CNET First Look
Xbox 360 E doesn't pass along the savingsThe Xbox 360 E is a cheaper construction, but unfortunately doesn't cost any less. If you can still find one, the Xbox 360 S is the better deal.
Hey, everyone. I'm Jeff Bakalar for cnet.com. This is a first look at the Xbox 360 E. So here it is, the Xbox 360 E, which Microsoft announced at E3 2013. First things first, this is exactly the same as the Xbox 360 S. There's literally no difference in terms of the functionality. When you turn on this, it's gonna look just like the old one. It is exactly the same. It's not quicker. It's not slower. It's exactly the same. You're not gonna notice any difference. There's a few things aesthetically on the boxes that you will notice are different. We're talking like millimeters in difference. The E is maybe designed a little bit to resemble what the Xbox One is gonna look like aesthetically. Other than that, you're not gonna find any difference. They've taken out a USB on this one so you get 4 ports instead of 5 compared to this guy. On the bottom, there's a little port for the hard drive that you can access fairly easily. You pop this in and out, no problem just like this guy over here and you're all set and done. Microsoft says, the Xbox 360 E runs quieter and cooler. Yes, it definitely is a little quieter. Cooler-- I couldn't really tell when I had these two running side by side. But it's nowhere near the dramatic jump you got from the original white 360 down to this slim 360 S. So, on the Xbox 360 E which is the brand new version. It's actually taking out an optical audio output. Now, if you're like me and you have an older receiver that only uses audio through a separate source outside of HDMI, you're kinda have to look because there's no way to get separate audio out of this system for surround sound, which is kind of a bummer. So, what you're gonna need to do is, you're gonna need to either have a receiver that uses audio over HDMI, which most current ones do or you're gonna use this new interface that they've put on the back, which is a breakout 8-inch AV cable. It's 2013. To this day, you can still not play Xbox in HD out of the box. It's been 8 years and this is what we're dealing with still. Go and get yourself an HDMI cable for $5, it's fine. So, another thing people wanna know about the new one. If it has an IR port in the front so you can hook it up to like your universal remote control. Yes. It has that, don't worry. Also on the front, you'll notice compared to the S, there's physical buttons. This is all touched on the S, these are actual physical buttons that you have to push-- not a big deal. I just spit on it a little bit. That's gross. Let say you have an Xbox 360 S and you're like, "Oh, well. There's a new Xbox out, should I buy it?" I don't know why anyone would wanna buy this because there's literally no difference. In fact, you get less for the same amount of money. And plus, I've been on like Amazon and you have these deals right now where you can get this bundled with Arkham City with Darksiders II and it's the same price as this brand new one that's arguably an inferior box. It turns out, this is a lot cheaper to make than the 360 S. So, that's what's happening. You're getting a console for the same price as what you paid last time but it cost Microsoft a little less to make it. So that's what's going on here. I guess eventually, the S will go away and will only be left with the E. But for the time being, if you're looking for an Xbox 360 for your first time you've never have them before, get this one. The S is the way to go. The E-- not so sure who it's for. It's not for you. It's not for me. It's really just here to, I don't know, make more money for Microsoft. So that's what I gotta say about that. That's gonna do it for me. I'm Jeff Bakalar, checking out the Xbox 360 E for cnet.com. Thank you for watching.