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J Allard Interview

When Microsoft announced the dual SKU approach for the Xbox 360, with the Core system priced at $299 and the useful system priced at $399, the resulting cacophony would have defeaned any attempt to clear up any misunderstandings. So with infinitely wise timing, J Allard of Microsoft let himself be interviewed just the other day to firm up in everyone’s minds why two SKU were introduced at those prices with their respective feature lists. And my friends over at have a transcript.

A couple things that I found interesting:

The A/V cables included in the $399 package will offer both component and composite connections. So you can hook up the Xbox 360 to an HDTV or to a normal SD TV (although with the inferior-to-S-Video composite connection).

Mr. Allard also took great pains to emphasize that developers will be using the optional HDD to cache data, speed load times, and generally do all that good fun stuff the HDD was used for in the original Xbox. But of course, he has to say that, doesn’t he?

The $299 SKU option is pretty useless, and Mr. Allard almost concedes the fact. But he points out that it targets a different market than the hardcore gamer. Microsoft hopes to bring new gamers into its fold, and hopes the $299 will reach out and touch them. A lot of the interview was spent on this point.

And lastly, you can stream SD and HD content from a Media-Centre enabled PC. Yay!

Gaming-360J Allard Chat