Robbie Bach: New Xbox 360 geared towards casual gamers

Posted by Mark Raby

Redmond (WA) - A fifth active SKU (stock keeping unit) of the Xbox 360 is on its way, this time targeting the non-enthusiast crowd, according to Xbox chief Robbie Bach.

The new version of the system, which has been widely rumored for around a month, will include the "Core" system of the console, a 256 MB memory card, a wireless controller, and five Xbox Live Arcade downloads.  The Core unit does not come with a hard drive.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Bach confirmed the new model, saying it gives Microsoft "the ability to bring in a new set of audiences ... They're probably a little bit more casually focused, they're looking for a new family experience, or they're more price focused."

The new bundle will be compatible with HDMI.  The package comes just in time for the holiday season, where Microsoft is hoping to catch a big chunk of casual gamers.  Several casual titles including an exclusive Scene It game will be heading out on the console in the next couple months.

Other Xbox 360 models include the Core, Pro, and Elite, as well as a special edition Halo 3 console.  The Arcade bundle will be the fifth version of the 360 to be currently available.

The new bundle is believed to replace the current Core model, however that has not been confirmed and Microsoft is still producing the Core, though in limited numbers.

The Arcade bundle is expected to retail for around $280, the same price as the basic Core package.