Microsoft has finally confirmed the existence of the Xbox 360 'Arcade' model, weeks after photos of the SKU's new packaging was posted online.
Designed to replace the existing Core pack, Microsoft entertainment and devices executive Robbie Bach says that the new Arcade package is aimed at the casual market instead of hardcore gamers.
Farewell 'Core' Xbox 360
What exactly he means by this isn't exactly clear. The only major differences between the Arcade and the current Core are the inclusion of five XLBA games, a 256MB memory card and an HDMI port. Like the Core, there's no hard disk drive included with the Arcade system. The lack of an HDD led the Core pack to be dubbed the 's**t pack' when the Xbox 360 was first launched in 2005.
It seems strange to have an HDMI port on a system that Microsoft is aiming at casual gamers. Let's face it, casual players aren't likely to have a £1,000 HD TV. Then again, the HDMI port (which first appeared on the jet-black Elite model) is being rolled out on all newly-built Xbox consoles.
Bach also confirmed that the Xbox 360 arcade will include a Wireless controller (the Core didn't) and some 'casual titles' including XLBA favourite Uno, as well as Pac-Man and Luxor 2.
"Arcade becomes [for us] the ability to bring in a new set of audiences," said Bach. "They're probably a little bit more casually focused, they're looking for a new family experience or they're more price focused."
Bach said that the Arcade pack would be on sale in the US before Christmas. No word yet of a UK release.