Microsoft has officially announced the launch of the Xbox 360 Elite - a black version of its next generation console with HDMI connectivity and a larger 120GB hard drive.

The move means that the new Xbox 360 will offer 1080p support as well as giving users more space to store Xbox Live Arcade games, music and other content.

The company has announced that the new 120GB hard drive also will be sold as a stand-alone accessory and that it will be making a range of its current controllers and headsets in black to match with the new console.

The Xbox 360 Elite and its accessories are expected to begin arriving in US stores on April 29.

"Today's games and entertainment enthusiast has an insatiable appetite for digital high-definition content", said Peter Moore, corporate vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "Xbox 360 Elite's larger hard drive and premium accessories will allow our community to enjoy all that the next generation of entertainment has to offer."

Distinguished by its black finish and signature metallic detailing, Xbox 360 Elite will have an estimated retail price of $479.99 in the US.

The hard drive is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $179.99

We are awaiting pricing and availability details for the UK.