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Images courtesy TGFCer
The Xbox 360 Elite drum beat grows louder

Xbox 360 Elite systems have been caught in the wild on a Chinese production line. Xbox 360 Fanboy has images of racks of black Xbox 360 units taken from a Chinese video game forum.

The images not only show the sleek, black exterior of the Xbox 360 Elite, but a close-up image shows the 120GB hard disk drive (HDD) fitted atop the console.

Further confirmation of the Xbox 360 Elite came over the weekend from Dean Takahashi of the The Mercury News. Takahashi was the first to break the news of the Xbox 360's upcoming IPTV service.

Likewise, promotional materials from Gamestop have been spotted which detail the 120GB which will be made available as a stand-alone upgrade for current Xbox 360 owners.

While the new black exterior and 120GB HDD may be headliner features of the $479 USD Xbox 360 Elite, the addition of an HDMI port and an HDMI cable are also added bonuses. Two features that are reportedly missing from the Xbox 360 Elite, however, are built-in WiFi and an internal HD DVD drive.

Engadget notes that the Xbox 360 Elite will be available in limited quantities sometime this Spring and that Xbox 360 Premium systems will get Elite-spec hardware (sans black finish) sometime in late Summer/early Fall. The price is expected to remain at $399 while price cuts are expected to help clear out the existing stock of Xbox 360 Premiums with the smaller 20GB HDD.

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For all anyone knows...
By DigitalFreak on 3/26/2007 4:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
...these could be dev units.

RE: For all anyone knows...
By Scabies on 3/26/2007 4:35:23 PM , Rating: 4
or "Macrosoft Xbocks 720"s. Everyone loves generic grey-market products :)

RE: For all anyone knows...
By Brandon Hill on 3/26/2007 4:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
Xbox 360 dev kits are taller and have a black DVD drive faceplate. Do a search on Google

RE: For all anyone knows...
By JimFear on 3/27/2007 7:29:00 AM , Rating: 2
Not neccesarily, I was at a mahusive LAN Party back in 2005 that had black 360's without the dev interface block on the end and just bog standard 20GB hard drives, maybe they're the new dev kits with the new hard drives pre-installed? As far as I was aware the devkits always had HDMI anyway.

RE: For all anyone knows...
By dice1111 on 3/26/2007 5:52:48 PM , Rating: 1
Too bad they didn't get a shot of the rear. I'd like to check out the ports it's offering. HDMI anyone?

RE: For all anyone knows...
By Filibuster on 3/26/2007 9:46:33 PM , Rating: 5
>HDMI anyone?

Do some people just look at the pictures and then post?

RE: For all anyone knows...
By dice1111 on 4/2/2007 6:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
The article says HDMI, but where is the proof? This hadn't been confirmed by microsoft just yet. A shot at the back would actually prove it.

By yacoub on 3/26/2007 7:05:29 PM , Rating: 2
So what about the important part - the die shrink on the CPU/GPU/whateverPU so that it runs cooler and is less likely to red-ring-o-doom itself? When does that revision come out? Should we assume that the reason no one mentions that hardware change as part of this refresh is because that's no longer part of the refresh?

RE: So
By Ralph The Magician on 3/26/2007 7:13:49 PM , Rating: 1
The purpose of a die shrink isn't to get better thermal specs out of the CPU. In fact, it probably won't make any noticable difference given the. The purpose of a die shrink is to increase profits because you can fit more dies per wafer.

RE: So
By Ralph The Magician on 3/26/2007 7:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
*given the cooling system of the 360.

RE: So
By Munkles on 3/27/2007 7:59:40 AM , Rating: 2
Either you are being willfully ignorant or your just being plain stupid. Of course the die shrink will have a huge impact on the cooling of the Xbox 360; smaller transistors means less electricity is needed to power the cpu, less power running through the cpu means less heat generated. I mean its not tough to understand.

In every AMD/Intel processor released to date the heat declination at the same clock has been at least 30%. In computer terms thats a LOT of heat thats NOT been created.

It may not be Microsofts MAIN reason for the die shrink but it certainly will be a bi-product of it.

RE: So
By cobaltb on 3/27/2007 6:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
"In every AMD/Intel processor released to date the heat declination at the same clock has been at least 30%. In computer terms thats a LOT of heat thats NOT been created."

I believe the 90nm Prescott Core bucked this trend when it was released. The 130nm Northwood was much cooler at the same clock speeds.

RE: So
By yacoub on 3/27/2007 7:17:59 AM , Rating: 2
thanks for completely ignoring my question just to "correct me" by posting an additional reason for the die shrink...

By rudyv1 on 3/26/2007 8:21:28 PM , Rating: 3
No one is bothering to ask what version of HDMI this new Xbox360 will sport!

Also, will it be able to decode or pass Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio?

What about 'deep color' support

HDMI doesn't mean much unless it's implemented properly

By Munkles on 3/27/2007 8:04:42 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunatley thats not even close to true. Like so many technologies before it, what lies under the surface matters not simply that its there and exists is enough.

Most "home theatre" guys cant even tell you the difference between HDMI v1.1-1.3 let alone what the difference between dolby digital, DTS, True HD, Dolby Pro Logic I/II etc.

Its a valid question to wonder what this will support but in the end the answer will be meaningless as it will just become another bullet point at MS next keynote speach in X07/E3 07.

Then again, truth be told I frankly dont care which it is just so long as I can have only one cable connected to my TV instead of 5. Im not a big fan of clutter.

By Spivonious on 3/27/2007 9:51:46 AM , Rating: 2
I've never had the opportunity to compare versions of HDMI, but I imagine you're right and the differences are slight at best.

There is however a huge difference between Pro Logic and Digital, even more so if you use the optical cable versus the digital coaxial. I've A-B-ed them, as well as S-Video vs. Component vs. DVI. DVI is easily a 10x better picture. I noticed no difference between S-Video and Component.

By exdeath on 3/27/2007 10:42:29 AM , Rating: 2
I'm running a 30 foot run of high quality shielded component video cable that is high bandwidth rated for 1080p. Each channel is its own 75 ohm broadcast grade cable.

The result is that 720p or 1080p over component is ALMOST as good as HDMI. On up scaled material like DVDs or compressed 720/1080 HDTV sources you can't tell the difference between component and HDMI. Scaling and codec quantization noise in the data itself is the dominant factor. The only time you can tell a difference is when you have real time 1:1 graphics like a PC.

S-video on the other hand I don't see as being any better than composite, it just sucks… esp. over 30 feet which it was never intended for…

With audio I can tell the difference between Dolby Digital and DTS, in much the same way one can hear the difference in 128kbps and 320kbps in MP3s. The scene with the rain hitting the leaves in Saving Private Ryan always comes to mind as my first experience differentiating the two. It’s a good spot to listen for the difference, provided your audio gear is not the bottleneck. DTS is crisper and more defined.

Also copper or optical makes little difference for me at all by the highest volume levels, but again, that’s only with high quality analog equipment. On the other hand with crappy equipment like the PS2, the untouched optical pass through is 100x cleaner than the analog output. Try them both with the PS2 paused or idle and you don't even have to have the volume more than 50% before you start hearing the hum in the PS2’s analog output. The optical out is silent. I don't imagine any of the current consoles have audiophile grade audio decoding and output, so definitely optical in that department, if only for the raw unmolested PCM pass-through to a real decoder and DAC and not the $10 ASIC they put into the consoles for 5.1.

Looks like I'll get a 360...
By middlehead on 3/26/2007 6:32:36 PM , Rating: 2
when this becomes the new $399 premium. But not at 480.

RE: Looks like I'll get a 360...
By timmiser on 3/27/2007 1:52:11 AM , Rating: 2
That's what I was thinking. Missing an HD drive but only $20 less than the PS3 with a HD drive, who are they trying to appeal too?

RE: Looks like I'll get a 360...
By sviola on 3/27/2007 9:10:36 AM , Rating: 2
Can't you read?

It'll come with a 120 Gb HDD.

RE: Looks like I'll get a 360...
By MarcLeFou on 3/27/2007 9:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
Most likely HD as in High Definition and NOT Hard Drive.

Why so many people around here are so angry is something I'll never understand.

Maybe it IS true...
By Pdubya on 3/26/2007 4:12:32 PM , Rating: 1
Jeez, if this kind of stuff keeps surfacing, the odds that it's a farce are gonna disappear quickly.
Looks fairly slick, glad I waited on mine!

RE: Maybe it IS true...
By irev210 on 3/26/2007 4:16:57 PM , Rating: 3
This is at the point where Microsoft is either REALLY bad at keeping secrets or they are doing a TON of free marketing.

My guess is MS marketing group has stepped up their game a notch. Really effective if you ask me.

RE: Maybe it IS true...
By GhandiInstinct on 3/26/07, Rating: 0
RE: Maybe it IS true...
By BBock727 on 3/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: Maybe it IS true...
By PrezWeezy on 3/26/2007 5:28:59 PM , Rating: 3
Hey man, the NES is the best game system ever created. I have mine sitting next to my 360. And once the Wii becomes more available I'll buy that and download all the NES and SNES games for it. Don't mock the old school.

Spy Scandal?
By Dactyl on 3/26/2007 9:25:26 PM , Rating: 5
Xbox 360 Elite Systems Spied on Chinese Production Line

What is MSFT's "Elite Systems" division and why are they spying on Chinese production lines?

Americans demand answers!

<no subject>
By Scabies on 3/26/2007 4:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
Xbox 360 Premium systems will get Elite-spec hardware (sans black finish) sometime in late Summer/early Spring

Likely a mistype, late summer/early fall

I dont particularly prefer the black finish, aside from the fact that it goes with the rest of my home media shiz (Wii excluded.) I do, however, hope to saturate my HDMI ports (PS3 owns one) ASAP. Hopefully the AV connector can still put out optical sound, as my TV only does 2.1 (and relays 2ch from HDMI to analog RCAs.) Perhaps my patience thus far will be worth it, even with an $80 extra buy-in...

black or white
By davezilla on 3/27/2007 9:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe these are not painted yet...

By Ralph The Magician on 3/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: Stupid.
By FITCamaro on 3/26/2007 4:45:02 PM , Rating: 5
Of releasing black controllers and other accessories? Naw that couldn't be it...

Here's your sign.

RE: Stupid.
By Ralph The Magician on 3/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: Stupid.
By One43637 on 3/26/2007 6:56:45 PM , Rating: 4
something tells me that 100 USD wireless adapter will be released in black also....

RE: Stupid.
By Ralph The Magician on 3/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: Stupid.
By otispunkmeyer on 3/27/2007 3:50:40 AM , Rating: 2
i agree, they should of kept it white and just changed the LED colours from green to blue or yellow or something

RE: Stupid.
By One43637 on 3/26/2007 5:09:50 PM , Rating: 2

NEW! Stupid.
By Ralph The Magician on 3/26/07, Rating: 3
By Ralph The Magician on 3/26/2007 4:37:40 PM , Rating: 3
Seems dumb to make a black Xbox 360 when ALL the accessories match the white color scheme. What where they thinking?

why money of course. there are people out there that will upgrade to a newer 360 and buy new accessories for it also.

RE: Stupid.
By Goty on 3/26/2007 5:52:23 PM , Rating: 3
They were thinking the PS3 is sexy =P

RE: Stupid.
By mars777 on 3/27/2007 1:43:37 AM , Rating: 1
It doesn change a thing.

It was ugly in white it remains ugly in black.
So why bother with the accessories and cable clutter :)

RE: Stupid.
By JonM on 3/27/2007 1:26:04 PM , Rating: 2
Fortunately for me, a consoles appearance doesn't effect its fun factor. I mean hell, I owned the original Xbox, this is sorta a step up from that.... thing. lol

so 80 bucks for black?
By michal1980 on 3/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: so 80 bucks for black?
By BMFPitt on 3/26/2007 4:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
No one says that.

RE: so 80 bucks for black?
By michal1980 on 3/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: so 80 bucks for black?
By FITCamaro on 3/26/2007 4:43:09 PM , Rating: 5
I believe the extra $80 is for the HDMI cable, 120GB hard drive, and the black finish. By them saying the current premium system will get the Elite hardware, I think they just meant the HDMI port.

Anyway, if they cut the price of the current premium system, I might have to pick one up. I could care less about HDMI and don't need the larger hard drive either. Anyone wanna sell their's cheap?

I do just wish the current premium would become the new base system. That would really hurt Sony since then their base model would match the base PS3 in hardware spec except as a high def DVD player. Also, the cost of the base 360 system and the HD-DVD drive add on would be the same price as a base PS3. And the added value of the HD-DVD drive being able to be used on any XP or Vista PC. C'mon Microsoft, cut out Sony's throat and do this.

RE: so 80 bucks for black?
By SunAngel on 3/26/07, Rating: 0
RE: so 80 bucks for black?
By deeznuts on 3/26/2007 4:57:13 PM , Rating: 3
In the console arena, MS could actually be argued to be more greedy then Sony.

Sony's just stupid for their decisions they have made but if anything they've given more for the dollar. They force-fed blu-ray, etc. but greedy that is not.

20GB add-ons for $100, 512MB cards for $$$, that's greedy.

How much is the 120GB addon gonna be? If it is $199, like rumored, or even less, man those who bought the 20GB get screwed big time.

RE: so 80 bucks for black?
By Gatt on 3/26/2007 5:24:28 PM , Rating: 1

It's more because they want to keep it proprietary to limit the Pirates so that their VoD scheme will work.

Because of the pirates, if they don't do everything in their power to keep the data locked down, the Studios won't sign up.

Thank the Pirates for this, and many more problems. It'll stay this way until P2P is banned.

RE: so 80 bucks for black?
By Teletran1 on 3/26/2007 7:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
Stuffing a generic HDD in a special case does nothing to curb piracy. Real pirates have already ripped the 20Gb drive out of that casing and replaced it with a decent sized one. If you really want keep the data locked down there are about a million ways to do so without forcing people to use your HDDs.

Its a cash grab nothing more, nothing less. That white HD-DVD drive is going to look even more stupid next to this black box.

RE: so 80 bucks for black?
By fil6786 on 3/26/2007 5:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
Actually you got a point.

I sure as hell am not going to waste $200 for a 120GB Hard Drive.

I hope they don't screw current 360 owners with the upgrade.
200$ I would probably have been better of buying a PS3.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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