LOS ANGELES--When Microsoft unveiled the new slimline Xbox 360 at its press conference on Monday, it neglected to mention one small detail. The new model of the console is incapable of getting the "red ring of death," the three-red-bar indicator on the front of the console that signaled a variety of hardware failures.
The absolute impossibility of the red ring isn't by virtue of the console being failure-proof--that has yet to be determined. It's because the new console has no red LEDs at all. According to a spec sheet obtained by gaming blog Joystiq, the new console has only green LEDs in the ring on its front.
How the new console will indicate failure is unclear. When contacted by GameSpot, Microsoft representatives tacitly confirmed the change with the following official statement: "The new console’s ring of light has been redesigned with the rest of the console and uses a different illustration that our customer service team will be able to troubleshoot for you. If customers experience any issues with Xbox 360 250GB they should contact customer service at www.xbox.com/support or 1-800-4MY-Xbox."
The new Xbox 360 is already shipping to stores and will bear the same retail price as the Xbox 360 Elite, which has been discontinued and discounted $50. It will have a 250GB hard drive and comes with built-in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n connectivity. Its chassis has ample venting to cool its CPU and GPU, which are both made with a 45nm production process--meaning they will run cooler to begin with. As a result, the console requires a smaller fan for its cooling system, which Microsoft promises will be "whisper quiet."
For more on the new Xbox 360, check out GameSpot's hands-on preview or the video unboxing below.