updated 08:45 am EST, Fri March 6, 2009
X360 Elite Phaseout Leak
Microsoft will remove the Xbox 360 Elite as an everyday option at its stores if a new leak proves accurate. Multiple sources for Fudzilla claim that Microsoft will start winding down production of the standard, black model in the spring and will eventually leave just limited editions such as the Resident Evil 5 bundle in certain store chains in North America and Europe. The purported move would be prompted by the economic situation, which is more likely to lead to overstock of the $400 model.
The company would also justify the move by noting that most buyers of Elite systems are dedicated gamers and therefore are more likely to track down specific stores carrying the advanced models than average buyers, who more often pick the Xbox 360 Arcade or Pro.
To compensate, Microsoft is described as preparing an upgrade drive larger than 120GB that will let owners of regular systems get the desired extra storage without having to search for one of the limited edition consoles.
Plans are allegedly in flux and should be updated within the next two weeks. While secondary sources haven't yet come about to corroborate the claim, the move potentially reflects the likelihood of the current, 60GB Xbox 360 Pro to satisfy most users and would also give Microsoft a means of countering Sony's 160GB PlayStation 3, which until now has had the most capacity of any console on shelves.