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Friday, July 6, 2007

Microsoft, Sony, and Lunchtime Gaming

Super-extended warranty on your Xbox 360?! Playstation 3 price drops?! Reviewing video games for lunch?!

That's right! Read it here last at The Greedy Gamer!

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In an unprecendented move, Microsoft has decided to extend the warranty period on Xbox 360 consoles to three years! Unbelievable! I hope that this puts a cork in the collective mouths of the numerous Sony and Nintendo fan boys out there blaming the Xbox 360 for all the ills of this world.

The extended warranty will cover the "red lights of death" being experienced by as many as 35% of Xbox 360 users for a three year period. So what does this mean to you, the consumer? Well, if you don't own an Xbox 360 due to fears of buying a console that will need to be replaced on a yearly basis, the time for purchasing is at hand! Think of it: $399 (or $499 in Canada) buys you an Xbox 360 for the next three years! I don't think you'll find any other piece of consumer electronics that offers any such guarantee!

In truth, I was getting worried about seeing the red lights o' death on my console. Other than the occasional "disc dirty" error message, I haven't had any problems with my console; still, I envisioned my 360 breaking down a day or two after the one year warranty expired. Today, it's as if I've been given a brand new console and renewed faith in humanity.

Microsoft - it must have been hard to admit that you were wrong. I appreciate the fact that you have decided to stand behind your console and your customers in this matter and I look forward to making you rich as I continue to buy games and pay for my totally unused Xbox Live Gold membership.

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In other news, Sony is probably cutting the price of the Playstation 3.


As I mentioned in a previous post, a price cut is an absolute necessity for me to go out and buy a Playstation 3. Sure, the PS3 brings a lot of value with its purchase price of $599 ($699 in Canada). But value is a meaningless word used by slimy salespersons.

In the real world, we use money when exchanging goods. Telling me that I'm saving a few hundred dollars by buying a PS3 at $699 CDN because it's valued at a much higher price is ridiculous. $700! What the hell was Sony thinking?

The price drop, rumoured to be arriving on July 15, will see the Sony Playstation 3 retail for $499 in the U.S. and $549 in Canada. I'm still not sure why Canadians are stuck paying an extra $50 considering that the U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar are just about deadlocked; however, $550 is a reasonable price for the PS3.

Unfortunately, without rumble-enabled controllers or solid game titles, I still value the Playstation 3 at far less than $550. Unless Lair, Heavenly Sword, and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune end up being rated at 9.0 or above by the GameSpot review staff, I'll continue to wait for the PS3 to retail for $399 before making the leap onto Sony's next-gen console.

However...

I still have tons of faith in Sony's ability to win the next-gen console war. I think we'll see the Playstation 3 hit its stride by 2010. By then, I have no doubt that game developers will be fully utilizing the PS3's awesome power and making some unbelievable games that are exclusive to Sony's incredible console.

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Thanks to Joystiq for pointing me towards a new site: Games For Lunch.

Written by Kyle Orland, the site is based on a single (and brilliant) gimmick: a game is reviewed based solely on its first hour of game play.

If only I'd thought of this idea myself, I'm sure I'd have more than two readers...

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