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Microsoft: Committed to Schizophrenia

THIS HAS 'WAVING THE WHITE FLAG' WRITTEN ALL OVER IT

And here’s the proof:

The new Xbox 360 will feature a 250GB hard disk, an internal 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter and the same price point as the current top-end 360 – $299 in the US.

Repeat after me:the mass market1 for gaming machines cannot be reached with a machine that costs $300+–add in a Natal Kinect and you’ve got yourself a $400 proposition to play canned Star Wars demos and WiiSports knock-offs.1

Apparently MS has entirely ceded this generation to Nintendo and isn’t even going to try and compete with them, even with Natal Kinect in the offing.

Also: is this all way too little, way too late to stave-off a resurgent PS3? Cause that’s all this could be: an attempt to stop the hemorrhaging since the PS3 Slim’s release late last year, while ignoring the fact that the audience they’re attempting to reach with Natal Kinect isn’t going to shell out that kind of dosh to play the kinds of games Natal Kinect is going to principally focus on, i.e. MS is hopelessly schizo at this point on what they’re trying to achieve (#1 in the market or a desperate attempt to hang on to #2??), period.

Mark my words:
this will not end well for them.

And: What would I do, you ask? I’d do whatever it takes to get a hard drive-enabled 360 below $200 and then flog the living hell out of it in the run up to Natal Kinect’s release. (But, then, that would imply a confidence in Natal Kinect and/or 360 that MS doesn’t appear to have from this bizarre, two-track, marketing scheme and the recent firings of the guys responsible for this multi-billion dollar clusterf*ck that, since XBOX 1, would have killed a dozen SEGAs.)

UPDATE: It  doesn’t really matter since it’s ‘only’ $50 (once you slip outside the gravitational field of $200-250, it’s not going to make much difference), but this is still ridiculous if true and really cements that MS isn’t at all  serious about doing much of anything w/ Natal Kinect.

h/t: Fei, for that last bit  (reading the gaming sites I can’t stomach to read)


1 As Atari was once fond of saying: DO THE MATH. A Wii costs $200 w/ a game and Motion Plus–a 360+Kinect will set you back twice that amount. That is a huge, monstrous, problem and I actually almost feel sorry for the PR and marketing drones at MS. Almost.

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  1. 06/14/2010 at 17:30

    talked with someone today who thinks Natal/Kinect will be huge… because it will allow you to tilt your head while playing racing games. Seriously.

    • ECM
      06/14/2010 at 17:48

      Yeah, um, wow.

      Anyway: Natal (dammit, Kinect!) is DOA–the barrier of entry strangled it in its crib.

  2. 06/14/2010 at 18:08

    Is this thing going to keep burning itself like the other models?

    • ECM
      06/14/2010 at 18:26

      I guess they’re claiming this one runs cool, but they’ve been saying that w/ every revision that still keeps sporting various, heat-realted, problems, so I won’t believe it until i see it. (And I’m not going to buy one to find out.)

  1. 06/15/2010 at 17:42

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