Microsoft CEO Hints at New Forms, Options for Xbox 360

Illustration for article titled Microsoft CEO Hints at New Forms, Options for Xbox 360

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was supposed to be talking about cloud computing on Thursday, but an offhand remark during a Q&A session hinted that additional "form factors" for the Xbox 360, with price points to suit them, are being considered.


By "form factor" Ballmer evidently means something vastly different from a hard drive or HDMI configuration. Someone posed a question about hardware diversity - not specifically mentioning the 360 - and Ballmer seemed concerned by the fact there's "no diversity" in the 360 line.

We actually have a TV implementation in some senses built into Windows. It works really well for small screen TVs that you might call a PC, but for that big screen device here's a piece of hardware that we build, there's no diversity. You get exactly the Xboxes that we build for you. We may have more form factors in the future that are designed for various price points and options, but we think it's going to [be] important.


Whatever that could be, your guess is as good as mine. McWhertor, back in January, reported that Microsoft is still intent on bringing some set-top box/DVR functionality to the Xbox 360 via Uverse and Mediaroom, although it won't be a device that replaces one outright. Maybe that is at play here. It's also just as likely that Ballmer's comments reflect strategic thinking only, not something yet grounded in solid plans.

Ballmer: More Xbox Form Factors in the Future? [Gearlog via Gizmodo]

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what? if im reading this correctly, it sounds like they need to not make a console then.

the biggest problem here is that if you make a 360 that can do x and y but not z, and one that only does x y or z.. you create fragmentation. thats the whole point of a console.. not having to figure out what does what.. it plays all the same games. with backwards compatibility being half-assed these days, and different configurations that boil down to a different sized harddrive, its already confusing consumers enough.

customer: so ps3s can play ps2 games? can i play ps3 games on the ps2?

clerk: no, there have been roughly 8 different models of the ps3, only 3 of the early models can play ps2 games. all ps3s can play ps1 games though.

customer: what? ps1 games? do you sell those?

clerk: no, theyre older, youll have to go to ______ or the internet to find those.

customer: ohhh... so what is the difference in this one (120gb) and that one (250 gb)..

its already a damn headache.. look at the wii.. "can i get the wii with the sports game in it" "all of them come with it ma'am/sir"

hopefully next gen isnt like this.. release one freaking system.. maybe different colors.. with a standard hdd size. allow people to add external hdds and sell first party branded hdds separately.. only release a new model when you aesthetically redesign the system and drop the price.. besides that.. ONE SKU! (well.. special editions are okay).

if im completely off base here, sorry for the rant.