Xbox Lite?

Rumors are starting to swirl that Microsoft will announce an Xbox Lite at E3 that will be smaller than the original, have an 4GB HD instead of 8GB, and will retail for $99. Has anyone heard anything similar? This was from the same source that was right about MS and Rare, but wrong about MS and Take 2. It would be an interesting move, if true.

Seems like the 4GB hard drive could cause compatibility issues with older games, no?

Also, given current hard drive technology, I can’t imagine a 4GB drive is any cheaper to make than an 8GB drive. Unless Microsoft found a warehouse full of 'em somewhere…

I guess this kind of change flies in the face of those that think MS isn’t listening to consumers.

Yeah, I don’t see how they can save much on a 4 gig drive.

Maybe they just want two offerings – Xbox Lite and an Xbox with DVR capability. They’ll sell one for $99 and one for $299.

If they do offer an Xbox for $99, I bet Sony matches the price. I wonder what Nintendo would do?

Yes, I know that corporate America was clamoring for the M$ deal where M$ forces them to upgrade their software when M$ wants.

And I know that users of Windows everywhere are down with the idea of leasing Windows and paying for it every year than just owning it outright, which is where M$ would like to take us.

There’s something wrong with a platform (of any kind) where shrinking your hard drive/memory card/storage device causes compatibility issues. Hell that is a problem not even encountered on PCs!

I’m not a tech head but I’m not sure how. I know people with 120 gig drives in their systems and there havnt been any issues.

I think Nintendo would be more likely to reduce price than Sony. Sony didn’t even blink and N & MS’s holiday deals. They don’t seem to be having a hard time selling the PS2 at the current price.

Yes, I know that corporate America was clamoring for the M$ deal where M$ forces them to upgrade their software when M$ wants.

And I know that users of Windows everywhere are down with the idea of leasing Windows and paying for it every year than just owning it outright, which is where M$ would like to take us.[/quote]

Wasn’t talking about their OS dealings now was I?

Given what I know about hard drive technology, it would make more sense to:

  1. Shoehorn the current Xbox into a smaller package (possible with
    better IC and motheboard integration), and call that Xbox Lite.

  2. Add a larger hard drive to Xbox, jack up the clock rate of the CPU
    and call it “Xbox Pro”, or something equally silly.

This is all speculation on my part. But you now have 40GB hard drives on a single platter. With one head (which can reduce costs), you can have a 20GB drive. It’s almost more expensive to have a 4 or 8GB drive than a larger one.

As ever,

Loyd Case

"2. Add a larger hard drive to Xbox, jack up the clock rate of the CPU
and call it “Xbox Pro”, or something equally silly. "

The potential problem with that is you are getting into the “PC world” of gaming were you have potentially diffrent levels of graphics/physic/AI abilities. Devs would be making 2 versions of a game. Its not near the spread you have in PC gaming, but it does go away from the one spec machine thats been the mainstay of consoles outside of occasinal addons like that video memmory pak the N64 had.

Yeah, upgrading the CPU is not an option. HDD size, should not be a problem… console coders always had to account for how many blocks of storage you have on the giant spinning “memory card”.

There’s something wrong with a platform (of any kind) where shrinking your hard drive/memory card/storage device causes compatibility issues. Hell that is a problem not even encountered on PCs![/quote]

MS does testing on “non-standard” Xbox configurations (HD size-wise), as well as some other permutations of hardware, to ensure future compatibility. (Actually, all console makers specifically test for certain areas like this, where future cost reduction/repackaging measures might affect compatibility.)

I’m almost certain Xbox games would not suffer from incompatibilities from a hard drive size change.

so would lopping the HDD in half actually allow MS to sell the box for a $100 cheaper? i can’t see how that would make much of a difference.

i can see where this would help MS if they could lower the cost of the box, thus lowering the loss on each unit sold. it is obvious that the XBox is attaching at a very high rate right now, so maybe this is the goal?

From what I’ve been reading it sounds like th $99 price point only applies if you sign up for a multi-year Xbox Live subscription.

No, but making the form factor smaller and other economies would. I heard a while ago that Seagate and othe HD companies were working on small (laptop) hard drives with lower storage and cost for consoles. Maybe they worked out a deal?

as well as some other permutations of hardware,

Such as? Hard drive size is a really obvious (and easy) one. That’s like insisting that Sony test your game with the 16mb and the 8mb memory cards. Big whoop.

Yes, I know that corporate America was clamoring for the M$ deal where M$ forces them to upgrade their software when M$ wants.

And I know that users of Windows everywhere are down with the idea of leasing Windows and paying for it every year than just owning it outright, which is where M$ would like to take us.[/quote]

Wasn’t talking about their OS dealings now was I?[/quote]

You were talking about Microsoft. Is the Xbox division immune from the rest of the company?

I guess there is a difference between Microsoft playing catch-up and Microsoft sitting on a monopoly. Remember how active Microsoft was in listening to consumers and making changes to IE during the browser wars with Netscape. Now that they dominate in that area, note how the pace of changes and updates has fallen way off.

I like the Xbox, but I don’t think it would be good for consumers if Microsoft dominated the consoles the way they dominate with OS, browser, and Office. Heck, Sony dominates the consoles now, but not nearly in the way that Microsoft dominates on the PC side. Have you seen the kind of profit margin gets on XP and Office?

Ah. Any rumor as to what they’ll eventually charge for Live?

Different speed hardware, as well as whatever components may be swapped in future Xboxes. Faster and slower, just to ensure that nobody’s relying too much on the exact timing of the hardware. Stuff like the DVD drive, or adding more RAM (and ensuring that games aren’t using it).

(BTW, it’s funny that you mention memory cards, since AFAIK all PS2 games are required to use specific phrasing when referring to memory cards, including their size. Seems like they shot themselves in the foot as far as releasing larger cards in the future, because every game will be mistakenly referring to “Memory card (8MB) for PlayStation(R)2”…)