The new Xbox 360 from Microsoft is now officially shipping. The leaner Xbox (also being referred to as “Slim” but officially going by “Xbox 360 250GB”) features a 250GB removable hard drive, built-in Wi-Fi (802.11n), reduced power consumption, and less noise than previous models. The new model retails for $299.
The Xbox 360 250GB comes in a new black gloss finish, with large cooling vents and angular design. The console also supports HD movies, Netflix, Zune, and ESPN. Ports include optical Audio, USB (2 on front and 3 in back), and HDMI. Early reviews of the new Xbox 360 say it loads discs quicker with less vibration than older models.
The only downsides of the new 360 is of course that Xbox Live charges a monthly subscription fee, and, HDMI isn’t upgraded to 1.4.
Rumors are that Microsoft is also developing a watered down 360, which might replace the Xbox Arcade system and retail for $199. No more details were given but the console is expected to be released this fall.
Also, just announced is Microsoft Kinect (previously called “Project Natal”) that tracks full body movement in 3-D, allowing you to be the controller. The Kinect is compatible with all Xbox 360s but will not ship until Nov. 24, 2010. According to reports, Kinect may be available as part of a bundle with the new Xbox 360.