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XBox (Games)

New Version of Xbox 360 Looking More Likely 106

Posted by Zonk
from the nothing's-nothing-until-it's-something dept.
Engadget is just one of a number of sites running 'confirmations' of a new iteration of the Xbox 360 hardware. The new black-coloured console is said to include an HDMI port and a larger hard disk drive (120 gigs). While the code-name Zephyr has been bandied about online for quite some time now, Engadget is saying it will be released under the name 'Elite'. Initially to be sold as a third SKU (alongside the Core and Premium packs), when the initial black run sells out the hardware in the Elite will take the place of the Premium sku. An HD-DVD drive will not be incorporated into the unit. All this should be taken with a grain of salt, as the entire thing stems from 'sources' and a supposed article in the upcoming issue of Game Informer magazine; Microsoft has not yet confirmed anything.
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New Version of Xbox 360 Looking More Likely

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  • Why not just call it The Awesome? http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/ultimate-fantast ic-four/15-1.jpg [coverbrowser.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by aapold (753705)
      I was kinda banking on the 133 T
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SNR monkey (1021747)
      If they name the Premium system the "Elite", it only makes sense that they rename the Core system as "Spartan".
      • by Mortanius (225192)
        Careful, son, them's fightin' words. You just suggested that Covenant Elites are better than the Master Chief. You're walking a dangerous line, once the Halo fanboys catch wind of this.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by SNR monkey (1021747)
          I was trying to be clever
          Spartan [reference.com]
          adj.
          1. Of or relating to Sparta or its people.
          2. Rigorously self-disciplined or self-restrained.
            a. Simple, frugal, or austere: a Spartan diet; a spartan lifestyle.
            b. Marked by brevity of speech; laconic.
            c. Courageous in the face of pain, danger, or adversity.
          • Does that mean you weren't trying to make clever Halo references (Spartans [wikipedia.org] being a group of super soldiers, like the protagonist of the games the Master Chief, and Elites [wikipedia.org] being enemies in the game). If so, that's kind of impressive :)
            • Of course I was also making a 'clever' Halo reference. =) Renaming the systems after one of the console's most successful games plus a literary reference that described said consoles... I thought it was pretty funny. =)
  • by Applekid (993327) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @12:35PM (#18431299)
    Perhaps Microsoft thinks that people who would buy the Premium model now wouldn't if they knew a "Super Premium" model is coming out soon. If they assume rightly, then sales of 360 would dip. If their caution is warranted, the dip in sales would be a large enough number to make the 360 look less strong from a userbase perspective.

    So if they were going to release this, they wouldn't announce it until very close to when available. If they weren't going to, they wouldn't say they're releasing it either.

    We're not making it, and, if we were, we wouldn't tell you early.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JFMulder (59706)
      Remember that Microsoft has lowered their shipments targets form 15 to 12 million. Maybe they are trying to bleed the market dry out of Premium 360s so they can replace that model with this new one, which could still launch at 400$ dollars. I mean, a bigger hard drive is not going to cost them a lot more per unit and HDMI output could actually cost LESS than analog component output. Factor in the fact that they are shrinking the processor die (which implies lower cost), and they might actually be able to of
      • by MojoStan (776183)
        "a bigger hard drive is not going to cost them a lot more per unit"

        Note that the Xbox 360 uses 2.5" notebook hard drives, which cost more per GB than 3.5" desktop hard drives. A quick Newegg search returned $30 for 20GB (current Xbox 360 size) and $80 for 120GB (future size).

        I mostly agree with your comment, though. I'll be surprised if MS prices it above $400 (price for current Premium bundle). It's been about 16 months since the 360 was launched, so I think a price drop (or improved versions) seems li

      • If they're bleeding the market of any SKU, it'd be the core system rather than the premium one. In fact, in a lot of countries the major retailers have already stopped selling the Core system altogether. The most sensible approach for MS is to move the Premium system down to replace the Core, and add this new Elite system in as the new Premium. Especially given the way they've been trying to push the 360's online features as something to differentiate it over the PS3. It's not possible to use Live without a
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      We're not making it, and, if we were, we wouldn't tell you early.

      On the other hand, Microsoft could be testing the waters to find out if there is actually demand for such a system - which is stupid, because everyone knows people will buy more of it if it's black :D

  • Vomit bags included in case the user gets dizzy from spinning.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Rycross (836649)
      Yes, it's awful that Microsoft released this new system, meaning all those other XBox owners will have to repurchase... oh wait, you can still play 360 games on your core and premium systems. Never mind.

      This is just like the DS - DS Lite upgrade.
      • by nschubach (922175)
        The whole market for consoles is based on a single device that you plug in, stick your game in and play it. Not looking on the back of the box and checking what version of console you have. If you ask me, it's a crappy move. Not as bad as having one with, and one without, a hard drive but it's still pretty crappy. The DS/Lite, NES (and it's revisions) and the PS2/Slim all had the same connections, accepted the same games and worked exactly the same (with minor improvements in the case of the Lite) but n
  • by Broken scope (973885) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @12:39PM (#18431369) Homepage
    dump the core and lower the price of the premium 50 bucks.
    • Why dump the core? Why not lower its price by $50 too, and compete against the Wii?

      I know everyone gets all resentful that a non-HDD version somehow means games can't support the HDD, but that's not the case. There are 360 games that require the HDD, and there are many, many more games which can take advantage of it if it's there. There are so many HDDs in the market that developers would be foolish to ignore them, it's not like some third-party add-on with no penetration. MS deliberately abstracted the f

  • Quick thoughts... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The-Bus (138060) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @12:43PM (#18431439)
    Penny Arcade is somewhat spot-on with their view that the new $479 X360 is competing against the $599 PS3 [penny-arcade.com] since the $499 PS3 is becoming increasingly rare in retail locations.

    But come off it, Microsoft. You don't release this data but I put dollars to donuts that the Xbox 360 is the most faulty console release in recent memory. I've seen reports of people on their sixth console [loot-ninja.com]. My only hope is that when my current Xbox 360 breaks and I get my fourth one, they give me a working replacement, not the crap they've unloaded over the past year and a half. (That's my only qualm with the 360).
    • by Rycross (836649)
      I really hope that they're close to their 65nm process revision, and that this helps with the defect rate. If I buy a 360, I'm going to wait until they get 65nm and hope it mitigates the reliability and noise issues.
    • by hosecoat (877680)
      I just got my second, but Ive only had 360 for a couple of months.
    • Literally every single person I know - including myself - is at least on their second 360. One person I know just sold his third one on ebay and bought a PS3. because he just didn't trust that it would las. Obviously you can't blame him. My second one is working great so far.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by p0tat03 (985078)

      Except I'm still on my first console, as is every Xbox 360 owner I know. Anecdotal evidence and loudly complaining bloggers do not statistics make.

      • Right, but the only truly meaningful statistics would come from Microsoft, and I don't see those figures coming out anytime soon. At this point I will take the "anecdotal" evidence of the multitudes on the internet saying their consoles broke over the experience of you and your friends. The fact that Microsoft extended the warranty also tends to support these "loudly complaining" bloggers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Wind_Walker (83965)
        Same here, bought it Octoberish of last year. Standing it up on its end inside an enclosed TV stand caused me some issues, but once I ditched the VCR and got the 360 horizontal and out in the open where air could circulate it's not given me a problem since.

        I often wonder if those who go through 7-8 X360s are doing something wrong, like having bad ventilation or balanced on top of something.
    • With sooo many repairs happening, there must be 1000s of people doing them.

      Where are the leaked documents/cds/roms from the repair center.

      If you work there, please copy it all before leaving, screw the NDA.

    • by amohat (88362)
      I bought mines from Costco right as the shortages ended, early 2006, and it's never given me any issues...or more specifically my son who plays Halo2 and now Gears of War like it's a damn career. For the record, it's horizontal and on a shelf under the TV.

      So there's another useless anecdote. And none of my boy's buddies had any issues either. Checkmate!

    • by adisakp (705706)
      To be fair, in order to compete on a feature-by-feature basis with the $599 PS3 you actually need to buy the $479 360 Elite + $199 HD-DVD + $99 360-WIFI-802.11G Adapter for a total of $777. Makes the PS3 almost look like a bargain once you add the HD disc (BluRay or HD-DVD) playback and wifi that come standard with the Sony console.
  • Disssapointed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rycross (836649) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @12:44PM (#18431459)
    I was hoping that this would be the new Premium system at $399, and that the old Premium system would drop down to $350. Paying an extra $80 for a larger hard drive and hdmi seems kinda meh. After all, thats only $20 less expensive than the 20GB PS3. They probably should have thrown in wireless too (if only to get the Sony fanboys to shut up with the "LOL You HAVE to buy wireless you don't actually need for $100 LOL).
    • If the rumor is to be believed, you'd only pay the extra $80 if you wanted one of the initial run. You could just wait a month or so until this is the new $400 model.
      • by Rycross (836649)
        Chances are that is what I would be doing anyway. I still don't know if I'm going to buy a 360, but if I do I'd like to wait for the process revision at the very least, and a possible price drop. $400 ($300 doesn't have the right features for me) is a bit pricey for me.
  • Seriously at that high price, the PS3 looks affordable ! By releasing this "Elite" 360, they are validating everything Sony is trying to feed us about the PS3's high price.

    I am waiting for the next SKU named : "Xbox p0wns all Elite+ !", the I will laugh at everyone wh bought the "Elite".
  • The 360 is closing in on a year and a half after launch and instead of a price cut, they're going to charge us an extra 80 bucks for a new port and a hard drive big enough not to suck. M$ was making 75 bucks on each console they sold back in November [isuppli.com]. Guess I'll be stuck in the last generation for a while longer, or at least until it is possible to actually purchase a Wii.
    • They're likely holding back a price cut to counter Sony. They're in a good position right now, so there's not a large need to start slashing the price.

      The price of the Elite, IMO, is a mistake. It puts it too close to the PS3 20gb unit for comparison, and all you get is a new connector and some extra HD space.
  • by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @12:54PM (#18431649)
    I currently have an XBOX 360 that uses a Monster component-out to connect to my 65" Sony SXRD. It's beautiful at 1080i. My understanding is that HDMI has no performance improvement over the display of component though. Is that correct?

    I'm not an audio-visual geek necessarily, so I may be confused. However, as I understood things HDMI's real contribution is not that of performance or quality, but of increased capability for content creators to control the data being carried over the signal. Is that true? I would have no problem buying this new 360 when it comes out if HDMI is a significant improvement over component, but it seems the best information I can find is itself indifferent and says that "neither is necessarily better than the other although particular devices may present a better experience with one over the other" (see quote below).

    So, the question is - with a high end television and an Xbox 360 - which of the two is going to be preferable? It sounds to me like they're just releasing it with "HDMI" so that people will be suckered into buying the console all over again under a false believe that HDMI is going to provide them a significantly better result.

    So, which is better, DVI or component? HDMI or component? The answer--unsatisfying, perhaps, but true--is that it depends. It depends upon your source and display devices, and there's no good way, in principle, to say in advance whether the digital or the analog connection will render a better picture. You may even find, say, that your DVD player looks better through its DVI or HDMI output, while your satellite or cable box looks better through its component output, on the same display. In this case, there's no real substitute for simply plugging it in and giving it a try both ways.
    Source: DVI vs. HDMI vs. Component Video -- Which is Better? [ecoustics.com]
    • by Satanboy (253169)
      HDMI does not only video but audio as well, some newer tvs have a couple of HDMI ports so its useful to have the HDMI port for that.

      I have both HDMI and component cables on my television, and to be honest, I don't see any difference at all from the HDMI source or the component source, so if you have an xbox with a component source, I would hesitate to go out and buy another xbox.
      • by Seumas (6865)
        I suspect that most people who have a high end television with HDMI ports also have high end audio systems and, thus, want everything to run through their tuners instead of the television. I'd rather have dedicated outputs that allow me to squeeze the best out of each element with the best components. I would suspect that HDMI audio-out would be "convenient" but not high quality.

        Of course, it's all about the source content and I suspect that the console manufacturers just don't care about that, because they
        • by Retric (704075)
          My TV has a digital out for audio. So I can use the audio portion of HDMI and still send a digital signal to good speakers. Anyway, HDMI is simply easer to setup than component which in and of it's self is worth it. IMO.

          PS: It's a Sony 55 inch SXRD so not all that high end, but a good screen (1080p) for the price(2k).
        • by DarkJC (810888)
          HDMI audio-out is the best source of digital audio you can get at the moment. It has much more bandwidth available for audio than anything else. Really though, it's only worth it if you've got a Blu-ray/HD-DVD player and a receiver that supports HDMI audio-in. If you've got that, HDMI is a must. The uncompressed 5.1 PCM surround tracks on many Blu-ray and some HD-DVD releases are unreal.
    • isn't the point that it has a new feature and now it's available? It's really only up to the fanboy on whether they are going to buy it twice, or if they wanted it so bad, why they bought a non-HDMI one in the first place. To everyone else, it is simply a new feature, not a conspiracy.
      • by Seumas (6865)
        Nobody wants HDMI "so bad" and even if they did, the reason they didn't buy the non-HDMI one in the first place is that there isn't an HDMI one, yet. Second, I don't believe that HDMI can be considered a "new feature". It doesn't really add anything except HDCP which is of no benefit whatsoever to a consumer.

        I have yet to see any explanation as to why a consumer (fanboy or not) would want an HDMI cable for their xbox. It doesn't necessarily improve quality, performance or anything else as I stated and other
    • by JohnnyComeLately (725958) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @01:25PM (#18432203) Homepage Journal
      You are correct, there is no true difference between the two. One is a proprietary plug which will run you $80+ at Circuit City, and the other is open and $30. I'm sure you can figure out which one is which. The HDMI claim is speed, but if you're running from a DVD next to your plasma/LCD, it doesn't really matter. And if you're running long distances, you're paying out the nose for a long HDMI cable, but you could just use a new component video disribution system for only a few hundred more (and then see that HD DVD on all your plasmas/LCDs).

      Just save your $$ for games and be happy with component video. It passes the full 1080p, which isn't available for a majority of the stuff out there anyway! Most stuff is still hanging out in the 480 range.

      Industry magazines are now starting to pick up on the next generation of closed, propritary methods being looked into use for transmission and even the end-device. I alerted our product managers that future TVs could even contain DRMs that are by default blocking non-DRM sources. Meaning, lets say you decide to locally modulate a DVD player and a camera in your own home. The Camera is over your front door and the DVD player is in your entertainment center. Currently, you can easily do this for a couple hundred bucks, and any TV in the house can watch the DVD player on channel 125, and the camera on channel 123 ( I won't explain, unless you ask, why a channel of seperation is used). If you watch what the MPAA and other abusers of DMCA and DRM are doing, this system would not work for a TV made in the future. The locally modulated channels would lack the "broadcast flag='off" tag, and using the now-prevalant 'if it's not DRM, it's stolen' mentality, the Television would block it. So your TV would say, "Nope, you cant tell me your not stolen, so I'm assuming you are stolen" and the local modulated signal would be dropped.

      Hopefully I explained this in a way a non-TV geek would pick up. I simply took your quick, and accurate observation, and applied it to what might happen with a TV and Game Console of the future (e.g. a "GEEKBOX" running Linux might not work on the TV to play a game, unless it had the HDMI or someother DRM-approved cable).

      • by Seumas (6865)
        Similarly, I believe the problem exists in reverse. I do not possess all the facts about this at the moment, but I believe there is a lot of HD content (or pending HD content) which will not unlock for play on your computer monitor unless it is an HDCP/HDMI device. In other words, the $3,200 Apple Cinema Display I bought a little over a year ago won't be able to play a lot of future HD content in true HD. Not because of some fundamental inability in the hardware to reproduce the content, but because the gat
        • by ClamIAm (926466)
          I ran into this the other day. I was trying to download software updates for a PS3 (not mine), and tried hooking it up to my monitor with a HDMI -> DVI cable. After preparing the correct settings on a TV in another room, I hook it up to my monitor and get no picture. Then I discover that the PS3 will not display *anything* over HDMI unless HDCP is supported.

          So congratulations to Sony, who gained glorious victory in preventing me from making a video of the PS3 menus. I'm sure those starving music and
      • I'm no expert, but I just bought a 1080p TV, and all my research indicates that a 1080p (60Hz) signal exceeds the (specified) bandwidth limitations of component.

        -Peter
        • by trdrstv (986999)
          I'm no expert, but I just bought a 1080p TV, and all my research indicates that a 1080p (60Hz) signal exceeds the (specified) bandwidth limitations of component.

          Kind of. You can push a 1080p signal through component, just not at 60 Frames per Second. (or Hz) A game running at 1080p60 exceeds the bandwidth of component cables, but a 1080p24 source (like a Movie) does not.

    • As far as picture quality, I don't think that there is much difference. I think it is even theoretically possible to output 1080P through component cables, although I am not sure how many TV's would accept this. One thing to keep in mind: I think I read an article somewhere that said that HDDVD/Blu Ray have a certain copy-protection scheme that would not allow you to output HD content via an analog source(Component Cables). In other words, there is a possibility that the movie studios will demand this n
      • by MojoStan (776183)
        "One thing to keep in mind: I think I read an article somewhere that said that HDDVD/Blu Ray have a certain copy-protection scheme that would not allow you to output HD content via an analog source(Component Cables). In other words, there is a possibility that the movie studios will demand this new copy protection and the people who bought the HD-DVD attachment for the old 360 would be unable to play new HD-DVD's"

        Correct. It's called the Image Constraint Token (ICT) [wikipedia.org] and it will reduce the resolution of Bl

    • Actually there is a slight difference between HDMI and DVI. While both cables can support a signal up to 1080p (1080 lines of Video(1080) all refreshed at the same time (p = progressive); the major difference is that HDMI also includes the audio so you only need 2 or 3 total wires for your xbox 360. Theses wires of course are power, HDMI (Video and Sound), and possible an ethernet cord. The real advantage of HDMI is involved if you have an HD DVD drive add-on. To enjoy the video at full quality you need
  • No HD-DVD? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bym051d (980242) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @12:56PM (#18431669)
    Why not build it in for the elite version? Now, you not only have to worry about adding a drive on, but you have to search to get on that's the same color.
    • by Namarrgon (105036)

      Because:

      • It would add a lot more to the price
      • It would turn off everyone who doesn't want HD-DVD
      • It would tie them to a format that may not succeed
      • It would piss off a lot of existing customers
      • It couldn't be used for anything except movies anyway
      • Microsoft have stated, repeatedly and unambiguously, that they will not do this
    • by valathax (916966)
      It is stupid to use a single drive from playing both movies and games because the lasers are only rated for 10,000 hours. This means just like the PS2's that are used as a DVD player and Game player they die after 3 years because of laser failures.
  • HDMI cable? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kmcrober (194430) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @12:56PM (#18431687)
    Does anyone know whether this means that there will be an HDMI cable released for the existing models? I've poked around the news releases, but haven't seen any mention of it.
    • by Seumas (6865)
      Buy yourself the Monster Xbox 360 Component cable [amazon.com] for $45. If you have a good television, the difference between a good component-out and that which comes in the box is very noticeable.

      Obviously, I haven't yet compared it to the HDMI-out, but I don't know that it is going to be better than a quality component-out. I'll wait until someone has had the chance to test and compare them before I bother getting excited over an HDMI cable.

      As I said in another post in this thread I am not an A/V geek. However, as be
      • by kmcrober (194430)
        I have a decent TV - 40something inch DLP - hooked up via VGA, as I'd heard it was a crisper image. Is the difference between that and component (or between component and Monster component) really visible? I'm mostly interested in HDMI because I could free up an optical port on my receiver by routing audio through the TV.

        Thanks for the advice re: HDCP. I share your skepticism, but I'm willing to put up with a certain amount of DRM in this context because I don't use the 360 for anything but games and HD-
        • by Seumas (6865)
          I'm not really an A/V geek by any means. I have a really high end system, but I had to do a lot of research on that as I was making my purchase decisions and also rely on a lot of educated people I knew to help guide me.

          That said, the component cables provided out of the box with the off the shelf Xbox 360 are not of the highest quality. They are not terrible by any means, but I noticed a significant improvement in my system when I replaced them with the Monster Xbox 360 Component cables. And at the time, t
          • by kmcrober (194430)
            Interesting. You've just about convinced me to try some Monster cables (I can always return them if I can't see the difference, after all), but I need to do some research and see if the 360 will upscale DVDs across a component out. I've heard conflicting things in that regard. Yes, I do have an extra HDMI port, but it's sounding as if the existing 360 models just aren't equipped for digital output. Shame.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MikeBabcock (65886)
          Current versions of HDMI are capable of outputting more bits per pixel than component video as well as a wider range of blacks and whites (that is, more shades, and darker black and brighter white too). It is also capable of carrying the higher bandwidth audio feeds that won't work over optical (or even coax) digital audio connectors. This matters if the system in question can output 7.1 uncompressed (or higher) which wouldn't work without HDMI cables to carry the signal.

          Dolby Digital 5.1 sounds very good
          • by kmcrober (194430)
            Thanks for the advice. You're correct that I, at least, don't have the equipment for uncompressed PCM; I'm not sure I have the ears for it, either. I'm relatively insensitive to sound quality, as long as it's coming from more than one direction.

            Do you know whether the 360 upscales DVDs when outputting component video?
            • Since it has a hardware upscaler, I'd be surprised if it doesn't.

              I don't however own one ... I bought a PS3 so I could watch Blu-Ray movies with 7.1 uncompressed audio :-). I do wish the PS3 upscaled however.
      • by bym051d (980242)
        Who really cares. Unless you buy the uber expensive brands, they're not that expensive. Just like the PS3, as long as it has an HDMI port and doesn't require you to use a proprietary connection, I don't care having to pick up my own.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MooseMuffin (799896)
      No there won't be. The current 360 models only can output an analog signal.
  • Honeslty, I've been waiting for an HDMI 360 with built-in HD-DVD drive. The latter doesn't seem to be the case though; but I'd buy a second 360, the elite, if it had and keep the "old" model in my room next to the PC to test my XNA projects. I'd love to have the HD-DVD functionality in my living room, but the add-on drive, like all add-ons, is clunky and ugly.

    Without built-in HD-DVD its worthless to me.

    For about a hundred bucks I can pick up a 120gig drive and a copy of Norton Ghost, clone my data over to t
    • Two problems with including HD-DVD
      1. BR is going to beat HD-DVD in the movie format war, so why should Microsoft go thru that unnecessary expense? Xbox 360 Users that really want HD-DVD can get the HD-DVD add-on.

      2. Including HD-DVD would make the console cost $600. This would make the PS3's price seem "reasonable" to customers, and customers that wouldn've shunned the PS3 in favor of Xbox360 would be tempted to go with PS3 instead.
    • Seriously.
      Though I'm not about to start buying HD discs, I'd certainly netflix the hell out of them if i could get a gaming system w/ HD DVD capacity for the same price as the commercially available HD DVD players.
      I've got a Wii. I dont *need* a 360. But its hellof fun, and if it was going to pull double duty, I'd snap one up in a second.
      But I guess that would make too much sense for M$.
    • by lmnfrs (829146)

      "For about a hundred bucks I can pick up a 120gig drive and a copy of Norton Ghost, clone my data over to the new drive and slap it into the 360 (yes, this actually works.)"

      It does? It used to be that you could finagle another drive into functioning, but any additional space was unusable. I started poking around and haven't found anything new yet.. But apparently its been known for a few months that a 120GB was coming in the near future.

    • by makomk (752139)
      As far as I know, you can't upgrade the Xbox360 HD like that - something about a (presumably digitally signed) hash of the serial number, model number and drive size.
  • $480 is way too much (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I can spend $20 more and get a PS3 that has Blu-Ray, free online and Cell processor. This is a disaster for Microsoft, they are tripping up big time. Looks like PS3 is about to dominate.
  • This is a smart move. The huge advantage Microsoft has over Sony is that they can price their systems $200 lower by not including HD-DVD. If HD-DVD were to take off, 2 years down the line, and prices of high-frequency lasers drop, it would definitely be worth it. But for now, HD media is a novelty and it simply means that Microsoft can continue to kick Sony's ass in terms of price. Due to the fact that Microsoft has basically allowed the arguement of "The PS3 is more powerful, but $200 more expensive" to go
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's not an advantage, it's stupidity. It means that all 360 games will have to be shipped on DVD from now until forever. Meanwhile PS3 has double layer Blu-Ray = 50GB of storage for games.

      360 users will have fun swapping out six discs all the time for that RPG.
      • by cheekyboy (598084)
        Aslong as each of the 6 DVDs can be bootable, and it takes weeks to progress far enough to go to
        the next dvd, its a non issue. And as long as you dont need to go backwards either.

        I also suggest a bit more aggressive modern compression in all data types and design.

        Bluray can lead to sloppy design that duplicates 1 300meg video scene 7 times for each language.
        • by 7Prime (871679)

          Aslong as each of the 6 DVDs can be bootable, and it takes weeks to progress far enough to go to the next dvd, its a non issue. And as long as you dont need to go backwards either.

          Bingo. No one cared, in the slightest, in Final Fantasy 7-9 about having to switch discs after every 15 hours of gameplay. The only game that was ever maddening because of this was Riven, in which you were required to switch between 5 CDs, one for each island (of which you could walk across in 30secs later on in the game). This wa

      • by tepples (727027)

        360 users will have fun swapping out six discs all the time for that RPG.

        No, developers will have fun making procedural content. If the space combat and trading sim Elite can fit in 48 KiB [wikipedia.org], a first-person shooter can fit in 96 KiB [wikipedia.org], and Final Fantasy I through FFVI combined can fit in under 12,000 KiB, then a careful developer could fit a lot of role-playing into the 8,000,000 KiB of an Xbox 360 Game Disc.

    • How much lower? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149)
      The huge advantage Microsoft has over Sony is that they can price their systems $200 lower

      Except that they are really only charging $30 lower with this Elite model compared to the base PS3.

      And the online match play is free with the PS3.

      How was that a huge advantage again?
      • by trdrstv (986999)
        The huge advantage Microsoft has over Sony is that they can price their systems $200 lower

        Except that they are really only charging $30 lower with this Elite model compared to the base PS3.

        And the online match play is free with the PS3.

        How was that a huge advantage again?

        The advantage is they have muliple price points and the added features are modular (except the HDMI port obviously). Not everyone wants online gaming, or HD movies, or even a HDD (not particularly usefull unless you at least sign u

        • The advantage is they have muliple price points and the added features are modular (except the HDMI port obviously). Not everyone wants online gaming, or HD movies, or even a HDD (not particularly usefull unless you at least sign up for live silver).

          The HDD "Not particularly useful"? The HDD is quite useful for caching game content, or downloading new game content, or downloading demos. What is not useful is making it an optional part of the system, that was a mistake from Day 1 - in consoles you do not w
          • The advantage is they have muliple price points and the added features are modular (except the HDMI port obviously). Not everyone wants online gaming, or HD movies, or even a HDD (not particularly usefull unless you at least sign up for live silver).

            The HDD "Not particularly useful"? The HDD is quite useful for caching game content, or downloading new game content, or downloading demos. What is not useful is making it an optional part of the system, that was a mistake from Day 1 - in consoles you do not

    • by stewbee (1019450)
      While I agree to some extent with your post, I would have to think that MS would not add $200 blindly to the cost of the system to compensate for the addition of the HD-DVD drive. They would make the additional price only $150, for example. That way the budget shopper would see that they could buy the XBox 360 + HD-DVD player = $600, or they could buy them as a single unit and only pay $550. The $50 dollar price difference would probably get people that were on the fence to buy the elite or not to actually
      • by 7Prime (871679)
        I don't really understand why the 360 has any connection to HD-DVD in the first place. None of the games are HD-DVD, and (hopefully) that will stay that way in order to maintain compatability. What's more is that the HD-DVD player is a separate unit. So, basically, if you buy an XBox 360, you can buy a separate HD-DVD player for only $200! (sounds like a silly infomercial). Let's not fool ourselves, the 360 is NOT an HD-DVD console. Obviously, the price is very nice, since you're not having to pay another $
  • What if it's an April Fools joke. The magazine comes out in April and claims that M$ is releasing a new Xbox in April. Not sure if this will happen, but if it does I imagine there will be a lot of problems for Game Informer.
    • by scott666 (1008567)
      The Kotaku article I read said the editor of GI contacted him and told him it was legit, apparently they're against April fools issues.
  • And still no slot-loading drive...

Hold on to the root.

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