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Say hi to Matte

When a console gets old, manufacturers sometimes turn to fiddling with the design in order to boost sales. Nintendo likes to release special editions of its devices in new colours, like the limited-edition red Wii released last year. (Why anyone would want something as big as a Wii in bright red is beyond us.) Sony has developed a healthy habit of shrinking its consoles, with all three versions of the PlayStation being superseded by 'Slim' models that are in some cases, like the PS3, really amazingly smaller than the originals.

Microsoft has taken a different tack with the Xbox 360. After adopting a strange, 1990s PC-like shape for the original body of the Xbox 360, they replaced it last year with a sleek, shiny black model. It looked more like a games console, and was much better, although it didn't achieve the miracles of miniaturisation obtained by Sony with the PS3 Slim.

But that shiny finish? Not to everyone's taste. By which we mean, it's really annoying: it looks tacky and 80s, and it gets covered in fingerprints. So we're pleased to hear that Microsoft say they're phasing the glossy finish on the Xbox 360 out over the next few weeks, in favour of a matte finish.

The cheaper model of Xbox, with a 4GB drive inside, has already moved to the matte finish, and now the 250GB 'elite' model is being brought into line.

'We are actively transitioning all our Xbox 360 S consoles to a matte finish,' confirmed Larry Hryb, Microsoft's director of programming for Xbox Live, on his blog. 'The consoles will start to arrive in stores over the coming weeks, so if you really love the idea of a glossy console don’t wait much longer.'

You heard the man. What are you waiting for, fingerprint-lovers?

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