Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Debut To Forget - No One Cares About The Xbox 360 Elite

I had a late night Saturday night - I'm just starting to recover. It was so late that Saturday night magically turned into Sunday morning. It was the craziest thing - this big glowing disk rose over the horizon, and suddenly, a new day was born. I'm told this is called a sunrise, and that it happens every day. I'm not usually conscious during the time this supposedly happens, so I can't say for sure. But I'm glad I got to see at least one.

Anyway, this Sunday marked the official launch of the Xbox 360 Elite. Assuming you hadn't already snagged one, this was your opportunity. So, since this was essentially free time for me, I decided to head down to my local Target to cover the "launch event".

I arrived in the parking lot at 7 a.m., exactly one hour before the store opening. There was already a line of about 10 people in front of the store, which seemed like a reasonable number. Then I started talking to the crowd, and I found out the horrific truth - today was a Wii day. That's right, 10 people were at Target at 7 a.m. on the Xbox 360 Elite's launch day to buy a Nintendo Wii. Fantastic. But, there was still an hour to go, so I held out hope.

By the time the store opened, two lines had formed out front. The larger was for the Wii, with about 30-35 people. The smaller was for the Elite, and it consisted of...1 person. That's right: o-n-e. I guess technically that shouldn't be called a "line", but I'm editorializing here.

Of course, none of this is much of a surprise. Almost no one was clamouring for a more expensive version of the 360. If anything, people wanted just the opposite. And with the supply/demand ratio for the Wii where it is, I'm guessing that most Sunday mornings outside of Target look just like this one. So what's a slightly-upgraded console to do? I guess a rampant 360 killing spree is an option, but more than likely, it'll just be back to the boardroom for Bill Gates and the gang.

Until a new battle plan can be drawn up, we'll just have to live with the fact that the 360 is the "middle console" that just doesn't get it's fair share of attention. Instead of focusing on a good value console that delivers a wide library of games, people would rather talk about the sexy console that costs an arm and a leg and treats you like dirt in front of your friends, the PS3 (even if only to bash it - it's kind of a Paris Hilton thing), or the fun baby console that saves puppies and reverses global warming, the Wii. But don't cry for the 360 - it doesn't want your pity. It just wants your money.

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