Print 24 comment(s) - last by goachmang.. on Nov 4 at 1:25 AM

HDMI even on the HDD-less Xbox 360  (Source: Engadget)
Even the baby of the Xbox 360 family now sports HDMI

A new Xbox 360 SKU is starting to appear on store shelves – but Microsoft hasn’t officially told anyone about it yet. Gamers knowing the differences between each of the various Xbox 360 models have snapped pictures from retail showing a new Xbox 360 Arcade package selling at $279.99.

At $279.99, the Xbox 360 Arcade hits at the exact same price as the Xbox 360 Core system – and will likely become the new entry-level SKU for Microsoft’s console. The new Xbox 360 Arcade package will improve upon the Core in several ways. While there will not be a standard hard disk drive, the Arcade system will ship with a 256MB memory unit – an accessory that previous Core buyers had to purchase separately. Another upgrade that the Arcade unit enjoys over the Core is the move to a wireless controller complete with a set of free Energizer AA batteries. Previously, only the Xbox 360 Premium and Xbox 360 Elite came with wireless controllers.

Pictures of an unboxing process hosted at Engadget reveal that the Xbox 360 Arcade system features an HDMI port, even though only a standard-definition composite cable is bundled. This means that the Xbox 360 Arcade ships with either a Zephyr motherboard – the first Xbox 360 revision to include HDMI – or a Falcon motherboard, which added further improvements while shifting the CPU from a 90nm process to 65nm.

The Xbox 360 Arcade system gets its name from the Xbox Live Arcade compilation disc included with the system. Games a part of the pack-in are: Boom Boom Rocket, Feeding Frenzy, Luxor 2, Pac-Man Championship Edition and Uno.

Curiously, Microsoft announced just a week ago new holiday bundles for the Xbox 360 Premium and Xbox 360 Elite, which added Forza Motorsport 2 and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games for free, but did not mention a new entry-level model called the Xbox 360 Arcade. The new Xbox 360 Arcade was already listed at retailers and Toys “R” Us, making Microsoft’s silence on the new product rather puzzling. Information on Microsoft’s holiday line-up first came at the Leipzig Games Convention during August.

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By mdogs444 on 10/15/2007 7:12:21 AM , Rating: 3
Although most people would still want a hard drive instead of memory card, this unit still packs quite a punch over the old Core system and at a cheaper price.

The memory card, wireless controller, and HDMI output make this a nice system for the casual gamer who only plays once in a while or only wants a few games - like me. I only play Madden, and a few others. So this is perfect.

Still not cheaper than the Wii, but very close in price. All you'd need is a $7 HDMI cable from monoprice and you'd have a niec HD gaming setup.

RE: Nice
By Blight AC on 10/15/2007 8:18:43 AM , Rating: 2
This should be a more affordable way to upgrade to HDMI for current Xbox 360 owners as well. Then I can take the HDD off of my current Xbox and switch it to this one and get an Xbox 360 with HDMI, and use the other Xbox 360 for the kid.

Also Editors note:
"Pictures of an unboxing process hosted at Engadget reveal that the Xbox 360 Arcade system features an HDMI port, even though the only a standard-definition composite cable is bundled."

should read, "even though only a"

RE: Nice
By afkrotch on 10/15/2007 8:54:59 PM , Rating: 2
This would be a nice affordable way to replace an RROD box that you voided the warranty on.

What would be better is if they created just an Xbox 360 Unbundle SKU. You get an Xbox 360 minus faceplate, controllers, memory cards, hard drive, video cables, or power cables for like $100 or less.

I currently have 3 power cables, 3 video cables, 2 wired controllers, 2 wireless controllers, 6 faceplates, 1 working Xbox 360, and 2 non-working Xbox 360s. I really need to stop voiding the warranties just to customize my 360.

RE: Nice
By OrSin on 10/15/2007 8:23:57 AM , Rating: 2
This will be great Media Cetner extender. Most extender are costing $300+. So getting a gaming console for free is a pretty good deal.

RE: Nice
By UNCjigga on 10/15/2007 11:22:27 AM , Rating: 2
Don't you need a hard drive for Media Center Extender functionality--or does it stream using internal memory/memory card as a buffer?

RE: Nice
By Bluestealth on 10/15/2007 5:21:16 PM , Rating: 2
It would make far more sense to buffer in memory than to buffer to a disk. While it may cache certain things to disk, it isn't really necessary.

RE: Nice
By Locutus465 on 10/15/2007 9:11:37 AM , Rating: 2
It might be worth recommending getting the official x-box HDMI cable set rather than an HDMI cable from mono price (unless your reciever supports HDMI). It's not that there's anything wrong with an mono price HDMI cable, it's more that the X-BOX does not have SPDIF built on to the x-box case it's self. If you want optical audio out for 5.1 rather than just sterio, you'll need the dongle that comes with the x-box HDMI cable pack.

You may be able find just the dongle on ebay, but last time I checked people were trying to sell them for $5 or $10 (if you're lucky) less than the retail price for the whole HDMI cable pack (some times they were trying to sell it at the same price).

RE: Nice
By MGSsancho on 10/15/2007 6:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
excellent comment. although, if your receiver can take hdmi video and pass it through, then it has at least 3 optical inputs. although i see your point of 1 cable.

RE: Nice
By goachmang on 11/4/2007 1:25:31 AM , Rating: 2
Hi this might be a dumb question but do all of the Halo consoles come with the falcon chip and does it have hdmi capability? I'm trying to decide between a bundle for the Halo or the Elite and the Elite is about $50 more and so far the only difference i see is the 120GB vs the 20 GB. Any help would be much appreciated.

Xbox reliability
By vorgusa on 10/15/2007 10:23:33 AM , Rating: 1
Does anyone know the number of new Xbox360 that are being returned? I am considering getting this one at this price, but if it is going to die on me constantly I would rather not waste my time.

RE: Xbox reliability
By Locutus465 on 10/15/2007 10:34:19 AM , Rating: 2
I don't have numbers, but my HDMI enabled Premium has been perfect. Also keep in mind that there is a good chance that this unit has further reliability upgrades over my HDMI premium... I suppose you won't know till you have one and look at the systems insides (or someone else does). This can be done with a flashlight so you don't void your warrentee, there's a DT artical about how to check for the new Falcon MB somewhere..

RE: Xbox reliability
By UNCjigga on 10/15/2007 11:25:21 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure this SKU will use Falcon vs. Zephyr--65nm helps MS cut manufacturing costs so it's probably what makes this price point possible.

RE: Xbox reliability
By BladeVenom on 10/15/2007 9:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
But that's the CPU, which isn't the problem. What you want to wait for is "Jasper" which is the new motherboard with the 65-nanometer graphics chip.

RE: Xbox reliability
By therealnickdanger on 10/15/2007 7:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
My launch 360 is still running like a champ. My other one (bought several months in) had a bad video controller. I'm pretty sure you'll be safe no matter which one you buy. There are no official stats, so it's hard to guage. Take some assurance in knowing that the return process is painless (it was for me) if you should have a problem.

Still angry...
By NullSubroutine on 10/15/2007 8:24:10 AM , Rating: 2
I am still angry that there is no HDMI for old 360s. I can still remember a print off a local gaming store had right from Microsoft which stated the 360 would support HDMI....

And I am talking about the old 1/3 failure rate 360s, not the new ones they apparently want old 360 owners to buy to replace their old ones.

Grr...I really enjoy my 360, thats just one thing that has urked me, besides that whole console scratching new disks and Microsoft saying I need to pay $20 bucks to replace a disk their faulty machine ruined...

RE: Still angry...
By Locutus465 on 10/15/2007 9:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
I am still angry that there is no HDMI for old 360s. I can still remember a print off a local gaming store had right from Microsoft which stated the 360 would support HDMI....

Maybe GameStop would like you to buy a new console, but Microsoft would perfer you simply get your warrentee work done through them if your console fails (this is totally free to you, they even pay shipping). You won't be getting HDMI when the console comes back, but it'll come back fixed.

I'm sorry you bought before HDMI was more widly available, but then again I'm sure you've been enjoying your 360 longer than I have. I waited until I heard news of Premium Systems selling at $350 with HDMI, when I went to best buy I specifically asked them for an HDMI unit.

RE: Still angry...
By NullSubroutine on 10/15/2007 11:50:47 PM , Rating: 2
i payed $400 US December 06

RE: Still angry...
By Locutus465 on 10/16/2007 2:06:33 AM , Rating: 2
I was waiting for a price drop... To be honest the $50 alone wouldn't have been enough... But the fact that they updated the SKU with the newer MB + HDMI was just enough to make me cough up the dough...

MS is going head-to-head against Wii
By UNCjigga on 10/15/2007 11:20:47 AM , Rating: 2
Uno, Pac-man, and other "casual" games? Wireless controller? Is it any question which console MS is targeting with this bundle? With the PS3 price cuts helping Sony steal Xbox share on the high-end, this is a good move for MS. This is the bundle I would've bought had it been out 6-9 months ago! I ended up with a Wii, which I only play when friends come over (I'm one of those 'social' gamers.) But all my coworkers play Xbox 360 in a league--even some execs. I should get an Xbox 360 just to help my career! Its like golf.

RE: MS is going head-to-head against Wii
By Locutus465 on 10/15/2007 1:40:13 PM , Rating: 3
Its like golf.

To be perfectly honest... These days it really is... Last company we were at we had a usless asst. manager that spent 2K on a very solid gaming rig using the "cool" hardware of the era (Radeon x1900 whatever... Athlon X2 etc)...

Funniest part was when he told me he had upgraded I (being an enthuiest) asked the obvious "oh really? what did you get?", the dude had to turn around and ask the programming manager what he had bought... After spending 2K and (presumibly) assembling it he had no clue what it was exactly he bought... Then he had trouble getting Doom 3 running on it (he was going to run a cracked version because it was "cooler").

By afkrotch on 10/15/2007 9:00:31 PM , Rating: 2
You can tell when someone doesn't actually take much pride in building their own comp or is even really interested in computers.

I couldn't tell you how much I spent on my comp, but I can tell you all the parts in my comp. I still need to remove my quad 120mm heatercore for a cleaning. w00t w00t!

360 Arcade original XBox game compatibility
By wallijonn on 10/16/2007 4:15:57 PM , Rating: 2
It would seem that the Arcade will be taking a page from the next PS3, where backward compatibility is removed. As seen here, , the box "clearly" states that there is no backward compatibility with original XBox games, it can only play "newer" "XBox 360" games.

By wallijonn on 10/16/2007 4:46:12 PM , Rating: 2

And yes, it is precisely because there is no HD that there is no backwards compatibility. But since any game is not offloaded to the disc drive in the first place there is little impetus to buy it; even if you have an HD you can only play a game from the DVD since what you get is the ability to download patches for older games.

Lot numbers
By mugwump on 10/17/2007 12:28:40 AM , Rating: 2
I just saw several pallets of XBox 360s at my local Frys (Anaheim) just sitting on the salesfloor. Thought you guys might find the LOT numbers interesting.

Halo Edition: All were lot 0734

360 Arcade: All were lot 0734

360 Pro w/free Forza2 + Marvel Ultimate Alliance (full editions): No lot indicated, but a white sticker over the original sticker which indicated the lot#. You can kind of see through the new sticker and it looks like it said "Lot 0729" on some, maybe "Lot 0730" on others. Hard to tell but it for sure did not look like "0734"

Didn't see any 360 Elites.

Guess the deal with the Pro + 2 free games doesn't include Falcon. Maybe it's intended to get rid of the backstock of old-design machines?

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