204w ago - Today GamesIndustry.biz (linked above) reports that Microsoft is opting for an XBox 360 software solution after dropping the internal hardware chip in Natal in an effort to reduce costs of the device.
The load previously handled by the chip now falls on one of the main three Xenon processors, but while taking a "percentage" of performance away from the system, most games don't use up 100 per cent of the available processing power anyway.
To quote: "Microsoft has dropped a chip from its forthcoming Natal motion control system as the platform holder eyes accessible price points in the build-up to release later this year.
The chip, which was responsible for processing information for the Natal's 'bone system,' has been removed in favour of a software solution."
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Incorrect. It is not cheaper to develop software rather than hardware. Each one has it's own market and neither can be compared to the other. It is incorrect to say that producing hardware will be more expensive because the demand for hardware is completely different than the demand for software. For example, it is possible to purchase a higher end graphic card for ~$500, or a complete laptop for the same price.
But if you look at CS4 by Adobe, it comes out to $2500. You have to identify the marginal returns in each, and then be able to make some sense out if it. (Also take into consideration law of diminishing returns) Another thing, you say it wasn't good business sense, yet Sony released the PS3 losing about $250 per console when it was released. They saw that even though it was not cost effective, the Long Term Opportunity Cost was actually quite the opposite.
I think the reason for the software update is that perhaps consumers are sick and tired of buying proprietary MS crap. I myself am included in this group. Wireless for $99 on the 360, or Ethernet cable for ~$7. Consumers will be consumers, and nothing will change that. Hardware or software, there will always be those consumers who need to have the newest gadgets. Nothing can change this.
Why would you release something were you would have to invest a lot of money into something that wont be cost effective for the customer and would require them to buy new hardware, it doesnt make good business sense plus its cheaper to develop software rather than hardware.
Hmmm, this seems similar to what Sony would be doing with the PS3D feature is it not? They also are releasing a firmware update which would allow 3D compatibility on the PS3. Microsoft is not to be outdone I assume haha. Interesting to see what will actually become of this feature, but I feel a delay coming on :]
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