Yesterday, we weren't supposed to know anything about the Xbox 360 Elite. Today, we know pretty much everything.
After speaking with John Rodman, Microsoft's Group Product Manager for Xbox Platform and Xbox Live, we've now got all the official facts. Yes, the Xbox 360 Elite is real. Yes, it's black. Yes, it will come with a 120GB hard drive, an HDMI port, an HDMI cable (plus component and composite cables), a black wireless controller and a black wired headset. And yes, it will retail for $479.99.
Here's what we didn't know... or at least weren't sure of. The Elite 360 will be available beginning April 29. Also hitting shelves that day will be the 120GB hard drive, the black wireless controller, a black Play & Charge kit and a black rechargeable battery pack as completely standalone accessories. The larger hard drive will sell for $179.99 while the other products' prices will match their original white counterparts. The black headset comes only with the Elite console itself.
Finally, the Elite is a permanent addition to the Xbox 360 family, not a limited edition console. Microsoft plans to continue selling all three versions - the Core, the Premium and the Elite. If you want to upgrade, both the Elite and the standalone 120GB hard drive come with a migration cable and software to transfer data.
And now for what's not happening. No, WiFi is not included. No, the HD DVD drive is not included and, no, there will not be a black HD DVD sold separately (we're waiting to hear on black memory units, though). No, the noise and heat levels shouldn't change, as the internal hardware - except for the HDMI port - is exactly the same. No, Microsoft has absolutely no plans for a Blu-ray player at this time. No, they're not sure what quantity will first ship and, no, they're not announcing release dates for other regions (though the UK will get one "later this year," according to Rodman).
Those are the facts. For some of the reasoning behind the facts, head to the next page tab for more quotes from John Rodman, Group Product Manager for Xbox Platform and Xbox Live.
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