It has been believed that HDMI was to feature only on the upcoming Elite model of Microsoft's Xbox 360 – but the platform holder has confirmed that the feature has already been phased into standard Premium 360 production in the US.
HDMI, unlike the current component and VGA outputs, offers users a pure digital output – ideal for hi-def TVs, especially 1080p units.
We are offering an HDMI port for Xbox 360 simply as another choice in Xbox 360 owners' games and entertainment experience,” Microsoft told Gamespot. Retailers are gradually introducing HDMI-enabled Xbox 360s into the channel to meet demand.”
However, HDMI is not set to be included in the basic Core model. There's also no word on when the new machines will arrive in Europe.
One question raised by the decision is where it leaves the Elite 360, with just the larger 120GB hard drive (which itself is available separately) now separating the two machines.