Monday, July 14, 2008

New Xbox 360 Pro Console (60 GB HDD), Limited Edition Red Controller, and Fall 2008 Dashboard Update Glimpse

E3 kicked off today, and what a showing; I've already jizzed my pants twice. Well, I guess you didn't need to know that, but on to the news!

Microsoft has officially announced the discontinuation of the current Xbox 360 Pro console, which comes with a 20 GB HDD. The price will be lowered to $299.00 while supplies last. Replacing it will be a new Xbox 360 Pro console in early August, which is the same thing as its predecessor save that it will ship with a new 60 GB HDD. The new Xbox 360 Pro console (60 GB HDD) will retail for the traditional price tag of $349.00.

Microsoft has also unvield a new Limited Edition Red Wireless Controller that will be launching around Sept. 30, 2008. It will be red with black accents and come bundled with a red Play & Charge Kit.

Lastly, the new Xbox Experience was highlighted both online and in videos on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, showcasing the upcoming Avatars (ripped from Nintendo's Wii) and what appears to be a new Xbox 360 Dashboard. It certainly looks nice, but I have little info at this point and can't help but be curious as to what'll happen to our current Dashbaord Themes, as they didn't seem to present in the slick new design and weren't mentioned.

In truth, I'm perfectly happy with the existing Xbox 360 Dashboard, but I suppose I won't have a choice in the matter. I'll post more details as soon as I have them, and in the interim, you can watch the New Experience Video below.

Update: I decided to poke around to find some details regarding the new Xbox Experience, and after coming up blank it hit me: Why not check out Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson? And what's one of the first things I see? A complete list of the most update-to-date details on the new Xbox Experience, of course!

The info comes to us courtesy of Xbox LIVE GM, Marc Whitten, who briefly discusses the begins of the Xbox 360 and the evolutionary process the Xbox team expected to take with their product, and now that process is close to bringing us the new Xbox Experience, which will include key features like:

- Copying and playing retail games straight from your Xbox 360's HDD
- Access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace via the web
- Expanded Xbox Guide to include the full Xbox 360 Dashboard
- Sissy Wii like Avatars (yeah, I'm still not big on this one at all)

There's more of course and we still don't have the full details, but overall, these are some very exciting features. I really like the concept of being able to play games straight from you HDD legitimately, however I doubt my 20 GB HDD will have the room for that, save for perhaps one game or so if I really clear some space.

I'm also still concerned about what's going to happen to all our existing Gamer Pics and Themes, as they don't seem to fit into the sleek new scheme. I do hope we're not all going to get screwed, especially those gamers who've spent a lot of Microsoft Points on new Gamer Pics and Themes.

More details as they develop.

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