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Project Falcon Is In Flight

Falcon Remember Microsoft's mysterious Project Falcon?  Sure you do.  It's the codename for the redesigned Microsoft Xbox 360 console that uses smaller chips or some such technical thing.  They could tell me that it's an upgraded version of the magic smoke that makes all technology work and I'd just smile and nod in agreement.  The point is that these updated 360s are finally headed to store shelves, but you may have a hard time finding one.  Microsoft isn't planning to make identifying Falcon 360s easy.  Dean Takahashi has the full story.

Here’s where it could conceivably start to matter to consumers. The Falcon-based machines with the 65-nm chips will only go on the machines with the HDMI ports. Aaron Greenberg, Microsoft’s group product manager for the Xbox 360, told me some weeks ago that HDMI will initially be available only on the Xbox 360 Elite and Halo 3 special edition boxes. Over time, the Falcon-based machines will replace the Zephyr-based machines and appear on the Xbox 360 Premium units, which currently cost $350 in the U.S..

Arguably, the Falcon-based machines will be inherently more stable. Machines that use them will probably have fewer thermal issues. Those machines should be more reliable, logically speaking. But that is conjecture. I haven’t seen one of these Falcon-based machines and no one can say whether they are in fact more reliable.

Fantastic news for all of us sitting on the Xbox fence waiting for Microsoft to fix the console's design flaw.  Nobody wants to see the "Red Ring of Death" on their brand new Xbox 360, and from the sound of things the new Falcon design may alleviate the problem.  We'll have to wait for the more technically minded Xbox fan to get hold of one of the new consoles and dissect it and put it through stress tests, but seeing as how I've waited this long for Microsoft to get its act together, I think I can wait a little longer.

Photo credit: Joe Kosack / PGC Photo