Images courtesy Xbox-Scene

New HANA scaler shown directly in front of fan

Closeup of HANA scaler
Microsoft's "Zephyr" leaked to the press complete with HDMI, 120GB hard drive and 65nm processor

With Sony's PlayStation 3 knocking on the Xbox 360's door, it was only a matter of time before Microsoft made the move to make its year-old console even more competitive. DailyTech already reported that Microsoft has been able to successfully pare down its costs associated with producing the Xbox 360, so now is a more opportune time than ever to release an update.

According to Engadget, the Xbox 360 v2 (codenamed Zephyr) should result in a cooler console as the the 90nm IBM Xenon PowerPC processor was swapped out in favor of a 65nm revision. This has not been officially announced yet.

There is also a single HDMI port for full 1080p support -- no firmware trickery needed. Also on the way is a 120GB hard drive which would double the capacity of Sony's top-ranging PS3. There’s no word yet if Microsoft has seen fit to quiet the banshee-like DVD drive, but we can only hope that the answer is yes.

Engadget's "inside man" tells them that the new console will be available soon. We'll keep our ears and eyes open during Bill Gates' keynote on Sunday at CES to see if he has anything to say about the console.

Updated 1/6/2007. Xbox-Scene has posted new images and a video of the new HDMI-equipped Xbox 360. The images include a clearer shot of the back of the console along with motherboard shots which show off a new HANA scaler chip.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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