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XBOX 360 Elite... Some speculation...
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Kurt Jaegers
Posted 2007-03-28 10:00 AM (#108)
Subject: XBOX 360 Elite... Some speculation...


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Well... we just find out today that the new XBOX360 Elite is in fact a reality!!! I started looking at this and my mind started running off in various directions on whether or not this is something the 360 needed to have done to it and how this brings the price closer to the PS3 and started to wonder if that really added anything positive for the 360s position in this next gen war... and then I suddenly came to a realization!!! This Elite 360 has nothing to do with gaming at all... it has EVERYTHING to do with the Video Marketplace!  Lets take a look at a few things that we already know and have heard in the past about the 360 and Microsoft...



  • Microsoft has never really been crazy about either of the new next gen HD media formats...


  • They didn't include one of those new media formats in the Elite...


  • The hard drive is a HUGE jump from the tiny 20 GB drive we have now to the 120 GB drive...


  • Even though they added the 1080p update to the 360 there are not really any games that support it...


  • The Elite has an HDMI port most likely for HD content... like movies and TV shows...


  • About a year ago we heard about a "deal" between Microsoft and DirecTV and it was going to have something to do with a new black XBOX 360...


  • The LIVE service just got a huge upgrade that brought all xbox.com site down as well as the service for almost a full day...



Now... lets take a minute to "dream" here... we all know that Microsoft wants the 360 to be a centerpiece in the entertainment center providing more than just a great gaming experience... what if the plan here is take the first jump in offering consumers an alternative to a normal cable of satellite subscription??? What if they are going to try to offer a "pay only for what you want and watch" type of service?  If you do the math with the current pricing on the VMP you can figure out a few things... I currently have a $99/month subscription to DirectTV... I will use that as my basis for this assumption... lets take the $99 a month and spend it on video content on the Marketplace... we will take half of our montly allowence and spend it on TV shows... and half on Movies:


 


$50 / Month gets us:


 


- 25 SD TV Shows a month ... or...


- 16 HD TV Shows a month


 


the other $50/month gets us


 


16 SD movies per month... or...


8 HD movies per month


 


Now... you could always allocate that money however you want... if you watch more TV than movies you could easily fit in all the tv shows you currently watch in any give month and of course in the tv "downtime" you could alway just not spend the money each month and save yourself some bucks on your subscriptions!  You wouldn't have to worry about commercials... or watching your shows when they are actually on... just buy the content and watch it whenever you want!  Of course movies would be the exception... since you only have 24 hours to watch them... but the TV shows can be saved as long as you want... Think of how cool it would be if you could setup rules on the VMP like we have on Tivo... and "Season Pass" a TV series and have it automatically buy the new episodes and download them for you...


 


The one hitch here would be sports and shows that you would have to watch right away... like Survivor or some other results based show where if you don't watch it when it airs you could be spoiled as to what happened before you watch it... that might be where DirecTV comes in... providing some way to watch the content live over you 360 using some kind of streaming tech to the LIVE datacenter... maybe has something to do with that big upgrade yesterday??? And lets not forget that we will soon see a LIVE service on Windows... does that mean that the Video Market Place may also make its way to the Windows world?  Maybe not... at least not yet... because then we need to worry about securing that content on the PC and we all know how that kind of stuff goes... but think of how HUGE this whole thing could be for Microsoft... what if they actually can provide the first real freedom from you cable network and ditch the idea of having to pay $X per month for 200 channels when you don't watch more than 3 or 4 shows to beging with??  Of course we know IPTV is coming as well... that just make the offering even more comprehensive!  That would take care of you sports, reality shows, news... etc...


 


Thoughts anyone?? I know this isn't really XNA news but with a big upgrade to the 360 like this it really got me thinking!
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