Seagate, the makers of the Xbox 360 HDD, were on display at Digital Experience last night. It was clear that the
Seagate rep was impressed with Microsoft's next-gen console, but also felt that the relatively small and sluggish hard
drive that his company manufactures for the console is junk. Yes, the 360 HDD reflects the desire for cost efficiency,
but it's also evidence that the next-gen is caught in limbo between traditional console gaming and the online model
that Microsoft is slowly pushing.
Seagate was surprised that Microsoft didn't enlist them to build a HDD capable of housing full versions of next-gen titles. For now, the Xbox 360 is ill-equipped to support a move towards downloading games instead of picking up a hard copies. Surely cuts in manufacturing costs would pay for beefed-up hard drives and better download speeds. But as it stands, the system is a very slow platform for importing game demos and movie trailers--and with just 13 GB of free space on HDD out of the box, it's essentially a download-and-delete process. Will consoles ever lose the "cartridge" concept?