Cost of hard drives still a barrier to lower the price
Last modified on Thursday, 18 September 2008 08:49
A recent frank comment from Peter Moore, who was the former head honcho in charge of the Xbox at Microsoft, now indicates that the use of a hard drive in the Xbox helped shorten the life of the console.
When the original Xbox was hot, the hard drive that it was using was costing Microsoft in the $70 range, which made it impossible for Microsoft to make any money on the console or to even contain the amount of money being lost on every unit. Even when the Xbox hit the $199 price point, the hard drive was still in the $70 price range.
The inability to lower the cost of the hard drive to a more manageable level is a great deal of the reason that Microsoft had to move to the Xbox 360 as quickly as they did. Many gamers have criticized the quick move by Microsoft from the original Xbox to the Xbox 360.
Even now Microsoft continues to sell the Xbox 360 Arcade, which offers a 256MB flash drive rather than a hard drive, and this is the only way to keep the price down and hit the magical $199 price point.
Now with users continuing the clamor for larger hard drives to handle digital downloads and such, Microsoft will likely be forced to keep the hard drives at a size that matches the pricing structure they want to work with to keep the overall price of the console down.
The move to the 60GB drive on the Pro system was more driven by the hard drive manufacturer who had moved far beyond the 20GB platter sizes that were previously offered on the Xbox 360 Pro system. It is logical that Microsoft is paying about the same or nearly the same for the 60GB drive as they did for the 20GB drive.
As for the continued rumors of a larger drive for the Elite system, we continue to hear that a 250GB model is what Microsoft would like to move toward, but the increased price is an obstacle in getting there.
While the price of the add-on/upgrade 120GB hard drive has been dropped $50 to $149, we suspect that if Microsoft moves to offer a 250GB drive it will be as an add-on/upgrade drive that is first sold separately before it makes it way into the Elite, according to our sources.