Big names and bigger games were fit to be featured this past week. Let's take a closer look.

Thinking inside the box
Computer makers had a busy week. Between Gateway (NYSE:GTW) turning its first quarterly profit in more than three years and Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE:HPQ) first quarter under new CEO Mark Hurd, you could easily forget that the leading PC maker also had its moment in the fiscal spotlight a few days earlier.

And given the predictable growth at Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Dell Computer (NASDAQ:DELL), it's no wonder why some investors seem to just nod off when the company reports. The same can't be said for Gateway and HP this time around.

Given its deficit-ridden income statements and its cow-patched computer boxes, Gateway seemed to be the punch line to one of the oldest jokes in the book: What's black and white and red all over? The company had danced around its struggling PC business by expanding into everything from plasma television sets to digital cameras. Then it embraced its calling when it acquired bargain-PC specialist eMachines. Gateway, still in a cash-rich position, has come a long way, but it's going to have to go even further if it wants to push its stock above the single digits.

For HP, bidding Carly Fiorina adieu was the right move after her costly acquisition of Compaq had failed to bear fruit. Throughout her tenure, the company's organic printing and imaging business was what kept the company together. But it wasn't enough, and Hurd took over in April. And now? Well, now it's raining irony. Hurd's first quarter with the company came attached to a sluggish showing by HP's flagship printing subsidiary, while growth at the rest of the company led HP to a healthy bottom-line spurt.

With the black ink at Gateway and a new CEO at HP, Dell may soon not be the only one to practically lull its shareholders into a peaceful sleep.

No, the Xbox 360 is not priced at $360
We've seen the cool specs of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) powerful next-generation gaming console, but it wasn't until Wednesday that Mr. Softy finally unveiled the asking price for its new Xbox 360.

Microsoft will be rolling out two versions of the console. A souped-up version, complete with features that include a wireless controller and detachable hard drive, will run diehard gamers $399. A more bare-boned model will add $299 to your shopping list.

No release date has been set, but the company is sure that a stateside launch will take place later this year. Most indications point to an early November debut. That will give the company a head start of months -- and, more importantly, of an entire holiday shopping season -- over the competition.

Sony (NYSE:SNE) and Nintendo (NQB: NTDOY) won't be hitting the market with their machines until next year. With Sony by far the market leader, this may be just the break Microsoft needs. Last time around, it was Sony unleashing the PlayStation 2 a holiday shopping season before its rivals.

Will it be enough time for Microsoft? If it translates into increased sales of Microsoft's software programs, will journalists call it a Halo effect? Get those fingers on the controllers, folks. The game is just getting started.

The headlines behind this week's stories:

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a big fan of computers and video games. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Foo l has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.