Yesterday in Leipzig, Germany, during the German Games Convention, Microsoft finally ended the speculation concerning the Xbox 360 launch price and accessories. For $299.99 U.S., gamers can pick up the standard, glitz-free Xbox 360 Core System package, or for an extra hundred dollars they can purchase a model with a considerable number of extra components.
The $299.99 Core System comes equipped with the following features:
The $399.99 Xbox 360 set comes equipped with a larger variety of additions that, if purchased individually, would cost over $200.00. See below:
- Console: Three core processors running at 720p/1080i output, 16x9 cinematic aspect ratio, anti-aliasing for smoother textures, complete surround sound, and out-of-the-box DVD playback comprise this essential component of the Xbox 360 package.
- Controller: One wired controller with a nine-foot cable will come packaged with the Xbox 360.
- Faceplate: Allowing for console customization, the Xbox 360 will come with a single "chill" (white) faceplate that can be exchanged with a number of other faceplates available for individual purchase.
- Standard AV cable: Of course, it would be rather difficult to game with a console that isn't hooked up to anything, so the Xbox 360 will come packaged with a standard-definition AV cable.
- Console: The Xbox 360 set features the same console as the one available in the Core System, along with additional metallic markings that signify its status as a premium edition.
- Hard drive: This 20GB, detachable hard drive allows for gamers to store a large assortment of games, music, downloaded trailers, levels, demos, user-generated content from the Xbox Live Marketplace.
- Wireless Controller: Unlike the Core System, this package comes with a wireless controller with a range of up to thirty feet and just as many hours of battery life while running on two AA batteries. Also featured is the Xbox Guide Button, enabling easy access to digital movies, music, and game libraries.
- Faceplate: The faceplate available with this package is the same as the "chill" one available with the Core System.
- Headset: An Xbox Live-enabled headset is included as part of this set.
- Component HD-AV cable: Instead of the simple AV cable available with the Core System, this package comes with an HD-AV cable, allowing for both high-definition and standard-definition output.
- Xbox Live Silver membership: With this, gamers can chat via voice and text messages and access new content through the Xbox Live Marketplace.
- Bonus media remote: Available with the Xbox 360 package for a limited time only, this remote enables gamers to play DVDs, movies, music, and can access one's Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PC.
Additionally, a large number of accessories and customization options will be made available to gamers. The list includes:
- Faceplates, available at $19.99 U.S.
- Controllers, estimated at $39.99 U.S.
- Component HD-AV cable, estimated at $39.99 U.S.
- Hard drive, estimated at $39.99 U.S.
- 64 MB memory unit, estimated at $39.99 U.S.
- Wireless controller, estimated at $49.99 U.S.
- Play & charge controller kit, estimated at $19.99 U.S.
- Rechargeable battery pack, estimated at $11.99 U.S.
- Wireless network adapter, estimated at $99.99 U.S.
- Headset, estimated at $19.99 U.S.
- Universal media remote, estimated at $29.99 U.S.
- S-Video AV cable (U.S. only) / SCART AV cable (Europe only), estimated at $29.99 U.S.
- VGA HD AV cable, estimated at $39.99 U.S.
Peter Moore, corporate vice president of worldwide marketing and publishing for the Home Entertainment Division at Microsoft, says, "With both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox 360 Core System, we're offering consumers real choice and real value. We’re bringing true next-generation experiences into gamers' living rooms this Christmas holiday." Says Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer for Microsoft, "The sheer entertainment value of Xbox 360 cannot be overstated. While the system has the muscle to power awe-inspiring graphics, audio, and online play, it's also got the intelligence to serve as a one-of-a-kind entertainment device that plays CDs, DVDs, MP3s, and digital content from an array of devices, including portable music players and digital cameras."
The Xbox 360 will be available this holiday season in North America, Europe, and Japan, with availability in Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan in 2006. For a look at the RPGs expected for the Xbox 360, click here.