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Microsoft Drops Xbox 360 Pricing

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the more-or-less dept.

Microsoft 169

Kawahee was one of several readers to tip news of a price cut for the Xbox 360. This comes after Sony dropped PS3 prices and unveiled the Slim model last week. The 360 Elite will now retail for $299, but will no longer ship with HD cables. The 360 Pro has been reduced to $249, but Microsoft is phasing it out. Analysts don't expect this new price point to be a huge boon for sales because the Elite doesn't match the PS3's hardware capabilities and is still more expensive than the Wii. Microsoft has "no plans" for a smaller version of the 360.

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MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#29220845)

The 360 is nearing the end of the typical console lifespan (which has always been about 5 years, give or take) and is getting a bit long in the tooth anyway. A DVD drive and 4-year-old CPU are already starting to hold it back (several new games are coming out for it that will have to span across several DVD's, versus one bluray for the PS3). They really should be looking at a new generation console soon (for 2010 or, at least, 2011). If they wait too long, Sony is going to start trouncing them with the stronger hardware of the PS3.

And this time MS, for the love of God, please put some effort into making a hardware design that doesn't cause another RROD fiasco, or take a step BACKWARDS with no standard hard drive. That was just shameful.

On a personal note, how about making your online architecture a little more friendly to MMO's? The PS3 has several in the pipeline, and you don't have any. There are only so many FPS's and racing games I can put up with before I want some innovation. Backwards compatibility probably wouldn't hurt either. Just my opinion.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#29220905)

And this time MS, for the love of God, please put some effort into making a ... design that doesn't cause another ... fiasco, or take a step BACKWARDS ... That was just shameful.

Oh, wow. Somehow, this just gave me a really strong feeling of deja vu.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (2, Insightful)

d3l33t (1106803) | more than 5 years ago | (#29220923)

They cant afford to drop the current software development cycle. Why do you think every other console figures a minimum 8 year cycle.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221017)

The standard has always been 5 years, even through the early 80's console collapse and several recessions. IMHO, any console maker who ignores this (especially in this competitive market) does so at their own peril. It was Sony's attempt to drag out the PS2 cycle to 6 years that allowed the 360 to finally gain a foothold over Sony to begin with.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (2, Insightful)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221179)

Given that the PS2 still has a good number of units sold every month and is close to what the 360 sells they are probably thinking this is becoming a 10 year cycle or something longer. Nintendo was right when they said that more expensive hardware wasnt needed for more advanced game development. MS just needs to make their system cheaper and more reliable.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29220975)

if you want mmo's backwards combatability and a hard drive stop dicking around with consoles and get a PC.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (2, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221063)

If you want backwards compatibility, shouldn't you get an XBOX 180?

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222201)

If you want backwards compatibility, shouldn't you get an XBOX 180?

Isn't that the number of Kilos the original Xbox weighed in at? *badum-shh*

Yay, jokes from the turn of the century!

I'm very sorry... :(

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221083)

I would point out the multitude of problems with that response, but I'm not going to start yet another PC vs. console pissing contest, thank you. Suffice it to say that the PS3 is getting some MMO's on their console finally, but MS is not. And I think a truly next generation console needs to expand its capabilities to handle all game genres.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222339)

there's nothing stopping consoles from having MMOs hardware wise. the reason that no one's making one for XBOX is because MS doesn't like monthly subscriptions on XBOX Live.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

Lietenant_Dance (1626289) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222797)

You mean like the monthly subscription they charge for XBOX Live?

They probably are. . . (2, Interesting)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221055)

It's been my experience that, when the 'new, smaller, cheaper' version of a console comes out, the next-gen console is probably only a year or two away. I think it's pretty clear they're not coming out with a next gen console this year (too late in the year with no hype; if you plan to release a new console, you target a Sept-Oct release timeframe, so that hopefully people buy them for Christmas, and you begin the hype 6 months or a year beforehand), but they could be planning a 2010 or 2011 release of a new console.

Re:They probably are. . . (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222833)

FYI, microsoft has already well discussed the next gen coming in 2012. I gotta get to class, but if you need a reference i betcha google can do it quick.

Ciao.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

sick_em (1603731) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221059)

If I remember correctly, Microsoft seems to be positioning Project Natal as a sort of new console launch. The dvd problem is mitigated in their eyes by the introduction of digital downloads (although some consumers do not regard them as equal. As for the RROD, console hardware gets new revisions during its lifetime. The 360 has been through three or four of them I think. Combine more efficient hardware revisions, improved hard drive capabilities (please let us install our own....), and a new software interaction paradigm and you can get something resembling a new console. side note: as a graphics programmer, it seems to me that we're reaching a point of diminishing returns in real-time realism. its to the point where some developers choose a less realistic look to avoid the uncanny valley, and real time ray-tracing not being hungrily pursued by everyone due to raster algorithms being "good enough"

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (3, Interesting)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221601)

Not that I care about consoles, but if I did I still don't see myself downloading a multi-DVD game to play on one.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (5, Informative)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221173)

I think that they're going to stick with the Xbox 360 for a while longer.

First of all, they have previously stated that they wanted to be profitable this go around. Even though Windows and Word are still a large cash cow for Microsoft, they can't afford to continue to bleed money in other divisions. They probably would reach profitability on this current generation and have started making up for the losses of the original Xbox if they hadn't run into the red ring problems. That probably set them back a year or so at least.

They're also in no real danger of being one-upped by Sony either. The PS3 may have technical superiority, but it's not by a large enough margin to cause people to move away from the Xbox 360. Sony also has a lot of costs to recoup as well and it doesn't appear as though they're in a hurry to release a new console any time soon.

It also seems as though Nintendo has begun to hit market saturation with the Wii at its current price. The sales have been down over the last few months and there's still no word of a price cut. I'm expecting one around Christmas, but they may be running out of steam. If anyone needs to come out with a new piece of hardware it's Nintendo.

If they announce a new system in the near future, sales of their current generation will probably tank. At that point Sony will be able to catch them in sales and they'll end up as the also ran of the current generation. It's likely that they're discussing hardware options for a future console at this point and possibly sharing some of that information with third parties that they'd like to keep close. It's also unlikely that they'll rush in attempt to be the first out of the door as it cost them a lot this time around.

They're also between a rock and a hard place in terms of making a decision of whether they'll move heavily towards digital distribution. They probably don't want to put a Blu-ray drive in their next machine as it increases the cost and justifies Sony's position. A DVD drive likely won't cut it for the next generation of games and the hard drives being included in consoles aren't there in terms of size yet. They'll need at least 500 GB drives if they want to move towards digital distribution and given the drives consoles are currently shipping with it will probably be another 2 years before 500 GB drives come standard. I don't foresee Microsoft using a PPC chip in their next console either which will probably kill backwards compatibility or add to the cost of the machine if they decide to support it.

They likely have plans, but I don't expect them to make any moves until either Sony or Nintendo does something first. My bet is on Nintendo just because they're flush with cash and really lagging behind in terms of hardware, especially with both Sony and Microsoft releasing motion control features in the near future.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (3, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221865)

It also seems as though Nintendo has begun to hit market saturation with the Wii at its current price. The sales have been down over the last few months and there's still no word of a price cut. I'm expecting one around Christmas, but they may be running out of steam. If anyone needs to come out with a new piece of hardware it's Nintendo.

No, they just went without a killer app for too long. Their strategy does not allow for pricedrops that quickly, especially when it's known what needs to be done to restore the sales without a pricedrop (namely releasing more killer apps). Besides, they just came out with a new piece of hardware called the Motion Plus. Since they don't consider graphics and processing that important they won't release a new system just to upgrade those.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (3, Insightful)

thule (9041) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222161)

It also seems as though Nintendo has begun to hit market saturation with the Wii at its current price. The sales have been down over the last few months and there's still no word of a price cut. I'm expecting one around Christmas, but they may be running out of steam. If anyone needs to come out with a new piece of hardware it's Nintendo.

Nintendo is blue ocean. They are not trying to compete in the red ocean that is Xbox and PS3. MS and Sony have to price cut because they are fighting over the same pie.

The Wii is finally getting some interesting third party games. The MotionPlus is awesome and makes a huge difference in certain types of games. Less "waggle" and more precision. Nintendo really doesn't need to do anything right now. Sure, they'll have an HD console someday, but for now, the Wii is doing just fine.

A lot of people think that New Super Mario Wii is going to be HUGE (especially in Japan).

They likely have plans, but I don't expect them to make any moves until either Sony or Nintendo does something first. My bet is on Nintendo just because they're flush with cash and really lagging behind in terms of hardware, especially with both Sony and Microsoft releasing motion control features in the near future.

This is exactly why hardware performance doesn't matter. Nintendo *is* flush with cash and has moved many, many more units and they did it with lesser hardware! They weren't fighting over the current "hardcore" market. They were going after expanded market.

For the "hardcore" crowd, the PS3 is the way to go and MS could end up loosing some share to Sony.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

steveha (103154) | more than 5 years ago | (#29223659)

If anyone needs to come out with a new piece of hardware it's Nintendo.

I'm not sure this is true. Isn't the console market sort of a "not much profit on the razor but huge profit on the razor blades" sort of market? In other words, given that the Wii has been a huge smash success, aren't they cleaning up on game licensing revenues? Given how many units they have out in the market, do they really care if sales slow down a bit?

[Microsoft may] move heavily towards digital distribution.

Yes, everyone will. A problem, though, is that if DVDs aren't big enough for a game in the next few years, then downloading that game will take forever with most available broadband.

They could go to a Steam-like system where a game can trickle down the wire over the course of weeks, but that implies getting customers to pre-order the games for download delivery, and the customers leaving their video games powered up and connected to broadband. It will happen someday, but I don't think Microsoft can afford to leave an optical drive off the next gen. Maybe the gen after that...

They probably don't want to put a Blu-ray drive in their next machine as it increases the cost and justifies Sony's position.

Increases costs? Yes, but if they are limited by DVD capacity, it's the only solution.

Justifies Sony's position? Perhaps, but if they need it, they need it. Microsoft rarely makes "cut off nose to spite face" decisions.

I don't foresee Microsoft using a PPC chip in their next console either

Now that's the most interesting comment you made. Why not? On what do you base this comment? Have developers expressed dissatisfaction with PPC? If not PPC, then what? Does Microsoft want to start buying Intel?

steveha

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (5, Insightful)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221177)

On a personal note, how about making your online architecture a little more friendly to MMO's? The PS3 has several in the pipeline, and you don't have any.

Wrong. [teamxbox.com]

If they wait too long, Sony is going to start trouncing them with the stronger hardware of the PS3.

Sony has had over 3 years to "trounce" them. This hasn't happened yet. Why would the stronger hardware aspect of the PS3 all of the sudden start attracting gamers away from the 360?

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29222057)

The PS3 no longer costs $200 more? It also plays Bluray movies? People already have 360s and it seems like an upgrade?

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

funky49 (182835) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222627)

Why would the stronger hardware aspect of the PS3 all of the sudden start attracting gamers away from the 360?

The trouncing would come due to the PS3's stronger horsepower being reflected in games while the X360 games stagnate. Since there is 'room to grow' in terms of BR versus DVD discs and SPUs to be tapped on the PS3, it is more future-proofed than the X360. As Microsoft wants to recoup development costs for the Xbox consoles, they will stick with the X360 longer which will make the PS3 look more and more favorable.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (0, Redundant)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222869)

Why would the stronger hardware aspect of the PS3 all of the sudden start attracting gamers away from the 360?

The trouncing would come due to the PS3's stronger horsepower being reflected in games while the X360 games stagnate. Since there is 'room to grow' in terms of BR versus DVD discs and SPUs to be tapped on the PS3, it is more future-proofed than the X360. As Microsoft wants to recoup development costs for the Xbox consoles, they will stick with the X360 longer which will make the PS3 look more and more favorable.

echo!

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

Mattb90 (666532) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222705)

That list actually highlights the issue with MMOs on the Xbox 360:
- Age of Conan: "development hell", though still possible
- All Points Bulletin: not confirmed for any consoles yet (check this at gamescom last week)
- Champions Online: may actually come to 360
- CrimeCraft: not confirmed for any consoles yet
- Huxley: "development hell", looking less and less likely
- Kingdom Under Fire II: may come out, and will be on 360, but we've not seen the MMO part yet, and it's still got a vague 2010 release date
- Marvel MMOG & Marvel Universe Online (same thing: cancelled by Microsoft, parts became Champions Online
- Stargate Worlds: not confirmed for any consoles
- The Secret World: as Age of Conan (same developer, except even PC version is still rather vague).

That's not really a great list in the end. There are likely various reasons behind these issues, including development costs, but I'm sure Microsoft's tight grip on Xbox Live is part of the problem. Of course, console MMOs in general are an issue, as we have yet to see one on the PS3 either, though DC Universe is getting there, and SOE have a couple more on the way, along with Square Enix's FFXIV, of course (which itself may end up on 360, once they are able to negotiate the Live issues).

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (2, Interesting)

222 (551054) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222713)

Hardware sales have more or less been in line with each other when release dates are aligned. The Xbox obviously has higher total numbers given its earlier release. Cost wise the PS3 has a substantial advantage (Free online play, built in wifi, blu-ray player)

Exclusives are a fair split these days, IMHO, a PS3 exclusive tends to look better than an Xbox exclusive. [Note: I OWN AN XBOX, AND LOVE IT. Quick plug... my PSN and XBL name is Malcorin :- ) Feel free to add me.]

I think a lot of hardcore gamers would like to have both, and $299 is a price which seems to make that realistic. To quote a close friend of mine, "The price drop was exactly what I was waiting for".

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221323)

The 360 is nearing the end of the typical console lifespan (which has always been about 5 years, give or take) and is getting a bit long in the tooth anyway.

I disagree. I'd rather not have to buy another console, the wii has, for better or worse, seems to have shifted console makers' focus off of cutting edge graphics to making it appealing to people who play fewer games. See project NATAL: that's not for people who play a lot of games, that's for the families, for parents, for party games, etc.

DVD player holding it back? Maybe there are some people who get irrationally angry and violent when they have to change discs, but I managed to play many games on the PSone which were on multiple discs without breaking down and crying. It's really not a big deal. If it saves me even a hundred bucks from not having to buy a bluray player with my console, I'm completely fine with changing discs.

CPU also I don't know about. I think the graphics are fine. And it's not going to happen because of computing power anyway: MS isn't going to spend a ton of money developing a more powerful console, when the console that's selling the best has about as much computing power as the first XBOX. Not saying that's the best reason to not have a new generation with a better CPU...

If they wait too long, Sony is going to start trouncing them with the stronger hardware of the PS3.

As I understand it, MS is already losing money on the 360. And of course, the wii is trouncing both of them.

On a personal note, how about making your online architecture a little more friendly to MMO's? The PS3 has several in the pipeline, and you don't have any. There are only so many FPS's and racing games I can put up with before I want some innovation.

MMOs= innovation? Really? I've seen plenty of innovative FPS and racing games. If you are a fan of MMO, ask for MMO because you want MMO, but don't confuse lack of MMO with lack of innovation.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221869)

with the stronger hardware of the PS3

Sony's marketing team trumpets many things... but the fact is that Xbox 360 is more powerful then PS3 if you mean to use it for programing and rendering games, Google Valve or Activision and read their opinions regarding the matter.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222439)

In point of fact they're lying through their teeth if they're actually claiming that it's less powerful for such activities. It's much more powerful, the problem is programming for it is completely different than programming for a strictly CISC platform. This means all the guys you have programming for the PC have to learn a new programming set, or pass the work off to people who weren't initially involved. From Valve's standpoint, it certainly would have been a better move never to develop for the PS3, but that's primarily because they cater to a market that consoles generally can't touch.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222873)

I would still trust more western developers then Japanese marketing trumpet here.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29222951)

In point of fact they're lying through their teeth if they're actually claiming that it's less powerful for such activities. It's much more powerful, the problem is programming for it is completely different than programming for a strictly CISC platform. This means all the guys you have programming for the PC have to learn a new programming set, or pass the work off to people who weren't initially involved. From Valve's standpoint, it certainly would have been a better move never to develop for the PS3, but that's primarily because they cater to a market that consoles generally can't touch.

False.

The XBox 360 has a faster and more flexible GPU than the PS3. The PS3's CPU is better at doing floating point than the 360's, BUT developers don't need much floating point work done on the CPU. The PS3 has a very crappy real CPU (as in, a general processor) that has a bunch of very fast BUT very specialized ALUs bolted on. Unfortunately for the PS3, this doesn't help in games. Physics could leverage that, BUT the 360's CPU is also plenty fast for physics work as well.

The PS3 can technically out render the 360, but when it comes to typical game architectures the 360 is the superior platform. Hence why PS3 graphics ultimately don't look any better than 360 ones, because the actual bottleneck of the system (the GPU) is stronger on the 360 than the PS3. And before you start pointing at games like Killzone 2, it isn't the PS3's hardware that made that game look good but the ridiculous amount of optimizations in the game as well as the design of the levels themselves.

Also, even when considering raw floating point power, the PS3 really doesn't have all that much of an edge. We are talking 400 vs. 350 GFLOPs (PS3 vs. 360). Both are pathetically slow compared to $100 video cards that have already hit 1 TFLOP.

why not just upgrade the CPU and GPU? (1)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221921)

Why does every console seem to be a complete , from scratch, design. Why couldn't the next Xbox 360 be evolutionary. Upgrade the 3 core PowerPC chip to a 4-6 core at higher clock rate. Upgrade the ATI GPU to the correpsoding latest tech.

That way the developers could hit the ground running with slightly modified dev tools and "A" rated titles could be available very early on in the consoles life which helps decide a "victor".

Like wise sony could do the same, I am under the impression that cell was designed to be modular, so how about 2-4 of the latest die shrunk cells int eh next console with latest nvidia GPU tech.

Re:why not just upgrade the CPU and GPU? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222119)

Why does every console seem to be a complete , from scratch, design.

Because developers discovered that the old design had run into fundamental bottlenecks after three Moore density doublings. That's why the GameCube and Game Boy Advance were redesigns. But the Wii, DS, and DSi were evolutionary, just as you recommend.

That way the developers could hit the ground running with slightly modified dev tools

That worked for Wii developers (Wii is an overclocked GCN with more RAM and a USB controller). It worked in a different way for Xbox and Xbox 360 developers (they use a variant of DirectX).

Re:why not just upgrade the CPU and GPU? (1)

jasonhamilton (673330) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222381)

At that point, it's called a desktop computer and not a console.

Re:why not just upgrade the CPU and GPU? (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#29223063)

Microsoft made a mistake using a PowerPC chip, that's the problem. They should have stuck with x86 chips. Then they could load up a 32nm, 8 core CPU in late 2010 and have NVidia and ATI compete to pick the graphics chip, and developers would see more power, a new DirectX version, but otherwise a similar development experience.

PowerPC... Seriously, smart decision there Microsoft.

For that matter, Cell was a stupid choice too. Mainstream x86_64 chips are now the only logical choice for a high end console, but both major console makers have F'ed themselves.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222089)

My XBox 360 has actually been more reliable than my PS3, which has died twice (one a failed HD that I replaced myself, once YLOD that required a $150 replacement from Sony). Of course, that may in part be because the 360 is so noisy that I never forget to turn it off when I"m done using it, while I leave the PS3 running continuously and donate time to the Folding@home project

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

Vexor (947598) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222209)

...how about making your online architecture a little more friendly to MMO's? The PS3 has several in the pipeline, and you don't have any. There are only so many FPS's and racing games I can put up with before I want some innovation. Backwards compatibility probably wouldn't hurt either. Just my opinion.

Champions Online (see: MMO) is slated for a 360 release at somepoint in the future. At one time Age of Conan was, but that seems to have vanished.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222733)

Unfortunately, Champions Online got pushed from a set release date to "To be announced" recently (just like 360 version of Age of Conan did just before it disappeared). I suspect the 360 version is now dead.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222547)

Final Fantasy XI works fine on the 360. No live gold required...

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222687)

I'm not talking about godawful PS2 ports. I mean a modern MMO, obviously.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (4, Interesting)

not already in use (972294) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222949)

A DVD drive and 4-year-old CPU are already starting to hold it back (several new games are coming out for it that will have to span across several DVD's, versus one bluray for the PS3).

DVD is still a perfectly capable medium for video games. If you think the increased cost of a blu-ray drive is justified by the handful of games that happen to be bigger than a single DVD, you're smoking crack.

and 4-year-old CPU... If they wait too long, Sony is going to start trouncing them with the stronger hardware of the PS3.

How do you figure? Microsoft's 4-year old processor has kept up with Sony's, wait for it.... 4 year old processor. The Cell, by the way, hasn't lived up to the hype, unless of course you like running folding@home. Otherwise, the PS3 architecture is not a good fit for game development. The reason the 360 is trouncing the PS3 is not only because of cost, but because it is far easier to develop for.

The PS3 has several in the pipeline, and you don't have any.

If by that you mean the XBox has Final Fantasy 11 and Phantasy Star Universe, and the PS3 has none, then sure, I agree with this statement wholeheartedly.

There are only so many FPS's and racing games I can put up with before I want some innovation.

Yup. This is Microsoft's fault.

Honestly... who modded this insightful??

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#29223225)

Ugh, I totally disagree. Games on the 360 are just fine for this gen. Graphics are good and I enjoy the box. If people have to put games on multiple discs, fine, that isn't a big deal. It doesn't look any worse than the PS3. The lifecycles of game consoles need to be longer both for the company's profits and because there isn't anything that is going to give the consumer a significant change. We aren't seeing the NES to super nintendo differences anymore. So let's give more time for the technology to improve.

And I am not sure what you are talking about as far as FPS and racing games. It has the best RPGs of all the consoles.

Re:MS needs to be thinking about the 720 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29223357)

I don't know. I think hardware across the computing world has pulled ahead of software for once. Obviously nothing will last for ever, but I think this is one of those rare times when hardware companies can afford to stagnate while developers figure out how to actually take advantage of all the new technologies that have dropped on us in a few short years.

Keep Trying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29220929)

Now all that Microsoft has to do is add built in WiFi, somehow earn a reputation for reliability, reduce the amount of sound the Xbox 360 produces, and they might be ready for the big leagues.

What's that? The X-Box 360 has by far the largest market share (other than the wii-toy)?

I guess that means that Sony screwed up their launch pretty freaking badly.

Re:Keep Trying (2, Insightful)

matang (731781) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221105)

"wii toy" - right, because the other two are deal-making, shuttle launching, techno-heavy pieces of equipment. "hey guys, we better get some xbox360s in here before people stop taking us seriously."

Re:Keep Trying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29221231)

Hush, hush, don't try. He's "hardcore" and "elite" with his gaming, "yo". Just reassure him that if he keeps on plugging his ears, closing his eyes, yelling loudly, and ignoring it, maybe the Wii will just go away. That'll at least shut him up for a few hours. It's the only way to get any peace and quiet from people like him, because his mind is too "hardcore" for us.

Re:Keep Trying (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221917)

What's that? The X-Box 360 has by far the largest market share (other than the wii-toy)?

And Linux has by far the biggest desktop marketshare besides the proprietary crap. Insulting the market leader doesn't make him disappear.

I might finally buy one.... (1, Redundant)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221011)

The price drop does make the unit a little more attractive, especially since it now does Netflix streaming as well. I was thinking about getting another Roku box, but this makes the Xbox 360 a more likely purchase. The fact that it can play games is a spiffy feature as well. :)

Although, "Left 4 Dead" might eat up what little free time that I have....

Re:I might finally buy one.... (0)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221305)

There are a lot of cheaper alternatives than a 360 and an Xbox Live subscription for streaming Netflix to your television.

Re:I might finally buy one.... (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#29223125)

Be forewarned that Netfix on Xbox 360 requires a subscription to Xbox LIVE Gold at fifty bucks a year.

-Peter

Low-end HDMI Cables (3, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221057)

Low-end HDMI Cables are about $3 on MonoPrice.com, etc. Not a big loss, but a bit inconvenient if you don't have a couple lying around. I hope this doesn't boost sales of Monster cables.

Re:Low-end HDMI Cables (-1, Flamebait)

Krypto420 (652140) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221203)

Xbox 360 doesn't transmit the audio over HDMI and the standard component/optical adapter that comes with it does not leave enough room for you to have both cables plugged in at the same time. It's not a hardware limitation, but rather a physical one. I guess you could hack up the standard cable to make room for the HDMI though...

Re:Low-end HDMI Cables (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29221383)

Xbox 360 doesn't transmit the audio over HDMI

That's not right, check you cable or connections. Many of us are HDMI only with the 360.

Re:Low-end HDMI Cables (1)

c_jonescc (528041) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221411)

sound certainly goes through HDMI on my machine...

Re:Low-end HDMI Cables (1)

do0b (1617057) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221423)

What are you talking about? The cable leaves plenty of space for a hdmi connector, unless you're using some sort of moster cable. The Elite version came with a second dongle that only had optical out and rca audio out that leaves plenty of space for a hdmi cable to fit in the connector.

Re:Low-end HDMI Cables (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29221439)

xbox 360 damn well does full audio over HDMI... either that or some magic voodoo is providing me with dolby digital sound, because thats the only thing connected to my reciever. The elite does ship with an adapter that allows you to use both the optical or RCA audio jacks with the hdmi cable if thats what you want.

Re:Low-end HDMI Cables (1)

adamstew (909658) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221513)

I have a 360. Hooked to my TV. With an HDMI cable. It most certainly transmits the audio to the TV via the HDMI cable and my TV then passes the audio right along to my receiver.

Re:Low-end HDMI Cables (1)

SighKoPath (956085) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221837)

If you don't have sound with your 360's HDMI, it's likely a problem with your TV. I've got a Westinghouse LCD HDTV, and it has problems with HDMI audio every month or so. It'll keep showing the video, but no audio at all over HDMI. The only solution I've found is to unplug the TV's power, wait a minute, then plug it back in. It's a pain, but like everyone else has said, the 360 certainly has HDMI audio, and that's what I have to do to keep it working with my TV.

Re:Low-end HDMI Cables (1)

poormanjoe (889634) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221333)

I am a netflix subscriber, and have recently begun watching Netflix on Mozilla! This makes me wonder, with the "Instal other OS" option of the PS3 would I be able to watch Netflix on a GUN/linux Mozilla browser? This certantly would not be a selling point for the average person, but a fun project for current owners. This would put the PS3 further up as the hardcore gaming council king over the 360, to include games. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Low-end HDMI Cables (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221505)

Or you could just use the built-in netflix client on the 360....

Re:Low-end HDMI Cables (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221575)

I am a netflix subscriber, and have recently begun watching Netflix on Mozilla! This makes me wonder, with the "Instal other OS" option of the PS3 would I be able to watch Netflix on a GUN/linux Mozilla browser? This certantly would not be a selling point for the average person, but a fun project for current owners. This would put the PS3 further up as the hardcore gaming council king over the 360, to include games. [wikipedia.org]

Do you mean Mozilla or Firefox? I have tried using FF to watch Netflix and it says my browser is not supported, and yes I refuse to install silverlight. Audi over HDMI works, there is just a bu preventing it from working across the board.

Component (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222325)

If you have an older television that needs component cables though, you'll have to shell out $35-40 for the XBox specific ones.

But -$100 +$40 +40GB = still a better deal than before the price drop.

Re:Low-end HDMI Cables (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29222581)

Of course the 360 fanbois were yelling at Sony for not including an HDMI cable... now that the 360 elite won't have one, it's "no big deal".... How odd. :)

I agree with you, for the record... including an HDMI cable isn't necessary or a selling point for me. (The pack-in MS put with the Elites bit hairy butt anyway... if you can find a more cheaply made cable, I've not seen one yet.)

For one (5, Interesting)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221067)

MS need to quit making gamers paid for Xbox Live; granted Sony PS3 network has its' issues but it is free to play. I never like the idea of paying full price for the game then have to pay a monthly/yearly fee to be able to play it online.

why live is worth it (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221541)

Ever notice that there are far less free demos and dlc on Sony's network. In the past I wasted several times the cost of live in an average year buying games that I would have skipped had demo been available, in the long run Live has saved me money. Besides that I have averaged enough freebie's each year to make it worth while anyway.

Sony's business model is why its inferior...the developers have to foot the costs of hosting and bandwidth which causes many of them to just not bother. Add in a more refined interface, full chat, netflix, etc and I will gladly pay my paltry $40 a year for Live.

Re:why live is worth it (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221961)

That's 60€ in Europe... I have no idea why it's so much more expensive but I know I'm not paying that much considering I tend to play online maybe once or twice a month.

Paying For Access To Other'sContent (Re:For one) (1)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222849)

This has been something that has perpetually annoyed me. For instance, subscribers are sending $50 a year to Microsoft to play Infinity Ward's online content. It would be one thing if people were sending that $50 to Infinity Ward but this is going to Microsoft. It always seemed weird gamers where eager to pay Microsoft when they aren't responsible for content or fixing games like Modern Warfare 2 and yet are getting payment for it.

This is compounded by the PC vs console experience where a lot of the features XBox 360 fans fawn over are provided cheaper and easier than $50 a year. Console gamers wonder how dense PC gamers without XBox Live while PC gamers wonder how dense console gamers are when the same technology is all around them for free to use.

Re:For one (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222907)

PSN is totally fine. The 'issues' arguments are an artifact from launch-year era functionality that is since fixed/improved/expanded.

sales are gonna skyrocket (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221101)

I predict at this new price point, sales will skyrocket once MS hits the kill switch on all the remaining XBox360s. With a 54% failure rate [slashdot.org] , people will just figure it's business as usual from owning a 360 and 96% of those people will go out and purchase a new one.

Re:sales are gonna skyrocket (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221211)

They do have a decent guarantee. It sucks to have to send them, but it's free, and reasonably quick.

No plans for a smaller version?? (0, Troll)

spazoid12 (525450) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221119)

Microsoft has "no plans" for a smaller version of the 360.

Oh, you mean something that is even more likely to overheat and would probably exceed the current awesome 50-whatever% failure rate?

Yeah, I want that!

The price drop is interesting..... (3, Interesting)

8127972 (73495) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221267)

.... When they get the reliability improved so that they don't have a 54.2% failure rate [n4g.com] , then I might consider buying one.

Re:The price drop is interesting..... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222015)

Supposedly they have, you have to consider that stat is over the entire lifetime of the thing (and probably on a biased sample but that aside) and it doesn't matter what the reliability of the current ones is since all the old ones still figure into the stat.

Price increase for the UK (2, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221313)

Thanks for using the UK and the exchange rate to boost your profits, cunts.

http://www.edge-online.com/news/xbox-360-elites-price-cut-arcades-raised [edge-online.com]

I'm sure the reason they haven't done this all over Europe is because they're only popular in the UK so they feel they can get away with this.

it's a good move, deal with it. (2, Interesting)

tisch (1371229) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221377)

remember the slogan that nearly killed apple? "what you use at work, you'll use at home." ? well, MS knows this. it's tried and true. they are the only system with a flagship online game of magnitude. no ps3 game can touch it as far as participation goes. "what your friends play, you will play." it doesn't matter that the system is worse for more money, people want to play with other people they know. it's not meerly for gameplay. this is why the wii, the most technically inferior of the three is still going for 250$. people want to play with friends while drunk. nothing wrong with that. ps3 can't get the same feeling for $299, and xbox can't for its new price either. each has their perks. this was a good move by microsoft, and they'll milk the 360 until you can run emulators of the games on netbooks for less money.

Re:it's a good move, deal with it. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222177)

they are the only system with a flagship online game of magnitude.

True, World of Warcraft runs on a Microsoft platform, but you might have forgotten that it also runs on Macs.

Peripherials... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29221431)

The most required price cuts are for the outrageously expensive wifi adapter and the absurdly overpriced 120 gb hard drive. I have an original xbox 360 with 20gb hard drive (only had 1 RROD, hoorray) and I can barely install 1 game, and forget about movie downloads or a couple of demos unless you uninstall that game.

Right now in spain a 120gb harddrive + wifi adapter will actually cost you more than the full xbox 360 arcade pack.

To all you PS3 fanbois, bless Sony for letting you put any hard drive you wish. Believe me, after years fighting with a ridiculous 20gb drive thats one hell of a feature (...insert envy emoticon here...)

WTF Microsoft??!!!!

Re:Peripherials... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222059)

Yeah, I guess 20GB would suck... I've got one of those 60GB ones, that's plenty but I think I have less than 40GB free. The pricedrop means that now all 360s with HDDs come with the 120 GB one so a pricedrop on that part probably won't do that much.

it's not a good deal (1, Interesting)

markringen (1501853) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221589)

1: media capability's are poor 2: dvd plaback is worse than a PS2 3: game will require 4 disks this year 4: no blu-ray. 5: $50 more and u have a blu-ray 6: $50 and you yourself can upgrade the HDD to a 500GB in the future. 7: $50 more and you have xbox live gold, or a PS3 so all-in all it's a pretty bad deal vs the competition. and unlike others i am not an anonymous coward! so if you feel like i am a troll, just think what of what u are first ;)

Re:it's not a good deal (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222009)

I'm impressed with the PS3's media capabilities. I really like the PS3's pseudo-3D menu system. Understated, very easy to navigate, and you always know where you are in a menu hierarchy. The Microsoft interface is typically Microsoft--lots of flashy graphics, but hard to find your way around, and stuffed with advertising. The PS3's prowess as an upscaling DVD player is impressive, comparable to expensive standalone players, and of course it does bluray too. The XBox 360 DVD player, on the other hand, is about the equivalent of one of those $30 players that Best Buy stacks up near the door. The PS3 plays a lot of media formats, although I have seen it fail on some oddball .wmv files that the XBox 360 can manage. I'm not sure why, but I've had more difficulty streaming files from PC to the XBox 360 with UPnP than I have with the PS3.

The only real strength of the XBox 360 as a media center is Netflix, but that's a big advantage if you don't have the same capability somewhere else.

Re:it's not a good deal (2, Insightful)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222115)

Funny that none of the points you mention are about the actual games. I mean, we are talking about games consoles, right? Why not choose the console that has the games you like most, instead of having a pissing contest about dvd playback quality and hard disk size?

Re:it's not a good deal (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222731)

I agree. However, ever since the PS2 the purpose of game consoles has been blurry with all the added media features. Microsoft entered this market in the first place because they wanted to enter the multimedia box market, which Sony was entering.

Re:it's not a good deal (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222163)

"u"? What is this, AOL?

That's a whole lot of talk about media capabilities but you know, I buy videogame consoles for videogames and so do most other people. Listing hardware features is silly. The Wii has the least features on paper (though it has the non-gaming feature I use the most: A weather channel that doesn't require booting the PC or following the TV broadcast schedule) but people buy it at a higher price than the 360 because it has games they want. Listing hardware features is like telling someone they need to get a Mac when they want to run all their Windows-only programs.

Re:it's not a good deal (1)

Mr._Galt (608248) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222251)

unless of course you don't care about blu-ray, or you don't care if a game has more than one disc (a lot of them used to, it wasn't a big deal), or if you want to do things like have custom soundtracks and chat across different games, etc etc Then some people might think it was an ok deal. The PS3 is a solid machine, but people care about different things. Whats important to you, is not necessarily important to me.

Re:it's not a good deal (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222491)

1: media capability's are poor

Unless you're talking about blu-ray (points 3-5), I'd love to hear what you mean. I've been ripping my DVD collection and streaming them from my Windows Home Server. It works equally well on both my PS3 and my Xbox, but I sort of prefer the Xbox's interface, so I typically use that system. Yeah, I wish it supported more video and audio formats, but both systems seem to be fairly limited in that respect.

2: dvd plaback is worse than a PS2

What was your experience with this? The few times I've played DVDs on the 360, it worked just fine. Honestly, though, it's my PS3 that's typically used for DVD playback. I like the Bluetooth remote better than the 360's infrared remote.

3: game will require 4 disks this year 4: no blu-ray. 5: $50 more and u have a blu-ray

Pretty much all the same point here... Yes, the 360 doesn't have blu-ray. Definitely a disadvantage, but honestly, most games are still shipping on a single DVD. It's typically the big RPGs with tons of video that need multiple disks. And yeah, it's sort of a pain, but not THAT big a deal.

6: $50 and you yourself can upgrade the HDD to a 500GB in the future.

Yep, that's a nice feature of the PS3. It would have been nice if the Xbox was user-upgradable as well.

7: $50 more and you have xbox live gold, or a PS3 so all-in all it's a pretty bad deal vs the competition. and unlike others i am not an anonymous coward! so if you feel like i am a troll, just think what of what u are first ;)

I own all three consoles, and the Xbox gets about 95% of my play time, and ALL of my online time. Essentially, when playing with my friends, xbox live is the place to be. It's really as simple as that for me.

Re:it's not a good deal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29222931)

> 1: media capability's are poor

Not true. Idiot.

> 2: dvd plaback is worse than a PS2

Outright lie.

> 3: game will require 4 disks this year

Because changing disks once every 20hrs in an 80hr RPG is really that much of a ballache. Games that require more than one disk are so long that I'm not going to play it in one session anyway, and changing a disc that infrequently is irrelevant.

> 4: no blu-ray

And that matters why on a games machine with downloadable movies including Netflix etc. exactly ?

> 5: $50 more and u have a blu-ray

Why the fuck would I want to pay $50 more for something that's already obsolete to downloadable films?

> 6: $50 and you yourself can upgrade the HDD to a 500GB in the future

What are you on about? 120gb is plenty.

> 7: $50 more and you have xbox live gold, or a PS3

Er, I'll take the cheaper option with more games thanks.

I do not think you're a troll, I just think you're an unintelligent idiot who likes making shit up to try and justify his ignorance.

Have been waiting for this (2, Interesting)

Kalendraf (830012) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221599)

I originally held out buying a 360 until the 65nm processor came out (Falcon version). But then due to the RROD problems, I opted to wait for the 65nm GPU as well (Jasper version). Those have been out for a while now, but it's still somewhat hit or miss as to whether the Elite version you get has a Jasper board (65nm CPU + 64nm GPU) or an older version. However, it appears now that most of the new elites and nearly all arcade versions have Jasper. My only reason for holding out longer is that I suspected a significant price drop on the elite was coming.

Now that the price is dropped, I'll finally get one. I'll just make sure to doublecheck that it's rated at 12.1 amps so I know for sure that I'm getting a Jasper.

what about the peripherials ripoff...... (5, Insightful)

Sobakus (1626345) | more than 5 years ago | (#29221693)

The most required price cuts are for the outrageously expensive wifi adapter and the absurdly overpriced 120 gb hard drive. I have an original xbox 360 with 20gb hard drive (only had 1 RROD, hoorray) and I can barely install 1 game, and forget about movie downloads or a couple of demos unless you uninstall that game. Right now in spain a 120gb harddrive + wifi adapter will actually cost you more than the full xbox 360 arcade pack. To all you PS3 fanbois, bless Sony for letting you put any hard drive you wish. Believe me, after years fighting with a ridiculous 20gb drive thats one hell of a feature (...insert envy emoticon here...) WTF Microsoft??!!!!

Re:what about the peripherials ripoff...... (2, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222151)

The most required price cuts are for the outrageously expensive wifi adapter and the absurdly overpriced 120 gb hard drive.

Wait a minute... is that correct? The 360 doesn't even have wireless networking built in? You've got to be kidding!

Re:what about the peripherials ripoff...... (1)

Turiko (1259966) | more than 5 years ago | (#29223025)

yes it is. The only real built-in network connection is by cable, and with the average joe buying a 360, that's a big problem.

Re:what about the peripherials ripoff...... (1)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222625)

I've heard that there are USB wifi adapters out there that work with the 360.
A friend of mine got one, and I've heard no complaints.

Re:what about the peripherials ripoff...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29223097)

For what it's worth, Sony still sticks it to it's customers in one dimension: The controller.

A DualShock 3 Sixaxis controller retails for $54.99. If your system comes with one, and you want to enjoy 4 player action on a game, shell out $164.99.

The cool thing, however, is that the PS3 accepts generic USB gamepads. It's really a great piece of hardware. I'm extremely happy that I scored mine on eBay for $200.

skip the wifi adapter (2, Informative)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 5 years ago | (#29223335)

Get yourself an inexpensive ASUS WL520gu router [newegg.com] and install the latest tomato firmware. [polarcloud.com] Blammo! Instant wireless bridge for 4 ethernet devices, no client drivers required. You're welcome.

No HD Cables? Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29221839)

How lame! I opened up my new PS3 Slim, and found no cables. How the HELL can you play games designed to be played in HD, on an HD TV, if you don't have HD, or HDMI Cables?!?! How Lame! And now Microsoft is following suit?

Who are the "Most People" that Microsoft is talking about? Every single person I know who owns a 360, both in real life and online, is using an HDTV. Lucky for me I just bought an elite with the HDMI cables, and am swapping the cable between the two. Its so ridiculous...

Re:No HD Cables? Seriously? (1)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222871)

Spend the $3-6 at your local discount electronics/parts store and buy a second hdmi cable.
As long as you avoid the Future Shop/Best Buy/Circuit City versions, HDMI cables are relatively inexpensive.

Re:No HD Cables? Seriously? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#29223325)

That's the point isn't it?

The cables cost $3 retail, but they don't include one. Which means people get the thing home and find they don't have the cable and probably end up paying $70 at best buy to make it work.

Since that's $70 that wasn't spent on a game, sony might even lose out on the deal.

This is not even really a price drop. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29221927)

They are phasing out the Pro model at $250 and dropping the Elite model to $300. However, once the Pro models are gone it's still going to cost you $300 to get a Xbox 360 (the Arcade model doesn't count). So, how exactly is this a price drop? I suppose you could argue that it is a value increase (as you are getting 120 GB instead of 60 GB), but I certainly wouldn't call it a price drop.

I bought a Xbox 360 Pro a year ago for $300. I've had no problems with it and enjoyed it a lot. However, if I were to do it all over again today I would go with a PS3. Back then a PS3 was $500. Today, however, for the same price as a Xbox 360 you get built-in Blu-ray, WiFi, and a standard hard drive interface. On the hardware front it's not even a contest. Xbox 360 has some great exclusive games, but so does PS3 (I hate exclusive games, but that's the world we live in). On top of that, Xbox Live is $50 a year. Xbox 360 was killing PS3 from the start (and rightly so; who pays $600 for a console?), but now the PS3 is in position to reverse that trend. Meanwhile, half of all Xbox 360s are failing. The future doesn't look so bright for the Xbox 360...

The price drop... (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222791)

...won't even compensate for the DVDs that it will destroy during the Xbox 360's lifetime.

Microsoft desperately slashes Xbox 360 price (4, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#29222979)

Illustration: The new accurate Xbox 360 logo [today.com]

Microsoft has discounted the entry-level Doesn't-Do-Much Xbox 360 to $200 from Friday, $50 cheaper than the Nintendo Wii. (This will translate to a GBP250 price point in the UK.)

"We are thrilled to be the first next-generation console on the market with a big 'Microsoft' logo on it to reach $199, a price that invites everyone to enjoy Xbox 360," said Aaron Greenberg, marketing marketer for Xbox. He says this will cause a "smash and grab" mentality amongst consumers. "And not 'grab and smash' as they throw it out the window when it gets a red ring of death again."

The models that actually play anything worth playing will, of course, stay at $300 and $400. "But history shows that more than 75 percent of all console sales happen after the price falls below the $200 mark. Which would be the PS2, PSP and DS ... uh, forget I said that."

Greenberg assures consumers that the new cheap Xbox 360s will not be refurbished red ring of death casualties. "Not all of them. Honest. However, twenty Xbox lifts every morning will be much better exercise than Wii Fit."

Microsoft Japan is already actually paying people to take the machines, with little success. "We hope more people will be able to enjoy Xbox 360," said marketing marketer Takashi Sensui, "and we can stop enjoying quite so many of them. We also have this fine pile of HD-DVD drives ... Wait! Come back!"

Greenberg further assured consumers that "the Xbox 360 will kick the PS3's ass every way from Friday, you wait and see." Nintendo were unable to comment in time for this story as they were still too busy trying to make Wiis fast enough to keep them in the shops.

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