Friday, August 10, 2007

Xbox 360 new price comparison spreadsheet, clarified

For some reason (embedded Google Doc?) when I go back in to edit my previous post I just see a blank, so here's an addendum.

One particularly astute friend of mine pointed out two things about the Core model of the Xbox 360:
  1. It comes with a wired controller
  2. It comes with basic composite/RCA cables which are incapable of component output
Taking this information into account, and focusing purely on a utilitarian view of being able to enjoy the Xbox 360 experience, my price comparison changes somewhat. My friend suggested some changes to my wording and I don't think I could have said it better myself, so I'll quote his email:
"to equal the Premium model you'd have to buy a Core model
($279) and a 20 GB hard drive ($99). That's $279 + $99 = $388, so you're better off buying the Premium model ($349) and saving $39." To further confuse things, the Core model comes with the standard (Composite/RCA) cable, so if you bought the Core model and wanted to output in Component, you'd actually have to shell out an additional $39 [for a component cable], basically making the Core model cost exactly the same as the Premium model, except you'd have no HDMI and a wired (instead of wireless) controller. It
therefore makes no sense to buy a Core model unless you know for sure you have no plans to upgrade. [I added "RCA" above and moved the last parenthesis from the end of the sentence to the right of "wireless."]
This observation about the controller reveals my bias to have a wireless one, but functionally for gameplay the wired and wireless controllers are identical. The ultimate conclusion is that the Premium model looks like the best deal, particularly if there is any possibility you'll want to play games or watch movies in high definition at some point in the future. The Premium model comes with Microsoft's HD/AV component cables instead of the basic composite/RCA cables included with the Core model. Even if you will only ever use a standard definition TV, however, the Premium is still the best value considering what's included in the package.

Thanks, Shawn.


C-had said...

Really, the only reason to get the core is if it is the first 2 months of the XBOX 360 release and thats all they have in stock. That is what I had to do. Nowadays the premium is the way to go but more specifically I would recommend waiting till HDMI and the new heat syncs start showing up in the stores.

You bring up an interesting point, there are still people out there with 4:3 monitors and televisions. If I still had a 4:3 monitor, and couldn't afford the upgrade to HD, I don't even think XBOX 360 gaming would be on my radar.

Kevin said...

Yeah, I agree about the heat syncs and all. I plan on waiting until the first few weeks of September for a bunch of inventory to be moved through the system by the release of Madden 08 and the price drop.

There's talk of a more efficient CPU die (65nm instead of 90nm) coming online this month also. That's supposed to make the chip run cooler, further reducing the potential for overheating problems.

I'm one of those people with a regular 4:3 monitor/TV, but I'm still going for it next month. A HDTV is in my future, but maybe not for another year or so. Playing Eric's 360 on my TV worked just fine for having fun with the games. Too many of my friends are on Live and it's just been too long since I've been active there to wait any longer.

Kevin said...

Just an aside -- it's heat "sink" isn't it? "Sync" is the only spelling I could think of when I wrote my comment.

Really, "sync" accomplishes the same purpose though, "synching" the CPU/system temp with the ambient air, right? :)