While we UK folks aren’t going to be seeing the HDMI equipped Xbox 360 Elite until August 24th, by which time the US will have had it for four months, it seems that our American compatriots over the pond are finding HDMI ports popping up on Premium models, much to their (and our) surprise.
Photographs of the console in question shave appeared on tech site Shacknews and were submitted by a community member who thought he was buying a bog-standard console. The US 360 Premiums are currently retailing at $349.99, a price which came into effect yesterday inspiring the purchase.
After contacting Microsoft in the States, Shacknews had it confirmed to them that the inclusion of an HDMI port on the Premium consoles was due to popular demand and was being offered “simply as another choice in Xbox 360 owners’ entertainment choice.”
Curious as to whether we UK residents would be getting the same deal, we contacted the UK press office and are awaiting a response - we'll update as soon as we get one.
Of course, the Elite still has 100GB more hard drive space and, arguable, better styling than the Premium so there is still a reason to shell out for the latter. Whether or not adding the HDMI port to the Prmeium will shift more console is a difficult call, but we'd rather see it there than not.
Update: We heard back from a Microsoft spokesperson who issues us with this statement: "We will begin to introduce models with HDMI ports in Europe in the next few months. We’re not being specific as to when and where. Consumers everywhere can rest assured that they will enjoy the same great games and entertainment experiences with the updated consoles as they do on existing Xbox 360 consoles. Xbox 360 offers a great high-definition experience and HDMI is just one method of getting that experience." Sony take note; this is how to treat your international customer-base
Shacknews article (with more images).