One interesting question that occurs to me is what is MS going to do about the people who have already purchased a 360. Clearly their units do not have HDMI and the new ones do. The problem is that adding adding HDMI requires a change of motherboard and so is not a simple process of providing a new cable. Is MS going to provide an upgrade path for current owners or are they out of luck? I would be really PO’d if I was a current owner with no upgrade path. It will curious to see what programs, if any, MS creates for current 360 users.
I previously posted about my frustration with the XBox360. The problem is that while it supports HD output goodness; the product was crippled by the lack of a true digital output. That is, it could only output video via component which while high quality, is not as good as true digital. (e.g. HDMI or DVI.) Interestingly, it sounds like they were aware of the problem as well and have a plan to correct it. I ran into this article at Gizmodo.
Basically, the article indicates MS is going to refresh the XBox360 with a new CPU, HDMI and potentially a larger hard drive. IMO, this really makes the 360 a more compelling platform and helps level the playing field vs the PS3. Of course, nothing has been formally announced and so this should be categorized as a rumor.
Of course, it is unclear when or even if I will buy an Xbox360. Even if I had ~$600 burning a whole in the pocket, it is still unclear whether I would go with a PS3 or XBox360. Certainly the upgrade 360 platform goes a long way towards making the platform decision more difficult.
I ran across this post recently. It is an intersting blog entry talking about video game addiction. Essentially, the guy became addicted to World of Warcraft. He became so involved that he became a leader of guild which I think is a unified group of players.
It is interesting to read his article because you get his perspective on the game and the addictive tendencies it can cause. IMO, some people just have addictive personalities where can be at risk to become addicted to things. That could be videogames, alcohol, gambling or something else. The problem is that if someone with these tendencies gets hooked up with one of these games, you could easily imagine how it could dominate their life. I find it sad that people become so addicted that it affects the rest of their lives.
There have been times where I receive a new videogame and have short term addiction, but I cannot imagine having a videogame become such all consuming part of life. There are just so many more important things than videogames.
One of my colleagues at work pre-ordered a PS3. He did so not because he wanted a unit, but because he wanted to get one so that he could resell it on eBay at a profit. This seemed like a crazy idea to me until I actually went to eBay and checked out the current listings for PS3’s. Here are a couple of samples:
It is amazing to me that these folks are selling the machines at such prices. A quick perusal of completed listings shows that people are willing to spend these ridiculous amounts of money. Check out these:
Note that some these auctions closed early and the units may not have been purchased at this price, but I still cannot believe these prices. I have already posted about the challenges of Blu Ray in the PS3. Given the uncertainty of Blu Ray, it does not make sense to pay these ridiculous premiums. Who knows what will happen with the PS3 platform.
Regardless, I am interested to see what happens. It will be great to have some additional competitors in the next gen console space and providing some competition for the Xbox360.
I recently read on IGN.com that PS3 pre-orders are sold. If you read the article it is interesting to note how few of the units will be available at launch. They state that a typical EBGames store will get less than 20 units. The other interesting point is that you cannot specify which machine you want when you pre-order. So you may end up with the high-end version or the low-end and it is unclear which will appear. It sounds like there will be a continued shortage of the PS3 throughout the fall.
This reminds me of the XBox360 launch (though I think that more 360's were shipped at launch) with demand exceeding supply for the systems for a number of months. In fact there were entire sites dedicated providing information about stores with the XBox360 in stock. Retailers were also forcing buyers to purchase more expensive system packages to generate more revenue. This suggestion lasted until around June of 2006 when the supply situation finally corrected itself. I bet that we will see the same situation with the PS3, and am curious to see how it long it takes for the situation to be corrected.