Microsoft Xbox Technology
By Ryan Sherer
Microsoft introduced us to the Xbox 360 in November of 2005, the console sold very quickly leaving many looking. Ebay users would fuel the fire by selling the console at outrageous prices and buyers would buy them just to have. I would be safe in saying the system was a success right out of the gate. Microsoft had a successor the original Xbox and paired with LIVE, it would be a strong console to recon with. Trouble bared down on Microsoft early in the game, a design and hardware flaw would plague them as well as the consumer. The flaw would be dubbed red ring of death or RROD for short, this is when the hardware would fail and instead of your green light for the controller you would get three red lights. Console owners were furious about spending a premium on this awesome console only to have the machine flake out on them. Microsoft did initiate a warranty for this failure but it still plagues us to date.
So fast forward a little bit, we are a couple hardware revisions and the new chipsets seem to be a little better. Now Microsoft introduces to NATAL at E3 2009, Steve Ballmer lets it slip that they are going to have something new in 2010. So what is Microsoft up to? Skeptics belive we will see a NATAL integration into current hardware and repackaged, others want more! So what is Microsoft lacking that enthusiast want?
Microsoft is ahead and behind at the same time, if it was not for Epic games I believe they would be further behind than they are now. The Xbox 360 has the bigger game collection and cheaper price points of the two HD consoles but PS3 is getting stunning looking games as well. Games that look Killzone 2 or Metal Gear Solid 4 cannot be written to standard DVD media, so we cannot enjoy the likes on the 360. The hardware is capable and we have some of the best looking games on the 360, where do they go from here? Console owners are downloading tons of DLC (Downloadable Content) and now Microsoft is going to introduce us to full game downloads through marketplace, so where are we to put all this content? I personally don’t want to delete gigs of content to download new and then have to re-download everything when I want to play, yet Microsoft sticks us with small media hard drives, 120gb is the biggest. Microsoft has stuck us with proprietary hard drive technology so they make the money, the gamer loses both in money and in storage, while the PS3 owner gets to freely swap their hard drive as they see fit. Gamers often complain about the wireless adapter for the 360 still costing $100 while PS3 owners enjoy this built in their console.
Microsoft needs to step it up when they make changes, changes they need to stay on top. Microsoft already has a solid online service with LIVE and now they need to become solid in the hardware part of things. Microsoft could come to par with subtle hardware changes and blow the competition away with drastic changes. It would have to be done in a way not to fracture the current market and I believe that is why they are holding back. On the last Mobcast they were talking about what they would like to see, what would you guys/girls like to see? In my opinion Microsoft could have a success if they integrated wireless, adopted Blu Ray, made their hard drive technology swappable and took away the tray and replaced it with a motorized unit. The Xbox 360 really does have much more potential to stay in the market but if nothing else Microsoft does need to address storage. We will all be watching and waiting to see what direction they really go!