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Sony's New Math prices Xbox 360 cost at almost $700

An official Sony document that compares next-generation consoles has been floating around the 'net lately, which we first spotted on Engadget. The document claims that the actual total cost of the Xbox 360 is $698, which apparently has much of the Xbox fan community up in arms.

Much of the controversy stems from the fact that Sony built Microsoft's console setup by starting with a Core system ($299) and then adding on a 20 GB hard drive ($100), a wireless controller ($50), an Xbox Live Gold subscription ($50) and the optional HD-DVD drive ($199), all of which add up to $698. (See figure 1.)

The argument against Sony's method is that it could have started with the Xbox 360 Premium package which, while $100 more than the Core, includes the 20 GB HD and wireless controller, shaving $150 off Sony's figures. The inclusion of the Xbox Live Gold subscription is debatable, as it is still unclear as to how Sony's online service compares to Microsoft's free Xbox Live Silver service.

The $199 HD-DVD drive, though not essential to gaming on the Xbox 360, is added to Sony's comparison on the basis that the PlayStation 3 also doubles as a Blu-ray movie player. Thus, the HD-DVD add-on is 'required' in order for the Xbox 360 to stay competitive in the HD movie space. To shed more light on this reasoning, Engadget received the following response from Dave Karraker, Senior Director of Corporate Communications for SCEA:

"Through our comparison chart we are not implying that you must purchase the myriad of peripherals and add-ons that Microsoft offers to play your Xbox 360. You don't. However, if you want to attempt to come close to the performance of the $499 PlayStation 3 by using your Xbox 360, Core or Premium, you could only do that through expensive add-ons -- that is what our chart is demonstrating. Once you add it all up, it would cost you more than our $499 unit, and you would still not come close to everything we offer, ie: free multiplayer gaming, 50GB storage capacity of Blu-ray disc, Blu-ray disc player for games AND movies, processing power of the Cell Broadband Engine."

One glaring omission from Sony's price comparison is that in order to take full advantage of PlayStation 3's high-definition capabilities, gamers will have to purchase HDMI cables that are not included with either versions of the console. On the other hand, Microsoft includes component cables with every Xbox 360 Premium.

Our own analysis of Sony's document also turned up other peculiarities. Under the "Wireless Communication" field, Sony lists its own machine to have 802.11b, making us scratch our heads at the missing "g". (See figure 3.)

A quick call to Sony, however, cleared up this small matter and we were sent an updated spec-sheet that restores the missing letter and confirms that the 60 GB PlayStation 3 does indeed come standard with IEEE 802.11b/g. (See figure 4.)



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XBOX Live vs Playstation Online
By Aikouka on 10/24/2006 3:19:28 PM , Rating: 2
It's very hard to debate the two online services, because no game publisher has announced whether or not they will charge money for play on the servers. Also, if there is no charge, what will the quality be like?

I know one thing, if I had to choose paying $60 a year for a years worth of XBOX Live (which I did pay and that's the premium yearly package with the headphones and points) and $1 a game for 5 games for 12 months. I think it's really just easier to pay for one overall service rather than so many little services. Note that I specifically made the figures add up to the same amount, they are not by any means validated figures/payment models.




RE: XBOX Live vs Playstation Online
By FITCamaro on 10/24/2006 5:53:01 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly. Sony pulled the same shit with the Xbox vs PS2 concerning online play. "Ours is free...it doesn't do anything....but its free." Xbox Live is a great integrated online component to the Xbox 360. Sure it costs money to play games, but if you just want to spend points and buy downloads, you don't have to pay anything. Is it unreasonable for Microsoft and the games studios to want a little money for the massive bandwidth people use in all the Xbox Live games that go on? You're getting access to play every single game that has an online multiplayer component for one single fee. Thats worlds better than any MMO. And I'm saying this as someone who doesn't even use it.

And while Sony's service offers the possibility of games developers letting people play for free, how good will it be? Any game that really is meant to be played online, will be charged for. Sure, it'll be better than the PS2, but you'll have different subscription fees for each game again. The only difference is now it'll be handled through Sony and you'll have to buy stupid points to pay for it. At least to play the games, Microsoft says how much they want per month up front. In the end, the Sony system could end up being more expensive than Xbox Live depending on how many games you want to play that are charged for.


RE: XBOX Live vs Playstation Online
By Aikouka on 10/25/2006 9:39:22 AM , Rating: 1
Just to make a correction to something you wrote, Sony doesn't have points in Playstation Online. They announced a couple weeks ago that they're using standard dollar amounts versus a point system that the XBOX 360 and Wii will use.


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