Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Who will kill the Xbox 360?

Who will finally defeat the Xbox 360's large lead on the next gen front? Will it be Sony's previous dominance in the market coming back to form? Will it be traditional gaming weirdo Nintendo, with their faddish controller on the Wii?

No, actually the only people who can defeat the 360 are Microsoft's Marketing Department.

Because, seriously, whoever came up with the Xbox 360 Elite needs to go back to business school. Traditionally, technology works kind of like this: something gets released, it's top of the line. Then either:
  • The price comes down because something else is now top of the line, or just because the cost savings of making something in bulk have caught up.
  • The price stays the same, but you get more for your money.

Cellphones, TVs, PC hardware generally works within the first option. Apple usually does the second option -- they think of a pricepoint, then create something that works at that pricepoint.

The Xbox 360 Elite doesn't fit into either of these, because they give you more for your money, but they also raised the price by $80. It's absurd to think that anyone wants to pay more for a revision to hardware that's already 2 years old. No consumer will buy that. In the face of Wii and PS3 competition, they should have made the Xbox look like a better deal by keeping the price at $399 and giving you HDMI and a larger HDD.

I'm not sure I can think of other companies that could blow a year lead on these other guys, with such a great machine to boot. It's like Microsoft aren't trying to be ruthless to take over the videogame market.

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