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 3-red bar indicator on the front of the console that signaled hardware failure. 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 ring 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 said they would “have an official response shortly” but declined to confirm or deny the report outright.
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 wi-fi 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.”
There’s a growing movement in video games — motion control. And Microsoft’s latest twist: Its new system for the Xbox 360, dubbed Kinect (Project Natal) and being unveiled this week, requires no controller at all. Nintendo started the wave with simplified, wireless, movement-sensing Wii controllers in late 2006. Since then, consumers have bought more than 28 million Wiis. (In comparison, sales of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are about 20 million and 12.3 million, respectively.)