No Hard Drive In XBox Arcade

Xbox 360 Fanboy has an article about how developers are unhappy with the Xbox 360 Arcade (formerly the Core system) and its lack of hard drive.

With the PS3 finally catching on, the fact that one console has a hard drive and one only sometimes does is annoying the hell out of them. Some developers like to use the hard drive as a cache, in order that their games run faster, though with the trade-off that games now install to your disk, just like freakin’ PC games.

There is definitely a disadvantage to having the Arcade around, especially if it’s discouraging developers (and you know how Microsoft bends over backwards for devs). I wonder if there’s a way for Microsoft to eliminate the Arcade, somehow allow developers to design all games to require a hard drive. The only way that could happen would require them to not just pull the Arcade from the market, but to also not cut off and screw Arcade owners, who have been buying the edition for over two years.

One way to make it right, would be to give all Core/Arcade owners a free hard drive. Considering the cost of a 20-gig laptop hard drive can run as little as $25-$35, even with 18 millions 360s sold, we’re talking a small hit. If 30% of all 360s have no hard drive (which is probably too high an assumption), the cost is certainly less than $200 million, probably a lot less, and worth its weight in developer goodwill.

Other options would include a huge price break for the existing drive, or a coupon for it for Arcade owners. Make it affordable enough, and abandoning it won’t seem as bad. The current hard drives are priced far too high anyway. With the rumor these days that the regular 360 is being upgraded to 60 gigabytes, the 20 gig drive should be cheap and in surplus enough for everyone to have one.

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Nathan Weinberg
About Nathan Weinberg
Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines. Visit the InsideGoogle blog.

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