Rumors have floated in the past month that Microsoft will launch a new high-end version of the Xbox 360. It’s true that Microsoft is preparing to announce the Xbox 360 Elite, a version of the game console with black plastic and advanced features. Several sources confirmed Microsoft plans to add this box to its product line.
The new box will go on sale in limited quantities soon for $479. The details may not be precise here, but I believe it will have an HDMI connector so that you can connect at the highest speed to a high-definition TV. It will come with a 120-gigabyte hard disk drive and will have IPTV capability.
Bill Gates announced in January that the Xbox 360 was capable of serving as a set-top box for IPTV, or Internet Protocol TV, which phone companies such as AT&T are using to offer high-definition movies and scores of channels in competition with TV.
The Xbox 360 Elite will apparently not come with a built-in HD-DVD drive, which will remain an option for playing high-definition movie disks. In the spring, the new machine will be available in limited quantities and it will reflect a redesigned motherboard. Tina Conley, an outside spokeswoman for Microsoft, declined to comment on Saturday.