After weeks of rumours it has been confirmed: Xbox 360 Elite is a genuine product. Contrary to earlier reports, the Elite will not be a limited edition but a genuine third SKU for the Xbox 360 brand. So, what’s new?
Well, it’s black, which is apparently the new white these days – or is it the new silver? Anyway, apart from its blackness, the Elite will feature an HDMI output and a 120GB hard disk drive. This, so says Peter Moore, will make it perfect for both gaming and entertainment enthusiasts:
"Today's games and entertainment enthusiast has an insatiable appetite for digital high-definition content. 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."
Naturally, all the various accessories will be black too and will be available separately at the same price as their fugly off-white cousins. The new, bigger hard drive will also be available separately for a trivial $179 (~£110 inc VAT). The Elite will also ship with an HDMI cable included, thus giving Microsoft executives suitable ammunition to throw at Sony during the next industry pie throwing contest.
As for pricing, the Elite will retail at $479 USD (~£290 inc VAT) and though no European pricing has yet to be announced a sub-£300 price point would be desirable – are you listening Microsoft? Arriving in North America on April 29th, no official word on a European date is available though late 2007 is a good guesstimation.
There’s no built-in HD-DVD drive – high odds on 2008 for that – but more disappointingly the Elite won’t use the potentially cooler and more efficient 65nm manufacturing process that many had speculated it would.
Other interesting tidbits include the inclusion of a transfer cable, for moving data from defunct Xbox 360 hard drives and judging by the pictures an audio splitter with RCA and S/PDIF outputs. As you will no doubt be aware HDMI carries both audio and video signals and this cable, which will feed out of the AV multi-out, should allow you to route the audio signal to a separate amplifier.
So, who’s up for buying a Core edition now? Let us know in the forums