Xbox 360 casual gaming hardware bundle is official

Posted by Mark Raby

Redmond (WA) - Though it is no surprise to eagle-eyed Xbox followers, Microsoft today officially announced the availability of a new low-cost Xbox 360 bundle targeted at casual gamers.

The Xbox 360 Arcade package includes the "Core" version of the console, with an included 256 MB memory unit.  It also contains an HDMI port for full-on HD output.  

It also comes with five Xbox Live Arcade titles: Boom Boom Rock, Feeding Frenzy, Luxor 2, Pac-Man, and Uno.  Users do not need to connect their system online in order to download these titles like other Xbox 360 users do.  The games also normally cost users around $6 a piece.

Though not specifically mentioned by Microsoft, is is believed that the new bundle will replace the current "Xbox 360 Core" system, mainly because of the duplicate price point.  The Arcade package is available for around $280, the same as the previous bare-bones Core model.  Other versions of the system are the Pro, which contains a 20 GB hard drive, the Elite, which packs 120 GB, and a special Halo 3 themed version of the device.

Microsoft has had difficulty capturing the casual gaming audience, most notably because of the Wii's overwhelming dominance in the market.  Marketing to that crowd will be one of the company's biggest advertising campaigns this holiday season.