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"Yippee-ki-yay, Mr. Falcon." Microsoft prepares 65nm chips for Xbox 360

When it comes to Microsoft's Xbox 360, Dean Takahashi always seems to have the inside scoop. He was the first to spill the beans on Xbox 360 IPTV and provided confirmation on the existence of the Xbox 360 Elite.

Today, Takahashi confirmed that Microsoft's upcoming 65nm die shrink for the Xbox 360's microprocessor and GPU is codenamed "Falcon." Takahashi reports that Microsoft is currently qualifying the new Falcon chips along with a redesigned motherboard. The 65nm-equipped Xbox 360s are due to hit store shelves this fall.

The new chips are not only smaller and roughly 50 percent cheaper to produce than their 90nm counterpart, but they are also cooler. Cooler-running chips coupled with a revised cooling solution would go a long way to eradicating the Xbox 360’s fatal flaw: the Red Ring of Death (RROD).

Heat has been a big problem with the Xbox 360 and has been the root cause of RROD cases around the globe. Microsoft has countered the RROD failures by increasing the warranty of the console, adding various "warranty enhancements" and beefed up cooling solutions on new production Xbox 360 units.

Microsoft ultimately caved in to mounting pressure from the Xbox 360 community on RROD failures and announced a $1 billion initiative to service Xbox 360s afflicted with the problem and extended warranty coverage for those machines to three years.

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RE: Price cut?
By FITCamaro on 7/9/2007 3:14:03 PM , Rating: 4
No they'll need a price cut. The Elite is only $20 less than the new PS3 price. It might have a bigger hard drive and come with component, ethernet, and HDMI cables, but it'll still need to drop at least to $399 to keep its competition up. Really Microsoft needs to drop the Core, upgrade the Premium with a 60GB drive and price it at $299 and then make the Elite $399.

RE: Price cut?
By Parhel on 7/9/2007 5:34:16 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I'm wrong, but I honestly don't think that MS needs to undercut Sony on price. While I believe that the PS3 has somewhat superior hardware, I don't think that the average consumer is really aware of that. That, or the average consumer doesn't care very much.

Sony's main reasoning for charging a premium is BluRay. If people aren't buying into BluRay, like myself, they won't be willing to pay even a small price premium to have one. If I were in the market for either a PS3 or 360, I would be leaning towards the 360 once the 65nm conversion is complete. If they were priced equally, only then I would even consider the PS3.

I also think there is a sweet spot with pricing, and above that the vast majority of people just won't buy one.

RE: Price cut?
By rockyct on 7/10/2007 5:22:41 PM , Rating: 3
I know when my parents got me a PS2, one of the main reasons they agreed was because of its DVD drive. Why spend $150 on a DVD player when $300 gets you a brand new video game console.

I think parents would be a lot more willing to spend $500 if it gave with an Hi-def video player, which I'm sure their kids will be happy to inform them of. If anything they'll look at the 360 Elite and ask why it is only $20 less than the PS3.

The superior game library of the Xbox 360 is only going to go so far now that the PS3 has games coming out. A $50 price cut on all models would make a lot of sense. The core would compete with the Wii and the Elite would be priced enough below the PS3.

RE: Price cut?
By Rampage on 7/9/2007 6:24:14 PM , Rating: 3
Dropping the Core model is madness.

Far easier to match, and undercut sony with the core than with the premium as the bottom end model.
Most people just want a next gen console at the cheapest price, with the core@65nm they could murder the ps3 no matter what move sony makes with their pricing.

Core is essential to keep.
If they didnt intend to keep it, they'd made HDDs mandatory for the system. It was meant for the price war to end all price wars, if needs be.

If they change anything, they'll kill the current 20GB premium and make the premium the 120GB model.

Unless the Premium stops selling quantity as-is, I see no need for that either.

RE: Price cut?
By FITCamaro on 7/9/2007 8:13:14 PM , Rating: 2
Yes but I want to see all 360s being sold with hard drives. That way maybe devs might eventually support it. Don't say they can't because they're not on all systems. It's been done before. If the 20GB hard drive is made cheap enough($30 or so), then devs could require it for games, same as games near the end of the N64s life required the memory expansion pack.

RE: Price cut?
By sxr7171 on 7/10/2007 12:22:50 AM , Rating: 3
I don't think they care. They just think that you saved money on the purchase, and now it is time to pitch in another $80 for a HDD. People with the core system will eventually need to buy HDDs, and if they sold a $279 core system it will allow people to pay for additional features as they go. I think it should be $279 core, $349 Premium (or drop it) and $399 Elite. I think it will end up being $279 Core, $349 Premium and $429 Elite. I would actually pay $429 for the elite even though I wanted it to drop to $399. Whats $30 at the end of the day? Frickin' controllers are $50 and Live is $60.

RE: Price cut?
By FITCamaro on 7/10/2007 6:57:47 AM , Rating: 2
13 months of Xbox Live is $50. You can even get it for $45 off

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