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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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By therealnickdanger on 10/24/2006 3:28:40 PM , Rating: 4
Assuming it is just you with no desire to play online or watch movies, this is the only breakdown that matters:

PS3: $499 +game
360: $299 +game
Wii: $249 +game

Good luck Sony.

RE: To play games, it will cost a bare minimum of...
By Aikouka on 10/24/06, Rating: -1
RE: To play games, it will cost a bare minimum of...
By daftrok on 10/24/06, Rating: -1
RE: To play games, it will cost a bare minimum of...
By ShapeGSX on 10/24/2006 3:49:12 PM , Rating: 4
First of all, what on earth do you need a USB hub for on a 360?

Second of all, I managed to get a 4 port USB 2.0 hub for just $2 after rebate recently.

Third, the USB port on the back isn't inconvenient, it is well placed. You don't always (ever?) want cords coming out of the front of your devices.

RE: To play games, it will cost a bare minimum of...
By daftrok on 10/24/06, Rating: -1
RE: To play games, it will cost a bare minimum of...
By daftrok on 10/24/06, Rating: -1
RE: To play games, it will cost a bare minimum of...
By BioRebel on 10/25/2006 1:25:50 AM , Rating: 2
Yes brilliant, lets use wired controllers instead of the built in wired system which works perfectly fine.

By BioRebel on 10/25/2006 1:27:06 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I meant use the wireless system.

By Spivonious on 10/24/2006 4:25:43 PM , Rating: 5
Let's compare them on even ground:

PS3: $499 gets you blu-ray, a hard drive, a wireless controller, free online, and SDTV output. Add $50 for HDMI cable, $60 for a game. Total: $609.

XB360: $399 gets you a hard drive, a wireless controller, free online for 3 months, and HDTV output. Add $199 for HD-DVD drive. Total: $598.

Bottomline: They cost the same. They have roughly equal-looking graphics that take a $1500+ tv to even see. They both have a very small selection of games. Enough with the fanboyism already.

By daftrok on 10/24/2006 4:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
$50 dollars for hdmi? more like 10. But I see your point. What with upscaling, firmware updates and usb add-ons, they will become increasingly similar over time, both in quality and price.

By Lonearchon on 10/25/2006 11:23:03 AM , Rating: 2
What about the Xbox360 game?
that would push the Xbox total above the PS3. But you do not need the HD-DVD drive placing it below the PS3.
Personaly I going to wait till the a good RPG comes out for it. there most like will not be a Final Fantasy game for for about a year since they are releasing a Game for a PS2 on 10/31 and hopefully by then prices on both will drop somewhat

By Aikouka on 10/25/2006 9:21:22 AM , Rating: 2
Umm, who said I didn't know how to do it? I simply said I don't know the detailed instructions to sit down and write a manual on it :P.

You want the nitty gritty on where to get the items to hack your XBOX 360? It's not hard to find... hell, the mod website I typically buy everything from has a handfull of chips for the X360

An' wow, the comment was more of a joke at that. You people get all up in a tizzy when it comes to video game debates... go outside, get some air, then come back in and learn to not make yourself look like an ass next time ;).

By Aikouka on 10/24/2006 3:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
People in Japan sure didn't mind buying the Core system that came with the Blue Dragon pack. :P

Although I can say that I would much rather have the Premium and I do own the Premium XBOX 360.

RE: To play games, it will cost a bare minimum of...
By VIAN on 10/24/2006 4:19:15 PM , Rating: 1
Almost correct.

PS3: $550 - includes: console, 1 game
360: $390 - includes: console, memory card, 1 game
Wii: $340 - includes: console, memory card, 1 game

A memory card is needed, plain and simple. It won't be fun playing the first level of a game like one of my friends did with RE2 on the PSX. I also added a memory card to the Wii for 40 bucks, a price I guessed.

By fk49 on 10/24/2006 6:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
er.. Wii has built in flash memory for save files.
Save files don't need to be huge.

If you REALLY need more space, Wii has a slot for SD cards, not proprietary memory cards. I can grab a 1GB SD card for $30 these days and it can be used in my camera and computer as well.

By Xavian on 10/25/2006 4:57:49 AM , Rating: 2
Wii has 512MB integrated flash for saves, VC games and the OS, memory cards are not needed.

By AnnihilatorX on 10/25/2006 9:51:21 AM , Rating: 2
Why do you need a memory card when you have a built in HDD?

By encryptkeeper on 10/24/2006 5:04:56 PM , Rating: 4
Sony also has the online gameplay listed as free for 6 months. I don't recall reading anything about a fee for online gaming. The DS online community is free, and I think they used that for a basis for Wii's online structure. If I'm wrong let me know, but I think Sony is trying to confuse people here since the web browser is a free download for the first 6 months of the Wii's life.

By Thmstec on 10/24/2006 8:48:22 PM , Rating: 2
well you don't even need a game with the Wii, it comes with Wii sports!

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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