What Is the Xbox 360 Elite System?

The Elite introduced large hard drives and HDMI ports

Xbox 360 Elite System
Xbox 360 Elite. Microsoft

In 2007, Microsoft announced that a new version of the Xbox 360 system—the Elite—would be joining the Xbox Core and Xbox Premium as Microsoft's high-end consoles. What did the Elite console have that the Premium and Core didn't? 

The Xbox 360 Elite System

At the time the Xbox 360 Elite was launched, huge hard drives and HDMI output weren't the norm on Xbox 360 systems. Then, Microsoft announced the new Elite system that would replace the Pro and Arcade units.

In the years since, Microsoft has included ever larger hard drives, issued lots of special editions, redesigned the system twice—the Slim and the E—and included built-in Wi-Fi and lots of other features that put the original Elite release to shame.  However, at the time, it was a big deal.  

The Xbox 360 Elite added a couple of key features in terms of storage and video output.

  • 120 GB hard drive. The Elite came with a much bigger hard drive than its predecessors, which was useful if you downloaded a lot of movies and TV shows from the Xbox Live Video Marketplace. The Xbox 360 premium had only a 20 GB hard drive and the Core had no hard drive at all.
  • HDMI Port. HDMI is the latest video/audio output designed to deliver the best picture and sound to your HDTV. It is still unclear how much difference the HDMI made on the Xbox, but it allowed the Xbox 360 Elite to do a couple of things other Xboxes couldn't do. Most notably, with HDMI, it could upscale DVDs to 720p/1080i. With regular component cables, other Xboxes could only reach 480p. The Premium and the Core did not have an HDMI port.
  • Black Case. Although not a major difference, the system and accessories were all colored black. This wasn't a big deal at the time, but it was a nice throwback to the original Xbox.

The other major difference was the price tag. The Xbox 360 Elite system set you back $479 in 2007 dollars. Today you can get one for less.

You can buy Xbox 360 Elite at Amazon.com here.

Consider the Xbox One

The Xbox 360 has been out for years now and the number of games released for it is slowing to a trickle. If you're considering buying an Xbox 360 right now, perhaps it would be better to make the jump to Xbox One instead. With better graphics, lots of indie games and improvements in just about every area, the Xbox One is a big step up, and games are being added all the time. Also, many Xbox 360 games are compatible with it, so you'll be able to play Xbox 360 games too.  

An important part of the Xbox One experience is Xbox Live. You can connect an Xbox One online to Xbox Live to buy game downloads, watch videos, use Skype, keep track of your friends' game progress, share your recorded gameplay videos and play multiplayer games online with other people. The Xbox 360 Elite can access Xbox Live, but some of the media runs better on the Xbox One.