Xbox 360 pricing is now a known quantity, at least in the US and Europe, and it looks like this:
$299 (converts to around $AUD430 after adding GST) buys the “Core System” – a console without a hard drive. Or a memory unit. (With a wired controller).
And it looks like this version’s a little contentious (check out the comments).
The main issues from the upset gamers (assuming 85% aren’t just PS2 fanbois trolling) break down like this:
- We are scared that you will fragment the market and that the games won’t be as good. PS2 Hard Drive was teh suxx0r. Do not make that mistake, we beg you.
- $399 Is Too Expensive But I Want A Hard Drive Etc
- $299 Is OK But I Want A Wireless Controller
- $299 Would Be OK But You Can Do Nothing With It
- OMG No HD Cable In Cheap Version? You Said It Was The HD Era
- Broken Promises
And that, kids, is quite literally all that’s in the cheap “Core System” box. I’m hoping for the sake of the buyer that the Xbox has *some* way of storing a savegame without a memory unit, otherwise we’re back to the Bad Old Days of consoles providing passwords in place of saved games, just in case users don’t have a memory card. That’s Not Cool.
$399 ($AUD650, I reckon) buys the deluxe version with 20GB hard drive, remotes, wireless controller, Xbox Live Silver subscription, etc, etc.
Next Generation interviewed a bunch of developers and got mixed reactions.
The idea from Microsoft’s end seems to be to allow people to buy “just the box”, and then upgrade it over time. There’s now a FAQ available, which indicates a memory card isn’t really optional if you want to do – well, anything really interesting with the box – I just hope there’s some storage for saved games on the un-memory-carded system.
I honestly can’t see a point to the lower priced system, which is guaranteed to cost more to upgrade in the long run. So why bother selling it? (Just to increase the proposed value proposition of its full-featured sibling? Just to claim “we have a $300 game system available”?).
I’ve always planned on this generation costing about $700 again (like the PS2 did here when it launched, and the Xbox after that), so I’m OK with the pricing personally, I just ignore the low-end model. As long as it doesn’t affect the games I play, I’m OK with that.