The Microsoft XBOX 360
October 2009 - microsoft has decided to stop making the 60GB 360 and have stuck with the elite and arcade models aswell as new prices, a bit of a strange move as they have made the arcade model now £30 more expensive and the Elite now has an RRP of £199, 330 cheaper than before but can be had much cheaper eg £190 with 2 new games!. What you need to know though is the arcade model no longer comes with 5 arcade games and the Elite now no longer comes with an hdmi lead, optical audio out adapter or component, just bog standrad composite. On the plus side these are all pretty much guaranteed to be the new "Jasper" chipset 360 consoles which use less power and produce less heat so much less likely to get the dreaded RROD!
Advice: It seems microsoft are planning on getting rid of the arcade model with this new pricing in my opinion as for £30 more you can get a 120gb harddrive and 2 games with the current offers, you would be mad to get an arcade for £160!
- September 2008 - I stated on an earlier update you should wait a bit, well the 360's new price cut has now arrived! £30 has been knocked off each system making the Arcade £129.99, Premium (60GB) £169.99 and the Elite is now £229.99!
- August 2008 - Microsoft have released the 60GB Premium XBOX 360, this will replace the 20GB model and is the same price RRP £199 so its a real bargain! This means over the next few months the 20GB model is going to be sold off cheap untill the stock has run out! There are already some really good deals eg.. xbox 360 20GB console, 2 official wireless pads and 2 games for £179! You might want to wait though as there is going to be a price cut sometime between now and christmas (September is predicted) across the whole range, Arcade, Premium and the Elite models
- Most 360's fitted with an HDMI output (Late 2007 - 2008 onwards Elite, Premium & Arcade models) have been internally redesigned to try to stop the red light failure happening.
- Microsoft now include a 3 year warranty relating to RROD so you are sorted if you are unlucky and your console breaks.
My advice to anyone buying an Xbox 360 is to get one made late in 2007 and onwards, you can check the manufacturing date on the sticker on the back of the console or on the box. I also recommend buying it with a hard drive either the Premium or Elite model, these are my reasons.....
1. Early XBOX 360's were more prone to crashing and the widely known "red ring of death" which indicated hardware failure and a costly bill to get it repaired if not under warranty. RROD relates to the round power light on the front of the 360 which glows green, however when it goes wrong these turn red, hence red ring of death! This problem was so big it featured on BBC's Watchdog. However consoles made later on can still suffer the RROD, internet sources say its because of over heating. There are ways to fix this yourself but all seem like a temporary solution, i have tried a couple of ways. Do not do the towel trick shown on you tube, this can make your 360 work but for a short time and will cause it more damage in the long run. Just send it back to Microsoft and get it replaced, or if ya unlucky like me and you have voided or run out of your warranty, ring microsoft and moan they can offer you a replacement at a price.
2. Microsoft have used 3 different dvd/cd drives, this can be determined on the look of this disc tray (do a google search) .On models manufactured after jan 2007 they started using the third drive which according to internet sources is not just quieter (the 360 suffers from a very loud combination of the disc drive and fans), but apparently also smoothes out loading times.
3.Without a hard drive you cannot play the massive collection of original xbox games or download games from Xbox Live arcade. This may not appeal to everyone but without a hard drive you cannot download demos or movies or save music to your 360! More importantly you cannot save games so you would have to buy a memory card. If you decide at a later date you want a hard drive they are costly, you will save a lot of money buying a 360 with one.
The 360 is truly next generation, the graphics are outstanding, the control pads are a dream and the whole package, wireless pad, xbox live, headset,dvd player and hard drive all combine to give you more than a console has offered before at a very reasonable price. Thinking back to the original xbox initial £300 price tag and Nintendo N64 were £250, so with inflation and what you get, 360's are a bargain! Now there is the 360 elite pack out, the xbox 360 and pad and headset being black. Its hard drive dwarfs the premium's 20G harddrive with a 120G one! also the xbox will have an HDMI plug included for true high definition. Whatever your choice of premium or elite do get one, trust me they are a quality piece of kit with an ever growing collection of games !
I hope this guide was helpful to someone... Happy gaming!
All the best Jake (PJMCCLARNON)