Former Microsoft gaming head, Peter Moore has spoken to The Guardian newspaper on the demise of the original Xbox and revealing that it's life cycle would have been much longer if it wasn't for the costly hard drive.
"Not having a hard drive in every Xbox 360 was a hard decision, but we wanted to get price under control. The hard drive in every Xbox killed us; we we're still selling it at $199 (£111) and the hard drive was like $70. That's why we prematurely left the original Xbox, because the more we were selling – there was still great demand – it was killing us, and there was no way to bring the price down," commented the EA boss.
The financial difficulties caused by the high price of the HDD led to the decision to launch the Xbox 360 earlier than hoped and to also launch a standard/arcade model that didn't include a hard drive.
Whilst Microsoft's decision to launch the standard Xbox 360 model without a HDD was purely based on financial reasons, Sony Computer Entertainment adopted a different approach with the PS3, choosing to include a HDD as standard on all models, believing that it would be far more beneficial for developers and, in turn, to its install base.
"It’s one of the things we really supported when the hardware specification was decided for PS3. Like Microsoft did, we could have had an optional hard drive and settled for cheaper combinations of hardware, but if we had done that - from a [development] standpoint - we cannot rely on every consumer to have a hard drive.
So that really helps us to focus on [the fact that] every consumer has a hard drive. Now we can cache data so that gameplay is seamless," said SCE Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida
So, Microsoft has saved itself some cash here, but the truth of the matter is, there's never been any real reason to buy a HDD-less Xbox 360. Okay, so it saves you a few pennies, but without a HDD it severely restricts your overall Xbox 360 experience and in some cases its performance. While most games do not require the use of the hard drive to work (there are some notable exceptions), many harness its streaming capabilities and data-caching features to improve performance. In other words, your games play smoother, often with shorter load times. Let's not forget that standard SKU owners are also severely limited on what they can and can't do - limited downloads. movies, music, game saves on your 64MB flash memory card. The only good thing that might come out of the HDD-less Xbox 360 is a longer life cycle for the console. Fingers crossed, eh?
Source :: The Guardian