Xbox.com Reveals HD-DVD and Pricing
There's been a lot of concern lately over the cost of the Blu-Ray player, and the role these worries are playing in distracting otherwise fanatical Playstation aficionados. For the record, Blu-Ray is ramping the cost of Sony's Playstation 3 console up by about an extra $200, compared to the standard $20 DVD player in the Xbox 360. However, Microsoft is about to make its own play for the hi-def market, as official photos of the HD-DVD add-on are now making their glamorous debut on the red carpet of Xbox.com.
So, what's the deal?
Apparently, Microsoft plans on selling this thing to North Americans for a reported $199 USD. Right.
Hear something? It's the sound of Microsoft's price advantage over the Playstation 3 crashing to the floor, like an expensive, inherited vase (or something to that effect). As in the case when anything valuable is destroyed, someone is always left a little annoyed (a nice way of putting it) - and you can count this writer in on that.
Currently, by comparison in gaming power, the Xbox 360 is not quite as powerful as the Playstation 3. The differences aren't vastly noticeable through screen shots – about the only thing Sony has given us – but they are there. Quite simply, there's more potential at the heart of Sony's console, which has taken its time rolling its fat dragster tires up to the starting line.
However, in recent weeks much criticism has lashed at Sony's heels over the cost of the Playstation 3, and how the internal Blu-Ray player – which was costing Sony $200 USD to include – was a big part of this cost. Microsoft, at the time, was left looking like a sweet-faced golden boy, having invested in cheaper but still effective components.
Sure, we all knew the HD-DVD add-on was coming, and we all knew it wouldn't be the free toy in a Happy Meal. Still, most estimated that the player would retail for around $100, and not twice that price. Let's face it, like the Xbox 360 itself, HD-DVD is technically inferior to Sony's Blu-Ray.
I suppose Microsoft still has a cost advantage. For one, many young gamers might not even have an interest in high definition movies, meaning that providing the choice of purchasing the player or passing is a worthwhile disparity between the two systems. Interested or not, Playstation 3 owners will be shelling out the money for Blu-Ray. Xbox 360 fans can leave the add-on alone, perhaps hoping that their parents will just buy the stand-alone product.
It seems that every day Microsoft and Sony duke it out like Porsche and Ferrari. Both offer wares that anyone would love to take for a spin, but when a pretty cool and affordable Ford Mustang GT (i.e. Nintendo) sits with the keys in the ignition, the temptation to try something else grows and grows.