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Chris Satchell says Xbox 360 with HDMI is just an experiment at the Microsoft HQ

Last week, pictures of a prototype Xbox 360 with an HDMI connector and a new scaler chip surfaced on the Web. Some took this as a sure sign that Microsoft was surely tooling a new version of its gaming console with updated features and improved technology, perhaps in response to both consumer demands and pressure from competitors.

During an interview with GameSpot at CES, Chris Satchell, general manager of the game developer group at Microsoft, addressed the rumors of an HDMI-enabled Xbox 360. He starts by saying, “We're always working on prototypes and new technologies and just playing with stuff in Redmond to see what's interesting. I think at the moment we have the widest available connections on the system. If you want to get great HD, I think we've got a good solution for that.”

Satchell then sidesteps the question for a bit and talks about the wide array of standards available to consumers and how Microsoft is always keeping an eye on that. He then returns to the original question and says, “At the moment, everything you might have seen is just looking at our experimentation back in Redmond, not really a product that we're thinking about announcing.”

With the Xbox Live Video Marketplace and eventual addition Xbox 360 IPTV, owners of Microsoft’s console will quickly find their 20GB hard drives without adequate storage space in a hurry. Another one of the rumored upcoming upgrades to the Xbox 360 is a bigger hard drive, which has been hinted at previously. Satchell responds to the cries for a roomier drive with the following: “That's not really something we're looking at today. We're very open to feedback on it. As we produce these services, if we see an increase in pressure that's something that will be interesting to look at, but there isn't any announcement today about any new configuration that may or may not be happening.”

Satchell also mentions in the interview that Microsoft currently has no plans to offer an IPTV product directly, instead opting to allow its telco partners to set pricing and bundle options for the product’s eventual rollout.

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This isn't surprising at all...
By nerdtalker on 1/11/2007 6:02:40 PM , Rating: 5
What, am I missing something here? Did anybody seriously expect Microsoft to affirm the alleged upcoming new Xbox 360?

Doing so would pretty much cause sales of the current generation to essentially halt. Nobody wants retail shelves and warehouses choc-full of obsolete stuff that nobody wants; this is economics in action. Oh, sure the Xbox 360 with HDMI will happen, the mere presence of one existing with a physical port added to it basically confirms that a cable isn't feasible.

I'm not worried about this, they need to fix the issues they already have with their VGA implementation before they go on to digital.

RE: This isn't surprising at all...
By ATC on 1/11/2007 6:17:14 PM , Rating: 4
I completely agree. MS would be shooting themselves in the foot for announcing anything early.

They would continue to deny all this till a day before release maybe.

RE: This isn't surprising at all...
By TheDoc9 on 1/11/2007 8:26:30 PM , Rating: 3
Oh of course, that entire interview said absolutly nothing. What they did was tell people who can't read between the lines to go ahead and buy a system and not to worry - today.

I know If I had a product that was over a year old I would play with the configuration and add expensive parts and have professional test units built - just for the hell of it.

RE: This isn't surprising at all...
By Aikouka on 1/12/2007 8:03:59 AM , Rating: 2
That may be true... or there may be a different reason.

Usually when a company is testing something such as an overhaul or a second version of a system, they may go through changes throughout the cycle. It's similar to the initial design of a system, except there's less things that can be changed (since the requirements of the system are already set). But to avoid a Playstation 3 or a Fable esque situation, Microsoft doesn't want to affirm anything or else people will expect that what they see here is the next system. Then if Microsoft rescinds on any of those "promises", people will be a bit irate.

That's how I took this announcement. In other words, Microsoft doesn't want any problems with people expecting something and them eventually settling on something else.

By ToeCutter on 1/12/2007 10:21:54 AM , Rating: 2
Right on.

Look for a price cut to move old inventory before MS releases the HDMI Xbox 360.

When you combine the cost of an Xbox 360 plus HD-DVD, the PS3 and Xbox360 are essentially the same price, with PS3 offering both HDMI and 3x the HDD space.

It's impossible for MS to compete directly with PS3 w/o having HDMI available on Xbox 360.

HDMI is the ONLY reason I haven't popped for an Xbox 360. If MS can't deliver one with HDMI soon, I'll grab a PS3 as they've suddenly become available just about everywhere.

To Microsoft
By TheRequiem on 1/11/2007 11:45:05 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft, please give us HDMI!!!!

A larger HD is a Bonus. =)

RE: To Microsoft
By daftrok on 1/12/2007 2:02:58 AM , Rating: 2
I think you mean, please give us HDMI with our current systems (adapter...I know it's possible, it just has to be!), if not, at least let us put in a bigger HDD ourselves without getting pissy.

RE: To Microsoft
By otispunkmeyer on 1/12/2007 4:04:27 AM , Rating: 3
i dont think it is possible

the current 360 doesnt output any kind of digital video or have HDCP protection

its all analogue.

like on pc you can plug a analogue lead into a digital port (since dvi carries both analog and digital) but you cant turn analog into digital

i thought thats why they have this new HANA chip...for digital video out with HDCP

RE: To Microsoft
By NullSubroutine on 1/12/2007 5:36:22 AM , Rating: 2
there is still no absolute evidence that the 360 lacks digital out capacity. it is merely a strong speculation.

RE: To Microsoft
By Zirconium on 1/14/2007 11:42:23 AM , Rating: 1
The proof is in the pudding. If the 360 had digital out, then there would already be an HDMI or DVI cable.

RE: To Microsoft
By ToeCutter on 1/12/2007 10:30:49 AM , Rating: 2
I think you mean, please give us HDMI with our current systems (adapter...I know it's possible, it just has to be!), if not, at least let us put in a bigger HDD ourselves without getting pissy.

It is not possible to convert analog HD to digital within the realm of HDCP (Which is required for HD-DVD).

MS cut the corners on this one, saving enormous expense in going with component/VGA outputs on the Xbox 360. They spared themselves the cost of licensing both HDMI and HDCP, as neither is required when using analog component output.

(Interestingly enough, MS appears to have licensed BOTH technologies, it simply isn't certain as to when they obtained their licenses)

did anyone watch the Xbox scene vid?
By Hyperlite on 1/11/2007 7:32:14 PM , Rating: 3
If you watched that video they had, it was pretty apparent (at least i think so) that they ment business. it wasn't like they cut a hole in the back of the case for the HDMI.

RE: did anyone watch the Xbox scene vid?
By creathir on 1/11/2007 8:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
That is proof enough that this is just not "playing around" up at MS. Plastics being molded... CHIPS being PRINTED... (HANA is larger than ANA) and boards being layed....

They mean serious business...

I would expect to see it within six months, tops, given the level of prototyping they were at.

- Creathir

By Fnoob on 1/11/2007 8:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
I bet you are correct. Watch for a tax return season release to coincide with a Halo 3 release. Gleeeee.

By NullSubroutine on 1/12/2007 1:54:27 AM , Rating: 2
you know, just because its like that in a developers xbox doesnt mean thats what it would look like for consumers. its very possible microsoft purposely put the HDMI on the xbox as unremovable so that noone would sell the AV cable online or that it was easier to impliment than the AV cable.

as for the harddrive, i personally plan to take my 80GB HD out of my laptop when SSD drives come out next year and prices fall (im guessing around nov/dec o-seven).

Diehard PC Gamer
By thebrown13 on 1/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: Diehard PC Gamer
By daftrok on 1/12/2007 2:05:45 AM , Rating: 3
True, but this only Microsoft BS is starting to annoy me. Only Microsoft HDD, only Microsoft wireless, only Microsoft Webcam, only Microsoft cable to charge controller. COME ON ALREADY. Give us a chance to expand without you!

RE: Diehard PC Gamer
By Xeronix on 1/12/2007 3:13:07 AM , Rating: 2
And yet people only seem to complain about Sony's proprietary stuff

RE: Diehard PC Gamer
By otispunkmeyer on 1/12/2007 3:56:57 AM , Rating: 2
well at least sony go to the touble of designing a new format for their proprietry stuff (memory stick, mini-disc, Atrac3 etc)

the 360 uses normal stuff you find on a PC like USB ports..yet bar plugging in an external drive to give you some limited storage options you cant use anything non-MS

infact im not sure my MS VX3000 web cam would work on the 360, and for all intents and purposes its the same bloody camera, just in a different box

RE: Diehard PC Gamer
By lamerz4391 on 1/12/2007 1:09:40 PM , Rating: 2
Oh? Should Microsoft go and bloat up the Xbox 360 with a million different drivers and all sorts of legacy support for different devices like they do on the PC? Be careful what you wish for. Windows bloat is a common complaint, and much of it is due to legacy junk and support for a vast array of hardware.

Not a lot of info here
By SomeYoungMan on 1/11/2007 6:00:10 PM , Rating: 2
Chris Satchell, general manager of the game developer group at Microsoft

Maybe they should be asking game development about hard drives and VoIP service. This guy obviously doesn't want to say the wrong thing and incur Bill's wrath.

This is the worst part of the interview:
Satchell responds to the cries for a roomier drive with the following: “That's not really something we're looking at today.

He claims they're not even looking into a larger hard drive? I call BS.

RE: Not a lot of info here
By SomeYoungMan on 1/11/2007 6:02:45 PM , Rating: 2
That should read "Maybe they shouldn't ".

RE: Not a lot of info here
By RandomFool on 1/11/2007 9:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
They've probably already looked into it and decided to upgrade the HD. He's not lying if they already looked into it and made a decision.

Don't forget
By loomis2 on 1/11/2007 6:52:22 PM , Rating: 2
The PS3 allows the use of ANY comaptible hard drive on the market to be used in the system. I wonder is MS might go that route with the 360. I for one wouldn't mind a 250 gb hard drive sitting next to my system if it means I don't have to buy an outrageously overpriced hard drive from ms. Heck, make it so it only plays stuff from marketplace. That way the 20gb current drive would still be feasable and plenty big enough as is.

RE: Don't forget
By THEiNTERNETS on 1/11/2007 7:19:50 PM , Rating: 2
It would be really nice to see them sell the enclosure for something like $20 and then let you put your own 2.5" or 3.5" drive in there.

Then, as you say, people could get exactly the size of hard drive they want. A 80gb Seagate is just $40 bucks on Newegg! That's quadruple the current storage available at a total price point of $60. MS would be wise to cash in on this, if only to quell PS3 advantage in this area.

Optimally they'd just let you use one via usb ala their HD-DVD Drive. Then they could really sell themselves as a customizable open-ended console since you could turn around and use part of the partition for your computer too. With the solid state drives on the way, this idea sounds sexy to me.

Unfortunately, both of these ideas probably make for a great many piracy/hacking concerns but one can dream.

However, I think both make more sense then a proprietary 120gb hard drive.

Economics Lesson
By TGIFnooner on 1/12/2007 4:16:55 PM , Rating: 2
First off, any of us reading this or at this sight have the knowledge and desire to get the Top of the Line with all the bells and whistles. Unfortunately we have to share these items with the rest of the world.

The game is called upgrades. You buy what you need and upgrade to what you want. Why do you think the PS3's are already sitting on shelves. Average Joe can't afford it or use all the extras.

MS was very smart with the 360. Sell what just about everyone can use now at a lower price and allow the Techno Geeks to upgrade to what they want. how many people do you know have a 1080p monitor or want to spend $20 plus on a HD movie. I don't know many. So why on Gods green earth would you price yourself out of a sale with, for the most part, useless hardware. If it would increase the unit cost $200 - $300 to begin with. What difference does it make if you have to spend $200 to $300 in upgrades.

Also know as the law of diminishing returns. Price and volumes have a trade off.

People don't buy a Hummer when they need a Pickup truck.

I will concede the 20gig HD was at least to say skimpy.

RE: Economics Lesson
By RedStar on 1/12/2007 6:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
i agree with what you are saying ...and this is why we have the PC.

If the console did have a mouse/keyboard and the ability to upgrade video card..i would actually think about getting one. I like upgrades.

But, this would water down the xbox brand ...and people would be back to checking hardware specs ...and developers would be supporting the lowest common denominator. There would be no seperation between a console and a PC.

Perhaps this was an artificial seperation to begin with.
Sony has admitted their PS3 is a computer.

If anything this whole thing seems like a validation of the PC. I am all for that :)

No HDD increase
By darkpaw on 1/11/2007 5:58:09 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't bought a 360 yet, but was definately planning on doing so this year. That said, if they don't increase the drive size or allow USB storage I probably won't. What's the point of offering all this downloadable content if you can't put it anywhere? My three year old Tivo has twice as much storage and I still fill that up pretty easily without any gaming content at all.

By trifin on 1/12/2007 4:11:41 AM , Rating: 2
I know lying is apparently ok in business - You got to think of those stock prices rather than doing what your mom told you to do - TELL THE TRUTH ;)

We will see but I bet they release something in the next year - which means this man is a liar...


We want 360 v2.0!!!
By edge929 on 1/12/2007 9:49:16 AM , Rating: 2
If they actually brought out this v2.0 it would be the final nail in the coffin for me to buy a 360. My roommate has Gears of War and that game alone is almost worth a 360 IMO. Give me HDMI, make it run cooler and drop the price at least a little bit for peace of mind and I'm game.

By jelifah on 1/12/2007 10:00:41 AM , Rating: 2
My title is only slightly sarcastic.

Everyone complaining about proprietary hardware for the xBox needs to take a step back. They sold the console last year for an estimated loss of $100.

To me at least, Microsoft was always very upfront with their pricing schemes. You walk into the next generation console door very cheaply, just like you when you buy a razor or a printer, but they fully intend to monetize EVERYTHING on the back end. $60-$70 games, $2 per GB hard drives, etc.

In fact consider this:
At least 2 million units were sold at a $100 loss (Just speaking in general terms).
Microsoft is down $200 Million right away.
Now you need those 2 million people EACH to buy enough items to give you a net profit of $100 each. So, let's say they bought 2 games and another controller. That's maybe $150 in sales, and maybe $50 net profit at the most?

It appears to me that
The xBox 1.0 generation was a lost revenue product to enter the market (This is fact)
The xBox 360 may break even, or see a small profit
The xBox 3.0 generation will see Microsoft completely dominating the high end console market.

By NaughtyGeek on 1/12/2007 11:34:44 AM , Rating: 2
Those in the United States may be unaware that Microsoft has been aggressively pushing its IP-based television platform around the world, and this new Xbox will seek to bring the technology to a much wider audience. It will include a larger hard drive than the current Xbox 360 premium console, as well as the circuitry needed for IPTV.


MS Lying?
By deeznuts on 1/12/2007 1:57:43 PM , Rating: 2
Sony has lied their arse off, or at least promised stuff they couldn't deliver.

If we see a product with these specs on them soon, is everyone quick to call MS liars?

By RedStar on 1/12/2007 2:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
Standard hardware is one of the biggest reasons cited for going to a console over a PC. There is no user fragmentation and developers can easily support their games.

MS has not allowed a mouse/keyboard specifically because they did not want the xbox to be thought of as a computer.

To allow console upgrades would be a admitting they are simply PC's with limited upgradability. The user base would become fragmented.

But perhaps even more importantly, all the people who have already bought xbox 360's would feel betrayed unless they were offered the new console for free or a minimum upgrade fee (as if that would happen).

I do not understand why MS chose to use such a low capacity HDD without the ability to easily upgrade the size as they became cheaper. The HDD is the achilles heal of the 360.

So perhaps they will have to offer an external HDD solution.
But, it is a dangerous slope ..already started with the add don Hd-dvd.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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