Sony: XBL HDTV "a disservice"

SCEA's Dave Karraker says he'd be upset upon hearing about Microsoft's recently revealed multimedia download scheme if he owned an HDD-less Xbox 360.

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Last night, Microsoft unveiled an ambitious plan to make available a sizeable offering of high-definition movies and television shows on Xbox Live on demand. As is becoming common in the increasingly acrimonious next-gen console war, one side was quick to respond with a scathing criticism of the other's latest move.

"I think they are doing a disservice to their consumer base because they are ignoring all those people who bought the Core system," said Sony Computer Entertainment America PR chief Dave Karraker, referring to the lower-end $299 Xbox 360 system. Said system does not come with the attachable hard drive necessary to store content downloaded off of Xbox Live.

Naturally, SCEA's head spokesman pointed out that both the $499 and $599 models of the PlayStation 3 have hard drives built in. "We would never segregate or shut out any of our consumers from our entertainment experience because they didn't buy the top of the line system," said Karraker. The HDD-equipped premium Xbox 360 costs $399, and the hard drive itself costs $99.99 when bought separately.

The executive also pointed out the fact that 7 gigabytes of the Xbox 360's 20-gigabyte hard drive are taken up by preloaded content, such as the game Hexic, and its operating system. He did not point out the fact that nearly 4GB of said content is deletable. Since only test units have been made available to the press, it is unknown how much of the final retail PS3s' hard drives, which weigh in at 20GB or 60GB, will be taken up by their operating systems and preloaded content.

Microsoft plans on launching its video and movie service on November 22. Sony executives said at its 2006 Gamers Day that the company will eventually tap its vast library of music, video, and movie content to distribute online to PS3s, but they won't say when. "We haven't announced when other entertainment content, beyond games, will be available from the PlayStation Store," said Karraker.

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