NEWS - Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Hard Drive Price Is Fair, Says Microsoft

The company’s group product manager for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live says the drive is comparable in price to plug-and-play external drives for PC, adding that Microsoft carries extra testing costs for the drives. He also says it’s consistent with the firm’s pricing across Xbox 360 hardware. Speaking to weekly podcast Game Theory he said, “We know it is expensive and we have definitely heard that feedback but it is a little apples and oranges to compare it to internal PC hard drives because those are off the shelf drives that you have to install yourself. You have to format those and figure out how you are going to move your content over. There is a lot of work there for your average consumer it is not a plug in and play experience for them. “What we have done is release a smaller laptop size drive. If you compare what we are offering with a real plug-and-play drive the closest thing would be to take a 120 gig self-powered external PC drive and in that case we are seeing those retail at anywhere from $160 to $200 for comparable laptop sized external hard drives. “I know it sounds expensive to a lot of consumers but we are comparable to those types of drives and also we have to go through a lot more testing and security. When we buy from suppliers we require a lot more spec reports and tests because that drive has to be able to perform at specific speeds all the time in order to support our environment and our gameplay experiences. Those are not the same specs that they are able to deliver to with off-the-shelf drives. “We do hear consumers but we pay a premium for these drives. That’s just the nature of it. If you started with the core $299 SKU, everything we have done is based on adding storage. If you had the $100 hard drive that gets you to $399. If you added the $179 hard drive to the $299 SKU that gets you to $479 which is the Elite SKU so there is consistency in the way we think about this.”


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