The 120GB hard drive will be available at retail for $179.99. Black wireless controllers, black battery packs, and black Play & Charge kits will also be available at retail for the same price as their white counterparts.
We had a chance to speak with Microsoft's Albert Pinello, who was able to answer many of our outstanding questions about the Elite. First, current Xbox 360 owners eager to connect their 360 using HDMI will be dismayed to learn that the HDMI connection "can not be adapted back to the existing consoles." The Elite also does not include an integrated WiFi solution. When asked why, Pinello offered the Xbox company line of "choice." Citing the bandwidth limitations of 802.11a, b, and g, Pinello suggested that consumers interested in the Elite would have undoubtedly prefer their own solution, a claim we would have to refute.
Why a whole new SKU? Microsoft had no interest in replacing the Pro's 20GB drive with a 120GB drive. Pinello agreed, "For a new customer who's coming in who wants that 120, if we didn't have Elite in the market, he would have been forced to make a choice that I think would have been less than optimal." Microsoft is positioning the Elite as a niche product designed for a small subset of gamers interested in the increased storage demands of the Xbox Live Video Marketplace (and possibly the IPTV service) and the HDMI output. It's also a bullet-point battle, adding twice the hard drive capacity and matching the HDMI-functionality of the 60GB PlayStation 3 model.