Microsoft Introduces New Sleek Black Xbox 360 Console

Microsoft is going head-on with Nintendo's Wii thanks to the newly named Kinect. It's coming in November, and it'll add a level of motion gameplay that even the Wii can't offer; users will simply stand in front of the sensor bar and make motions, which are then understood by the console and converted into game movements. But in order to best take advantage of a new sensor bar, Microsoft has revealed a new console. Yes, a new console.

It's still the Xbox 360, but it's a new breed of Xbox 360. It's labeled the Xbox 360 S, and it contains a 250GB hard drive and a much smaller shell. It's coated in glossy black paint (sure to attract fingerprints), and will ship this week for $299. It's not an upgrade piece, but for those who have been holding out on getting a 360, this is a good time to get in. The machine has a special aux port in the back that'll be used to power the Kinect bar, whereas Kinect will need a dedicated power cable when used with "older" Xbox 360 consoles.

The new console also has an HDMI cable, but no Blu-ray drive. Older Xbox 360 consoles will see price drops, while the Arcade unit will be phased out entirely. The other big addition to the new guy is built-in Wi-Fi; previously, users had to purchase an expensive USB Wi-Fi dongle. Microsoft has also included five total USB ports (2 in front; 3 in back) for adding even more peripherals. We would have enjoyed a price drop, but we understand the point. We're getting integrated Internet (wireless) as well as a larger (250GB) hard drive, not to mention a sleeker, smaller case. Perfect for early holiday shoppers, right?

Another unique new piece introduced by Microsoft was the addition of ESPN3 support; it'll be the only game console out there able to stream ESPN3 content, which sports lovers should go crazy over. Also, a Video Kinect feature was teased that could bring video chat to future Xbox users. Only time will tell if consumers are ready to stand in front of their televisions to chat, but who knows what the future may bring.

The New Xbox 360

Microsoft also surprised the world with a new Xbox 360 console designed for the future. Back in black, the new Xbox 360 is sleek, silent and sexy. Connect in seconds to the always-expanding world of Xbox LIVE through built-in Wi-Fi N and store twice as many games and entertainment on a 250GB hard drive.

The newly designed console is whisper-quiet, so the silent tension of a game or movie is never broken. The new Xbox 360 system also comes with everything you need to get started, including an Xbox 360 wireless controller, Xbox 360 headset, HDMI input, USB flash drive storage capabilities and more, and a one-year limited warranty on the console, available this week and priced at $299.99 ERP.

Entertainment for Everyone

Xbox LIVE connects you and your Xbox 360 to a world of fun, friends and interactive social entertainment, with the best in games, movies, TV, music, sports and community experiences all in one place.

-- The stadium experience at home. This November, Xbox LIVE Gold members will enjoy free, instant access to more than 3,500 ESPN live global events every year on, including college basketball, college football and bowl games, MLB, NBA, international soccer, tennis including all four Grand Slam tournaments, golf majors and much more — exclusively on Xbox 360.(3) Members can also watch out-of-market games and access video clips on demand, refreshed daily.

With thousands of sporting events on and the interactive social network of Xbox LIVE, ESPN on Xbox 360 brings the excitement of a stadium experience into the living room. Fans will be able to share the emotion, victory and heartbreak of world-class sports with friends and rivals from coast to coast on Xbox LIVE. They'll also be able to see what games the Xbox LIVE community is watching, participate in polls, make predictions, play sports trivia and much more. With Kinect, fans control the action from their couches with just their voices or a wave of the hand. A first for home entertainment, ESPN on Xbox 360 brings the action to life like never before in an ultimate interactive experience for sports fans.

-- Seven million songs at your fingertips. Building on the success of Zune video on Xbox, Microsoft announced the expansion of the Zune music experience to Xbox LIVE, bringing everything you love about music right into the living room. With a Zune Pass subscription (sold separately),(4) users can discover and play an unlimited number of songs from a catalog of more than 7 million tracks, all streamed instantly, on-demand and in crystal-clear quality.

Create a playlist for your next party, and watch as the music videos of your favorite artists play in the background. Get personalized song recommendations based on your favorite artists, and see your Xbox LIVE friends' top songs. Plus, with the power of Kinect, you can control your music with hand gestures and your voice.

-- Video Kinect. Share a smile and a wave with faraway friends and family as you come together from living rooms across the world, no headset required(5). Video Kinect pans to follow your movements and adjusts automatically to make chat on Xbox LIVE more intuitive and easier to use than ever before.

Next year, Microsoft will link Video Kinect with Windows Live Messenger, allowing the Xbox LIVE community to have rich, real-time video conversations with hundreds of millions of PC users around the world. It will also integrate custom news feeds, weather and videos from Bing, sparking conversation just like you're in the same room reading the paper or watching the news together.

-- Global expansion. This holiday, Xbox LIVE will roll out service to nine new regions — Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Russia and South Africa — delivering the core gaming and community features that have made Xbox LIVE the world's premier online gaming destination. In addition, Australians will soon be able to watch live television and a range of video-on-demand programming on Xbox LIVE from satellite and cable TV provider FOXTEL with no set-top box required.

The Year of Blockbuster Games

Larger-than-life characters. Emotional storytelling. Groundbreaking gameplay. This year, the Xbox 360 is the only place to play the three biggest blockbusters — "Halo: Reach," "Call of Duty" and "Gears of War 3." In addition to these highly anticipated titles, games like "Fable III," "Metal Gear Solid: Rising" and code-named "Kingdoms" are also on the way.

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is a premier home entertainment and video game system. This November, with the addition of Kinect, Xbox 360 will forever transform social gaming and entertainment with a whole new way to play — no controller required. Xbox 360 is also home to the best and broadest games as well as the largest on-demand library of music, standard- and high-definition movies, TV shows and digital games, all in one place. The entertainment center of the living room, Xbox 360 blends unbeatable content with the leading social network of 25 million Xbox LIVE members to create a limitless entertainment experience that can be shared at home or across the globe. More information about Xbox 360 can be found online at