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Xbox 360 Elite Officially Announced 264

It should come as no shock that Microsoft has finally announced an upgraded version of the Xbox 360: the 'Elite'. The worst-kept secret in the videogames industry is now official, offering a 120 GB HDD, an HDMI port, and a smooth black finish for $479. The new sku drops next month, and to fill up that new hard drive Microsoft has lined up seven new partners for their Xbox Live video distribution service. Outfits like Paramount and Warner Bros. are nice to hear about, but I'm equally excited about the likes of National Geographic and ADV Films. 1up has the market cornered on commentary at the moment, with reactions from the staff there, a comparison of the new 360's value vs. the PS3, and a few words from Sony's Dave Karraker. If you're looking for even more coverage, there are several links available below.
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Xbox 360 Elite Officially Announced

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  • Re:Worthless. (Score:3, Informative)

    by atomicstrawberry ( 955148 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2007 @03:08AM (#18512261)
    A lot of TVs and monitors don't support 1080p over component. I know mine doesn't. HDMI is certainly better than VGA on a decent TV, and let's face it, if you actually have HDMI, you probably have a TV that you'll notice the difference with.

    The extra $80 also gives you an Xbox Live headset, something the standard bundle doesn't. I agree that they've failed to justify the price though - the core unit should have been killed, the premium moved down to that price bracket, and this should have slotted in as a replacement for the premium system. Of course that may be what they're intending to do down the line.

    Myself, I'm more miffed at the stupidly high price of the 120gb Hard Drive. They're using laptop HDDs, thus the higher price, but even standard 120gb drives in that form factor are about half as much as they're asking for the add-on. As a reasonably early adopter of the 360, I don't really like feeling that I've been disadvantaged for jumping on early, and the price of extras gives me that feeling. Especially since I live in Australia where we inexplicably pay 20% more for the same things.
  • Re:Worthless. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mark Gillespie ( 866733 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2007 @04:38AM (#18512677)
    You know it's funny, those that say you don't need HDMI, are those that can't have it..

    I have seen the difference between HDMI and Component on my 42in Panasonic PX60 Plasma, it's a considerable improvement. Perhaps you don't need it on a 28in el-cheapo TV, but on a decent display HDMI is essential. 30 year old component ananlog interconnect technology is simply not cut out for it, and the D-A and A-D stages required for analog component does nothing but introduce unnecessary processing.

    Still back on topic, it's nice to see Microsoft trying to play catchup to the PS3, it's a shame they dumped on 9.5 million existing owners in the process.
  • Re:Worthless. (Score:2, Informative)

    by @madeus ( 24818 ) <> on Wednesday March 28, 2007 @05:36AM (#18512967)

    If you really want to make it elite, make it quieter, cooler and less prone to dying.
    You mean perhaps by also putting in a new lower power (and cooler running) 65 nm CPU instead of the existing 90 nm one and a new, quieter DVD drive?
  • Re:Worthless. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jellybob ( 597204 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2007 @06:37AM (#18513191) Journal
    I've heard it's possible to replace the hard disk yourself - just crack open the disk caddy, and drop in the disk of your choice. It'll be limited to 20GB (presumably 120GB once the Elites launch), but it's bound to be cheaper then paying the extra for a new caddy. It's also not nearly as impressive as the free SATA bay in PS3s, which is easily accessible and supported.
  • by @madeus ( 24818 ) <> on Wednesday March 28, 2007 @08:44AM (#18513883)
    Except err, some sites are now reporting that ISN'T the case despite that being touted as part of the rumour on gaming sites everywhere)...

    From Gizmondo []:

    Microsoft told us there would be no new hardware inside the Elite except for that 120GB hard drive, alluding to the often-rumored cooler-running processors manufactured with the 65nm process

    I wanted to get one, and was going to give my existing 360 to someone I know who has kids but can't afford a console, and having it run more quietly was a big part of the attraction for me bothering to get a new 360. My TV already handles component well, and that leaves the bigger HD as the only compelling feature (I filled up my 20 GB for the first time ages ago and that's just with Live! games, demo's and trailers - TV/Movie downloads won't be available here in the UK till later this year).

    On it's own, a large HD (that I could get separately) is not a compelling enough reason for me to upgrade. The thing is, I like my 360 and I'm happy to pay a bit more for an improved version of the hardware.
  • Re:This sucks. (Score:3, Informative)

    by MojoStan ( 776183 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2007 @10:49AM (#18515435)

    $80 more for an extra 100GB and HDMI?
    The Elite also replaces the wired headset ($20 seperately) with a wireless headset ($60). A 120GB 2.5" notebook hard drive (which the Xbox 360 uses) costs $80 at Newegg, while 20GB costs $30. HDMI output requires at least one more non-cheap chip and additional licensing costs (probably cheap). All that seems reasonably close to $80 in added costs to manufacture the Xbox 360 Elite.

    However, I am somewhat surprised MS isn't pricing the Elite at $400 (current price for Premium bundle) and reducing the price of the Premium bundle. The Xbox 360 has been out for about 16 months, right? The costs of other components have come down significantly since then. I also assumed that more video downloads ($6 for new HD movies) from their popular TV/movie download service [] would offset some of these added costs.

    I guess MS doesn't want to keep losing money on each console sold.

  • Re: PS3 content (Score:4, Informative)

    by king-manic ( 409855 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2007 @03:07PM (#18518967)
    A pendantic note:
    The Xbox also uses PPC cores. Direct X API's make it easy to port but the hardware is not the same as a PC. Although 360 games tend to be PC style games, I can understand what you mean. The details however is that both the Ps3 and 360 and Wii use PPC cores. Likely due to their power efficiancy, thermal efficiancy, and size.

    PS. I own a PS3 and I like it very much. Now if only FFXIII and MGS4 would come out tommorow.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant