Black Xbox 360 with HDMI arriving late April?

March 21, 2007 // 2:13 p.m.

Tags: #120gb #360 #console #hard-drive #hdmi #mod #next-gen #xbox

So if the rumours are true, we could be seeing not only a HDMI enabled, 120GB hard drive containing Xbox 360 sooner than we realised, it will come in black. Kotaku is reporting that magazine Game Informer has the exclusive on an upcoming black Xbox 360 that is to arrive as soon as late April.

The HD-DVD drive is still an optional item and the black 360 will contain a standard 12x DVD-ROM, but there's no word whether a black HD-DVD drive will be available to match the new 360 styling. Microsoft are apparently claiming the HD-DVD format isn't yet proven enough to warrant offering an integrated solution.

The 120GB drive will still be available separately and is tipped to retail for under $200. So that'll be $199.95 then. Microsoft will definitely be getting their money's worth, considering a 120GB 2.5" SATA laptop drive retails for half as much.

The retail price is quoted at approximately $479, putting it around the same price as a 20GB PS3. However, the PS3 hard drive can be swapped for any standard 2.5" SATA laptop drive and you still get Blu-Ray support as standard.

If you've ever seen a 360 and PS3 stand side by side (if you haven't, check out TrustedReviews on Friday), you'll know the 360 just looks like it's made out of cheap plastic and the black 360 unfortunately doesn't look any different.

No doubt those who invested in an Xbox 360 over the Christmas period will be spitting bullets at this news, but it will mean the 360 is now more directly comparable with the PS3 in features and colour. Although grabbing yourself a bottle of black vinyl dye should save you a few quid.

Ninja Update: Thanks to eagle eyed forum member DougEdey, Engadget has got some more details for us:

The system will be a limited run of a few hundred thousand and will be dubbed the Xbox Elite, shipping a black controller and Live headset with console.

It will then take the place of the Premium models after the Elite is sold out, but will then return to ship in the usual white, but still offer a 120GB hard drive and HDMI. Engadget highlights that the console will run cooler, but has yet to confirm whether they are built on a 65nm process.

Even though reducing heat output is a plus, hopefully the rather large failure rates will be lowered also with this new process. The move to 65nm should also lower costs and eventually lead to a lower price for the Premium model, although nothing is yet confirmed.

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