Microsoft officially announced the Xbox 360 Elite, a black version of its gaming console that has an HDMI port, a 120GB hard drive, as well as a black wireless Xbox 360 controller and a black Xbox live headset. Most of this, faithful readers, you already knew about as we chased the rumor all the way from start to finish. But isn't it nice to hear it straight from Redmond? Of course, not all rumors are right, or complete.
Jump past the gallery for the complete details.
[Gallery Updated to Include Major Nelson's first hand photos. Thanks Ryan and Kotaku.]
Again, jump for more details.
The company also announced that an HDMI cable will be included in the package. Also, the Elite won't be a limited edition and Microsoft told us there would be plenty of systems available on its April 29 ship date. Component and composite cables will still be shipped with each Xbox 360 system, and there will also be an HDMI cable in the box. The Elite will retail for $479.99. Microsoft told us there would be no new hardware inside the Elite except for that 120GB hard drive, alluding to the often-rumored cooler-running processors manufactured with the 65nm process.
Microsoft told us it will also ship a standalone 120GB hard drive for existing Xbox 360 owners on April 29. That will be priced at $179.99. Microsoft will also offer black accessories, including a black wireless controller as well as a rechargeable battery pack and Play and Charge kit.
Also, anyone else feel like we need an upgrade path that doesn't include a black can of spraypaint? I'm happy to see this come to life, but I'm also kind of upset that I have a functional, but now second-best Xbox 360 Premium. Will we have an upgrade path?
By the way, don't miss our interview with Albert Penello, Director of Global Marketing for Microsoft's Xbox 360.
Microsoft Unveils Xbox 360 Elite
Premium black console includes 120GB hard drive and line of new accessories.
REDMOND, Wash. — March 27, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the upcoming availability of Xbox 360™ Elite, a new model of the video game and entertainment system that will include a 120GB hard drive, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port, a high-definition cable, and a premium black finish for the console, wireless controller and Xbox LIVE® headset. Xbox 360 Elite has enough space for a library of Xbox LIVE Arcade games and thousands of songs, as well as downloadable high-definition TV shows and movies available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. The new 120GB hard drive also will be sold as a stand-alone accessory to give current Xbox 360 owners greater choice and flexibility in their games and entertainment experience. Additional Xbox 360 Elite accessories, such as the black Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 Play & Charge kit and the Xbox 360 rechargeable battery, will be available separately. The Xbox 360 Elite and its accessories are expected to begin arriving in U.S. stores on April 29.
"Today's games and entertainment enthusiast has an insatiable appetite for digital high-definition content," said Peter Moore, corporate vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "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."
Distinguished by its black finish and signature metallic detailing, Xbox 360 Elite will have an estimated retail price1 of $479.99 (U.S.) and will come packed with components and accessories for the ultimate high-definition entertainment experience:2
· Xbox 360 Elite console. The console is equipped with a premium black finish and three powerful core processors capable of producing the best in HD entertainment (up to 1080p), 16:9 cinematic aspect ratio, anti-aliasing for smooth textures, full surround sound, HDMI output and DVD playback with upscaling capabilities right out of the box.
· Xbox 360 120GB hard drive. The 120GB detachable hard drive allows gamers to save their games and store television shows, movies, music, pictures, trailers, levels, demos and other content available from Xbox LIVE Marketplace.3 The hard drive is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $179.99 (U.S.).
· Xbox 360 Wireless Controller (black). This award-winning, high-performance wireless controller, now in black, features the Xbox® Guide Button for quick, in-game access to friends and music. It has a range of up to 30 feet and a battery life of 30 hours on two AA batteries. It is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $49.99 (U.S.).
· Xbox 360 headset (black). Now available in black, the headset lets gamers strategize or trade taunts while playing games and send voice messages to friends on Xbox LIVE.
· Xbox 360 HDMI cable. New to Xbox 360, HDMI allows consumers to get HD video (up to 1080p) and multichannel surround sound, all from one cable.
· Xbox LIVE Silver Membership. With this, gamers can chat with friends online, collect achievements and gamerscores, send and receive voice and text messages, and access Xbox LIVE Marketplace content such as game demos, HD movies and TV, as well as the best in downloadable games from Xbox LIVE Arcade.
· One-month subscription to Xbox LIVE Gold. An Xbox LIVE Gold Membership provides a complete online entertainment experience. Those who subscribe to this premium service can engage in competitive online multiplayer matches, tailor their matchmaking via feedback and accomplishments, chat with more than one person at a time, and take advantage of unique privileges in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and Xbox LIVE Arcade.
The following accessories for the Xbox 360 Elite console will only be sold separately:
· Xbox 360 Play & Charge kit. Complete with a charging cable and a black rechargeable battery pack, the Xbox 360 Play & Charge kit allows gamers to recharge their Xbox 360 Wireless Controller without interrupting their gameplay. it is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $19.99 (U.S.).
· Xbox 360 rechargeable battery (black). The rechargeable battery pack provides more than 25 hours of gameplay per charge. It is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $11.99 (U.S.).
Other bullet points from Microsoft:
· For the first time ever, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will be releasing its direct to video movies exclusively in high definition on Xbox LIVE simultaneous with their availability on DVD, starting with "Sublime" and later offering "Babylon 5: The Lost Tales."
· A&E Network. "Dog the Bounty Hunter," "King of Cars," "Gene Simmons Family Jewels," "Driving Force" and "Criss Angel Mindfreak"
· ADV Films. Top offerings from the #1 producer-distributor of Japanese animation ("anime") outside of Japan
· National Geographic. The television series "Is It Real?" and "Taboo" as well as programs such as "21 Days to Baghdad" and "Air Force One"
· New Line Cinema. "Snakes on a Plane," "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" and "Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny," plus top titles including "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and "Magnolia"
· TotalVid. A broad action-sports offering including extreme skiing and snowboarding, skateboarding, motocross, surfing and mountain biking
Current partners include:
· CBS Broadcasting Inc., Lionsgate Entertainment, MTV Networks Co., New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures Corp., Turner Broadcasting System Inc., Ultimate Fighting Championship and Warner Bros have all made content available on Xbox LIVE. Through those partnerships, content is available from [adult swim], CBS, Comedy Central, CW, Lionsgate, MTV, MTV 2, NASCAR.com, New Line Cinema, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Paramount TV and Film, SPIKE, TBS, UFC, VH1 and Warner Bros TV and Movies. In fact, more than 1,500 hours of content is available today for download.
· To date there have been more than 135 million downloads from Xbox LIVE Marketplace and 70 percent of our connected customers are downloading content
· TV and movie downloads have been a blockbuster success, driving a 400 percent increase in Marketplace since launch
· Users are spending more than 40 percent of their time using their Xbox 360 for music, movies and TV
· Within four months of launching, Xbox LIVE has become the number one online distributor of television and feature film content in the living room where it's most easy for consumers to access.
· Is currently the ONLY online distributor of major feature films and television programming in high definition (HD) resolution.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox LIVE online gaming network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 has a catalog of more than 160 high-definition games and is available in 37 countries. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.