The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 as we better know it, is known to throw up some surprise. This year too it’s been no different. Microsoft, who kick started the event at Los Angeles, moments ago, was expected to make a formal announcement regarding the price and availability of their next-gen console, the Xbox One, but instead opened their keynote by releasing an updated version of Xbox 360.

This announcement comes after Microsoft, during the launch of Xbox One in May, had teased that it would be making some major Xbox 360-related announcements at E3. The new design of the Xbox 360 is based on the Xbox One.


The new Xbox 360 is developed on the lines of  its next-gen console, Xbox One

The console is said to be smaller, slimmer (and quieter) than any previous hardware iterations of the 360. The latest iteration of the gaming console will be available in US markets from today, and could be expected to hit the Indian shores very soon. Microsoft has also promised to support the ageing console in the days ahead with many upcoming game releases.

In addition Microsoft also announced an expansion of the Xbox Live Gold subscription service and the subscribers of Microsoft’s online service will now get two free games a month. Interestingly, this promotion is similar to Sony's PlayStation Plus service, which charges a monthly fee for a rotating line-up of free and discounted games. It would be interesting to see how Sony responds to this move by the software behemoth from Redmond. The first two games to be available for free for the subscribers of Xbox Live Gold will be Assassin's Creed 2 and Halo 3.

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