Oct 26

Review: Xbox 360 Slim Halo Reach Edition

xbox-360-slim-blackWell folks. Let me comment a bit on my personal history with the Xbox 360. I was an early adopter and bought my FIRST one just slightly after launch. It was the “Xenon” model, aka LOUD, noisy, and it didn’t have wireless built in or a HDMI port. However, it worked flawlessly for almost 3 years or so, until the day after the new Xbox Experience dashboard launched. After the download went perfectly and I spent some time playing around with the updated dashboard, I shut the machine off. The next day, the console failed miserably with a weird video error, although sound and everything else continued to work. EPIC FAIL.

Shortly thereafter, I replaced the broken first gen “Xenon” with an improved “Jasper” model, which was quieter, consumed less power and also had an HDMI port. This model seemed to be an improvement, but it also was a FAIL, as the DVD drive quit on me, approximately about 6 months after buying one. So much for better build quality.
Well, here we are today, shortly after the launch of Halo Reach, and I’ve once again taken the plunge. This time I’ve picked up the new Xbox 360 Reach Edition, which is based on the new, once again revised Xbox 360 Slim.
So, this is what I’m going to pass along some information on today.

 

Top of the 360 Reach Edition Box. Looks lovely.

So…What’s the scoop on this Limited Edition console? Honestly, it isn’t that much different from the plain Xbox 360 Slim model that you can also buy online or from a retailer.

The hardware that the console comes with:

  • A “Vejle” revision Xbox 360 Slim – Which is quite a bit smaller than the original, bulky version. This hardware also includes built in wireless, which is a nice plus, compared to having to pay for the accessory before.
  • 250GB Hard Drive – A much larger hard drive that is included in the pricier model Xboxes. It seems a bit faster in accessing than my old 60GB model that came with my original Xbox Pro version.
  • Standard A/V Composite cable
  • Power Brick
  • Basic headset for Xbox Live

 

This is the console, sitting in my entertainment center. Notice the nice silver theme and Reach design. The controllers also share this theme. Also the buttons are now touch-sensitive. How high-tech of Microsoft! 🙂

 

What else is new with this console? The console itself now makes various sounds when opening or closing the drive, as well as when you turn the console on or off. It is certainly not a major thing, but it is a nice touch to have added to this revision of the Xbox.

 

The side of the box. The usual data and pics are included here. Note the Kinect Ready logo. Even though this Xbox is ready for Kinect, I wonder if *I’m* ready for Kinect. Time will tell.

So, what’s the verdict?
After playing with the hardware for a bit of time now, it certainly has some pluses and minuses to take a look at. First, it still seems to get a bit warm, although not hot to the touch, and it is STILL quieter than the original model. Second, the drive tray on this new revision seems to be a bit flimsier than the original model, shown by the drive tray shake when you eject the tray. Also, when spending $400 US for this model, you might expect to get some improved accessories, such as a wireless headset/mic, or perhaps an included HDMI or component cables. Not so with this bundle. It is a small nitpick for me, as I already had cables from my last Xbox, but still….Would’ve been nice to see in the bundle.
All in all, its still the same Xbox you know and love (or hate). Just smaller, sleeker, and if you’re into Halo: Reach, you certainly can’t go wrong. If you are not an Xbox fan, this model probably won’t change your mind. But if you are looking to get your feet wet, or replace a aging or busted model, pick this one up. Provided the hardware is more stable, and it looks to be that way so far, you probably won’t regret it.

Xbox 360 Slim Halo Reach Edition

Xbox 360 Slim Halo Reach Edition
8.8

Hardware Design

8.5/10

Game Library

9.0/10

Pros

  • Small than the original 360 model
  • Quieter operation
  • Less heat generation
  • Hard drive capacity increased
  • Built in wireless capability

Cons

  • No HDMI cable included (Why?)