Xbox 360 Premium to get HDMI?
Somehow, someway, somewhere
HDMI connectivity could soon be extended beyond Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Elite to other versions of the gaming platform. Online reports claim that a Microsoft representative has confirmed that HMDI will soon feature in at least one additional version of the console, potentially the Premium edition.
The Microsoft mouthpiece reportedly confirmed that retailers are gradually introducing HDMI-enabled Xbox 360s to meet demand. Several additional reports have also said that a Microsoft representative has confirmed that HDMI will feature on the Premium edition console, but not on the Core model.
However, the company has not confirmed when or indeed where the first Premium models with HDMI will appear. Some US gamers already claim to have bought Premium models with HDMI connections from stores, such as Target, though.
The company hasn’t officially said whether the new HDMI Premium consoles will feature a different CPU, such as a 45nm chip, and instead chose to say that it constantly updates the console's 1,700 or so internal components.
Elites in the UK should have the revised fans, and it makes sense that the HDMI modifications make it to all machines - it simplifies production.
My theory (posted elsewhere) is that we'll see the end of the HDD-less 360, and we'll have three options:
Core - 20GB, Wired controller, £179 to compete with Wii (remember that Wii includes WiFi, 360 doesn't).
Premium - 120GB, Wireless controller, £279 to maintain current 360 market position with no direct competition at that price point.
Elite - 120GB, HD-DVD drive internally, black shell and wireless controller, £379 to undercut PS3 whilst offering larger games library and directly-comparable features (apart from WiFi, again).
Remember that including HD-DVD would have been pretty pointless at launch, MS has no real issues regarding success of the format one way or anther, whereas Sony's media interests have an interest in the success of BluRay. Now there is a market for HD-DVD devices, MS could judge from the popularity of the add-on drive if an Elite as I've described it would be a worthwhile option, or if a different feature would be needed to make it a range-topping device.
Can you imagine how much people would have laughed if the 360 had launged with PS3 matching specs and a PS3-matching price?
Bring all of these changes in with 65nm, and you've got an easy way to combat the bad publicity the reliability issues may have caused - "This new revised range is clearer, more competitive, and easily identified in the marketplace" (you wouldn't buy an old Premium or Core and think you were getting a new one, as the old Premium would have a 20GB HD, and the Core, none at all).
The Wii lacks sufficient internal storage - as downloadable games become more relevant, having that 20GB in a Wii-price console may be very worthwhile. Nintendo would have a lot of my cash if I weren't worrying about filling the internal memory with retrogames! Unfortunately, you can't store titles on SD card and play them.