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Omniscient
05-13-2005, 02:50 PM
I suppose the answers to this will be purely speculation, but it's probably going to be a technical answer so it's going here in GQ.

The question:

Why would Microsoft be planning on releasing the new XBOX 360 without a Hard Drive? They are speculating that it'll ship in multiple versions, one of which has no HD, the other has one. Even the supposed HD version are speculating at max and 20GB HD. Frankly, I am amazed they even have them that small anymore.

What possible reason would there be for this?

I'm assuming the following factors are:

1) Limit the ability to hack the machines and bootleg games
2) Force media center users to buy additional add ons
3) Minimize the size of the console

Those reason are all pretty thin IMHO.

Does this mean that all games will effectively be run directly off the optical disk? That sounds really iffy, even with the advances in read speeds. If it's only got 512 MB memory, they can't be expecting to store much game play statistics in memory. Where would they mantain user accounts and save points?

Whats the deal, how is this even remotely practical?

Orbifold
05-13-2005, 03:28 PM
I'm assuming the following factors are:

1) Limit the ability to hack the machines and bootleg games
2) Force media center users to buy additional add ons
3) Minimize the size of the console


I'm guessing (2a): minimize the cost of the unit. Microsoft is hitting the market before Sony, but Sony has this nasty habit of starting, then winning, price wars with people who beat them to the market. Microsoft needs to get their brand established before the PS3 comes stomping in like a runaway elephant, and a high price point won't help (even if lots of users end up buying the hard drive anyway).


Where would they mantain user accounts and save points?


Memory sticks, like the PS2?

Nanoda
05-13-2005, 04:09 PM
Well, 20G drives are older technology, with (I imagine) more tolerance, and definately a single platter, meaning less to break.

I haven't read anything about the new X-Box, but a WAG would be price, plus perhaps Microsoft wants to provide some sort of on-line 'service' that can store all your X-Box data. In the gaming world, if you can get people to pay you more than just the once, you're gold.

Omniscient
05-13-2005, 04:15 PM
Memory sticks.......could be, hadn't thought of that.

I don't know enough about the science behind how these things run, but it certainly seems that a HD would be pretty important for performance and scalability. Memory sticks and RAM seems to the amount of data you can store quite firmly.

Omniscient
05-13-2005, 04:16 PM
Memory sticks.......could be, hadn't thought of that.

I don't know enough about the science behind how these things run, but it certainly seems that a HD would be pretty important for performance and scalability. Memory sticks and RAM seems to limit the amount of data you can store quite firmly.

Oops.

Arwin
05-13-2005, 04:23 PM
Memory sticks.......could be, hadn't thought of that.

I don't know enough about the science behind how these things run, but it certainly seems that a HD would be pretty important for performance and scalability. Memory sticks and RAM seems to the amount of data you can store quite firmly.

I suspect a simple analysis of the use of the Xbox's harddrive and the fact that the Xbox has been unprofitable generally (except last year when Halo managed to actually make MS a few bucks) due to the fact that it's by far the most expensive of the three consoles but has to compete at the same price level anyway. The amount of data that most people use it for is tiny. The only real use gotten out of the Xbox's HD comes from the mod-scene and media-centre, which Microsoft doesn't support and doesn't really make money from - I'd wager even lose money to, due to the 'side-effect' of being able to illegally copy games. There's the mp3 stuff, but I'm betting too few people use the Xbox for that and it's not important enough.

So in short, a memory stick of say 512mb would be plenty enough for quite a few downloadable upgrades. And in the meantime, I'm willing to bet MS is going for expanding the whole Live thing, the only thing that contributed to the Xbox's success, with download on demand, online storage etc.

Raguleader
05-13-2005, 04:47 PM
Memory sticks.......could be, hadn't thought of that.

I don't know enough about the science behind how these things run, but it certainly seems that a HD would be pretty important for performance and scalability. Memory sticks and RAM seems to limit the amount of data you can store quite firmly.

Well, memory cards seem to be getting pretty big lately. I know I've seen them as large as 1GB, and I'm sure they'll get bigger than that. Add on to that the fact that if you need more space, you can allways buy additional memory cards and switch them out as needed. I don't know if this is what MS is doing with the new XBox, but it's a possibility.

On a related note, I think it would have rocked if any of the playstations had been compatible with Sony MemoryStick in addition to (or instead of) the PSX/PS2 memory cards.

Catalyst
05-13-2005, 10:58 PM
Where'd you hear that the 360 won't have an HDD? Tom's Hardware (http://www.tomshardware.com/game/200505121/index.html) says that the basic model will have a removable 20GB HDD, which can be upgraded later.

Personally, I'm disappointed by the lack of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray support.

filmyak
05-14-2005, 04:14 AM
Wired has a great article on why M$ got into the video game business in the first place, and the goal for the new Xbox (think media center).
link (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.06/xbox.html?tw=wn_tophead_3)

Sam Stone
05-14-2005, 12:42 PM
Where'd you hear that the 360 won't have an HDD? Tom's Hardware (http://www.tomshardware.com/game/200505121/index.html) says that the basic model will have a removable 20GB HDD, which can be upgraded later.

Everything I've read says that as well.


Personally, I'm disappointed by the lack of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray support.

But does it support Microsoft's HD WMV files? If it does, then you might be able t o get an HD-DVD player for your PC, and stream your HD content through the Xbox into your media room.

I'm stoked about the Xbox 360. I haven't been much of a console game player, but the media features of this thing are perfect for my home theater. I can not only play games in HD widescreen, but I can stream videos from my computer, photos of the family, and music through the Xbox. Very cool.

filmyak
05-14-2005, 02:01 PM
What I find interesting -- and worrisome -- is that so many hidef tv screens have issues with burn-in, especially the flat-screen varieties. The worst thing you can do on a burn-in prone sreen is play a video game, as most have consant HUD sections that can do real damage to your hidef set over time.

In fact, last time I looked there were only 1 or 2 styles of hidef sets that did not have this problem. If I remember correctly, they are the tube screens -- which have size limitations and are not flat -- and the DLP screens.

I'm curious to see how this affects hidefinition gaming.

Shalmanese
05-14-2005, 07:36 PM
MS have already forseen that and mandated that all Xbox360 games must have animated status bars that should alleviate burn-in.

Nanoda
05-14-2005, 08:06 PM
MS have already forseen that and mandated that all Xbox360 games must have animated status bars that should alleviate burn-in.

That would suck having 'MISSION FAILED' burnt over top of your episode of CSI. ;)