Xbox 360 Elite games console
Small tweaks, big difference?
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|
|Graphics||Nvidia RSX @ 550MHz||AMD ATI R500 @ 500MHz||PS3|
|Hard drive storage||60GB||120G||Xbox|
|Optical disc loader||Slot||Tray||PS3|
|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|
|Controller power source||USB-charged rechargeable||Two AA batteries||PS3|
|Controller auto-power off?||No||Yes||Xbox|
|Controller rumble function||No||Yes||Xbox|
|Native games available||Handful||Loads||Xbox|