Xbox 360 “Core” – No HDD

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.

5 thoughts on “Xbox 360 “Core” – No HDD

  1. Or maybe it’s because they make the consoles at a loss, therefore they only want to sell you the bare core system at a loss and then make a resonable profit (or at least cost) on the acce$$ori$e$.

    Am I right in also saying the the PS3 has an optional HDD that attaches to the side of the console, therefore they are pre-empting the fact that if they included a HDD the Sony would undercut them and make it optional (if they aren’t already) and claim to have the cheaper console.

    I think I’m right in saying MS’s main strategy with round 2 (or 3 for others) is to be FTM* and therefore they need want to convince all the kiddies to buys and Xbox for Xmas (hmm.. conspiracy right there) rather than thinking “I’ll just wait 3 months and see what the PS3 is like”.

    * First To Market — not an official TLA (that I know of), but makes me sound like I know what I’m talking about.

  2. FTM is an acceptable acronym (lucky for you).

    Good point about the accessories; the thing is: would a consumer really go for the low-end model?

  3. And nobody’s really sure what the PS3 is likely to ship with; we know something about the processor specs, but have no idea of anything else. Sony showed a prototype design at e3 this year; looks like they might be ready for a launch by e3 next year. Maybe.

    MS get the advantage of having the console and the games out there and wowing the crowds until PS3 launches, and hopefully for them, by then the costs have come down, and the console price can drop an eency bit again.

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