Thursday, August 27, 2009

Microsoft: The Ultimate One-Upper

Way to go Microsoft! And trust me I never say that unless it’s about the Xbox.

With the PS3 slim coming out in less than a week, Microsoft has quickly stepped up to the plate and made sure that they are still a major competitor in the console market. It was officially announced that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Elite will drop in price starting Friday…TOMORROW. It was originally at $399 and will now be available at $299 (the same as the PS3 slim). Even with its price drop, the Elite will still be the most expensive Xbox 360 available. However, it was also announced that the Xbox Pro edition will also have a price drop from $299 to $249, but will be phased out by the end of the year. Which mean, if you want something between the Arcade edition and the Elite edition, you need to buy it now before they all disappear.

The Arcade edition will still be just $199, which is also the cheapest game console on the market, but unfortunately it doesn’t come with a hard drive. However, there is 512 MB of built in memory to save games or you can buy a hard drive separately; which for a 60 GB hard drive is $100 and for $150 you can get the 120 GB hard drive.

So what does this mean for Playstation? Even with their huge price drop and makeover of the PS3, they are still producing one of the most expensive consoles out there. Xbox is still making progress and continuing to draw people in with features like Netflix, which is already available on the Xbox, and coming this holiday season they will also integrate Facebook and Twitter.

I think that Aaron Greenberg, Xbox 360 and Xbox Live director of product management, made a great point about how the Xbox is still a better console when he said, “You cannot underestimate the fact that we have two consoles. If you have $200 in your pocket today, you can go buy an Xbox 360.” He continued on saying, “a big part of the reason why, at a time where Nintendo and Sony are seeing double-digit year-over-year declines, and we're actually up 17 percent is due to that mass market price point.”

Another thing holding back the PS3 is their continued delay of their HOME feature, which has been delayed for over a year now. I mean, come on! You have promised us for way too long now that this feature will make for a whole new gaming experience. I tried to download the Beta, and it completely froze on me to the point where I got so frustrated I gave up! On top of that, there are so many other bugs with it that need to be fix that if they don’t just give up on it, we won’t see anything for at least probably another 2 years! Even the avatar item store that Xbox has somewhat recently implemented has done far better than they ever expected. Their loyalty to their gamers exceeds far beyond what Playstation has done for theirs.

In think in the coming months, and especially this year’s holiday season will be very interesting to watch. Will Sony be able to revive the PS3? And will the Xbox do even better than it has, even with these price cuts? With games like Assassins Creed 2, Halo 3: ODST and many more Guitar Heroes, I guess we will have to wait and see what happens.

Which would you choose, now that they are closer in price?

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Slim!!!

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