Monday, October 13, 2008

Microsoft Offering Free Storage To Arcade/Core Users

Microsoft has made a lot of poor decisions this hardware cycle, and they haven't handled many of them too well. So when news broke that their "New Xbox Experience" would take 128MB of space, call me cynical, but I really didn't expect Microsoft to remedy the situation quickly or generously.

Well, hot dog.

Microsoft has come through for the Arcade and Core users that would've otherwise been screwed by this update in both a quick and generous way. Free 512MB memory cards or $19.99 20GB refurbished hard drives can be redeemed by Arcade/Core users here. An impressive move by Microsoft, and one that's surely going to drive their profits down even further. Bold.

Contrast that with Nintendo, who have been promising to remedy their own storage concerns for months now and have produced nothing. Nintendo, the company where they drive to work in cars made of money after having a nice hot money bath and kissing their wives (also made of money) goodbye, have no solution in sight. No free SD cards for Wii users! Never!

And contrast all of that with Sony, who everyone lambasted when they first announced the ridiculous $599.99 price tag. At the very least, we should give Sony credit for truly fulfilling their promise of making the PS3 future proof. Everybody's got at least a 20GB hard drive, everybody's got wireless network access, everybody's got HDMI, etc.

The only thing I'd truly accuse Sony of doing incorrectly is not being more aggressive to drive the price down, especially this holiday season. Mind you, even though they "have no plans" to cut the PS3's price any time soon and think what they offer is "an excellent value proposition" (it is), that doesn't change the fact that the PS3 is now twice the price of an Xbox 360.

Again though, kudos to Microsoft for offering up such a quick solution to this. Let's set aside any claims of "they should just offer a hard drive with every 360" and the like and just give Microsoft credit for finally handling a crisis maturely and efficiently.

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