Microsoft recently released the Xbox 360 S in India. It’s a redesigned Xbox 360 game console, and here’s everything you need to know about it
Plays the same games
The Xbox 360 S is not a new console, but simply a redesign of the old Xbox 360 with a few new features thrown in. The user interface remains the same, and it plays the same games and media. So if you happen to own an old Xbox 360, you’re not losing out on any core functions.
The SKU that is currently available in India comes with a 250 GB hard drive, which rather that fitting onto the top of the console, now slides in through the bottom. Not that you’ll need more than 250 GB of space, but in case do feel the need to upgrade, you’re out of luck. These are proprietary hard drives and 250 GB is the highest capacity currently offered.
The new console rights many of the wrongs of its predecessor. One of them is Wi-Fi integration. While you were earlier resigned to using wired LAN or paying for an overpriced Wi-Fi adapter to access the Internet, you can now enjoy wireless freedom straight out of the box. There are two additional USB ports (five in total) as well, in case you’d like to store content on external drives or use wired controllers.
The S doesn’t stand for ‘Slim’
That’s because it isn’t slimmer than its predecessor. It is about 3 cm shorter than the old Xbox 360 though. When consoles are usually relaunched with a new design, you expect them to get considerably smaller/slimmer (as the PS3 did), but that isn’t the case here.
It looks better
The Xbox 360 S may not be a whole lot smaller than the old one, but it looks infinitely better. The matte finish gives way to a glossy shell, and this one is all-black. The design is a lot edgier and more aggressive. Massive wing-like air vents on either side not only help dissipate heat better, but also look pretty good. The overall design is the sort of thing you’d see from Alienware. The power and eject buttons are now touch sensitive, although we aren’t big fans of the mirror-like chrome power button.
The only reason we’re listing this here is to let you know that it’s nothing more than a marketing gimmick. The fact that the Xbox 360 S is “Kinect-ready” in no way means that the old Xbox 360 won’t support Kinect (the Xbox 360’s upcoming controller-free motion gaming tech). It simply means that it features a dedicated port for Kinect that removes the need for an external power connection for Kinect. The old Xbox 360 consoles will require a separate power connection for Kinect.
The power brick is still there
If you were to ask an Xbox 360 owner what they would like from a redesigned Xbox 360, almost all of them would ask for the power brick (the external power supply unit) to be integrated within the console. Microsoft has failed to do that, and while the power brick is now smaller, it’s still there, which is a little disappointing.
Runs quieter and cooler
The old Xbox 360 was quite a noisy machine and it was notorious for its overheating issues. The latter, though, was resolved even before the launch of the S console, and the large vents here allow heat to escape quite easily. It’s also way quieter than the old console. In fact, it’s almost silent.
Back to one-year warranty
On account of the rampant failures due to overheating, Microsoft had increased the warranty period for the old console to three years. Now that those issues have been resolved, however, the Xbox 360 S goes back to the standard one-year replacement warranty. If you do happen to spot an old Xbox 360 Arcade (priced Rs 12,990) in stores, it might not be a bad idea to pick it up, since it will still carry that comfortable three-year warranty.
While the Xbox 360 has always been cheaper than its bitter rival, the PlayStation 3, in the West, it’s been a very different story in India. At Rs 21,990, the Xbox 360 is, for the first time, able to compete with its comparable PS3 SKU where price is concerned. The PS3 with the same hard drive capacity will cost you Rs 22,500 (also includes Blu-ray and a free game). So the price is decent without being aggressive enough to make Sony sweat, and the 4 GB variant, which should make its way to India soon, will be even cheaper. Barring the failure to do away with the external power brick, there’s really nothing that Microsoft have got wrong with the Xbox 360 S. The 250 GB of storage is abundant, Wi-Fi is now built-in, and the new console looks great. The hardware reliability issues are a thing of the past, with the new console running cooler and quieter. If you already own an old Xbox 360 console, there’s nothing for you to worry about because this is essentially old wine in a new bottle. If you’ve been holding off on picking one up though, you’ll be glad you waited.
Published Date: Sep 28, 2010 12:21 pm | Updated Date: Sep 28, 2010 12:21 pm