Xbox 360 to come in two versions at launch.

It’s still technically a rumor, but more and more sites are reporting that there may very well be two different versions of Microsoft’s next generation of the Xbox when it launches later this year. According to this Gamesradar.com article the word is that the basic Xbox 360 will not have a hard drive nor will it be backwards compatible with the current Xbox, but you can get both of those options plus WebTV if you don’t mind spending some extra money:

As well as the standard console, an additional $100 will bag you a hard drive (which is said to fit into a port near the top of the machine), WebTV and, intriguingly, backwards compatibility – meaning that the basic Xbox 360 won’t be able to play current-gen Xbox games.

It’s being reported that graphics company nVidia still owns patents on some of the original Xbox components, meaning that Microsoft has to pay royalties in order to implement backwards compatibility in Xbox 360.

Personally I think this is a bad idea. It introduces market fragmentation right from the get go ensuring that developers will be less likely to make use of the hard drive because they can’t be certain everyone will have it. Sony’s PS2 has a hard drive available for it and exactly one game that takes advantage of it: Final Fantasy XI Online. The only reason I can see why Microsoft wouldn’t just eat the extra $100 cost of the second version is if they’re already eating a huge loss on each console sale as it is. That’s pretty much par for the course in the console world. No one makes money off the hardware until it’s been out for a couple of years and they can redesign it to reduce costs.

Still, it looks like Xbox fans may have a decision to make on launch day. I’d guess that most of the hardcore crowd will dish out the extra cash for the complete Xbox 360. That’ll make the question one of if there’s enough hardcore fans to convince publishers to support the HD like they did in the previous Xbox.

5 thoughts on “Xbox 360 to come in two versions at launch.

  1. ..and to think I was waiting for a PS3 release or some shit like that. The console game industry has been dicking off and half-assing shit waaay too long. I get so tired of chasing overhyped console games this news just makes me cringe. It takes all of 3 minutes for me to get pissed off after cracking the plastic on anything new nowadays.

    Yay now the rumormill has spit out some more good jizz that I get a choice. Ya know its bad when I need a damned KVM for my consoles due to the lack of backward compatibility. They just couldn’t let me sell back my old shit and keep my favs could they? I swear Im gonna start doing this shit on a Mac. Godamn Jackasses.
    ..dammit now I cant wait dispite it pissing me off.

    [tks for the tip though, its the first ive heard of it]

  2. Yeah I agree Qouan – bugger these pricks and thier consoles – kiddy stuff to make rich bastards richer.In anyu case I have an advantage;A friend of my aunts owns a PC repair business and upgrades me cheap so up yours Microdick! – My Xbox lazer wore out after only a year so my next plaything was a PS2 (only for GTA-SA) and since buying WoW nothing else compares.Only kiddys ,bachelors and loner headcases lash-the-cash every new console,so I hope this is a turning point for these M.S. pigs and the new gen stuff fails horribly! Money grabbing Fucks!(Pardon my french;I’m a bit drunk & annoyed!)

  3. I feel like Ive bitched about this since I had a choice between the Atari 400 then 2600/7200 and the ColecoVision Intellivision back in the day. I’m sure there were massive lisc deals going on even then and marketing ploys as well. I’ve had so many games at some points that they’ve filled multiple trashbags.

    The ‘home/work computer’ race was the same way.
    VAX/IBM/Amiga/Tandy/Commodore/Apple..Those crusty ass PDPs ( bought what i could afford, hand me downs and scavanged upgrades usually )

    I know from my previous post it may have seemed like I missed the fact that I get backward compatibility when shelling out another $100. I was a bit too stirred to comment. My hat is off to you Bill – I hate your fucking guts and I still buy your shit.

  4. I don’t think that the Hard-drive included in that $100 is meant to be used with the new generation of Xbox games, but instead included as part of the backwards compatibility. Don’t forget, many Xbox games never took advantage of the removable memory unit and would require the extra HD unit. I think WebTV is built into the entire package to simply add a bit more value. However debatable that value is.

    To me, I think it’s a smart move. Allow the option of backwards compatibility. Most people I know play their PS1 games on a PS1 and play their PS2 games on a PS2. Backwards compatibility is always a nice feature, but $100 says that most people buying the next console in a line already own the previous one.

    Along this line of thinking, if you consider the royalties to nVidia that Microsoft would have to pay, this extra $100 is also at a loss, most likely. However, Microsoft will be offering a cheaper option altogether and will give gamers a choice as to which one they will want. The extra $100 unit will probably sell at about a 1:20 ratio with the regular units based on the price and the lack of necessity for backwards compatibly. Backwards compatibility is always a nice feature, but I don’t find it a required one, at least not in consoles. Especially since you can have a fine A/V multi-switch for about $20.

  5. yeah I understand the “fine multi-switch”

    Ya know its bad when I need a damned KVM for my consoles due to the lack of backward compatibility.

    Pay? Im sure I will.

    Now granted, I wanted to beef up the Tele, Loose the computer room all together along with the 500 appliances in the TV stand and run on laptops and wireless or something tiny like the Mac mini.As it stands now though I get to add another power sucking piece of shit to the mix and try to cable it all out and keep it organized… ..Which is what will ultimately happen here. Ill just upgrade the circuit and wire all of the way back to the box and drop a hundred and twelve outlets in the form of two chains of snaking surge protectors and its like magic. Problem solved. Dont get me wrong, I love to play my games but some of this has got to go. I mean come on, Im running out of places to charge shit. So I guess the real thing that burns my ass is this proprietary nonsence like all of these special memory cards or cables for each ‘different-but-the-same’ digital devices. Is it too much to ask that AA batteries are the same size year after year? I just want my games in one spot too. One magical happy console that doesnt exist in fairy retail land. Ill hold off as long as I can on the ‘greatest new thing’.

    bitter anyone?

    [another piece of shit that was almost great: sony mini disk]

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