Some stray ads have spawned speculation over the past week that Microsoft might soon be releasing a new Xbox 360 Elite with a 250GB hard drive and two wireless controllers.
The ads suggest that the new console is called the Xbox Super 360 Elite. The current Xbox 360 Elite comes with a 120GB hard drive and one wireless controller.
The rumors started last week when Amazon.com's German store listed an Xbox 360 Elite with a 250GB hard drive, two wireless controllers, and Forza Motorsport 3 bundled in the package. It was priced at about $400. The listing was subsequently removed from Amazon's pages.
The very next day, a South African retailer called BT Games promoted the Xbox Super 360 Elite in an ad. It also featured a 250GB hard drive, two wireless controllers, and a $400 price tag.
Although it's certainly possible for one listing to accidentally slip out for a product that might not be real, it's extremely coincidental that two listings, from two companies, about the same Xbox 360 model were discovered over two days.
I contacted Microsoft to see if it plans to release the Xbox Super 360 Elite. Rather than saying that it didn't want to comment on rumors or speculation--a common Microsoft response--a company representative said: "Microsoft has made no such announcement."
Microsoft contends that its Xbox 360 Elite is on par with the PlayStation 3 and the new PS3 Slim, even though Xbox lacks several PS3 features, including Blu-ray, built-in Wi-Fi, and free online gaming. When pressed for why it believes that the Xbox 360 Elite's value proposition is high enough, the company said that it's all about games to the gamer.
"Xbox 360 offers double the games library of PlayStation 3, and with Xbox Live, nearly 20 times the number of digital movies and TV shows," a Microsoft representative said in an e-mail. "On top of that, we're bringing even more to the table with instant-on 1080p HD streaming, Facebook and Twitter, and the future of games and entertainment with Project Natal."
Microsoft also asserts that its Xbox 360 Arcade--at $199--captures a portion of the market that its competitors cannot.
"When you're looking to find the best value in games and entertainment, price is really just one piece of the puzzle," the rep said. "However, consumers with $200 to spend this holiday season will still only find one console within their price range: our Arcade console."… Read more