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The Xbox 360 Elite will come with one matching black wireless controller and headset. Black controllers, headsets and batteries will also be available in stores.

The new Xbox 360 Elite retail packaging.
The Xbox 360 is back in black

Sunday saw the release of a new iteration of Microsoft’s gaming console, the Xbox 360 Elite. The updated version of the Xbox 360 is dressed all in black, along with matching accessories, plus new features that are aimed at those with advanced high-definition televisions looking to enjoy downloadable multimedia.

“This console includes a 120GB hard drive, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port, a high definition (HD) cable and a premium black finish, and comes with a wireless controller and Xbox Live headset,” said Peter Moore, the head of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business. “The Xbox 360 Elite’s larger hard drive gives the gaming community an opportunity to enjoy all that the next generation of entertainment has to offer – from video games to movies and TV shows available through Xbox Live Video Marketplace.”

Priced at $479.99, the Xbox 360 Elite is the third SKU in Microsoft’s console roster, joining the Pro and Core packages at $399.99 and $299.99, respectively. Unlike Sony, who recently trimmed its PlayStation 3 lineup with the deletion of the 20GB console, Microsoft intends to maintain all three product variants in the retail channel.

“Xbox 360 Elite joins the ranks of our Core and Pro offerings that provide consumers with the flexibility to purchase the version of Xbox that best fits their unique needs,” said Moore.

The Xbox 360 Elite will stand out from the rest of the line as being the new top-end model for hardcore gamers and high-definition enthusiasts. “Xbox 360 Elite’s larger hard drive and premium accessories will allow our community to enjoy all that the next generation of entertainment has to offer,” Moore added.

The HDMI port is a feature that will remain exclusive to the new Elite console, but the 120GB hard drive is one that can be retrofitted onto a Pro or Core system. For existing Xbox 360 owners who simply want to upgrade their hard drives, the detachable accessory will be sold separately for an estimated retail price of $179.99. Gamers who don’t buy into Microsoft’s justification of the $179.99 price point may brave warranty-voiding tactics to build their own 120GB hard drive for a $100 savings.

The general consensus regarding the new HDMI output is that it provides a picture that is slightly superior to that from component cables, but is not worth the upgrade for existing owners. Aside from the HDMI port, the Xbox 360 Elite is almost no different in functionality of a current Xbox 360 console with the expanded hard drive. The Elite console still omits any sort of Wi-Fi feature and utilizes the same types of optical drives that give the Xbox 360 the reputation for a being a loud console. Reliability, however, may be something Microsoft is attempting to address with the Elite. Found in a recent dissection of the new console were minor changes presumably aimed at averting the notorious Red Ring of Death that many Xbox 360 owners have experienced.

The road leading up to the Xbox 360 Elite is a long and storied one. The new console version was officially announced a month ago, but whispers of a bigger hard drive—something that gamers have long demanded—started last fall when pictures of a 100GB HDD appeared in presentation materials for Korea. Shortly after, an 80GB HDD appeared in the flesh at a Microsoft press event pushing the Xbox Live Video Marketplace.

What started off with rumors of a bigger hard drive morphed into rumblings of a more drastic hardware revision after pictures leaked in January of a prototype Xbox 360 with HDMI output and new scaling hardware. Microsoft’s Chris Satchell quickly responded saying, “At the moment, everything you might have seen is just looking at our experimentation back in Redmond, not really a product that we're thinking about announcing.”

After a couple months of silence, the rumor mill spun again after a gaming magazine leaked key details of an updated Xbox 360 console dressed in black. Then the very machines in question were snapped by a camera phone during their infancies on a Chinese production line. Finally, an XNA Developer made it all but official after replying to a question about coding on the new HDMI Xbox 360.

The shift to a smaller, cooler running Xbox 360 chips, however, is one thing that was unable to make it into the Xbox 360 Elite. Microsoft revealed plans nearly a year ago to shrink its current 90nm chips to the 65nm process, something that’s now slated for later this year.

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This is why I like PCs.
By KaiserCSS on 4/30/2007 10:01:12 AM , Rating: 5
Upgradeability. If you select your components carefully, you can have a gaming PC that lasts for years. And when a component has outlived it's usefulness (one of the first things to grow outdated is the GPU) then simply buy a new one and pop it in. Need more RAM? Buy another stick and pop it in. Sure, it may not be as easy as other consumer electronics, but hey, I'm a PC enthusiast and I actually like to mess with my computer's inards. It gives me a small sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when everything works great.

I'm seeing a new trend in console gaming, and that is hardware upgrades. A new 120GB hard drive, a reorganized motherboard, a new HDMI slot, and talk of shrinking the die are all hardware upgrades. And while yes, you can buy a larger HD for a premium, you cannot buy a new processor or add-in card. Once your current 360 becomes obsolete, and you're the type who wants to stay at the bleeding edge, then you'll have to shell out $500 or so for the new model. I don't have to scrap my entire PC when a component becomes obsolete, I simply buy a new component and there you go.

I just wonder where the middle ground will be drawn. Can you have PC upgradeability in a console? Is it wise?

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By Misty Dingos on 4/30/2007 10:23:23 AM , Rating: 2
Why upgrade when you can force them to purchase a whole new unit. MS, Sony and Nintendo are not interested in upgrades they are interested in per unit sales. The photos of the inside of the 360 are telling. They have less hardware in the average console than is used in the average mid-range video card.

Control of the system and any hardware variations keeps the software development dirt cheap for the console makers. They don't have to deal with anyone pushing a new better technology into the market before they want to. They control the technology and the software. They get to milk each for ever penny.

What is worse in my mind is that the innovative game community has had the life sucked out of it by the average crap that passes for a console game. Prettier cars, half naked women, more guns, and more explosions don't always make the game better. If things don't get better in the game industry, more inovative, story driven or just plain entertaining it will be the end of the age of great computer games.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By photoguy99 on 4/30/2007 11:10:21 AM , Rating: 3
Microsoft is using the 360 to milk you for every penny?

You do realize, not only have they not made one dime off the 360, they have lost tons of money on it.

Sure it's a long term strategy with hopes to eventually make as much money as they can, but for now customers are actually getting a deal that wouldn't be possible if Microsoft tried to make money inside of 2-3 years on consoles.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By encryptkeeper on 4/30/2007 11:31:48 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, what's wrong with half naked women and pretty cars!

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By LatinMessiah on 4/30/2007 1:20:57 PM , Rating: 4
The price tag.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By encryptkeeper on 5/1/2007 8:57:15 AM , Rating: 2
If you can't take the heat...

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By Flunk on 5/2/2007 2:47:21 PM , Rating: 1
Play last generation games. A PS2 can be had for less than $140 new.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By BMFPitt on 4/30/2007 11:36:00 AM , Rating: 2
Basically, consoles have to keep the playing field pretty much level. If you allow a GPU upgrade, you have just split the target audience between those who have it and those who don't - and have to develop your game accordingly. This wipes out the fundamental advantage of a console - known standardized hardware.

120GB hard drives have no effect on game development concerns. Those without the die shrink will still be able to play the same games as those with it. HDMI vs. component vs. composite is basically all the same as far as the software is concerned. If you take this away, there is no reason to even have a console - you'd just build an HTPC.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By MonkeyPaw on 4/30/2007 11:45:03 AM , Rating: 4
I spent $400 on my XBox360 last year. I also bought an extra controller for ~$49. Other than games (which I buy used for $25-40), I have purchased nothing else for my 360 since then. Hardly like a PC, where you can't even get a gaming-class machine built for $400-450, much less upgrade it to play every game over the next 5 years. Yeah, you can go with all the upgrades on new consoles, but you don't have to. The extra HDD capacity was made more necessary by the video marketplace--something you don't have to use if you don't want to. VM is a good idea, but it's a bit beyond what consoles have done in the past.

I also enjoy working on PCs, but I also like not spending a bunch of money to play a few games. Don't get me wrong, PC gaming won't ever really be replaced or topped by a console, but the 2 systems really have different benefits. With a PC, you typically get more options with the game and better graphics if you're willing to pay. A console is a one-time purchase and is guaranteed to play every game that launches for it. I'm a big fan of popping in the disc and playing, and I think the 360's graphics are more than good enough for me. I can also sell my used titles if I want, I don't have to deal with apps like Steam, and I haven't spent a dime on my PC in quite some time.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By Pirks on 4/30/2007 1:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a big fan of popping in the disc and playing
Games for Windows
I can also sell my used titles if I want
True for both PC and consoles
I don't have to deal with apps like Steam
You prefer to walk to the nearest store and pick up a disc, while I prefer to dl games through Steam - to each his own, guess I'm more lazy than you
I haven't spent a dime on my PC in quite some time
And I actually saved on my PC, since I never needed to purchase $2500 HDTV panel to watch nice 1080p games in all their glory - my old NEC CRT ran all these fancy games in 1600x1200 waaaay before Xbox 360 hit store shelves. Yeah, I spent a few hundred bucks upgrading to GF7800GS and then to GF7900GTX, but compared to what people spend on their fancy HDTVs for their "cheap" consoles - its peanuts, really really :)

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By MonkeyPaw on 4/30/2007 2:33:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not going to get in a circular argument with you, but I don't own a $2600 HDTV. Actually, mine was more like $700, and I bought it for more than just my XB360. In fact, I didn't even own a 360 when I bought that TV. I know you can watch movies and TV on your PC, but when was the last time you invited a group of people come over to watch TV/movies/Sports on a PC? No, my HDTV sees a lot of use beyond the Xbox. I appreciate the space savings it gives me in my living room too. I'd wager the same kinds of things can be said for owners of $2600 sets, too.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By crimson117 on 5/1/2007 3:25:09 PM , Rating: 2
Your entire post was just to make us feel bad by bragging that you have friends!



RE: This is why I like PCs.
By AmbroseAthan on 4/30/2007 2:37:00 PM , Rating: 2
since I never needed to purchase $2500 HDTV panel to watch nice 1080p games in all their glory

I always find this comment amusing. Yes, while comparing your PC/Monitor to a Console/TV you do need to account for the Screen; but, you do not need to spend this much on a TV; easy to find 1080p LCD's much lower then this. Also, a TV has huge amounts of added value for watching TV, DVD's etc. Which is better for you, is dependent on your use.

I personally have a 42" 720p DLP, $1400 in my ilving room, with a 360 w/ two controllers $600. This works great for my living room with a couple coaches and a coffee table. Great for watching movies and sports with friends or alone; plus the random 360 session.

My computer is a ~$1800 machine with a 24" WUXGA screen (~$600). It is great on my desk for games and such, but it is not a communal thing.

Both have their places. In your case you saved money. In my case, my TV/Console was alot cheaper then my computer. And I didn't need to buy my TV for the 360; I needed to buy my TV for Football, Worldcup, Hockey, and alot of Prime-Time shows~

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By Pirks on 4/30/2007 4:41:07 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, I know one can get 1080p panels for much less than $2500 these days, but the same is true for PCs. It was rather a hyperbolized reply to show that MonkeyPaw's statement "you can't get gaming PC for $450" is not quite true. You can't get HIGH-POWERED speed daemon for $450, true, but to get a PC comparable to Xbox 360, with 512M RAM, 20 GB HDD, cheapo AM2 dualcore Brisbane, and some "sorta comparable" Geforce 7800 GPU, no kbd/mouse/no display, just like console - all of that for $450? Pretty much achievable.

So I was just debunking some MonkeyPaw's myths, or clarifying them if you like. I do know 1080p TVs are inexpensive these days, it was just funny how console guys tend to forget that PC with same hardware as their Xbox 360 also costs same or almost same money. You CAN pay more if you wanna get better games/better visuals, but you DON'T HAVE to. Pay $450 for your cheapo gaming PC with 512M RAM/20GB HDD/Geforce 7800 (or Radeon X1800) inside and have fun. Just don't forget to set resolution to 1280x720 to not to miss that console look. If Windows takes too much RAM - add another 512M stick, it won't change picture a lot.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By therealnickdanger on 5/1/2007 9:07:46 AM , Rating: 2
I've been investigating the world of cheap gaming and found that while mathing the power of the Xbox360 or PS3 for the price is impossible, you can buy a lot for the same price. However, to really match the current state of console gaming, you don't need to have 1080p power, just 720p (1280x720) with solid frame rates and heavy effects. This system for $650 might even be overkill after you OC it:

Core 2 Duo E4300
Gigabyte DS3
Kingston 2GB DDR2-667
Thermaltake 430W PSU
Rosewill case w/120mm fans
LiteOn 18X DVDRW

I'm convinced you could build a very potent gaming rig for under $500 if you shop wisely or sub in other components. But even at $650, you have to consider everything else that the PC offers you over a console in terms of compatibility with all the software under the sun, emulation, hacks, mods, as well as the ability to view/edit/create content in any format you want. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fantastic games that are only on the consoles, so you'll miss out on some stuff.

Buy the hardware that has the games you want...

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By mars777 on 5/1/2007 9:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
You've matched the X360.
Now try to match the PS3 or put a Blueray drive into your PC :P

By therealnickdanger on 5/2/2007 4:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, not even close. The power potential (the ability to utilize every last ounce of power) seeping from the 360 and PS3 greatly outmatch the PC I built above. I only tried to get in the price ballpark. Unfortunately, I don't know of any BR read-only drives and all the burners are at least $500 on their own. However, I can buy a HD-DVD drive for $150...

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By MonkeyPaw on 5/1/2007 11:04:50 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, if we're going to take the "bare minimum" approach... My $450 is overkill, you don't need that extra $50 controller. In fact, all you really "need" is the $300 Core system to play XB360 games (if you must, you can include a $15 memory stick to have save games). With that in mind, let me know what kind of gaming PC you can come up with for $300-315, and then tell me how well it will play a game launched 4-5 years from now. Can it even play one of today's games at 720p? Oh, and when you price your system, please include the price of the OS. Why would I want a PC that has no OS installed? Or were you counting on pirating that part? In that case, can I have $100 in stolen goods to go with my 360, too?

How much more rediculous do you want this argument to get? You call my comments "myths," and this entire time I've never claimed consoles are superior to PCs like you seem to think I have. I've just been pointing out the benefits of a console. I used to be a PC gamer, so I've been on both sides of this argument. I'm not telling people to burn their PCs and go buy an Xbox.

By therealnickdanger on 5/1/2007 12:35:34 PM , Rating: 2
Short of a lucky deal on Craigslist, no PC can match a next-gen console in graphics performance for the price. Conversely, no console can match a PC in functionality. The argument is moot if you can afford both.

Xbox360 for $300
Decent PC for $600
Best of both worlds for under a grand.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By Pirks on 5/1/2007 1:47:31 PM , Rating: 1
tell me how well it will play a game launched 4-5 years from now
There is no difference between PCs and consoles, both console and cheap gaming PC graphics will look outdated in 5 years. Look at current PS2 and Nintendo users - they enjoy 640x480 titles on their SDTV sets, just like Xbox 360 owners will be happy to enjoy outdated retro-looking graphics 5 years from now.

I agree that consoles are ahead now with regard to initial purchase price of the hardware. This is normal situation, since consoles are sold at a loss, while PCs are not.

However, when you count in all the Xbox Live fees, game prices and stuff like that - then this difference in price starts to dwindle away quickly. After you buy some console games and factor in their price then the difference is gone. It does exist, but only initially.

Are you going to argue that cheapo inkjet printers are way better than expensive laser ones? Okay, how about the price of ink vs the price of toner? See how picture changes when you consider everything, not just the initial price?

Consoles are exactly like that - buy hardware at a loss, so it's cheap, and then pay extra every time you buy an upgrade or a game. Yeah, call them cheaper if you like, but I was looking at a global picture, not just INITIAL purchase price.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By d0gb0y on 5/1/2007 2:21:32 PM , Rating: 2
So PC games are free?

You can also rent console games. If I read a review and the game can be beat in 8-15 ho0urs, rental is great! Or get Gamefly...

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By Pirks on 5/1/2007 3:03:14 PM , Rating: 1
So PC games are free?
Nope, they're just cheaper than Xbox 360 games
You can also rent console games
And you can get free demos of PC games and even "rent" PC games off torrents for free if you want.

Download, play, if you enjoy it - pay for it. If not - delete it and forget about it.

Try to beat THAT :o)

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By MonkeyPaw on 5/1/2007 10:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
Um, you can download demos for free from the XBox live marketplace. I've bought many games based on the FREE demos that I've downloaded there. I guess you were unaware of that one.

FYI, I've paid no more than $30 for a 360 game. I buy used or wait for the price to come down. Seems awfully reasonable, no?

Also, I don't like online gaming, so no need for a gold account, which costs $50/yr.

Seriously, look at the facts before you speak.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By Pirks on 5/2/2007 7:23:30 PM , Rating: 1
I buy used or wait for the price to come down. Seems awfully reasonable, no?
Yeah, where you buy used Xbox 360 games or wait till the price goes down I'm buying fresh, just released PC games for same price. Seems reasonable to buy new PC games for the price of used console game, no?
I don't like online gaming, so no need for a gold account
Those console gamers who like it - they pay. PC guys get this for free.

Like I said - after initial purchase for a low price (since the console hardware is sold at a loss) consoles quickly suck more money out of gamers' wallets, eventually breaking it even with PCs. Same business model as with cheap inkjet printers - buy cheap printer now and keep buying expensive ink later.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By MonkeyPaw on 5/3/2007 11:03:00 AM , Rating: 3
So you're telling me that you can buy newly released PC games for $30? Back when I gamed on a PC, they were at least $40-50. Have software companies really become that generous in the last 2 years? I remember paying $45 for HL2 well after it launched. Anyway, what's the big deal about waiting for a game to come down in price? If you're patient enough, it's an easy way to save money--I typically waited for price drops on PC games, too. As for buying used, who really cares that it's used if it's cheaper and it works? I buy games to play the games--I could care less if I'm the first person in the world to own the game or if the packaging looks new.

I've been on both sides of this argument. I don't know how many times I've said this, but maybe one time you'll catch it: I never said one was better than the other. Both have pros and cons, and for me, a console just simply works. I know that when I played PC games, I spent more money on it. Also, remember that I bought my 360 back in Feb 06. There were NO cheap dual core CPUs at that time, and mid-range GPUs were not as good as something like a 7800GS. RAM was also more expensive at that time. You're telling me that I could get a good machine today, and that is true, but consider that I spent my money over a year ago! I know that PC hardware will eclipse the 360, but IMO, the games on the 360 looks great already, so how much better does it need to be? It's like going from DVD to HD--sure, it looks better, but is it so much better as to justify the extra cost?

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By Pirks on 5/3/2007 4:39:33 PM , Rating: 1
you can buy newly released PC games for $30?
Major PC titles are between $40 and $50 when released, while major Xbox 360 titles are closer to $60 when released. Used Xbox titles are also more expensive than used PC titles, same $10-$20 difference. Every game you buy for console decreases the price gap between console and PC. After certain amount of games bought this difference becomes the opposite - total price of PC with all the games you bought becomes lower than that of console with all its games you bought.
I remember paying $45 for HL2 well after it launched
Now Xbox guys will pay $60 for the same three year old game that PC gamers forgot about in, like, 2006. It's also true for some Xbox games as well, like Halo, however PC gamers will pay lower price for these games, again. Yeah, not a lot of a difference, around $10 or maybe $20 but it still does exist.
I know that when I played PC games, I spent more money on it.
I don't think this is a problem of PC platform, it was your own problem. Nobody forced you to pay premium for advanced highest quality 3D graphics cards that were way over the top compared to simpler console graphics. If you stayed with the same level of graphics that consoles provide - you'd pay same money or less. There was a brief period when heavily subsidized console hardware was indeed cheaper - but why being so naive and think that console and game makers will just give you some "free money" in the form of $500 console that costed you only $300 because Microsoft paid $200 for you, or, more precisely, just _lent_ you $200. You will pay back all of this and then some interest. In the end, after you done with your console, I won't be surprised if the total cost of ownership of a PC with the similar hardware and games turned out to be same or even less than that of the console.
You're telling me that I could get a good machine today, and that is true, but consider that I spent my money over a year ago
Aha, so now it's ok to NOT to wait for the stuff to come down in price? You're waiting for the games to became cheaper, but you HAD to buy the latest fad when Xbox 360 was out. Double standards my fiend. Now try to apply your "it's better to wait and get stuff cheaper" motto to your console purchase. Imagine that you were not only waiting for JUST GAMES to become cheaper, imagine that you waited for everytihg to become cheaper.

Hence, you would wait for Xbox 360 Elite, for example. Now, suppose you got it... or maybe Xbox core... whatever... and you find out what? You find out that PC hardware now is not more expensive because Xbox is not that much subsidized as it was when you got it more than a year ago. See what happens when you start to apply your "wait and get cheap" principle to consoles, not only to games? Your "PC is expensive" myth dissolves like a morning fog :)
the games on the 360 looks great already, so how much better does it need to be? It's like going from DVD to HD--sure, it looks better, but is it so much better as to justify the extra cost?
Nope, DVD vs HD is incorrect comparison here - in case of HD you pay for fixed functionality where PC is flexibility itself - build precisely the functionality you need for the price you can afford. With consoles - you HAVE to pay for whatever manifacturer put inside, this is like HD. But PC is NOT. Quit comparing PC with consumer electronic devices already, and this includes consoles too. You can compare consoles with CE, but not the PC.

Again, to reiterate - your phrase that "PC is more expensive" is a myth, because it's not PC forcing you to buy overkill hardware just to beat consoles spec-wise or get better in-game graphics. It is YOU making this decision.

Hence the correct statement in your case would be "_my_ PC is expensive but it doesn't have to apply to all PCs"

Once you stop generalizing your PC on everyone else's PCs, you get the correct picture.

It's all not about what's better, this debate would be pointless. It's about the price and your statement that all gaming PCs are expensive compared to consoles.

Try to look at general picture of multiyear ownership of both PC and console and think again.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By mars777 on 5/1/2007 9:35:13 PM , Rating: 1
Why would I want a PC that has no OS installed? Or were you counting on pirating that part? In that case, can I have $100 in stolen goods to go with my 360, too?

Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

- select beryl in the packet manager and see how Vista looks awful and user unfriendly :)

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By mars777 on 5/1/2007 9:38:14 PM , Rating: 2
And if you count this 0$ linux OS in real value than, yes, it's around 100$ comparing to Vista.
But it'cant be run on the X360 only the PS3 :)

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By Pirks on 5/2/2007 7:28:37 PM , Rating: 1
And if you count blah blah
and if you realized we were talking about _GAMING_ PC you wouldn't start that Linux/Unix/shmunix nonsense in the first place

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By Thmstec on 5/1/2007 12:10:48 AM , Rating: 2
My computer travels between the 82inch 1080p Sony Pearl in the theater, and my desktop set-up with a 22inch LCD and 19inch CRT. Between the two spots I can invite my friends over, or sit compfortably in my deskchair. My PS3 also travels between the two set-ups, and let me tell you. EACH of the 4 combos (bigscreen/comp, bigscreen/ps3, lcd/comp, lcd/ps3) all have their advantages and disadvantages.

But it is just awesome to be well enough off to not have to make a choice!

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By AstroCreep on 5/1/2007 5:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
I can also sell my used titles if I want...
True for both PC and consoles

Eh, if you're a Steam user your options aren't as simple as selling a copy of Halo 2 on the Anandtech Forums.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By mars777 on 5/1/2007 9:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
But you get a discount on the game price?

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By d0gb0y on 4/30/2007 11:49:05 AM , Rating: 2
You’re missing the point of owning a console. There is no reason to "upgrade" a current gen console. When Sony released a slimmer PS2, it did nothing for the playability of its games. They did not have better graphics, was not faster, and did not play any exclusive games that were any different from older PS2s. What it did do is lower the price.

This is the same for these changes on the 360. There is no gaming benefit to these hardware revisions. The larger hard drive and HDMI output is nice, if you want it, but games will not play any differently. Same will be said when they shrink the processor. Games will play the same, but hopefully we will see a price drop and quieter consoles.

I primarily play consoles because I love the consistency. When I play the game, I know I am playing it as it was designed. The pacing and graphics should be optimized for my platform. Any optimizations that come out later via a patch (why console games have patches is a whole other issue) I know it will work with my system as it is standard. I do not enjoy tweaking my system every time I want to play a game. I love the plop it in and watch it work side of owning a console.

With the above being said, I love the fact there are changes on a console. These changes do add benefit and will drive prices down eventually. The more "features" that expand the user base, the more publishers will be willing to spend the big $$$ to develop games, the more benefit to the consumer, no matter what version of the console you own.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By dome1234 on 4/30/2007 1:00:37 PM , Rating: 2
One impact of microsoft entry into the console gaming which I find more negative than positive.

Console gaming is about getting your console out of the box, plug it and play for the next 5 years.

No wonder nintendo's console is selling like hotcakes again, unless they come up with wiilite.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By Ravenlore on 4/30/2007 2:44:09 PM , Rating: 2
The problem being that it cost $700.00 for good pc then +200 for new Ram in 2 years, + $400 - $500 for new bleeding edge Video card for some better looks as it will take at least a year for games to even START to use the new cards. ALL in the same time as a console life cycle given PS2 was 6 years (not Xbox 4years)

Look at the life span of PS2 it was more advanced than PC for like a year. Then after that PC games grew using the new tech for those who updated look at all the money that could have been spent. While PS2 games got better as well. After 6 years God of war 2 looks great but PC looks A LOT BETTER but HOW MUCH did it cost along the way. Now paying $600.00 for a PS3 gets you close to a PC in basic function and graphics, but for the next 6-7 years AGAIN!!

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By darkpaw on 4/30/2007 3:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a definately a PC guy, but I'm in complete agreement here. I bought my PS2 for $300 in December 2000 and have gotten over 6 years quality gaming out of it.

On the other hand, the same year I built a 1GHz PC for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1200 which got retired and given away about four years ago. That was after a few interim upgrades worth at least a few hundred more dollars.

Hard to beat the bang for the buck when it comes to console gaming. My current video card setup cost me more when I bought it in October 2005 then a PS3 does, but I'll be retiring those video cards within the year. When I do buy a PS3 I'm sure I'll get at least 3-4 years out of it.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By redbone75 on 5/1/2007 4:04:06 AM , Rating: 2
Agree. Seriously, what is the average life cycle of a gamer's computer before it is upgraded? Two years at best, and that's if (s)he's really holding out for some reason. The only console I can remember not lasting that long at least was the Dreamcast, though it did hold on for a decent amount of time. That, and I think Sega just got too scared from all the hype about the PS2. A top-of-the-line vid card costs you over $500-$600 at launch, but what does a console cost? In truth, though, the majority of gamers don't buy those $500+ cards either.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By darkpaw on 5/1/2007 9:04:07 AM , Rating: 2
Yah, I usually don't spend $500 on video cards either. Typically I buy one in the $300 range, but my last system was a graduation gift to myself and I splurged a bit. Definately helped that one of my two video cards was a gift though or I wouldn't have bothered with SLI.

RE: This is why I like PCs.
By OblivionMage on 4/30/07, Rating: 0
Whats the point of this crippled hdmi
By michal1980 on 4/30/2007 10:25:57 AM , Rating: 3
and lets not forget that M$ said there was no need for hdmi on there console. It was evilll sony that was forrrcing hdmi.
and theres no need for 1080p gaming. no one would ever care.

then ps3 comes out, and all of a sudden m$ is like, oh wait, we can have 1080p too.

a bit later, oh we have hdmi too.

and its not like the hdmi standard they used is the newest one. (its still the 'older' 1.2) and it cannot even process mutli-channel lpcm sound.

big whoop.

People bash the ps3 for even considering a 80gb system. Yet praise M$ for this stunt. Come on, bash m$ as much as you do sony. Their both equally 'evilllll' companies, why give one a pass?

RE: Whats the point of this crippled hdmi
By Mazzer on 4/30/2007 11:17:12 AM , Rating: 2
I am pretty sure hdmi came before Sony's ps3, so they weren't 'forcing it', and they added it because a year after the 360 launch hdmi was cheaper and becoming more of a standard on hdtv's. Second, it's Microsoft not M$(I mean come on are you that ignorant?). Microsoft said there was no need for hdmi because they could process HD content over component cables, which they have proved. Your bit about Microsoft putting 1080p on their console just because Sony did makes no sense. They added 1080p, something the system was capable of, because of their HD dvd add on and new tv's supporting 1080p, duh! I actually don't know of one 'evillllll' thing Microsoft has done in the past couple years. I think we can all come up with something legit about Sony though.

RE: Whats the point of this crippled hdmi
By Hawkido on 4/30/2007 1:32:41 PM , Rating: 3
Component cables can output at 1080P, but are not HDCP compliant. HDCP won't allow 1080P or 1080i or 720P over non compliant connections. The XBox360 is capable of outputting games at 1080P, but all the games are programmed at 720P because it is the least common denominator. All games are upscaled/downscaled from there.

Now I don't have an XBox 360 nor the HD-DVD add-on. Can someone tell me how they got around the HDCP limitation at this point? Well, the Elite has an HDMI, so it won't be affected.

By d0gb0y on 4/30/2007 2:39:18 PM , Rating: 3
Component is not digital. You are only required to have HDCP over a digital connection. Therfore, you are not required to have HDCP over Component and can have 1080P (if output device accepts it) over component without HDCP.

RE: Whats the point of this crippled hdmi
By darkpaw on 4/30/2007 3:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
HDCP limitiation also is an optional thing and as of this point content providers have a moritorium in place on using the forced downgrade bit. They won't start using it for a few years at least (hopefully never). They weren't stupid enough to force such restrictive DRM down peoples throats right away. They'll wait until HDMI has a higher adoption rate and then turn it on unless too many people balk.

RE: Whats the point of this crippled hdmi
By Hawkido on 4/30/2007 4:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
well thanks to both of you for making your posts.

So the Component is analog, and currently HDCP will cross analog connections, but there may come a time in the future when analog will be rejected as a valid HD connector? Will it affect all movies currently out (as in some flash update to existing hardware) or will it only be encoded into new discs after the "start date" of this downgrade bit.

By darkpaw on 5/1/2007 9:05:36 AM , Rating: 2
Its up to the content providers to use the bit or not. So when they decide to new movies or whatever that are shipped will have the degrade bit active.

My understanding is that all of the HD players already support this as part of the standards.

RE: Whats the point of this crippled hdmi
By Ravenlore on 5/1/2007 1:16:54 PM , Rating: 1
YOU do not know what evil things MS has done in the last few years then let me up date you...

1. Supported SCO in lawsuit
2. Threatened Business with lawsuit for using Linux.
3. Vista intergreating IE, Media player so you cant take
it off.
4. Using its deep pockets to loose money with Xbox to
gain entrance in the gaming world. (called dumping in
any other business as a business you the point is to
make a profit. Not to simply run the other business
out, like MS did with IE, (Netscape Navagitor which
came first)Windos Media Player (not first but since it
was bundled became the defaulg player.)....

The main point about MS use of HDMI is that at first they SAID it was not necessary then they add it to a new line of console!?? TO go from one statement to the other is just... hipacritical, or copying, once the facts bear that Sony made the right decision!!!

The hanging by one company's >>> anouncements, is just sad.

By Flunk on 5/2/2007 3:23:39 PM , Rating: 1
1. Supported SCO in lawsuit

When? Link please

2. Threatened Business with lawsuit for using Linux.

I'm preitty sure that was SCO that did that. Link please

3. Vista intergreating IE, Media player so you cant take
it off.

You've obviously never used Vista. IE is less integrated than it was in XP (the explorer and internet explorer are completely separate) and you can buy a version of Vista without Media Player (the N edition) so it can't be that integrated.

4. Using its deep pockets to loose money with Xbox to
gain entrance in the gaming world. (called dumping in
any other business as a business you the point is to
make a profit. Not to simply run the other business
out, like MS did with IE, (Netscape Navagitor which
came first)Windos Media Player (not first but since it
was bundled became the defaulg player.)....

What's sony doing with the PS3? oh right, the same thing. The only console company not selling consoles under cost is Nintendo.

The Engrish in your post is berry greet.

By bplewis24 on 5/1/2007 3:25:11 PM , Rating: 2
I am pretty sure hdmi came before Sony's ps3, so they weren't 'forcing it', and they added it because a year after the 360 launch hdmi was cheaper and becoming more of a standard on hdtv's

HDMI was already in the spec sheet for the PS3 over a year before it actually launched. It was not considered to be put in at a later date when it became cheaper.


By Aikouka on 4/30/2007 1:36:04 PM , Rating: 1
Microsoft said they didn't include HDMI because the HDMI spec wasn't completed while they were designing the XBOX 360.

RE: Whats the point of this crippled hdmi
By Circle T on 4/30/2007 1:58:16 PM , Rating: 1
...and lets not forget that M$ said there was no need for hdmi on there console.

There IS no need for it. Is it nice to have as an OPTION for hookup?? Totally. But, its not NEEDED, nor have they ever said it was.
...and theres no need for 1080p gaming. no one would ever care.

Again, there is no NEED for it. When they built the console, they designed it with 720p in mind. At that resolution, you still have a high-res image, and you can still get a lot of graphical effects as well. When you start rendering at 1080p, you lose the ability to do that. You have a nice, big image, but you can't have as many effects at the same time.

I would venture a guess and say that Gears of War wouldn't look half as sweet as it does if they designed it to run on the Xbox at native 1080p. It would have great resolution, and lots of detail. But AA and HDR effects would have to be turned way down on a game like that at 1080p. Its just a toss-up. Lots of resolution, or lots of effects. They chose the latter.
and its not like the hdmi standard they used is the newest one. (its still the 'older' 1.2) and it cannot even process mutli-channel lpcm sound.

I'm sorry. Do you actually OWN any device other than a PS3 that has HDMI 1.3 in it??? Do you have a TV that has 1.3 and will actually show the benefits of the added bandwidth? Do you have a receiver with 1.3 that can actually do something with the extra audio features?? No, you don't.

Its a big thing, this HDMI 1.3 update. But, not right now. In Sony's world, where the PS3 will still be around in 5-7 years, it makes sense. By then, devices with 1.3 will be all over the place. But, between now and when the next Xbox comes out, it won't be that big of a deal. I mean, the general consumer is still learning what HDMI is. Let alone trying to get them to figure out what all the different versions are for.

Sony built a multimedia device that will be around for a long while. Microsoft built a gaming device that will be used for 4-5 years, and then a new one comes out. Both will fit their respective bills well.

RE: Whats the point of this crippled hdmi
By michal1980 on 5/1/2007 3:25:17 PM , Rating: 1
actual I could care less about hdmi 1.3 to a point.

I do care about multi-channel LPCM sound, which was around since hdmi 1.1. It allows the use of all the new hi-def audio codecs to be played on most hdmi recivers now and in the future. 1.3 is like the cherry on the top of your ice cream. Doesn't add much but it's nice.

And stop lieing, the only spec that wasn't out when m$ came out with thhe 360 is hdmi 1.3.

And even now adding hdmi 1.2 M$ crippled it. They could have allowed the use of LPCM sound, but didn't, why? who knows, maybe to release another 'better' console.

By Circle T on 5/1/2007 8:51:38 PM , Rating: 1
And stop lieing, the only spec that wasn't out when m$ came out with thhe 360 is hdmi 1.3.

I don't recall ever saying anything to the contrary.

Look, these are both GAME consoles first and foremost. You can sit there and complain about every feature under the sun that isn't on them. But, when it comes down to it, gaming is the primary goal. The rest of this is just fluff.

I wish the Xbox had built in HD-DVD and wifi, 1GB of ram, one more core to make it quad-core, a faster clock on the CPU and GPU, and at least a 40GB HDD standard on all models. But you know what?? It doesn't, so I deal with it.

If it upsets you so much (which it obviously does judging by the lame 90's tactic of using "M$" to represent Microsoft), just don't buy one. Stop complaining about them, just don't buy it, and move on.

I wish the PS3 was cheaper, had rumble, more "must-have" games, and better online. But, instead of coming on the internet and complaining about $ony, I just moved on. In time, most of those issues will be solved. And, at that time, I'm in. But, until then, no. It would be nice if you did the same.

I wonder.....
By marvdmartian on 4/30/07, Rating: 0
RE: I wonder.....
By KaiserCSS on 4/30/2007 9:52:40 AM , Rating: 3
This is why you can't have nice things.

RE: I wonder.....
By jadeskye on 4/30/2007 9:52:53 AM , Rating: 3
Really too bad that M$ didn't care to have it come out with the HD technology in the first place!

what are you talking about? the xbox 360 always had HD technology, the component cables included with the system can output 1080p as can the optional VGA connection...

RE: I wonder.....
By FITCamaro on 4/30/2007 11:21:08 AM , Rating: 1
Yes but its far more fun for losers like this to bash Microsoft and misstate facts. Nevermind the fact that HDMI in late 2005 wasn't even close to being finalized or the extra costs involved in licensing the technology. If they'd gone with HDMI in the being, it likely would have been HDMI v1.1 instead of the v1.2 it has.

As far as the topic at hand, I just hope they get the 65nm version of the CPU in ASAP so it can run cooler and hopefully cause a price cut. I want to buy one I just want a cooler running version. Also I'm still having issues with spending even $400 for a games console. Nevermind $600 for the PS3. If they can get the CPU to 65nm and get the 20GB model as the new core system for $300, I'm sold. I don't even care if it doesn't come with a wireless controller anymore then.

RE: I wonder.....
By Funksultan on 4/30/07, Rating: -1
RE: I wonder.....
By KTLA on 4/30/2007 2:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
The 360 cannot display a TRUE 1080p signal. 720p is the limit for it's pixel-pushing

Why do you lie?

RE: I wonder.....
By Pitbulll0669 on 5/1/2007 7:51:20 AM , Rating: 1
He does Lie Because I have the Elite and A brand new Sharp 1080p 47'LCD AND i also have the HD DVD Side car! AND I run movies in 1080 p all the time! AND games like Lost planet and Ghost recon 2 ARE in 1080P.AND since NOW it has HDMI it will output the 18080 signal.BUNGI said HALO 3 will be in 1080P for thos with the ELITE the rest will haave to settle with 1080i. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

RE: I wonder.....
By marvdmartian on 5/1/2007 10:33:11 AM , Rating: 3
Bwahahahahahaha!! Isn't it amazing? How easily I can manipulate all your uber-1337 gaming geeks to defend your precious little gaming systems??

Seriously, this has been a pretty decent examply of why I don't get into discussions with hardcore gamers, as to the merits of gaming systems versus computers (I have no preference, as I don't game enough to bother with either a gaming system or a high-end gaming computer).

Seriously, guys need to get out of your parent's basement a little more often, and get some sunshine, so you can realize that the world is more than playing the most recent game, or buying the most recent version of your preferred gaming system! (sarcastic eye roll)

RE: I wonder.....
By LatinMessiah on 5/1/2007 1:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
"I don't game enough" = "I don't have money"

Regarding your last paragraph: Live and let live.

going back to 2 skus
By RamarC on 4/30/2007 9:58:03 AM , Rating: 2
i think that one of the original 360s will be eliminated in the fall. by christmas, this 120gb 360 will be back down to $399 and the entry level $299 will be updated with hdmi and a 40gb hd.

RE: going back to 2 skus
By housecat on 4/30/2007 11:13:21 AM , Rating: 2
My bet is that regardless of number of SKUs, the core model will remain unchanged and unremoved. This will allow MS to have a price war with the PS3 and sony will never be able to match them.
Its all you need to start playing games or get on xbl. We'll probably see the 360core@$199 someday soon (after the 90-65nm drop).
At least, this is how I'd do business if I were MS.

RE: going back to 2 skus
By d0gb0y on 4/30/2007 12:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with you. If MS can release a $199 this Christmas, they're market share will sky-rocket. I also believe MS is waiting until the holiday season. Halo 3 should be coming out prior to that and will be selling consoles without the price-cut. Wait until it cools off, then lower the price to drive demand up again.

RE: going back to 2 skus
By Ravenlore on 5/1/2007 1:27:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yea and if the tooth fary was real... or lepracons then I am sure people would look for them But back to reality.

This generation so far is lack luster. Sales of game consoles are not as fast as PS2, except that Wii COULD be if there was enough (though this is just speculation) Still, thought more people are into gameing it is more portable that is growing the most.

But by the end of the year we will see how it does to last gen agin so far its been slow spicificly Xbox 360!!

RE: going back to 2 skus
By Darthefe on 5/2/07, Rating: 0
RE: going back to 2 skus
By theapparition on 4/30/2007 11:26:32 AM , Rating: 2
Speculation, or based on any facts?

yay!! 65nm news!
By jay401 on 4/30/2007 2:37:26 PM , Rating: 3

Finally! Once that is released and passes a couple months of stress testing (i.e. regular use) without incident I might actually finally purchase an XBox 360 :)


Coming this fall: a 65nm Xbox 360

By Jon Stokes | Published: April 30, 2007 - 11:35AM CT

A new report in the DigiTimes has the 65nm version of the Xbox 360's "Xenos" GPU coming out sometime in the fall. The new GPU will be made on TSMC's 65nm process, now that the foundry can make the 65nm eDRAM that goes into the product. As for the console's "Xenon" CPU, Chartered Semi will be making the 65nm version that's rumored to be slated for sometime in mid-2007. So I guess it's theoretically possible that we could see a version of the console with a 65nm CPU and a 90nm GPU before the whole thing goes to 65nm by the end of this year, but I doubt this.

Microsoft will want to start using the smaller chips as soon as it is feasible, because the smaller, cooler chips will let them redesign the console's insides for lower cost and higher reliability. But they'll only want to do this redesign once for 65nm, in order to get the full benefit of the die shrink. Some of this redesign may involve changes to the board-level layout, in addition to changes in the case's cooling apparatus. These changes will make the Xbox 360 cheaper to manufacture, and those savings will eventually (but not initially) be passed on to gamers in the form of price cuts on the console.

The upshot for those who're on the fence about getting an Elite 360, either as an upgrade or as a new console, is that you should wait until the fall if possible. The chances are virtually zero that a 65nm shrink will see a new form factor for the design, but a cooler-running version will be more stable and may last longer.

RE: yay!! 65nm news!
By James Holden on 4/30/2007 4:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
Digitimes has about as much credibility as Fudzilla.

RE: yay!! 65nm news!
By stubeck on 4/30/2007 10:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
They were right about OS X being delayed when everyone said the exact same thing you did.

RE: yay!! 65nm news!
By James Holden on 5/1/2007 12:32:31 AM , Rating: 2
But the reason they stated for the delay was proven incorrect -- which really means they just got lucky the dates lined up since their prediction of the delay was not based off any real source.

If you look at their history as a whole, you'll see they have a very poor track record of reporting events that have already occurred, let alone predictions based on rumor.

a little too fast?
By dome1234 on 4/30/2007 12:47:25 PM , Rating: 3
Microsoft's drive to "empower" the consumer with choices of 3 sku(s) is nice, BUT. Adding a new un-upgradeable feature a year after your console launch isn't very nice thing to do to your hardcore earlier adopters.

And whatever happens to buy several 20G hdds to satisfy your need of extra storage???

RE: a little too fast?
By mars777 on 5/1/2007 9:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is a company that has a bad reputation about upgradeability price.

I won't talk about OS-es or VS development tools (i'm a programmer) but rather the XNA development tools.

When you make a game with the basic version you can sell it for the PC market but to sell it on the Xbox market you HAVE to BUY and compile on the pro version (although it works flawlessly in the standard) plus sign a contract (which I understand and id OK).

So they aren't sucking only consumers, but are sucking developers too.

The "M$" wasn't invented out of nothing :)

Am I the only one...
By Soodey on 4/30/2007 5:58:18 PM , Rating: 1
Am I the only one who doesn't like this color at all? I mean I usually prefer a nice black color to white, but I just find this black to be ugly. Maybe its just the pictures I've seen of it thus far, but this black just isn't a nice shiny black and I actually prefer the color of the white 360s.

RE: Am I the only one...
By jay401 on 5/1/2007 12:58:43 PM , Rating: 2
They should have called it the 360 31337 just to be c00l. -__-

RE: Am I the only one...
By LatinMessiah on 5/1/2007 1:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
Why Microsoft's marketing department hasn't hired you, I'll never know.

Here's an interesting article...
By Gimli000 on 5/1/2007 10:47:52 AM , Rating: 3
There's a review of the Elite at The Accidental Gamer that's fairly interesting:

<no subject>
By Scabies on 4/30/2007 10:44:31 AM , Rating: 2
Heh heh. well these are certainly doing well on eBay. I thought these would be in higher demand, guess I can wait till next week to become one of the few PSWii60 owners out there. Now I need HDMI switching... suggestions?

By Learn2play007 on 5/16/2007 12:57:55 AM , Rating: 2
I am active military and I have a canadian fiancee who lives 35 minutes from the US Washington Border. Spring update and all of a sudden none of the downloadable content works. "This content is not available in your region". My fiancee brought this for me. It has lived at her house forever and now micro$oft forces me to take a fancier looking mod/update that HAXORS all of my attempted downloadables. No help from microsoft on this either. Licensing yadda yadda Rights. FTC where are you. I want a full refund since my Wii is my primary gaming sytem and this 360 box is now completely useless to me conveinently 5 months after I bought. Im so tired of this. When I first bought it I couldn't buy points until I called in. Then all was fine until this stupid update SPRUNG into my box. They might tell you to make a new Player ID in the region you are in ie Canada or Japan. DONT WASTE YOUR TIME! Canadian player ID's have a total of approx 10 downloads combined games and videos. Maybe it has to do with the CRTC that everything needs to be english/french in canada, I have no idea. I have a feeling everywhere else is much worse after all Canada is N.America last time I checked. I will place this on as many sites as I can as long as I am ticked off. Nice one hollywood. Screw your troops when they most likely have nothing else to do for some much needed relaxation behind enemy lines.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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