I’ve seen a couple entries which are noting Xbox 360 bundles are available for pre-order. In my hunting, I found that RitzCamera is taking orders for the Xbox 360 Platinum System, which is one of two bundle configurations – this is the one I ordered. A lower priced starter system is also available. (Please note, I receive no benefits for posting this link.)
The Xbox group is amazingly focused on what their customers want out of a gaming and entertainment system, just as many employees in the product groups at Microsoft. Let me go a step further and say that HED has great customer and partner awareness overall… the HRD folks make sexy and functional hardware, with the latest edition to our own home office being the new comfort curve keyboard (say that five times fast). I’ve been so impressed with how teams at Microsoft meet, listen and work closely with our customers and partners (which in the case of HED includes consumers, distributors, retailers and the spectrum of game makers… you name it), in addition to bringing the voice of the customer to work every day in their own experiences. Robbie Bach said this summer that “consumers do want choice, they do want variety, and our challenge and our job is to deliver that choice and variety while we deliver a great integrated experience.”
Xbox 360 is a great example of that integrated experience. Most appealing to me is the Xbox 360’s feature of being a Windows Media Center Extender (“MCE”), replacing my cobbled together Xbox in the family room today (which has the IR add-on and multiple remotes for DVD and MCE). We already have an MCE in the bedroom that we access content from our Media Center in the office, which works very well over the home network. I also like the idea of having the much larger HDD. My hope is that there will be some game thought in how the upcoming Media Center remote keyboard might work with Xbox 360 (in addition to my Media Center PC).
But what to do with the old Xboxes at home? I’ve seen some very creative ideas out there but I think that the remaining original Xbox will find its way to the playroom.