Pro 360s HDMI'd

Microsoft confirms Elite feature's arrival on $349 model; retailers "gradually introducing" new form factor into stores.

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The Xbox 360 Elite's HDMI port.
The Xbox 360 Elite's HDMI port.

Earlier today, Shacknews reported that one of its readers had purchased the freshly cheapened Xbox 360 system (commonly known as the Xbox 360 Pro or Xbox 360 Premium system) and found that the system featured an high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port. Previously, HDMI output had been exclusive to the pricier Xbox 360 Elite and the forthcoming Halo 3-themed 360.

A Microsoft representative confirmed the report for GameSpot, saying that HDMI-enabled Xbox 360s are starting to roll out in stores now.

"Yes, we are offering an HDMI port for Xbox 360 simply as another choice in Xbox 360 owners' games and entertainment experience," the representative said. "Retailers are gradually introducing HDMI-enabled Xbox 360s into the channel to meet demand."

Gamers can identify which consoles have the HDMI port before purchasing because the system will have an HDMI logo on the external packaging. Don't bother looking for the logo on Core systems just yet, however; the representative told GameSpot, "We have not announced any plans to add HDMI to the Xbox 360 Core System."

As for whether or not the new HDMI-equipped Xbox 360 systems include the anticipated 65nm chips, the representative wouldn't say.

"We are constantly updating the console's more than 1,700 internal components and therefore will not comment on details of specific components or manufacturing processes," he said.

First announced last year, the 65nm chips run cooler than the 90nm chips in the original design of the Xbox 360. Those chips' heat output remains the prime suspect in the widely reported Xbox 360 failures which prompted Microsoft to extend the console's warranty to three years, costing it $1.08 billion last quarter alone.

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