With the drive cracked open and exposed, we can finally see the wondrous, ultra high-tech hard drive that justifies Microsoft's $179 price tag. Or can we?
It turns out that the drive inside the plastic case is in fact a Fujitsu MHW2120BH 2.5" laptop drive. Shindakun.net did some Google searching and discovered that these drives generally cost around $100.
Not long ago, Aaron Greenberg stated that the drive in the Xbox 360 is comparable to a self-powered external hard drive for a PC. Alright, so there must be some sort of additional work that justifies an $80 increase above retail, right? The thing is, according to Shindakun, the 360 drive isn't self powered. You have to shut down the console to install it, because it's just an SATA drive with a proprietary connector.
So, where does the extra cost come from? The plastic casing isn't that nice. Granted, there are R&D costs to consider, but $80 extra per unit seems a little steep. Without a direct explanation of the costs from Microsoft, we can make only one conclusion: we're getting ripped off.