At an event after the Microsoft keynote, members of the press were presented with tables complete with wrapped presents. The idea? We all unwrap the new Xbox 360 250GB (the official name) and explore what makes the new system so special. Here's what is inside the package.
First off, it comes packed with a smaller, but still proprietary, 250GB hard drive. WiFi is built in, using the 802.11n standard. Two USB ports are hidden behind a flap on the front of the device, with three extra USB ports in the back for a total of five. The power supply is much smaller, and we were told the system uses much less power. To make sure no one mixes and matches the power supplies, there is an all-new adaptor for the 360 250GB.
The 360 250GB in all its glory. Note my busted iPhone
Underneath the side vent lies the new, smaller 250GB hard drive
The rear of the system. Note the new port for the power supply
More detail of the ports. A total of five USB ports, powered connector for the Kinect, and a dedicated audio line... no more breakout boxes!
I put in a copy of Alan Wake and turned it on using the new touch-buttons... very similar to what you get with the PlayStation 3. The system was on, but it made almost no noise. The game loaded. Silent. I'm used to using my 360 in my home office hooked up to a computer monitor, where it sounds something like a jet taking off. This is bliss.
A new AV port in the back also cuts down on the wires when the Kinect is involved. Plug the Kinect into that port, plug the 360 into the wall, and you're all set up. Owners of the now-classic 360 will have to plug the Kinect into the wall using a separate outlet.
We were told the system has taken years to develop, and it shows: it's a thoughtful, refined system, and at $300 it's a good value. This is the 360 you've always wanted.
Oh, except for the HDMI cable. It still doesn't come with one of those.
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