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Old 07-Mar-2008, 16:47   #1
AzBat
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Microsoft XBOX RUMOR: Xbox 360 20GB SKU to be replaced by 60GB SKU

Trusted Reviews say they have info that says that the 20GB SKU will be replaced with a 60GB SKU sometime before the end of it's fiscal year(our Q2). They also say that the Microsoft is also looking to add another SKU. They're thinking maybe an internal Blu-ray SKU, but don't have any solid info. Plus, they're not sure what this means for the Arcade SKU. Though they think it will continue to not have a hard drive.

http://www.trustedreviews.com/gaming...-20GB-Model/p1

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Old 07-Mar-2008, 16:58   #2
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MS supporting BluRay
http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=94229

Sony in talks with MS
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=33879

As mentioned in that GI article though, a BluRay XB360 wouldn't be price competitive with PS3. MS would then have to compete on being perceived as the superior product. More likely an addon, rather than yet another SKU! 60 GB SKU makes sense for all the prior mentioned reasons of cost and capacity.
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 16:59   #3
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Don't devkits have 60GB HDDs? I seem to recall some press events where they had 360s with 60GB drives. Anyways, it's about time!

An internal BD SKU just doesn't fly with me either... but I suppose they *could* go with an even bigger HDD for such a SKU to justify a higher price point than the $399 PS3. Maybe include the latest HDMI version and offer all the fancy schmancy TrueHD/DTS-HDMA decoding. People would have the choice of downloading high def TV series and Blu Ray movies, and they would still have space for video game DLC.

.......or not.
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 17:08   #4
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MS supporting BluRay
http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=94229

Sony in talks with MS
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=33879

As mentioned in that GI article though, a BluRay XB360 wouldn't be price competitive with PS3. MS would then have to compete on being perceived as the superior product. More likely an addon, rather than yet another SKU! 60 GB SKU makes sense for all the prior mentioned reasons of cost and capacity.

I've seen all kinds of those "news" articles on that, but I never once considered it as such. It's a no-brainer. Microsoft is an OS vendor. So they are going to be talking with Sony about Blu-ray software support. I don't necessary think that means Microsoft is going to be bringing Blu-ray support to their Xbox platform. Their previous comments about poor attach rate for the HD-DVD add-on shows that they have no intention of doing the same for Blu-ray. Personally, I wished they would. I'd like to have a cheap Blu-ray add-on for my 360.

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Old 07-Mar-2008, 18:26   #5
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Trusted Reviews say they have info that says that the 20GB SKU will be replaced with a 60GB SKU sometime before the end of it's fiscal year(our Q2). They also say that the Microsoft is also looking to add another SKU. They're thinking maybe an internal Blu-ray SKU, but don't have any solid info. Plus, they're not sure what this means for the Arcade SKU. Though they think it will continue to not have a hard drive.

http://www.trustedreviews.com/gaming...-20GB-Model/p1

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Old 07-Mar-2008, 18:29   #6
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This part doesn't make sense to me. Why would MS rely on Sony for Blu-Ray drives? There are other CE companies who make these drives... aren't there?
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 18:45   #7
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This part doesn't make sense to me. Why would MS rely on Sony for Blu-Ray drives? There are other CE companies who make these drives... aren't there?
If I recall correctly, Sony is one of the larger producer of blue laser diodes.
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 19:36   #8
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Interestingly the company is also toying with the idea of introducing a new 360 SKU and given that hard drive and connectivity variations are already covered it would seem that the most logical conclusion is a model with a built-in Blu-ray drive.
I don't know if the information can be trusted or not, but this guy sure can't be trusted to make logical conclusions.

The leap from 'MS is thinking about a new sku' to 'this means a built-in Blu-ray drive' is one that Evel Knievel would have trouble making on his motorcycle.
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 20:21   #9
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What other SKU do you think is worth considering though? They've got bottom end, mid-range and top-end. Where else is there for another SKU to fit in, except at the very-top-end adding a feature?
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 20:40   #10
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Nevermind. Didn't read the whole thread.

Last edited by J_Saint; 07-Mar-2008 at 20:47.
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 20:53   #11
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I do not think Elite is covering the top-end any more. When Elite is first released, in addition to 100 gig extra space, it has HDMI output (+ stupid HDMI cable) too. Now, the only difference is 100 gig extra space which hardly justifies the extra 100$ price-tag. If, they bump up the HD space to 60 gig on pro models, they definitely have to do something else to make Elite more appealing. Bluray drive is a good answer.

The more Sony closes the gap in terms of games, the better MS has to do in hardware value (or price) department. In the last two years, if someone asked me what would be my console of choice, my answer was a clear 360 because of the many high-quality 360 exclusives + live features, even when the price gap is/was just 50$ last xmas. Toward the end of this year, with many AAA games coming to PS3 including MGS and GT5, with bluray now being the winner of the high-def war, with in-game XMB coming, and with almost equal quality third-party games, I am not sure if I can give the same answer unless MS differentiates 360 with some other way. This might be the price (pro: 300$ mid-year/250$ before xmas) or some other new hardware features (built-in wifi in pro/blu-ray drive in Elite) or combination of both (pro:300$ with 60 gig drive+built-in wifi). Without those, I am not sure if MS can sell another 7-10M this year.
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 21:24   #12
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I agree that if they still have the same Arcade SKU and add a 60GB HDD to the Premium SKU, then they seriously need to rework the Premium SKU. Just going to a bigger HDD doesn't seem plausible, but a Blu-ray and/or WiFi adapter does. I still think they need to do a XNA developer SKU though, even if it was available at retail.

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Old 07-Mar-2008, 21:33   #13
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What other SKU do you think is worth considering though? They've got bottom end, mid-range and top-end. Where else is there for another SKU to fit in, except at the very-top-end adding a feature?
Making the same strange leap of faith as the author, aren't you Shifty?

Why is a very-top-end sku more likely than a very-low-end sku?

Even if they were to decide very-top rather than very-low, why would that feature have to be a BR drive? Why couldn't it just be built in wi-fi?

As I said, it's a leap of logic that is incredibly large. Hell, it could be as something as mundane as making a silver or chrome-finished sku.

new sku doesn't equal blu ray
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 21:42   #14
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Making the same strange leap of faith as the author, aren't you Shifty?

Why is a very-top-end sku more likely than a very-low-end sku?

Even if they were to decide very-top rather than very-low, why would that feature have to be a BR drive? Why couldn't it just be built in wi-fi?

As I said, it's a leap of logic that is incredibly large. Hell, it could be as something as mundane as making a silver or chrome-finished sku.

new sku doesn't equal blu ray
I think that's incredibly strange leap of faith too. Why would they add value to the Premium, but not also do the same to their high tier SKU? I would think just adding something as cheap as a different color for the case is not really smart. Adding WiFi seems plausible, but the reason for thinking Blu-ray is because it would help fix the value perception compared to a similarly price PS3.

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Old 07-Mar-2008, 21:48   #15
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Making the same strange leap of faith as the author, aren't you Shifty? Why is a very-top-end sku more likely than a very-low-end sku?
Because they can't go lower than the Arcade!

Quote:
Even if they were to decide very-top rather than very-low, why would that feature have to be a BR drive? Why couldn't it just be built in wi-fi?
Differentiation. A new SKU would want a significantly different price point to the other options otherwise you're just confusing the consumer (even moreso!). Do you get the $320 model or the $350 model? At close prices the difference and choice becomes blurred, and shops will have greater difficulty deciding what to stock. If the choice is between $300 and $400, there's a clear distinction for shoppers and outlets. And if the upgrade is just as mundane as a WiFi inclusion, why not just do a WiFi bundle rather than a whole new mobo?

Edit : And as AzBat eloquently explains, product value. As the mid-tier improves in value, something has to be done at the top to justify the price difference.

Quote:
As I said, it's a leap of logic that is incredibly large. Hell, it could be as something as mundane as making a silver or chrome-finished sku.
Now that is true. I guess mention of SKU sets many folk thinking of a new hardware of some sort, rather than just a new variation. A new SKU could just be a 60GB version, taking SKU literally.
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 22:35   #16
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Now that is true. I guess mention of SKU sets many folk thinking of a new hardware of some sort, rather than just a new variation. A new SKU could just be a 60GB version, taking SKU literally.
Of course, a SKU is a SKU. It's a stock keeping unit. It could be a bundle, a different color, a model that maintains the identical price point but has a value added benefit such as wifi, or it could be something significant like a blu-ray drive.

The possibilities of what 'MS is kicking around the idea of introducing a new sku' means are almost endless and launching a 360 with a built in BR drive is only one of them. And I'd go so far as to say it's one of the least likely.
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 22:51   #17
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Actually, given the repeated denials and refutations by MS regards even thinking about BluRay, and their insistence at distancing themselves from it at every opportunity, I'd say it actually seems the most likely possibility. There's nothing quite like a good old flat-out corporate denial to indicate a future plan!
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 23:12   #18
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No one suggested that it just might be a GTAIV sku?
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 23:23   #19
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Actually, given the repeated denials and refutations by MS regards even thinking about BluRay, and their insistence at distancing themselves from it at every opportunity, I'd say it actually seems the most likely possibility. There's nothing quite like a good old flat-out corporate denial to indicate a future plan!
I recall Peter Moore saying that if Blue Ray wins the format war Ms could release an external BRD for X360.
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Old 08-Mar-2008, 00:03   #20
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I recall Peter Moore saying that if Blue Ray wins the format war Ms could release an external BRD for X360.

exactly,

it has actually been mentioned several times since release that a Blu Ray add on would be a possibility for 360. that was in fact one of their selling points of the DVD drive in 2005... "too early to call so we have options".

it is revisionist thinking to believe otherwise.

Last edited by Tap In; 08-Mar-2008 at 00:20.
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Old 08-Mar-2008, 00:39   #21
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No one suggested that it just might be a GTAIV sku?
GTAIV sku comes with a balaclava, pistol and street cred.
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Old 08-Mar-2008, 01:17   #22
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I dont think Blu Ray makes any sense at all. First of all I doubt MS is wholeheartedly embracing the technology, after all it's Sony's and ms is all about the downloads.

The main detractor though is you'd have all the costs with only (maybe) half the benefits, because you can never use that Blu Ray for games. It'd really be a pretty big waste, almost a shame.

Blu Ray drive costs are likely still very high at this point, and ms seems all about the hardware profits now. Do they really want to emulate Sony who is still losing money on PS3 hardware? I strongly doubt it. I think if Blu Ray ever makes sense to add in, it does so when the drives are cheap. In that time it becomes a "why not" feature, but not a compelling one. The problem is if the drives are cheap, then so are the stand alone players. So there's always kind of a narrow window for it to be very relevant imo. I say think back to the PS2 and DVD for your roadmap. Is DVD movie playback a big selling point of PS2 today? Not really, because DVD players are $29. it's more of a "why not" feature, nice to have if you need it.

Also I think it would cause major consumer confusion. So many average joes wouldn't understand if it was supposed to play Blu Ray games. Or which model they were supposed to buy (a ton of people would probably think blu ray was in essence required to play the latest games).

People saying there's no difference to Elite, well that's true now, and they seem to co-exist fine. Elite has the black color, and it would still have a much bigger hd (just like now) and it has a play and charge kit I think. They are likely to add wi-fi to it later, and you could always throw an extra controller or a game in it later to maintain it's l33tness if all sku's gain wi-fi.

So the blu ray rumor sounds like FUD to me.

The 60GB thing obviously seems possible, and likely a good move. To my mind the HD sizes are always going to be a place where the average consumer is likely to see the whole system as "better" because it has a larger hd. So in essence I'm saying Sony will likely want to rejigger to at least match that capacity on their lowest end model so as not to seem inferior. Althoug I thought they'd do that to match Elite and it hasn't happened so maybe not.

I think the 60 GB thing is a good move. 20 GB is 18.6 after formatting, and you end up with about 12GB of usable space. It's fine in a way, but it's also too small. I always thought they should drop all sku's but core and premium, re-jigger the premium to 40GB, and price it 299. This seems to be a little bit that direction.

Last edited by Rangers; 08-Mar-2008 at 01:24.
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Old 08-Mar-2008, 02:15   #23
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exactly,

it has actually been mentioned several times since release that a Blu Ray add on would be a possibility for 360. that was in fact one of their selling points of the DVD drive in 2005... "too early to call so we have options".

it is revisionist thinking to believe otherwise.
But nobody is saying otherwise.

Nobody is claiming that it isn't possible for MS to offer a BR add on.

The point is that a BR add on wouldn't be considered 'a new sku', it'd be simply another accessory. And as Rangers mentions above, MS is unlikely to do that unless it is profitable for them to do so. They have no motivation to create a BR add-on for the 360 and sell it at a loss. Also, when you consider how cheap the HD-DVD add-ons got (even before the format died) and the fact that the BR add-on wouldn't be priced nearly the same, 360 owners would probably balk at the difference.

And yes, the new sku could be a GTA IV package along the lines of the Halo3 sku.

Do we have sales figures on the Halo3 sku? Did they sell well? Were they more profitable for MS than their offerings?

Personally, I'm still disappointed the Simpsons sku was limited. I thought that console design rocked.
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Old 08-Mar-2008, 02:30   #24
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The point is that a BR add on wouldn't be considered 'a new sku', it'd be simply another accessory. And as Rangers mentions above, MS is unlikely to do that unless it is profitable for them to do so. They have no motivation to create a BR add-on for the 360 and sell it at a loss. Also, when you consider how cheap the HD-DVD add-ons got (even before the format died) and the fact that the BR add-on wouldn't be priced nearly the same, 360 owners would probably balk at the difference.

While somewhat offtopic, MS does have some incentive to build a BR addon,which is to forestall ps3 as BR player sales which could eat into multi-platform game sales. But still I think it would have to be at least a break even proposition for them to ship the product.
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Old 08-Mar-2008, 02:51   #25
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While somewhat offtopic, MS does have some incentive to build a BR addon,which is to forestall ps3 as BR player sales which could eat into multi-platform game sales. But still I think it would have to be at least a break even proposition for them to ship the product.
...I wrote about 4 paragraphs of a reply until I realized you were talking about the impact on software sales.

So your position is that 360 owners might purchase a PS3 for the BR capability, and then since they own both consoles, they would be just as likely to purchase Madden for their PS3 as they would for their 360.

If they never buy a PS3, because they have a BR add-on for their 360, they're going to buy Madden for the 360.

I would agree that you do make a valid point, but I would say that situation is exactly the one where MS would be able to rely upon console familiarity (controller design, etc) and should be able to rely upon Xbox Live! and Achievements as the tipping point to convince people to purchase multi-platform games for their 360 rather than their PS3.

And to be honest, if Live! and their achievement system can't offer that kind of differentiation and incentive, then MS isn't getting the sort of ROI on Live! that they should.

(Although, in the Epic thread, it does mention that Achievements provide more than a selling point, they act as a data mining tool for developers and MS which certainly has an additional value.)
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