XBox361: Of Sales, HDMI, and Points.

With word on the next version of the XBox360 coming out “soon” with some nice upgrades (HDMI = yummy). I’m sure glad I didn’t push to get my wife to let me buy one over the Christmas vacation. I’m definitely saving up now with the intention to buy one when it’s available.

The real question is…how many other people are doing the same? How many purchases is Microsoft going to loose this quarter while people hold off for the XBox361? Of course with 2 million XBoxes sold during the holiday season compared to only 750,000 for the PS3 [source], the climb is probably insurmountable. But still, it should be interesting to see if there’s a dip in XBox sales over the next few months.

I also believe that the inclusion of an HDMI port **strongly **points to the possibility of a HD-DVD drive being built in. If that happens, and Microsoft is able to keep the price of the XBox around where it’s been, HD-DVD will win the format war handedly. Of course this would probably piss off the early adopters, and purchasers of the external drive, more then the hard drive upgrade.

Another interesting bit of Xbox speculation occurred at Scobleizer today. Robert speculates on Microsoft leveraging the XBox platform outside of the gaming world and throughout it’s Live family. I personally think it makes sense, though achievements may not be the best way. Imagine instead micro-payments of Microsoft Points (notice that they are Microsoft Points and not XBox Points…hmmm), maybe instead of an achievement it’s half a point or some such. If the console manufacturers ever decide to allow person to person point transfers (which Microsoft says they eventually want to allow), it would be interesting to see if a third party point system could develop. What if you could earn XBox Points that you could convert to Wii Points or whatever the Playstation ends up with? Or convert it to cash? A gamer point market seems like it would be fun, profitable, and good for all three consoles.