Xbox 360 Elite
with Michael Newey
- Platform Marketing Manager for Xbox in Europe, the
Middle East and Africa -
March 28th 2007
(Xbox Community Network), with which Xbox Gazette is affiliated, has been able
to ask some questions to Michael Newey, Platform Marketing Manager for Xbox EMEA,
about the Xbox 360 Elite.
28th 2007, Microsoft announced the Xbox 360 Elite, a new black Xbox 360 console
that has a built-in HDMI port and a 120 GB hard drive. Xbox also announced that
several new black accessories will be available soon.
: Could you tell us exactly what gamers will get when they buy a Xbox 360
Mike Newey : Sure. Included with your Xbox 360 Elite
you'll get a 120 GB hard drive, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI)
port built-in to the console, a high definition cable, and a premium black finish
for the console, wireless controller, and Xbox LIVE headset. So not only does
the Elite console have the bigger hard drive and the HDMI port, it also looks
XCN : Will we be
able to buy the new Elite accessories separately?
Mike Newey : Absolutely.
Offering Xbox 360 owners the choice to upgrade and customise their console in
whichever way they want is very important to us, so we will be making all of the
Elite accessories available separately. The 120 GB hard drive, the black Wireless
Controller, the black Headset and the Xbox 360 HDMI cable will all be available
for sale separately in the US from April 29, and we'll be announcing European
launch dates for these accessories as soon as we can.
In addition, we will
also be releasing black versions of the Xbox 360 Play & Charge Kit and the
Rechargeable Battery so you can ensure all your accessories match! Again, we'll
bring you more details about when these accessories will launch in Europe soon.
: When will the Elite console be available?
Mike Newey : The Elite
Xbox 360 will be available in the US from April 29. We have not announced release
dates for the Elite console in Europe yet, but rest assured that as soon as we
can let you know we will.
XCN : Why
can't you tell us when the Elite Xbox 360 and accessories will be available in
Mike Newey : I really wish I could! But let me reassure European
gamers that we're definitely committed to bringing the Xbox 360 Elite to Europe
and other regions around the world. I unfortunately can't give you any more information
at the moment about when this will be, but we will announce dates in those regions
the moment we can.
XCN : Why is
the US getting the Xbox 360 Elite first? It feels like Europe always has to suffer
when stuff like this comes up
Mike Newey : While I know it's
not much comfort for European Xbox 360 fans, we're introducing the Xbox 360 Elite
console into North America first because there is already a large base of Xbox
LIVE customers there who are already downloading HD games and entertainment. Because
of that it makes more sense for us to introduce the Elite console in the US before
Europe. That said, we know that gamers in Europe and around the world will be
desperate to get their hands on the Xbox 360 Elite and its accessories. I wish
I had better news for you, but all I can tell you right now is that we're working
very hard to bring the Elite console and accessories to Europe as soon as we can,
and I'd like to thank European Xbox 360 fans for their patience and support.
: The Xbox 360 Elite console will be priced at $479.99 in the US - how much
will it cost in Europe when it finally arrives?
Mike Newey : I don't
want to sound like a broken record, but I'm afraid I can't give you any information
on European pricing for the Elite Xbox 360 or the Elite accessories at the moment.
As soon as we can give you this information we'll be delighted to share it with
XCN : The Xbox 360 Elite
console is the most expensive Xbox 360 yet, but Nintendo's Wii has been selling
really well and it's very cheap. Why are you introducing a more expensive console?
Mike Newey : The Nintendo Wii is great fun, but it's a games console and
very little else. Aside from standard def gaming it has very limited functionality
compared to the Xbox 360. For a few pounds or Euros more than the Wii we offer
high definition gaming with Xbox 360 Core, which you can always upgrade with a
hard drive and other accessories if you want to.
On the other hand, the Elite
Xbox 360 offers more than double the storage capacity of any competing console.
This will allow you to store more games, music, photos and other entertainment
on your Xbox 360 than any other console out there. We know that gamers want to
be able to do this, so that's why we've introduced the Elite console and the 120GB
XCN : The PS3 has
received criticism for being very expensive - given the Elite Xbox 360 is more
expensive than the current Xbox consoles on sale, aren't you just saying that
Sony's high price is okay?
Mike Newey : Don't forget that we will soon
be offering European gamers three choices: Xbox 360 Core, Xbox 360 Premium and
now the Xbox 360 Elite. In comparison Sony only offers one type of console for
about £425 or 599 Euro. The Xbox 360 Core console is the perfect way for
gamers to get all the benefits of the Xbox 360 at a great value price. Later,
if they decide to upgrade their Xbox 360, they can add a 120 GB hard drive which
is more than double the storage capacity of the PS3, at a price lower than the
XCN : If I buy a new 120
GB Hard Drive, will I be able to transfer the data on my existing 20 GB hard drive
onto it? Or will I have to constantly swop my hard drives?
Mike Newey :
You won't have to swop your hard drives at all. When you buy a 120 GB Hard Drive
you'll also receive a migration cables which will allow you to easily copy all
the data on your old hard drive onto your new one. It's really easy!
: Will the Elite console come with one of these migration cables?
Newey : We don't think there will be a lot of current Xbox 360 owners who
want to buy an Elite console and transfer data from their old 20 GB hard drive,
so there will not be a migration cable bundled with the Elite console. However,
we know that some current Xbox 360 owners will want to upgrade to the Elite console,
so if they get in touch with us we will be more than happy to supply a migration
cable free of charge.
XCN : Why
have you decided to add an HDMI socket to the Elite Xbox 360?
: We decided to offer an HDMI cable with the Elite console to continue to
offer more choices to Xbox 360 owners. If you're lucky enough to have an HD television
equipped with an HDMI socket you'll now be able to enjoy a high definition signal
through a single cable. However, you do not need HDMI to experience Xbox 360 games
and entertainment in high definition - it just gives you more options.
: Will the Premium and Core Xbox 360 consoles have HDMI added soon?
Newey : We have not made any announcements about adding HDMI to either the
Core or Premium Xbox 360 consoles.
: There have been a lot of rumours that the black Xbox 360 would come with
a built-in HD-DVD drive.
Why have you decided to not do this, especially since PS3 comes with a built-in
Mike Newey : We've taken great care to listen to what
our customers want, and we've heard that the majority of people do not necessarily
want an HD DVD player built into their Xbox 360. The big thing for us at Xbox
is to offer you as much choice as possible, so rather than forcing you to pay
for an HD-DVD drive you might not want to use we have made the external Xbox 360
HD-DVD drive available. If you're keen to watch DVDs in high definition you can
purchase the HD-DVD drive separately - but we're not forcing you to pay more for
it if you don't want it.
XCN : There
has also been a lot of talk online about a quieter disc drive in new Xbox 360s.
Will this quieter disc drive be in the Elite Xbox 360 console?
: I can't comment on details of specific components. What I can say, however,
is that we're always making sure that the parts we use to build the Xbox 360 are
the latest and best parts available.
: 10 million Xbox 360 customers have already spent money on an Xbox 360 with
a smaller hard drive and no HDMI connectivity. What would you say to these customers?
Mike Newey : We really believe that the majority of current Xbox 360
owners will find that their existing system already does everything they need.
There are no new features on the Xbox 360 Elite console that your existing Xbox
360 doesn't have. You can already connect your existing Xbox 360 to your HDTV
with a hi-def cable, and if you feel you want to upgrade your hard drive we will
be making the 120 GB hard drive available separately. However, if you're buying
an Xbox 360 for the first time or you're a current Xbox 360 owner wants the premium
high definition experience and a bigger hard drive, the Xbox 360 Elite console
is a great value way to upgrade.
: Does the announcement of the Xbox 360 Elite console mean that we'll be seeing
a price drop for the existing consoles in Europe soon?
Mike Newey :
At the moment there are no plans to announce a price drop for the Xbox 360.
: Will you be removing the Xbox 360 Premium Console or the Xbox 360 Core Console
from European stores now that the Xbox 360 Elite Console has been announced?
Mike Newey : No. Both the Premium Xbox 360 and the Core Xbox 360 are very
important for offering you as much choice as possible when buying an Xbox 360.
The Elite Xbox 360 does not replace either of these - rather, it offers a further
option for the kind of gamer who wants the biggest possible hard drive, HDMI connectivity
at a great value price. And I didn't even mention the cool black finish on the
console and its accessories, which is definitely going to make the Elite console
a bit of a collector's edition!
: Recently faulty Xbox 360 consoles and customer service complaints have been
making the news. Are you bringing in the Elite console to phase out some of the
older, more unreliable Xbox 360 consoles out there?
Mike Newey : We
take our customers' feedback very seriously and we are doing everything in our
power to address the issues that have been brought to our attention. That said,
we've introduced the Elite Xbox 360 to offer you more choice and not to get rid
of any other Xbox 360 console. We're really confident that everyone who buys an
Elite console will be extremely impressed with what a quality - and cool - product
XCN : Thanks for your time
Related links :
360 Elite Videos
360 Elite official site
Other Xbox 360 interviews
Gazette, March 28th 2007
Thanks to : Mike Newey,