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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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RE: To play games, it will cost a bare minimum of...
By daftrok on 10/24/2006 3:40:06 PM , Rating: -1
PS3: $499 +game
360: $299 +game

Lets compare the two biggies. At the most, yes you will spend 200 dollars more on the PS3 than you will on the Xbox 360. HOWEVER, you have to realize that the PS3 comes with a 20 GB HDD and a wireless controller and bluetooth connectivity and free online. Now if you really dont care for those things you can sell the HDD (insane, much?), but you also have to realize that the 360, for some odd reason, has only 3 USB ports, one of which is inconviently placed on the back. Granted you can get a hub, but those are extremely limited, given by the fact that Xbox 360 sucks when it comes to 3rd party peripheals, so you will spend at minimum 20 dollars for a particular hub (I believe IGN featured one with a card reader along with the hub for around 30 dollars) and then spend around 40 dollars for a wired controller or just spend 50 on the wireless. Another big bump on the road is that if you want the lower end 360 but still want surround sound (which is pretty cheap nowadays), you have to buy the special component cables because it is the only one with the digital optical output on the physical plug itself. So, good luck Sony, because as was my point before, it may cost more now, but it will save you in the future because the simple fact of the matter is, you will always have accessories for your console.

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

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