Microsoft Unleashes “Sleek, Silent and Sexy” Xbox 360 Slim Console

Xbox 360 S “Valhalla” Packs 250GB Hard Drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, New Chips

by Anton Shilov
06/14/2010 | 10:30 PM

At the E3 trade-show Microsoft Corp. unveiled a new version of Xbox 360 game console that is smaller and quieter compared to predecessors and features 250GB hard drive along with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi controller. It is believed that the new console is also based around the code-named Valhalla design that places IBM Xenon microprocessor and ATI Xenos graphics and memory controller hub (GMCH) on the same chip.

 

The new Xbox 360 system that integrates a new 250GB hard drive, 802.11b/g/n wireless network controller comes with everything one need to get started, including an Xbox 360 wireless controller, Xbox 360 headset, HDMI output, USB flash drive storage capabilities and more. The new Xbox 360 S will replace the currently available Xbox 360 Elite and will be available in the U.S. as early as this week for $299. The Elite version of the console will drop to $249. Eventually the Xbox 360 S design will be available in other versions of the console.

The new Xbox 360 Slim is considerably smaller compared to the original console which design was first revealed sometimes back in 2005, months ahead of the launch. Instead of physical buttons, the novelty sports touch-sensitive buttons, besides, the novelty consumers lower amount of power. Microsoft also promises that the new Xbox 360 is utterly quiet.

It is believed that Microsoft Xbox 360 S is based on the motherboard code-named Valhalla, which image was published in March, 2010. The Valhalla design integrates IBM Xenon central processing unit (CPU) and ATI Xenos graphics and memory controller hub (GMCH) on the same chip. Regrettably, the manufacturer of the highly-integrated processor and fabrication technology used to manufacture the chip are unknown. Back in the past unofficial sources implied that the heart of Valhalla was projected to be made at TSMC using 40nm process technology.

Even though the Valhalla design was supposed to reduce manufacturing cost of the Xbox 360 and the actual price of the Xbox 360 S remained the same as before, Microsoft still decided not to install Blu-ray disc drive into the system in a bid to promote its Xbox Live service. Unfortunately for the world’s largest software maker, Blu-ray is becoming a de-facto high-definition standard in the living room, Xbox Live is not available all around the globe and those, who want high-definition movies – including those that support stereo-3D technology – and does not have proper access to Xbox Live will have to buy Sony PlayStation 3 instead of the new Xbox 360.