Microsoft shows mercy to the competition with their Elite Xbox 360

(AKA an article to prove I’m not a total Xbox fanboy)

Last week Microsoft officially announced the upgraded Xbox 360 “Elite”. This is basically a souped up 360 with the following stuff added:

  • HDMI video output
  • 20 gig hard drive
  • The color black

All for the bargain price of $479. It does include an HDMI cable which is pretty nice – I am sick of people saying “you can buy one online for $15!” True, but for all the schmucks who get one in the store it’s at least $75. I could buy screws for 1/10th the price off McMaster Carr, but 9 times out of 10 I just go down to Ace. That said, it doesn’t include:

  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 65 nm process chips

One less bullet point, but a big deal. In this article that I’m writing to sluff out of doing other things on a Saturday morning, I’ll postulate on why I feel Microsoft is making a mistake with the Elite / pricing and what it could mean to the PS3 and Wii.

My podcast co-host Jason Jones is always asking me “Ben when are you getting a 360??” And I keep telling him “This fall, when it gets cold again, the new Xbox 360 is available and GTA comes out!” Now that I’ve seen the Elite 360’s specs, I’m not so sure. Here are my reasons, which can probably be echoed by many gamers:

  • I want WiFi: In my place, I’d have to run 100 feet of cable at LEAST to get Ethernet to the living room. Screw that! Then again, 100 feet of cable would probably be cheaper than $99 for the Xbox 360’s proprietary Wi-Fi adapter. (Cheaper, but uglier) The cheapest I’ve ever seen it is $65 used. Granted the $500 PS3 doesn’t have Wi-Fi but for crying out loud the Wii, PSP and even the DS does! No built-in Wi-Fi on any 360 is nothing other than inexcusable.
  • Considering that with WiFi an Elite 360 costs $580, why not spend $20 more and have a Blu-Ray player?: At this point the only real difference is the free HDMI cable. Which apparently I can get off the internet for $20 πŸ™‚ I don’t really see myself filling up 60 gigs even, and that’s a lot better than a paltry 20.
  • You can put any hard drive you wish in the PS3: For all the ragging on the PS3 people never credit it as the open system it is. You can put in any 2.5″ SATA drive you wish, plug in regular USB headsets, hell, even install Linux. The 360 has been locked down with pricey peripherals, in an attempt to finally bring the Xbox division into profit. Once you get past the initial sticker shock, the PS3 is actually cheaper to accessorize.

Now a person might say “But the PS3 is losing all its exclusives!” True, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to be on the system! Sure, if the 360 dominates they’ll stop making PS3 versions, similar to what happened with the Gamecube, but for now all the top games are on both systems. As for 360 exclusives, none have really blown my skirt up yet. I will say with no regret I liked Resistance: Fall of Man better than Gears of War. The 360 game I’d really like (but will never have time to fully play) is Oblivion, but of course that’s also on PC and PS3.

Alright so I’ve established why the Elite is too pricey. I also think it’s a mistake to have not 1, not 2, but THREE SKU’s (store keeping units, in case you ever wondered what that stood for) of the 360. Talk about confusing. Now let’s look at some ways Microsoft could have really gone for the jugular:

  • Drop the Core and make the Premium $300 to kill the Wii: For starters I don’t think $400 is too expensive for a console. They’ve been $300 since 1995, so going to $400 is in line with standard inflation, or maybe slightly more. Better than gas, house prices or healthcare though! Same agrument for $60 games. That said, if the Premium was only $50 more than the heavily hyped but hopelessly dated Wii they could really take a chunk out of that market. The “For a Few Dollars More” argument, if you will. As is you need a memory card to make the Core do anything, so it’s only $50 cheaper than the Premium anyway. Look at Sony, they’re probably gonna drop the 20 gig model. Microsoft should do the same.
  • Lose money for a little bit longer to gain in the long run: Microsoft has tons of cash laying aroung but they still have to answer to shareholders. Only now, 6 years later, is the Xbox division starting to make money. And there’s the rub – they could drop prices to really kill the PS3, but now that they’re finally making money on the system that’s probably easier said than done. The PS3 is stupidly expensive, but if the 360 doesn’t have some sort of price drop by this fall that’s just as stupid.
  • Make the Elite the Premium, put in Wi-Fi for pity’s sake and price it at $400: This goes along with the 2 points above. They’d have all the features (sans Blu-Ray) of the PS3 yet for at least $100 less. A no-brainer. MS has the lead for now, but when some atom bombs called Final Fantasy and Gran Turismo come out for the PS3 things could swing wildly. Gears of War has done well, but FF and GT are both 10+ million sellers (read: way more than any 360 title has yet sold) and still PS3 exclusives. They cannot be underestimated.
  • Buy Nintendo: This is about as likely as MS buying Take Two and making GTA 4 a 360 exclusive (the wheels are already in motion for it to be on the PS3) but still, wouldn’t it be funny? I’ve always thought that if Nintendo wanted to make INSANE amounts of money all they need do is make Mario/Zelda for other consoles. Let’s face it, Nintendo consoles for the last 10 years have just been Zelda adapters. (With the occasional Goldeneye thrown in)

Well that’s about it! We’ll see what happens this coming holiday season, but if you ask me Microsoft is missing an opportunity to kill off the Playstation. I mean, why not “just go for it”?

39 thoughts on “Microsoft shows mercy to the competition with their Elite Xbox 360”

  1. Well, this sounds pretty good idea to me. Being a cheapskate I would to see everything cheaper in general. Of course, Microshaft just cant stand making anything inexpensive, since they believe that if they just make everything pricey enough then everyone will become enslaved to them. It seemed to work with Windows- it was cooler and pricier than the competition by a long shot, and thus it sold millions, I’d even go so far as to say BILLIONS of copies. The only problem- people need an OS for their computers, but nobody needs to get a 360. There are lots of other very good options for gamers who don’t want to deal with Microshaft.

  2. I never thought you where an Xbox 360 fanboy. In all your pod casts you state the facts alone. I own a Wii and I was splitting at the sides when you ran it over in the video pod cast. Everyone has opinions and people need to respect them. But yes I do agree. What is Microsoft thinking in not dropping the price? Even with a price I don’t think would kill the Wii off. Technically it is not even a competitor to the Xbox. If I had some cash laying around I would own both the Xbox and Wii.

    I don’t agree with the “Wii is only getting ports” either. I only own one ported game (TigerWoods) and all the rest where made for the Wii; Excite Truck, Zelda, Red Steal, SSX Blur, Wii Play, Wii Sports, Sonic. Some games coming down the pipe for 2007 are Metroid, SSBB(Maybe), Disaster Day, Battalion Wars 2, and No more Heros. Halo 3 and GTA 4 are coming out soon for the Xbox so the PS3 better get some games in gear or people won’t have a reason to buy the console.

  3. I retyped this post about 3 times now, and I’ve basically summarised it into this one idea.

    Wait ten years and see if any of the present day consoles (360, PS3, Wii) are still worth buying then. IMHO the only thing thats different from now and back in the day with playstation and xbox is a graphics facelift; if that was what was really important, then they should have just put a graphics card slot in the back of the system.

    Wait, dont they have something like that already? πŸ˜›

  4. I’d like to get something straight.

    The XBox 360 couldn’t kill off the Wii. I don’t care if Microsoft starts handing out the XBox 360 for free – everyone always seems to underestimate Nintendo because of its young image, but they know what they’re doing. They’ve been in the business for about 20 years – nobody is going to put them out of business. They may not be number one anymore (well that’s up for debate) but they are a powerful force. Unalike the other companies, Nintendo is much more innovative and experienced in gaming – that’s a serious edge. Plus they have a loyal fan base.

    As for ports to the Wii – what drugs are you on??? The Wii has more exclusive games than the XBox 360 and PS3 combined times 5 (actual fact!). Nobody plays the ports.

    Finally, people seem to not put things in perspective. A console is never remembered for its graphics, power, sound, anything. It is remembered for what it is used for – gameplay. And with its massive library of exclusive games and innovative controller, I bet that the Wii will most definitely win the console war. Because let’s face it – right now, with few great games, the XBox 360 and PS3 are just super-powerful computers with Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. That hook to your TV. Woo-hoo. If I want a computer or a media center, I’ll buy a computer (Or Tivo). But I am a gamer, and I want to game. Do you?

  5. The latest game informer has the list of highest selling franchises, nintendo dominates the list so I think that should net them a little more credit (e.g. #1 mario 193 million, #2 pokemon 155 million … zelda doesn’t come until #7 at 49 million).

  6. I agree with the idea that the core should be dropped, and the elite should be put at 400 bucks. i also think microsoft should have done the HDMI port from the beginning. I don’t think Microsoft could kill off nintendo. If microsoft were to buy nintendo, i think we’d be one step closer to one console to rule them all. Having the PS3, Wii, and 360 pisses me off, cause each system has something i want, but prices i dont wanna pay for each feature or game. If there was just one console, like there’s just one computer, the game market would be such a damn mess. Just to clarify, i’ll use Call of Duty 3 as an example. On the 360, youve got great graphics and can play the game with a comfortable controller. With the PS3, you have a tiltsense controller that feels just like the ones i used 10 years ago, minus rumble. With the Wii, you can point your weapon anywhere with your wiimote, giving greater flexibility of controls, but lousy graphics. If we had one console, with the standard 360 controller, along with the option of a Wiimote, and the hi-def graphics we’ve all come to love for a price of 300-400 bucks, the world would be much better.

  7. I like it when the next gens start dropping prices. It’s when things start really getting interesting. I think it is another nail for Sony though, because they won’t really be able to drop prices for a while still. πŸ™ But maybe by xmas? Who knows. But yea with this price drop, and the next round of Wii’s coming out soon. I wonder what Sony is gunna do…

  8. the new elite 360 is actually a little bit better than the the others. the elite has high-def up to 1080p compared to the old 360 at 720p-1080i. the new HD 120gig is 80$ more than the old 20gig so that basically all your paying for. so its the same price as if say you bought a core and a 120gig HD

  9. I think the Wii is the most powerful game console of all. There are making us think is not all that powerful.
    Hey atari2600a I think I pleased them with this post.

  10. Does anyone else think that Nintendo may release an updated Wii in 3 years instead of 5? I thought it might be interesting if the way they cut the prices was to have buyers pay out over a long period of time. Rumor had it that they were toying with the idea of adding 3D glasses to the Wii, but scrapped it. What if they add it to a sooner released updated Wii. That way the graphics would be more current, and a new feature would be added. 3D on the Wii seems like it could work usefully.

  11. Hardly, these people know the systems in & out. Either way, the Wii catching up on the 360 fast, plus they where smart enough to manufacture a system that they could actually profit off of, which goes back into the software development, so I don’t see how they could lose at all! Plus, their marketing plan is working extremely well, attracting consumers I’ve never thought possible to hand money to the clerk behind the register in the gaming section at Toys ‘R Us.

    Saying Nintendo will fail is like saying the Holocaust never happened. In a way, Nintendo already won.

    Hell, even if the worst happens & all Wii’s get bricked through WiiConnect24 or someting, Nintendo still dominates the portable market, something they’ll NEVER lose any time soon.

  12. “I donÒ€ℒt agree with the ‘Wii is only getting ports’ either. I only own one ported game (TigerWoods) and all the rest where made for the Wii; Excite Truck, Zelda, Red Steal, SSX Blur, Wii Play, Wii Sports, Sonic. Some games coming down the pipe for 2007 are Metroid, SSBB(Maybe), Disaster Day, Battalion Wars 2, and No more Heros.”

    Yeah, but notice that most of those games are made BY Nintendo. (…and of that list, how many are actually good? Come on! Red Steel?!) I think it’s given that Nintendo, being a strong software developer in its own right, is going to have strong releases for its own console. A moot point. Besides, I scanned this article a few times, and I don’t see where Ben is saying that Wii is getting nothing but ports.

    Actually, he was talking about the way Gamecube lost a lot of its exclusives, and even then he was using it as a projection, not of the Wii, but of PS3, although it could also apply to Wii.

    It’s not like we don’t see the numbers. Yes! Congratulations. Nintendo has a hit. Why then are Nintendo fans so defensive about Wii? Anytime someone like Ben has something bad to say about it, Nintendo fanboys hop onto the internet and immediately start engaging a mass justification campaign. Look, if you enjoy the system, then that’s all the justifaction you need. Why do you care about Ben’s projections?

    Notice you don’t see the same hysterics for DS. Yes, there are people who don’t like the DS, but there’s considerably less internet hazing over it. A little objectivity is in order here, people. Nintendo is a corporation run by mortal human beings; not gods. It’s not impossible for Xbox or PS3 to turn the market around on them. It’s happened before!

  13. As BenHeck mentioned in an analysis of the console wars, the lowest-tech console always wins. The Wii is clearly the winner of this round, and Nintendo has avoided bankruptcy for yet another round of console warring. Now if they don’t get cocky, the Wii2 might be succesfull as well.

    I believe the Wii succeeded by having a low price point, an improved, easy to use interface, and an innovative marketing approach. Microsoft or Sony could’ve done it, too, but they didn’t. Sometimes desperation makes the best ideas, I guess . . .

  14. HDMI? How can the 360 output HDMI with a measly cable? I see the Elite has a new HDMI port, so how do the Core and Premium versions output HDMI?

    I may have mis-read that, but I don’t think I did. There would have to be a digital link somewhere in the A/V connector pinouts correct? I will go look for that.

    As far as if there isn’t a digital link, then you are going through an D/A conversion inside the console just to go back to a A/D conversion in the cable before reaching the Digital set. Insane, and if you are using a HD CRT you will then have another D/A conversion on top ?!?! Either way I guess I will hunt down an Xbox360 pinout and see if there is a space that could have a digital link.

  15. @royalestel

    Ben stated that “the most powerful system never wins”. This is far different than saying “the least powerful system always wins” since there have typically been more than 2 consoles in the fight each generation.

    By this “standard” the 360 has every bit as good of a chance to win as the Wii since the PS3 is the most powerful console this generation.

    Ben went into some detail about the history of this trend in a recent thread in the forums, although I can’t recall which one right off hand.

    Basically if you buy into this trend then all we know for sure is that the PS3 won’t “win” this generation. Who wins is then up for grabs between Nintendo and Microsoft…

    There are a number of factors that have made this trend a “reality” over the years so I wouldn’t say I buy into it as I think these other factors (time of release, price, launch titles, overall game library, exclusives, etc.) are the real reason this has occurred.

  16. and to clear things up

    # Nightwheel Says:
    April 1st, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    Hey I got a idea how about ms buys sony so a new game system from eatheir sega or atari cam come out!!!

    Sony is a way bigger and richer company that Microsoft (not to badmouth Microsoft because i am a 100% xbox fan) and it would be the other way around.

  17. Great article. My argument would have been that any “new” version of the XBOX 360 should have the HD-DVD player built in… That’s it. Simple — and you could sell it at less than the XBOX 360 + HD add on — so you’d have some competition towards the PS3 then… My PS3 is nice though. I’m much happier with it than the XBOX 360.

  18. One thing that should be considered is that Sony and Nintendo are japanese companies. THE 360 is not popular in japan. So the 360 cant win there, FF and MGS cant be played on the Wii so the PS3 has a very good chance of surviving.

  19. For me its all about the games. I’m not a Fanboy of any of the consoles because I own all of the last generation one’s(Ps2 xbox Gamecube) but none of the newest (360, ps3, wii)….Why?….No games I really want to play….(a few exceptions: gears of war, resistance fall of man…… cant think of anything for the wii at the moment)…..

    What was………..

    Ps2……Yes it pretty much ruled the last generation….why???? Not just the amount of games but the quality of alot of them…..Yeah you had a bunch of PooPoo’s but of all the consoles at the time it had the largest amount of sweeties. Ex. Final fantasys, MGS, Just about every sports game basically a well rounded library……. The fact that the ps1 was so successful was definitely the fuel that made this console burn so bright from the start with so much developer support.

    Xbox…. I think had a slow start simply because it was the first console put out by microsoft and the library for it was too narrow in the beginning ……a whole lot of racing, fighting and sports niche games but very few universally loved ones (almost no Rpg’s, very few survival/horror (that weren’t ports), very few kiddie/cute and not to many action adventure.

    Gamecube…..I have absolutely nothing against the hardware of this console at all (although the 1.8 gig mini disc media that you have to switch on some games I thought was kind of stupid). I do however have something against the library and marketing practices. I own a gamcube for three reasons and three reasons only… 1.resident evil 0 ….2. resident evil remake…. 3.Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem ….needless to say If I could play these three games on something else I would get rid of my cube for less than 20 crack dollars. No network support?!?!? are you retarded nintendo??? (yes I know they had an adapter…….. for about 5 minutes…..and like 2 games worked with it……exaggeration you get the point) take away anything to do with mario or zelda and you wipe half of the cube’s already meager library….less the ports (again exaggeration but point made). Why does it matter what color the console is???? OK PINK!!!???? PURPLE????!!!! at least the ps2 and xbox didn’t look completely gay sitting in my entertainment center. What s with the Playskool controller with its clumsy buttons and sticks (fixed that with a ps2 controller adapter). I’ll never forgive Capcom for trying to make resident evil exclusive to the cube (personal problem). I think nintendo really screwed the pooch back with the nintendo 64. Keeping that cartridge based system instead of the way cheaper and more practical CD system hurt there developer support for the future since it gave sony a chance to really gain alot of ground and take a substantial market share with the ps1. The only reason Nintendo has a decent amount of money today IS for ONLY 1 reason and it is spelled G.A.M.E.B.O.Y.”The IPOD of the gaming world” nobody knows why they have to have one they just do…. I still can’t figure out how they got away all those years without putting a f—–ing!!!backlite on the damn screen OMFG!!!!!….Rant over:)

    What I think will be…..

    It’s hard to say but a few things I’m “pretty sure” of……

    Microsoft has a decent lead right now as long as they keep flowing decent titles I think they’ll maintain the lead this generation…….However small it gets:)…….There online structure is absolutely one of there biggest strengths.

    The hype for the Wii is no different than the hype for any other console More people want it than can get it so it makes it that much more of an inflated desire that you must get one. but I think nintendo will do better this time around than the last. The $250 price point definitely won’t hurt either.

    Now we come to the PS3…….Unless Sony really changes something I don’t see this one as much of a juggernaut as the ps2………Why???…….Not everybody gives a crap about blueray or HD-DVD or HDMI for that matter. In this instance my hat goes off to microsoft for making it an option for those who don’t want to spend money for something they don’t really want….. at the same time the peripherals shouldn’t be an arm and a left n-t either. Another reason ….Games…… So far The library is very slim pickin’s for quality. I was at best buy 2 days ago and there were 8 ps3’s on the shelf…….I went 6 hours ago and 5 were still there…… and yes I asked they did not put anymore out since then…..Not exactly “flying off the shelf” but who could blame people….Bluray looks good…..but not 600 dollars good as far as I’m concerned.

  20. -Personally i find the whole concept of a console war a bit odd, so what if one sells more units than another. The ps2 sold loads more consoles than the xbox..but they still made games for the xbox and some pretty good ones too.

    – As for killing the wii, that can never happen it’s in a different genre altogether – it is a party machine where you and people who can’t play video games normally can have a romp, it’s also just so different. Personally i prefer the 360 over the wii, but thats only because if i go for a run i don’t want to come home and have to wave my arms around madly to play a game. If anything is a wii killer it’s itself – it’s graphics aren’t amazing now but a few years down the line they’ll be downright ugly

    -As for blu-ray i think that will come into play later – right now people don’t use blu-rays and are content with DVDs however as more HDTV become affordable people will probably want to upgrade and the fact the ps3 has already effectively sold around 3 million blu ray players is no laughing matter when it comes into the format war. Additionally i think once developers start using all its space, or even some of it it could really take off – i mean you could jam pack the disk with movie quality cut scenes, have obscene amounts of music, have a massive world and some space left over. I think its just a matter of time before we see one developer use more than about 20% of it’s potential and create a HUGE game.

    – Exclusives – meh – ps3 sill has a few games up it’s sleeves -ratchet and clank, metal gear solid, Grand Turismo and Final Fanatasy and while you may not like those they are all system sellers and all remain exclusives to the ps3.

    – In terms of skimping
    xbox = no wifi
    PS3 = HDMI cable
    Pick your poison, personally i’d rather have wifi than an HDMI cable as for one the xbox wifi adaptor costs around $65, wheras i got a HDMI cable for $3 off amazon. I rushed it’s shipping and it arrived about 4 days later costing a total of $8

    – Finally just remember patience is the key, noone seems to remember this but when the 360 launched it at really bland games with it for a while. It took a while to get some good ones coming along – so don’t knock the ps3 till you’ve tried it

  21. I don’t see what the big deal is with HDMI. I have my 360 connected via VGA and the video output looks MUCH sharper than the PS3 does connected to the same exact HD-TV with HDMI. The PS3 has odd edge ringing in high contrast areas and digital artifacts seen in some solid colored areas in all games. I wouldn’t even want to connect my 360 through HDMI, it wouldn’t be as crisp as the VGA I have now.

  22. I own a PS3, just because I could get it cheap (400$ rebate with trade-ins). And I probably just bought a PS3 over the XBox360 because of brand following, backward compatibility, or something. (bluetooth?)
    It really feels like there’s not much to do with it yet, so I’m waiting for new games. I suppose if MS was (even) more aggressive in its marketing, and followed some of the ideas of Ben, it could gain a bigger part of the market before the PS3 sales started again. If the 360 had been cheaper, I MAY have bought one. Unlikely, though…

  23. To Devon, Sony can’t make a profit right now though. Not just SCE, but all of Sony can’t make a profit right now. Unless that changes, or unless SCE starts making a profit in the next few years.. we may never see a PS4. With Sony saying the PS3 is supposed to have a turn around of 8-10 years, it just won’t happen. If the PS3 fails too badly this time around we’ll likely see them haulting the console division completely and selling it off. MS though, no matter how much we hate them, is going to be around, and is going to continue to turn profits. Vista is seeing bad sales in the market, yes.. But that’ll change. As MS completely stops selling and stops supporting XP, more and more people are going to have to buy Vista, there is simply no other player in town. Mac? Doesn’t have the production capabilities to supply the void a complete bomb with vista would open(remember, Apple is a hardware company). Linux? Even with dell shipping linux now, it is simply not user friendly enough to hit the mainstream. So M$ will stay around, they’ll continue to make profits, and they’ll continue to be able to shell money into the Xbox project. The same simply can’t be said about Sony right now, but that may change.

    I do agree that Nintendo will be around though. They were around when Atari burned, they’ll be around when PS and Xbox burn, though I’m unsure of why. I just can’t see a console market without nintendo, what they do, they simply do too well to fold up shop and leave.

  24. OK first of all FF is no longer an exclusive, FF13 is coming to the 360, all be it as a different version, it’s still FF on a diff system. Their contract with sony ended, and you really think they are gonna loose out on the chance to take advantage of BOTH systems? (it is rumoured it may even come to the wii) that’s like saying bill gates is retarded for dropping out of harvard. No they aren’t going to miss that bandwagon, think of how many 360 owners are going to buy it simply out of spite…I know I am. And secondly, I’ve played the PS3 and wasn’t really impressed with the MOST POWERFUL SYSTEM. To be fair the only game I played was motorstorm, and while it was fun(and is really the only game that looks any good for me right now IMO) it basically seemed like burnout on dirt….and THAT is a game I can’t wait to come out. As for the prices I just bought a 360 Elite and an extra black controllers plus two black play and charge kits plus Gears of war and Viva pinata for the lady and me to play and cost me 900, so it aint f*in cheap either. I dunno, something about being able to link it to my media center PC was kinda of appealing for me. and as the one dude said, WHO CARES ABOUT THE CONSOLE WARS. Just buy what YOU want and just enjoy it. OK here is MY list of pros and cons for both systems.

    Wii. Pro: It is a nice little console for the price.
    Pro: Hey, even your mom will want to play(yes, there are baking games)
    Con:It is very lacking in my opinion, the swinging and waving of the controller seems fun but most people I know that own a wii, ALSO own another console because it gets REAL old, REAL fast.
    Con: You say graphics doesn’t matter, well why do you not have black and white tv’s then? or monochrome monitors. the reason is, PEOPLE WANT GRAPHICS, but that does’t mean that you can ONLY give graphics.

    PS3. I’m probably the only M$ fanboy out here that will admit this, but I don’t know enough about this system to really make any hasty judgements.
    Pro: Um…well it’s a blu-ray player for less than 1000 nuff said.
    Con: As much as i think that’s neat. I’m fine with DVD’s
    Pro: They are cool systems, i will admit
    Con: They can’t touch the PS2 slim silver tho…
    Pro: Free Online
    Con: While the access to sony’s online community is free, they have given the game developers the right to charge fees for playing on the servers. And while it isn’t set in stone they will, remember: SERVERS COST MONEY TO RUN!. So MORE than likely they are going to STILL cost money, and for EACH GAME you wanna play. Xbox live’s fee doesn’t seem so bad anymore…

    360: now I will be honest here, I’m gonna bash the 360 because I love it, and to be fair.

    Pro: can connect any USM mass storage device (or device that will read as such) and play media from it
    Con: Purchased music from Itunes will not play from your Ipod, and M$ and apple have no plans to fix this at all in the future.(so if you LEGALLY get your music, you are boned, I personally like this. I’m from canada, and I don’t feel I should EVER have to buy a cd, Why? I pay enough gasoline tax, enough income tax, hell I’m taxed on stuff I buy from the store….TWICE, I’m even taxed on my electric bill…and besides most of these artists make MORE than enough money anyway, and the ones who don’t appreciate the publicity.)
    Pro: Can connect wirelessly to a Media Center PC and have the same functionality and can EVEN control your PC’s version of media center, and vise versa.
    Con: It’s a bit tricky to set up if you DONT know what you are doing.
    Pro: Can connect to any XP computer on your network and stream pictures, movies and music from it.
    Con: you can’t transfer them to the hard drive, and since i HAVE A 120gb ELITE…that is a piss off
    Pro: The controller is the most comfortable controller I’ve ever used and I have arthritis in my hands
    Con: umm….not really sure, I love that controller(P.S. I’ve never liked the PS1,2, or 3 controller.) And just a little note for everybody with a PS3 THE HOME BUTTON WAS THE 360’s IDEA. but then again to take credit for that would be like taking credit for rumble…however i still think credit SHOULD go to M$ for that one. OHHHH I just thought of a con for the controller….The wireless one doesn’t come with a battery pack, you have to buy the ‘Play and charge kit’ DAMN YOU M$
    Pro: two Words, and I have a feeling this one is the one that is going to break the PS3 if the PS3 does get beaten. XBOX LIVE.
    Con: YES I KNOW AND HERE IT COMES. IT COSTS MONEY!!! but still you pay a monthly fee for unlimited usage for every game (except maybe MMORPGs[I think those games are for dolts anyway why pay for a game you already paid for…I could understand it if the game was free then you pay for the subscription])
    Con: Those who DID want it, can’t have it all in one package

    And…to finish with the strongest point ever.

    CON: 3 Words: 3 Red Lights

    While I love the Xbox 360 I will not slam the PS3, I am a fanboy yes, BUT I am also a sony fan. HOWEVER if sony’s trend with their gaming division follows the rest of their divisions. The PS4 will be a piece of garbage. And if Microsoft continues their pattern, the Xbox 720 won’t work for the first 2 years of release…or it’ll burn houses down (read…Xbox[original] power supply failure/fire) To be honest I think nintendo will be around for one maybe two mroe generations. And if you think about it, Graphics can only go so far before we have to change how we watch them. Look how realistic the physics and models in THIS generation of games are. I give it 2 more, before we need a new display medium. We need to change the display medium not the console. As 3d as the graphics may ever look, they are still only displayed on a 2d surface. Our brains can see this. So to truely get into the game we need Star trek holodeck style games, and the cost of that will prevent it from ever being in the home at least for MANY a year.

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