Xbox 360 USB Sticks Will Likely Be Overpriced

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Xbox 360 USB Sticks Will Likely Be Overpriced

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Microsoft's addition of USB drive support to the Xbox 360 is evidently another way for the giant to make a couple more bucks.

Microsoft will be adding USB hard drive support to the Xbox 360 next week on April 6, and of course will be selling its own official flash drives to use to commemorate the occasion. As if this is any surprise, Kotaku has noticed two GameStop listings that hint at hefty prices for each of the two sticks to be made available.

Microsoft's 8 GB USB memory stick is listed at $39.99 while the 16 GB memory stick is listed at $69.90. These aren't official prices yet, but GameStop tends to get things approximately right when posted. The only thing that throws me off is the price of $69.90 for the 16 GB stick, but this is likely to be changed to $69.99 rather than to an actually reasonable price.

Not that companies like Microsoft and Sony are expected to provide a good value for accessories (*cough* the freakin' expensive Xbox 360 Network Adapter *cough*), but this article can serve as more of a public service announcement to anyone actually planning to buy a Microsoft branded drive. USB sticks with the same capacity go for around half the price on Amazon.com, Newegg.com, and other retailers. Even Microsoft's Xbox 360 hard drives seem like a great value at these price points.

Granted, the prices could be very different when made official, but does anyone expect them to lower at all? The fact remains that it would be a miracle if Microsoft, Sony, or any first-party put out a storage product that was reasonably priced. I'm not bashing Microsoft at all as I understand the pricing methods used. It needs money and the gaming giants usually go into massive money pits just to get consoles onto the market. I want them to survive so I can see better and better games in the future. Still, as a consumer, I hate to see anyone get ripped off unnecessarily. These sticks highlight the ability for companies to make money off of providing new console functionality and selling peripherals to people who don't know any better, but at least we have other choices due to the USB interface that we didn't in previous generations.

(Via: Kotaku)

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I seriously doubt the prices will be any lower than what the gamestop listings are. As you've pointed out, they always tend to be horrendously overpriced. The hard drives and the network adapter are prime examples. No shocker here.

And the sun will rise tomorrow.
not surprised in the least.

Did I read the initial report wrong or what? I got the impression from the initial report that any flash drive could be reformatted to the type it needs to be for the 360. Does this article mean that only the Microsoft flash drives will work with the 360?

HA, I knew it

MR T3D:
And the sun will rise tomorrow.
not surprised in the least.

Certainly...Microsoft are used to ripping people off...and, people will continue to let themselves be ripped off

Ah Micro$oft, evil in public so you don't have to be.

Ah, all companies do this. I bought a second PS3 controller, and found it didn't come with a cable. I could have spent $10 on an Official Sony Brand Charge Cable Accessory, or perhaps about $2 on a USB-to-Smaller-USB cable in Radio Shack. As it turned out, I had such a cable lying around.

It beats Nintendo's tendency to give each rechargeable handheld a different-sized and uniquely-sized charging port. Remember the GBA and the GBA Micro? The Micro had a smaller link cable port than the GBA. They only made female-Micro-to-male-regular adapters. If you owned a Micro (which wasn't too popular), you'd need to buy a special Micro link cable and adapters for every regular GBA with which you wanted to connect.

My 8Gb USB cost me £10.

Its a rip-off who is going to look at your USB and say "Made by Microsoft ,impressive"?

Microsoft overpricing something? LIES!

But seriously, it makes me sad people will actually buy these.

Ah well, at least I know better...

newguy77:
Did I read the initial report wrong or what? I got the impression from the initial report that any flash drive could be reformatted to the type it needs to be for the 360. Does this article mean that only the Microsoft flash drives will work with the 360?

No, pretty much all usb storage devices will work. Microsoft's are just already pre-formatted.

You can format other USB devices as well.

MR T3D:
And the sun will rise tomorrow.
not surprised in the least.

Took the words out of my mouth.

Just use a GENERIC USB STICK. Problem Solved.

Didn't mircosoft file a lawsuit agsinst another company that made cheap USB storage for the 360?

Anyone surprised by this? I mean, Microsoft milks it up with their proprietary devices and system so that they and only they can make the most money. When the 360 first came out in it's 1st month or so, the official Xbox360 controller (by M$) was the only one available. They charge all their console developer's close to 10% or more for licensing fees to have their games on their systems (then again, so does Sony and I think Nintendo does too), which explains the $60 price point compared to PC's $50 price point.

Digikid:

MR T3D:
And the sun will rise tomorrow.
not surprised in the least.

Took the words out of my mouth.

Just use a GENERIC USB STICK. Problem Solved.

Can't do it. M$ has hardcoded and used software updates that makes their systems only recognize their hardware pieces or licensed 3rd party companies only. And, with this, they most likely won't license it out to anyone.

newguy77:
Did I read the initial report wrong or what? I got the impression from the initial report that any flash drive could be reformatted to the type it needs to be for the 360. Does this article mean that only the Microsoft flash drives will work with the 360?

No, sorry if I gave you that idea. It means that you shouldn't buy Microsoft's drives and just use your own :)

Unsurprising announcement is unsurprising... and boring.

So?

Overpriced it may be, but i'm happy as i've pre-ordered my 250gb Hard drive for my 360. All for only £69.99. =D

lol people who would by a USB stick at the price are mugs. $39.99 for an 8GB? My 9GB cost me £7 ^_^

Tom Goldman:
USB sticks with the same capacity go for around half the price on Amazon.com, Newegg.com, and other retailers. Even Microsoft's Xbox 360 hard drives seem like a great value at these price points.

When compared to the 512mb Xbox Memory Card, which still sells for $30 if you can even find them, either of them are a bargain. But comparing GameStop's list price with the price you get at newegg or Amazon isn't really fair. 8gb drives frequently retail for about $30, and 16gb drives can go for anywhere between $40 and $80 at brick-and-mortar retailers (try Best Buy or OfficeMax).

Add in the fact that the branded drives will come pre-formatted for the Xbox 360, which makes them more expensive to manufacture, and that they likely won't be using cut-rate memory, and the price isn't too surprising.

Smart people will just use a cheap one. People that don't know better, or who are afraid to 'mess with' things, will go with the branded ones.

THIS IS BLASPHEMY!!

Can we use our own memory USB sticks though?

If someone is willing to pay out 70 for a flash drive they may as well just shell out another 20 and get a terabyte external HD, or actually there are ones that cost 70 bucks that are 800gb that can fit in your pocket and you still have room for the cord. No setup for any of it plug it in and go.

MS's network adapter and LIVE fees put me off bothering to get a Gold account - I don't see why I should pay to "unlock" one half (multiplayer) of the game I've just bought. This is why I'm glad PC gaming doesn't have an owner - so to speak - and is why MS keep failing in their attempts to brand us.

Obviously they need to make a profit off of these things - but a reasonable profit that doesn't kick the consumer in the balls would be nice.

Tom Goldman:
When compared to the 512mb Xbox Memory Card, which still sells for $30

What the fu-

You're kidding?! That's like £20 for something that can't hold a single demo!

Virgil:
Add in the fact that the branded drives will come pre-formatted for the Xbox 360, which makes them more expensive to manufacture, and that they likely won't be using cut-rate memory, and the price isn't too surprising.

Dude, this is Microsoft were talking about. Lords of the Red Ring of Death because they used the cheapest components available for the early versions of the x360. As for jacking up the price for pre-formatting, it takes all of what, 2 minutes to format a flash drive? They're just being same old greedy Microsoft.

The Rockerfly:
Can we use our own memory USB sticks though?

Yep - if you've got one, that's what you'll want to use. But any storage you set up to use on the Xbox can't be accessed by a PC without formatting it, so only use a flash drive you aren't planning on using for anything else.

008Zulu:
Dude, this is Microsoft were talking about. Lords of the Red Ring of Death because they used the cheapest components available for the early versions of the x360. As for jacking up the price for pre-formatting, it takes all of what, 2 minutes to format a flash drive? They're just being same old greedy Microsoft.

The Xbox 360 problems were design flaws, not problems with component quality. They may have been failing, but it was high-quality components failing, not cheap ones. Of all of MS's faults, cut-rate hardware quality has never been one of them.

Also, taking 2 minutes for a single user to format a flash drive doesn't really speak to how much more it costs to mass-produce drives with a custom drive image preloaded. It's considerably more expensive than a blank drive. So much so that when we create our marketing kit flash drives, it's cheaper to copy them by hand in the office rather than having them loaded by a manufacturer.

Wow! Really? Microsoft charging extortionate prices for hardware?

If i knew how to imbed a picture into forum posts id post one which accurately describe my sarcasm.

And id place it,

here ---->

Virgil:

The Rockerfly:
Can we use our own memory USB sticks though?

Yep - if you've got one, that's what you'll want to use. But any storage you set up to use on the Xbox can't be accessed by a PC without formatting it, so only use a flash drive you aren't planning on using for anything else.

008Zulu:
Dude, this is Microsoft were talking about. Lords of the Red Ring of Death because they used the cheapest components available for the early versions of the x360. As for jacking up the price for pre-formatting, it takes all of what, 2 minutes to format a flash drive? They're just being same old greedy Microsoft.

The Xbox 360 problems were design flaws, not problems with component quality. They may have been failing, but it was high-quality components failing, not cheap ones. Of all of MS's faults, cut-rate hardware quality has never been one of them.

Also, taking 2 minutes for a single user to format a flash drive doesn't really speak to how much more it costs to mass-produce drives with a custom drive image preloaded. It's considerably more expensive than a blank drive. So much so that when we create our marketing kit flash drives, it's cheaper to copy them by hand in the office rather than having them loaded by a manufacturer.

So Microsoft had 3 options.
1. Pre-format the drives at a higher cost
2. Leave them blank and let them format on the users 360.
3. Don't produce anything and let us use our own, which will be formatted on the 360 like theirs would be, and save production money.
Why would they choose the most expensive and difficult option?
That's like them charging an extra $5 for mw2 with up to date patches out of the box. Just save yourself the work and let it update on it's own on our 360's.

MICROSOFT PRODUCTS OVERPRICED!?!?!?!!
who could ever dream of such a thing!?

It's an official product from Microsoft. I don't think anyone spilt their milkshake after reading this.

Deathfish15:
Anyone surprised by this? I mean, Microsoft milks it up with their proprietary devices and system so that they and only they can make the most money. When the 360 first came out in it's 1st month or so, the official Xbox360 controller (by M$) was the only one available. They charge all their console developer's close to 10% or more for licensing fees to have their games on their systems (then again, so does Sony and I think Nintendo does too), which explains the $60 price point compared to PC's $50 price point.

Digikid:

MR T3D:
And the sun will rise tomorrow.
not surprised in the least.

Took the words out of my mouth.

Just use a GENERIC USB STICK. Problem Solved.

Can't do it. M$ has hardcoded and used software updates that makes their systems only recognize their hardware pieces or licensed 3rd party companies only. And, with this, they most likely won't license it out to anyone.

WHAT!! but WHY!?!?

Why bother with the very open USB memory stick interface and then lock it down with propriety hard-coded firmware?!?!? I mean every single xbox has proprietary memory card ports?

Why would they tease us with the ability to plug any USB stick in only to get a "Ha Ha! Should have bought from us! Fuck the free market WE OWN YOU!!!"

Please, give me sources on this because I just can't believe even Microsoft would do such a thing.

uppitycracker:
I seriously doubt the prices will be any lower than what the gamestop listings are. As you've pointed out, they always tend to be horrendously overpriced. The hard drives and the network adapter are prime examples. No shocker here.

For real, 1)we already have to pay for Xbox LIVE, 2)our lives are already hard enough with the expensive attachments

Varun Maharaj:

uppitycracker:
I seriously doubt the prices will be any lower than what the gamestop listings are. As you've pointed out, they always tend to be horrendously overpriced. The hard drives and the network adapter are prime examples. No shocker here.

For real, 1)we already have to pay for Xbox LIVE, 2)our lives are already hard enough with the expensive attachments

you forgot about persistent hardware failure lol. just lost another xbox... luckily it was being lent to a friend because we, for some reason, had two of them.

Sweet mother of Thor, for the price of that 16GB stick, it should be able to fix me a steak and lick my fucking feet!

I'm almost 100% sure that this decision was specifically marketed towards morons.

thats why we Xbots walk by faith and not by sight

Tom Goldman:
...Not that companies like Microsoft and Sony are expected to provide a good value for accessories...

Wait, why drag Sony into this? The PS3 allows the use of standard, off the shelf SATA drives. In fact, they don't even MAKE drives intended to be used internally in a PS3. It's in no way similar to how Microsoft gouges it's customers with proprietary, overpriced drives.

Tom Goldman:
...The fact remains that it would be a miracle if Microsoft, Sony, or any first-party put out a storage product that was reasonably priced...

If you only consider things like packaged external drives that aren't specifically for the console market, perhaps. Did you intend that to be the domain of this statement?

Tom Goldman:
...I'm not bashing Microsoft at all...

So, you drag Sony in at the top on a MS only story, and then you don't extend the same "I'm not bashing" here? Wow.

Tom Goldman:
...but at least we have other choices due to the USB interface that we didn't in previous generations...

Um, like the USB that was in the PS2? And the ability to use USB drives that was standard on PS3 from day one? With standard formatting?

Again, you're the one that brought Sony into this.

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