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Xbox 360 Premium takes Core place at 299?

Before continuing, let us emphasize that, pending Microsoft confirmation, the information below is strictly rumor territory. However, we wouldn’t post it unless we had some good reasons for believing the info to be authentic, so here it is: the Core pack will be canceled, the Premium will drop to 299 euro, the black HDMI-supporting 360 will be launched this May, and finally Halo 3 will hit stores right before Christmas 2007. Too good to be true? Read on!

Core packGerman site Xbox-Archiv, known from before to have some good sources inside MS and be quite reliable on rumormongering, posted an article today on a bunch of things that should please most Xbox fanboys. First up, they investigated a bit on why German megastores MediaMarkt and Saturn are all of a sudden selling the Xbox 360 Premium pack at 299 euro. While wholesale price is still at around 350 euro, the included games can also be sold separately. Combined with gross purchase discounts awarded for stocking lots of Xbox 360 games besides the consoles, the total wholesale price easily drops below 300, resulting in many if not all retailers now being able to offer the Premium pack at 299 euro and still make a modest profit. Even if the new price doesn’t become official, who cares if all retailers use it?

So where does that leave the 299 euro Tard Pack, also sold under the name of Core pack? Retailers that were contacted suggested that their inside information states that the HD-less crap edition is indeed end-of-life, and will only be around for a few more months until permanent cancellation. Although noone will be really regretting Microsoft finally burying the rather unfortunate Core SKU, it does leave a lot of people out there in the cold without harddisks, and it eliminates the element of choice that people had when there were 2 SKUs to choose from.


Codename Zephyr could be with us in a matter of months

Or does it? The rumors of black 360s and HDMI-capable machines have been around for quite a while now. Xbox-Archiv states, Babelfished for your Engrish pleasure:

From reliable sources we experienced now that Microsoft plans release of a new Xbox 360 version in May 2007. The new Xbox 360 will that already admits black model to be, which has an HDMI exit and a larger non removable disk (120 GB). The price of the new Xbox 360 will lie between €350 and €450, an exact product name is not present, the internal code name Zephyr is rather improbable as sales designation.

(editor’s note: Babelfish translates ‘festplatter’ as ‘non removable disk’, but it should just read ‘hard disk’. there’s no indication that it’s non-detachable, nor would there be reason to)

For those unable to read proper Engrish, or German for all that matters, the summary is that a new black 360 with 120GB HD and HDMI output will hit the stores for some 400-odd euros in May this year.

Closing off the list of rumors, Xbox-Archiv also mentions that the third installment in the Xbox killer franchise pur sang, Halo 3, will definitely hit stores in November this year. Not really a big surprise, since this allows them to make the most of this year’s Holiday sales not unlike Gears of War that ‘emerged’ last November for good reason.


Dreaming of a white Christmas with Master Chief under the tree?

Again we must emphasize that all the stuff above is strictly rumor, until Microsoft officially confirms it or gives us the usual “Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation” which usually means it’s true. However, we at Xboxic also have some deep throats in the Redmond Giant’s ranks, who suggested the Xbox team has some tricks up its sleeve for the next week, with the impending European release of arch rival PlayStation 3 on March 23rd. Putting A and B together we wouldn’t at all be surprised if an Xbox 360 pricedrop was officially announced somewhere this month, and officially making the PS3 100% more expensive rather than the current 50% is sure to get some managers at Sony HQ worried. Still, we can’t emphasize enough that all the information above is officially unconfirmed and might turn out bogus or get postponed if required.

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71 comments on 'Xbox 360 Premium takes Core place at 299?'

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Comment by detroit adam on 2007-03-12 21:54:49 | Reply

i think they would all come true except for halo coming this year

Comment by x El Scorpio x on 2007-03-12 22:19:29 | Reply

halo’s been announed as 2007 for ages

Yep, it was even second half 2007 for a while now. November is ‘news’ in a sense, but a rather open goal given the holiday planning.

Comment by Tucky on 2007-03-12 21:56:55 | Reply

be great if MS could make a deal so that you could trade in your 360 and pay say £100 to get the new one, that would be awsomw! you better be listenin MS!

Not gonna happen.

It would be about as great as it is unlikely yeah.

Comment by Andrej on 2007-03-13 00:26:50 | Reply

Yeah, and I want a pony. Are you listenin MS!

Screw ponies, I want a friggin’ unicorn.

Comment by Tucky on 2007-03-12 22:04:35 | Reply

if not then ebay wil hold that offer lol

Comment by J1980/ welljasona / UK Jay on 2007-03-12 22:20:18 | Reply

I dont want a trade in offer…as soon a black xbox360 hits the shelves Im bagging one - then I’ll worry about the old one later. Thankfully yhe larger memory cards will make it easier to transfer saves onto the new harddrive.

Comment by VeteranAssassin on 2007-03-12 22:20:44 | Reply

Umm, “proper Engrish”? Was that a joke that went way over my head?

Grrr, I want a 120GB HDD too!

‘Engrish’ is the term usually coined for abuse of the English language by Japanese or sometimes Indian speakers. Since Babelfish rather sucks at translating German to English automatically, the end result is rather close to what is usually considered ‘Engrish’. So yes, it was intentional :)

Comment by The_Glovner on 2007-03-13 15:30:02 | Reply

I got it, an laughed.

Comment by Mark on 2007-03-12 23:03:04 | Reply

Ha Ha, looks like 360 owners have been sold down the river. Core and Premium, what with the new version coming out..

Comment by trj156 on 2007-03-12 23:05:40 | Reply

“we at Xboxic also have some deep throats”
HAHHAAHAHAHA
i love xboxic

Comment by trj156 on 2007-03-12 23:06:19 | Reply

btw i understand the allusion it’s just way funnier out of context!!

You my man are a sick fuck :D

I have to find a way to get the new machine when it comes out… not too keen on the color black though, thankfully you can change faceplates.

BTW, does anyone find the fact that the 120GB HDD is NON-removable disturbing??

Comment by toxic on 2007-03-12 23:19:09 | Reply

this HDMI 360 console stuff sucks, if they can they should make an HDMI cord. otherwise there are going to be some ripped off feeling early adopters

BUT WHYYYYYYYYYYYY?

Why is there NOWHERE on the world such a thing as ‘feeling ripped off when a product you bought gets improved later on’ but in game consoles? IT’S NORMAL PROGRESSION, PRODUCTS GET IMPROVED.

The HDMI 1.3 spec wasn’t finished until June 2006, hence the Xbox 360 didn’t have it when launched late 2005. Why is it such a weird thing that a regular update to the machine will get it?

And completely apart from that, HDMI is overrated. Component gives better image quality, and is a more stable standard with less problems.

Comment by felizk on 2007-03-13 11:51:29 | Reply

Whaat have you been smoking boy. Component better image quality than HDMI, that’s just madness :P

Comment by steve on 2007-03-13 14:37:39 | Reply

What have you been smokin dude!
Do all the research on hdmi vs component and you will find out that hdmi does not look better!!! It’s just a bigger pain in the ass. Also you can’t use dobly 5.1 (optical) with hdmi. Unless your hdtv has an optical out!!! Or your amp has hdmi in and out! And since there really is no picture improvement and sometimes there is a picture degradtion (read up) it’s just not worth it!

Comment by J1980/ welljasona / UK Jay on 2007-03-14 02:19:54 | Reply

I know that you are right by the way. HDMI is a fancy way of getting picture & sound together in an updated format - it’s basically a modern day scart cable

Comment by Taomyn on 2007-03-13 13:39:47 | Reply

They won’t do an HDMI port - it’s plain stupid. Apart from needing fancy coding to support two output ports (and increasing the number of hardware types to support), it means a mainboard redesign. They made a wise choice with a multifunction port (as did Nintendo and their Wii), so they simply need to update the code and bring out new adapters to keep up with changes (regardless of HDMI specs).

I think this prototype 360 was just a scare tactic for Sony’s benefit.

Never bought a Nintendo handheld then?

I would be surprised if Halo 3 comes out this year even… I just get the feeling it’s going to be Dec. 2007 or March 2008. but i’m hoping it’s this year damn we’ve waited long enough haha

Comment by Nekro on 2007-03-13 01:44:59 | Reply

I hope it’s released in 2012.

Comment by icecreamfarmer on 2007-03-12 23:53:38 | Reply

This sucks only a year after the launch.

I hope they `ll sell the herddisc seperatly

Comment by Creepy17 on 2007-03-14 00:02:59 | Reply

It would be a year and a half, which is about 25% of the expected life span of a games console. So really, it’s not that short of an interlude between release and upgrade.

Comment by cartman on 2007-03-12 23:56:33 | Reply

Halo sucks ass

non removable HDD??? :(((((

Hmm I’ll clarify that a bit.

The German word for “hard disk” is “festplatter”, which babelfish translates as “non-removable disk”. It should be removable though.

Comment by coojo on 2007-03-13 02:29:14 | Reply

fuck we live in america not gay ass europe put some u.s. prices and info

I have no US info, simple as that. In practice prices are the same, US in dollars ex VAT, Europe including VAT in euros.

And we’re not gay ass thank you.

Comment by SechoDB on 2007-03-13 03:01:08 | Reply

Thanks for clarifying the HHDD non-removable thing. It got me worried.

Yes, you’re right, in Europe prices include the tax. In the US they don’t.

Comment by PrivateerLunatic on 2007-03-13 05:36:17 | Reply

“Gay ass Europe?”

I daily wonder why God was so cruel as to make me share a country with people like you,coojo.

You’re the reason many of us have to lie and say we’re Canadian when we’re traveling…

Comment by PrivateerLunatic on 2007-03-13 05:42:19 | Reply

Oh, and I was going to suggest that you just do the currency conversion for both the current and rumored future European 360 prices, compare them to the current American price, and get a rough idea as to the American prices if this story is true.

But then realize it’d be too much trouble for someone who already doesn’t take the time to use proper capitalization and punctuation.

Also, I forgot our straight-ass public education system sucks at teaching mathematics.

Comment by PrivateerLunatic on 2007-03-13 05:42:56 | Reply

*then I realized, rather

Comment by Norman Bates on 2007-03-13 10:20:54 | Reply

no offence coojo but i can’t stand 12yo yank kids

BTW kiddo i have trees in my backyard older than your country..

Comment by Stan Humphries on 2007-03-13 17:54:16 | Reply

Then why do you respond to them with “BTW kiddo i have trees in my backyard older than your country..”

It sound to me like you have plenty of time. And your country wouldn’t be there if not for the young US, Unless you’re German, and I don’t want to think about that.

Comment by Gunnar on 2007-03-14 01:12:49 | Reply

“It sound to me like you have plenty of time. And your country wouldn’t be there if not for the young US, Unless you’re German, and I don’t want to think about that.”

Why wouldn’t his country be there if not for the young US? It’s not like the US has saved the world?

Comment by steve on 2007-03-13 14:47:06 | Reply

Wow are you an asshole for making that statement! I live in the U.S. and I could never say something like that to another person.
Are your parents teaching you to not like any other country but the U.S.A.
Or maybe you’re native american and your indian name is ’sucksalotdick’ and your enviuos because you have no more dick to suck in this country because you have sucked them all!!!

Comment by Stan Humphries on 2007-03-13 18:05:10 | Reply

And your reply makes you look like an asshole as well.

Congratulations! You are a troll!

I can’t spell it out any plainer than our webmaster and all six of our original crewmembers are from the Netherlands which is in Europe thank you very much. To top it off, our server admin is in Belgium and we have several British newsposters and at least one Irishman. If memory serves, including myself, only four Americans currently work for this site. In other words: we are really outnumbered :)

You make a bad name for us good Americans :(

Nice. Front page of Digg. Way to go Xboxic, you’ll get some good users now.

Hopefully they decide to put out a WHITE version of the hdmi 360 as well. Seems kinda odd to have a black console and every other accessory in white.

Comment by METAL on 2007-03-13 04:06:05 | Reply

The picture on the actual German site looks bogus. It looks like a Core system (with seperately sold HDD) that is painted black. The hard drive looks the same, plus the Power and Eject buttons are both white (on Premium systems, the Eject button is chrome). Sure it’s possible that they are going to make the buttons white, but it looks bad. Seems to me that this was a cheap attempt to be convince people that their info is real.

Comment by METAL on 2007-03-13 04:09:51 | Reply

If it really was the rumored Black 360, they would have convinced people by showing a picture of the HDD and the HDMI output on the back. But they didn’t. Probably because they couldn’t because this is a home-made fake.

The picture is illustrative. They never claimed they had a black 360 or a picture of it. I don’t even think it’s painted, just a Photoshop.

Comment by OldWiseMan on 2007-03-13 04:08:51 | Reply

APRIL FOOLS!!

Comment by Bob Vu on 2007-03-13 07:07:07 | Reply

What is funny is that HDMI is over-rated. Let me ask all of you guys, how many of you guys actually use your HD tv speakers to play games. A few, I am sure the rest of you guys use a real surround sound system, not a simulated crap surround. So if you do use the HDMI port, you will have to add another wire or adapter in order to get the sound through your surround sound. However the black color and bigger hard drvie is pretty sick, bastards.

Comment by Carl on 2007-03-13 10:13:13 | Reply

they need to do this before Halo 3, mass effect, and bioshock come out. If they do, all these games will bring in a lot of customers.

Comment by c. on 2007-03-13 12:09:43 | Reply

HDMI is not overrated and you are not very smart nor do you know anything about HDMI. Component is not even close to HDMI as far as realizing a full picture. LCoS and what not are digtial, and it makes a LOT of sense to keep the signal in the digital domain. HDMI really shines when it comes to movies with much better bit depth, resolution, less chance for any kind of errors going from components. I am no real expert but just saying component is as good is not true and saying it is better is just plain ol’ retarded, considering just about any tv above 5 hundred dollars will have hdmi 1.3 in 2008. High class receivers usually have HDMI ports and will soon have HDMI 1.3 ports. All high class receivers will soon be fitted with the device for an all in one digital system from tv to receiver to bluray player. THIS IS FOR GAMING AND MOVIES THAT USE UNCOMPRESSED OR COMPRESSED SIGNALS in digital domain. Audiophiles will for quite some time use RCA’s for their systems as most high quality amps accept RCA’s. Most likely HDDVD is looking like it will lose so I am not thinking it will survive much longer than another year, with all the studios backing Bluray. But who knows….

HDMI 1.3 increases its single-link bandwidth from 165MHz (4.95 gigabits per second) to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbps) to support the demands of future high-definition display devices, such as higher resolutions, deep color and high frame rates. In addition, built into the HDMI 1.3 specification is the technical foundation that will let future versions of HDMI reach significantly higher speeds.

Deep color:
• HDMI 1.3 supports 30-bit, 36-bit and 48-bit (RGB or YCbCr) color depths, up from the 24-bit depths in previous versions of the HDMI specification.
• Lets HDTVs and other displays go from millions of colors to billions of colors.
• Eliminates on-screen color banding, for smooth tonal transitions and subtle gradations between colors.
• Enables increased contrast ratio.
• Can represent many times more shades of gray between black and white. At 30-bit pixel depth, four times more shades of gray would be the minimum, and the typical improvement would be eight times or more.

Broader color space:
• HDMI 1.3 removes virtually all limits on color selection.
• Next-generation “xvYCC” color space supports 1.8 times as many colors as existing HDTV signals.
• Lets HDTVs display colors more accurately.
• Enables displays with more natural and vivid colors.

Comment by Blave on 2007-03-13 17:09:32 | Reply

For the average consumer the difference in HDMI and Component is not very noticeable, if at all. Many tests have been done to prove this. On the flip side, the HDMI cable does allow for more seamless integration of your home theater setup granted that you have HDMI connections throughout your gear.

Apart from the fact that HDMI has been known (until 1.3 standard at least) to have extremely bad synchronization between audio and video.

Comment by Farstarbuck on 2007-03-13 13:02:16 | Reply

I find it hard to believe that MS will release a new SKU for over 400 Euros, A price far too close to the PS3 that has no next gen dvd player in it, only way its gonna be that much is if they include a HD DVD drive in the unit, 120 HD and HDMI 1.3 are not worth another 90 quid on top of 280 quid for me. Sorry.

Comment by TCampbell76 on 2007-03-13 18:26:02 | Reply

Did the editor of this article fail at math?
299 Euros = 392.8561 U.S. dollars. That is an estimated $5.00 price drop from the current US price. Also Amazon UK is selling Premium 360’s for £264.96 = 389.44 Euros. As for the HDMI console it was confirmed months ago.

This isn’t news. I’m impressed with the journalism skills on this site, no wonder I never heard of it before until Digg.

As if video game price conversions are ever done with this “math” thing you keep talking about. The Premium is currently 400 Euros and 400 USD. I’ll let you go from here, ask someone if you need help.

(and by someone I do not mean me because that’s as sharp as I get)

I got rather good results at math thank you. Besides Doug’s comment the VAT difference was explained several times in the comments here already. 399 US = 399 EU, and yes that means we are rather screwed permanently.

Comment by Ron on 2007-03-13 23:10:19 | Reply

Will the new 360 be avalible in america too will there be some kind off deal if you trade your old one in you get a new one for a 100 dollars extra??? If not will the old 360 be obsolete

Comment by C-Bass on 2007-03-13 23:23:49 | Reply

Everyone trying to diss HDMI are stupid. i am not trying to shove it down your throat, but dont say it is inferior to anything else out there. the one addition i had was that recievers that use HDMI inputs are rare right now, but most HDMI products have an optical out as well. all you have to do is set the video to HDMI and the audio to your optical. stop complaining. and to re-release the 360 is lame. nice to see they went from a 4 year life cycle with xbox to a 2 year w/the 360

Were you forced to buy a PSTwo when it came out? Does the first 360 become obsolete when a new version is released which does exactly the same. HDMI is a nice bonus, but nowhere near mandatory upgrade. It’s a simple new revision of the exact same product that can do the exact same thing, just has an extra A/V output.

Comment by coojo on 2007-03-14 04:08:36 | Reply

blu-ray is better than hddvd cuz 50GB>30GB

That’s the stupidest remark thus far in the comments. Size is a mere small factor in the equations. How about content protection, where Bluray is far stricter than HDDVD? Backwards compatibility, which Bluray does not have? Reading speeds, seek times, vulnerability of the discs, cost of drives? Sony having severe problems manufacturing intact diodes for the Bluray?

Merely looking at size is a testament to your shortsightedness.

Comment by ANTHONY on 2007-03-14 07:23:11 | Reply

WOW, MS IS MAKING A NEW XBOX AFTER ONLY A YEAR AND A HALF. BOY THEY REALLY MUST BE GETTING SCARED OF THE PS3. BUT I GUESS ITS BETTER LATER THAN NEVER.

Comment by Jer on 2007-03-14 08:17:23 | Reply

The new 360 will be nice and it makes sence Seeing how they released the 360 so much earlier then the compation. I do believe change is a good thing and who knows MS is know for selling extras so why wouldn’t they sell a 120 gb HD for the current 360. Any way I am sure it’s just another marketing scam for MS to make more money.

Comment by jeson on 2007-03-14 12:05:49 | Reply

i’ll laugh if it is price close to the ps3’s pricing. however i like the x360 and halo look awesome

Comment by mtbjunkie on 2007-03-15 04:53:02 | Reply

Microsoft - Can we please have a trade in program for current 360 owners that want the black 360 w/ HDMI port? Half price would be great, Thanks!

Comment by pantstain on 2007-03-20 02:35:23 | Reply

You people are funny. Firstly, I have to admit, this was a very interesting thing to read. Props to those not American and my American brotheren. Being of a decendant inslaved and brought to this country I am also thankful, now anyway. Getting a 360 in Africa is probably slim. Taking a minute for the “Native Americans” or “Indians” or the people of India, which ever you were referring earlier, that statement was unpleasant. The youth of the nation now argues over “VAT” pricing and bad “computer translation”. I would hate to get in a frag contest with you spawn campers. I do have a point to my madness. Xbox 360 w/o HDMI, if you own, which we all do, why upgrade if you don’t need to? Coversation ended. If Core is gone, so what do you have a hard drive? Be thankful, a 120Gb will be available for you too. It’s pure marketing, why not allow you to “buy” something from one of the riches companies on Earth? Fixed HDD, come on, I thought you guys were smarter…how fast can you fill up 120Gb? They know that too. Like stated earlier, Halo 3 will debut this year, couldn’t do it last year cause GoW did better than expected. So they have extra time to get it right, so we don’t complain early. Sure they could have released if needed late last year or early this year, but that would have required you to patch the game everyday for a week. Now, they can make it what you want to play. Sit back, for give the foreigners of the Crusades, and quit talking about the people who made this country what it is. We know we could take Europe, but where else would we find competition? Think about it…;)

Comment by snuffy b. luffy on 2007-03-23 05:24:59 | Reply

it always amazes me about these rumors. i live in redmond, so i see the hands of microsoft every day around town. when i get a sandwich at the deli chances are at least 1 person in line is a microsoft employee. you hear things. you know things. plus, it is very easy to get into play testing. i play tested gears of war and was amazed to hear people in shock and awe when i told them how far along development was since a release date wasnt announced. the simple fact is, if you want to know what the deal is make yourself a familiar face in and around redmond. you dont need uber 1337 spies or “inside info” to figure it out. just pay attention to the surroundings. when the weather permits, the MS campus usually has a good amount of people outside enjoying the grounds - playing frisbee or kicking a ball around. youll see techies walking around in groups arguing about some obscure issue and in general the campus looks active. thats just how things are. so lets say you check out the campus, its a nice day, youve heard some rumors and are expecting to hear something in the next week, you take a look around and see - - nobody. The campus looks absolutely dead. because everyone is inside working on whatever it is that hasnt been announced yet. this is how it was in the week leading up to the release of halo 2, gears of war and vista. you dont need black leather trench coats to figure this stuff out.

Comment by Xbox360elitesux on 2007-04-17 05:07:52 | Reply

Okay guys I hope this helps u all with your decision on buying a 360 elite or not. So pretty much here’s the whole thing in a nutshell.
360 elite costs $80 more than regular 360. All the elite has more than 360 is HDMI capability, which won’t even work with newer HD TVs. It’s a version 1.2, which can be upgraded but it costs more money. The 120GB more space, from what I know about games, is too much space anyway. Who is gonna store 120 gigs of crap on an XBOX? That’s what computers are for. games don’t take that muh space to save in he first place anyway. In my opinion, the Xbox 360 premium package is SO MUCH BETTER thanm getting the elite. I expect the elite will be bought seldomly and the 360 will still be a major gaming breakthrough. Microsoft is amazing, just not too great of market strategizers… IN MY OPINION. Just to give ya’all a heads up.

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