Xbox 360 Elite Launches in North America

Sunday saw the release of a new iteration of Microsoft’s gaming console, the Xbox 360 Elite. The updated version of the Xbox 360 is dressed all in black, along with matching accessories, plus new features that are aimed at those with advanced high-definition televisions looking to enjoy downloadable multimedia. “This console includes a 120GB hard […]

Sunday saw the release of a new iteration of Microsoft’s gaming console, the Xbox 360 Elite. The updated version of the Xbox 360 is dressed all in black, along with matching accessories, plus new features that are aimed at those with advanced high-definition televisions looking to enjoy downloadable multimedia.

“This console includes a 120GB hard drive, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port, a high definition (HD) cable and a premium black finish, and comes with a wireless controller and Xbox Live headset,” said Peter Moore, the head of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business. “The Xbox 360 Elite’s larger hard drive gives the gaming community an opportunity to enjoy all that the next generation of entertainment has to offer – from video games to movies and TV shows available through Xbox Live Video Marketplace.”

Priced at $479.99, the Xbox 360 Elite is the third SKU in Microsoft’s console roster, joining the Pro and Core packages at $399.99 and $299.99, respectively. Unlike Sony, who recently trimmed its PlayStation 3 lineup with the deletion of the 20GB console, Microsoft intends to maintain all three product variants in the retail channel.

“Xbox 360 Elite joins the ranks of our Core and Pro offerings that provide consumers with the flexibility to purchase the version of Xbox that best fits their unique needs,” said Moore.

The Xbox 360 Elite will stand out from the rest of the line as being the new top-end model for hardcore gamers and high-definition enthusiasts. “Xbox 360 Elite’s larger hard drive and premium accessories will allow our community to enjoy all that the next generation of entertainment has to offer,” Moore added.

The HDMI port is a feature that will remain exclusive to the new Elite console, but the 120GB hard drive is one that can be retrofitted onto a Pro or Core system. For existing Xbox 360 owners who simply want to upgrade their hard drives, the detachable accessory will be sold separately for an estimated retail price of $179.99. Gamers who don’t buy into Microsoft’s justification of the $179.99 price point may brave warranty-voiding tactics to build their own 120GB hard drive for a $100 savings.

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Microsoft, Xbox 360, Elite, Xbox 360 Elite, North America, Launches