Microsoft has released details of the process you will have to go through to transfer data to its new 120GB hard disk drive, ahead of the Xbox 360 Elite and standalone drive's US launches on 29th April.
Gamers upgrading to the new hard disk have it relatively easy, simply attaching the bundled "migration kit" cable to the new disk and following on-screen instructions, with no real caveats to note. You'll simply end up with the same data on a bigger drive and a spare, empty 20GB hard disk to throw on eBay. We expect there'll be "quite a few".
However, anybody aiming to actually move from Xbox 360 Premium to the full-blown Xbox 360 Elite (which comes in swanky black, remember) will need to go through a slightly different process, as detailed in Gamerscoreblog's FAQ and Major Nelson's how-to video.
The main detail of note is that you'll need to go to Xbox.com and order a specific Elite migration kit, which Microsoft says will be free. Presumably the reason it isn't bundled is that the company doesn't anticipate a particularly high volume of customers actually replacing their Premium unit with Elite.
From there the process is fairly similar, although it's worth noting that it wipes any data already on the 120GB hard disk, and that any old Xbox Live Video Marketplace film rental licences won't be transferred.
Another quirk is that people switching from Premium to Elite will need to access Xbox Live in order to play any Live Arcade games they have downloaded in the past, as the licence for these is tied to the console rather than the hard disk. This won't apply to people simply upgrading the hard disk though, since they're obviously still using the same console.
Apparently the transfer progress can take up to an hour depending on the amount of data, although Gamerscoreblog reckons it took them about half that, adding that you won't lose any content from the 20GB disk if the transfer's interrupted.
Xbox 360 Elite, which is detailed elsewhere on the site, will retail for US$ 479.99 (GBP 240 / EUR 350 at the time of writing), while the standalone 120GB hard disk will go for US$ 179.99 (GBP 90 / EUR 130). Microsoft has yet to announce plans for the Elite's European release.