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Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB

Leaner, fitter and Kinect ready

To be fair, migration wasn't at the top of everyone's wish list. That spot was reserved for the plea to dampen the original's near-Scramjet noise levels. Well, MS somehow heard the clamour over the noise, and markets the new console as 'whisper quiet'.

Xbox 360 250GB

No obvious differences in gaming performance, but integrated Wi-Fi and Kinect's promise, add to its appeal

This unfortunately isn't strictly true. When powering up or at the dashboard the console is indeed whisper quiet, but run a game off a DVD and it’s as noisy as ever. Fortunately, the 250GB drive and fast instal times (are you reading, Sony?), means games won't often be run off DVD, so it's not the issue it could have been.

Talking of install times, there's no noticeable difference between the old and new consoles when booting up menus, or installing or loading from DVD. And it goes without saying that all other features, such as graphical power, remain the same.

Verdict

The new Xbox 360 has the looks, features and price point to make it an essential purchase. You could, however, opt for a real bargain over the coming weeks, as retailers sell off discontinued Xbox models. These offers will be tempting for those unmoved by integrated Wi-Fi and one fewer plug for Kinect. But I'd personally pay the money and pick up a new one; or at least wait for the cheaper model, due sometime in August at around £130, which is expected to come with a smaller HDD and without Wi-Fi. ®

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Xbox 360 250GB

Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB

Updated gaming console, which combines a size reduction, yet adds more features.
Price: £200 RRP