So after months of speculation and purported spy shots, it’s finally admitted; the new Black XBOX 360 is for real. For months, people have been speculating about a new “Elite” XBOX 360 that will take care of a lot of advantages the PS3 had: Integrated HD-DVD, HDMI output, bigger hard drive, a cooler, quieter system, free online gameplay, etc, etc…
Instead, we are offered a system that for about $100 more than the current Premium, adds a 120GB hard drive and HDMI output. That’s it. Oh, and the plastic is a greyish black colour…
To put it in perspective, I have drawn up this nifty table comparing the specs of all three XBOX 360 systems that are available:
|XBOX 360 Core||XBOX 360 Premium||XBOX 360 Elite|
|Hard Drive||None||20 GB||120 GB|
|Media Remote||None||Not anymore||Yes|
|XBOX Live Account||Silver||Silver||Silver|
|Plastic Colour||White||White w/ Chrome||Who cares?|
|Lowest Price Online||$280||$373||$481|
* = in the latest versions found in stores today
o looking at the specs side to side, we see not only what the Elite version adds, but more importantly what it doesn’t add. Fab process is still 90nm, so it’s the same hot processor that the other consoles have; the Elite should be just as noisy and hot as any other XBOX 360. You still get a Silver Live account, with a 1 month trial of Gold. Could that not have at least included a 1 year Gold subscription for the Elite? Integrated HD-DVD is nowhere to be found, but I am not going to blame them too much for that. XBOX 360 is clearly a gamer’s system first, and a media player… well… 3rd at best. Plus HD-DVD is very likely going to lose the war, so I don’t blame MS for not wanting to invest too much into it anymore.
Integrated WiFi is nowhere to be found, so you’re left having to buy one of those for $90 if you want WiFi access.
So for the extra $100, you truly get nothing more than a hard drive, which game developers can’t really use to its full potential anyway, since games have to be developed without the hard drive in mind for owners of the Core System. Instead, you are able to fill a bigger hard drive with more content purchased from XBOX Live. Woo-hoo!
And you get an HDMI cable, even though the component cables are perfectly suitable for games in 720p and 1080i. Update: As of now, Premium Edition consoles come with HDMI output. This makes the Elite version even more retarded, as the one advantage it did have has now been negated. The HDMI cable does enable 1080p for HD-DVD but remember that the Elite doesn’t even have an HD-DVD player. You’ll have to buy the addon for about $190.
And it’s black, so it will stand out like a sore thumb in your A/V setup. Remember when black video game consoles were cool? Welcome to 2001!
Yes it’s true. The XBOX 360 Elite is the new “Retard Edition”. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to buy one of these, especially to replace their current system. If you already have an XBOX 360, you will be able to just buy the 120GB hard drive for $179.99, so I guess Microsoft will say that you’re actually saving $80 by going with the Elite! Never mind the fact that a 120 GB SATA Notebook drive should normally be under $100.