Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Promotion: Destiny Awaits
Win a limited edition PS4 and a copy of Destiny
Empire Blogs
Infinite Lives

Back to all blogs Comment Now

The New Xbox: Slim, Sleek And Silent

Posted on Wednesday July 14, 2010, 16:19 by James Dyer in Infinite Lives
The New Xbox: Slim, Sleek And Silent

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since Microsoft’s Xbox 360 first arrived to make HD gaming a reality. Five years in which the PS3 has emerged to vie for position as king of the consoles, while Nintendo’s Wii lurched out of leftfield to sew up the casual gaming market. In ages gone by, a half decade would most likely herald the announcement of an all-new platform but, as Microsoft have been keen to point out, there’s a great deal of life in the 360 yet.

Instead of a new Xbox 720, what we have instead is a complete facelift, providing the rather clunky-looking console with a sleek new look and addressing some of the design flaws that have afflicted the 360 since launch. The Xbox Slim (or Xbox 360 S) hits stores this Friday and if you have yet to lay your hands on Microsoft’s console (or your existing one has seen better days) then this may be the time to shell out for one.

When Sony retired the fat PS3, the console swaped piano black for a matte finish and touch-sensitive buttons for physical, pushy ones. Microsoft has gone in the opposite direction. The Slim is nothing if not pretty, it’s glossy black hide looking far more attractive under your 50” Plasma than the Elite’s off-black shell ever did. It’s more compact, too (as the name would imply) shedding both length and girth for a more subtle, wife-pleasing form factor. Superficialities aside, other points to note are the addition of two extra USB ports, a TOSlink for optical audio out (sans adapter) and a power brick that, while by no means svelte, could no longer be used to beat hippos to death.

It’s ‘Kinect-ready’, negating the need for an additional external power source when Microsoft’s motion-sensing peripheral is launched later this year, and the console finally has an internal wireless adapter, one that is pleasingly compatible with the newer 802.11n standard, allowing faster data transfer for those with a compatible n-series router. There’s also a hefty 250GB HDD to store all your data.

All of which is great but, let’s be honest, it’s not why you’ll buy the Slim. The major win for the 360’s new makeover is the completely overhauled ventilation system. Gone are the two noisy fans on the console’s rear, replaced by a single, larger fan on the side (or top, depending on how you stack it). Excessive noise has been one of the principal bugbears with the 360 and it was with unfettered joy that we put in our MW2 disc to be greeted by little more than a subtle hum from the Slim, rather than the usual accompaniment of ‘Airbus thundering down the runway’.

Of course, the most important aspect of the Slim’s new cooling system is one that will have to be tested in the long term: an end to the dreaded Red Ring of Death that has plagued the 360 since launch and cost Microsoft a pretty penny. With far less chance of overheating we should (in theory) no longer fear that 14-hour stretches playing Domination on Overgrown will result in the emergence of that dreaded crimson circle and the untimely demise of our beloved console.

All in all our experience of the Slim has been wholly positive. Sure, the gloss finish will show up fingerprints (solution: don’t smear your hands all over it) and there’s no HDMI cable or HDD transfer kit included in the box (though both can be bought separately), but this is a welcome makeover for the console and a vast improvement over the now aging original.

A cooler Xbox, then, in every sense.

Login or register to comment.

Comments

1 billythehick
Posted on Thursday July 15, 2010, 02:42
I read about these. Not the consoles, the marketing trick. I'ts called Perceived Obselesence. Their product hasn't become obsolete and there's nothing new to replace it with, so they're giving a coat of paint and calling it "New And Improved". It's designed to make people with Xbox360s feel like they need to but a new one, when in fact they don't.
It's not the lowest form of scam, but ask yourself how many hundreds of pounds you'd actually pay, simply to make your game console slightly shinier.

2 kenny fm23
Posted on Friday July 16, 2010, 11:57
"I LOVE BUMBUM" - SAID THE CHOIRBOY TO THE BISHOP

3 billythehick
Posted on Saturday July 17, 2010, 12:58
A truer word...

Log in below, or register to post comments
Username:
Password:
Remember Me:

CATEGORIES

Empire States (439)

Under The Radar (317)

Infinite Lives (92)

Small Screen (57)

Words From The Wise (35)

Cannes 2011 (28)

Off The Wire (24)

Comic-Con 2010 (21)

Casting Couch (2)

Oscars 2011 (1)


RECENT POSTS

Cannes Film Festival 2014: Awards Wrap
By Damon Wise

Sundance London: An Introduction To The 2014 Edition
By Damon Wise

Sundance 2014: Final Wrap
By Damon Wise

Sundance 2014: The Raid 2 – First Look
By Damon Wise

Sundance 2014: First Report
By Damon Wise

Shane Carruth Interview: Upstream Color
By Damon Wise

Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac: First Look
By Damon Wise

The European Film Awards 2013
By Damon Wise

Metro Manila Charity Screenings
By Damon Wise

San Sebastian Film Festival 2013: First Report – Enemy, Le Week-end, Quai D'Orsay and The Railway Man
By Damon Wise


RECENT COMMENTS

Sundance 2014: Final Wrap
"lights of both competitors alongside its traditional 24/7 series. Here we have the greatest hits of "  lalkala000
Read comment

Sundance 2014: The Raid 2 – First Look
"Ha ha, buuuurn! I am going to go a step further and say Dredd was a better film."  doug64
Read comment

Sundance 2014: The Raid 2 – First Look
"You are a miserable old fart! "  Crazel
Read comment

Sundance 2014: The Raid 2 – First Look
"Doug64 I totally agreed with you"  Crazel
Read comment

Sundance 2014: The Raid 2 – First Look
"Am I the only person in the world who doesn't think The Raid is all that great? I realise you have t"  doug64
Read comment

Sundance 2014: The Raid 2 – First Look
"Great write-up on a movie for which I am incredibly excited. Even more promisingly, this seems to be"  tysmuse
Read comment

Toronto 2013: Starred Up, Belle, The Invisible Woman, Dom Hemingway, The Double
"If being on a par with Terry Gilliam's 'daft' Brazil is the only criticism avowed Gilliam-disliker D"  Garth_Marenghi
Read comment

Venice 2013: Under The Skin
"I'm glad that Glazer's finally back on the big screen. Judging by the review, he"  Manfrendshensindshen
Read comment

Venice 2013: Gravity Is Out Of This World
"What's really interesting about this film is the trailer gives nothing away but give you the premise"  durelius
Read comment

Venice 2013: Gravity Is Out Of This World
"Looks majestic. Can't wait to see this particularly if it lives up to the slowly-building hype."  herbertwest1701
Read comment


POPULAR POSTS

Why I Love Django Unchained
5 comments

Sundance 2014: The Raid 2 – First Look
5 comments

Venice 2013: Gravity Is Out Of This World
4 comments

Venice 2013: Under The Skin
1 comments

Toronto 2013: Starred Up, Belle, The Invisible Woman, Dom Hemingway, The Double
1 comments

Sundance 2013: The Round-Up Part Two
1 comments

Sundance 2013: The Round-Up Part 5
1 comments

Argo: a round table encounter with Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman
1 comments

Cannes 2013: Some Thoughts On The Official Lineup
1 comments

Sundance 2014: Final Wrap
1 comments


BLOGGERS
Damon Wise (297)
Helen O'Hara (167)
James Dyer (86)
Amar Vijay (71)
Ali Plumb (56)
James White (29)
Phil de Semlyen (19)
Owen Williams (15)
Ally Wybrew (2)
Ben Kirby (1)
Ian Nathan (1)
Dan Jolin (1)
David Parkinson (1)

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Gamescom 2014: The 10 Most Exciting Games
Zombies! Guns! Tombs! Sheep! Watch the trailers right here...

Who Is Mack Bolan? Your Guide To Cinema's New Action Man
As Bradley Cooper lines up to star as the hero, here's your handy guide to his story so far

Classic Feature: Empire Meets Uwe Boll
'I'm probably the most hated director in the world right now.'

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

The 100 Greatest Games Of All Time
You voted, we counted, and here they are: beat-'em-ups, shoot-'em-ups, RPGs, JRPGs, MMORPGs, RTSs, first-person shooters, platformers, sims and much more!

The Empire Podcast #124: Wesley Snipes And Terry Crews Talk Expendables 3
Plus the Empire team discuss the biggest movie news and reviews

Lists Of Our Lifetime: Empire's 25 Greatest Battles
From smalltime scraps to epic struggles, these are the conflicts that have stunned cinema since 1989

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)