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Rumor Report: A 360 Degree Look

Author:  Chris Swertfeger
Date:  2008.06.27
Topic:  Editorials
Provider:  Xbox 360
Manufacturer:  Microsoft

Rumor Report: A 360 Degree Look

XBOX 360

Possible 3rd party 360 console

What Did You Say?:

That's right folks, the newest rumor from EGM claims that Microsoft will soon be licensing Xbox 360 technologies to 3rd party companies. Yes, this is the same Microsoft that's better known for acquiring other companies than outsourcing to them. Maybe Microsoft is finally feeling the pressure after the whole "Red Ring of Death" debacle, estimated at costing them $1 billion dollars. Console manufacturers normally sell their units at a loss of profit so they can sell as many consoles as possible and saturate the market. The 360 already has a fairly solid saturation, so maybe Microsoft is passing the buck to 3rd party companies so they can still get paid for the console licensing without the liability of hardware failure. Not to mention, all of Microsoft's real profit margin is in the sale of accessories and licensing to game developers. The opening up of the 360 platform would allow 3rd parties to add addition features such as a built-in blu-ray player (one more example of Microsoft kicking the PS3 while it's down in sales) or a motion controller (take that Nintendo).


It's Been Done Before You Say?:

Even if Microsoft were to open up their platform, it wouldn't be as Earth shattering as it sounds. Back in the heyday of the GameCube, Nintendo signed an agreement with Panasonic (the manufacturer of the GameCube's unusual optical drive) to allow them to produce their own version of the GameCube. The love child of this relationship was the Panasonic Q multimedia console, which was only released in Japan. It had the ability to play DVDs, audio CDs and MP3 as well as several other features. There was also a time that you could buy Sega CD drives for PC's, so this kind of alliance is not completely unheard of.


Final Thoughts:

Sure it's fun to get hyped about the newest tech gossip. With E3 coming up soon, who knows what surprises Microsoft will have? At the end of the day though, you have to look at what this is, a rumor. So take this newest one with a grain of salt and try not to get your hopes up too high if it doesn't come true.

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