Today’s rumor is that Microsoft may be planning on releasing two separate SKU’s for their successor to the Xbox 360’s throne. One SKU would be an economical version of the system that’s stripped down to a basic, Kinect ready setup and little more.
The premium console on the other hand would come equipped with more robust features such as an optical disc drive, backwards compatibility, and a hard drive. While we know less than nothing about the tentatively dubbed Xbox 720 (including an ETA), I wouldn’t be surprised to see this rumor comes to life since that’s been pretty much Microsoft’s strategy with the 360, offering up differently priced bundles. At the end of the sales day, it’s the smartest fucking thing a console manufacturer can do: target the casual audience while still catering to the hardcore.
I’d love to see this kind of move from Sony and Nintendo in the future. Most gamers are forced to stick with one console if their dollar doesn’t stretch far enough. Yet we still yearn for the experiences and exclusive titles we’re missing out on. Companies have been so used to waging war on one another that they don’t even recognize the concept of supplementing a gamer’s collection, only asserting dominance over it. It’s almost as if they don’t figure in the consumer that wants both, like we’re walking enigmas.
They’re devoted to making you choose a side instead, shouting “We’re way fucking better than those dicks! Look how original and innovative our motion controllers are compared to their bullshit!”
When I purchased my premium 360 three years ago, if I saw Sony release a cheaper PS3 system that sacrificed some bells and whistles (more significant than differently sized hard drives that is), I probably wouldn’t have waited so damn long to snag their console. Sony could have had me as a paying consumer for three years now. Once the PS4, Wii U, and Xbox-Whatever-the-Hell are on the market, the very same will hold true. Offer a cheaper alternative and it won’t just be the casual gamers buying up your stock, it’ll be your competition’s loyalists coming to test the waters. Bet your ass on it.