The Xbox 360 S has officially gone on sale in the UK, marking an historic first for platform holder Microsoft.
Hundreds of GAME and Gamestation stores opened their doors at midnight as eager gamers rushed to become the very first UK owners of the redesigned machine.
“At midnight, over 400 GAME and Gamestation stores opened across the UK to allow our customers to get their hands on the new Xbox 360,” the company’s head of PR Neil Ashurst told MCV.
“There has been amazing demand for the new version of this ever-popular console which includes a new slim design. There was a fantastic atmosphere in our stores as hundreds of people queued to be one of the first to play on the new console.”
The Xbox 360 S is a smaller unit than the console in replaces. It boasts integrated wi-fi, a 250GB hard drive, touch-sensitive buttons, a dedicated Kinect port and runs exceptionally quietly.
It’s the first time that Microsoft has revised any version of its games hardware. Others such as Atari, Sega and Sony have routinely redesigned their consoles over the course of their lifecycles, and Nintendo seems to change its handheld hardware for fun.
However, it’s taken Microsoft a decade to decide to follow the same path with the Xbox. The decision was undoubtedly steered by the high-profile reliability problems of its hardware as it was the need to cut production costs.
The company made numerous revisions to the innards of the first gen Xbox 360 but never quite banished the RROD demons. This new machine changes all of that, and will likely lead to a welcome sales boost on the UK High Street – much as it has done in the US.