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Xbox 360 S going all matte, no gloss

Microsoft is dropping the gloss finish from its Xbox 360 S console, favouring the matte finish. Good news if you're fed up of fingerprints.

Gloss: it's a double-edged sword. On the one hand, all these glossy phones, TVs and consoles look great, but on the other all the fingerprints make them look like a butcher's window after a pack of hounds has pressed their noses up against it.

Anyone considering buying an Xbox 360 S need not worry, as Microsoft has confirmed it's retiring the gloss finish for the console, meaning it'll only come in the less luxurious, but easier to clean matte black.

All the consoles will soon sport the same matte finish as currently seen on the 4GB model of the Xbox 360.

Larry Hryb, director of programming for Xbox Live, confirmed the news on his blog. Hyrb was keen to dispel rumours doing the rounds that customers would have the choice between a matte and a glossy 250GB Xbox 360 S. "I want to set the record straight and let everyone know this is not the case," he wrote. (Check the underline, the man means business.)

"We are actively transitioning all our Xbox 360 S consoles to a matte finish," he continued. "The consoles will start to arrive in stores over the coming weeks, so if you really love the idea of a glossy console don't wait much longer."

But he didn't rule out possible gloss finishes for one-off special edition consoles, such as the forthcoming Gears of War 3 version, which is good news for gloss fanboys.

The move echoes the PlayStation 3's shift from a gloss finish in its first incarnation to the slimmed down, matte finish for the PS3 Slim. Though critics did point out this second generation console looked a little like a sandwich toaster, albeit one free of fingerprints.