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Companies Choose Their Path

March 29, 2007

Microsoft has announced the Xbox 360 Elite version set for an April 29 release. For $480, it comes in black, and sports a 120GB hard drive, and wireless remote control. But sadly, no HD-DVD ! How elite is that ? It looks like Microsoft is already abandoning the HD-DVD format, so that it can concentrate on its Xbox Live Marketplace service. Although there is still no clear winner in the formats wars thus far, this is a score for the Sony Playstation 3 which can play Blu-Ray discs. At the same time Microsoft is going head-to-head with Apple’s iTunes store which is number one in video downloads. Microsoft’s Live Marketplace selection is sparse in comparison, but it does have a one-up over iTunes in that it has the only Hi-def-quality movies and tv shows available to download. But beware of Live because it uses a point system rather than dollar and sense, if you know what I mean. You’ll need a conversion chart as if you’re in a foreign country in order to figure out how much your spending. Being that I have an Xbox 360, and favor it over Playstation 3, I hate to see Microsoft shoot itself in the foot the way Sony has. To list a couple of bad moves, Sony forced those with a PSP to use their proprietary UMD format for watching movies. Sony never paid Immersion for their rumble technology (until losing in court), and that’s why there is no rumble in the Playstation 3 controllers. So now with Microsoft killing HD-DVD and bad Live point system, I will only use the Xbox for gaming, not for watching movies. Let’s hope Apple will make the right choices with their AppleTV. Say… add HD movies and tv shows to the iTunes Store, or enable Tivo-like features to record.

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