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Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB review




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Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB
  • Xbox 360 250GB Console


Our Score:


Call it what you will. The Xbox 360 Slim, the Xbox 360 Slimline the Xbox 360 S or even what Microsoft has actually decided to go with: the Xbox 360 250GB. The name doesn't matter, what matters is that it's here and whether it's a worthy upgrade to its rather successful predecessor.

The difference strikes you immediately. Gone is the attractively understated matt finish of both the original white Xbox 360 and the later, blacker, Xbox 360 Elite. Instead this new Xbox 360 250GB is finished in glossy black plastic. We're not so sure that we didn’t prefer the previous colour scheme, but since the PS3 Slim changed from gloss black to matt black, we presume Microsoft has no choice but to go the other way. The chassis design itself is updated to good effect, though, with the front having a far more pronounced "X" shape to it - albeit stretched out a little. In short: we like it.

The chassis isn't really that much smaller, measuring 270mm x 75mm x 264mm versus the old unit's 310mm x 80mm x 260mm. That's a 17 per cent reduction in volume (from 6.5 litres to 5.4 litres maths fans) but in practical terms you'll be allocating about the same amount of free space to this console as the previous SKU. The system's weight is down from 3.5kg to 2.9kg - although quite who would upgrade to or buy the Xbox 360 250GB just because it's a little lighter is beyond comprehension.

The Xbox 360 250GB's power and eject buttons are now capacitive, rather than physical. Whether the 'bing' sound accompanying the DVD drive ejection is an intentional tie-in to Microsoft's search engine is debatable, but we don’t believe in co-incidence.

The infamously large power brick is no longer, replaced by a much smaller affair, no bigger than you'd find supplied with a 15in laptop. Arguably it's a greater boon than the console's size-reduction - housing that oversized unit inside an AV cabinet wasn't the easiest task. The connecting cable is also less beefy, which makes orienting it that much easier, too. This reduction is size is no doubt a fringe benefit of the reduced power draw of the Xbox 360 250GB - 135W, down from the 'Jasper' units' 150W.


July 15, 2010, 11:15 am

Mine should be arriving this morning. Good times...


July 15, 2010, 12:04 pm

Does it still come with a three year warranty?!


July 15, 2010, 12:46 pm

Pedantry alert: its volume is either in cubic metres or litres. Cubic litres are a twenty-seven dimensional unit of hypervolume.

Although shunting heat into higher dimensions would certainly help cooling.


July 15, 2010, 1:12 pm

All in all a very good review, very interesting and informative. The Xbox 360 'whatever' is certainly a worthy successor, with improvements to its size, power consumption and peripheral attachments. I'm even tempted to get one, though the PS3 more likely due to the Blu-Ray playback facility.

PS. The volume bit isn’t really right as that’s the volume of a cuboid, not the complex shape the new Xbox takes. And if this was a cuboid it should be 5.3 litres, not 5.4 because: 270 x 75 x 264 mm = 5,346,000 mm{2}= 5.346 litres; we have only have a max of 2 significant figures (2sf), the 75 mm bit; so 5.346 rounded to 2sf is 5.3, not 5.35, nor 5.4. Maths, don’t you love it… not!


July 15, 2010, 1:18 pm

ravmania - Nope, because the three year warranty specifically covered the RRoD, from which this (we're told) SKU won't suffer. I think it's safe to assume that Microsoft will offer the same replacement deal if these start failing in bulk, though.


July 15, 2010, 1:55 pm

Wheres the kensington lock slot - I can't find it on those pictures?


July 15, 2010, 2:01 pm

Andy - http://i.imgur.com/ttJWL.jpg

My photography was pretty poor, so apologies for that. I blame the rubbish camera, obviously. ;)


July 15, 2010, 2:04 pm

@Hugo: My photography was pretty poor,

Can be seen clearly on Page 2 Pic 3. :_


July 15, 2010, 2:24 pm

Still 135W? Or is this just what the power supply is rated to? The latest PS3 slim uses just 60W according to Wikipedia :s


July 15, 2010, 2:43 pm

You complain about the failure to bundle an HDMI cable, but the PS3 (at least the 40GB one I bought, not sure about the Slim) doesn't include one either. Similarly the Wii doesn't include a component cable - it's composite all the way. HDMI cables are stupidly cheap and there should be one in the box, but I guess this way you can choose a cable of suitable length for your own system, and the added expense shouldn't be much. Also, how else will GAME be able to make 400% profit on "premium" HDMI cables costing £30?


July 15, 2010, 3:23 pm

@sockatume and @Eggburt1969: You fellas must get all the girls ;).

@Hugo: "My photography was pretty poor". Were you using an iPhone? ...

@Article: Contained all essential details. I'm still considering whether to get a 360. Although when reminded of all the HDD installation requirements etc., the little voice instead my head still just goes "pah, these aren't consoles, they're f***ing pretend-PCs, so just stick with PC".

Oh good, I've convinced myself not to. The wife will be pleased.


July 15, 2010, 3:49 pm


If the Xbox was a pretend PC, it would have memory upgrades, due to lack of memory, one of my fave xbox games - Tropico 3 (PC port) is doomed on play if people love your paradise. I cannot believe in 2010 a memory upgrade is forgotten. Boo MS boo, stick to nintendogs drdark :)


July 15, 2010, 4:17 pm


I love my 360 but I'd still be wary about MS hardware after the RROD.

While they eventually did the right thing and the repair service is very slick they did take a long time to admit to the fault.

I think they should stand by their products to give buyers confidence. Like Toyota are now providing 5 year warranties after their recall.


July 15, 2010, 4:24 pm

Wow, my first time to the site in a week and I'm straight in complimenting a Microsoft product, I must be ill...


Been borrowing the Elite of a friend for the past week, and I'm sold. xBox live has exceeded my expectations; Gears, Fable, L4D all very much worth it; the OS is surprisingly good... I like.

@DrDark - "pah, these aren't consoles, they're f***ing pretend-PCs" - Unlike the Wii, of course, which is a pretend NetBook to follow your metafore ;-)

@Hugo - "the RRoD, from which this (we're told) SKU won't suffer" - Yup, you're right, I've heard that they've removed the red light entirely!


July 15, 2010, 4:27 pm

@John McLean - dont make the mistake of thinking premium cables dont make a difference! They do - though Id dispute buying one from Game is a good idea!

I dont mean to sound like Im Xbox bashing (God please dont let the fanboys revolt) but this is one hell of a stinking looking machine! It's horrible!

I'll probably get round to having my 360 repaired some day but to be honest I havent missed it in the 6 months or so its been broken.


July 15, 2010, 4:49 pm

@drdark: Were you using an iPhone? ...

WOW!!, a post totally unrelated to Apple, well done!!!.


July 15, 2010, 4:55 pm

Cub - you've got it; you can't have a RRoD without a RR :)

Keith - I though that too from the pictures, but sat next to my TV I like it.


July 15, 2010, 5:06 pm

@Hugo: I though that too from the pictures, but sat next to my TV I like it.

Sorry Hugo, I meant the kensington lock slot can been clearly seen on page 2 pic 3. But I can see how I totally miss quoted that one. :)


July 15, 2010, 5:09 pm

Keith - And my reply was to Jones' comment that he didn't like the looks, not to you at all. Time for another cup of coffee I think...


July 15, 2010, 5:22 pm

I'm not complaining from the lack of HDMI cable, they have them at aldi for £2 (zero reason why you would ever pay more (unless for length)), also as I have a spare HDMI cable lying around so having one that came with the system would just be a waste in my eyes.


July 15, 2010, 5:28 pm

@Keith: Thank you. Thank you.

@Cub: I don't think you got my metaphor, but nevermind.

@hank: Cheeky!

But that Tropico 3 sounds like a bad port...


July 15, 2010, 5:59 pm

@Ravmania...The extended three year warranty was exclusive/specific to the dreaded E74 error. So, from what I gather (apologies if I have this wrong) the warranty is now back to one year since the RROD has been removed from the new unit. Personally, I will be dubious about this new xbox until it's well bedded in & we start to see if the failure rates have been drastically reduced still. We know the Jasper chipset was a vast inprovement from the Falcon, but, with the three year warranty now gone; so is the safety net that reassured me. On my fourth Xbox, which entitles me to a certain cynisism I think.


July 15, 2010, 6:27 pm

Is it possible to get shots of the new Xbox next to the new PS3? I know MS doesn't like the comparison, but since this review is rather late and with a retail unit rather than one sent by MS it won't be breaking any rules.

Sir Stuie

July 15, 2010, 6:47 pm

The old 3 red light RROD was changed to the E74 single red light. In the unlikely event the the S is just as poorly built the Red Dot of Death will likely be brought into the 3 year warranty.

It seems MS is slowly learning how to deal with hardware failures, the next revision will give no indication as to what is wrong with it and just break/explode.


July 15, 2010, 7:30 pm

@Jones - no they don't. Premium *_analogue_* interconnects can make a huge difference, but HDMI carries pure digital signals, which can be perfectly reconstructed at the receiver end, irrespective of the cable used. Granted, if you have very long runs, you might get lower error rates on a "premium" cable, but over a typical <5m run, there should be a zero to negligible number of such errors introduced by poor cabling, certainly well within the error correction capabilities of the receiving device, so perfect bitstream reconsruction should remain possible.

Show me a report (from a reliable source) of a blind test where anyone could reliably distinguish a £1.99 HDMI cable from a £199 super-premium unobtanium-coated uber-cable and I shall happily retract that; until then, I'm not biting.

Oh, and if you're willing to believe a £200 digital interconnect can help your AV quality, I've got a Nigerian friend who has a business proposition for you. He said it was something about the emperor's new clothes being ready for collection.

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