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Do People Really Want WiFi?

March 29, 2007

The Xbox 360 Elite was announced recently. It seems like a fine product, albeit pricey. In any event, it is not something that offers any real compelling advantage to me. Perhaps if I was more apt to use the video download service on Xbox Live Marketplace, my view my be different.

Conspicuous in its absence from this new model was builtin WiFi.

This seemed a little strange to me given that Sony’s PS3 has builtin WiFi (at least in the lead $600 SKU) and seemingly so do most digital media players like the DLink Media Lounge, and the Roku Soundbridge Radio only has WiFi and lacks any ability to connect via wired Ethernet.

Microsoft explained that based on its surveys of its customers, most prefer a wired connection. This seemed like a strange response given that Roku has given the exact opposite answer– that people much prefer connecting via WiFi– to explain why the Soundbridge Radio lacks a wired Ethernet port.

Are both answers really true? Do people prefer WiFi for digital media, but not for their game consoles? That seems unlikely.

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