The Xbox 360 is almost five years old. By this point in the SNES’ life, Nintendo’s machine was dead. Launched in 1990, the SNES was battered by the PlayStation in 1994 and Sega’s Saturn in 1995. The PlayStation lasted longer than most – replaced by the PlayStation 2 in 2000, but the Saturn was effectively dead by ’98 and the Nintendo 64’s life was artificially drawn out by the drip, drip, drip of one game a month until 2001. Consoles live and die in five-year cycles – and the 360 is nearly there.
The Gameboy Advance got just five years and the DS is about to be replaced. The Xbox and Gamecube barely lasted three years and the PS2 managed only five before the 360 forced everyone into a premature new console generation in 2005. So, the 360 is supposed to be dead. But it’s not just alive – it’s reborn. The new 360 is slimmer, lighter, uses less power and runs more quietly than its predecessor. The first of the new 360s have been running in US homes for nearly two months, with only isolated incidents of failure of the kind you’d expect from any major hardware launch.
For the first time, it’s a 360 you can count on – reliable and well-built with a brand new motherboard and integrated CPU and GPU. Read about all the changes below, and decide for yourself if it’s worth trading up.
Xbox 360 Elite
The classic 360 is still a fairly elegant piece of hardware with its sligtly curving lines. Whether the matte finish appeals is a matter of taste. It certainly keeps the finger prints at bay. Let's see about the details, shall we?
Xbox 360 "slim"
It's hard to argue that the new 360 isn't sexy, although some will of course not prefer its somewhat weird angles, and the shiny gloss will naturally look like a dusted crime scene mere days after unboxing. So how does it match up when compared to the Elite?
If you don't care about Kinect or a wireless connection, the new 360 loses considerable appeal. Of course, if an ethernet cable just isn't a possibility for you, the slim becomes an easy choice, considering the Elite has no built-in capability. Elites, are, of course, much harder to come by these days, which could be a selling point in itself, if you're the rare collector type. In the end, though, let us not forget that the new 360 promises an escape from the pervasive red ring of death - not a complete escape, but it improves the odds considerably.
Which design do you prefer?
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