Microsoft makes add-on makers pay up

Written by Wil Harris

August 11, 2005 | 07:50

Tags: #360 #accessories #add-on #third-party #usb #xbox-360

The days of cheap third party peripherals are over, it seems, thanks to Microsoft's new tactic in the console wars.

Anybody wanting to make an Xbox 360 peripheral will have to pay a charge to Microsoft to do so.

And forget about just not paying - the 360 will be hard-wired to only connect to peripherals with the correct authentication code.

It seems that this is one of Microsoft's tactics to actually make money out of this console - Cnet reports that one analyst has said the "Microsoft has made it clear that it's all about profitability".

The scheme is not the first time this kind of thing has happened. As the article points out, Nintendo did this back in the NES days with its 'Seal of Approval' scheme, and Apple is now doing it with a 'Made for iPod' campaign that brands third accessories with the official endorsement of the company - for a fee, of course.

It's also a little worrying since we wonder how this might stifle innovation. On the Xbox and PS2 we've seen all kinds of peripherals, such as dongles to allow the use of keyboard and mouse. Will we end up seeing nothing except that authorised by Microsoft?

The 360 has USB ports - does this mean we won't be able to connect our existing peripherals to them?

In related news, some screenshots have appeared as to how the 360 will be able to interact with the PSP, for viewing photos and listening to music. Screenshots are here.

What do you think of this latest move? Does it put you off buying a 360, or do you think Microsoft is simply trying to turn a reasonable profit? Let us know your thoughts..
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