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Xbox 360 Elite games console

Small tweaks, big difference?

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Once a game disc was inserted, the Elite seemed to make considerably more noise than the PS3, and this continued all the time the disc was inside the machine. Of course, it's drowned out by the sounds of the games when you're actually playing, but it's definitely noticeable at quieter moments.

We tried an experiment and switched the set-up from component to HDMI. Unlike the PS3, alas, the Elite didn't automatically detect the switch of ports and thus gives us the opportunity to switch to optimum settings, in this particular instance 1080i. It's little user interface details like this that make the difference between OK and outstanding.

However, in favour of the Elite, the HDMI cable is included in the box. Not so with the PS3 - that'll set you back another £18.

One Register Hardware reader recently enquire if the Elite addressed problems a number of Xbox 360 owners have experienced with overheating consoles. Well, in our tests, the Elite didn't generate any more heat than the PS3, even after a considerable number of hours' spent gaming. And we didn't experience any malfunctions in that time.

It has been claimed by a number of websites that Microsoft has put in additional cooling apparatus into the US Elite. We don't know at this stage whether this is also true of the UK model, or whether the noise issue results from a lack of extra cooling.

When we pestered Microsoft for clarification, it responded helpfully: "We are constantly updating the console's more than 1500 internal components and therefore will not comment on details of specific components or manufacturing processes." So there...

How they stack up: PS3 vs Xbox 360 Elite
  Sony PS3 MS Xbox 360 Elite The Winnner
Processor Speed 3.2GHz 3.2GHz Draw
Graphics Nvidia RSX @ 550MHz AMD ATI R500 @ 500MHz PS3
Hard drive storage 60GB 120G Xbox
Optical disc loader Slot Tray PS3
HDMI port Yes Yes Draw
HDMI cable bundled? No Yes Xbox
HD optical disc built-in? Yes - Blu-ray Disc integrated No - optional add-on HD DVD player required PS3
Wireless networking integrated? Yes No PS3
Size 32.5 x 27.4 x 9.8cm 30.9 x 25.8 x 8.3cm Xbox
Weight 5kg 3.5kg Xbox
Controllers supported 7 4 PS3
Controller power source USB-charged rechargeable Two AA batteries PS3
Controller auto-power off? No Yes Xbox
Controller weight 140g 268g PS3
Controller rumble function No Yes Xbox
Native games available Handful Loads Xbox
Price £400 £300 Xbox

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