With the holiday season almost upon us, it is of little surprise to see more aggression in the console wars. In the latest salvo, Microsoft has launched a more ecconomical model of the XBOX 360. For $279.99, the “Arcade” package offers five games, a wireless controller, an HDMI port, and a 256MB memory unit. This version of the XBOX 360, which replaces the “Core” system, is officially on sale today.
The five games are:
- PAC-MAN Championship Edition (NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.)
- Uno (Carbonated Games)
- Luxor 2 (MumboJumbo)
- Boom Boom Rocket (Electronic Arts Inc.)
- Feeding Frenzy (Sprout Games)
The “arcade” is being marketed as the family friendly version of the XBOX 360, no doubt to compete with the success of the Wii.
“As families gather together this holiday, it’s the perfect time to launch a new low-priced, high-value XBOX 360 that plays games, TV shows and music for everyone to enjoy,” said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing, Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.
Karen Dodge, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer at Toys “R” Us, added, “We are excited to offer this new gaming experience to our customers – children and families – who can now enjoy the fun of XBOX 360 together.”
The $279.99 price-point puts the “Arcade” in shooting distance of the Wii. Nintendo has not dropped the price of the Wii, which remains at $249.99. The lower price comes with significant sacrifice, as the XBOX 360 Arcade package does not include a headset, a harddrive, a network cable or an HDMI digital AV cable. While these accessories can be added later, a harddrive is required for backward compatibility with 300+ original XBOX games.