AfterDawn: Tech news

Xbox 360 v2 codenamed Zephyr

Written by Dave Horvath @ 05 Jan 2007 5:37 User comments (38)

Xbox 360 v2 codenamed Zephyr Recently, a few photos have popped up on the Internet of a very interesting change in Microsoft's latest console, the Xbox 360. From what inside sources say, the next generation of consoles to come out of Redmond will feature a true HDMI port on the back of the newest version, codenamed Zephyr. This HDMI port will give the 360 the much needed capability of true digital 1080p support. Aside from this, further updates include a cooler 65nm processor, and a new 120Gb hard drive.
There's no word yet on whether or not the new HDD will come inside the new bundle, but its regardless a welcomed change for Xbox enthusiasts. One much needed upgrade that has no word of actually coming to light is an internal HD-DVD drive. It'd make the package a lot cleaner, but appears to have missed the boat on this revision.

Prices are expected to remain the same on the console to keep the competition with Sony and Nintendo stiff, and these changes are expected to hit the shelves soon. No official word has been released yet, however.


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38 user comments

15.1.2007 5:56

As an owner of an Xbox 360 for over a year now, having collected it on launch day in fact, i am upset that a neweer model will have HDMI and possible HD DVD internal drive eventually. I just find those kind of console updates unfair to us early-adopters at this early stage - let me trade in my old one + $100 and u got a deal.

I understand differences to design and solving issues with heating etc. but providing a console that is more HD-ready & capable... I mean to actually have hardware upgrades this early makes me wonder.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Jan 2007 @ 5:58

25.1.2007 6:03

I agree I was thinking of getting a 360 but I decided the possibility of something like this happening was pretty good so I am going to wait until 08.

35.1.2007 8:03

Why didn't they do this when it first came out? This is dumb.

45.1.2007 8:16

This has been coming for ages (esp tales of the cooler, cheaper & more efficient 65nm processor). It's still quite likely for HDMI to appear as an add-on little unit for existing XBox 360's apparantly (IIRC Microsoft have said there is no technical reason why the existing XBox 360 can't have one) and I'd expect the HDD to be something they can use too. Personally I'm quite happy to have my XBox 360 HD-DVD add-on as I always did plan on it being my next PC's HD-DVD rom drive anyways (it's easily removed from it's box & installed as an internal drive). It actually suits me far more than one integral to the XBox 360 would be. But how come early-adopters always get upset at progress and the fact that is is what always happens to early adopters? I mean, how many times does this have to happen before people get wise to why it isn't the greatest idea to be an early adopter? Do Sony let you trade in you TV when they make changes and bring out a new model or your old 'big' PS2 when it went slim? Or since when did Pioneer take your old DVD player off your hands when the newer better cheaper latest model appears? Etc etc. It's the dumbest idea going, frankly. Welcome to the adult (real) world.

55.1.2007 8:26

This isn't great for early adopters but I think Microsuck or even local game stores might strike you a deal. As I know there was an ad for my local gamestop around Christmas time that said "Get $80-$100 for your regular XBox (depending on age, condition etc.) towards a 360". I think they would strike you a deal for your 360 v1 towards the 360 v2. The HDMI thing wouldn't get me to trade mine in as my HDTV doesn't support 1080p, only 1080i which I am more then happy to play in. The extra HDD space would be cool but isn't really needed at the moment unless you store a lot of music on your 360 plus if needed I am sure I can just add it on to my 360 v1. Cooler processor? eh, I don't care for that either as mine hasn't over heated and I have been playing it at least 4 hours a day since Christmas day. But if you think about it this is the reason consumers love competition. It means, for the most part, higher quality products at cheaper price points. The first 360 didn't support 1080p or have HDMI and it had "only" a 20GB hdd. Then $ony came along and introduced the PS3 with true 1080p via HDMI and a bigger hard drive then the 360. This caused Microsuck to rethink some of the XBox's "weaknesses" and create a newer, better (then the 360 v1) system.

65.1.2007 11:31

[quote=pop_smith]I know there was an ad for my local gamestop around Christmas time that said "Get $80-$100 for your regular XBox (depending on age, condition etc.) towards a 360". I think they would strike you a deal for your 360 v1 towards the 360 v2.

- Exactly. You sell the old kit on and go for the new if you're that bothered.

75.1.2007 13:32

This is EXACTLY why you should not on launch day! lol

85.1.2007 18:25

Well that sucks for us but at least (most of us) can get backups unlike the guys that get the new 360.

96.1.2007 0:44

how that the 360 comes with an internal HD drive, does that mean games are going to come out on that format, or is it simply just for movies??

106.1.2007 6:13

If it turns out that the new V2's internal drive is HD-DVD (I can't see that confirmed anywhere) I expect it'll be like the new Toshiba ones and able to read anything (except Blu-ray).

They have already said that much of the HD-DVD processing is done in the XBox 360 unit and not the HD-DVD add-on itself, so I can't see any reason why not if the developers choose to do it that way.

I'd say it's probably an option but whether anyone prefers to take it up and use it is another matter.

Maybe when the sales numbers show there are either enough HD-DVD add-on drives and/or there are enough V2's around with the HD-DVD combi drive built in then it's possible I guess.....if someone reckons they can do it justice and make enough money.

When much money is potentially concerned it's hard to say never.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Jan 2007 @ 6:14

116.1.2007 8:24

When the PS2 slimline came out there was an offer the first week that if you handed in your old PS2 in working condition, and up to 5 certain games, you would get $150 i store credit at Gamestop/EB Games. this essentially gave you a free slimline for that trade in. Or you could just do the old PS2 and pay the $50 difference. So there usually are deals for those early adopters to upgrade at a cheaper price. It is the price paid for getting things early, everything from special and unrated DVD's to equipment with newer and better features. Although I do believe Microsoft just had to be arrogant and give the Xbox a whole 4 year console life, while the PS@ to PS3 had a 6 year console life. Maybe in that extra year that could have made a few enhancements!

126.1.2007 11:01

I was thinking of buying an Xbox360, but since this is supposed to come out, I guess I'll just wait. If I'm lucky, there might be a price drop around the same time.

It's Festivus for the rest of us!

136.1.2007 12:56

@gozilla no where in that article did it say that v2 will come w/ an internal HD-DVD drive also, MS has already said numerous times that they won't be putting any games out on HD-DVD so don't worry about that. if this is true, the 120Gb drive would be nice though.

146.1.2007 13:39

hmm you are right gehx, however i did read on a different site that the revisted xbox 360 may have an internal HD-DVD drive.

156.1.2007 13:58

got this from another site

Dean T. of the Mercury News just made an oops and leaked some Xbox 360 announcements Microsoft was planning on dropping next week at CES. Not only does he mention the improved Xbox 360s with 120GB hard drives and HDMI ports, he also talks about the use of the Xbox 360 as an IPTV set-top-box. The leak says Microsoft’s IPTV services will have instant channel change, multiple picture-in-picture, broadcast shows, video on demand, and DVR functionality—gotta use those 120GB for more than just trailers.
I doubt M$ will bother will internal HD-DVD they make more money off having it external.

166.1.2007 14:21

I guess microsoft just should have waited until they got their crap together before releasing this thing. Instead they rushed it out to get ahead of sony and now everyone who bought one is screwed. I mean I would be so mad if I was dumb enough to have bought one of these. I seriously doubt the price will remain the same as the article states. What is the price going to be? Around $600 bucks?

176.1.2007 17:07

This wont be so bad AS long as they offer the extras in the new model as upgrades for the old. its not bad but at the same time not good for people that beta tested for MS on the first wave...

186.1.2007 17:46

All the more reasons to wait and buy one later!

196.1.2007 19:31

does the new version of the xbox 360 need a new Xtreme firmware???

206.1.2007 20:12

As for firmware. We will have to be patient. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a pretty well redesigned from the ground up console hit the shelves. If I was M$ senior management the firmware hack and the weakness in the dvd drive is a hole I would certainly want addressed before they hit the shops.
I know for a fact that a senior member of the M$ console manufacturing team (resources) was very interested in the possibilities of liquid cooling of the cpu and gpu, enough to contact a homebrew modder and ask some really technical questions about it, and the effectiveness of the system.
We will have to wait and see what happens.

216.1.2007 21:21

If they do come out with the 120 gig hard drive. It's more than likely MS will have it so it's backward compatible with the v1 360.(At My local Downtown Best Buy They have the Hard Drives In Stock and are selling them pretty quickly) I have A 360 and I'm not too concerned over the HDMI support It plays just fine on my TV. What They Should do is come out with a limited edition 360 where the casing is either transparent or a nice polished chrome! :D

227.1.2007 4:33

"Will this make the version 1 consoles cheaper since it offers fewer options? Despite the fact the new console should be cheaper to make on a 65nm, including HDMI means Microsoft has to pay royalties on every console sold. Add into the fact it will need a separate !!!firmware!!! to the version 1 consoles and you’ve increased the work, and cost, on your development team." does the firmware that bit-tech talking about is the one we need to hack the xbox 360????

237.1.2007 5:39

well this is a interesting thought MS can control money bleeding on the 360 is they are in fact losing money on it,by releasing a new model once ever 1-3 years and never lowering the price of it. rev v 2 new CPU new mobo new HDD(altho I think it will be a add on and not with the console) rev 3(around 090-011) more effecaint cpu/mobo? 120GB HDD HDDVD I think MS has a good idea,bad for consumers but tis a good idea. they really should have just made it in parts and you can add as you go this new "core" every few years is a frighting idea on one hand...on the other it saves us from 15 revisions of 1 console toned down to a max of 5 revisions and a price drop of 100 every 2-4 years.

248.1.2007 3:44

It appears that they also missed the boat on another important upgrade; compatibility with older XBox games. I didn't buy a 360 for this reason alone. But, if they'd include backward compatibility in a new release, I'd get one in a heartbeat. Microsoft, you boned your loyal customers on the first release of the XBox 360, please don't do it again!

258.1.2007 9:44

@nfatoys they have backward compt., but not for all titles atm. they keep releasing bc for older titles about every couple of months. also, why not just use your xbox 1 for xbox 1 titles, that why you won't wear out the laser as fast on your 360.

268.1.2007 13:15

what about people who already got a 360 and dont have hdmi? they should get replacements as something like that is unexcusable. it would agrivate more of their fans, but they would sell more this generation. im sure ms is willing to take that hit for money now though.

278.1.2007 14:06

Yeah thats the thing about it, it doesnt really matter if they release a newer one that has the cooler 65nm processor or the HDD because its just a hardware revision but its when they release ones with newer features that the older ones cant do thats the problem. Like HDMI, unless they release external HDMI addon. Like the guy who mentioned the PS2 Slim, the only new feature it had was the built in Network adaptor which could easily be purchased for the older models. So its completely irrelevant.

288.1.2007 15:09

the hdmi plug is not need at all for hd tv. 1080p comes across just fine using componet cables. all hdmi is used for is a direct digital to digital feed right? guess what, until you get a screen over 70" the human eye cannot tell the differance. and oh wait thats only if you get within 3 feet, if you sit at normal and recommended distance away then you can never tell the differance! but hdmi also carries sound to! so does fiber obtic and fiber does a better job. all hdmi is, is a standard
that was introduced by the MPAA to force DRM (HDCP by intel)down our throats.

you can keep that crap

298.1.2007 15:23

^^yes that is very true but when HDCP comes into play for HD-DVD you will need to have HDMI or your Picture Quality Will be limited to stand definition making the HD-DVD upgrade a waste of money for future movies.

"This is how it works. Whatever you sink, we build back up. Whomever you sue, ten new pirates are recruited. Wherever you go, we are already ahead of you. You are the past and the forgotten, we are the internet and the future."-Brokep

308.1.2007 17:52


318.1.2007 19:12

andrew i agree, it will only be a matter of time before that is correct.
the only thing is both blu ray and hd dvd both support now hdcp. the reason the xbox add on works currently without the down grade is the fact that the MPAA was unable to convice the hardware providers (not just m$ but everyone)to implement hdcp thru hdmi out the gate. this would have ticked to many people off who had purchase hd tvs without hdmi imputs. so all current players have to support component outputs for now

328.1.2007 22:35

hdcp will come into play in '09 or '10. i feel bad for those with componant only next-gen disc boxes.

But they all do sort of the same thing, and that is rearrange what you thought was real, and they remind you of the beauty of very simple things. You forget, because youre so busy going from a to z, that theres 24 letters in between... You turn on... tune in... and you drop out...

PS3 Username: Anubis66

3310.1.2007 4:43

Looks like it's just a rumour, if it does come out it probably won't be for a while:

Microsoft Throws Spanner into HDMI Rumour Mill
Pictures of upgraded 360 are just "experimentation".
by Rob Burman, IGN UK
UK, January 10, 2007 - Last week hearts and minds of 360 owners were sent fluttering into overdrive thanks to rumours of a revised console. A photograph purporting to be from a reliable source showed what some people had been silently dreaming about at night - a HDMI port and a bigger hard drive.

But like some kind of horrific monster that preys on children's thoughts, Microsoft's Christ Satchell has turned those dreams into nightmares. "At the moment, everything you might have seen is just looking at our experimentation back in Redmond, not really a product that we're thinking about announcing," he told Gamespot. We're now imagining scientists in lab coats pouring strangely coloured liquid from test tubes into the console's disc drive and waiting to see if it explodes.

Satchell also touched on the subject on the larger capacity hard drive - which has progressively increased in size in various rumours and now stands at 120GB. "As we produce these services, if we see an increase in pressure that's something that will be interesting to look at, but there isn't any announcement today about any new configuration that may or may not be happening," he added. Maybe if you go to Microsoft HQ and cry on the pavement outside it'll persuade Satchell a little bit more?

3410.1.2007 5:28


It might come but then again it might not.....what business in it's right mind would want to deliberately cut itself off from the huge numbers of potential customers out there already?

The Satchell comments strike me as typical a typical company 'holding' statement, saying nothing in particular either way.

We know the 65nm processor is coming soon and it's a fair bet the bigger HDD will come then too.

It remains to be seen if HDMI will appear but frankly who cares that much about it?
It might make connectivity a little easier but people day-dreaming that it's so incredibly "vital" either don't know that much about HDMI and it's application or are just sadly mistaken.

3510.1.2007 7:59

because, by then its not a company decision, is a requirement by the law. the analog channels are going to be freed up for other use, and techknolagy needs to progress. why shouldnt they force people? all you have to do is pick up a budget digital television for no more that 75-100 bucks.

But they all do sort of the same thing, and that is rearrange what you thought was real, and they remind you of the beauty of very simple things. You forget, because youre so busy going from a to z, that theres 24 letters in between... You turn on... tune in... and you drop out...

PS3 Username: Anubis66

3610.1.2007 11:31

Originally posted by anubis66:
because, by then its not a company decision, is a requirement by the law. the analog channels are going to be freed up for other use, and techknolagy needs to progress. why shouldnt they force people? all you have to do is pick up a budget digital television for no more that 75-100 bucks.
The law only applies to the devices, the media providers still have the option not to set the hdcp flag on their content, and they've chosen not to do so in the immediate future. Also, there are ways around this protection already, they've already made components that can strip out the encryption and are being sold in countries where it's legal to do so.

3717.2.2010 23:43

Hey asshole, what is up with this 360 v2? When is this stupid thing coming out? You said it Jan. 5 2007, so where is it?

3818.2.2010 2:58

It is amazing that they still don't have HDMI on this thing. NO, component cables don't look "just as good" on a good TV (and good monitors don't even have these inputs). I can (sort of) understand that they released the xbox360 too early, and forgot to put the port in...but that was years ago! What is taking so long?

As for the 120GB...who cares? You can already get a 120GB Xbox360, the PS3 comes with a drive more than twice the size, and will work with a drive more than 5 times the size. 120GB is a joke.

Internal HD-DVD drive? Even if they did have it, who cares? They don't make games on HD-DVD, and you can't buy HD-DVD is like betamax...but without the quality vs the competition. HD-DVD support will probably be supported for years to come, just as other dead-end formats (like video CD)...but no one is going to use it (like video cd).

The CPU change is the only thing I see that is a justifyable update (I don't count the HDMI, because they cannot justify the fact that they don't have it already)...and the CPU update will have no change for the users (other than the fact that every time microsoft makes a change, the first 10,000+ units are defective).

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