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Xbox 360 price drop amazes and confuses me

So the 360 just got a huge price drop. And it’s about time, too. But this is massive - $199 CAD. As many have pointed out elsewhere, the ‘tard pack of the X360 is now cheaper than a Wii (still $270 in Canada). On top of that, the Future Shop offer comes with one great game, and one horrible one!

That’s crazytown mass-market pricing. It also means that should I experience yet another RRoD, I’ll probaby just replace the thing with a nice HDMI-equipped model and swap in my old HDD. For people nearing the end of their 3-year coverage (launch buyers, I’m looking in your direction)…that’s the best aspect about this.

Thing is, I still don’t quite get how MS justifies its peripheral pricing, which looks even weirder after this latest drop in the base console price.

For instance (in CAD pricing):

Xbox 360 base unit = $199
add the WiFi for $99
add 120GB HDD for $199 *cough*
or add 20GB HDD for $129 *gasp sputter*

So basically if you wan a non-crippled 360 with WiFi and a decent amount of HDD space, buying peripherals individually, you’d end up paying $497.

Now, you could buy the Pro bundle with a 60GB HDD, which also received a price drop, to $299. No WiFi though. That’s probably the best deal considering the price of stand-alone 360 HDDs. But you can’t help but get the feeling that the crazy price of the peripherals is designed to make the bundles look like better deals. In the end, that $199 model is still the ‘tard pack, because they’ll gouge the hell out of you later on when you realize that you need an HDD to do anything interesting with the thing. WiFi is not a must for everyone, but it sure is for me, so I’m basically back up to at least $400 no matter which way I slice and dice the bundles. Funny how that works.


11 responses to “Xbox 360 price drop amazes and confuses me”

  1. Which is still the entry point for the PS3 at Future shop at 399.99.

    You’re right about the pricing though. How Xbox (I guess that’s ‘we’ now, although I certainly don’t have any say in that pricing) can justify a 20 Gig HDD for 130 bucks is insane.

  2. Yes you are right. Of course I probably have a game and the blu-ray for that $399 on the PS3 side, but what I was getting at is that it doesn’t seem like such a price cut once you feature-match them as best one can.

    I really want MS to just release an empty drive cage for the 360 that snaps on like the old one, but allows a standard (swappable) laptop drive.

  3. I don’t think MS will ever release a HDD caddy. As long as people happily bend over and take it, all the while just giving their money to MS, it won’t end. The line of being fleeced has been crossed and there’s no putting the toothpaste back in the tube once it’s out. Same way with Madden from EA. People just keep on buying it every year, so why change.

    It’s the reason I sold my 360 and got a PS3: tired of being nickle and dimed.

  4. Nickel and dimed… more like dollar’d and sawbuck’d.

    Aix, I’ll let you in on a little secret – I want to play 3 new games on my 360 this year. Gears 2, Left 4 Dead, and Fable II. In 2009, I can’t find *anything* that interests me, that isn’t cross-platform. If my 360 holds out that long then I will be happy. But after that… yeah. Microsoft’s not giving me much reason to hope.

    Maybe there’ll be announcements at TGS, who knows.

  5. Please don’t forget the “HDMI kit” that is the only way to use HDMI with optical sound for $50!!! without having to physically mod your stock cables. This only comes equipped with the Elite.

    Fucking bullshit. PS2 has had this since 2001 standard. Fuck Microsoft peripherals, fuck Metallica. I was thinking of getting an Arcade until I realized how butchered it is. Gamespot is suposedly selling a 60Gb drive, headset and 3 month XBL gold pack for $100 however which is a pretty good deal if you want to upgrade later.

  6. Wait, what? HDMI kit? WTF are you talking about? Xbox 360’s have HDMI ports or they don’t. And if they have an HDMI port, they have a dongle for optical out.

    Buying one of those HDMI adapter kits is a total waste of money.

  7. Nerf: Alan Wake.

    And I’m guessing that RE5 will feel better with a 360 controller. For me, there’s also Star Ocean: The Last Hope. Mass Effect 2 could also appear late 2009.

  8. I think Legendbyname’s right Dev.. if you want to use HDMI video with optical audio (as most of us don’t have HDMI receivers with a passthrough yet), you gotta pony up for the kit. (Or use your TV’s crappy speakers.)

    Unless I’m mistaken. But I heard the same thing; that only the Elite comes with the optical adaptor.

    As for Alan Wake, I’ll believe it when I see it. Heavy Rain has stolen my hype for that sort of game, and it’ll probably ship first at this rate. I’m guessing ME2 will be crossplatform, with EA involved now.

  9. When you plug in an HDMI cable, you cannot plug anything else in. It’s a design flaw aimed at screwing you over and it pisses me off. My receiver is passthrough audio, so HDMI audio is useless to me. Only way to use HDMI video with optical audi is to either buy their fucking proprietary cable or pop open the stock cable and remove the cover to make room for both.

    Still can’t believe Star Ocean and Tales of Vesperia are 360 only. Those have to be the dumbest exclusives of all time. Both niche franchises that won;t do enough for the 360 here or in Japan. Eternal Sonata leads me to believe they won;’t stay exclusive anyway.

  10. Yeah, the JRPG craze on the 360 still infuriates me. The developers are hamstringing their games in their own country and even limiting the audience in America. Microsoft must be doling out some serious, serious cash and not one dollar of it will ever benefit their console. It’s all about hurting Sony. I don’t understand why Microsoft can’t just beat the competition by being a better product instead of trying to sabotage their competitors.

    If non-Elite 360’s with HDMI ports don’t come with the optical dongle… well, that’s just another idiotic design move by Microsoft. The thing is… can’t you just plug in the normal A/V cable along with your HDMI cable? I thought the only point of the optical dongle was to not have all of that cabling back there. For my Elite, I can easily plug in both the standard A/V component cable (with optical out) and an HDMI cable.

  11. Nope thats what is such a design flaw. You cannot fit the normal A/V cable with an HDMI cable. That’s why the only way for it to work is removing the covering of the AV cable so that they fit. Honestly looks like shit and probably not the best idea.

    I’m telling you, you are forced to buy the MS HDMI cable if you want optical audio. Being in the market for one I was shocked to hear this. Here is a link

    I actually prefer the JRPG exclusives on PS3 however. Valkryia Chronicles, White Knight Story, and FF Versus XIII. Still need more RPG love though.

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