The Good Sleeker design; 17 percent smaller; much quieter operation; better cooling; touch-sensitive power and disc tray; 250GB hard drive; built-in Wi-Fi; five USB ports; dedicated Kinect port; onboard optical digital audio.
The Bad The hard drive is still proprietary; controller on D-pad remains unchanged; cumbersome power block; renders existing faceplates useless; no cables for HD gaming out of the box.
The Bottom Line Though the new Xbox 360 certainly addresses most of the concerns we've had with the versions before it, we don't think it warrants a purchase if you already own an Xbox 360 in working order with an HDMI-out port and a hard drive.
Microsoft Xbox 360 Slim
Microsoft kick-started the "next-generation" of gaming on November 22, 2005, when the company released the Xbox 360, beating both Nintendo and Sony to market. Since then, the console has sold roughly 40 million units worldwide and has brought some innovative ideas to the gaming industry in the form of Xbox Live, the online marketplace, and gamer achievements.
The console is not without its shortcomings, though. Most notably, the infamous "red ring of death" controversy has plagued the system since its launch. The defect can be traced to the system's inability to properly dissipate heat, which in turn renders some of the vital innards unusable. Though Microsoft has remained quiet about an exact fail rate percentage, some analysts have that number as high as 40 percent, with recent reports hovering around a one in four odds of failing within the first two years of ownership. Other complaints vary from lack of built-in Wi-Fi to denying users the ability to replace the hard drive like the PlayStation 3 offers.
At E3 2010, Microsoft unveiled an Xbox 360 redesigned from the ground up. Officially referred to as the "S" console--or Slim, as we've come to call it--the latest iteration packs a 250GB hard drive, built-in Wi-Fi, and a new design that's about 17 percent smaller than the previous models.
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