Print 81 comment(s) - last by Legionosh.. on Oct 25 at 12:49 PM

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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: HDMI Cable
By Legionosh on 10/24/2006 5:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
HDMI cables are one thing. Sure they can be had cheap. Easy enough.

But the real issue is how many people own TVs capable of HDMI AND 1080p?

I can imagine it's a VERY small and minute number at best. Sure these days Wal-mart has a 26" LCD HDTV W/HDMI for $640 or so, which is a pretty good deal..

..but it is only 720p, as is the TV I bought at tax time (but sadly no HDMI, which I would've been more knowledgable about HDMI at tax time when I bought my TV..oh well)

Most americans don't have a 1080p TV, and I am sure worldwide the numbers aren't much higher. While it would be a nice feature, at this point it really isn't a factor.

The there is the issue of the the 1.1 and 1.3 HDMI version conflict, which has been discussed already several times. Which will play a HUGE factor once the copyright protected (DRM?) Blu-Ray HD movies hit the scene.

The way I understand it, the PS3 uses 1.1 and the TVs use 1.3, so the copyright protection will not be able to be turned off (via HDMI), meaning the Blu-Ray movies won't be able to be watched in 1080p.

Which totally makes Sonys idea of HD Movie copyright protection basically and simply retarded.. least in my book. Who is the genius that came up with that one? That's what I'd like to know.

Anyway that's my two cents,

RE: HDMI Cable
By michal1980 on 10/24/06, Rating: -1
RE: HDMI Cable
By whymeintrouble on 10/24/2006 9:16:54 PM , Rating: 2
You won't have to worry about HDCP considering that the 360 doesn't have a digital vid connection. the analog Component will show high def with whatever the max the TV will output via that connection.

RE: HDMI Cable
By Legionosh on 10/25/2006 12:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
You know there's no need to be so defensive. I made an error and I will accept and admit that. Too bad you are such a fanboy that you took it personally.

(If you sounded like anymore of a fanboy it will be silly, but at least you're one of the few who at least has some knowledge behind his ramblings. Too bad you're such a blatant jerk)

A) I got the 1.3 and 1.1 reversed. A simple enough mistake.I make mistakes and am man enough to admit it when I do.

B) While I AM aware that most new standards ARE backwards compatible, MORE OFTEN than not the OLD standards are NOT forwards compatible, hence my possible confusion. 99% of the time older technologies are NOT forwards compatible with newer standards. Usually the newer standards are downgraded to the olders standard performance limitations. Frankly I don't know of a situation where the opposite applies...

C) I am not fond of being called ignorant. Misinformed? Sure, a common enough mistake for anyone. But to simply and blatantly call me ignorant just to make your head that much bigger than it is is uncalled for. More fuel for your fanboy fire I take it.

D) I never said HD-DVD DIDN'T have HDCP protection, but there is nowhere near as a big a fuss about it in the HD-DVD camp as there is in the Blu-Ray camp. I am fully aware that the 360 has no HDMI and will therefore be in trouble if and when HDCP turns mainstream. But that would make ALL the people who own HDTVs without HDMI VERY angry, myself included.

E) I am aware that the PS3 will play HDCP movies. I never said it wouldn't. I DID say I was under the impression that there would be a problem with HDCP due to the HDMI version difference. Maybe I was misinformed?

F) I am well aware of the 1080p hype and it's viewing limitations, but try telling that to Sony. Seems to be all they can talk about these days.

G) Lies? Well apparently you saw fit to only correct me on some things (seemingly only the things that offended your fanboy side), but you left other things alone. So apparently it wasn't all lies.

Actually looking back it was only one mistake. The whole HDMI 1.3, 1.1 issue. And only on that I said that the PS3 had 1.1, when it has 1.3. (well that and I confused DRM with HDCP, my mistake on that one)

While it is fully backwards compatible (as are most new standards, as I stated earlier) that doesn't mean 1.1 or 1.2 are forwards compatible. Any benefits that 1.3 brings may or may not be lost. I am apparently not as well versed in HDMI as you are, but I am a fairly knowledgeable person overall.

So if 1.3 is a requirement for HDCP (hypothetically, again I don't know and this is an assumption) wouldn't that cause an issue since it will be delegated to 1.1 or 1.2 version standards?

Maybe it's not as issue at all, but it is food for thought.

Also don't get too full of yourself. Just because someone may be less informed than you doesn't make them a "noob" or ignorant. My basic idea was a sound one, but if it was wrong then I made a mistake due to being misinformed.

Lastly I am well aware that HDTVs are being introduced into more and more homes (again I never said the opposite, actually I did say how inexpensive they are at Wal-Mart), I DID say that I am pretty sure there are quite a few owners now who had HDTVs without HDMI. That is going to be cause for concern. There is a big difference between buying a $200 TV and a $2000 TV. The $200 one can be moved to the kids room, easy enough.

But to spend $2000 on a nice TV, buy a new HD movie player and then come to find out that the new HDCP protected movie you just bought won't play because your TV is (only) 2 years old and has no HDMI is bound to make some people mad.

This may be a rare case but it bound to happen.

And only if HDCP is turned on by the studios. But these days seemingly more and more things are becoming copyright protected so it may only be a matter of time.

Again my apologies for my being misinformed. But spreading lies? I think not.


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