit crafted from insecure, non-modular spaghetti code. Many observers (such as ESR) expected IE to implode under its own weight around the release of version 4.0, but it never happened.
    • UltimateTV. Microsoft's lame attempt to make a Tivo and sell consumers a crappy version of the Tivo service at the same high monthly price as Tivo somehow didn't pan out. Go figure.
    • Mac support. As it stands, Microsoft has not recouped its development costs on any release of Office for the Mac. This should not come as much of a surprise, as they offer steep bulk/site discounts to educational institutions on these products.
    As you can see from the above examples, Microsoft's sole goal is to dominate the computer industry by creating products that lose vast sums of money, but "hook" the consumer into their services and upgrades. This is why we need more than Linux and OpenOffice to compete against them; we need government action. We're already beating them in the marketplace, but that doesn't matter when they have infinitely deep pockets from which to draw funding.

    And that, my friends, is why Sony and Nintendo have a formidable enemy in Microsoft. Neither company has the cash reserves to compete with Microsoft on such an unlevel playing field, and neither one seems likely to survive in the video game arena for long without help from Uncle Sam.

    • Last time I heard, the MS Mac BSU was a profitable one, which is one of the reasons MS doesn't cut their budget (they can't shut it down alltogether due to that monopoly thingie in court)
    • Actually it's starting to.

      If MSFT loses too much money in one area (say, subsidizing XBox sales), they have to cover it with either increased revenues from one of their cash cows (like MS Office) or by playing accounting games with the cash reserves they have on hand, so as to meet quarterly revenue targets.

      They're being (or were, don't know the current status) investigated by SEC for playing accounting games with cash reserves, so they're less likely to do that, and their cash cows are running into (some, but growing) competition from the likes of Star/Open Office, etc, etc.

      The thing is, even though they've got a ton of cash on hand and could probably subsidize X Box sales from now until doomsday, if their quartely revenues don't show sufficient growth (and they've been hard-pressed to do that, lately), investors will start to bail and the stock price will drop. This in turn discourages investors further, makes employee stock options worthless so they'll demand higher salaries, and so on in a downward spiral.

      Bill himself no doubt has enough stashed away in other investments that he'll never really hurt in that sense -- except that he really, really hates to lose.
    • by IronTek (153138) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @12:00PM (#3524095) Homepage
      I think you're wrong. First, to keep my cred, I don't like Microsoft and I'm a Linux user. However, I hate ignorant people that spout of incorrect assumptions without thought of what they're speaking of even more than I hate Microsoft.

      Microsoft Bob: While it was a horrible failure as a product, it did teach Microsoft much about human computer interaction, what their customers want, and how to market products better. End the end, it was probably a pretty cheap "failure."

      Internet Explorer: Probably saved Microsoft's ass. Had they not given it away, and made the user not have a choice whether or not to have it, they could have lost ground on the desktop as well as on the internet. They would not be the company they are today if it weren't for a free IE. Further, IE is not under danger of an implosion. It's not that horrible of a browser...while I prefer Mozilla, IE does feature stability in key areas that I wish Mozillla would (and it will...eventually)

      Ultimate TV: This was a premature release and not well thought out, no doubt...but it will pave the way for their takeover of the home entertainment center when the XBox 2 (or whatever) combines the XBox with UltimateTV. The product itself may be a failure, but the next incarnation of the XBox would not have been/will not be possible without the work done on Ultimate TV

      Mac Support: Not only have they made money on the Mac (what have you been smoking), but they're the largest seller of applications to Mac users! Further, at least up until the last version of Office for the Mac, programs like Excel and Word used the same core as the PC version, so the development costs consisted of wraping up the engines that drive the programs to work with the Mac.

      Now shutup, go get a helmet, and hope that other companies out there can keep them in check.
    • I have a quick comment amount Microsoft giving away stuff for cheap: Purposefully selling a product at a loss is not illegal. Using a monopoly to shut out other markets IS... so, selling XBoxes at a low price (or even free) is not illegal, neither is giving away Internet Explorer.

      Now, if Microsoft were selling XBoxes or giving them away, and they were engineered so that a TV that has an XBox connected to it cannot also have a PS2 or Gamecube or console system Y connected to it at the same time, that would be illegal. Or if Microsoft made, say, televisions instead of Operating Systems and engineered their TVs to only work (well) with Xboxes, that also would be illegal.

      That said, I think that it definitely counts as unfair market practices, just not under the scope of current law. But I don't think government subsidies of the gaming industry is the answer...

      I don't know what the answer is, but I don't think thats it. Maybe changing the law so that using money gained from a monopoly to establish a monopoly in another market is illegal... something along those lines...
  • by trauma (62841)
    It's only a matter of time before MS starts bundling the Xbox free with Windows.
  • At 50 bucks!

    50 bucks??

    Heh. I wonder if the PS1 at that price will now completely make people shy away from buying the Dreamcast at 50 bucks and buying a bunch of cheap games.

    Of course, go to any given store and there's about 1000 cheap PS1 games and about 2-3 crappy DC games if you're lucky.

    doesn't matter much to me though. I bought a PS2(something I never thought I'd do) 3 weeks ago just because I grew impatient with the PC release of Grand Theft Auto 3, and now I'm scouring Kmarts and such to look for PS1 games dirt cheap for my amusment, growing tired of playing Counterstrike on my PC.

    I'd say it's a win-win situation for any cheapskate gamers who's only choice was the $50 dreamcast and its not-so-great game selection.
    • Wow. You should have kept waiting. I found out last week that GTA3 for the PC has a release date of 5/20. I'm saving my pennies and got a GeForce 3 Ti 200 for $119 at Best Buy in anticipation.
    • What crack are you smoking?

      I bought a Dreamcast late last year and I've aquired all of these games for under $30 each, most at $14.99 or less:

      Chu Chu Rocket
      Space Channel 5
      Sonic Adventure
      Street Fighter Alpha 3
      Marvel vs. Capcom
      Crazy Taxi
      Jet Grind Radio
      Resident Evil: Code Name Veronica
      Sega Bass Fishing
      Sega Marine Fishing
      Shenmue
      Soul Caliber
      Virtua Tennis
      Sword of Beserk
      Typing of the Dead (hilarious! type at zombies to kill them!)
      Dead or Alive 2
      Power Stone (AMAZING 3-D fighter, a genre I'm only kinda into, this game is serious fun. I got it for $8.99 last week and have been playing it non-stop!)

      There are a lot of seriously awesome games for the dreamcast that while you might have to search a bit, are worth the effort. Here's my list of games I'm currently tracking down (some are still easily availible, I just can't drop $300 on a dozen games right now.):

      powerstone 2
      seaman
      sega bass fishing 2
      skies of arcadia
      granda II
      shenmue 2
      Street Fighter 3: Third Strike
      Marvel v. Capcom 2
      Capcom v. SNK 1
      Capcom v. SNK 2
      bust a move 4
      house of the dead 2 (and light gun)
      samba de amigo (and special controller)
      alone in the dark 4
      sonic adventure 2
      crazy taxi 2
      tony hawk pro skater
      tony hawk pro skater 2
      fatal fury: mark of the wolves
      Bangai-O
      Bomberman Online
      Giga Wing 2
      Gunbird 2
      Project Justice (rival schools sequel)
      Dance Dance Revolution (and dance pad)

      now, i realize hunting high and low for games isn't most people's idea of a good time, but if you're up for it, the dreamcast is WELL worth the effort. Not to mention all the neat hax0r things you can do with it, like boot linux, burn your own boot discs and play nes emulators...

      the fishing controller and keyboards are easily availible, as are memory cards and additional regular controllers. Aracde stick controllers are a bit rarer.

      the dreamcast is well worth the investment.

      I do plan on getting a used ps1 to play metal gear solid, final fantasy 7, and dance dance revolution (easier than tracking down the import only DC version), so I see your point about if you're only going to buy one console, but I think for me, that one console would be the dreamcast. I'm starting to be fond of it in the way I am fond of my iBook, which says a lot.

      .
  • by FearUncertaintyDoubt (578295) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:33AM (#3523923)
    ...dropping the price on anything. Here we see the effects of competition. Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly on game consoles, and PS2 isn't susceptible to FUD attacks, so MS has no choice to actually compete in the proper way. By lowering price.

    The question is, what will be MS's strategy for the Xbox2? They can't beat PS2 (and maybe not even gamecube). So they will go back and come up with the marketing strategy to win the console monopoly in the next round. They could give their Xbox2 away for a pittance, and hope to get such a large user base as to strangle PS3. But to really kill it, they also need developers to not develop games for the PS3. If they can accomplish both of those they have a shot.

  • Atari slit their throats by drastically cutting the price of thier Jaguar, 3D0 died this way and sega died this way.. Hell Nintendo has never resorted to price Whoring (yet) and they are all that is left from the big console wars of the late 80's early 90's. Sony knows better, but then they already have more than a year's lead on the Xbox.. and With rumors of the PS3 and it's possibility of existing in 1Q 2003... Xbox still hasn't a chance.. I dont know if the winner will be Sony, but I do know that nintendo isnt gonnat get hurt at all... Hell they survived their nintendo64 nightmare...
  • If they're available now, aren't they current-gen systems?

    - A.P.
  • Linux on the XBox (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PhilJackson (540641)
    'd like to know if anyone has succeeded in porting a Free operating system to the Xbox
    Do we know if M$ has taken any special steps to stop another Os bieng used? Depending on thier licence wouldn't we be breaking the law by putting a *nix on it?
    • by Fat Casper (260409)
      What sort of license comes with a piece of hardware? I agree not to reverse engineer this box so as to build my own and sell them at a lower price... Except that we already know that you can't sell it for less. The only problem is that once the OSS community gets itself in gear to really take advantage of MS' subsidy, MS will stop shipping boxes. They're already losing money anyway, what're a few warehouse fires added to that? I loved this article, [osopinion.com] though. That's real pretty.

  • Why all this talk about porting a specific version of linux to the X-Box? Why not just rewrite the BIOS so that it will think it is a regular PC and accept any OS, including your favorite distro of linux? The thing is pretty much a bargan bin PC with a 733mhz PIII and an nforce chipset with slightly better graphics.
    • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @12:22PM (#3524316) Homepage
      The XBox's firmware is in a 1MB mask-programmed ROM. It can't be changed without replacing it physically.

      Physical replacement of the firmware chip is possible [xtender.info], but requires soldering 29 wires.

      See a summary of XBox vulnerabilities here. [h07.org]

      Join the Evil Empire here [microsoft.com] and make security even tighter.

      It's worth understanding how the XBox locks out non-Microsoft approved software. We might see a lockdown like that in mainstream PCs someday. The MPAA and the RIAA would like that.

  • by GweeDo (127172) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:52AM (#3524039) Homepage
    People seem to assume that the Gamecube is an inferior piece of hardware, therefore it should be cheaper than the Xbox or PS2. I personally own a Cube and think the exact oppisite. Sure it doesn't play DVD's (but according to recent market survey's people are buying game system to play games, not watch their movies). It is also very important to not that Nintendo doesn't appear to be out to win the "console war". They are out to make a lot of money. This is something they have done successfully for years and years and years. Even in the time of the N64 they where raking in millions. Heck, last year was their most profitable year ever and they expect to only gain on that this year. Nintendo (and their shareholders) don't care if the Cube has the most sales worldwide (though I am sure they wouldn't mind). They want money...and they do that better than any console maker out there!
  • Too bad i just bought a Playstation 2 yesterday

    Why "too bad"? Yeah, the Xbox has cooler tech, but your options for games a pretty limited. The drought is pretty scary.
  • There are rumours at the Inquirer here [theinquirer.net] with sources from Digitimes here [digitimes.com] that the price will be pushed down on the components and something new will be released in September.

    Perhaps with the use of such commodity parts it might be possible to have a new Xbox out each year.

    The would have strange consequences for a console, would consoles have to say for Xbox 2004 only ? PS 1 or 2 is one thing, but one every year would be another.

  • but i still wont' buy one. Ignoring the fact that I refuse to buy any MS products, in general, the real holdback of the XBox isn't the $300, now $200, pricetag... it's the games. Halo is a fine game. If I wanted a FPS on my TV, it's probably one of the best. Unfortunately for MS, I have many more and better FPS games on my PC and consoles, in general, aren't well designed for FPSs.
  • I'd like to know if anyone has succeeded in porting a Free operating system to the Xbox.

    Uh, having you been reading Slashdot lately? According to M$, it is a violation of law for a user to substitute the OS of computer for another that was not sold with the computer. Since the xBox is nothing more than a computer squished into a home entertainment unit, this should hold true as well.

    Be safe. Be good. Be right. Never use a viral operating system on a computer that was originally sold with a Microsoft OS. You are not buying a computer but permission from Microsoft to use a computer which they can revoke at anytime according to the EULA.

  • by Otter (3800) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @11:55AM (#3524065) Journal
    For me (an adult who fires up a game of Doom or Tomb Raider every so often but is hardly a 'gamer'), what kept me from buying a console for years wasn't the up-front cost but the prospect of dropping $50 a pop on games. When the Dreamcast fell to $50 last Christmas, I bought one and picked up some $5-10 games on E-Bay, probably from kids running out to buy an X-Box. Given my general no-longer-young suckiness (it took me three nights of trying to finish the last stage of the Jet Grind Radio tutorial, the rail to over the mailbox to rail to rail over the overpass to the top of the bus shelter sequence), that's plenty for me.

    The $200 price caught my attention for a second but it's back to the $50 games. Besides, how would I decide which of the 34 snowboarding games to buy?

  • by Toddarooski (12363) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @12:00PM (#3524103)
    1. You shouldn't buy a GameCube because it's a kiddie console! (Only kids like fun games, apparently...)

    2. Micro$oft is evil! Therefore you should support Nintendo! (Unless it's being said with irony, then it's clever.)

    3. Don't buy an Xbox becuase it's just a stripped down PC! (Oh, no! It's got a CPU and a graphics chip! Run!)

    4. MGS is a great game! (Okay, just my own personal opinion here -- 20 minutes of excellent gameplay surrounded by 18 hours of crappy dialogue is a good game? Give me Ico any day.)

    5. I'm throwing my loyalty behind (Sony / Nintendo / Microsoft) because they care about me as a gamer.

  • I sent this story to slashdot some days ago, it was rejected. It seens that this company is releasing a modchip, to prove that (many people told it was a fake) they released videos and photos on their site:

    http://www.xtender.info/ [xtender.info]
  • by DeadBugs (546475) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @12:12PM (#3524221) Homepage
    The PS2 Linux Kit [playstation.com] is coming out next week. For $199.00 you get:

    Linux for PlayStation 2 version 1.0 software

    Monitor Cable Adaptor

    Internal 40GB Hard Disc Drive Network Adaptor

    Ethernet 10/100 Base-T

    USB Keyboard & USB Mouse

  • by WildBeast (189336) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @12:20PM (#3524290) Journal
    Since when did MS become more evil than Sony? Many people here seem to be getting a PS2 because MS is evil yet we all know how much more evil Sony really is. Copy-protected CD's, RIAA, DMCA, etc. But suddenly nobody cares.

    Slashdot is a weird crowd. I also remember the day when people were favorable to a RedHat acquisition by AOL/TW. Go figure.
  • by Razzious (313108) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @12:23PM (#3524318)
    I have watched this whole X-Box PS2 war rage for some time. Its amazed me that the X-box has done as well as it has actually. However I have watched Microsoft make a trend of "follow the leader" in the gaming industry and yet stay behind.

    Everquest...Love it or Hate it, its been a higher success than Asherons Call. AC2 is excpected out at the end of this year just in time for the Starwars Galaxy release from Sony. We know the SWG release will pull gamers that have never considered a MMORPG before. Not to mention the "Planes of Power" release coming in November from Sony

    Then wait a year and get the EQ2 and once again you have the makings of a Sony Victory.

    Should Microsoft think they can kick Nintendo out of the Market, they are going to have to work harder than they did to get Netscape off of the desktop. Nintendo has continually shown it can hang in the market, and if they start pumping out new releases of the OLD SKOOL NES games, the nostagia alone will make us buy it. I have not paid attention to the GameCube really, but reading Metroid info has me ready to buy one tonight! Add to that "UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, B, A, SELECT, START. and I have the makings of a CONTRA PARTY!

    Sony needs to send Microsoft an e-mail that states clearly "You're in OUR world now"
  • Rebates (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sasquatch666 (558518) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @01:03PM (#3524642)
    My girlfriend just bought a PS2 about a week ago from Circuit City and was able to get a hefty rebate back. CC's policy is if you can find it cheaper 30 days after you buy it, they'll refund the difference + 10%. Since the price dropped by $100, she got $110 in cash back from the store. Not a bad deal :-)
  • by Neck_of_the_Woods (305788) on Wednesday May 15, 2002 @01:32PM (#3524829) Journal
    Link to NetBSD Hack for XboX [hackerheaven.org]

    How-to included with loads and mods.

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