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Differences between the Xbox 360 S 4GB and 250GB: a short guide

Last updated 3rd December 2011

While in previous years there were many different Xbox 360 models available in the UK, this Christmas the situation is far simpler.

Microsoft has released a much improved version of the Xbox 360 console, which they named the Xbox 360 S (short for 'Slimline' or 'Streamlined'). There are now only two different models of the Xbox 360 available in the UK; the Xbox 360 S 4GB and the Xbox 360 S 250GB.

These two models are almost entirely identical, with the only significant difference the amount of storage/memory in each.

The Xbox 360 S 4GB includes 4GB of flash memory and no hard disk, though it is possible to upgrade later if needed. Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 S 250GB includes a 250GB hard disk from the start.

Unlike in previous years, both models are excellent choices for potential buyers. While 4GB of flash memory will be enough for most Xbox 360 owners, the 250GB model is a good upgrade for those who want to download and store films, TV programmes, and music on their Xbox 360.

To give perspective on how these compares with previous Xbox 360 consoles, in previous years the low-end Xbox 360 Arcade came with only 0.5GB of storage, and the mid-range Xbox 360 Premium came with 10GB. While those we can afford the extra cost may want to purchase the 250GB console over the 4GB Xbox 360 S, it is no longer essential.

Apart from the two variations of the Xbox 360 S, you may find older Xbox 360 consoles available online or in some retail stores. These are unsold stock, and are no longer in production by Microsoft.

These unsold consoles could include the original black Xbox 360 Elite or Super Elite, and even the old white Xbox 360 (Arcade and Premium).

Despite these consoles sometimes appearing at cheaper prices than the Xbox 360 S, we highly recommend the new version over all previous models. Some of the most important new features include:

* Improved reliability. Some older models were notorious for overheating and "red ring of death" failures.
* Built-in wireless networking. Older models require an expensive accessory.
* A new design that is quieter, smaller, and uses less power.

If you're unsure which Xbox 360 you're buying, be sure to ask. Another easy way to check is in appearance, the Xbox 360 S looks substantially different compared to its older brethren.

We hope this guide answers any questions over the differences between the available Xbox 360 models this Christmas. If you have any further questions, please email us!

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Though we highly recommend using our Buyers' Guides when purchasing a console of any type, our standard price comparison service is still available.

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