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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

July 11, 2006 at 10:58 AM

More details on the Xbox Argo project

Is the Argo team anxious to start talking about their project? More details about the not-so-secret Xbox device and service are coming out.

Gizmodo floated a rumored name for the device: The Zune.

Engadget ran what it said was an image of the device.

But the most interesting tidbit was a comment posted at Joystiq.

It’s dangerous to guess the identity of anonymous commenters, but this person seemed pretty looped in. The comment was filled with Microsoft acronyms like “PMC” for Portable Media Center and XBLM for “Xbox Live Marketplace,” and it had that enthusiastic tone you hear from Microsoft product managers. The comment was also posted under the name Jason, who was of course the captain of the Argo.

“Jason” said the device could be priced around $199 and sold in bundles with Xbox 360s for $498 or $598. He also said it’s a great strategy to provide a device that can play games downloaded from the Xbox Live Arcade such as Geometry Wars. Here’s the comment:

“Everyone is missing the point… If you give me a DAP that has WiFi, a cool interface like the Windows PMC interface (or better yet a blade interface like the 360 has with themes!), a unified subscription to URGE or someother MS service that I can use on my DAP or my PC (oh and it will probably be connected to my 360 too), the ability to play XBLM games like Geometry Wars (and not have to pay for them again!), and PERFECT connectivity with WMP11 then I am SOLD!!!! I’m sure they will all have the same styling as the 360… they will probably even support different face plates, etc… that was a big thing with Allard… so the basic shape of the player will be the same but everyone could customize it to fit there own style…

Also… if they really connect all these forms of LIVE together and I only have to buy a single copy of Bejeweled and I can play it on any of my devices that will be HUGE!!! How cool would it be running around playing UNO on a DAP with your own music playing in the background!!!

Oh and if MS does all this there are HELPING push the XBOX brand… if there is a DAP that does all this stuff for $199 then you could pickup the 360 and the DAP as a package for $498 or $598!!! a much better value than the PS3 with a questionable blu-ray drive!

Really think about all the cool things they did to make the XBOX 360 great for gaming the community… take all those innovations and apply them to the DAP market!! This could be HUGE!”

Also huge will be the anger directed toward Microsoft by other device makers. Here’s a comment that was posted on my blog, apparently by a reader in Korea where Microsoft has partnered with device makers like iRiver:

“if it is true story, it would be the worst business case ending cooperation between MS and iriver.”

Comments | Topics: Gadgets & products, Microsoft


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