NEWS - Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Xbox 360: J. Allard Strikes Back

J. Allard, Chief XNA architect for Microsoft, had to answer some tough questions regarding the company’s next generation gaming system, Xbox 360. The main public concern seems to be the highly over- priced 20GB hard drive. As Microsoft announced at Games Convention in Leipzig last week, Xbox 360 will be available at retail as a pack complete with 20GB hard drive, a wireless controller, and more for $399.99, as well as a Core System pack, with only a console and a wired controller for $299.99. Which obviously leads to the price of $99.99 for the 20GB hard-drive. When asked why the high price for a normal $20 to 30 hard drive, Allard answered that it isn’t a usual “crack the box” drive, but a 2,5-inch user serviceable drive, that also allows the upgrade to larger capacity drive, which is more expensive. The removable hard drive is in direct response to the hardcore gaming audience, he added. Which means that the users asked for a “portable” and “adaptable” hard drive, in order to take their game saves, maps or soundtracks to their friends houses or wherever..or even to use their console for music, movies or games if they happen to “run out” of their own hard drive. Also, the use of this specific hard drive is not limited to game scenarios; it also allows things like rip and store music and we shouldn’t forget about Live scenarios and all the downloadable content. Altogether, the cost is apparently normal for the device itself and the target market.


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