Sunday, 23 September 2007

Free Xbox 360 Elite Full Review



Find out how to get your free games console, iPod, HDTV and more at Gadgets4Nowt


ForImproved storage HDMI support and included cable Small price premium over standard 360 AgainstNo Wi-Fi as standard HD DVD drive still an add-on extra VerdictAn attractive and well-priced option if you're a first-time buyer, but if you already own an Xbox 360, there's not enough reason here to upgrade
After nearly two years on sale in the UK, Microsoft today launched the first major update of the Xbox 360. The Elite is slicker, it's snazzier, and it's a little more expensive at £299. But is it any better?
Of course, we could forgive Microsoft for not bothering to update the Xbox 360, full stop. After all, it still tops the high tech console table despite the arrival of Sony's troubled PlayStation 3.
On the other hand, the 360 hardly has an immaculate track record. Most obviously there's the dreaded "red ring of death" overheating problem that has caused widespread hardware failures.
The 360 also falls short when it comes to all round multimedia prowess. Any console that aspires to be a one-stop-shop for digital home entertainment in the 21st century surely needs to sport a digital video interface along with the ability to play back HD discs.
AdvertisementIt's in that context that the Elite arrives to recharge the Xbox 360 range.
In architectural terms, the Elite is not a major departure from the existing design. But it does sport one or two upgrades that enhance the 360's digital media cred. And there are also rumours that it addresses some of those niggling hardware issues.
Physically, the Elite is a dead ringer for the standard 360. Well, barring the all-black colour scheme which extends to the matching wireless controller and headset, that is. Consequently, it's much the same Xbox 360 we know and kinda love.
Still, the new look is purposeful and certainly jives better with the hi-fi and AV kit with which Xboxes inevitably share shelf space.
HD hardware The big news, therefore, is in the detail hardware specs. First up is the bigger 120GB hard drive. That's a serious boost over the existing 20GB drive option and betrays Microsoft's long term ambitions for the Xbox platform.
The extra storage, you see, is just another step in the Xbox's transition from traditional games console to content delivery platform. Specifically, it's preparing the ground for when the Microsoft flicks the switch on the European version of the Xbox Live MarketPlace.
When that happens, probably later this year, premium video content such as TV shows and HD movies will begin to flow. It'll be fascinating to see how successful the Live MarketPlace is in the long run.
Similarly, the increased disk space might help smooth the implementation of the IPTV services that are also pencilled in for the near future.
The other major revision is the addition of an HDMI digital video and audio port. HDMI is of course the digital interface of choice on almost every HD TV on the market.
In truth, the appearance of HDMI on the 360 is long, long overdue, and makes setting up the Elite an absolute cinch. Thanks to the pure digital signal, you get a pin-sharp, pixel perfect image every time.
After nearly two years on sale in the UK, Microsoft today launched the first major update of the Xbox 360. The Elite is slicker, it's snazzier, and it's a little more expensive at £299. But is it any better?
Of course, we could forgive Microsoft for not bothering to update the Xbox 360, full stop. After all, it still tops the high tech console table despite the arrival of Sony's troubled PlayStation 3.
On the other hand, the 360 hardly has an immaculate track record. Most obviously there's the dreaded "red ring of death" overheating problem that has caused widespread hardware failures.
The 360 also falls short when it comes to all round multimedia prowess. Any console that aspires to be a one-stop-shop for digital home entertainment in the 21st century surely needs to sport a digital video interface along with the ability to play back HD discs.
AdvertisementIt's in that context that the Elite arrives to recharge the Xbox 360 range.
In architectural terms, the Elite is not a major departure from the existing design. But it does sport one or two upgrades that enhance the 360's digital media cred. And there are also rumours that it addresses some of those niggling hardware issues.
Physically, the Elite is a dead ringer for the standard 360. Well, barring the all-black colour scheme which extends to the matching wireless controller and headset, that is. Consequently, it's much the same Xbox 360 we know and kinda love.
Still, the new look is purposeful and certainly jives better with the hi-fi and AV kit with which Xboxes inevitably share shelf space.
HD hardware The big news, therefore, is in the detail hardware specs. First up is the bigger 120GB hard drive. That's a serious boost over the existing 20GB drive option and betrays Microsoft's long term ambitions for the Xbox platform.
The extra storage, you see, is just another step in the Xbox's transition from traditional games console to content delivery platform. Specifically, it's preparing the ground for when the Microsoft flicks the switch on the European version of the Xbox Live MarketPlace.
When that happens, probably later this year, premium video content such as TV shows and HD movies will begin to flow. It'll be fascinating to see how successful the Live MarketPlace is in the long run.
Similarly, the increased disk space might help smooth the implementation of the IPTV services that are also pencilled in for the near future.
The other major revision is the addition of an HDMI digital video and audio port. HDMI is of course the digital interface of choice on almost every HD TV on the market.
In truth, the appearance of HDMI on the 360 is long, long overdue, and makes setting up the Elite an absolute cinch. Thanks to the pure digital signal, you get a pin-sharp, pixel perfect image every time.







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