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Meanwhile Xbox 360 continues to sell strong

Even as the storm over digital rights management (DRM) thunders on the horizon for Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) holiday season, the offline-playable Xbox 360 continues to sell strong.

I. Xbox 360 Stays Strong

In May the Xbox 360 marked its 29th month atop U.S. sales charts, moving 114,000 units.  That's down from 160,000 units in May 2012, but then again the console market as a whole ticked downward.  Microsoft's numbers come courtesy of third party sales tracking firm NPD Group Inc.  Overall game revenue was down 25 percent for the month.
In total Microsoft pocketed $149.8M USD in Xbox revenue (from software, accessories, and console sales).

Microsoft is hoping that a redesigned case, showed off at this years Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) will help it continue its dominance.  The new case resembles the upcoming Xbox One, with a slimmer profile and quieter internals.  The redesign is similar to rival Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) penchant for "slim" console refreshes.

Microsoft Xbox 360 refresh
Microsoft's Xbox 360 refresh

Prices for the redesigned 'box remain unchanged at $199.99 for the 4GB version, $299.99 for a 250GB version, and $299.99 for a 4GB version with a bundled Kinect sensor.  Microsoft has announced that it hopes to sell another 25 million Xbox 360s, offering the system as a cheaper alternative to next generation consoles.  That would bring lifetime sales to 100 million units globally.

II. Microsoft: Xbox is 10x... no, 3x... no, 8x... no, 10x... no, 40x More Powerful!

Meanwhile yet another controversy is brewing over the Xbox One -- but this time it isn't about DRM.  Rather it's about the processing power of the Xbox One.

In raw performance of the in-console hardware, Sony's PlayStation 4 will reportedly trump the Xbox One's internals with a slightly more powerful CPU/GPU combo.  But Microsoft's controversial "always on" DRM scheme does offer some degree of parity, allowing Microsoft to bump some amount of processing off the console.

Regardless, Microsoft appears intent on comparing its console against a known -- the Xbox 360.  And it's there that the confusion begins.
Xbox One
The Xbox One

In an interview with Stevivor on May 22 Microsoft Xbox Australia spokesperson Adam Pollington remarked, "It’s also been stated that the Xbox One is ten times more powerful than the Xbox 360, so we’re effectively 40 times greater than the Xbox 360 in terms of processing capabilities [using the cloud]." (emphasis added)

Microsoft Game Studio chief Phil Spencer on Monday's episode of "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" bragged that the Xbox 360 was 3x more powerful:

Later, at roughly 4 a.m. EST he took to Twitter to correct himself at least twice as he first said 8x, then 10x (without the cloud):

Even if that number is correct there's still some big questions about Microsoft's numbers.  Mr. Pollington's comments seem to suggest that the Xbox One will quadruple its onboard processing power via the cloud.  That's a rather ambitious claim -- and one which will need to be seen to be believed.

If it can indeed up its console's performance by 300 percent with cloud computing, then perhaps it has some ammo against critics of its always-on DRM scheme.  If not, the critics will score yet another strike against the embattled gaming box.

Sources: Microsoft [1], [2; Twitter]

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RE: It doesn't matter to me
By retrospooty on 6/18/2013 4:44:19 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever... MS, or the devs. It still has to be activated, you cant just do it. It's just not necessary, nor is the internet requirement.

For the games Microsoft publishes, Microsoft Studios will allow you to give your games to friends or trade in your Xbox One games to used game stores. There are caveats:[1]

You can only give Xbox One games to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days.

Each game can only be given once.

Anyone can play your games on your console -- regardless of whether you are logged in.

Microsoft allows you to gift games to friends but they can't "borrow" them. Microsoft says of this, "loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners."

Xbox One will also allow you to give up to 10 family members access to "log in and play from your shared games library on any Xbox One."

You can always play your games, but only one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time.


No thanks.

RE: It doesn't matter to me
By troysavary on 6/18/2013 8:06:07 PM , Rating: 1
The ability to share with family members is great for parents with kids in university. Good luck sharing that PS4 disk with your kids if they are in school on the opposite coast. Xbox One makes that easy. Or, in my case, having small kids, the ability to install the games on a HD and put the disc in a safe place is a game saver. So what if it needs to be online? My internet almost never goes down. The one time I lost it was due to an ice storm breaking the line and my provider fixed it the same day.

RE: It doesn't matter to me
By retrospooty on 6/18/2013 8:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like the XB-One works for you. Enjoy it.

RE: It doesn't matter to me
By Motoman on 6/19/2013 3:32:16 PM , Rating: 3
People who surrender rights for convenience deserve neither.

RE: It doesn't matter to me
By retrospooty on 6/19/2013 5:33:53 PM , Rating: 2
Muhahahaha... Muhahahahaha.... Muhahahahaha........

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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