NEWS - Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New Xbox Elite System Set to Hit Stores This Week

In March, Microsoft Corp. announced the arrival of the Xbox 360 Elite, in stores on Sunday. The new system -- with an estimated price of $479.99 -- boasts new high-tech features for optimum gaming and entertainment experiences. "Xbox 360 Elite’s larger hard drive and premium accessories will allow our community to enjoy all that the next generation of entertainment has to offer," said Peter Moore, corporate vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, in a press release. The Xbox 360’s 20GB memory is upgraded to 120GB in the Elite system, said Ed Ladyka, media supervisor at Best Buy, 1650 N. Atherton St. "The Xbox 360 is more of a computer than a gaming system," he said. The Elite’s 120GB hard drive is the largest available for a console and is capable of storing games, television shows, movies, music and other media from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, an online Xbox Web site for gamers. The detachable hard drive is also available separately for gamers who already own the Xbox 360. The estimated price for the hard drive alone is $179.99. The Elite also has a powerful high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) cable capable of getting high definition (HD) video resolution of up to 1080p -- said to be the best quality thus far for HD entertainment. "That is huge because now if you get the high definition connection for your Xbox 360, you can watch high definition DVDs at full 1080p -- which is true high definition," he said. The cable also allows for full surround sound. Freshmen Scott Garman (information sciences and technology) and Theodore Wheeland (information sciences and technology) said they feel the product is not worth the cost. "I think that $480 is too much money for almost the same thing," said Garman. "You can buy the other [system] for less and you can get add-ons to get extra hard drive space." The asking price is outrageous for any system whether it be the Xbox 360 Elite, the regular Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3, Wheeland said. He also noted that the system does not have a high definition DVD drive--the new system has DVD playback, but not in HD, he said. Garman feels the sale of the Xbox 360 Elite may cause consumers to buy older systems. The Elite’s console has three core processors to accommodate the system’s HDMI output and provide the best HD quality for gaming. The system package also comes with a headset that can be used with Xbox LIVE and a wireless controller. The controller can also be purchased separately for an estimated $49.99. Other accessories are also available separately for the Elite system. Ladyka said he is unsure how many people will turn out when the product arrives at Best Buy in State College. "I expect people that day ready to buy it, but how many is hard to tell," he said. People have already inquired about the new system and have even held off from buying the old Xbox 360 until the Elite is available, Ladyka said. He thinks the new system will be a success and that they will sell more of the Xbox Elites over the old Xbox 360 system. "For $80 more, you’re getting a lot," he said. "You’re getting an extra 100GB of memory plus the HDMI -- so for people who are really into video and high definition, that right there is worth it."

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