Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Xbox 360 Elite Officially Announced

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the criminy-about-time-guys dept.

264

It should come as no shock that Microsoft has finally announced an upgraded version of the Xbox 360: the 'Elite'. The worst-kept secret in the videogames industry is now official, offering a 120 GB HDD, an HDMI port, and a smooth black finish for $479. The new sku drops next month, and to fill up that new hard drive Microsoft has lined up seven new partners for their Xbox Live video distribution service. Outfits like Paramount and Warner Bros. are nice to hear about, but I'm equally excited about the likes of National Geographic and ADV Films. 1up has the market cornered on commentary at the moment, with reactions from the staff there, a comparison of the new 360's value vs. the PS3, and a few words from Sony's Dave Karraker. If you're looking for even more coverage, there are several links available below.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Worthless. (5, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512133)

What a worthless bundle. First of all as we already covered in a previous XBOX 360 Elite article, there is no benefit to using HDMI instead of a component-cable. Second, by using HDMI, you are actually submitting to HDCP (DRM, content control stuff).

So what you're really getting out of this product is a larger hard drive. Whether a bigger hard drive is worth an extra $80 to you is for you to decide. I fail, however, to understand how nothing more than a larger hard drive and a black paint job makes it elite.

I'm going to guess there will be a flood of idiots rushing out to buy it - even to replace their existing boxes - because they think HDMI is some nifty high-definition thingamajig and then they'll rush home and plug it in and convince themselves that they really do see a difference.

If you really want to make it elite, make it quieter, cooler and less prone to dying.

Re:Worthless. (5, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512221)

So what you're really getting out of this product is a larger hard drive. Whether a bigger hard drive is worth an extra $80 to you is for you to decide. I fail, however, to understand how nothing more than a larger hard drive and a black paint job makes it elite.

I also wondered how *only* a black finish makes a MacBook $150 more expensive and "elite" but.. common sense isn't popular these days.

If enough companies do this, one morning I could wake up and really believe that black color is extremely expensive and worth the extra cost, who knows.

HDMI is most beneficial for AUDIO (5, Interesting)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512521)

That's right, audio. While HDMI clearly presents a slight improvement for video (analog vs digital...), its real benefit is next generation audio support. While HDMI is a true digital picture and will give us a slightly better image, this improvement is negligible for the vast majority of people. With HD DVD content sporting DD+/TrueHD, and DTS HD audio that currently can't be handled over optical, HDMI provides us with a way of supporting that... Not that there's a whole lot of receivers that support those yet, but they'll be more available soon enough. You may think your A52/AC3 5.1 dolby digital compressed surround sound is good, but uncompressed TrueHD/DTS HD BLOWS IT AWAY. With even a half decent sound system, movies spring to life with the new audio formats.. Once you watch a film with a TrueHD or DTS HD audio track enabled, you wont be able to go back to "crappy" compressed Dolby Digital. Obviously, it depends on the mixing and the original soundtrack for the film your watching, but from what I've heard so far it's a real improvement across the board.

And, as much as I hate DRM, ultimately the decision to flag HD DVDs to downconvert over component is up to the movie studios... And... should they go that route in the future (I don't see it happening, especially now that HD DVD is compromised...), M$ will be ready with HDCP compliant HDMI.

Re:HDMI is most beneficial for AUDIO (5, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513127)

You may think your A52/AC3 5.1 dolby digital compressed surround sound is good, but uncompressed TrueHD/DTS HD BLOWS IT AWAY. With even a half decent sound system, movies spring to life with the new audio formats.. Once you watch a film with a TrueHD or DTS HD audio track enabled, you wont be able to go back to "crappy" compressed Dolby Digital.

Somehow I have a feeling I've heard this before, about MP3 vs CD or maybe even SACD and DVD-A. Extremely few people can tell the difference between CD and MP3 >256kbps, and even regular AC-3 DVDs have that + 192kbps to encode the rear channels and bass track. DTS goes much higher than that again, typically 768kbps+. Of course the new formats bring 7.1 to the table, but how many movies have 7.1 sound, are played in a 7.1 player to a 7.1 reciever with correctly placed 7.1 speakers? I doubt 95% of the people would be able to tell the difference, 4.9% wouldn't be "BLOWN AWAY" and the last 0.1% is you.

The only thing I'm still missing is the option to go past 24p. If you've ever seen sports or anything else fast-moving high action in 720p60 progressive, you'll wonder how you ever survived with 24p/30i. They can quote whatever artistic reasons they want but 60p would improve a lot of movies IMO.

Re:HDMI is most beneficial for AUDIO (5, Interesting)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513181)

Perhaps your right. In fact, I'm sure I'm in the minority when it comes to being blown away by next generation audio (Though surely that minority is bigger than .1% ;)). Even so, the fact remains that having HDMI at least enables the xbox 360 to become a full blown HD DVD player, something it could only do with limited abilities in its non-hdmi version (if you play a truehd or dts hd track with the current generation xbox 360 it gets downconverted and encoded on the fly to dolby digital).

Now, 60p I'm not disagreeing with, framerate definitely makes a difference. But things shot on film look like there were.. well.. shot on film *because* of the 24fps frame rate.. and because of the film grain... And just like you (well, I can anyways...) distinguish when something was shot with a 1 ccd mini-dv cam, or a 3ccd mini-dv cam, or an HDV camera, or a DVC Pro camera... you can just TELL when something is shot on film. And to a lot of people, that's part of what makes a movie.. what it is.

Then again, there are some people that enjoyed the oh so cinematic experience of watching the blair witch project on the big screen... :P (That's not to say that movies shot digitally look like that piece of trash, merely making the point that you can tell the difference between film and digital).

Now, with all of the digital effects in movies today, and movies going directly to theater digitally to be played on DLP projectors the argument becomes a bit less cohesive... but there's definitely something about 24 frames per second that makes a movie a movie.. and not an NFL football game.

Re:HDMI is most beneficial for AUDIO (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513243)

I understand your point, most people do not notice it right away but you have a feeling if you get used to it and listen to another source audio that the audio quality went down ...

It takes a while to get used to it but once you get used to it, you will really notice a difference ... like the sound seeming somewhat bland on your older system.

Re:HDMI is most beneficial for AUDIO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18513443)

I understand your point, most people do not notice it right away but you have a feeling if you get used to it and listen to another source audio that the audio quality went down ...

It takes a while to get used to it but once you get used to it, you will really notice a difference ... like the sound seeming somewhat bland on your older system.

So you don't notice any benefit you only get the disadvantage of now being less happy with other sources that satisfied you before? Why would anyone want that?

T£H L££T 360! (1, Troll)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512529)

but, on the other hand, you do have the "OMG TEH XBOCKZ360 IS NOW LEETZORZ!" argument, which should account for at least three more sales...

Re:Worthless. (1)

L4m3rthanyou (1015323) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512855)

I also wondered how *only* a black finish makes a MacBook $150 more expensive and "elite" but.. common sense isn't popular these days.

Yeah, it's just a skin... except for a few performance upgrades [youtube.com] . ;)

Re:Worthless. (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513323)

Not that it makes up for the price gap but the black Macbook comes standard with a larger hard drive, which if you upgrade to on a white one adds about $100... so really the black chassis is only a $50 or so upgrade if you think about it, I still think that is an enormous price jump for a change in color.

Re:Worthless. (2, Informative)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512261)

A lot of TVs and monitors don't support 1080p over component. I know mine doesn't. HDMI is certainly better than VGA on a decent TV, and let's face it, if you actually have HDMI, you probably have a TV that you'll notice the difference with.

The extra $80 also gives you an Xbox Live headset, something the standard bundle doesn't. I agree that they've failed to justify the price though - the core unit should have been killed, the premium moved down to that price bracket, and this should have slotted in as a replacement for the premium system. Of course that may be what they're intending to do down the line.

Myself, I'm more miffed at the stupidly high price of the 120gb Hard Drive. They're using laptop HDDs, thus the higher price, but even standard 120gb drives in that form factor are about half as much as they're asking for the add-on. As a reasonably early adopter of the 360, I don't really like feeling that I've been disadvantaged for jumping on early, and the price of extras gives me that feeling. Especially since I live in Australia where we inexplicably pay 20% more for the same things.

Re:Worthless. (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512749)

The extra $80 also gives you an Xbox Live headset, something the standard bundle doesn't.

I assume you're referring to the $399 "premium" 360, given the $80 price difference you quote. The only problem is that it does include the Xbox Live headset. At least, it does so in the US. I assumed the package was the same across the world (ignoring special bundles like the Blue Dragon bundle in Japan), as far as accessories were concerned. Do Australian premium 360s really not come packed with an Xbox Live headset?

Myself, I'm more miffed at the stupidly high price of the 120gb Hard Drive. They're using laptop HDDs, thus the higher price, but even standard 120gb drives in that form factor are about half as much as they're asking for the add-on. As a reasonably early adopter of the 360, I don't really like feeling that I've been disadvantaged for jumping on early, and the price of extras gives me that feeling.

Ignoring the price, I'd definitely upgrade to the 120GB drive on my current 360 just so long as they give you a way to easily transfer the contents of your old drive to the new one (no, copying files over by memory card doesn't count, especially since many games lock their saves to the storage device such that you can't copy them). I'd even shell out an extra $20 for a dock that I could plug two drives into and copy the contents from one to the other. Then again, at the rumored price for the 120GB drive it really should come with such a tool pre-packaged.

Re:Worthless. (2, Informative)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513191)

I've heard it's possible to replace the hard disk yourself - just crack open the disk caddy, and drop in the disk of your choice. It'll be limited to 20GB (presumably 120GB once the Elites launch), but it's bound to be cheaper then paying the extra for a new caddy. It's also not nearly as impressive as the free SATA bay in PS3s, which is easily accessible and supported.

Re:Worthless. (1)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513577)

Well, mine certainly didn't. I purchased it just before Christmas because they had a bundle deal going, but the way that worked was taking the premium system and adding a separate box of goodies to it. The Australian Xbox site agrees. As if I didn't feel ripped off enough paying an extra $125 USD for the thing.

As for transferring data, the 120gb drive comes with some kind of device to transfer your data from your old 20gb to it, which as you said is something you'd expect to get at that kind of price.

Re:Worthless. (0, Flamebait)

Mark Gillespie (866733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512983)

"Myself, I'm more miffed at the stupidly high price of the 120gb Hard Drive. "

How many more times will Microsoft have to screw you over before you work it out?

Re:Worthless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18512339)

Good for you if component cables are enough for you, but there is a real difference qualitywise when you use a digital link like dvi or hdmi.

Last year I participated in the development of ads pannels based on 40" tft displays, and we tested all connexion possible, the difference between analog (vga, components) and digital (hdmi, dvi) was sriking.

Re:Worthless. (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512431)

If you really want to make it elite, make it quieter, cooler and less prone to dying.

Yeah, that and release "Elite [wikipedia.org] " for it. When I read the headline, I got exited and though I'd buy an XBox 360 just for that....

Re:Worthless. (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512485)

Phew, I thought it was just me that did that. Braben dropped some hints about Elite 4 about a year ago, but he's far too busy with that DC-set game at the mo.

Re:Worthless. (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512545)

Nah, not the only one... I found another post mentioning [slashdot.org] it when I read the comments. To be fair, my post should be redundant and that guys post informative, because I posted 7 minutes later.

Re:Worthless. (2, Funny)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512561)

HDCP isn't that bad.

HDCP IS DRM, and it IS evil. But let's face it, it's the Barney Fife of the DRM world.

The only thing that kind of pisses me off about HDMI is that I can't record my own gameplay sessions from HDMI. Then again, I have nothing that could store raw 1080p either so...

Re:Worthless. (2, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512633)

there is no benefit to using HDMI instead of a component-cable

Seems a rather peculiar thing to say. Do you think the same thing when comparing VGA to DVI-D too? Even the best analogue signals is vulnerable to ghosting or slight interference.

As for the HD, it's feature the 360 should have had since the beginning. Too bad that MS are still using a proprietary casing and circuitry to force people to buy their drive rather than allow them to buy and fit any that they like.

Re:Worthless. (2, Informative)

Mark Gillespie (866733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512677)

You know it's funny, those that say you don't need HDMI, are those that can't have it..

I have seen the difference between HDMI and Component on my 42in Panasonic PX60 Plasma, it's a considerable improvement. Perhaps you don't need it on a 28in el-cheapo TV, but on a decent display HDMI is essential. 30 year old component ananlog interconnect technology is simply not cut out for it, and the D-A and A-D stages required for analog component does nothing but introduce unnecessary processing.

Still back on topic, it's nice to see Microsoft trying to play catchup to the PS3, it's a shame they dumped on 9.5 million existing owners in the process.

Re:Worthless. (1)

@madeus (24818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513267)

Hmmm on my my 50" Pioneer good quality HD video input looks the same on component as via HDMI, and I've compared the two. The more expensive Pioneer systems have an external system for processing inputs though (meaning you don't just plug things into the back of the TV, and meaning you get a much larger number of inputs - like 2 HDMI ports, 1 component, 3 SCART, S-Video, VGA, etc.)

If component is noticeably worse on your set, maybe it's the input processing hardware on your set? I know a few sets are unable to support 1080p over component, while others manage just fine, so it seems like the quality of different component input implementations certainly varies.

Re:Worthless. (1)

Mark Gillespie (866733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513553)

but HMDI does seem consistent.

At best, you MAY get as good a picture on Component depending on your setup, but if you want the guarenteed best picture your setup is capable of, HDMI is the way to go..

Re:Worthless. (1, Informative)

@madeus (24818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512967)

If you really want to make it elite, make it quieter, cooler and less prone to dying.
You mean perhaps by also putting in a new lower power (and cooler running) 65 nm CPU instead of the existing 90 nm one and a new, quieter DVD drive?

Re:Worthless. (2, Interesting)

alexhs (877055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513043)

From the prices to the end of the table you would think that an XBox 360 is just a bit cheaper with more hard drive capacity for the otherwise same set of features.

But I think the comparison isn't fair.
First, the price for paying online is for one single year on XBox360 side, while it's free (except communication costs...) on Sony's side.

Also you can buy cheaper parts to get the same functionnality for Sony, while to lower the price of the XBox360, you need to choose to lose some functionality.

Also, adding an external hard drive to get the same capacity costs a lot :/ It would be more fair to add, say, an external hard drive extension of X GB for the XBox360 and an external hard drive extension of (X+60) GB for the PS3.

It's a pity that the article gives all the info to see that PS3 is cheaper while at the same time somehow chooses to advertise the opposite :(

Re:Worthless. (1)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513047)

Are you crazy man? HDMI That means it owns!!!

Re:Worthless. (2, Insightful)

bradavon (1066358) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513099)

HDMI is Digital, offer up to 7.1 audio, HDCP (which if on the software you'll be forced to use HDMI) so you're mistaken very much offers an improvement over Component. HDMI is becoming the standard for HD.

DRM *is* the keyword (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513249)

there is no benefit to using HDMI instead of a component-cable. Second, by using HDMI, you are actually submitting to HDCP (DRM, content control stuff).


The DRM support *is* the benefit that Microsoft sees into the new XBox.

See, for this new generations of consoles, there are two route to provide newer home video experience.

  1. - The new generation of HD media. The hopes of the company is that the console will also be bought and used like DVD based console did in previous generation : not only to play games, but also to rent DVDs from Blockbuster and watch them.
    The current problems are :
    • Market hasn't settled for a new standart yet. There's still battle going between HD-DVD and BlueRay.
    • HD-media aren't that much available for sell. (They are nearly absent in some markets)
    • Is cost expensive, specially for the blue laser used in Sony products.
    • Console maker doesn't have a share of the money earned by the Disc seller/renter.

  2. You have an HD console, the console is connected to the Net : Rent movies on the wire !
    For that to work, the console needs to have :
    o some DRM compliant piece of shit (hence the HDCP)
    o bigger drives to hold the downloaded movie for the period of time that is allowed.
    The rest they have it already :
    • The have a supposedly secure system that won't facilitate copying (or that's what they're thinking...)
    • The consoles already have HD support, surround support, newer compression scheme (H264 and such) support.
    • They have, and especially Microsoft, an existing standarised and unified network managing players account, handling player subscription and payment, download of content and such. Microsoft could leverage the exsiting XBox Live Network to distribute DRM-restricted movies, at low price.

    What Microsoft could earn :
    • They get money coming from the business (unlike the physical media renting/buying scheme)
    • They have DRM thus making the whole stuff non portable and forcing people to now buy an XBox Elite - even if they have another XBox - and later forcing people to rebuy newer version of the file for the next XBox ]I[ or XBox/Zune portable - with an upgrade discount lasting the first year of introduction. (and subsequently they can go for the Steve Jobs' "Media company made me do it !" defense if anyone is making commentary about the "have to rebuy everything you own already" policy that comes with DRM)



For me, the Elite version looks exactly like the HD-DVD add-on : nothing more than a technique to have a foot into the potentially lucrative market of HD movie. In fact, Microsoft has officially made a public statement that they don't inted to release special HD-DVD games.

Interesting... (4, Interesting)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512165)

FTFA:

We don't feel like the Wii customer and the Xbox customer are the same thing," he [Mr. Rodman] said. "We think that as soon as the Wii customer turns 14 they want something else.
At my college, last generation the ps2 and xbox were pretty much in a dead heat for the top spot. Now though, the Wii is clearly winning over the ps3 and 360. The will may not be, by and large, the system you play by yourself, but it's the best system if you have people over. Also, the retro gaming is a huge hit here (may have something to do with it being an engineering and science school, maybe).

That said, you haven't lived till you've played a real NES on 62" screen tv or a >100" projected screen :-D

Soooo... I can't type at night (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512175)

good god I need coffee, *wii*, not *will*

Re:Interesting... (2, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512239)

We don't feel like the Wii customer and the Xbox customer are the same thing," he [Mr. Rodman] said. "We think that as soon as the Wii customer turns 14 they want something else.

At my college, last generation the ps2 and xbox were pretty much in a dead heat for the top spot. Now though, the Wii is clearly winning over the ps3 and 360. The will may not be, by and large, the system you play by yourself, but it's the best system if you have people over. Also, the retro gaming is a huge hit here (may have something to do with it being an engineering and science school, maybe).

There's a weird cognitive phenomenon called "wishful thinking". Somehow marketing departments think they if they just state out loud what they believe their customers are after, it'll magically manifestate into reality.

So sad, really. Even further, since most people I know like both Wii and XBox, for different reasons. And the XBox marketing telling them "hey, you ALSO like Wii, so you're immature jerk", isn't going to win them over in their camp.

Re:Interesting... (1)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512367)

Same at my college. If you ask anyone about the Wii, they babble on for hours about how fun it is to play. if you ask someone about the ps3, they say, "yeah, it has pretty good graphics, and blu-ray. Of course, I don't have any blu-ray disks, but I'm sure someone is willing to pay for it. You never hear much about the 360. I have been to several Wii parties since it came out, but I have never been to (or heard of) a PS3 or 360 party.

Re:Interesting... (3, Funny)

Moocow660 (975091) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512951)

I'm 22 (and also went to engineering school,) and the last game console I bought before the Wii was a Sega Megadrive (Genesis in America) I'm mostly a PC gamer, and none of the other consoles really has anything extra to offer me to make me buy it instead of a new graphics card. Also, I never in a million years imagined I'd have girls I barely know turning up at my house to *ahem* play with my Wii. There you have it slashdot, Wii brings girls to your house*. *Disclaimer: Of course this still leaves you standing awkwardly in the corner of your own living room not quite sure how to start a conversation. Maybe they will fix this in the next hardware revision...

Re:Interesting... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513503)

I have the solution to your girl problem, my friend.

"Wii Bowling Drinking".

The rules are simple. If the current thrower strikes, all other players drink. For a turkey (3 strikes in a row), they drink twice.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18513145)

"We don't feel like the Wii customer and the Xbox customer are the same thing," he [Mr. Rodman] said. "We think that as soon as the Wii customer turns 14 they want something else."

What a cunt. I enjoy my wii and my 360.

Hardly elite (5, Interesting)

fahrvergnugen (228539) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512193)

I'm a huge believer in the XBox 360 as a platform, and I'm delighted to have owned one since launch day. Wii's anemic release schedule and PS3's pathetic lineup of 360 ports / shitty first-party content (Resistance excepted) means that it's the best system out there.

I'm one of those dorks that buys everything videogame-related, but I'm not motivated to upgrade at all. An HDMI port, quieter operation, and shiny black skin isn't enough to attract me, and I'm an enthusiast for their products. If they'd integrated the HD-DVD drive and the wireless adapter that would be one thing, but this is much too little, far too late.

I mean, the PS3 comes with Blu-ray and wireless built-in on the high-end model. Meanwhile, the 360 costs $100 extra for 802.11 (an adapter that has shit range, by the way, on a shelf next to my wii and ps3 the 360 can't pick up a signal), and $200 extra for a hi-def video drive.

So: Elite 360 + Wireless + HD-DVD = $780.
PS3, with built-in wireless and built-in Blu-ray: $600. Way to destroy your price advantage, Microsoft!

Obviously I'm not the target audience for this product, but I can't for the life of me figure out who is.

You're indeed not their target (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512379)

Well, as you've said, you're not the target audience for it.

The target audience obviously isn't anyone who already has an XBox 360, for that matter. It's out to target people -- or at least blunt their arguments -- who've been whining, basically, "the XBox sucks because it doesn't have a HDMI port" or "the XBox sucks because it's too loud for my living room" or "yeah, but the PS3 is _black_". Now MS can tell them, basically, "So buy an Elite then."

It's, if you will, like the pink PSP. It's not there so everyone with a black one will throw it into the garbage bin and run buy a pink one. It's there so maybe some father will go "omg, pink girly PSP" and buy one for his daughter.

The price also isn't always calculated like that. Not everyone who bought an XBox will use it as a HD-DVD player, and not everyone is, basically, "OMG, must have wireless at all cost." I can tell you I'm perfectly content with cables, and haven't used the old XBox or PS2 for DVD playback either. The damn thing is there to play games, show me the games. I'm certainly not going to blow $600 on the PS3 just because it plays Blu-Ray movies.

Hard Target (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512537)

The target audience obviously isn't anyone who already has an XBox 360, for that matter.

If so, that is a huge problem for Microsoft - because they already have all the people that are the "core gamers", that buy systems early. How are they going to convince the more casual remainder to go to a system that is even labeled as "elite"?

Re:Hard Target (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513283)

They plan to convince people who didn't buy yet a PS3. The PS3 is quite new in Europe ... They just launched a product quite similar (in appearance) but cheaper. People when they buy a console look for:
  • Specs - not the useful specs but the things they can understand - like does it have HDMI
  • Games they like (in my case like many other people I will buy a console almost only to play Final Fantasy)
  • Friends who have the same console to swap games or in some case so they can exchange their console with their friends and play games on both consoles ...
  • Gagets stuff that they almost never use, like DVD or blue ray capabilities, because alot of them are not really uber geeks and do NOT have a PC fitted with blue ray and/or HD DVD.
  • A new one is online gaming capabilities ... in this case PS3 online is alit bit inferior but it is free ! IMHO it should be free, MS should not charge to use it but charge only on companies using the Live! system ...

I would think mostly gamers with HDMI TVs (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512385)

For example if I were to get a 360, I'd probably eye an elite. Reason being I have a DLP TV which likes HDMI input. Also, I might opt to instead hook it to my computer monitor, which also likes digital input the best.

However the vast majority of people still don't have HDTVs (and some that do have tubes or older models that don't sport HDMI) and thus it isn't something they care about.

I don't think it is really marketed as an upgrade for those that have 360s, I think it is more to try and draw in more of the hi-def crowd. I know a couple people who expressed some reservations about the lack of HDMI.

As for HD-DVD, I don't think it is really that useful. In fact that think the addon is kinda retarded in general. If I get a game console, it is because I want to play games. I've seen people use them for DVD players, it is annoying. None of them have as nice an interface as a real DVD player. I'm sure there is a market of people who want both and want to save money, but I'd bet it isn't all that large, at least not enough to justify the cost.

I could be wrong, of course, but that would be my thinking if I were choosing features for such a device.

Re:Hardly elite (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512471)

I haven't bought a 360 yet (nor a Wii, nor a PS3), so I'm glad that they came out with this option. I rented a 360 once and it was *sooo* loud; if the Elite is quieter, I would gladly buy it over the original XBox.

Also, the HDMI would make the cable runs to a wall-mounted HDTV that much less ugly.

Not that I have a wall-mounted HDTV yet :)

All in good time ...

Re:Hardly elite (1)

Chess Piece Face (247847) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512489)

"So: Elite 360 + Wireless + HD-DVD = $780. PS3, with built-in wireless and built-in Blu-ray: $600. Way to destroy your price advantage, Microsoft! Obviously I'm not the target audience for this product, but I can't for the life of me figure out who is."

People who are bad at math?

Re:Hardly elite (1)

optkk (907995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512497)

This has been covered a couple of times over at the GamerCastNetowrk [gamercastnetwork.com] . I think that MicroSoft are actually doing the clever thing. If you want to go all out and get the new model, the HD-DVD drive, the wireless adapter in one go, you can, and it will cost you more. Likewise, if you already own a 360, be it core or premium, then you can also upgrade that. The fact is, nobody is forcing you to have these extras. The other benefit is that it you're on a budget, then you can buy these in chunks. I can afford £245 (although no doubt we here in the UK will get stiffed on that again), I can't afford £425. In a month or two's time I'll be able to afford the HD DVD drive. I would still rather see one model of each, like Nintendo has done with Wii.

Re:Hardly elite (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512557)

It doesn't seem clever though when you look at the historical success of console upgrades. People just do not buy them in huge numbers.

In my mind, they should have at least sold all units with an HD. Beyond that if MS was serious about HD support they should have included an HD-DVD drive. The flexibility they gained will be great when the market forces them to produce an external Blu-Ray player, but will make them end up looking a little silly.

Re:Hardly elite CONTROLLER (4, Interesting)

transami (202700) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512733)

I would be happy to agree that the XBox rocks, but I have one glaring problem: I hate the controller. I have never liked the XBox controller and it's not for the lack of trying. But it just feels clumsy compared to the PlayStation's. I know that others will not understand this and probably think it silly if they don't have the same problem, but really the controller is the interface to everything. And if one doesn't feel comfortable with it, then everything else is moot. I think game machine designers should take note of that and consider offering a variety of controllers types.

Re:Hardly elite CONTROLLER (1)

CyberNigma (878283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512877)

There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. For different people there's no right or wrong controller. I love the XBox Controller-S (I hated the original, big, clunky one) so much that I use it to play PC games (WoW-360 mod for World of Warcraft, FPS games, not RTS though lol) as well as XBox games. I think the fact that it has triggers are pretty intuitive for FPS shooters as well as nice offset control sticks. I have a hard time using the PS2 controllers (which I also have) as I can't stand the shoulder buttons. That's just my hand preference though. Ultimately it would be nice if the controllers were somewhat compatible with each other so people can use whatever controller they want.

Re:Hardly elite CONTROLLER (1)

fahrvergnugen (228539) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513207)

I'll agree that the original XBox controllers were sub-par, but the 360 controller is pretty much the perfect blend of size, shape, and weight. They got it 99.9% right (I wish start / select were a little further removed from Guide).

Try one if you haven't. It's night & day.

Re:Hardly elite (2, Insightful)

Duds (100634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513143)

The other way to put it is of course.

PS3 + 120gb + a load of useless shit I don't need = $700.

Xbox + 120gb = $479.

ADV Films (0, Redundant)

Talisein (65839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512209)

So now there's a legal way to download anime? I don't believe it. I think I'll need more than 120 Gb though.

120GB hdd (1)

aegzorz (1014757) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512217)

$180 for 120GB hdd is a bit steep, hopefully the Elite hdd signature can be used to replace the original 20GB hdd with a generic 120GB hdd.
Now that it's got HDMI all we need is XBMC on it :)

Someone else gets XBMC first (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512591)

$180 for 120GB hdd is a bit steep, hopefully the Elite hdd signature can be used to replace the original 20GB hdd with a generic 120GB hdd.
Now that it's got HDMI all we need is XBMC on it :)


The really funny thing is that well before we see XBMC running on this, it will be up and running on the AppleTV!

The AppleTV has a smaller drive, but you can replace the drive on an AppleTV and it's much smaller and quieter (probably even than the Elite).

Re:Someone else gets XBMC first (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512627)

Wouldn't that be good for MS? I seem to remember that MS sells the consoles at a loss and makes their profit on game licenses. In that case, people buying the 360 just to mod it *cost* MS money....

Black (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18512247)

The Xbox is in black?

Wow, I've never seen anything like this before.

Re:Black (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18512285)

I like my Xbox black. Like my men [imdb.com] .

Slot loading drive (2, Interesting)

curmi (205804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512271)

Still no slot-loader?

Re:Slot loading drive (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512659)

Why do you want a slot-loader? I saw a post from someone in the last XBox thread about wanting a slot-loader, too. Personally, I've always found greater reliability from tray-loading drives, with the added advantage of not having to take the whole drive mechanism to bits if anything goes wrong.

Is there an advantage to slot-loading drives I'm not aware of, then?

Re:Slot loading drive (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513299)

They work vertically.

Tray loaders are a bitch to use vertically, which means the 360 has to be basically horizontal all the time.

Re:Slot loading drive (1)

curmi (205804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513489)

Not only do they work better vertically, they don't have a plastic tray that sticks out and can break off, once you take out a disc you don't have to push the tray back in, or press a button to retract the tray, and they look better.

They also cost more, which is probably the reason Microsoft aren't using one.

Re:Slot loading drive (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513531)

Slot-loaders scare me. My Qosmio has one, with a big warning label that says "Don't use miniCDs." Now playing GCN games on my Wii makes me nervous...

Cost of adding a Cell processor to Xbox ? (1)

steveoc (2661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512273)

Hey - Im very interested in getting a PS3, not for the games, but for writing code that works on a Cell processor, incl SPU's. That doesnt make me weird - its just that I have some signal processing applications that are currently running on clusters of 64bit unix boxes, and I reckon that Cell might be a good architecture to port these applications too.

Question then : How much to add a Cell processor (or equivalent 6-8 core architecture) to an Xbox360, and also to provide a GNU compatible toolchain to build code with ?

Not suggesting for one moment that the Xbox360 is MS-Rubbish, but for what I want a 'console' for, the XBox360 has nothing much to offer compared to a PS3.

I know I know I know that they are supposed to be 'games consoles', and I sincerely hope that a lot of people buy a lot of expensive games and blu-ray movies for them, because that keeps the base price of the unit subsidised below cost, which is all I want anyway - cheap, readily available, parallel architecture linux machine. Awesome.

Re:Cost of adding a Cell processor to Xbox ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18512375)

$599 US DOLLARS. Then you have to open your XBOX360, get a bigger case, then add the PS3.

Why on earth would you want to? (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512447)

Just buy a PS3 instead. Sony are happy to heavily subsidise the hardware for you, and won't even complain if you don't buy any games or movies for it.

Or, better still, port your signal processing code to a GPU [gpgpu.org] instead. They're much cheaper and far more powerful than a Cell, and with far more local memory bandwidth too. GPUs aren't ideal for every algorithm, but they do work well for many forms of signal processing.

Re:Cost of adding a Cell processor to Xbox ? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512723)

I don't think the availability of Linux for the PS3 is a major selling point, but it's one I appreciate the option of having. I already have Yellowdog installed on my PS3, so I'm looking forward to playing around with it, and ultimately running VLC or MythTV through it. Unfortunately my SD TV set is no good for programming so I have to set it up with VNC or a remote desktop first. I only installed it yesterday so lots of tinkering to do.

On a broader point I think a lot of people get very defensive when they see the PS3 can do a lot more than just play games. You see a lot of arguments starting such as "I wanted a HD-DVD / Blu-Ray player..." or "I don't want to play music..." or "I just want to play games..." etc. As is a console being able to do more is somehow a bad thing. Fact is that every console including the underpowered Wii can do more than play games if it wanted to, and indeed the Wii & 360 offer non-gaming functionality.

Microsoft and Sony are taking it a step further and trying to extend into downloadable content - games, movies, IPTV etc. The problem for MS is that existing 360s are terrible for downloadable content. One SKU can't download content (and a bunch of other things) and the other has a paltry file storage. I see the upgrade as a long overdue revamp to make the console suitable for the download content, but even then it is missing things it should have such as wi-fi. It's almost as though MS crippled their device (perhaps so it wouldn't compete with Windows Media Centre) and now have to uncripple it as much as possible to compete with the PS3.

While the revamp is long overdue, when you consider the cost of adding wi-fi, or HD-DVD (or Blu-Ray), or XBox Live sub the price difference between the 360 and PS3 disappears completely. Then it boils down to what service both products offer and what the games are like. The 360 is in the lead at the moment with more games, downloadable movies and XBox Live Arcade, but Sony really seems to be gaining a head of steam.

Where's the Wi-fi? Where's the HD-DVD? (5, Interesting)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512283)

Not only is this new version missing two features the PS3 has and will end up costing more than the PS3 with them added...

IT CAN'T EVEN CURE CANCER

Seriously though, if I'd just bought an Xbox 360, I'd be *very* pissed off right now.

Re:Where's the Wi-fi? Where's the HD-DVD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18512679)

Seriously though, if I'd just bought an Xbox 360, I'd be *very* pissed off right now.

You're right! Microsoft better not ship that thing right now. They'd better hold it until absolutely no one will be pissed.[1]

[1] i.e., hold it forever

Thanks for your insightful comment!

Re:Where's the Wi-fi? Where's the HD-DVD? (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512687)

Really? Admittedly my 360 is six months old, but even today I'd buy a normal white one instead of this device. The extra storage space is of no real use to me, and HDMI doesn't look any better than VGA on my TV (judging from having used them with my PC, anyway). I even think the white looks better, but then I got excited about the limited-edition white releases of the other consoles where black was the norm.

So... (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512823)

First you say it's not worth buying, then you say people are going to be pissed off that they didn't buy one. Which is it?

Personally, I have no problem with extra choices (though some people do). I just want a bigger HDD [xbox-scene.com] - and I'd rather not pay [xbox-hq.com] US$180 for it, thanks MS, m'kay?

Congratulations Microsoft! (-1, Troll)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512327)

You've just lost the Console War!

Don't worry though, the next Console generation begins in 5 year's time, according to you anyway.

And by then there will be more versions of the Xbox 360 than Windows Vista!

Re:Congratulations Microsoft! (1)

Duds (100634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513165)

What, because they launched a special edition?

Minus the black, this will be the standard machine and the standard price in 6 months.

HDMI and scaling (1)

cxreg (44671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512335)

My understanding is that the PS3's scaling limitations are at least partially a result of it's digital output, HDMI. The Xbox has an analog scaler, but is introducing HDMI only going to cause it to be prone to the same kind of issues?

Re:HDMI and scaling (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512705)

Sort of. It's my understanding that this console needs a new scaler over the 'normal' one, but digital scalers aren't difficult to find - there's one in every HDMI-capable DVD player, for instance. It's just that they cost a couple of dollars, and Sony didn't think it was worth it, when they can just ask developers to render directly to the different resolution. But that was when they just assumed that the PS3 was so monumentally powerful that everyone would be able to do 1920x1080 at 60fps without breaking a sweat.

Re:HDMI and scaling (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512997)

My understanding is that the PS3's scaling limitations are at least partially a result of it's digital output, HDMI. The Xbox has an analog scaler, but is introducing HDMI only going to cause it to be prone to the same kind of issues?

I think its more because the PS3 doesn't automatically scale from the game resolution to the televisions natural resolution. If a game supports 720p and your TV doesn't support 720p, the game will use 480p instead rather than scaling 720p to 1080i (for example. So the PS3 assumes that modern TVs are quite capable of scaling for themselves. Which is mosly true in the US except for some small edge cases and 100% true in EU where 720p & 1080i interoperable support is the standard. The PS3 does have some kind of scaling functionality, but it must be explicitly supported by the game. Beyond3D described how it worked in detail but it didn't seem too useful.

So it probably it boils down to Sony not wishing to throw another chip onto the PS3 just to deal with a few edge cases. I have no idea what Microsoft will do with their switch to HDMI but they were using an analogue scaler previously and the switch might see them take a similar stance.

But every 360 addon is white.... (3, Insightful)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512345)

I have a 360 with HD-DVD drive and wireless adapter and a pair of wireless pads. If I was to switch to this just for the sake of HDMI and a bigger drive, bearing in mind that my HDTV doesn't support 1080p over HDMI, only over component and also I can't even see a difference between component and HDMI on the thing, I would also have to replace all the white extras. Oh, and I actually think the 360 looks better in white. Mind you, when I came to buy a new iPod Video I bought the white one because I didn't like the look of the black one.

Racist cracka'. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18512613)

n/t

Re:But every 360 addon is white.... (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512729)

I've got a white iPod and PSP too, so you're not the only one there. I'd also get a white DS over the black one, if I actually could face the idea of upgrading my blue Big Fat DS to the lite.

But this isn't (for the most part) about getting 360 owners to upgrade. New add-ons will be coming out in black at the same time, and they'd just expect you to buy those instead.

L33T or 1337 edition. (3, Funny)

Rastignac (1014569) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512369)

That would have been a better name. For real elite gamers, L33T or 1337 is the right hyped choice.

BBC Model B - Elite (1)

j6wbs (411914) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512413)

I almost dropped to the floor when I saw this announcement. Imagine my disappointment when I realised that this was not a new port of my favourite game from the 80's to the home console market.

Does this mean that the name "Elite" can be used to market games again, not sure Mr Braben would agree...

Perhaps finally all legal differences could be settled and the best space trading game could be in everyones home again :-)

Jez

Re:BBC Model B - Elite (1)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513023)

Elite has got to be one of my all-time favorite games. I spent many hours, first on a BBC Model B, then later on the PC version.

For those who loved Elite, check out Oolite http://oolite.aegidian.org/ [aegidian.org]
It's reasonably faithful to the original... with a lot of enhancements.

Re: Elite (systems) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18513189)

Does this mean that the name "Elite" can be used to market games again, not sure Mr Braben would agree

Well there is an entire games publisher called "Elite(R)" [wikipedia.org] (I think the name was chosen in a C+VG readers' contest back in the days of type-in listings). They are still going [elite-systems.co.uk] (since 1984) with original people. Their 200 SKUs outnumber Mr Braben's masterpieces anyway. So they might have a better claim to be upset with microsoft than braben or bell.

goddammit!!! (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512527)

I saw the title and thought "at last! David Braben's going to make the game!".

I am so disappointed..

(How he could do it well without Ian Bell is anyones guess however)

Re:goddammit!!! (1)

Pond823 (643768) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512597)

Yes if someone wants to really win the console war they'll do an updated version of Elite using Wii remote controls. I've still got a bone to pick with those Thargons.

Re:goddammit!!! (1)

sjf (3790) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513139)

Yes, my reaction too. On the otherhand, it seems like the perfect candidate for XBLA. I'd buy it - and I've managed to resist buying any other XBLA games.

I think Sony found a price point (4, Insightful)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512573)

and M$, while watching the sales of the ps3, and realised that the older demographic that they are targeting is willing to pay more for a console.

$180 for 120 gig drive what a load of BS (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512575)

How about discontuing the 20 gig and sell the 120 gig for $100 or less. Throw the owners of the better looking pro 360 a bone. Guess if MS won't sell a 120 gig drive for a reasonable price I'll save my money and not download shit from Live that I would need the 120 gig for. Thanks for saving me money MS!

Re:$180 for 120 gig drive what a load of BS (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512685)

Hah! You're talking about the same people that sell a $20 802.11g adapter for $100. Complete rip-off artists. It's cheaper to buy a nice, shiny new router and use it as a bridge than to get the adapter.

Re:$180 for 120 gig drive what a load of BS (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513585)

Can you recommend a router or WAP that can do bridging? All of the consumer ones I've tried seem to want to cripple that particular functionality out of it and I'm tired of having a wire running across my bedroom floor between two switches.

This sucks. (3, Interesting)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512621)

I understand they weren't gonna canibalize sales of their $100 wireless adaptor, but c'mon, they could have included HD-DVD in the thing... $80 more for an extra 100GB and HDMI?

Who asked for $500 PS3? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512689)

Who asked for $500 PS3?

By all means it seems MS has heard you!

Hm. I just got Appled by MS. (1)

MrPerfekt (414248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512739)

I just got my 360 a few weeks ago. About 3 weeks if I recall. Now I'm out of date, something that Apple does to me on a regular basis.

Oh well. The HDMI I can probably live without even though I have a TV that supports it. The bigger hard drive would certainly be nice though. I think the reason for the HDMI has less to do with "hey, this is cool, high-res and digital" and more to do with "hey, you're using HDCP now!".

Does anyone believe them about it *not*.. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512825)

... eventually replacing the standard 360? They say it's going to stay a separate new SKU, but MS also denied that the Elite existed in the first place.

I'll get one just for HDMI (1)

Another AC (151302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512913)

I'm probably in the tiny minority here.. but I'm at least going to get one just for the HDMI port..

And not because HDMI looks better than component either.. just because I ran out of component ports in my TV but I still have an HDMI one!

My TV's got 2 HDMI, 2 Component, and 3 composite inputs.. it's also got one optical audio out which plugs in nicely to my cheapo receiver's one optical audio in.

Currently, I have my cable box hooked up via HDMI, my Xbox 360 and Wii via component, my old modded xbox and chessvision! [chessvision.info] via composite. It's all fine, except my old xbox looks like crap on composite! AND, my xbox 360 isn't using 5.1 audio (which would be nice for the HD DVD drive!)

Finally! I'll be able to move the xbox 360 to HDMI, meaning digital surround sound audio, and move my old xbox to component, meaning it's hd again! And, I've already got an HD DVD drive, so no big deal it doesn't come with it, and, I've got an ethernet cable so not too big a deal it doesn't come with wireless (though I REALLY don't understand why not.. actually wait, I do! It's because IPTV isn't going to work for crap over wireless.. so they want everybody to hook up their xboxes with real cable!)

Just sayin'...

$479... bargain! (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513111)

$479... That's cheaper than the premium bundle at £299... oh, wait...

We Brits love taking it up the arse. Fortunately, I am leaving soon, but I pity those other unfortunates.

Re:$479... bargain! (1)

Duds (100634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513177)

The premium bundle is £279, not £299. The £279 includes tax, $479 doesn't.

The premium bundle in the UK is $455+tax.

Re:$479... bargain! (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513245)

Nope, you're wrong too. Everyone knows that in the UK all they do is replace

$479

with

£479

because that makes sense!

Re:$479... bargain! (1)

Duds (100634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513351)

Except that they don't, that's not true with any current console.

Not the Braben/Bell Game Reissued, Then (0, Redundant)

icarusfall (840182) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513171)

Dammit, and I was hoping this was going to be an announcement that an updated Elite game was going to be released on the 360. That could almost have tempted me to buy one.

Re:Not the Braben/Bell Game Reissued, Then (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18513287)

Try http://oolite.aegidian.org/ [aegidian.org] .
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?