The new Xbox 360 is here -- we go head-to-head with the 360 Original, PS3 Slim, and Wii

Although we had a chance to play with the new Xbox 360 at E3, that was under Microsoft's gentle supervision -- now that the stealthbox is hitting stores and we've got a couple of our own to play with, we're ready to dive deep and figure out what's what. In person in the living room, the new 360 isn't quite as small as you'd think -- although it's definitely thinner and narrower, Microsoft clearly had to jury-rig its big "lift off the old Xbox to reveal the new one" moment at E3, because the new unit is actually a bit deeper by about a half-inch. We'll forgive them in interests of show business, but just know that you won't be saving a ton of space with this new version. We also went head-to-head with the OG PS3 and the Slim, as well as the Wii -- as you'd expect, the new Xbox 360 is much smaller than the original PS3, noticeably smaller than the Slim, and a hilariously gargantuan monster compared to the Wii. We just did a quick noise comparison video, and we've got some early notes, so check it out below!

P.S. Fun note: the older 360 pictured here RROD'd almost immediately after we unboxed the new unit. Karma!

We're going to be continually updating this post throughout the day, so hit us up with questions and keep checking back!

Okay, so we're just going to put this out there: at least one of our new Xbox 360s is anything but "whisper quiet" when it's playing a game. It's almost totally silent when it's doing something that doesn't require spinning a disc, but as soon as that happens, there's a loud hum -- we measured it at 60db, or about the same as our older 360. The sound itself is way different -- a steady low hum instead of the old whine and clunking sounds -- but it's definitely there, no matter where we move the console or how we position it. Here's the video:

Now, we're not going to go crazy and say this is what every new Xbox 360 sounds like until we've had a chance to test a few more, but we can't just ignore it, either. We'll let you know what we find out -- and if you've got a new 360 of your own, we're dying to know what it sounds like.

Other quick notes:

  • Although it's not quite as hot as the original, the new Xbox 360 still generates a fair amount of heat, which is vented out through that stealth-fighter vent on the side. That means you shouldn't put anything on top of it if you're placing it horizontally in a cabinent -- you'll block the vent and end up baking everything.

  • It definitely loaded up Modern Warfare 2 faster than our original 360.

  • The HDD transfer utility has been refreshed: instead of an all-or-nothing approach you can pick and choose what content to bring over, and it doesn't automatically wipe the destination drive. Installed games don't go along for the ride (songs ripped from Rock Band and Lego Rock Band transferred just fine, though) and anything else you opt to leave behind will still remain on the original drive.

  • What the transfer cable doesn't appear to do anymore is transfer the licenses for your DLC to new hardware -- at least it didn't for us. That means a trip to and plenty of redownloading if you like to play offline, or on other profiles on the same box.

  • As we noted during our E3 hands-on, the system doesn't see the built-in WiFi as built-in -- it says WiFi adapter detected. Amusing, if nothing else.

  • Your old HD component cables will still work -- we're actually using our old ones at 1080i and it looks just fine. Obviously you'll need to make sure your TV supports component 1080p to get that res -- otherwise you can just use HDMI.

  • There is an IR port -- our remote worked just fine. It looks like it's hidden in the controller connect button, from what we can tell.