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Friday, November 25, 2005

Xbox 360 has nothing on Atari 2600

Xbox 360 has nothing on Atari 2600

"Has there ever been as confused a launch as the Xbox 360?

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usMicrosoft offers gamers two different choices. One has a hard drive, component display cable and a wireless controller. The other is a stripped-down model that lacks a hard drive, has a composite cable and a fixed-line controller.

Want the one with the hard drive but don't want (or need) the wireless controller or component cable? Tough. Buy the composite cable and wired controller separately.

On top of this enforced "freedom" of choice, retailers took it another step and offered pre-orders on systems bundled with games, accessories and even pre-paid game rentals. Toys R Us (nyse: TOY - news - people ) offers, through, four variations: the Pro Players Bundle I and II, and the Core Players Bundle I and II. These bundles are priced at $999.95. Picking one of these bundles makes you a sucker, not a gamer.

The confusion may be intentional. Microsoft likely hoped to cover up its lack of original games available at launch.

“The two editions allow consumers the flexibility to enter the immersive, high-definition world of Xbox 360 gaming and build toward the complete Xbox 360 entertainment experience,” a Microsoft representative said.

Ridge Racer 6? Project Gotham Racing 3? Do developers (and Microsoft) lack so much faith in the new system that they have to recycle repetitious-by-nature racing games? How embarrassing is it that The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has been delayed to some point in 2006? How embarrassing is it that the advertising blitz for that game had already begun before the delay was announced?" [more]

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