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Analyst: Only HDD holding Xbox 360 back now

Analyst: Only HDD holding Xbox 360 back now

A new terrabyte hard drive for the Xbox 360 is rumoured to be tied in with the launch of Project Natal.

According to analysts the only thing that's holding the Xbox 360 back now is the lack of any real storage space, which is becoming more and more of a problem as Microsoft roll out more digital distribution services, such as the upcoming Games on Demand service that will launch in August.

Thankfully, a new terrabyte hard drive is rumoured to be in development for the Xbox 360 and will likely launch at the same time as Microsoft's new camera-based motion sensor, Project Natal.

The new Games on Demand service will let users download full Xbox 360 games to their hard drives and pay for them straight from a credit card, without MS Points. Discussing how this system might affect retailers, Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter suggested that retail stores might be forced to adapt to the market whether they like it or not - with the GameStop chain for one being firmly in the 'not' category. In comments yesterday GameStop said they did not believe that digital distribution would have a proper, sustainable market for a few years yet.

"While retailers may baulk at the possibility of day-and-date downloads, I don't see too many refusing to carry Microsoft product in retaliation," Pachter said in an interview with GI.biz. "Should a retailer boycott Microsoft, I think that the full force of the publishers would be brought to bear on that retailer, and they would find themselves starved for product."

"Many publishers favour such a model. It's true that retail partners wouldn't like it, but it is not necessarily true that they would have much to say about it," Pachter continued.

Would you prefer to buy your console games in a wholly digital format, or would you expect a price reduction if you were foregoing the physical benefits? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

24 Comments

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p3n 24th June 2009, 12:23 Quote
Apart from the ageing hardware and reliability 'fate'? :p
amacieli 24th June 2009, 12:23 Quote
hey, so long as i can keep a backup (or, right to re-download for free), 100% digital is just fine.
TomH 24th June 2009, 12:25 Quote
Aren't they 2.5" drives on the 360? I didn't think 1TB models existed...
Flibblebot 24th June 2009, 12:35 Quote
I'd be happier if MS let me upgrade the hard drive on my own without having to fork out some absurd amound of money.

Judging by the current pricing (120Gb for £75), which is about twice the cost of the hard drive alone, a terabyte (notwithstanding the availability of 2.5" drives in terabyte sizes) would cost around £250...

There aren't many things that Sony did right with the PS3, but allowing the HD to be user upgradable was one of them.
Bauul 24th June 2009, 12:36 Quote
Hopefully they'd tie the game ownership to an XBox Live account (ala Steam), so you didn't need to worry about loosing the only copy of the game in case of hardware failure.
lewchenko 24th June 2009, 12:42 Quote
I hate this console generation where one of the key distinguishing factors for console revision is the HD size.

Its like the dark ages... 20GB vs 40GB vs 60GB blah blah blah

when we all know that there is 'little to no' cost difference these days between HD's at the 160 to 250 GB range. Its also a false economy too, Unless you are a massive downloader. Both my 360 'elite' 120GB and my PS3 40GB drive are massively under utilized at the moment.

Maybe it will make more of a difference for the next generation where digital downloads will be 'the norm', rather than the exception like they are now.
Veles 24th June 2009, 12:42 Quote
Well it would probably work exactly the same as it does now, a game is tied to your account and console. Anyone can play the game so long as it's on the console it was bought on, but only the person who bought the game can redownload it and play it on another console.
azrael- 24th June 2009, 12:47 Quote
Sorry to play the grammar nazi, but it's "terabyte" and not "terrabyte"... :)

The typo is twice on this page and once on the front page.
samkiller42 24th June 2009, 12:53 Quote
ooo, shiney, just so long the price is fair.

Sam
countstex 24th June 2009, 13:24 Quote
They deffinatly need more space, and a fairer price point to boot. As for availability of 1TB 2.5" drives, the advantage MS have in it being a 'clip on' module is they could easiy make a 2 or more drive unit provided the external interface to the 360 is maintained. Maybe they should even replace the low capacity drives with SSD options... fantasy land now I know ;)
tank_rider 24th June 2009, 14:34 Quote
So long as the interface is the same they could make a bigger hd casing and stick in a 2.5" desktop drive. That should help with game load times etc too compared to slower 2.5" drives.
Paradigm Shifter 24th June 2009, 14:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about the clip on module - given that 500GB 2.5" drives are around, it's possible they just shoehorn two drives and a small RAID0 controller into a slightly larger HDD module.

Although the idea of downloading the some of the 4 DVD RPGs kinda scares me. That's a lot of data. :) Either MS' servers get hammered, or it's going to be a P2P system... which ISPs are gonna hate.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: until everywhere gets high-bandwidth uncapped internet connections... there is a market for stores selling physical copies. And no, I don't mean the UK Government's idea of 'high speed broadband' - 2Mb? Pfft. [b]True]/b] 20Mb would be OK... true 50Mb or higher would be better.

While MS shouldn't sit around doing nothing, it's a bit presumptuous to spout off about publishers boycotting retailers boycotting Microsoft products. I think that Michael Pachter is just wanting to kick up a fuss to see what sort of storm he can create. Instead he comes across as an arrogant bully with no one to pick on.
rollo 24th June 2009, 16:39 Quote
wont be p2p, And in britiain this is nigh on irelivent. 4.6gb takes about 10hrs to download minimum for most people. double dvd your talking a day to download. In 1 day you can walk to the shop and pick the dam thing up tbh.

What will ms charge for a 1tb drive would also be a major worry. + £200 would be my guess. when you can get a 1tb drive for as little as £60. £75 for 120gb is shocking pricing. at that conversion rate cost of 1tb drive would be an amazing £600. Lets hope Microsoft at least try to get the price so something resonable ( below £150 is resonable sorta lol)
Aracos 24th June 2009, 17:49 Quote
My vote is on £300-£400 mark and I really hope they use P2P for games on demand, it might be the step we need to getting the ISP's off their arses and actually thinking it's not just about themselves, when we pay for unlimited broadband we should get it! Period!
wafflesomd 24th June 2009, 18:36 Quote
To bad it will cost double the price of standard terabyte drive.
HourBeforeDawn 24th June 2009, 20:40 Quote
See this is why I liked the PS3. you could take any 2.5" SATA HDD and pop it in and format it, thats the big draw back to XBox, so how much is their proprietary 1tb HDD going to be double the cost of a 1tb hdd probably ~_~

What I would REALLY like to see is FREE online service. PS3 has a lot of excellent features that are more expandable but Xbox will soon have the Natal thing, but I dont know if that one thing the Natal is enough to sway to the 360 side, Im still leaning towards the PS3 but ehh I just dont know.
Faulk_Wulf 24th June 2009, 22:10 Quote
Hm. Go off to the store, buy the game, and have a physical copy that is undeniably mine in about an hour. Or, go online, login, start a download, choke my internet's bandwidth so that I can do crap-all of anything else at the same time, wait a day / day-and-a-half, and know that if Windows LIVE or Xbox360 get obsoleted that I will have no guarantee of future back-up copies of my game.

This decision is just so hard for me, I don't know if I'll ever decide.

[To be fair, I do like being able to download free demos and the Xbox arcade games, but that's just because if it wasn't for digital distribution-- you wouldn't see half of that content on there.]
tron 25th June 2009, 00:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
Quote:
Originally Posted by

I've said it before and I'll say it again: until everywhere gets high-bandwidth uncapped internet connections... there is a market for stores selling physical copies. And no, I don't mean the UK Government's idea of 'high speed broadband' - 2Mb? Pfft. [b]True]/b] 20Mb would be OK... true 50Mb or higher would be better.

The good thing about Microsoft'sl 'ambitious' digital download push is that someone needs to 'start the ball rolling'.

Microsoft are pushing for that change.

If Microsoft said to themselves, "let's not do this because most people have limited connections and our servers won't handle high downloads", ISPs will continue to drag their feet over high bandwidth services. The government will also feel there's no need to encourage investment in updating the ancient copper wire links that most homes have.

When people start getting used to Microsoft's vision, people will expect more from their ISPs and demand that more is done to cater for their needs. The more people with 'high needs', the more technology will be put in place to serve the needs. Eventually, the cost per internet bandwidth will fall as more people take up high bandwidth services.

Then retailers will see that if they don't adapt, they will be in trouble.
sui_winbolo 25th June 2009, 06:37 Quote
What they need to do is release an empty HDD caddy and allow users to install their own HDD. Aka, ditch the proprietary firmware.
DougEdey 25th June 2009, 09:00 Quote
I'd like to see what they do with the 1TB drive option, 2.5" Drives aren't reliable enough and I don't fancy sending back my drive because it got an RROD
NeedlesKane 25th June 2009, 16:00 Quote
how will a retailer adapt?
docodine 25th June 2009, 20:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sui_winbolo
What they need to do is release an empty HDD caddy and allow users to install their own HDD. Aka, ditch the proprietary firmware.

I thought people were already managing to do this, though it may have been counted as 'console modding', and thus would ban you from Live...
Saivert 25th June 2009, 21:29 Quote
yes indeed someone has to start the ball rolling or nothing will happen.
Microsoft has done this several times before. They are leader. I would never bash on someone making the lead on anything.
Without companies like Valve (Steam) and now Microsoft pushing hard for digital distribution we would never see it.
This doesn't mean that brick and mortar stores can't sell games at the same time. Why can't we have both?
Some people are just too narrow minded or little opportunistic.
ChuckyP83 26th June 2009, 07:16 Quote
Well the 120GB MS HDD costs $140 US at newegg currently. the SAME model Harddrive costs $50, also on newegg (The western Digital 120GB BEVS to be precise). Bit of a markup there. I dont think the case costs much...
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