When the XBox 360 launched, it came as two different SKUs: the premium and the core. The premium system comes with a hard drive, wireless controller and hi-def cables, whereas the core system is only the console and a wired controller and isn’t even remotely as good of a deal. It’s common belief that Microsoft released two SKUs so that they could have a price offering that was under $300, but because of that move, they also had to impose rules on game development. For instance, games had to be designed to run without the HDD at first, though that has been relaxed, and all XBox Live Arcade titles had to be 50MB or less in size so that they could fit on a memory card. However, that may be changing.
There’s a new rumor going around that, according to 1Up, Microsoft is going to raise the size limit of XBox Live Arcade games from 50MB to 250MB, and in some cases 450MB, to accomodate a wider range of games. This change completely undermines everything Microsoft will have ever said about the core pack and its usefulness. If the Live Arcade games go above 50MB a piece, it’s impossible for any core system users to play them, thus cutting out a fairly substantial portion of their user base.How does that make sense?
Microsoft has mentioned offering a higher capacity memory unit, which could be out as early as March, but we haven’t seen anything substantial yet.