The one blemish on the otherwise welcomed news about the Xbox 360 Elite price cut is that, going forward, the new, cheaper Elite bundles will no longer ship with a once standard HDMI cable. Now, I know what you're thinking: "Well, at least it still comes with component cables...right?"
Wrong! No component cables either! All you get is a dinky set of SD composite cables that will go quite nicely with the other 29 sets of composite cables sitting in that bag in the closet. Sadly, Microsoft has taken one of the less desirable pages out of Sony’s playbook on this one, leaving it up to users to supply their own way to maximize the full HD potential of their consoles. You know, the same glorious HD that both companies have used as the major selling point for both of their next-gen consoles from the beginning.
However, as Microsoft's vice president of Interactive Entertainment Business in Europe, Chris Lewis, explained to GamesIndustry.biz, there was a very good reason for deciding to remove HDMI cables from the Elite bundles.
"We wanted to get the Elite pricing to a figure that is acceptable for consumers so they have the option of a premium console gaming experience. Removing the HMDI cable gives the flexibility to consumers who can then decide which type of cable they want for their specific gaming and TV screen set-up."
See? Microsoft was including $100 HDMI cables with every Elite, so naturally, that was how it was able to drop the price so dramatically...I mean, I guess Microsoft figures consumers will be more than happy to buy their own cables now that they are saving $100 on a new console, but come on. People want to be able to play their newly purchased, HD-powered consoles the way they are meant to be played right out of the box.
Actually, to help drive this point home, I suggest anyone who buys a new Elite only play it using the composite cables, and then write to Microsoft complaining about how crappy the "HD" picture quality is, and then demand a refund. After that, do the same thing to Sony, since it started this ridiculous trend with the original PS3, and continues to stand by it with the PS3 Slim. Hey Sony, why not take some of the money you're saving on producing PS3 Slims, and invest in HDMI cables to include with new systems? Are you afraid gamers will love you too much?
What do you think of this whole HDMI cable nonsense? How many people are planning to pick up a new Elite anyway?