Microsoft has kept it fairly quiet, no press releases or launch trumpeting, but it now looks like the Xbox 360 has been upgraded with the new Jasper motherboard. The new Xbox 360 has been spotted in the wild by the eagle eyed Xbox Scene chaps and as a result we now know that it has a 65nm GPU which, Microsoft is likely to be down on both knees praying, will mean less of those Red Rings of Death problems which have haunted owners of the console, myself included.
The Jasper mobo's were spotted in Arcade versions of the Xbox 360, and come with a different PSU. The new power supply, with a different plug to the old one so do not get any fancy ideas of swapping these things around, is less powerful at just 150W compared to 175W previously.
More interesting has to be the not so small matter of the onboard flash memory which has ballooned from a measly 16MB to a whopping great huge 256MB and, get this, includes internal memory storage capabilities. Which means the Xbox 360 Arcade no longer has an external memory unit, and you can save game data on that internal memory rather than a HDD if you want. That said, it is also used for kernel and dashboard stuff, and I suspect that the new dashboard will eat most of it.
Everything else, so I am told, is pretty much the same as the old Falcon board. Apart from the return of the bottom positioned RAM chips, not that this makes much difference to anything as far as I can tell.
The hope here is that, just as Falcon before it, some more of those Red Ring of Death problems can be chipped away until the death of your expensive game console becomes a distant memory rather than a recent nightmare. And, along the way, help propel the Xbox 360 back to the top of the games console sales tree after recent disappointing performances.