I've just had the misfortune of losing my 2nd 360 to disk drive failure and am contemplating on its replacement, or if it's worth replacing. My main concern is the obvious one, the console's failure rate. I've seen quotes ranging from sub 10% to over 30%, but rarely have information as to what chipset they are referring to. Of course Jasper has only been hitting the stores since October so I imagine its difficult to have any solid numbers for it.
But whilst doing some research into it, I've stumbled on other things that have made my decision more difficult. Like the cutting down in production on the Elite version of the console, which has been tickling my fancy since it's announcement. Ok, I realise that nowadays the Elite is pretty much just a Black Premium with a bigger HDD. But... it's black and looks so awesome. :'<
On top of that, I stumbled upon an article here on tom's hardware that reports that the 360 was due to get Blu-Ray drives in Q3, 2008. But i've been unable to find any other information on this other than the source mentioned in the above article. Did this addition go ahead or did it fall flat? And was it intended to replace the built in dvd drive or an optional accessory?
The last concern is that after a brief conversation with my brother who works in a games store, he seemed to believe a new version of the console was in the pipeline for next year. Again I haven't seen anything about it so is that just him being enthusiastic about the reasoning of the Elite "shut down", speculation about the blu-ray addition or just a load of nonsense?
Not sure about newer versions but I remember a few months ago that MS approached Sony over the issue of Blu-Ray drives... so this at least seems credible - however if this happens then there is likely to be a launch of a newer version of the console.
The only fly in the ointment being the future release of games. If MS do adopt Blu-ray where does it leave existing owners ? do they have to fork out for add on drives to play future games ??
I see, so the Blu-Ray ball did actually start rolling. A Blu-Ray drive isnt a big factor in my decision making at present. Not until it starts becoming the dominant format anyway. Not to mention, waiting a year for a 360 that includes a Blu-Ray player doesn't solve the issue of me being without a console to play the games which I already own.
Are there any sites out there that report purely on hardware news? that might give a better idea of the failure rates for the various chipsets. I find a single article that could be useful but its near impossible to find anything else amoungst all the games news, previews and reviews.
Okay, first off MS will NEVER make blu-ray games for the 350 without making the drive a free add-on, which they will also never do. If anyhting, it will be so that you can watch blu-ray movies on the 360, nothing more. It would be an add-on drive. If it is made integrated, then MS will probably make it a free add-on. It would be corporate suicide to make existing owners pay for something new owners could get free.
And dealing with Jasper, there will not be any more heat related failure problems. The problem was that the 360 had an inefficent graphics card with sub-par cooling, resulting in the failures due to heat. Falcon helped fix this with a shrink of the CPU, but Jasper also shrinks the graphics card meaning that the fundamental problem is solved.
Microsoft also said that now when they repair their going to start integrating Jasper changes, whereas before they would send you one with the same hardware or just make some minor adjustments.
As far as slowing shipments of the Elite, that is in response to the economy, and doesn't really have much to do with the hardware.
I think there are either 1 or 2 new hardware modifications planned. I know one of them is going to use something called a unified chipset ( I don't really understand everything about it, but it does something with the graphics card and CPU).