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XBox (Games)

New Version of Xbox 360 Looking More Likely 106

Posted by Zonk
from the nothing's-nothing-until-it's-something dept.
Engadget is just one of a number of sites running 'confirmations' of a new iteration of the Xbox 360 hardware. The new black-coloured console is said to include an HDMI port and a larger hard disk drive (120 gigs). While the code-name Zephyr has been bandied about online for quite some time now, Engadget is saying it will be released under the name 'Elite'. Initially to be sold as a third SKU (alongside the Core and Premium packs), when the initial black run sells out the hardware in the Elite will take the place of the Premium sku. An HD-DVD drive will not be incorporated into the unit. All this should be taken with a grain of salt, as the entire thing stems from 'sources' and a supposed article in the upcoming issue of Game Informer magazine; Microsoft has not yet confirmed anything.
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New Version of Xbox 360 Looking More Likely

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  • by Rycross (836649) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @01:41PM (#18431411)
    Yes, it's awful that Microsoft released this new system, meaning all those other XBox owners will have to repurchase... oh wait, you can still play 360 games on your core and premium systems. Never mind.

    This is just like the DS - DS Lite upgrade.
  • by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @01:54PM (#18431649)
    I currently have an XBOX 360 that uses a Monster component-out to connect to my 65" Sony SXRD. It's beautiful at 1080i. My understanding is that HDMI has no performance improvement over the display of component though. Is that correct?

    I'm not an audio-visual geek necessarily, so I may be confused. However, as I understood things HDMI's real contribution is not that of performance or quality, but of increased capability for content creators to control the data being carried over the signal. Is that true? I would have no problem buying this new 360 when it comes out if HDMI is a significant improvement over component, but it seems the best information I can find is itself indifferent and says that "neither is necessarily better than the other although particular devices may present a better experience with one over the other" (see quote below).

    So, the question is - with a high end television and an Xbox 360 - which of the two is going to be preferable? It sounds to me like they're just releasing it with "HDMI" so that people will be suckered into buying the console all over again under a false believe that HDMI is going to provide them a significantly better result.

    So, which is better, DVI or component? HDMI or component? The answer--unsatisfying, perhaps, but true--is that it depends. It depends upon your source and display devices, and there's no good way, in principle, to say in advance whether the digital or the analog connection will render a better picture. You may even find, say, that your DVD player looks better through its DVI or HDMI output, while your satellite or cable box looks better through its component output, on the same display. In this case, there's no real substitute for simply plugging it in and giving it a try both ways.
    Source: DVI vs. HDMI vs. Component Video -- Which is Better? [ecoustics.com]
  • Re:Quick thoughts... (Score:2, Informative)

    by LordNimon (85072) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:15PM (#18432035)
    I don't see how the transistor size has anything to do with the reliability of the console. When a person's console dies, I seriously doubt the CPU is broken. It's probably something like the power supply or DVD drive or firmware.
  • Re:HDMI cable? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MooseMuffin (799896) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:15PM (#18432039)
    No there won't be. The current 360 models only can output an analog signal.
  • by JohnnyComeLately (725958) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:25PM (#18432203) Homepage Journal
    You are correct, there is no true difference between the two. One is a proprietary plug which will run you $80+ at Circuit City, and the other is open and $30. I'm sure you can figure out which one is which. The HDMI claim is speed, but if you're running from a DVD next to your plasma/LCD, it doesn't really matter. And if you're running long distances, you're paying out the nose for a long HDMI cable, but you could just use a new component video disribution system for only a few hundred more (and then see that HD DVD on all your plasmas/LCDs).

    Just save your $$ for games and be happy with component video. It passes the full 1080p, which isn't available for a majority of the stuff out there anyway! Most stuff is still hanging out in the 480 range.

    Industry magazines are now starting to pick up on the next generation of closed, propritary methods being looked into use for transmission and even the end-device. I alerted our product managers that future TVs could even contain DRMs that are by default blocking non-DRM sources. Meaning, lets say you decide to locally modulate a DVD player and a camera in your own home. The Camera is over your front door and the DVD player is in your entertainment center. Currently, you can easily do this for a couple hundred bucks, and any TV in the house can watch the DVD player on channel 125, and the camera on channel 123 ( I won't explain, unless you ask, why a channel of seperation is used). If you watch what the MPAA and other abusers of DMCA and DRM are doing, this system would not work for a TV made in the future. The locally modulated channels would lack the "broadcast flag='off" tag, and using the now-prevalant 'if it's not DRM, it's stolen' mentality, the Television would block it. So your TV would say, "Nope, you cant tell me your not stolen, so I'm assuming you are stolen" and the local modulated signal would be dropped.

    Hopefully I explained this in a way a non-TV geek would pick up. I simply took your quick, and accurate observation, and applied it to what might happen with a TV and Game Console of the future (e.g. a "GEEKBOX" running Linux might not work on the TV to play a game, unless it had the HDMI or someother DRM-approved cable).

  • Re:Quick thoughts... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rycross (836649) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:26PM (#18432223)
    Heat. 65nm should put out less waste heat.
  • Re:Elite? (Score:3, Informative)

    by SNR monkey (1021747) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:35PM (#18432361)
    I was trying to be clever
    Spartan [reference.com]
    adj.
    1. Of or relating to Sparta or its people.
    2. Rigorously self-disciplined or self-restrained.
      a. Simple, frugal, or austere: a Spartan diet; a spartan lifestyle.
      b. Marked by brevity of speech; laconic.
      c. Courageous in the face of pain, danger, or adversity.
  • $480 is way too much (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @02:39PM (#18432427)
    I can spend $20 more and get a PS3 that has Blu-Ray, free online and Cell processor. This is a disaster for Microsoft, they are tripping up big time. Looks like PS3 is about to dominate.
  • Re:HDMI cable? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @03:19PM (#18433067) Homepage Journal
    Current versions of HDMI are capable of outputting more bits per pixel than component video as well as a wider range of blacks and whites (that is, more shades, and darker black and brighter white too). It is also capable of carrying the higher bandwidth audio feeds that won't work over optical (or even coax) digital audio connectors. This matters if the system in question can output 7.1 uncompressed (or higher) which wouldn't work without HDMI cables to carry the signal.

    Dolby Digital 5.1 sounds very good for now, and dts sounds even better to my ears (and most other people I have over to listen) but I'm not convinced most people have the hardware (speakers / speaker wire / amp / pre-amp) to appreciate the quality difference of uncompressed PCM yet.

    PS, I don't believe the 360 can output uncompressed PCM at any rate, but I figured I'd be thorough re: HDMI.

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