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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 10:21:51 PM , Rating: 2
It depends on how you look at it and what you want. This is the lowlights from the IGN article (linked above).

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

MMM... OK. And what a great rule that is. If I add my long time friend I have to wait 30 days becasue he wasnt my "xbox live friend? Nice.

- Each game can only be given once.

Arbitrary and ridiculous for material that was PURCHASED LEGALLY. So I buy a game for $60, play it and then give it to my friend who plays it, then when he tries to sell it he cannot? WTF?

- 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."


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

As for your 10 family members, only one at a time. I suppose its nice in some situations, but the limitations above are just beyond comprehension to me for material that I own.

RE: It doesn't matter to me
By althaz on 6/19/2013 2:08:08 AM , Rating: 2
The majority of what you quote has nothing to do with the sharing feature, which is entirely seperate (according to Microsoft themselves, rather than IGN).

Sharing is an additional feature to these other terms, that lets you share your games with 10 "family" members. The only restriction is one person can play it at a time (although this isn't 100% clear from the documentation, it's implied and expected). They don't have to be family members either, or even in the same country as you :).

RE: It doesn't matter to me
By wempa on 6/19/2013 9:41:18 AM , Rating: 3

He is just pointing out that you are giving up a HECK of a lot to get this new "sharing" feature. Sure, sharing games with up to 10 people without worrying about discs can be nice. However, it's not worth giving up just about every other borrowing/reselling freedom we've had up until this point just to get this one "nice to have" feature.

RE: It doesn't matter to me
By Belard on 6/19/2013 1:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
The whole thing is a confusing mess. Afterall, if you NEED the disc to play, you can pop it in at any time... you know, like older consoles or the Playstation 4.

These restrictions and rules have done one simple thing: Makes the xbox01 NOT FUN.

Screw Microsoft, its another notch on their failure pole.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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