Always a formidable gamer and now a much more appealing media hub
increasingly capable online services
quieter and slicker than before
No Blu-ray drive and no 3D abilities
The latest version of Microsoft's console redresses some of our concerns about the media abilities of the older unit.
The new Xbox 360 is now slimmer, and has a revised disc transport that's now much quieter, while the 250GB hard-drive lets you rip games to avoid undesirable pauses in gameplay.
Online gaming is better than everIt includes wi-fi too, and online access remains a big part of the experience. You can play games against people online, download demos, view the Sky Player, access Last.fm and enjoy a whole new approach to gaming with the Kinect control system (£125).
The paid-for Zune service allows for unlimited music streaming to your Xbox and a range of PCs and mobile phones. It also includes video downloads and 24-hour rental, turning your Xbox into a game-playing rival to the likes of Apple TV (£100).
It's now a decent all-rounderPicture quality is fine – the Xbox shows them in standard-definiition or 1080p depending on your broadband.
More after the break
It's not as impressive as Blu-ray, but unlike some services, films start playing almost straight immediately.
This raft of improvements paints the Xbox in a rosier hue through our media-tinted specs. Its games have always been great, and now it's a decent all-rounder, too.