Print 56 comment(s) - last by Belard.. on Jul 11 at 11:23 PM

Microsoft's Xbox 360 Halo Special Edition boasts 360 Elite features, without the big price tag. (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft makes no moves to the Xbox 360 price, but instead announced a new Halo-themed console

On Thursday, Microsoft stunned the industry by announcing that it would extend the warranty on Xbox 360s afflicted with the Red Ring of Death (RROD) to three years following DailyTech’s report on Xbox 360 failure rates. On Tuesday night, the spotlight is once again on Microsoft with it hosting the first big press conference at this year’s slimmed-down E3.

Following Sony’s big announcement of the PlayStation 3 price drop, many turned their eyes over to Microsoft to see if it would respond with a price reduction of its own. Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter even went as far as to tell clients that he is expecting Microsoft to drop the price of the Xbox 360 console across all its product line. Pachter believes that the 60GB PS3, at $499, represents a favorable comparison against the Xbox 360, and that Microsoft will drop the price to widen the gap.

Unfortunately, for those hoping that the analyst’s prophecy would turn out to be true, Microsoft did nothing to the price of its latest consoles. This effectively puts the 60GB PlayStation 3 console, along with its Blu-ray Disc playing capabilities, $20 apart from the HDMI-capable Xbox 360 Elite. In the Canadian market, the Xbox 360 Elite and the 60GB PS3 will share the exact same $549 price tag, giving consumers more to think about than just their wallets.

Perhaps the only “all new” surprise of the press conference was when Peter Moore reached behind the counter to pull out a new Xbox 360 console SKU. Although some may be hoping for that surprise to be the announcement of a more reliable, 65nm chip-based machine, or one with HD DVD built-in, the actual new console is a Halo Special Edition Console.

The Halo Special Edition Console will be shipping this September, no doubt alongside Halo 3’s September 25 release date. The console features an authentic Spartan green and gold finish and comes with matching Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, 20GB Hard Drive, Headset, Play & Charge Kit, HDMI output and exclusive Halo 3 Gamer Pics and Theme available via Xbox Live download. Microsoft has yet to announce pricing for the Halo Special Edition Console.

The special green Xbox 360 isn’t the only Halo promo item on Microsoft’s list. Last month, retailer GameStop revealed special Halo 3-themed Xbox 360 controllers featuring Todd McFarlane artwork and Spartan green wireless headset. For those who must have all things Halo 3, GameStop is also selling an appropriately themed Halo 3 Zune music player.

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RE: MicroSh!te
By cbo on 7/11/2007 7:41:59 AM , Rating: 1
The PS3 has a built in failure feature that causes games to lockup to prevent overheating. I guess it is cool to try to prevent further damage but it could be just as annoying as the RROD when in the middle of what few games you can play on the thing.

Also the 80 gig version of the PS3 is silly to me. I was hopping they would have just sold a version without the card readers and possibly no hard drive and let you buy your own.

RE: MicroSh!te
By alifbaa on 7/11/2007 8:14:09 AM , Rating: 2
It is only annoying if the console actually overheats on a regular basis. Your computer has the same feature, and it's probably never been used. From the sound of it, I'd say you could put your PS3 in a closed cabinet and play it like crazy without overheating it. For the 360, that would be a recipe for disaster.

RE: MicroSh!te
By OxBow on 7/11/2007 1:16:33 PM , Rating: 3
While it might have that feature, I've yet to see it in action. I've run my PS3 nearly constantly for the past 8 months. Half of that was within an enclosed, glass fronted TV cabinet. I've gotten it hot enough to actually hear the fan (which is variable speed controlled by an on board thermometer). With that much abuse, it's not even come close to overheating and still works great. I don't particularly care for the black color, but other than that, the PS3 is a fine machine.

My 360 is ugly by comparison. I've thought about painting it, but that would void the warrantee. This Halo edition is even uglier. I didn't think that was possible. I'm not sure what all the rage over Halo is about, but obviously there are some nuts out there who would pay for this. It doesn't seem like this would quite cover being one of the centerpoints of MS's E3 presentation. Heck, passing out Ben Franklins at the door would have probably been cheaper and garnered a better response.

RE: MicroSh!te
By deeznuts on 7/11/2007 1:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
An overheat protection scheme is as annoying as a RROD which causes you to return and await a refurbished machine? I haven't heard everything but your statement makes me pretty damn close.

And my PS3 has locked up once in 8 months.

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