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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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The Price Of Entry Matters..
By ViperROhb34 on 10/24/2006 5:08:31 PM , Rating: 5
This thread is pretty dead to me.

I know 4 people not including myself who bought 360's..
and out of the 5 of us.. 3 of us barely afforded the 360..

The price of entry is just low enough for some to get into and upgrade later. Two of us bought premium consoles. the other 3 bought 299 consoles..

And by the way.. only 2 out of 5 of us plan on getting the HD-DVD player immediately.. So 3 of us may never by the add-on which makes Sony whole point Moot.. because there are alot of people who wont buy the addon..

One of the 5 of us.. was a 15yr .. whose mom is a single parent family.. she has 3 kids.. the 15yr older traded in alot of PS2 games and worked lawn jobs to buy his Xbox360.. He doesnt plan on getting the HD-DVD player because he doesnt have an HD-TV .. so even bluray doesnt matter..

To most Americans right now.. BLuray and HD-DVD just dont matter alot.. thats a reality..

RE: The Price Of Entry Matters..
By encryptkeeper on 10/24/2006 5:57:27 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. BluRay and HD don't matter right now. Hollywood isn't jumping behind either format. The reason there is such a rush to get a PS3 is to resell it to make money.

RE: The Price Of Entry Matters..
By Aikouka on 10/25/2006 9:36:24 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, and it's important to note that there's a reason no one's really jumping behind it... because there isn't a real need for it. I mean, you go back 5 years to DVD vs VHS, and people saw and were wow'd at the differences. It not only offered better quality video, it offered easier navigation, extras (making of's, behind the scenes, etc), easier storage, higher longevity (especially when considering recordables). Just as a note, yes some VHS movies did come with extras.. I remember my BttF trilogy came with an extra tape that had a bunch of goodies on it, but that's an extra tape :/.

What does Blu-Ray or HD-DVD offer us that we don't have? More storage. If DVD had the room, you could put higher resolution video on it too, but it simply doesn't have the room in most cases. So, it offers something that is taken advantage of by something that only a small percentage (I think it's 15%?) of the population can actually use.

I think the consumers realize it as well as most manufacturers... it's just not worth it at this point. Maybe when we all have 30+" HDTV flat-panels and the players are cheaper (kind of like how DVD players came down to a manageable price eventually), then you'll see a shift.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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