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Next-gen Xbox: A hands-on preview

GameSpot reviewer James Yu tries out the Xbox 360 and weighs in on its form and function.

The Microsoft Xbox 360 is scheduled to hit store shelves Nov. 22, but we managed to get a system for a little hands-on testing.

We've seen the 360 system at countless press conferences and numerous hands-on events, but it's still an incredibly gratifying experience to actually get a system into our offices for some quality testing without having to worry about a PR representative watching our every move.

The $399 Xbox 360 system comes with chrome trim, and a super-sized power brick.

The Xbox 360 system has a clean face, and all the front elements incorporate curved edges and rounded buttons to fit in with the console's modern design. Looking at our system, we immediately noticed that the DVD media tray and eject button feature chrome highlights. In comparison, the media tray on the Core system only has a plain plastic exterior that matches the rest of the case--yet another reason to choose the full Xbox 360 system over the Core model.

The 360 isn't that much smaller than the original Xbox, as the footprints are roughly equal, but the 360 system's elegant lines make the unit look much smaller than its bulging predecessor.

To read GameSpot's full review, click here.