Xbox 360 Elite arrives in US - or does it?
Big-name sites show limited availability
Microsoft's 'none more black' Xbox 360 Elite has gone on sale in the US, allowing Xbox buffs to trade up to a 120GB hard drive and HDMI connectivity for just $480 - if they can find one, that is.
Although the machine was to have been made available yesterday, quite a few of the big names in online retail didn't have units available to buy when we checked today. Amazon.com didn't have it, for example, though four of its customers were already offering used and new versions, none of them for a cent less than $690.
That said, Circuit City was offering the console, though only if you're willing to pick it up from a store - it's not availble to buy online.
Meanwhile, in the UK, Microsoft is still not saying when - or even if - the Elite will be made available to British buyers.
Interesting Article about the Elite
I found an interesting article on the accidental gamer about the Elite. Check it out:
[BLEEP] --- Reality distortion field disengaged ---
As I recall, the original 360 model that was demonstrated at E3 (or CeBIT I forget) was shown without an HDMI socket. When questioned about this, the rep from Ms gave the party line speech that there was "no plan to add an HDMI output." After some probing questions related to the PS3, the same rep was quoted as saying "If Sony do one, we'll do one".
Further up the Ms food chain, someone important said later that "HDMI is not necessary for HD gaming".
Sony then release the PS3 with an HDMI output on the higher spec model, partly I think because the 360 didn't have it, but mostly because they want blu-ray movie customers too.
Much muttering across the net ensues:
"360 will get an HDMI output..."
"No it won't, I'm sure those movies are faked..."
"...Ah but the mainboard pix look rather convincing..."
"...That picture is of a dev machine, which are black. It's a fake..."
"....Then why am I looking at a single-shot movie of an HDMI enabled 360 rendering to a HDTV?"
The 360 ELITE is announced. With the HDMI output added to the spec. And a few other bits. And it's black like the PS3. The news is that low volumes have been manufactured to a $480 premium. Everyone's talking about.
IS IT ME?
Microsoft, initiated by the competition, add a feature to the 360 that it should have had two years ago, and in doing so engineer a massive supply/demand discrepancy that enables them to charge a higher price tag in the process.
Damn, they're good.
I was in line Sunday morning at a local Target. About 3/4 of us were there for Wiis and 1/4 for Xbox Elite. They had plenty of both, as both are featured in their weekly ad. And the line wasn't that long -- 25 or so at 8 am.
I can verify the Xbox Elite is available @ Circuit City... At least the Schaumburg, Illinois store has it. When I called they told me in-deed they have "some" but the bloke on the blower told me "they are disappearing faster than a puddle in a desert.
Not any time soon...
I wouldn't lose any sleep about that if I were you. Chances are that HDCP won't be enabled on HD-DVD (or BD for that matter) movies in the Xbox 360's lifetime.