360 getting HD Netflix, $100 60GB HDD bundle
Console will get hi-def streaming at same time as other set-top boxes; GameStop listing long-rumored stand-alone memory upgrade as arriving November 4.
Xbox 360 owners got a double-dose of news today, both firmware and hardware-related. First up is word that the forthcoming New Xbox Experience will be offering Netflix video streaming in high-definition at the same time as other media-delivery platforms. The HD video option has already been sampled by GameSpot Hardware in its recent hands-on preview of the New Xbox Experience. CNET has confirmed that HD streaming will arrive on Roku, LG, and Samsung boxes around the same time as the NXE goes online November 19.
Unfortunately, the HD Netflix streaming will require a robust high-speed Internet connection with about 8-10 Mbps of bandwidth. (Non-HD streaming is possible with lower bandwidth.) It also won't be available to PCs and Macs which use the service.
Two weeks before the NXE launches, Microsoft will begin offering a long-rumored stand-alone hard drive bundle for the 360. Inventively called the Xbox 360 Hard Drive 60GB Live Pack (pictured), the package comes with a 60GB HDD, a 3-month Xbox Live Gold subscription, a wired Xbox Live headset, and an ethernet cable.
The long-rumored product compliments the 120GB hard drive which sells for $149.99 when not included as part of the $399.99 Elite console. It replaces the stand-alone 20GB 360 HDD, which Microsoft has ceased manufacturing but can still be bought refurbished for $59.99 from retailers such as GameStop. Microsoft is also offering refurbished 20GB 360 HDDs for just $19.99 to qualifying purchasers of the hard-drive-less Xbox 360 Core model, which was discontinued last year. Microsoft's sole hard drive-free console is now the $199 Xbox 360 Arcade.
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