The rumors are true. I have followed my cousinâ€™s lead and am also a Wii60 household, possessing both an Xbox 360 and a Wii for roughly the same price as the PS3. The Wii has been in the home since last November. With Zelda completed and nobody around to school me in Wii Sports, it is taking a wee little sabbatical pending the release of Super Paper Mario in April.
As great as that system is for those proprietary first party games (Mario, Metroid, Zelda) as well as the new game play experiences offered up with the Wiimote (this is a great party machine), the 360 offers a fantastic online mode. With Sean, Jason and Mook in the fold, I was missing out on all the hot online action and am happy to report that I can devote that 1-to-2 hour wedge of time I somehow carve most day after the fam has gone to bed to reacquaint myself with the online clan and get busy Grunt bashing. Hey, itâ€™s better than random channel surfing.
Now, not more than two days after the purchase was made, word drops from Game Informer magazine that Microsoftâ€™s redesign of the 360, the stylish black Elite (formerly Zephyr) will release in late April. I begrudged this fact for a few moments before I thought about it. For that price – $480 â€“ you receive an HDMI port (for connectivity to a high def TV) and a larger hard drive (120mb versus 20 mb). However, they didnâ€™t toss in the HD-DVD drive (which currently retails as an add-on for $199). For $20 more, you could buy a PS3 with a Blue Ray drive but a smaller hard drive. Suddenly, the $500 PS3 doesnâ€™t look so outrageous.
If you break it out as follows, the $600 model PS3 includes a Blue Ray drive (which is clearly winning the high def DVD format war â€“ a fact backed up by the news that Wal-Mart has slashed prices on the HD-DVD 360 add-on to $130) as well as the HDMI port and 60 gb hard drive. The Elite is $480 and if you want to add HD-DVD, you need to pony up an extra $200 to get that add-on (unless you go to Wal-Mart â€“ shudder, that place makes my skin crawl), leaving you with a $680 machine.
Remember the good old days when the only choice you had to make was whether you wanted the system with Super Mario Brothers or the one with the dumb robot.
Anyway, that extra hard drive space would only really impact me if I were using this to store movies or television shows (which are coming from MS) but since I have Charter HD DVR and no intent of downloading movies or shows from XBL, Iâ€™m not sure I need the bigger drive (until they start digitally distributing massive games) which wonâ€™t occur too soon or at least wonâ€™t phase out games purchased at retail until these hard drives are in everyoneâ€™s homes. Simply put, there will be a choice but physical media will be here for a while.
Thereâ€™s always the Elite far off in the future if and when the current system crashes on me. Iâ€™d like to think I got that out of the way when I unboxed the first system and was immediately greeted with the Three Red Lights of Doom or The Eye of Sauron as I like to call it. Fingers crossed.
Oh â€“ it should be noted â€“ I did own the 360 once before and traded it in for credit to purchase the Wii. The moral here, hold onto those systems, kids. The trade-in value is never worth it and there is always some game to come out on a platform that you donâ€™t own which you absolutely MUST play. And, of course, way off in the future you can always resell it on eBay or donate it to the Smithsonian when the day comes where all media is uploaded straight to your cerebral cortex.
Great, I canâ€™t wait to have the theme from Saved by the Bell literally running through my head all day long.