Microsoft Unveils New Xbox 360 Hardware

By Kyle Wynen on June 14, 2010, 3:43PM EDT

At their pre-E3 conference, to end off the show, Microsoft unveiled the previously-leaked new design for the Xbox 360, a shorter, thinner, black case, with a much-wanted new feature. That feature is built-in wi-fi, it's finally coming to the Xbox 360, after years of begging from gamers. In a sort of consolation to the long wait for wi-fi, Microsoft is using 802.11N tech, which is faster than the 802.11G tech that the PS3 and Wii use, a welcome choice.

The new design's hard drive clocks in at 250GB, seemingly replacing the Xbox 360 Elite and Premium at $299 USD. Microsoft touted the new design as "ready for Kinect", though what that means exactly was left unexplained. It's likely that that simply means it either has an extra USB ports, or continues to have USB ports like the Xbox 360 has always had. The new design will be shipping to retailers starting today, and in a very strange move, Microsoft is also sending the new Xbox 360 to every single person that was invited to their pre-E3 conference today.

The Gaming Union team is a bit split on the new design, it's both smaller and slimmer, but what about the enormous power brick? Whether the power brick is still propping up our power bars is a point of interest. The design looks okay, but is far from anything special. Furthermore, when laid on its side, the top of the case isn't flat, like the PS3, no longer allowing owners to place anything on top of the Xbox 360.

Built-in wi-fi is a much appreciated new feature, and with 802.11N connection speeds, online gaming via wi-fi should be even better than it previously was. It's likely that the new system will be quieter, and with its smaller form factor, more of us will be happy to stick it beside the Tv for easy, and peaceful, movie watching. In all the new system could be a large step better that the now-old Xbox 360 model, but confirming details on noise level, and power brick size, will really determine that for us.

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