Those who have been on the fence about purchasing an Xbox 360 gaming console may now have a good reason to finally do so. At this week's annual E3, or Electronic Entertainment Expo held in Los Angeles, Microsoft announced a new and improved version of the Xbox 360.
The newly introduced ôSlim," or ôS,ö as some are calling it, promises upgrades in features as well as design over previously released models of the console. In terms of design, Microsoft has opted for a glossy piano black finish on the Slim. The new finish on the exterior is sure to collect fingerprints after little usage, but it is still an attractive sight to behold when untouched. Size-wise, the Slim is said to be small enough to fit entirely into the shell of an older Xbox 360, which is a plus if space is at a premium in your household.
Needless to say, the slimmer design also makes the new 360 more portable and easier to transport while traveling. A smaller power supply has been added to reduce clutter. The 360 Slim also features several cooling vents throughout its body, making it appear to be an efficient gaming device optimized for cooling and performance. Touch-sensitive buttons are included on the console, as is a dim power light that avoids being overpowering and a distraction.
Speaking of performance, one such area where the new Xbox 360 is said to be improved is in that of the amount of noise it will produce. There is nothing more irritating than having a console's noise overpower a DVD or video game's audio output, and Microsoft is said to have addressed this issue with the release of the Slim version. Plenty of storage space is available for all of your data, with the Slim offering a replaceable 250 GB hard drive, as opposed to the older Elite model which offered just 120 GB of space. If you have an older 360 console and are worried about transferring your data after purchasing a Slim, you can do so via a USB data transfer cable; a portable USB thumb drive should also work for any data transfers you wish to perform.
As far as connectivity goes, the 360 Slim comes with integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi, eliminating the need for the purchase of any wireless dongles when you want Internet connectivity. You get five USB ports, which is two more than previously offered, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, a connection for optical audio, as well as a connection to join the Slim to the newly-announced Kinect technology from Microsoft. Kinect is a motion control system that enhances the gaming experience.
The Xbox 360 Slim is compatible with all previous Xbox 360 titles as well as hardware, and is set to ship this week in the United States at a retail price of $299, essentially replacing the older 120 GB Elite version. European retailers are set to receive the console on July 16.
If the upgraded features of the Slim do not entice you, Microsoft has added that they are cutting the prices of the Xbox 360 Arcade model to $149 and the Elite model to $249. Both are $50 price cuts and likely a move by Microsoft to move older inventory. Whether or not the older models will continue to be produced remains to be seen, although it seems unlikely with the introduction of the Slim.
For more on this, visit: http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/15/new-xbox-360-guide-microsofts-slim-console-explained?icid=sphere_blogsmith_inpage_engadget
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