It’s wasn’t the hard drive
This is some crazy marketing being done by Microsoft here and lame reasoning in my opinion. The original Xbox didn’t get clobbered in the market because it had a hard drive. There wasn’t just any reason to buy one then. Much in the same case as the PS3 is in now.
There were no real games (other than Halo) on the original Xbox that would make me buy one back then. The PS2 was such a juggernaut that all the games anyone wanted was on it. Developers were able to fit their games into the dual layer DVD discs that were norm back then.
Fast forward to today. Almost everyone ships with some form of internal memory. The Wii comes with something. The PS3 has it standard on all their consoles. But the Xbox ships it optional, and for what? To claim that they are cheaper than the Wii. Thinking that making it cheaper than the Wii will help them overtake Nintendo.
This is a dangerous claim by Microsoft since most of their current games require an internal drive of some sort to save their games. Before the consumer knows it, he would have racked up an additional $50 or even more just so he can play the games he wants. Shipping without a hard drive is a complete u-turn from the “center of the living room” campaign they are doing right now with the digital rentals, media center connection and the Netflix connectivity. You’re going to need that bigger proprietary hard drive that they are shipping. Developers are stating that they are reaching the limits of the Xbox. This is a console that is not really a next gen console. But the best of the last gen.
Apparently only a small percentage of gamers are really into the high definition gaming with all the bells and whistles that some games come in. But what is the Wii showing us, that people don’t need the HD support, or the DTS surround sound. What matters to gamers is the gameplay. It just so happens that it’s the casual gamers that are driving up the sales.
Did the previous gaming generation end too soon? It was such a runaway win for Sony with the PS2. Even now it still sells. Nintendo and Microsoft were so far behind that they had to come up with the Wii and the 360 in order to survive in the marketplace. And us gamers were just so happy to buy the next console that hit the stands.
Given the choice today I still would have purcahsed the elite instead of the cheapest version. Why? It’s like buying a PC. Buy the better version because before you know it, the geniuses behind the machine would have thought of doing something more with the machine. Such as those Netflix rentals.