"The right way to go if you are smart"4.0 starson by MalvernGasperon
Pros: I agree with svc4you' - for the uninitiated there are 2 current models Arcade and Elite - both are EXACTLY the same in terms of CPU/Performance/Outputs - the important bit. All you get extra on the Elite is a headset, network cable and hard drive .
Cons: This looks a poor deal on the face of it, no hard drive means a limited game and online experience or a hefty £65.00 kick for a new MSoft additional hard drive right? - Wrong! Read on for the smart choice
Summary: Why pay nearly double for an Elite when all 3 'extras' over an Arcade are readily available elsewhere? The network cable you can get from any PC shop. The headset you don't need for the vast majority of games and live experience - do you watch a DVD on TV with a headset on. No. MSoft are relying on the fact that they have monopolised the hard drive unit at an extravagant price to push you into the overly expensive Elite.
But wait -official 20GB MSoft 360 drives are readily available for very little money on eBay due to the fact that the original Premium model shipped with these before a 60GB upgrade was released (its still current in Jan 2010) - many people buy the upgrade and are then left with a useless, empty drive (wiped by MSoft in the data transfer process) .... but perfect, legal and built for the 360. Get one of these and your Arcade now performs exactly the same as an Elite. Is 20GB enough? Well unless you are planning to download a whole host of films and game demos (you always have the option to delete these individually anyway) you wont fill it up anytime soon.
But it gets better - because the Arcade is poorly presented by dealers directed to push the expensive Elite there are lots of offers and bundles available to try and shift them. Right now in the UK (Amazon) you can get a second new controller and 3 new games FREE on a new Arcade that is already reduced by 15% in the sales.... £100 worth of extras!
Add £20 for a used 20GB HDD on ebay, £3.5 for a patch cable and you have a system as good in terms of performance and experience as the Elite.
This IS the smart choice with just a little bit of extra effort.