J Allard, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, has commented on the choice to make a non-hard drive and hard drive version of the Xbox 360. We thought you might be interested in his defense.
"I don’t know who we’ve let down. There isn’t a game on 360 that you can’t play without a hard drive, so I think that’s a good thing for consumers. We’ve made a commitment to broadening the audience, and while I think most of our energy here at X05 is about the hardcore, over time we’re really setting the stage for making this a bigger category for everybody. So from the developer point of view you have the best tools and the commitment of the most well-resourced company in the world going worldwide with this product and saying that we want to grow the audience. So that seems like a win for developers–I’m not sure who’s supposed to be disappointed. A lot of people have said: "This is really confusing–you have different configurations and blah, blah, blah," and I’m like: "What consumer electronics business in the world has three manufacturers, three brands that make one thing that doesn’t change for seven years?". The answer is none. You go and buy a TV, I guess it’s confusing but I like the choice. You buy a cell phone, it could be confusing but I like the choice. Consumers like choice, and it’s a very pro-consumer move on our part to say we’ve got two configurations of our system that’ll be launching in Europe and if they’re not right we have the flexibility to go and change it. You buy a TV and it’s not progressive scan, you’re screwed. You made the choice and you can’t upgrade. You buy an iPod Shuffle and you want an iPod photo, you’re screwed. You can’t upgrade. You bought a Mini Cooper and you want the Turbo, you’re screwed. You buy the Xbox 360 Core system, you can build up to the premium system and you won’t be left out of anything along the way. You can pace into this however you want, unlike any of the traditional categories."
And that’s the end of that. Keep checking back to Cheat Code Central for more long, winded digressions from J Allard and others as the console war continues to unfold.