Once you go black...well, you know the rest.
Microsoft has just confirmed what was long suspected, announcing that the Xbox 360 Elite is indeed real and arriving soon. Sporting a 120GB hard drive, HDMI port and cable, and of course shiny black exterior, the Xbox 360 Elite should beginning arriving in stores on April 29th. As suspected, the system will retail for $479.99.
“Today’s games and entertainment enthusiast has an insatiable appetite for digital high-definition content,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “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.”
Existing Xbox 360 owners may be interested in knowing that Microsoft also confirmed the price of the standalone 120GB hard drive, and it will go for $179.99. No specific date was mentioned for it or any of the other accessories listed below, so we have to assume that they will also be available at retail on April 29th (provided you can find them).
The move is definitely aimed at Sony, as the Elite has double the hard drive space of the 60GB PS3, and out of the box support for 1080p and HDMI. Microsoft also made it a point to mention in the press release that the Elite has DVD upscaling capabilities "right out of the box," whereas Sony has been criticized for the PS3's inability to upscale DVDs to 720p on older 1080i HDTVs, instead downscaling them to 480p.
From the press release, the Elite will include the following:
- Xbox 360 Elite console. The console is equipped with a premium black finish and three powerful core processors capable of producing the best in HD entertainment (up to 1080p), 16:9 cinematic aspect ratio, anti-aliasing for smooth textures, full surround sound, HDMI output and DVD playback with upscaling capabilities right out of the box.
- Xbox 360 120GB hard drive. The 120GB detachable hard drive allows gamers to save their games and store television shows, movies, music, pictures, trailers, levels, demos and other content available from Xbox LIVE Marketplace. The hard drive is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $179.99 (U.S.).
- Xbox 360 Wireless Controller (black). This award-winning, high-performance wireless controller, now in black, features the Xbox® Guide Button for quick, in-game access to friends and music. It has a range of up to 30 feet and a battery life of 30 hours on two AA batteries. It is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $49.99 (U.S.).
- Xbox 360 headset (black). Now available in black, the headset lets gamers strategize or trade taunts while playing games and send voice messages to friends on Xbox LIVE.
- Xbox 360 HDMI cable. New to Xbox 360, HDMI allows consumers to get HD video (up to 1080p) and multichannel surround sound, all from one cable.
- Xbox LIVE Silver Membership. With this, gamers can chat with friends online, collect achievements and gamerscores, send and receive voice and text messages, and access Xbox LIVE Marketplace content such as game demos, HD movies and TV, as well as the best in downloadable games from Xbox LIVE Arcade.
- One-month subscription to Xbox LIVE Gold. An Xbox LIVE Gold Membership provides a complete online entertainment experience. Those who subscribe to this premium service can engage in competitive online multiplayer matches, tailor their matchmaking via feedback and accomplishments, chat with more than one person at a time, and take advantage of unique privileges in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and Xbox LIVE Arcade.
The following accessories for the Xbox 360 Elite console will only be sold separately:
- Xbox 360 Play & Charge kit. Complete with a charging cable and a black rechargeable battery pack, the Xbox 360 Play & Charge kit allows gamers to recharge their Xbox 360 Wireless Controller without interrupting their gameplay. It is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $19.99 (U.S.).
- Xbox 360 rechargeable battery (black). The rechargeable battery pack provides more than 25 hours of gameplay per charge. It is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $11.99 (U.S.).
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