Denials, Denial, and projection
Xbox360 commenting on allegations of a tryst with a Blu-Ray player:
I did not have handshaking with that interface. We may have flirted with USB ports, but I did not handshake with that drive's interface.
As usual denials can take on an air of unreality, especially when they're proven false shortly thereafter. Microsoft and Sony are both so guilty of this it's hard to take any denial from either of them seriously.
You know Mark really made some excellent points about the 360 (though was probably a little enthusiastic with the failure rate). I don't remember seeing him even mention Sony's console, so all those bashing him and his comment for being PS3 fanboyism need to worry more about their own projection than about his supposed fanboyism.
As others have pointed out, The 360 suffers an atypically high failure rate. CE industry accepted norms for failure rate are approximately 3% or less. Not 17%, 20%, 33%, or whatever double digit % people which to assert today.
360 was stripped down prior to launch with the removal of the HDD from the base platform. MS stated this was not a problem and that no games would require the HDD. Sadly, this is not true, some games do, and some games require the HDD for any online play. XBL Arcade games are limited to 150MB mostly because the potential lack of HDD presents a problem for storing large downloadable games locally.
HDMI was dismissed by Microsoft as irrelevant time and again. Microsoft actually came out and stated categorically that no game would ever run at 1080p, and that it wasn't necessary to have HDMI. In the end though, MS added HDMI, and some truly 1080p games have arrived on the PS3, though 720p is clearly the standard. If HDMI is so unimportant, why bother adding it?
The point isn't a comparison of Microsoft and Sony, the point is that Microsoft have made some key statements and then performed total 180 subsequently claiming that they never made such statements. It's all BS.
It's like this attempt to distract the HD market post HD-DVD. While HD-DVD was engaged with Blu-Ray, digital downloads were not the flavor of the day. Suddenly with the demise of HD-DVD they become all the rage. The trouble is that with the exception of a tiny, and I mean truly tiny, minority of US, Japanese and UK Internet customers no one has the bandwidth needed to perform HD streaming or downloads. The solutions so far are to compress the living crap out of the content (thus negating the HD nature of it) or to perform silly math and claim that in just a couple of years we'll be able to download an HD movie in mere minutes.
The truth is that most people's peak bandwidth wouldn't be sufficient for even the compressed 'HD' downloads, and even if they were, if millions of customers all started streaming HD movies over the net rather than buying the disk, the net would fail almost immediately. The amount of investment needed in even the elite western nations to make truly high speed broadband Internet universal is colossal and not something that ISPs are going to undertake out of the goodness of their hearts. Look at Comcast, they have a new 50Mbit/second service in one metro area in the US. It starts (starts!!) at $150. And this all supposes that we are all going to suddenly have multi-terabyte disk arrays in our living rooms to host our HD video library. Yep, I can see all of this just springing up in a coupe of years. Oh yeah, I can see it all now. Oh, wait, there's some pigs flying past me....
In the end I still think that Microsoft has a big problem on their hands with the integration of a BluRay player into the 360. I don't see how they can integrate one without alienating their existing customers. So they have to make an add-on. An add-on is pointless since it's movies only and stand alone players will ultimately be cheaper and more capable. Then again, downloads are not the answer in the short to medium term, and so Microsoft are left without a good option from an operational or tactical point of view. Strategically downloads is a sound direction to take -long term. Sony sees this too, but then Sony includes an HDD in every system, where MS doesn't. So one has to wonder who really sees download as a strategy....