So, here's the thing with the Xbox 360, and why most people will want the Hard Drive. It's all about the backwards compatibility. In English, that means current Xbox games that will be able to be played on the Xbox 360.
From how things sound now, only "top-selling" Xbox titles will be backwards compatible with the Xbox 360; such as the Halos. Also, it sounds like Microsoft is going to allow these in waves, but what you'll need is a Hard Disk and an Xbox Live Silver membership.
Essentially the Xbox 360 is going to emulate the Xbox, mostly where the GPU is concerned seeing as how the Xbox has a nVidia GPU but the Xbox 360 will have an ATi GPU. Microsoft will be releasing whatever content is necessary to allow a title to be backwards compatible over Xbox Live, which you should be able to download for free with a Silver membership (which also should be free), and this content, from what I hear, must be stored on the Hard Drive.
So at least for me, the Core Package described yesterday makes no sense, seeing as how I want a Hard Disk and I certainly want backwards compatibility.
Presently, for my Xbox, I own:
- Doom 3: Limited Collector's Edition
- The Ultimate Doom
- Doom II
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- Halo 2: Limited Collector's Edition
- Jade Empire: Limited Edition
- The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords
- Star Wars: Republic Commando
With the exception of The Third Age and Republic Commando, I expect all these titles to be backwards compatible; which means when the time comes I might be able to sell my Xbox and get, say maybe $50.00 for it (it is in mint condition after all and not even a year old).
Overall, that's reason enough to not even consider the Xbox 360 Core Package, however the cost on the Premium Package is a lot.