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Xbox 360 Elite debuts in Europe Aug 24

After a longstanding silence on the subject, an official European release date for the Xbox 360 Elite has been confirmed by Microsoft. The information was revealed during Microsoft's E3 press briefing. Microsoft's Shane Kim announced that the Xbox 360 Elite will finally be touching down in Europe on August 24. A price has not yet been confirmed by Microsoft.

Analysts expecting a Xbox 360 price cut

If you didn't already know, today Sony announced that they've trimmed the fat on their Playsation 3 by dropping the price by $100. Surprising isn't it? Now the obvious question is whether Microsoft will retaliate with a price cut of their own or keep things the way they are. Industry analyst Michael Pachter thinks a price cut will happen and has gone on record to say that Microsoft will announce a Xbox 360 price drop sometime during E3. How Mr. Pachter sees it is that they'll knock of $50 from the Core and Premium and take $80 off the Elite making the price points $249, $349 and $399. This is of course entirely possible seeing that Sony is stepping on Microsoft's price point territory. Also, we're thinking a price cut is overdue seeing that the console has been out for nearly two years at the same price. We'll just have to wait until tomorrow night to see what surprises Microsoft has up their sleeves and if our 360 will get a fat trimming too.

Elite to be priced cheaper in Japan

This morning, Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 Elite bundle will make its way to the Japanese market October 11th and will be priced cheaper than in the US. The black 360 will cost 47,800 yen which translates to roughly $390 US, making it $90 cheaper in Japan. Man, do we want ourselves some cheap Elite love too. Microsoft's reasoning pretty much revolves around the fact that the Xbox 360's performance in Japan lacks stating that "the decision on the pricing was based on the situation in the Japanese market" and that "we are not satisfied with our position in Japan and working to improve it". So, if Americans quit buying Xbox 360 Elites then we too would get cheaper hardware ... we'll have to make a note of that one.

Buy Me: Elite featuring airbrushed Halo 3 artwork

Last night, while searching for some cheap Microsoft points on eBay, we stumbled across an Xbox 360 Elite that looked very familiar. Up for auction is a custom airbrushed Elite console featuring the same Halo 3 artwork as the one Bungie autographed for charity and sold for for $20,000+. And from what we can tell, the airbrushed artwork looks spot on. If you're interested, the Halo 3 inspired Elite auction ends in about one day and is currently sitting at around $620 Canadian. We think that we can all agree that airbrushing never looked so good.

PC WORLD: 360 Elite is a product of the year

PC WORLD has named their Top 20 Products of the Year and surprisingly, the Xbox 360 Elite made it on the list. And even though the Xbox community has mixed opinions about the black console, PC WORLD thinks that the Elite's huge HDD, HDMI connectivity, and Xbox Live functionality warranted a #18 place on the list. The Elite beat out two others including Paint.net (#19) and the Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 (#20), but was left crying in the corner by Nintendo's Wii which came in at a very respectable #3. So fanboys, has your thoughts, impressions, or feelings about the Xbox 360 Elite changed since its release and would you be more or less likely to pick it up over a Premium?

[Thanks, Serge]

Production costs: PS3 and 360 Elite comparison


Digitimes threw together a comparison in the production of a 60GB Playstation 3 and an Xbox 360 Elite, using the "latest estimates by research firm iSuppli". Upon further investigation, a few of these numbers are a little ... fishy. Sure, we can see that the DVD Drive is significantly less expensive than a Blu-ray optical drive, but the 120 GB HDD being $11 cheaper for double the drive space? Would the Blu-ray drive ramp up the Assembly to more the six times the comparative cost as well? Finally, since when did the Elite retail for $399 USD?

Somebody made a couple "miscalculations" somewhere along the way, which in turn brings into question the validity of the PS3's production costs. Still, an interesting comparison, like how much the Wi-Fi connectivity costs to be built in for the PS3 compared to the $99 accessory for the 360. So what's your take on this, fanboys? Did they actually look at a Premium or is it all a bunch of bullspit anyway?

Elite owners, get HDD migration cable for free

New Xbox 360 Elite owners who've upgraded from a Core/Premium 360 may have been a little bummed to find out that there is no way to transfer an old HDD's data over to the Elite. But fear not, because Microsoft will give you a HDD migration cable for free ... you just have to ask for it. Either give Microsoft a ring-ring on the telephone or use the official migration cable order form and send it off. Full details can be found here. And be sure to keep using your 20GB HDD until the migration cable arrives, otherwise you'll have game saves on two HDDs causing you to lose data. And lost data is the suxorz.

[Via Digg]

Happy Xbox 360 Elite launch day!

No matter if you are somewhat annoyed by the black beast or have been anticipating its release since its announcement, the Xbox 360 Elite is officially here. Today, April 29, 2007, is Xbox 360 Elite launch day when retailers can officially put the black console up on the shelves and fanboys all over the US can have it in their possession for a mere $479. Again, congratulations Xbox 360 Elite, we welcome you to the 360 family even if you are a different color, more expensive, have a bigger HDD, and are somewhat cocky (group hug).

So fanboys, how will you be celebrating Xbox 360 Elite launch day? Will you be trading up to an Elite purchase or will you simply acknowledge its existence and carry on gaming on your white console?

Data transfer demo for your new HDD


If you're a current 360 owner and are in the market for a new 120GB HDD or the Xbox 360 Elite in the coming weeks, then you'll be dealing with some HDD data transferring. And thanks to Major Nelson's data transfer demo, the whole process will be painless. In the embedded video above, Major and his clothes twin Albert walk you through the whole thing step by step and even do a little Xbox 360 Elite unboxing to boot. It's actually quite simple and should take less than an hour to move all your data to your new 120GB behemoth. And, as if it wasn't mentioned enough, the data transfer will be permanent and can only be done once. So, make sure this is what you want, as there's no going back.

Joystiq unboxes the Xbox 360 Elite


The evil menace known as Joystiq received their Xbox 360 Elite today. As is only fitting, Joystiq set about performing the unboxing ritual with utmost care. As you might expect, the box contained an Xbox 360 elite and all the related goodies (HDMI cable, audio cable, 120GB HDD, and all that jazz). The HDD transfer cable -- used to copy your 20GB HDD data over to the 120GB HDD -- was packed outside of the box for some reason. We surmise, as does Joystiq, that this does not represent final packaging. Other than that, there isn't anything particularly remarkable about the Elite. It's black, it plays games, and ... um ... it's black.

Check out Joystiq's Elite gallery for more pictures of the unboxing.

Black accessories already available

Feeling a little black today? EB Games has come to the rescue by offering a few black Xbox 360 accessories before the Elite makes its grand arrival next week. Right now, you can order a black Xbox 360 wireless controller, play and charge pack, or extra play and charge battery. The black versions all cost the same as their white counterparts and are ready to ship within 24 hours. As we always say, black is the new off white ... or something like that.

Welcome to the Xbox 360 Elite freak show


Man, April 29th isn't going to carry as much excitement as we all thought, because some retailers (ahem, Target) just can't hold onto their products until the street date. Llamma.com got their hands on an Elite 360 at a local Walmart in Minneapolis and instead of selling it on eBay, opted to break her open. They ever so kindly posted comparison shots of the new Elite motherboard versus the old and a few CPU/GPU pictures too. But even after ripping the console open they still couldn't figure out whether or not the Elite is sporting an upgraded 65nm CPU or that archaic 90nm version. Maybe we could help out by borrowing them our super scientific microscope and a mini ruler. It's a thought. Though, they did get the full dish on what brands the DVD drive and hard drive are, so it wasn't a total bust. Make the jump for more pictures (including a Microsoft branded HDMI cable) and behold the wonder that is an Xbox 360 Elite gutted with its innards pulled out. Yes, it is sick and vile, but we like it.

[Via Engadget]

360 Elite trade-in offer further clarified


The Gamestop Xbox 360 trade-in increase we talked about earlier in the week needs further clarification due to the evidence we just received. Kevin, a Gamestop assistant manager, sent us scans of the actual coupon flyers for the Elite trade-in promotion. All the Xbox 360 trade-in increases that what we reported on earlier ($250 Premium, $200 Core, $50 Xbox) are correct, but the promotional dates and how the program works is a little different than what we were told. In a memo to Gamestop managers, it clearly states that the Xbox 360 Elite trade-in coupon flyers must be held until April 29th (Elite launch day), when they'll be given out to all Elite purchasers. Then, before May 27th, you can bring in your special coupon from the flyer, old Xbox 360, and the receipt from your Elite purchase to get the increased trade-in values. This will allow you to buy an Elite, take it home, transfer all your data from your old 360, and then go back to Gamestop to trade it in for the increased value.

Sorry for the confusion everyone, but it sounds like the managers we talked to either don't read their memos or just don't care what corporate says. We can't argue with flyer scans from Kevin. Xbox 360 Elite flyer proof posted after the break.

Continue reading 360 Elite trade-in offer further clarified

Target breaking Elite street date, now on eBay


It seems like the game industry just isn't as solid as it once was. Games are discovered long before they are officially announced and street dates are broken left and right. Case in point: if the photo above is indeed genuine, it looks like Target has broken the street date on the Xbox 360 Elite. Not only has the street date been broken, but it has been broken by more than a week. Way to go, Target! The picture even includes a receipt, which we have magnified so that the $479.99 price is clearly visible. Granted, it could be a display box and some Photoshop trickery, but it looks awfully legit to us.

What's more, it appears that the owner of the Elite is selling it on eBay. The listing even has images of the serial number. The opening bid is $600. Of course, if Target is routinely breaking the street date, you could pick one up for a lot less.

Anyone else out there manage to snag an Elite from Target (or elsewhere)? We're assuming you aren't planning on winning one. Hit the "read" link for a larger photo.

[Via Digg. Thanks, brodiemash]

Confirmed: 360 trade-in value increased [update 2]

Over the past few days there has been a few rumors hitting the web about potential Xbox 360 trade-in prices increasing over at EB Games and Gamestop for the launch of the Elite. Well, we got in touch with a few Gamestop managers and it's true. The promotion started today and dramatically increases the trade-in value for original Xboxes, Xbox 360 Cores, and Xbox 360 Premiums.

If you trade in a Premium 360 they'll give you $250 in-store credit, $200 in-store credit for a 360 Core, and $50 for an original Xbox. These trade-in price have increased pretty dramatically, because last week Gamestop was only paying $190 for an Xbox 360 Premium, now upped by $60. Both Gamestop managers also said that the new trade-in credit does not have to go towards an Xbox 360 Elite, but what other reason would you have for selling your 360? There you have it all wrapped up and confirmed. More trade-in cash for your old Xbox 360 to buy yourself a black Elite if you so choose.

Update 1: We're thinking there may be a little confusion in Gamestop's head. We just got word from Kevin (who works at Gamestop) that the trade-in program uses coupons that are not valid until April 29th. Kevin says that the only way to increase the trade-in value is to use these coupons and the only way to get these coupons is to buy an Elite. So, according to him, you need to buy an Elite to get the increased trade in value. But, we double checked with our local Gamestop managers and they still are saying we could come in today and they'll pay us $250 for a Premium 360. Maybe all the stores just aren't on the same page ... silly Gamestop.

Update 2: Even more details have emerged.

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