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Xbox360 Elite internals with HDMI (Source: Llama.com)
Halo-themed Xbox 360 hints at Microsoft making HDMI output standard-issue

When Peter Moore lifted up the Halo Special Edition Xbox 360 console at its reveal at the Microsoft E3 press conference on Tuesday night, most onlookers were likely disappointed by the lack of any truly new hardware, such as a built-in HD DVD drive, or price drop. But easily overlooked is the fact that the Halo-themed console could offer a glimpse into the future hardware versions of the Xbox 360.

Although central to the announcement of the green and gold Xbox 360 is its Master Chief motif, a closer look at the specifications of this special edition box reveal that it is equipped with an HDMI port. This in itself is not groundbreaking for the console, as the Xbox 360 Elite as it is currently carries the HDMI port.

What is interesting to note is, that aside from the HDMI output, the rest of the console inclusions mirror that of the $399 Premium box – including the 20GB hard disk drive. Microsoft could have easily just given the Premium package the new paintjob and label it the Halo edition, but instead the company made an active decision to include HDMI output.

At the time of the announcement, Microsoft’s Peter Moore didn’t even mention the new console’s HDMI output, which perhaps could be a sign that the company views the feature as one that should be a part of all its future Xbox 360 packages. The price of the Halo edition console has not been announced, though it should not carry much of a premium over the regular Premium unit. For gamers looking to get HDMI output without the higher price of the Elite console, this could be the answer.

The Halo edition console likely shares the same internals as the Xbox 360 Elite, though the pairing of it with the 20GB hard disk drive points to Microsoft’s desire to make HDMI standard issue. With every the growing sales of HDTVs, Microsoft would be wise to add the output standard to all its consoles to compete on a feature-set level with the PlayStation 3.

Currently, Microsoft uses two different scaling chips for its console. The older one, codenamed ANA, is found in the Premium and Core, while the new scaling chip HANA is in the Elite. Microsoft could be looking to move completely to HANA scaling chips, along with the HDMI output for its redesigned “Falcon” Xbox 360, which is said to feature processors built on the 65nm process.

Hardware revisions throughout a console’s lifecycle are commonplace in the industry. Commenting on the discovery of new heatsinks in the Xbox 360, a Microsoft representative said, “Regularly updating console components is commonplace within the industry and is a standard aspect of the business for a variety of reasons including cost reduction, improved manufacturability and improved performance.”

Changes to hardware even occur to mature consoles. Sony recently introduced a new PlayStation 2 model which significantly reduces the weight the console by simplifying the machine’s internals. Sony also removed dedicated backwards compatibility chips from the PlayStation 3 in an effort to reduce costs.



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RE: How about this
By webdawg77 on 7/11/2007 10:09:29 AM , Rating: 2
But how many people would rather have a Red or a Blue instead of a "puke green" 360? I know that I would.


RE: How about this
By The Sword 88 on 7/11/2007 10:21:31 AM , Rating: 2
I just want an HDMI output.


RE: How about this
By Ryanman on 7/11/2007 2:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
im sorry man the argument just isn't any good. RvB is great and all, but Halo itself is WAY bigger than any machima series based off of it. A Significant percentage of all 360 gamers just don't know what RvB is.
And for the record, I like the color.


RE: How about this
By webdawg77 on 7/11/2007 2:45:45 PM , Rating: 3
But a significant number of "Halo" players do know what RvB is. And this is a "Halo" Xbox 360.


RE: How about this
By Ryanman on 7/11/2007 5:15:22 PM , Rating: 2
that's not the point though. lets assume that 75% of people that Play Halo know what RvB is. (when really, I'm sure it's closer to 25%. Think of all the 10 year old kids that play it and ask their mommy for a special xbox... but back to the point)
How many people Play Halo? Probably around 10 million (the people that are actually Die-Hards lower, admittedly). So the difference in potential customers being at minimum 2.5 million just so that you can use a candy color is rediculous.
The bottom line being I'd rather have a special game console based on a game that it runs rather than a machima series. Alternatively you could airbrish your box blue ; )


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