Officials from Microsoft have finally confirmed the price and release date of the much anticipated "Arcade" model of the Xbox 360 console, which is due for release in the U.S. and Europe this week at a price of $279.99/£199.99.
The Xbox 360 Arcade bundle will become the cheapest version of the console available, taking over from the Core bundle. The console will be officially released in the U.S. today and in Europe on Friday. Although reports of the bundle being sold in the U.S. emerged over a week ago, Microsoft has never previously confirmed the console, and major retailers have not begun to ship it until now.
Like the Core, the Arcade will not feature a hard drive, although it will include a 256MB memory card. Also included is a wireless controller (unlike the wired version from the Core bundle) a HDMI port (but no cable) and five pre-loaded Xbox Live Arcade titles: Pac-Man Championship Edition, Uno, Luxor 2, Boom Boom Rocket and Feeding Frenzy.
Microsoft is keen to promote the bundle as the most family friendly iteration of the console yet, and at the same time has announced that Activision title Shrek-n-Roll will be released exclusively for Xbox Live Arcade this year.
"As families gather together this Christmas, it's the perfect time to launch a family orientated Xbox 360 package that plays games, video and music for everyone to enjoy," said Stephen McGill, head of gaming and entertainment for Microsoft UK.
"In addition to offering an incredible all-in-one package for families to get right into the fun, the Xbox 360 Arcade system features the industry leading family settings that allow parents to control what their kids are watching and playing, and we know how important that control is to families around the world."