New Xbox 360s include HDMI

Wednesday 08th August 2007, 11:10:00 PM, written by Tim

Hot on the heels of the $50 price cut, Microsoft confirmed that its $349 Xbox 360 console now includes an HDMI port, suggesting it could be the much-anticipated "Falcon" revision. As we reported in July, Falcon is a new motherboard revision that is expected to introduce 65nm variants of both the Xenon CPU and the Xenos GPU. In addition, Falcon would bring HDMI to models other than the Elite. It won't be clear whether this is a new motherboard revision or simply the motherboard from the Elite appearing in the standard model until one of these new consoles is disassembled, but hopefully that should be clear in the next few days.

One interesting note is where this leaves the Core model. The Core received the smallest price drop (a paltry $20 to $279), and Microsoft has said that it will not receive an HDMI port in the near future. This suggests a few possibilities for the Core's future. First, there could be enough inventory of Core systems to make a refresh impractical at the moment (as well as using HDMI to further differentiate the Core and standard systems). Second, the Core could be in the process of being phased out. This is supported by some anecdotal evidence of retailers finding it more difficult to order Core systems in recent weeks.

However, the most likely possibility is the introduction of a cheaper version of the Core. Microsoft's Shane Kim has said that the Core will not be discontinued and that the 360 must reach $199 in order to penetrate the mass market. What this means is that the Core in its current form will probably be phased out and replaced by a new, fully 65nm Core model that costs Microsoft much less to manufacture. That version of the Core will then become Microsoft's entry into the $199 market.

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xbox ± core, hdmi, falcon, littlebirdy

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