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XBox (Games)

Xbox360 Pricing, 2 Models at Launch 621

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the just-gimme-my-doa dept.
Tom writes "According to news in the LA Times, Microsoft will release two Xbox 360 packages when the console is launched later this year. The basic package will retail for $299 and will not include a hard disk, nor will it include a wireless controller, instead shipping with a wired pad. The second package will retail for $399 and will include a 20 Gb hard disk, wireless controller, wireless headset, Ethernet cable and remote control. No release date has been revealed, but a mid to late November date is expected."
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Xbox360 Pricing, 2 Models at Launch

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  • by realmolo (574068) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:34AM (#13338394)
    If the "cheap" model doesn't have a hard drive, that means that developers aren't going to use the thing in their games.

    I assume you'll still be able to use it for saving games, but what about multiplayer stuff? Are new levels going to go on the memory card? And didn't I read something about MS using HUGE memory cards for the Xbox 360? Like, 1Gigabyte cards or something?

    I'm just surprised they would split the market like that. But they're MS, they're crazy.
    • Isn't it possible that games will save your progress to a harddrive if one is present and if not it will save to a memory stick? Wouldn't be too hard to implement.
    • I don't know where you read that they would have 1 gig memory cards. The Xbox 360 peripherials paga [xbox.com] says that they will be 64 megs.
    • by Steve525 (236741) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @10:07AM (#13338682)
      If the "cheap" model doesn't have a hard drive, that means that developers aren't going to use the thing in their games.

      Bingo! The hardrive on the original Xbox was rarely used well anyway. A few games took advantage of it, but most games were released on multiple systems, and therefore didn't. The reality is, only a few games really needed it. By adding a hardrive, Microsoft thought they were adding a component that would make the XBox significantly better than the PS2. Instead they added a component that just made it a lot more expensive to build. (And unlike the other components in the console, a hardrive's price doesn't drop over time. Capacities go up, but prices don't go down). To avoid hemoraging money again, Microsoft needed to drop the hardrive from the Xbox 360. To maintain compatibility with the original, though, they needed to at least make it an option.

      I'm just surprised they would split the market like that.

      Perhaps, but as you and I said, developers aren't going to use the hardrive. People who just want to play Xbox 360 (not Xbox 1) games will be able to get by just fine with the base model. People who want extras, (downloadable content, Xbox 1 compatibility, probably some media options), will need the upgraded version. Many people don't care about these extras, so why should they pay for hardware to do it?
      • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @10:56AM (#13339171)
        You say games won't use it, but the fact is that the XBox could make them use it whether they're aware of it or not. The simplest example would be if it cached content as it was read from the disc so it didn't have to be reloaded each time. A second example would be if it acted like an ultra large memory card for saving games. Another example were if it were used to "hibernate" a game so someone could walk away and pick up where they left off the day before.


        Then there are games which could use it. For example, to download patches, extra levels and so forth.


        Then there is MS touting the box as a multimedia hub (although in reality it was more like a dumb terminal). A HD could mean that it could rip songs, movies etc. to disk and play them on demand. And MS could sell video on demand - films, shows, trailers and so on, as well as distributing firmware updates, patches and more on it.


        It seems pretty strange that they're going to piss this all away which is what they're doing.

      • Any idea if Microsoft will be using regular HDs, or if they're going to have some sort of proprietary type that you can't just buy in a store?

        For $100 I can get a 200GB HD that really could turn an Xbox 360 into a media center. 20 GB just isn't going to do it for me.

        A hard drive actually has a lot more value to me than the rest of the stuff. Don't want to bother with batteries or charge times for a wireless controller. Don't need an ethernet cable since I already have some, can get them cheaper elsewher

  • Not a bad deal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fewnorms (630720) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:35AM (#13338396)
    So, a 100 dollars will get you a 20 Gb hard disk, wireless controller, wireless headset, Ethernet cable and remote control? Not a bad deal. I do wonder how many people would actually get the "no hard disk" version.
    On the other hand, it's still an expensive piece of kit, and odds are the version without a hard disk will still have the connectors on the inside, happily protected by "warranty void when opened".
    • Re:Not a bad deal (Score:3, Informative)

      by calibanDNS (32250)
      odds are the version without a hard disk will still have the connectors on the inside, happily protected by "warranty void when opened".

      As I understand it, all models of the XBox 360 will support an external removeable hard drive; the $399 version just ships with said hard drive. If you get the $299 version you'll still be able to buy the hard drive add-on seperately without voiding the warranty or even opening the 360.
      • Re:Not a bad deal (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Enigma_Man (756516)
        I think the point is you'll probably pay $150 for a $50 drive, instead of being able to install any extra drives you have lying around.

        -Jesse
    • I guess I was thinking the opposite. To me it sounds like getting $50 worth of stuff for $100.

      For that, couldn't they at least make it a 120 GB HD so people can use it for more stuff? Let's face it, 20 GB is overboard for saving games, but not enough if its supposed to be some sort of media center.
    • Re:Not a bad deal (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @10:15AM (#13338751) Homepage
      So, a 100 dollars will get you a 20 Gb hard disk, wireless controller, wireless headset, Ethernet cable and remote control? Not a bad deal. I do wonder how many people would actually get the "no hard disk" version.

      I'm sure they've had some psychologist work on that. That way, you draw the attention away from the $400 price tag and towards all the extras you get for $100. Same way burger joints typically have an "extreme" burger to make the "big" menu seem more "normal". It works wonders. I know many people that are that way, you make them pick the "good" deal in a set of bad deals, and they're happy with making a good deal.

      I particularly remember one time I was with my mom buying an appliance for me, and she insisted on getting a 150$ more expensive one because she was getting $40 off, and it had absolutely no value to me over the cheaper one. Somehow that was a better deal than buying the cheaper one at retail price. I call it $110 down the toilat. I think the historic quote is this one:

      "It is not because of the few thousand francs which would have to be spent to put a roof over the third-class carriages or to upholster the third-class seats that some company or other has open carriages with wooden benches. What the company is trying to do is to prevent the passengers who can pay the second class fare from traveling third class; it hits the poor, not because it wants to hurt them, but to frighten the rich. And it is again for the same reason that the companies, having proved almost cruel to the third-class passengers and mean to the second-class ones, become lavish in dealing with first-class passengers. Having refused the poor what is necessary, they give the rich what is superfluous." - Jules Dupuit, 1849

      Kjella
    • Re:Not a bad deal (Score:2, Informative)

      by MustardMan (52102)
      Not a bad deal? For 400 bucks it should at least come with fucking wifi.
  • failure (Score:4, Interesting)

    by skatephat420 (803185) <seandfeeney@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:35AM (#13338400)
    What better way to make no one want to buy your system than to release two different systems off the bat. If they were smart they would hold off because there just isn't a market for a new system right now. I think I'll wait and get the final version, you know, when they are ready.

    Expectations are the mother of all sorrow
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:36AM (#13338407)
    If they want a successful launch then they really need this thing out well before Thanksgiving. And they'd better have the retail channel well stocked for Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). Any production snafus or delays are going to kill holiday sales and create a bunch of unhappy customers.
  • This seems rather polar.. you either get bargain basement or everything they can cram into it.. and no in betweens?

    What If you don't want wireless? What if you play rpg's for hours on end and want the comfort your control won't run out of batteries, but still want a hard drive and ethernet?
    • What if you play rpg's for hours on end and want the comfort your control won't run out of batteries, but still want a hard drive and ethernet?

      Then you buy the external hard drive as an add-on (it's a removable, external drive) and buy an ethernet CABLE. Note that both versions will have an ethernet jack, the $399 version just also includes an ethernet cable.
    • "What If you don't want wireless? What if you play rpg's for hours on end and want the comfort your control won't run out of batteries, but still want a hard drive and ethernet?"

      You plug in the wireless controller...(you can play wired with the wireless controller).

  • by a16 (783096) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:39AM (#13338426)
    Why are stories being allowed where the author links to his own website, which just references an original article elsewhere so that the author can gain ad impressions?

    The actual link to the original story is here [latimes.com].
  • To sell a version without harddrive would be stupid

    1. Used for saved games
    2. Free parts XBOX Live needs hard drive to save content

    They would be killing 2 of the most important aspects of the gaming system if they did this.

    1. Developers would be unable to rely on the ability of a customer to save games, customers would be turned off and annoyed once they figured this out

    2. XBOX Live argueably one the reasons the XBOX was so successfull in the first place would be neutered which would directly harm there mark
    • by Vo0k (760020) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:45AM (#13338493) Journal
      Yeah, So the customers go buy $299 XBOX and a week later $99 hard-drive extension, $49 wireless controller+headset and $69 ethernet extension. And developers just release games with notice "This game requires hard drive".
      • I remember reading (can't remember where though), that M$ told game developers to develop their games to take advantage of the harddrive, but the games must also must work without one.
        • Found it.
          According to Microsoft's J Allard (who ever he is?), is quoted as saying in the September issue of Game Informer: "We've said [to developers], 'Hey look, don't bank on the hard drive always being there,' ... 'There may be a scenario in the future where we don't want to have a hard drive, and in that case, we have to make sure that the games that you've created are accessible to the broadest possible audience.'"
    • I would guess that, for the Live data, MS will probably have server-side storage set aside for each user, if they are hard-drive-challenged.
       
      The machine without a HD is still ass, but it does provide an alternative. And why wouldn't they include game save storage space, at least in the form of something solid-state and built-in? That is so 90s.
       
        Gah. I'll stick with my 200GB modded original xboxes, thanks.....
  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:41AM (#13338446)
    Theses days you can't buy anything smaller than a 60/80GB unless it's used.
  • I've been very happy with my original XBox to date, and was looking forward to it's sequel, expecting a more refined Xbox Live experience, and another painless funbox. Now, with innovative games seeming to be an exclusive property of the Nintendo DS handheld, and this piecemeal marketing strategy of the XB360, I'm pretty un-enthused these days about the next-gen of home consoles. That's sad.
  • ...till we see games "This game doesn't work with XBOX 360 Basic. XBOX 360 Extended version required."
    • http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3142883 [1up.com]

      As a side effect, with the possible exception of certain massively multiplayer online games, no Xbox 360 game will explicitly require use of the hard drive. Microsoft says no other aspect of the next-generation experience will be hampered without a hard drive; Xbox Live as a whole will function as usual, though it's likely downloadable content (and any music or photos you store digitally) would easily exceed the 64MB Memory Unit.

  • IGN has more info (Score:3, Informative)

    by fixmyship (802069) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:48AM (#13338518)
    The IGN article has more info on the differences in the two versions. http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/642/642656p1.html/ [ign.com]
  • I'm largely leaning towards the PS3 for the next-gen consoles, but one of the features that always caught my attention with the 360 was the wireless controllers. I know the PS3 will support the same thing, but Microsoft made such a big hoo-hah about this during their unveiling I figured it would be a standard feature at launch, for any package.

    It's pretty disappointing they're making people shell out another hundred bucks to buy a launch package that includes a wireless controller (presumably they can b
  • It just works (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jakhel (808204) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @09:50AM (#13338543)
    Since there will be different versions of the XBox 360, does that mean that console game makers will now be putting "system requirements" on console games?

    Wasn't one of the main reasons people said they preferred console games to PC games because they didn't have to worry about their system being able to handle running the game? Because it "just works"? Now console gamers have to be mindful of system requirements as well.
    • Something similar happened when the original DualShock controllers came out for the original PlayStation. I remember picking up Ape Escape, and seeing the big warning on the back "THIS GAME REQUIRES A DUALSHOCK CONTROLLER" on the back. I figured it out, but then again I also read Slashdot.

      If M$ has ONE thing different between the systems (like HD vs no HD), then maybe people will be able to tell whether a game will work or not. Add more required unknowns (Headset? Broadband?) and the whole thing will go
  • This is what you get when you let a computer company like Microsoft build a console instead of an appliance company like Sony.

    This kind of schism will not bother those of us who are used to dealing with computers and their various configurations, but it will alienate everyone who expects their console to be an appliance that Just Works[tm].

    The only reason people put up with the myriad configurations computers can come in is because a) requirements vary drastically and b) it's the way it's always been

  • I'm a little slow on the uptake on this one, but the more I think about it (and after seeing a pic of the topside of the wireless controller), the more I realize this machine is made to capture the mindshare of current playstation owners -- not satisfy current xbox owners.

    Look at a few of the features that are different from the original xbox:

    - Memory card slots in the front (which I hate seeing there -- I'd pay $100 for a model that *didn't* have these on the front of the box)

    - FOUR trigger buttons
  • Wait, so... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dividedsky319 (907852)
    So lets see here...

    Two different versions... And the more expensive version doesn't even come with a wireless adapter... that's another HUNDRED bucks.

    Baaaaaaad move on Microsoft's part. Out of fear that their games won't sell as well, publishers are going to have to design their games to not need the hard drive... either that, or everyone without a hard drive is going to have an expensive paperweight when games still require the hard drive.

    This is going to lead to a fragmentation of the Xbox owning public,
  • just cut the price of PS2 to 99$.

    Moral: don't just write off the current leader of the market yet.

  • I don't like MS. It's OS Family is a risk to man and mouse in every corporate enviroment and their monopoly in OSes has been holding back IT innovation for years. Day in and day out I have to deal with trouble caused by MS Windows 'insecurity by design'.
    However, the Windows Family does have a reputation as a gaming OS. I use it to play WoW (my current iBook is to weak for large crowds and Transgaming is to much fuss).
    Yet this XBox has one thing I've been desperately missing on consoles: Hassle free VGA supp
  • Personally I'm excited at this. I wonder how it will take PPC Linux to be ported to it?
  • OMG, what a deal! They give one meter of cat5 with two rj45!
  • by davemabe (105354) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @10:31AM (#13338922) Homepage
    I would pay $1000 to get rid of the mess of cables that I have with my current Xbox. What a mess!
  • by angle_slam (623817) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @12:09PM (#13339885)
    No need to hear from third parties about this. The official announcement [xbox.com] regarding tiered pricing is on the Xbox site [xbox.com]. Here's the text:

    Microsoft Announces Xbox 360 Price for Europe and North America: Starts at $299.99 U.S./299.99/£209.99

    Feature-packed system brings high-definition gaming to the masses this holiday season.

    LEIPZIG, Germany -- Aug. 17, 2005 -- Ending weeks of speculation about which upcoming video game platform will give gamers the most bang for their buck, today at the German Games Convention, Microsoft Corp. revealed that consumers can get their hands on Xbox 360(TM) -- the most powerful and feature-packed next-generation video game and entertainment system -- for as little as $299.99 U.S./299.99/£209.99 starting this holiday season. For gamers who want to experience the ultimate digital entertainment thrill ride, Microsoft also announced a model with hundreds of dollars worth of accessories for $399.99 U.S./399.99/£279.99, giving consumers the definitive entertainment experience at an unbelievable value right out of the box.

    The Xbox 360 and Xbox 360 Core System -- along with an impressive lineup of high-definition game titles from the world's best publishers and developers -- will make their debut in North America, Europe and Japan in time for this Christmas holiday, several months ahead of the competition. Although details for the Japan launch will be addressed at the Tokyo Game Show in September, the unprecedented three-region launch signifies an industry first. The Xbox 360 platform will deliver the most powerful console, the best games, the next generation of the Xbox Live® service, and amazing digital entertainment experiences never seen in console entertainment. "The sheer entertainment value of Xbox 360 cannot be overstated," said Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer for Microsoft. "While the system has the muscle to power awe-inspiring graphics, audio and online play, it's also got the intelligence to serve as a one-of-a-kind entertainment device that plays CDs, DVDs, MP3s and digital content from an array of devices, including portable music players and digital cameras."

    With its built-in Ethernet port and free Silver level of service right out of the box, Xbox 360 also connects players to Xbox Live, the premier global online console games and entertainment network. With Xbox Live, gamers can chat with friends online, build and share gamer profiles, send and receive text and voice messages, and access Xbox Live Marketplace for new content such as game demos, trailers and casual games from Xbox Live Arcade. Subscribers to the Gold level of service will also enjoy access to online multiplayer gaming in their favorite games, as well as great promotional programs such as worldwide tournaments, the chance to play online with their favorite celebrities, and opportunities to win big prizes.

    For gamers who want the ultimate experience (and the best value) right out of the box, Microsoft will offer the $399.99 U.S./399.99/£279.99 Xbox 360 console. This premium edition -- distinguished by signature metallic detailing on the console itself -- comes fully loaded for the ultimate gaming experience, with components and accessories that would cost more than $200 if sold separately:

    • Xbox 360 console. Sexy styling that packs a punch -- three powerful core processors are poised to pump out 720p/1080i output, 16x9 cinematic aspect ratio, anti-aliasing for smooth textures, full surround sound and DVD playback right out of the box.
    • Xbox 360 Hard Drive (20 GB). 20 GB and detachable, the hard drive allows gamers to store their games, music, downloaded trailers, levels, demos and community-created content from Xbox Live Marketplace.
    • Xbox 360 Wireless Controller. Hassle-free high-performance precision wireless gaming features the Xbox® Guide Button for q
  • by doctor_no (214917) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @12:11PM (#13339910)
    People that buy the $300 version of the XB360 will need a memoery card since that version has no HDD and people will need to save games and logon to Xbox Live!.

    Microsoft today announced the pricing of the Xbox 360 Memory Unit (64 MB)to be $40. So in reality people that buy even the base model will need to really spend $340 for the system. Since next-gen games are going to be released at $59.99, at the bare minimum the consumer will need to spend at least $400 to be able to enjoy the system. In reality the XB360 "value pack" only really cost $60 more.

    Being that the Playstation 3 will allow users to use standard memory like SD/Compact Flash/MemoryStick (Sony has learned from their mistakes), I wish MS wouldn't lock consumers into their overpriced memory units.

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