The improved version of Microsoft's successful gaming console has to logically be marked down as a missed occasion. On one hand it's undoubtedly a commanding beast, and better prepared to go toe-to-toe with Sony's Play station 3 machines. But on the other, there was a real chance to seize the proposal here, one that Microsoft appears to have squandered.

The machine itself, to all intents and purposes, is an Xbox 360 with some welcome additions. Over the finest version of the console, the Elite sports a 120GB hard drive compared with a 20GB device (comparing favourably to the PS3's 60GB), and there's an HDMI port on the back of the appliance to allow easy and proper support of 1080p output (a connection that was picked up and optimised immediately when we hooked it up to our 52-inch 1080p test screen). Complete off in smart black, the list of enhancements stops right about there.

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