Wednesday, 28 Mar, 2007 Technology

Microsoft Upgrades Its Xbox 360


Due to a cruel battle on the field of gaming consoles, where the most severe struggles are among Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, Microsoft is to issue an upgraded version of their Xbox 360. The new model is to have a bigger hard-drive (120-gigabyte), a better high-def video support and a more stylish look, which, judging by the recent mirror-styled Wii, is a very significant factor in this sphere.

As stated by representatives from Microsoft, this upgrade is mainly directed at the so-called 'hardcore gamers', who would like to see in their game console more additional details and features.

According to James L. McQuivey, a researcher at the Forrester Research said the the hard-drive space upgrade is meant to encourage the Xbox 360 users to download media from the Internet, which require more additional money spending.

Peter Moore, Microsoft's corporate vice president for the interactive entertainment business, said that today's gamers have a thirst on various high-definition content, and the new upgrade is meant to settle this thirst down.

The Xbox 360 Elite is to be announced today and should be available for the gamers in April. Its price will have a starting point of $479, with additional pricing for additional features. The manufacturer has also offered the upper-mentioned 120GB hard drive as an upgrade to their basic model of 360 for $179.

This upgrade to the Xbox 360 is meant to catch up with the Nintendo's Wii, which has been outselling Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 on the market of gaming consoles during the last months. However, the reason for this outselling could be mentioned the fact that the Wii is a family-friendly entertainment device, which could be purchased at a price $50 cheaper than the basic Xbox 360 model, and even more cheaper than a Sony's PlayStation 3.

The Wii, on the other hand cannot boast of such additional functions as music and video playback, whereas Microsoft and Sony have integrated these functions into their consoles. This fact could prove of great advantage over the Wii, as a recent survey by Microsoft showed that Xbox 360 users spent 40% of time using the device for something other than gaming. But when it comes to playing video games, 60% of Xbox 360 users prefer Microsoft's online service for gamers - Xbox live.

Thus the representatives from Microsoft are optimistic, as they are sure that as soon as a Wii user turns 14, he will want something other than a family-friendly gaming device.

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