Microsoft recently launched a 250GB and Wi-Fi equipped Xbox 360 'Slim' model priced at $299, effectively replacing the 'Elite' as their flagship and cutting prices on older models across the board. No cheaper 'Arcade' model was revealed at E3 last week, but according to an internal marketing Q&A document from Microsoft there are indeed plans to release a $199 version
of the redesigned console this fall.
Besides its souped-up specs and slimmer profile, the new Xbox 360s are smarter about trying to avoid potential RRoD problems. If the system's fans aren't properly cooling the console, the power button will turn red and the system will shut itself off in order to avoid any serious damage. It'll display a warning message like the one you see below, which explains the situation and informs you that the Xbox 360 can be turned back on once the power light has stopped flashing.
The new Xbox 360 is said to run cooler and use about half the power of the original console, so this shouldn't be a common occurrence (or we hope it's not). If anything, when it happens at least players will have the chance to wait a few minutes before powering their consoles back on rather than waiting a few weeks for it to be repaired.
The Q&A document also stated that Kinect would be available as a stand-alone product and in bundles with the Xbox 360. Although no specifics were given as to which SKU would get Kinect bundles, GameStop has already begun offering pre-orders for the Elite priced at $399 and Arcade at $299, for a savings of around $50 versus buying Kinect separately. These prices are not official, though, so things could change the launch of Microsoft's new peripheral nears.