Skip to content

Whither the Core?

August 21, 2007

It appears as the the Core Xbox 360 is being replaced by the Xbox Arcade. Which will have an HDMI port and come bundled with a wireless controller, a 256MB memory card and 5 Xbox Live Arcade games.

On the most recent 1UpYours podcast, I believe Garnett Lee referred to Microsoft’s decision to keep a version of the 360 without a hard drive as "retarded."

Setting aside the obvious point that whatever faults Microsoft has, they employ pretty smart people. Therefore though they may make wrong decisions, it is pretty unlikely the decision is so obviously wrong as to be "retarded."

In this case, the decision is pretty clearly motivated by a desire to keep the price of the console low enough to compete with the Wii. Faced with buying a 360 without a hard drive and Wii without a hard drive for the same price, many will opt for the console with the superior graphics and superior library: the 360. Of course, this contrast would be clearer if the 360 and Wii really were priced the same instead of the 36 being priced $30 more, but the concept is the same.

But what about the disadvantages of having a model without a hard drive and a model with a hard drive? The main disadvantage is that due to Microsoft guidelines, developers of anything but MMOs have to design their games to function without a hard drive. Is this really a big impediment? The main use of a hard drive will be for caching, updates, downloadable content and game saves. Of these only the inability to do caching really will affect performance in the game out of the box. This seems like a fairly small price to pay (as evidenced by the fact it has not hurt Xbox 360 games to date) for the ability to price the Xbox Arcade much lower. Note also that no one complains that the Wii lacks a hard drive.

If this did become a big problem, Microsoft could relax the requirement that all games run on the Xbox Arcade, perhaps combined with a more reasonably priced hard drive add-on– say $50. Would that be so bad?

In short, the potential advantages of a hard-driveless Xbox 360 seem to outweigh the fairly marginal disadvantages.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: