More rumors of the 360 with an HDMI port

I’m curious as to why this is, as the utterly absurd cost of the 360 wireless adapter is yet another barrier of entry for ownership, and I don’t believe for a second that it would cost them much money, and would add significant value to the console (at least in my case.)

The bigger HDD and HDMI are mostly meaningless to me, though they’re nice bonuses. What I’m really waiting for is the die shrink, because I’m betting it’s going to increase reliability by a significant margin. But this article says the new revision is coming “soon,” while recently other reports claimed the die shrinkage had been delayed, and the newer machines wouldn’t show up until summer. Anyone have a idea on which of these is more accurate?

The die shrink is one of those things that’ll probably be completely transparent, where no case changes are necessary and you’ll only know if you have one by checking if your serial number is > ‘x’. They could then go ahead with the HDMI-360s with the current CPUs and then slip the new CPUs in later on.

It would cost them quite a bit of money to develop and integrate, plus more support hassle and its hard to cut costs on. Plus they’ve gotta retest every radio in the thing to make sure everything works together, run it by the fcc, etc. etc., it’s not really all that simple.

If you really want wireless and can’t be bothered to buy the adapter, get a bridge/cheap router-to-bridge and be done with it. or don’t, this isn’t the console you want to buy, it doesn’t have WiFi in it.

I’m not qualified from an engineering perspective to comment on the technical difficulties of implementing a built in wireless adapter for the 360, but when I can buy a wireless network adapter for less than 20 bucks, and Nintendo can integrate one into the DS and sell the whole package at a profit for $130, the whole thing just begins to smell like horse shit. Plus, they’ve already developed it! They’re just selling it for $99 right now (which is, I suspect, the actual reason they won’t integrate it. Who wouldn’t want to keep selling less than $10 worth of electronics for $100?) Hell, if I could use a third part USB wireless adapter that’d be fine, but I can’t even do that!

If you really want wireless and can’t be bothered to buy the adapter, get a bridge/cheap router-to-bridge and be done with it. or don’t, this isn’t the console you want to buy, it doesn’t have WiFi in it.

Well I know how to work around the problem, It just requires me to restructure my home network. And claiming it’s not the console I want to buy is just silly. It’s absolutely the console I want to buy, I just think it’s dumb on Microsoft’s part to not include what I think should be considered basic functionality at this point.

But at the same time I’ll also freely admit I’m mostly just kvetching.

Well, I think they probably won’t build in wi-fi because:

  1. It’s not your case they’re worried about. They’re worried about expanding quickly into the much greater gaming landscape. If you get your view of video game buyers off message boards and blogs, you’d think built-in WiFi is super important. I think the other 50 million potential customers don’t care about that so much as they want a less expensive thing to play the next GTA and Madden and Halo on.

  2. I wouldn’t cost them “much money” but it wouldn’t be free, especially if it’s compatible with 802.11a (really you want that for wireless video). If it’s $5 worth of chips and manufacturing and testing per console, that’s tens of millions of dollars over the next couple years.

  3. Yeah the wi-fi dongle costs to much, but you can always use your own wi-fi bridge, and they can always drop the price of the dongle.

I think adding WiFi standard is “iffy” at this point. I doubt it, but if it happened I wouldn’t freak out. In my mind there’s a 1 in 3 chance of it happening, tops. There’s like a 1 in 1,000 chance of it being draft-N WiFi, though.

Yep, I think you’re spot-on about 65nm. There’s a chance that they’ll be distinguishable by a smaller external power brick, but that’s about the only cosmetic change that I would expect out of the 65nm units.

You make an excellent point, no doubt about it. I guess I just find it puzzling because the 360 is the big online play console right now. It’s got a dedicated online service, and the vast majority of the games released for it have some kind of online functionality. To me it would seem that getting more people on Live, generating that supplemental revenue, would be ideal, but I don’t have access to information that would back that up. Still, wireless routers are quite commonplace now among those who have high-speed internet access at home.

Maybe MS just figures (perhaps correctly) that if people want to get on live they’ll just use the ethernet connection, and if they really want wireless MS gets to fleece them for an extra hundred bucks. But lowering the barrier for entry seems like the right play to me. Maybe I’m just overestimating Live penetration.

There’s also the upcoming 802.11n standard, which will offer much better throughput… but it’s not fully baked yet. They’d look silly coming out with 802.11g/a built in if the N standard is only few months off.

Then they can sell you an N dongle for a hundred bucks ;-)

And that’s the one I’ll buy!

It would conflict with their twin goals of (A) keeping the X360 as cheap as possible so more people will buy it and (B) making as much money as they can off accessory sales.

Well, you guys seem to be pretty knowledgable about the technical side of things, so maybe you can answer this. If they do release this version, or just a bigger HDD, would there be any way to transfer your data on your old HDD to the larger one? I know you could use a memory card to transfer a bit at a time, but that seems ridiculous. Any chance MS might allow you to temporarily store your data on XBox Live while you switch hard drives, or something like that?

You can already backup your hard drive to the pc using xplorer360 and a varietly of sata adapters. Now of course this would never be supported by MS. An alternative would be similar to ps3. Let us stick a usb drive on the 360 (or even one of their memory cards if they would release a bigger one, heck package it with the 120gb hd accessory), run some special dashboard “backup” function that copies just our profile, save games, and maybe some sort of manifest. Then swap hard drives and run some sort of dashboard “restore” function. It would copy over the contents of the usb thumb drive, examine the manifest, and auto queue up to d/l all missing content (live arcade games, demos, market place videos, themes, picture packs, etc). If MS is paranoid about hacking (save game exploits etc) just encrypt everything and write it as one super encrypted AES out the wazoo file on the thumb drive. See MS it’s not that hard. I just came up with that in about 5 min.

Since the ex is taking the 360, I’m going to hold off buying a replacement until this comes out. That HDMI port would just be sooo sweet. Not to mention that they’ll most likely have a better hardware revision out, improved DVD drive, etc.

One question though… how do they expect to handle audio out with that kind of port configuration? Not everyone routes their audio through HDMI (I don’t) so I’m curious to see how that’s handled. I’m guessing some retarded dongle to insert into the regular AV port with audio cables.

Eh, I’ll have to get it if only for HDMI video out. Playing the PS3 for a while made me long for this on 360. Digital video is infinitely crisper and makes a huge difference with HD content, glad that it’s coming.

Maybe that this hardware revision is also made because Microsoft wants to permanently block the DVD-ROM firmware loophole that allows unscrupulous people to burn and play bootlegs.

Wait, what? When I was bitching about the lack of WiFi people said I could use a standard USB -> WiFi adaptor! So that’s not true after all?

Yeah, it’s not true. You can only use the Microsoft one. You can, however, use any wireless bridge (or cheap router than can be flashed to become a bridge).

Aphoristic Gamer, are you absolutely sure you can tell the difference between 1080p digital and analog signals? According to this article at Ars Technica, it’s really, really hard to see the difference.

Aphoristic Gamer, are you absolutely sure you can tell the difference between 1080p digital and analog signals? According to this article at Ars Technica, it’s really, really hard to see the difference.

There is a huge, distinctly noticeable difference in quality on my LCD HDTV with the PS3 over HDMI when compared to the 360’s component output, and that’s both over 720p games. On a 1080p set, 720p PS3 games over HDMI also seem to upscale better, to be sharper and less blurry. When setting the 360 at 1080p for its native resolution the picture looked worse than when I’d let it stay at 720p, so I’m not sure that “ANA” is all that great.

Even when using VGA it doesn’t look exactly as clear, although there are some known issues with the VGA out on 360.

I guess that it can be affected by the viewer’s subjective interpretation of what clarity is, or his HDTV’s internal video configuration, or the quality of the HDTV’s scaler, and 360 in HD over either component or VGA still look extremely great. I’ve read a ton of discussions and people rarely seem to agree on this matter. But at least from my perspective this is an eagerly awaited upgrade (considering that we’re going to spend thousands of hours staring at the thing :P), so much as to justify another purchase of the same system.

I don’t really care about the HDMI (the component output seems to be fine to my 720p set), but I hope they sell the new hard drive as an add-on. IF it’s not too ridiculously overpriced.

I’m with you. I have no need for HDMI. I’ve got a 720p set and the HD-DVD player. It looks great. My HDMI slot is saved for the PS3. One day they will convince me to buy one.

Outside of an obvious lack of need, I’m surprised that anyone is lining up to spend another $400 for a new cable hook-up. You are the hardest of the hardcore, folks.

At the time they designed the 360 a 20GB 2.5" was probably the most cost effective. I mean the biggest 2.5" drive you can get these days is only around 160GB.

I don’t care about HDMI except in a vague future-proofing-gear-whore kind of way, but I’d definitely pick up a 120GB HDD for $100 or so.