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Black Xbox 360 Elite: Strongly rumoured

Beige Xbox 360 owners will love this: apparently the release of a sexy black number with improved specs is imminent

Anyone who's bought an Xbox 360 in the last couple of months is a fool. Well, at least they will be if the rumours of a souped-up black Xbox 360 Elite turn out to be true.

Engadget has it on good authority (from 'trusted sources') that the 360 Elite does exist. It allegedly sports a black case, controller and Live headset, an HDMI video-output port and a 120GB hard drive -- 100GB bigger than the current one.

Word is the Elite 360 will run cooler and more quietly than standard 360s due to the (alleged) use of 65-nanometer chips, whose smaller transistors consume less power. Engadget says it'll be produced in limited numbers, but will eventually replace the Xbox 360 Premium Edition (aka the version with the hard drive). Ebony fans shouldn't get their hopes up too much, though -- Premium machines will still be beige.

Unfortunately, Microsoft will not include an HD DVD drive or built-in Wi-Fi. The 360 Elite will apparently cost $479 (£245) if it ever sees the light of day -- we expect that to magically inflate to around £330 this side of the Atlantic. -RR

Update: Microsoft has confirmed that it will launch the Xbox 360 Elite on 29 April in the US for $479, but didn't announce launch dates or prices for the UK or Europe. More details in our News story here.

Update 2: A full review of the Xbox 360 Elite is now live.