Â£280. That’s the price for the Xbox 360 in the UK and it will be launched this year (rumoured last week in November). This is the first console that has been released so close to the USA launch – kudos to MS for doing that and also coming in at a respectable price. The Â£280 gets you:
- Xbox 360 console.
- Xbox 360 Hard Drive. 20 GB and detachable.
- Xbox 360 Wireless Controller. Nice but has a range and battery life of up to 30 feet and 30 hours of life on two AA batteries. Not much so the battery pack and charger become essential purchases.
- Xbox 360 Faceplate.
- Xbox 360 Headset.
- Xbox 360 Component HD-AV Cable. (I NEED to buy a Plasma or LCD screen)
- Xbox Live Silver membership – who cares – I want Gold.
- A bonus Media Remote: Included for a limited time, the integrated control centre for the entire digital experience lets consumers play DVDs, movies and music, as well as access their WindowsÂ® XP Media Centre Edition 2005-based PC’s controls with a single remote. Nice.
I reckon that’s quite a bit of hardware for Â£280. It would have been nicer if it came with HD-DVD but it’s still an impressive package. Not so good is that a cut-price 360 will be available for Â£210 that has everything except no hard disk, no headset, a wired controller and no free remote. This will be the first console to launch with different hardware options which for me means developers will code against the lowest hardware specification – no hard disk. This might not sound a big deal but the Xbox took great advantage of the hard disk so it will be disappointing if dev’s feel curtailed by this step. It also seems strange that MS have spent the last 3 years building up Xbox Live, have spent the last three months talking up the new 360 service and the online marketplace which will have lots of paid for downloadable content yet launch a console which doesn’t have the headset or the hard disk. Odd. Unless they were trying to get near to Â£200 and/or the price point of the soon to be launched PSP.
With around 4-6 must buy launch titles it’s going to be an expensive Christmas. I can’t wait.