That’s right, Engadget confirms what has been reported elsewhere for months, viz, that the Redmond giant is releasing roundabouts (that means “in”) May 2007 what’s been codenamed the “Zephyr.” It’s the “Elite 360,” and it has the following specs:
- The Elite will be limited quantities only; that may be as much or as little
as a couple hundred thousand.
- The case, controller, and Live headset will all be black. It will have all
- Elite will cost $479, and will be a 3rd SKU; it will be sold alongside
Premium and Core packs.
- Eventually Elite hardware (in white plastics) will take the role of the Xbox
Premium. That is to say, after the Elite is launched and sold out, future Xbox
Premiums will have 120GB / HDMI.
- We do not yet know exactly when 120GB / HDMI will become the standard for
Premium, but it is loosely estimated to be late summer or fall.
- Elite models run cooler than normal 360s, but they are not yet confirmed to
have 65nm chips.
- Prices may remain the same with the 120GB / HDMI hardware upgrade in the
Premium Xbox, but we may still see a price cut on the line when 65nm chips start
- The HD DVD drive will not be internal or bundled — Microsoft never did or
nor does not currently have plans to put an HD DVD drive in the 360.
- There are no current plans to integrate WiFi into the Elite or future
Premiums (although that can always change).
Current 360 owners will be able to purchase a 120 gig HD for “less than $200.”
Other upgrade options aren’t known yet, such as whether we’ll be able to upgrade to HDMI via some sort of “grandfathering” procedure whereby Microsoft allows us to pay shipping and handling and a minimal fee, and they upgrade our machines to HDMI. AFter all, we’ve given our hard-earned dough and loyalty to the 360 (many of us exclusively), why would MS leave us no path to upgrade to the latest and greatest? I, for one, want to be able to display my HD-DVDs, downloaded Video Marketplace material, and Gears of War in true 1080p, and I don’t mean via the measly 15-pin VGA cable.
I’m excited, because this is evolution in the right direction. If you haven’t tried a 360, it’s a kick-ass media center for streaming slideshows and movies to your TV or HDTV, it has a very slick downloadable TV show/Movie/other media store called the Video Marketplace (HD movies viewable within approximately 30 minutes over a broadband connection, so relatively fast), and of course, it’s a fantastic game machine with graphics and performance that are, honestly, as good as and sometimes, to my eye at least, seemingly better than the PS3’s. The online component, Xbox Live, is the standard-setter and has been for years.
So hold on, looks like approximately 1 May 07, comes the 360 Elite Limited Edition.
22 Mar 07: 360 vs. Apple TV